Posted January 13, 2014 by in Book Lists

Save Money This Year With DIY Books

Whether you’re renovating your home, landscaping your yard and garden, fixing a leaky sink or needing your pants hemmed, you don’t have to pay someone else to make these improvements for you. In 2014, discover new skills by picking up a do-it-yourself – DIY – book. While you can start with some generic books, like the Reader’s Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, you can also specialize in other tasks in and around the house. You might even surprise yourself by having a bit of fun and feeling a wonderful sense of accomplishment. There’s a DIY book for virtually any project; here are a few examples:


Gardening and Landscaping

You’ll be inspired by the photos in DIY gardening and landscaping books. One such manual is Grounds for Improvement, published by the DIY cable network – named after a TV show of the same name. Not only will the before and after photos have you dreaming of your new backyard, but their instructions on how to lay sod, build fences and pathways, and create water features can help you make your backyard dreams a reality.

If you’re more interested in creating an edible garden, check out The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan. Madigan suggests starting with an acre, and whether you’re looking to create a vegetable garden, can food or even raise chickens and cows, she has the tips you’ll need to get started and follow through.


Home Renovations

When it comes to sprucing up your living space, there’s a plethora of renovation books with instructions for anything from how to install drywall to how to decorate your living room. Start with some handy advice from two experts who have been there and done that with their own home. Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik offers more than 200 ways to do a complete home makeover on an affordable budget. Illustrations also make it easy to follow their instructions.

For major remodeling projects, get Black & Decker’s Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement, which comes packed with photos along with detailed step-by-step instructions. Plus, the trusty hardcover will be a helpful onsite reference, whether you’re working on carpentry, flooring or wiring.

Home renovation books often focus on specific tasks and repairs around the house. Furnace repairs, for one, can be quite costly, but they don’t have to be with the help of Home Heating & Air Conditioning Systems by James Kittle. This guide includes detailed instructions on how to install as well as to maintain various heating and air conditioning systems.

There’s plumbing DIY books as well, such as Plumbing Do-It-Yourself for Dummies and Black & Decker: The Complete Guide to Plumbing. These books go over everything from how to unclog drains and sinks to repairing leaky or frozen pipes.

All of these DIY resources are also upfront about the tools you’ll need to use correctly – and safely – make these renovations. Depending on the work you’re doing, they may suggest tools that aren’t in your toolbox, such as a vacuum hose, nail gun, filters and even MultiRAE at affordable prices. While items like nail guns can help you complete your drywall work, MultiRAEs are used to keep you safe while you work, whether it’s on pipes or the furnace, as they aid in gas detection.

By following any of these manuals, you’ll be learning valuable skills and avoiding a costly call to a repair man.


Sewing, Crocheting, Knitting and More

DIY books can also help you get crafty. While there’s a plethora of sewing books geared toward kids, like A Kid’s Guide to Sewing, these “kid” books can also be a great resource for adults who are just starting to learn to stitch. Once you’ve gotten the basics down, move on to other books such as Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista, which will inspire you to craft your own fashions by taking vintage clothing and making it your own.


If it’s knitting you’re interested in, start with the basics with Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods, which focuses on skills all knitters need to master before making clothes. As your skills improve, move on to more complex stitches with Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters by Deborah Newton.


Some books also come with patterns for you to use, such as Downtown DIY Crochet by Crochet Books & Patterns.

While many tutorials are now available online, a great do-it-yourself book can be a wonderful resource to bring with you on whatever project you’re working on around the house. The suggested books above will inspire, teach and empower you. Now the only question is: what project are you going to work on first?

Courtney Gordner