If I Had a Hammer: Do It Yourself and Save!

Fix it, upgrade it, or build it yourself with this helpful DIY home improvement guide.
By Jenna Woginrich
December 2009/January 2010
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You can do it! Ridout’s book "If I Had a Hammer" shows you how to tackle a wide range of projects.
PHOTO: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS


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Andrea Ridout’s new book, If I Had a Hammer, couldn’t have hit bookshelves at a better time. With wallets getting thinner, home prices slumping, and folks looking for new and innovative ways to save energy and money, her friendly DIY book is here to lend a helping hand. It covers everything from a basic overview of tools to how to decide if you need a new roof. It’s written in a style that’s comfortable to read (even to people new to the power tool aisle at their local hardware store), so novices don’t have to worry if they don’t actually know what a reciprocating saw does. Intimidation isn’t a factor. Andrea’s here to get you started, regardless of your level of experience.

The book is somewhat of a textbook for Fix It 101. It is geared toward people who aren’t carpenters or electricians, but still want to be proactive in their own home improvements and repairs. Projects are rated by their level of difficulty (so you can’t get in over your head), and helpful home improvement tips and tricks fill the margins. For those of us always on the lookout for ways to conserve energy, there’s a section dedicated to those efforts.

The book also doubles as a homeowner’s guide, showing you better ways to decorate the bathroom, protect wooden floors or organize your closets — not bad for a single book! It would make a great gift (and possibly a saving grace) for younger people moving into their first apartment or home.

Although the book is a paperback, it seems like something that deserves a spiral binding and a waterproof cover so you could hang it from a nail in your garage and slap it down on a sawhorse without having to worry. It was certainly intended for heavy use.

If I Had a Hammer would be a fine addition to any do-it-yourselfer’s library and is a must-have for people new to the world of extension cords and bathroom tiles. Even if you already have a hammer, consider picking up a copy. If you don’t have one, well, here’s a place to learn which kind you need.








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