The Bibliophile’s Guide to Home Remodeling Guides

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Today’s burgeoning home remodeler has countless online resources that can assist in teaching the tricks of the home improvement trade. You can spend hours trawling YouTube for videos on how to tile your kitchen or install a new bathroom vanity. Forums in countless languages dedicate serious bandwidth to the painstaking dissection of everything from the pros and cons of available rental sanders to failsafe ways to measure your brand-new kitchen for appliances. For the home remodeling book lover on a quest for good information and the giddiness that comes from the scent and feel of a page, the Internet’s siren song — even with its bountiful information — is still too weak a tune to wander toward. Thankfully, there are some excellent books out there. Here is a quick look at some of the best books on the market for home repair, regardless of whether you’re doing a complete overhaul or just a handful of updates and improvements.

“Ultimate Guide: Home Repair & Improvement (Home Improvement)”

Since it was first published in 2000, this guide has been the gold standard of home improvement books. Now in its third edition, it boasts over 600 pages, 2,300 photographs, 800 illustrations, 325 step-by-step projects and a text that is understandable, detailed and sufficiently in-depth. It provides information on everything from tools to materials, and it gives remarkably good instructions for how to master the basic skills of carpentry, construction, plumbing and wiring. It even gives you tips on what to do in home emergency situations like power outages and floods. Other books may have more razzle and dazzle in terms of voice, humor or font selection, but if need one home-repair guide that will keep surprising you in its thoroughness and readability, this book is the one for you.


Michael W. Litchfield’s “Renovation” has been considered the bible of the home improvement industry for over 25 years. “Renovation” has received unparalleled high marks of praise from “Popular Science,” the editor of “This Old House Magazine” and many others in the industry. Recently updated for its third edition with color photographs, it clocks in at almost 600 pages and has over 100 illustrations. Its author is highly respected within the home improvement world, as he has been renovating houses — and writing about it — for over 30 years. If you’re looking for a guide with a dry wit that still covers the entire house from basement to roof, and especially if you’re a lover of the classics, Litchfield’s “Renovation” is the book for you.

“Big Book of Home How-To”

Published by “Better Homes and Gardens,” the “Big Book of Home How-To” is the largest home improvement book there is. Made to assist readers and renovators of any skill level, users can follow over 200 spelled-out and illustrated projects, or if more experienced, users can just look up how to perform a specific task. With over 4,000 full-color illustrations, this guide takes on even complex projects with relative ease and readability. There is advice on tool and material selection, and the writers even go out of their way to explain various ways to keep projects — and the people engaged in them — safe. This guide is for the no-frills type, who loves a good index.


Based on the principles that have made its website so popular with design and architecture enthusiasts, “Remodelista” as a book is suited for the renovator with a contemporary, no-nonsense and classic aesthetic. This how-to guide features 12 examples of renovated homes whose well-executed design is within anyone’s reach — if you’ve got a little ambition. Space is used economically. Trends are abhorred and, therefore, avoided. All the while, a close and discerning eye is still kept on the price tag. With dozens of projects broken down into easy-to-understand language and detailed explanations of many remodeling processes, “Remodelista” will make sure your renovation is as well designed as it is implemented. This book is for the renovator with a modern sensibility and vision, who isn’t afraid to take on a little more than a mouthful when chewing on home improvement.

Whether you’re gutting your first home or remodeling your upstairs bathroom for the third time, good advice on home renovation is always welcome, and these four guides offer nearly all that the amateur, semi-pro and professional home remodeler might need.