Home Remodeling Books Worth Reading

From on February 17, 2009 in Tools and Tips

No matter how fabulous, efficient, and entertaining it is to gather information and inspiration via the Internet and the blogosphere, book lovers are always going to want books, too. Books about the home and home remodeling are always rolling off the publishers’ presses, and types include:

  • Brand new releases on hot industry topics
  • Classic how-to and reference guides
  • Design-oriented books with great visuals
  • Project-specific guides

Home remodeling books can be enjoyed as coffee table conversation pieces or add value to the working libraries of home remodeling professionals. From one end of the spectrum to the other, there are so many choices that – especially for a book lover like me – it would be impossible to name just a few. For this post, I’ll feature a winner from each of the types shown above, including tasty tidbits from each one’s product description.

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Brand new release on a hot industry topic:

Prefab Green
By Michelle Kaufmann

With a publication date of February 15, 2009, this one’s definitely new and hot. Architect Michelle Kaufmann shares her vision of creating thoughtful, sustainable design for everyone. Her firm, Michelle Kaufmann Designs, blends sustainable home layouts, eco-friendly materials, and low-energy options to create a “prepackaged” green solution to home design. Kaufmann tells about five eco-principles that are present in every design her firm creates – smart design, eco-materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy environment – and how all work together to create homes that make a difference.

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Classic how-to and reference guide:

What Your Contractor Can’t Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating
By Amy Johnston

With a 5-star ranking in reviews on Amazon.com www.amazon.com , this one rates as a classic. It’s a comprehensive guide to getting the best results while building or renovating a home. Most homeowners spend about 20% of their time on the plan and 80% of their time on a messy, traumatic, expensive construction phase. Pros spend 80% of their time on the plan and 20% on a smooth construction phase. But the homeowners can’t know what goes into a solid plan unless someone tells them. This book is based on a simple premise…if homeowners knew even 10% of what the professionals in the construction field know, they could avoid 90% of the problems. This book equips homeowners with the information and strategies needed to turn their vision into a home or a renovation that can be built on time and within budget.

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Design-oriented book with great visuals:

The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live
By Sarah Susanka and Kira Obolensky


With over 200 color photographs, this lively and colorful book is sure to please. Now considered a bestseller, it launched a whole series of books on The Not So Big House theme. Library Journal’s review of the book says, “Architect Susanka believes that the large homes being built today place too much emphasis on square footage rather than on current lifestyles. Here she shows how homes can be designed to feature ‘adaptable spaces open to one another, designed for everyday use.’ She describes how to examine occupants’ lifestyles, how to incorporate the kitchen as the focal point of the home, how to give the illusion of space, and how, with storage, lighting, and furniture arrangement, a smaller home can be comfortably livable. This thought-provoking book will be a good addition to architectural and interior design collections.”

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Project-specific guide:

301 Simple Things You Can Do to Sell Your Home Now and For More Money Than You Thought
By Teri B. Clark (Author) and Marie Lujanac (Editor)

This is a very focused book on how to stage your home to get the most money out of the sale. It includes do-it-yourself tips from laying tile to installing a faucet. This book helps you sell your home no matter what your budget is. Numerous studies show that a house that is well polished on the surface and staged properly will appeal to more buyers, sell faster, and most importantly, for more money. You may not be able to improve the market value of your house, but you can improve its marketability. Remember: first impressions count the most. Discover what to do to make your home sell fast and for the highest amount.