Home Improvement: For Dummies (Like Me!)

As many of my readers know, I review (almost) every book that I read. Many of these books are not stories of fiction or fantasy, but rather are literature that helps me improve various aspects of my life. Well over the winter holidays my parents talked me into doing a little bit of renovation on the home that I own. They sat me down with a spreadsheet and a calculator and helped me see how much equity I could gain in my home just by making a few minor changes.

Knowing that I’ve never been very handy around the home, they also provided me with a copy of “Home Improvement For Dummies” written by Gene & Katie Hamilton. While I have heard some negative things in the past from fellow readers about the  ”For Dummies” series, I’ve always had really good experiences with these books. This time around was no different.

Anyone who has read one of these books knows that this isn’t something you can just read in one sitting. They can get a little “intense.” While I do highly recommend this book to others (as it helped me out quite a bit), I will add a disclaimer that only those seriously looking to do some type of home renovation in the near future will be motivated enough to get through it.

Now the format for this read is the same as many of those in it’s genre. There is an introduction about home improvement and then basically each chapter is dedicated to different types of areas in your home that you can improve (e.g. kitchen, bathroom, family room, etc). Now I won’t go into details about each chapter, but I did actually read them all even though I was only planning on making a few changes. I felt as though each chapter was pretty much the same, just with different instructions and ideas. None of them were riveting or exciting, but each did a very good job at giving an overview of the options available for each area and some really good ideas that I would have never thought of on my own. The authors did a great job of keeping the subject matter simple enough for even a beginner like me to understand (which I why I love these types of books).

One example of how I benefited from this book was an idea I was given while reading the chapter on kitchen remodeling. I learned that cabinets are one of the easiest things to change out, and can increase the value of your home by a significant degree.  In fact, I actually followed through and just by installing brand new cabinets for a little over a grand, I was able to raise the value of my home by about $5,000 – $10,000!

If you own your own home and are either looking to put on the market in the near future, or are just wanting to maintain a nice living environment, you should pick up this book. It will give you a bunch of different options that are available for you to improve the monetary and aesthetic value of your home for quite a bit less money than you would expect!