Three resources for repairs and renos

These handy books will get your renovations done right

By Barb Siddiqui


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Affordable Remodel: How to Get Custom Results on Any Budget

Taunton Press, 2007, $28
Author Fernando Ruiz is all about “achieving high-end looks with pocket change.” He considers affordability a primary consideration in any home remodel and preaches facing reality when planning a dream home. He talks about resizing interior spaces, updating entrances and evaluating the resale value of different home improvements. Kitchens, baths, floors, stairs and skylights are discussed, as is wiring, foundations, and heating and cooling. Ruiz has interviewed many remodellers to collect a wide range of experiences and examples. This book is packed with ideas for all types of home improvement projects.

The Holmes Inspection

Collins, 2008, $30
Mike Holmes is on a mission to educate homebuyers. “I’ll show you how to buy with knowledge and not throw your hard-earned dollars into a money pit,” he says. In this hardback, comb-bound edition, Holmes discusses the industry, then divides all aspects of home inspection into exterior and interior checklists, with red-flag warnings on what to watch for and cost estimates on doing upgrades and repairs. He gives tips on things such as mould, saunas and steam rooms, and how to prioritize needed work. Having this information when inspecting a home could prevent a lot of grief.

Repair and Renovation of Old Houses

Taunton Press, 2008, $28
Thirty-seven of Fine Homebuilding’s best renovation articles are collected on DVD-ROM, with additional videos covering how to assess the quality of an old house, from top to bottom. Also, watch an instructional video on slate-roof repair, installation of crown moulding and how to lay a custom floor medallion. Flip through pages of articles on windows, porches, structural repairs, plumbing, electrical and masonry work. The DVD requires an up-to-date computer, so check your system before you buy.

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