Top critical review
34 people found this helpful
Readers Digest DIY manual
on 4 January 2011
First let me say that I am an ageing and experienced DIYer. I have used earlier versions of this book for many years and found them useful and reliable. I have plumbed in a complete bathroom twice, rewired a flat and a house and tiled and decorated. I have fitted a kitchen as well as done all the other things like fitting up shelves and so on. The earlier versions of this publication have been of great use to me.
I bought this book in advance of release as I was moving to a new house and I felt that my experience of 1960s and earlier properties would be inadequate to encompass modern building methods. I have to say that I have been disappointed in what this book has to offer. Perhaps nowadays, with all the restrictions on what an unqualified homeowner can do for themselves only an overview is now relevant, but even this seems to be lacking in parts of this book.
I discovered that I had a sealed central heating system. The book says it is very similar to a vented system and gives it a paragraph, it isn't. It is in fact significantly more complicated as I have found by searching the web. There is no mention at all of dab and board construction (dab and dot) despite the considerable problems I had getting fixings in this type of wall, no help was available from the manual. It was as if this type of common modern construction hadn't even been introduced.
The electrical advice, although accurate, is far from comprehensive and misses out so many DIY jobs yet it goes into detail on outside lighting, kitchen and bathroom work, which must now be professionally certified and is therefore hardly worth the trouble of a DIYer who will have to pay as much for certification as they will for the job to be done by a professional in the first place.
All in all this book has not been very well planned and is far from comprehensive, I cannot therefore recommend it to any householder, be they a keen DIYer, a beginner or just someone who wants to know enough to talk intelligently to tradesmen.