Please suggest guides for a new homeowner
December 23, 2010 9:28 PM   Subscribe

I am a new home owner after 19 years of living in dorms or apartments. I want to make sure that I keep it in the best condition possible. I am looking for suggestions of guide books and websites which others have found useful for a new homeowner. I am looking to cover basic maintenance and lawn/garden care. I have found several but have no idea which ones are actually good.
posted by slavlin to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I are remodeling our home and this book has been so helpful. The pictures are very clear and instructions are easy to follow.

It's not just for remodeling/construction. It has a lot of maintenance and minor repair info as well.

Congrats on being a homeowner!
posted by ACN09 at 9:56 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Home Comforts is an essential book for any homeowner. Much of it has to do with the things you keep in your house, but it has plenty of good info for the house itself.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:02 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have found the Idiots/Dummies guides to be very useful, especially for deciding whether a project is a "do it yourself" or not.
posted by lobstah at 6:06 AM on December 24, 2010

I second the Black & Decker books. We have the Guide To Home Repair. Clear directions with lots of photos. My husband and I have been in our first home for almost 3 years now and we're not handy at all, but with the help of that book we've managed to repair leaking toilets, install a new thermostat, replace shower heads, and do many other things around the house. It's a very valuable reference!
posted by geeky at 7:32 AM on December 24, 2010

For the yard, I was recommended this book by AskMefi (I've got the WA & OR one.)

It's been a great resource for a total newbie telling me when I should do what!
posted by Zoyashka at 8:06 AM on December 24, 2010

Reader's Digest New Fix-It-Yourself Manual. I've had 2 of these books, there were 2 different ones offered, for 30+ years. Worth their weight in gold.
posted by JohnE at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

When I was a new homeowner, generally I hired contractors for something that I had never done before (i.e., a small plumbing or electrical issue), and then I watched them and asked a lot of questions. But in the hiring process, I *never* let on that I was new at this stuff, and I always got multiple quotes until I found someone I was comfortable with (not necessarily the cheapest). Angie's List is a great resource for finding contractors.

After that, I spent a lot of time talking to the oldtimers who worked at the local hardware store (NOT Home Depot, Lowe's, OSH, etc, it was a small family-owned place that had been there for a zillion years). They basically walked me through what I would need to know about the old construction techniques in my area, and the tools I would need and what I could get away without. They had a great "hey, you can do this stuff, don't worry" kind of attitude.
posted by vignettist at 1:14 PM on December 25, 2010

As JohnE says above, Think of the Readers Digest book as your home's missing owners manual. I have, and it has served me well.
posted by chocolate_butch at 7:19 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

For gardening - You Grow Girl and Grow Great Grub are both modern, accessible, and fun.
posted by particular at 10:49 AM on December 29, 2010

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