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VINE VOICEon 7 December 2007
There is no denying the scope of this book is, to say the least, comprehensive. It covers almost every topic imaginable in DIY from dry lining your basement to capping the chimney and covers it at every range whether you just want to change a fuse or rewire the entire building.

That scope though is both its virtue and its problem. Yes I can pick this up and be fairly confident that it will tell me how to go about building a stud wall but I know that it is also likely to be something of an overview of the subject rattled off in a few paragraphs. Often that is enough. There are a lot of jobs where a grasp of the basics and a willingness to have a go are good enough and if I'm laying new paving slabs I'll read this and go for it. Alternatively there are some jobs where I'd like a little more expertise than this can provide. Yes this book will tell me how to change the main fuse box but I'm not going to do that when it means working on the live side of a 100 amp line! In those cases though at least it lets me know roughly how difficult the job is so that I don't sound like a complete numpty when I call an electrician and ask if they could replace the 'thingummy by the front door with the fuses in it'.

The new (2007) edition has some changes most are improvements, some are not, but the improvements could be sufficient to make it getting the new edition. On the downside the binding is not as good as previous issues so this is a book which could suffer in use. On the upside there is more detail about building regulations and approval. Not in so much detail that it gets in the way of what you want to do but enough to give an overview of the process and in a nod to the way the world moves there are now sections on 'communications' and the 'office at home'.

I'd say to anyone that they should buy this book even if you don't ever intend to do the DIY yourself. If you do the DIY this is a good first reference to find out what to do. If it's not comprehensive enough then it will give enough of an overview that you will know what to look for when searching for more detail and if you do get someone else to do the job you've a better chance of knowing if they're doing the right thing.
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on 30 November 2017
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on 15 October 2009
This book was a Christmas present and have found it fairly useful. But be warned this book is not for total beginners like myself, it doesn't give basic step-by-step instructions on simple D.I.Y jobs so you do require some prior knowledge but this book is packed with information.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 September 2017
While has been updated to include new regulations, some of the info is still quite outdated. For example, it assumes that most houses have old-fashioned hot water storage heaters, and combi-boilers are not very efficient at providing a high volume of hot water (am sure that can no longer be true?), but while some of the specifics may be outdated, you can still apply the principles to most modern work. I think there were two new editions, since the original was published and the 2017 edition might well include other updates apart from the regs mentioned in blurb. I chose the older 2007 edition, 2nd hand, as cheaper, and it seemed to mention all the same changes as the newer (2017) edition. I didn't want to spend too much on a DIY book, as there are plenty of online tutorials, but this book is either handy if you don't use the internet, or if you want to get an idea of the requirements of a job before spending hours searching for and watching online tutorials. For some jobs, the contents would even be sufficient on their own, for some, I would think you will need more, if you've never done it before, depending on the importance given to it in the book. Decorating, in the sense of painting, wall-papering etc and prep work, both inside and out, is covered in depth, with most of it still being reasonably well applicable to modern settings and materials. The book covers pretty much every DIY job you can think of, but some in less depth than you might need to actually carry out the job competently, at least as a beginner. But it'll give you an idea of what's involved, and whether you can do it on your own, or as another reviewer pointed, enough knowledge to judge a professional job. There's a section on when you need planning permission and when you need building regulation approval (never even knew there was such a thing as latter - oops!). It even covers outside jobs, like installing water features, and garden construction jobs such as patios, paths etc. There's a section on tools at the end, which shows the book's age: pretty much the only power tool I noticed mentioned was a drill, probably they weren't as readily available and cheap when this was first written. It does cover use of power tools for some jobs, but mainly, these tend to be specialist tools that many people will need to hire, like floor sanders. It doesn't cover many power tools many people possess today, but I don't see that as a serious flaw, as there's plenty of info about operation and application of power tools out there. In my view, DIY books will tend to be wide of scope and sometimes lacking in detail, unless supplied as a 10 volume monster. I think this one does a quite good job of balancing scope with detail, and is densely info-packed, with quite small writing and not too many unnecessary colour photos depicting various colour schemes and decorating ideas, while having some useful info about the basics of working with colour/patterns. For the price I paid, I think this book was a good investment, but I doubt I'd pay the full price of the new edition..
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on 28 March 2009
You can find everything in it. great illustrations of the instructions, and specifically designed for UK market, so all the brands of the tools and materials are available in your local DIY store which is always a great plus.
This is probably the only manual u ever need :)
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on 11 February 2009
Bought this book for my husband, as our previous addition was way out of date. Often find him browsing and reading up on things we need to do. Just got to see the end results, when he has time. As mentioned we had a previous addition this was invaluable and a well explained DIY book. Every house should have one for that small emergency and also if you do DIY you can make sure that it is up to standard.
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on 18 May 2009
This book was bought for an 18 year old male friend who loves DIY.
We had very good feedback from him, he is obviously enjoying it and he carries it around with him sometimes to while away the time in a break at work. He does a lot of work at home and this has given him the confidence to try more as it is quite detailed.
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on 21 August 2008
This book will give handy hints and tips when undertaking any domestic DIY project.

It is not the most comprehensive manual but is great for simple reference, enabling those with a view to further investigation to seek answers elsewhere - hence 4/5
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on 6 October 2009
we found this manual fantastic for information on everything you might need.
we were told about it first and in fact have given our copy to our son and now have to buy another for ourselves and our other son! very recommended
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on 14 June 2010
I fitst used this book many years ago and found it as useful now as I remember it was back in the day. My only minor criticism would be that I thought the plumbing section could be a little more expansive and for that reason I only gave 4 stars. Oh, don't make my mistake and buy the separate plumbing book thinking it will be much better because it isn't really!

Lots of useful chapters and they usually give you enough info to make you feel like you could have a go and importantly not get yourself into too much trouble if you follow their instructions. There are a wealth of tips in every section and I often stumble across a page which provides me with an interesting bit of info - often on something I thought I was already quite good at. If you are a professional you might think it a little basic but then if you're a professional you probably wouldn't be buying such a book anyway. Overall - recommended.
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