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Monday, March 2, 2009

Books to Get You Started

Whenever I want to tackle a new home improvement project or hone my skills, I'll start by reading books or magazine articles. Of course, this is a lousy substitute for someone teaching me, but a well written book often has more detailed and thorough information that are a good foundation to start from.

I've read This Old House magazine for years with great articles and advice my heroes, Norm, Tom, and the crew. Old House Journal is great if you are restoring an old home and trying to retain the appropriate character. They often have informative articles and history about different home styles, etc. I also love Fine Homebuilding because they will actually get into the intricacies of the trade, while some of the others focus more on the design aspects.

Besides magazines, I'm a huge fan of the Creative Homeowner series of books. Whenever I can afford it, I look to see which ones I don't have. Their Plumbing book is always around and is a great reference for when I want to make sure I have rough-in measurements right. Their Architectural Trimwork book was helpful when I was learning the basics of crown moulding, and their House Framing book is excellent and even includes a detailed chapters on building stairs and adding dormers.

These books are full color with lots of great diagrams and pictures showing various steps in the process. They are much more in-depth than a lot of the books I've seen at the home stores. Many have reference sections with code guidelines, etc.

Reading got me started, but I've since learned lots of tricks from pros that I've worked with that save time and insure quality work. There's no substitute for actual work experience, but a good book is a great start when you are learning something new.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Peter-
    The blog looks great! I married a carpentrygirl last summer and she has a gazillion projects to take on. She has a birthday coming up and I may look for some of the books you recommend...