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Friday, June 12, 2009

Why the Best Tool in My Toolbox is a Book

I was conducting a little house tour and showing off a few of my decorating and DIY projects “How do you know how to fix all of this stuff?” asked my girlfriend. I thought about it for a sec and realized that I have a history of doing home improvement projects.

I made my first DIY project as a toddler. I “helped” my father (as in I handed him stuff) build a stepstool out of scrap wood so I could reach the bathroom sink to brush my teeth. I learned not to be afraid of tools and trying something new in middle school when every kid, including the girls, had to take shop class (and the boys had to take home economics class.) Apparently this was very progressive at the time. That was a big step towards my realizing that anything boys can do girls can do
better
too. I asked my teacher once why girls had to take shop and he said that it’s so the girls know how to do things like hange pictures until they get married and have a husband to do it for them.

There goes progress out the window.

(But I think Mr. Hazlett would be happy to know that even though I’m married I still hang my own pictures on the wall.)

But truth be told, I learned most of my home improvement skills from a book. Shortly after buying The Condo we were given a copy of Home Improvement 1-2-3: Expert Advice from The Home Depot.
as a housewarming present.  This book has been a lifesaver! A money saver too.

Home Improvement 1-2-3 is a problem solving book. The authors looked at the most common projects and questions their customers ask of the Home Depot’s employees and put the answers and how to steps into the book.

One of the things I like about Home Improvement 1-2-3 is that they rate the projects by skill level, which helps me determine if I should do the task myself or hire/ask someone to do it for me. It has clear pictures and descriptions of each step by step process. It illustrates how some jobs that may seem complicated such as sealing your air ducts can be ridiculously easy. I really appreciate this because I’m a visual learner.

The book also has sidebars that offer tips on the most common mistakes that are made during the project and how to avoid/fix them (not that I would know anything about this, ahem), safety precautions, and project tips for the first time DIYer. That’s another thing I like about this book because as I dive into more and more home improvement projects I find that DIY is not as simple and quick as it appears on TV.

Home Improvement 1-2-3 by The Home Depot makes an excellent Father’s Day gift, birthday gift, or house warming present for a homebuyer or renter, or just buy it as a gift to yourself. Yeah, it’s that good.