Complete? Not so much. I received it yesterday and had a pretty good look at it, spending around 2 hours going through it. I have had the 1991 version since 2000 or so, which was published by Reader's Digest. As I understand it, Family Handyman (publisher of the "current" edition) is a spinoff of Reader's Digest). Today I took a look at my old 1991 version (which I think was great) and came upon a treatment of one of the many projects I have on my list, which is replacing a tread on my back staircase. The book goes into lots of detail with great illustrations and explanations. Last night, I looked at the staircase material in the newer 2014 edition and there was almost nothing on staircase treads -- what was there all talked about stopping squeaks. My old 1991 edition has "Treads" in the index with 3 page numbers. There's nothing for "Treads" in the new edition's index.
Moreover, I prefer the illustration style in the old edition to that of the new edition. There is a much greater preponderance of photographs in the new edition and I much prefer the work or artists in these sorts books to those of photographers. The new edition has seemingly hundreds of shots of real people doing projects. I feel that this distracts from the task at hand, which is to focus on the projects themselves. In this regard, the old edition is far superior.
Of course, the new edition has some treatments that the old one doesn't. There are some areas of concern that are treated in the new edition which were not in the 1991 edition. Also, of course, some materials are new and available tools have changed some. Clearly, however, I'm going to go to the old book in many instances when I need help with a project. Newer is not always better.
Edit: Dec. 29, 2020. I had a good look at this "Newly Updated" edition again today and was super impressed. This time I LIKE the photographs. There's a lot of great information about tools of all kinds that might be used in DIY around the house projects. I went from cover to cover and the great majority of the treatments are IMO worth reading even if you don't have immediate interest, i.e. just to familiarize yourself with the topic, ins and outs. I have a new found intention to read 90% of this book cover to cover including all the stuff at the start about tools. I know a lot about those things, but this book goes into a lot of details that I don't know about and there are many tips, little tricks of the trade explained. I think this book is really well written and I was thinking that they really did do a great job on this. I just gave it one more star, and it might deserve 5.
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The Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual Hardcover – Illustrated, 7 October 2014
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 226 reviews
Complete? Not so much: The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual Newly Updated Hardcover – October 7, 20142 October 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
56 people found this helpful
A wealth of information, just know what you are getting20 April 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
This book has some solid information and is certainly helpful. My only complaint is that the information can be so basic that it can leave you scratching your head as to how to get to the final product if you will. Every entry gave me the basic information to get on the right track to do a little more research, but I could not rely on the given information to help me complete a task. One example would be the section on deck building. The instructions are basically sink posts, make deck. Some good information would be what exact materials I need, how to pour concrete into the posts, what lumber to use, how far apart the supports should be, etc. So there is a ton of info here and a great place to start, but do not expect more than a general overview and a place to start. That being said, I'm not sure one could expect more just know what you are getting. In addition most of this information is probably available online, but I'm a big fan of having things to actually hold and look at while I work.
25 people found this helpful
Great Manual and I Feel It Has Been Worth Every Penny26 November 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
I am very pleased with this book as it covers a wide amount of DIY subjects and gives clear instruction with pointers along the way. I like the Home Depot guide that had multiple home topics too but found it lacking in many areas where as this one has blown it out of the water in every way for the projects I've done so far. All of the information it has can be gotten off the Family Handyman website and/or application but for anyone that does a lot of DIY stuff on their home knows that trying to use a computer/smartphone whole working on something they are not familiar with is the worst and if horribly inefficient. Not to mention that if you have a "mishap" and a mess happens then worst case scenario you would only be out less than 25.00 to replace this book instead or the hundreds on your electronics. I don't usually give reviews or even long ones when I do but this reference text is something I stand behind for anyone who is a home owner so I thought I'd throw my opinion out there for anyone that's interested.
25 people found this helpful
Thomas J. Foote
Good start19 September 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
It's not college, but I find it's a good starting point. Since I bought my house, I haven't encountered an issue it has no information on. I think a product like this is what you use to find out what questions to ask when approaching a problem you may not be have faced before. I will say you should still follow up for more thorough information. For example, I would not have been ready to tile my bathroom from this book alone, but without it, I may have unknowingly purchased the wrong thinset for the job. This book sent me to home Depot armed with the correct questions to get what I needed. For new home owners in particular, I very much recommend this book.
12 people found this helpful
Adrian Michael Nguyen
For intermediates, not noobs2 April 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
If you're a complete noob when it comes to DIY, as I am, you'd be better off watching Youtube tutorials. This book doesn't contain enough pictures to fully explain certain instructions. But it does contain terminology that complete noobs wouldn't know. In other words, it's aimed at people who already have some knowledge of DIY.
2 people found this helpful