Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to remodeling your home
The complete idiot's guide to remodeling your home
Meany, Terry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Alpha Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxix, 434 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TH4816 .M46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



You're no idiot, of course. You can repaint a room, hang shelves, and even fix a leaky faucet. But when it comes to knowing where to start remodeling your home, you feel like it might be easier to tear down and start over again. Don't hire a bulldozer yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Remodeling Your Home is the simplest way to revitalize your home without hours of wasted time ane thousands of dollars of misspent savings. In this Complete Idiot's Guide, you get:

Author Notes

Terry Meany has been a professional home restorer for two decades. He has designed, built, or supervised the construction of bathrooms, decks, and room expansions, as well as completed plumbing and electrical upgrades on both family homes and rental properties. Mr. Meany is author of Care for Your Home the Lazy Way and Working Windows: A Guide to the Repair and Restoration of Wood Windows. He lives in the Seattle area.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Does Your Home Need a Makeover--or Reconstructive Surgery?p. 1
1 Your Home Is Your Castle--Keep It That Way!p. 3
Keeping Your Rambler from Ramblingp. 4
Big Repairs: In the Beginningp. 6
The Mundaneness of Maintenancep. 6
What's Your Dream Theme?p. 8
Dreams Guide; Budgets Decidep. 9
2 The Anatomy of Your Homep. 17
Get Your Hiking Boots: A Walk Through Your Housep. 18
Your Targets: Leaks, Squeaks, and Morep. 19
Nothing a Gallon of Paint Won't Fixp. 21
Feeling Cramped?p. 22
Behind the Scenes: Furnaces, Plumbing, Wiringp. 22
A Room-by-Room Tourp. 26
The Cool-Down After the Walk-Throughp. 28
3 Judging a House by Its Coverp. 31
A Walk Around the Homesteadp. 32
Inside Problems That Start Outsidep. 34
A Pretty Picture or Not?p. 36
Give It a Restp. 40
4 Paintbrush or Work Crews? Fixing the Immediate Stuffp. 43
You're More Talented Than You Thinkp. 44
Making Dirt and Dust Your Friendsp. 45
Jack and Jill of All Tradesp. 46
Keep the Home Light Bulbs Burningp. 49
Your Plumbing: Pipe Dreams or Nightmares?p. 50
Cold Prevention: A Working Furnacep. 51
Keeping the Rain Outside: Roof Repairsp. 52
Underwater: Basement and Foundation Leaksp. 52
Where Do You Start?p. 53
5 You Say Condo; I Say Homep. 55
The Ups and Downs of Group Livingp. 56
Living in the 'Hood: Covenants and Restrictionsp. 59
Historic Districtsp. 60
Landlords: The Best Remodeling Is No Remodelingp. 63
6 Fixing Your House Without Breaking the Bankp. 67
The B Word: Budgetp. 68
Where Those Dollars Will Gop. 72
Is It Worth It?p. 76
Decisions, Decisionsp. 76
Part 2 Making Big Plansp. 79
7 Prepare First; Remodel Laterp. 81
Lots of Ideas, but not a Cluep. 82
What Do You Want to Remodel Today?p. 84
Ideas Guide; Plans Decidep. 86
Schedules Rulep. 89
Another Saturday at the Lumberyardp. 91
8 Everything You Didn't Think Aboutp. 93
If It's Not One Thingp. 94
Everything Starts Out Smallp. 98
Those Darn Kids (and Spouses, Too)p. 100
Part 3 Quit Planning and Get to Workp. 105
9 Painting: Your House Is Your Canvasp. 107
So Many Paints, So Little Timep. 108
Making It Stickp. 109
Get Hep with Prepp. 110
A Primer on Primerp. 111
The Right Toolsp. 111
Time for an Inside Job!p. 113
It's an Outside Jobp. 115
Paint Timep. 117
Cleanup Timep. 120
10 Floundering Foundationsp. 121
Concrete Junglep. 121
House Supportp. 123
What's with This Settling?p. 124
Bigger Problemsp. 127
When You're Really Buggedp. 128
Laying a New Foundation: Additionsp. 130
11 The Messiest Job: Replacing Your Roofp. 133
Good Roof, Bad Roofp. 134
Strip Down or Add Another Layer of Shingles?p. 137
My Shingles Are Better Than Your Shinglesp. 138
While You're at It: Skylights and Other Changesp. 139
Gutters Anyone?p. 141
Roof and Gutter Fixesp. 142
12 Refusing Fusesp. 147
Wiring That Your Grandparents Installedp. 148
Bright Ideasp. 149
Lighting Up the Outdoorsp. 152
A Primer on Powerp. 153
It All Adds Upp. 154
Another World of Wiringp. 157
13 Plumbing the Depths of Your Plumbingp. 159
An End to Scalding Showersp. 160
Cleaning Your Water: Filtersp. 162
Call a Plumber or Twop. 163
Pipe Warsp. 163
Making the Water Go Awayp. 165
While You're at Itp. 166
How's Your Hot Water Heater?p. 167
Busted: Frozen Pipesp. 168
14 Clear the Air: Heat and Air Conditioningp. 171
Way Beyond the Fireplace: Modern Heating Systemsp. 172
Upgrading and Installing Furnacesp. 176
Don't Forget the Thermostatp. 178
The Other End: Air Conditioningp. 178
Air Filtersp. 179
Up in Smoke: Your Chimneyp. 180
Prioritize and Weatherizep. 180
Part 4 Get a Fresh Start: Interior Changesp. 183
15 Cooking Up a Storm: Reworking Your Kitchenp. 185
The Design's the Thingp. 186
How's the Traffic?p. 187
Hot and Cold: New Appliancesp. 189
Lighting Upp. 190
One Sink or Two?p. 191
The Cabinetmaker's Artp. 192
Count Up Your Countertopsp. 194
Floor Guidancep. 195
What Do You Need in a Kitchen?p. 196
16 Bathrooms with Bragging Rightsp. 199
Behind the Scenes and Inside the Wallsp. 200
Keeping Your Bathroom in Orderp. 202
Tub and Shower Combinationsp. 202
Beyond the Tub: Sinks, Toilets, and Vanitiesp. 205
Don't Forget Ventilationp. 207
Floor Choicesp. 207
Painting Issuesp. 208
17 Living Rooms and Dining Rooms: Throwbacks?p. 211
Bringing Out Their Bestp. 212
Walls, Floors, and Morep. 215
How About a Fireplace or Two?p. 216
Some Finishing Touchesp. 218
18 The Home Worker: Dens and Officesp. 223
Are You Cut Out for This?p. 224
Planning Your Spacep. 225
Key Considerationsp. 228
If You Like a Traditional Men's Club Lookp. 231
Do You Need a Restroom?p. 232
Part 5 Street Appeal: Exterior Upgradesp. 233
19 Taking Sides: Your Exterior Wallsp. 235
Wood, an Old Standbyp. 236
The Non-Wood Worldp. 238
The Hard Stuff: Brick, Stone, and Stuccop. 240
If You Must Re-sidep. 242
Comparing Them Side-by-Sidep. 244
20 Porches and Decks: Your Outdoor Roomsp. 247
Porch First Aidp. 248
Porch Floors: Bring Out the Big Sandersp. 251
Look Up: Porch Ceilingsp. 252
Adding to Your Porchp. 253
Clear the Decks!p. 254
21 Garages: More Potential Than You Thinkp. 257
Look at It as a Small Housep. 258
Heating Strategiesp. 260
Storage That Mattersp. 262
Living in Your Garagep. 265
A New Garagep. 265
22 Lights, Walkways, Action: Remodeling Your Yardp. 267
Ideas by the Yardp. 268
Beyond Plants: Walls and Fencesp. 270
Wiring the Great Outdoorsp. 273
No More Mud: Real Sidewalksp. 274
Little Houses for Little Peoplep. 276
Part 6 And Baby Makes Three: Additions to Your Homep. 277
23 The Big Leagues: Adding a Roomp. 279
Seeking Approvalp. 280
Floor Thoughtsp. 280
One Frame Coming Upp. 283
Start Closing It Upp. 286
An Inside Jobp. 287
Trim Timep. 289
Finishing Touchesp. 290
Is That It?p. 290
24 Going Up: Second-Story Additionsp. 291
Design Considerationsp. 292
Getting Startedp. 294
Wiring, Plumbing, and HVACp. 298
Now That You're Finishedp. 301
25 Special Touches for Special Roomsp. 303
Baby Boom Means a Baby Roomp. 304
Master Bedrooms and Master Bathroomsp. 306
Kids' Roomsp. 309
A Good Greenhouse Effectp. 309
26 Bargain Basements: A Million Usesp. 313
It All Starts with Headroomp. 314
Moisture, the Main Stumbling Blockp. 315
Plans from the Undergroundp. 316
Floor Thoughtsp. 320
Starting from Scratchp. 322
27 Turn Your Attic into a Penthousep. 323
A Plan with a Higher Purposep. 324
New Openingsp. 326
Keep Your Cool: Temperature Controlp. 329
Putting It Togetherp. 330
A Few Detailsp. 330
28 Deck Your House with Decksp. 333
Deck Fundamentalsp. 334
Decking Decisionsp. 336
Building and Maintenance Tipsp. 338
Deck Alternatives: Patiosp. 340
Part 7 Fantasy Time: Your Dream Projectsp. 343
29 The Finer Side of Remodelingp. 345
There's Always Room for Another Closetp. 346
Instant Bedroomp. 348
Enter Here: Vestibules and Tile Entrywaysp. 348
Trim Timep. 350
Windowsp. 352
A Welcoming Front Doorp. 352
Wood Floorsp. 354
30 Really Fun Additionsp. 355
For Oenophiles Only: Wine Cellarsp. 356
Your Own Movie Theaterp. 359
Your Own Casinop. 360
More Noise Makersp. 361
Hot Stuffp. 361
Lighting Up in Stylep. 363
Seamstresses and Tailors Onlyp. 364
31 Restoration or Remodeling?p. 365
Historical Accuracy Is the Guiding Lightp. 366
The Hazards of Hazardsp. 368
Unpainting Your Housep. 370
Exterior Paint: Loads of Leadp. 372
Plaster and Lath: The Days Before Drywallp. 373
Resolving Window and Door Problemsp. 374
Restoration: Unknown Budget Territoryp. 375
A The Contractor Talk Glossaryp. 377
B Paint and Paintingp. 383
C Paint Preparationp. 389
D Laddersp. 393
E Hiring and Working with a Contractorp. 395