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Best Home Renovation & Remodeling Books

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Renovating your home can be a challenge but it certainly doesn’t have to be. With these books you’ll have a much easier time planning, scheduling, and executing a simple home remodel completely stress-free.

Whether you’re planning to do this yourself or hire contractors, or maybe a little of both, these books have got you covered.

Renovation(4th Edition)

In this newest edition of Renovation by Michael Litchfield you’ll learn from 100s of contractors and experts with years of experience in the field. This guide can prove useful for anyone whether they have prior building experience or not.

This revised edition has a total of 600+ pages and dozens of incredible project plans you can follow. This book considers the reality of renovation from the eyes of someone who has never done it before.

Doors, windows, roofing, skylights, and pretty much anything else you can think of are all covered in this book. Each chapter covers a different topic including materials and techniques for beginners.

And the writing style is super easy to read so this book can work for beginners and experts alike.


What Your Contractor Can’t Tell You

It’s easy for a new homeowner to get taken for a ride when hiring for remodeling work. But you can learn a lot before you even start the process by reading What Your Contractor Can’t Tell You.

This lengthy book covers all the main concepts like design, planning, architecting, and budgeting. Many homeowners know about these concepts vaguely but do not have enough practical knowledge to put this to good use.

Thankfully this book is looking out for your best interest and it’ll bring you from no knowledge to fairly educated in just over 200 pages. The author Amy Johnston is a construction manager so she knows a thing or two about good remodeling.

Note this guide is not made for people who want to remodel their own home. It’s primarily a checklist or “getting started” guide for homeowners who care considering a remodel, but simply don’t have enough experience to know how to get started.


Kitchen & Bath Renovation Guide

Two of the trickiest rooms to remodel are the bathroom and the kitchen. These both have plenty of appliances, fixtures, pipes, and other tricky features that require a deeper look into the process.

Better Homes & Gardens released their own Kitchen & Bath Renovation Guide and it’s one heck of a budget read.

This book really gets into the nitty-gritty for both rooms covering storage, floor space, appliances, and even decorating styles.

All of these decisions require a personal touch if you plan to live in the house. Not to mention that your remodeling decisions will also impact the home when it comes time to sell. By learning about floor plans and lighting ahead of time you’ll be much more informed to make qualified decisions.

Don’t rely on a contractor to tell you what to do with your home. They can make suggestions and guide you along the way, but this book will help you think for yourself by teaching you everything you need to know for remodeling.


Remodel Without Going Bonkers or Broke

Every home can probably use a bit of work, and that work can vary wildly in price. Remodel Without Going Bonkers or Broke is perhaps the best guide for homeowners on a budget.

Author Jim Molinelli has over two decades of experience working in the home renovation business. He’s seen it all and shares his advice for new homeowners to help them avoid the common mistakes made by others.

You’ll learn how to prepare your home for a remodel, who to hire and what they do, and how to interview contractors for your project. Remember that it’s your house so you’re in control of the process. There’s always room to negotiate and try to find a happy medium.

The toughest part of a remodel is knowing how to survive while it’s happening. The same goes for finding money to support yourself during the process.

But this book will take you from step 1 and guide you all the way through to the other side unscathed.


Home Improvement 1-2-3

It’s surprising to see a book published by Home Depot but this one is actually pretty good. Home Improvement 1-2-3 is partly a how-to guide, but mostly it’ll prep you for every possible remodeling situation.

Many experts share their advice on topics from load bearing walls to finding rotting boards in your ceilings. Each chapter has dozens of photographs and illustrations to help explain these different concepts.

Over 560 pages this book gets into everything from electric wiring to plumbing. Countertops, insulation, weatherproofing, powerwashing, absolutely every topic under the sun can be found in this guide.

And the advice is all practical so you can follow through with the simpler tasks on your own.

I wouldn’t say this guide is necessary for every single home renovation. However if you’re looking for a non-handyman’s guide to fixing up your home then this book is a godsend.


Love the House You’re In

Love the House You’re In covers a bunch of little things you can do to spruce up your home. It’s more about making your space beautiful and considering how renovations factor into that process.

Author Paige Rien worked on HGTV’s show Hidden Potential for 5 seasons and shared her expertise of architecture & interior design. In this guide Paige spills 40+ secrets on how you can improve your home and make it feel even more livable.

This book is very practical but it can also feel like a decorating resource. It’s mostly geared towards homeowners who want more spacious living quarters, but these tips do apply during a remodel too.

I’d throw this into the “maybe” pile considering it does cover a lot of decor tips instead of structural design ideas. Still an awesome read though.


100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know

To get a little more detailed with homeownership check out 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know.

This 288-page checklist literally covers 100 amazing and oft-forgotten things that homeowners need to know before remodeling. These tips also come in handy when you’re making minor changes to your home, cleaning certain rooms, or hoping to fix small problems like a clogged toilet.

You’ll find tips on building safety paths for exits, keeping rodents out of your property, eliminating noise from outside and fixes for damp basements. Each chapter covers a bunch of actionable tips and they’ll save you a bunch of money in the process.

Regardless of how many years you’ve owned your home or if you’re just now shopping for your first, this book will prove useful every step of the way.

An absolute must-buy in my eyes.


Make It Right: Expert Advice on Home Renovations

Make It Right by HGTV star Mike Holmes is perhaps the best guide for anyone undergoing a renovation. This book covers the entire process from start to finish in just over 220 pages.

You’ll learn what a renovation is and why it should be done(and when it shouldn’t be done). Mike shares his advice in each chapter covering how you should hire contractors, how to plan your renovation, and who you should be taking advice from.

Most green homeowners find themselves facing the same problems and often making the same mistakes. Mike tries to help you avoid these mistakes as he offers solutions to make your home life a little easier.

Each room in the house tends to have its own basket of problems and this book will help you through every step of the way. An excellent guide for anyone who wants to learn more about the renovation process, plus this thing is pretty cheap too.


The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling

Some folks prefer the DIY route and that’s more than encouraged if you have the mettle. But finding the right materials, building codes, and just having the confidence to build from scratch can be tough to muster.

The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling teaches you how to remodel your home with creative solutions for storage, flooring, and insulated rooms. You’ll also learn how to pick the right materials on a budget so you don’t go broke during the remodeling.

This reference manual is absolutely massive with over 600+ pages geared towards the do-it-yourselfer who just wants to dive into some handywork at home.

Each chapter covers a different topic like framing, siding, plumbing, windows, and HVAC. It is the ultimate home design book and with this by your side you’ll have all the answers you could ever need.

As a note, it’s still a good idea to have some Internet access just in case this book can’t answer all your questions.


The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual Newly Updated

Another fantastic choice for digging into remodeling work yourself is The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual Newly Updated. It was originally published in the mid 2000s but got a major overhaul in 2014 with new building codes and techniques for remodeling.

The writing style is very simple and it’s practically made for a beginner with no prior knowledge. Absolutely anyone can pick up this book and work through these projects without hassle.

With over 3,000 photos and illustrations you’ll also have a clear-cut guide to help you move through any task. From simple home repairs to adding energy efficient solar panels, you’ll find advice for everything you could imagine + a whole lot more.

This works great as both a reference guide and a step-by-step “how to” guide for beginners.

I absolutely recommend this as a resource for anyone willing to dive in and get their hands dirty.


The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home

On the flip side many homeowners would rather pay someone to do the work and save themselves the time(and grief). The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home teaches you how to properly contract out the work, rather than how to do it yourself.

You may be confused at why someone would write a book on how to hire other people. But renovating your home can go into so many different subjects that you really need to know what you’re talking about.

Early chapters cover the absolute essentials of home renovation covering why you should hire a contractor and how to use this book during the process.

Later you’ll learn the entire home design process from scratch which means picking out a lot, mapping the entire project, and hiring the right contractors to get the work done.

Not everyone needs to build their own house from scratch. However as you work through each chapter you’ll learn how a home is built and how these pieces come together during a typical renovation.


How Your House Works

This is the coolest book on home design and I cannot recommend it enough.

How Your House Works teaches you everything about housing structures, plumbing, HVAC, circuit breakers, and all the stuff you’ve questioned when looking at houses all your life.

It takes a lot of work to build a functioning home and there are so many different parts. This book breaks them all down elegantly in an easy-to-read manner. You don’t even need to own a home to understand the concepts in this book.

Every chapter covers a different topic from plumbing, wiring, heating, appliances, and the frame/structure of the house itself. Along the way you’ll find tons of illustrations that clearly show each process and how it works.

The author Charlie Wing has written over 20 books on home improvement, but this one is my personal favorite. This should be mandatory reading for any homeowner long before they even think about renovating.

Either way all the books in this list can offer some value to homeowners. Whether you’re looking to do the work yourself or hire it out, there’s at least a few decades’ worth of information & tips to be found in these books.

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