Cover image for Householder's survival manual.
Householder's survival manual.
Reader's Digest Association.
Publication Information:
Pleasantville, N.Y. : Reader's Digest Association, [1999]

Physical Description:
384 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TH4817 .H65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The all-in-one, hard-working volume that will save you time, work, and money -- and keep your home running more easily and efficiently than ever before. The most up-to-date advice from experts on more than 400 topics to help you have a clean, organized, and well-maintained home.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Floors, Walls, Windows, and Doors
Floors and Flooringp. 12
Wood flooring
Resilient flooring
Laminate flooring
Brick, ceramic, and quarry tiles
Wall-to-wall carpeting
Tools for Keeping Floors Cleanp. 17
Regular maintenance
Basic floor-cleaning tools
Washing floors
Vacuum-cleaner basics
Types of vacuum cleaners
Vacuum-cleaner problems
Taking Care of Floorsp. 24
Wood floors
Resilient flooring
Tile, stone, or brick floors
Carpet stain removal
Maintaining Walls and Ceilingsp. 34
Preparing the surface
Washing woodwork
Cleaning wall coverings
Cleaning tile and paneled walls
Patching a wall
Selecting paint
Getting organized
Painting techniques
Trim painting
Finishing the job
Wallpapering basics
Applying wallpaper
Windows and Doorsp. 48
Window basics
Storm windows
Combination storm/screens
Door basics
Diagnosing door problems
Chapter 2 Heating, Cooling, and Lighting
Fireplace and Woodstove Maintenancep. 62
Understanding your fireplace
Taking care of a fireplace
Maintaining a chimney
Safe operation of a woodstove
Making a good fire
Storing firewood
Heating Systemsp. 67
Types of heating fuels
What type of heating system do you have?
Forced-air systems
Hot-water systems
Steam heat systems
Radiant heat systems
Heat pumps
Gas furnaces and boilers
Oil burners
Space heaters
Air Conditioners, Humidifiers, and Dehumidifiersp. 79
Types of air conditioners
Calculating cooling needs
Window air conditioners
Central air conditioning
Whole-house fans
Evaporative coolers
Humidifying the air
Cutting Utility Billsp. 86
Checking out your house
Home appliances
Plumbing, heating, and cooling improvements
Simple Electrical Fixesp. 92
Understanding your system
Making simple repairs
Chapter 3 Kitchens, Cookware, and Appliances
Kitchen Organization and Cleaningp. 102
Kitchen organization
Kitchen cleaning
Cleaning the sink area
Popular countertop surfaces
Cookware, Dishware, and Kitchen Toolsp. 110
A panoply of pans
An overview of ovenware
Metal servers
Cutting surfaces
Other kitchen tools
Large Appliancesp. 124
Dishwasher repairs
Maintaining and cleaning a refrigerator
Refrigerator storage
Refrigerator repairs
Freezer storage
Choosing ranges, cooktops, and ovens
Cooktops and burners
The range hood
Cleaning ranges, cooktops, and ovens
Repairing ranges, cooktops, and ovens
Small Kitchen Appliancesp. 139
Coffee makers
Food processors
Microwave ovens
Toaster ovens
Chapter 4 Bathrooms and Plumbing
Organizing and Cleaning the Bathp. 146
Getting organized
Ventilation and mildew prevention
Basic cleaning
Cleaning the vanity area
Bathroom tile, caulk, and grout
Minor Plumbing Repairsp. 153
Shutting off the water
Diagnosing toilet problems
Tubs and showers
Choosing faucets
Repairing a faucet
Repairing pipes
Repairing a compression faucet
Repairing a ceramic-disk faucet
Repairing a rotating-ball faucet
Repairing a cartridge faucet
Chapter 5 Home Furnishings and Furniture
Area Rugsp. 166
Choosing a rug
Regular maintenance of area rugs
Blinds, Shades, Curtains, and Draperiesp. 170
Measuring window treatments
Options for blinds
Options for shades
Curtains and draperies
Curtain, drapery, and soft valance styles
Choosing curtain, drapery, and valance fabrics
Curtain rod options
Caring for Wood Furniture and Framesp. 178
Shopping for wood furnishings
What kind of wood is it?
Preserving valuable antiques
Keeping furniture clean
Repairing and protecting wood furniture
Refinishing furniture
Maintaining mirrors
Maintaining wood frames
Upholstered Furniture and Bedsp. 184
Choosing upholstered furniture
What's inside
Basic upholstery cleaning
Leather options
Choosing a mattress
Cameras, Electronic Equipment, and Telephonesp. 189
Choosing and operating a camera
Choosing a camcorder
Choosing a VCR
Cleanin' the heads
Choosing a television
Choosing a stereo receiver
H/me office equip-ent
Fax machines
Options in telephones
Indoor Flowers and Plantsp. 204
Buying cut flowers
Best-bet houseplants
Chapter 6 Clothing and Laundry
Basics of Cleaning Clothesp. 210
Planning a laundry area
How a washer works
Machine-washing clothes
Laundering unusual items
Washing delicates
Choosing the best laundry procedure
Special laundry problems
Dry cleaning
Reading garment labels
Choosing and Maintaining a Washer and Dryerp. 221
Selecting the right washer
Washing machine repair
Installing a washer
Choosing a dryer
Clothes dryer repairs
Installing a dryer
Drying and Ironing Clothesp. 227
Drying basics
Different strokes
Stain Removal and Special Carep. 231
Caring for your clothes and accessories
Stain removal
Protecting your clothing investment
Taking care of leather
Sewing and Mendingp. 238
Sewing supplies
Needle and thread basics
When to call in the pros
Chapter 7 Organization and Storage
A Place for Everythingp. 244
Taking inventory
Transforming a closet
Making a closet system work
Maintaining your closet
Storing Seasonal Items and Keepsakesp. 249
Long-term storage strategies
Storing seasonal clothing
Storing delicate clothing
Storing bed and bath linens
From closet to table
Preserving keepsakes
Storing holiday decorations
Archiving books and papers
The paper chase
Caring for photographs
Organizing Your Garage, Basement, and Workshopp. 258
A garage for all seasons
The well-tempered workshop
Organize the basement
Recyclingp. 262
Recycling within the house
Recycling in the yard
Recycling in the community
Chapter 8 Yard and Garden
Planning and Maintaining Your Landscapep. 266
Know your weather conditions
Temperature zone map
Planning a landscape
Create a garden center
Choosing the plants
Watering strategies
Automated watering systems
Lawns, Shrubs, and Treesp. 275
Choosing grass
Common lawn problems
Lawn-care basics
Helpful lawn accessories
Mowing the lawn
Planting trees and shrubs
Pruning and trimming tools
Pruning shrubs and trees
Gardening Basicsp. 283
Buying and maintaining tools
Handling weeds
Basic gardening tools
Handling disease and pest problems
Common lawn and garden weeds
Plant diseases and pests
Using mulch
Mulch options
Growing Flowering Plants and Vegetablesp. 291
Flower power
Spring-blooming bulbs
Hardy decorative plants
Vegetable gardening
Vegetable gardening basics
Herb gardening
Container gardening
In Tune With Naturep. 300
How to attract wildlife
Unwelcome wildlife
Outdoor Living Areasp. 303
Planning a deck
Maintaining a deck
Planning a patio
Maintaining a patio
Outdoor lighting
Outdoor furniture
Choosing a swimming pool
Routine pool maintenance
Hot tubs
Living in a Rural Areap. 310
Septic systems
Water supply
Power supply and sanitation
Emergency services
Special equipment
Chapter 9 Attic, Roof, and Basement
Insulating and Upgrading an Atticp. 316
Attic insulation
Attic ventilation
Ventilation devices
Installing attic insulation
Making an attic floor
Sealing Roofs and Guttersp. 320
Understanding your roof
Roofing materials
Making minor repairs
Gutter maintenance and repair
Basement Water Systemsp. 328
Water heaters
Dealing with hard water
Water filters
Sump pumps
Solving moisture problems in basements
Eliminating leaks and moisture problems
Chapter 10 Home Safety
Making Your Home Saferp. 338
Hazardous household products
Preventing common accidents
Safety for older family members
Fire safety
Smoke detectors
Fire prevention
Indoor air quality
Home security
Poisonings and Animal Bitesp. 351
Animal bites
Household Emergencies and Disastersp. 354
Power failures
Gas leaks
Household fires
Handling common household fires
Fighting a small fire
Disaster supply kit
Floods and flash floods
Appendix Household Basics
Workshop Toolsp. 362
Workshop Tipsp. 366
Buying, Selling, and Movingp. 368
Indexp. 374
Acknowledgements, creditsp. 384