What’s Your Dewey? 690’s Home Maintenance – D.I.Y. or P.I.O.?

Finally! You’re in your own home, off the rental treadmill and looking forward to relaxing in an environment of your own making… well, almost. There are just a few little ‘tweaks’ to make before it becomes ‘just perfect’. You haven’t actually got the funds to get someone in to do it – but how hard can it be to paint a bathroom ceiling, replace a damaged skirting, glue down the carpet – oh! and unstick that window? Only problem is, you don’t quite know where to start.

The 690’s is the place and the Complete do-it-yourself : an essential guide to painting, papering, tiling, flooring, woodwork, shelves and storage, home repairs, home insulation, outdoor projects and outdoor repairs edited by John McGowan (it’s a mouthful!) is likely to set you on a sound D.I.Y. footing.

A practical guide to many indoor and outdoor home decoration and maintenance projects, topics include painting, woodwork, flooring and tiling, insulating, decking and outdoor water features. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by over 2000 photographs, tooling information and project safety guides. An excellent resource for even the most timid of DI.Yers.

If a complete reference guide is too daunting in itself, then well-established do-it-yourself expert David Holloway’s offering of Home Repairs may prove more accessible. This title details a range of every day home maintenance projects and includes filling cracks, replacing tiles and patching carpets. Holloway also outlines the necessities for a basic toolkit with information on common items such as fixtures, fillers and adhesives

For many, getting right back to basics is a priority, not only doing the repairs themselves but also creating cleaning products and constructing money-saving household features.

The Home Book from Murdoch books is a back to basics book with invaluable tips on the simple, ongoing home maintenance tasks in every household, from cleaning to composting. Handy tips address typical issues such as yellowing linen, rising damp, noisy pipes and stain removal. Ideas for reducing electricity costs and establishing a kitchen garden are also included. The Home Book is available in print and eBook format, and all of the above titles can be reserved here: Home maintenance


Increasingly people are moving toward environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, and tool-industry leader Black&Decker has demonstrated this is not only possible with home maintenance, it is easy and relatively inexpensive. The complete guide to the green home : the good citizen’s guide to Earth-friendly remodeling & home maintenance by Philip Schmidt presents manageable home-care projects from remodeling to landscaping and promotes consumer-friendly  sustainable products, efficient energy use and reduced toxicity.


The adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’ can easily be applied to home maintenance, particularly if your new or recently remodeled home has few issues to compromise your enjoyment of ownership. Fix it before it breaks : seasonal checklist guide to home maintenance by Terry Kennedy provides  a checklist system for home owners to create a simple, ongoing  preventative maintenance program to forestall major future repairs. The checklist takes homeowners through all aspects of home care, from building site to construction and fittings, when to do-it-yourself or call in an expert. The Checklist also gives advice on what to look for when assessing work done by repairers and steps readers through developing a Personal Home Maintenance Plan. You can have a quick peek here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Sometimes it’s the little things, the barely referenced tips and hints that make the difference between the place you live in feeling like a house or a home. Brilliant home tips and tricks not only presents readers with many easy home maintenance and repair instructions but also provides a wealth of information from home-care professionals and folk wisdom. Topics of particular interest not covered in other titles include de-cluttering, sewing, time-saving measures and alternate uses for everyday objects.

Armed with a multitude of choices for titles on general maintenance, major repairs, remodeling, ongoing home care and when to call in an expert, the 690’s will guide you through the best way to enjoy your home – from the specific to the eclectic. D.I.Y. or P.I.O.? Personally, I tend to D.I.Myself!

Nola Cavallaro


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