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Home Remodeling & Repair

See also: Historic Preservation, Woodworking, and Kitchens.

Selected Books

Advanced Home Wiring
q TK9901.A34 2012
A Black and Decker handbook that is current with codes through 2014. Projects include: adding a stand-alone, direct-current circuit powered by the sun; installing an automatic standby power system; replacing a main service panel; grounding and bonding your electrical system; installing a radiant flooring system; and working with 240-volt and three-phase power.
 
(Black and Decker) The Complete Guide to Plumbing: Modern Materials and Current Codes: all new guide to working with gas pipe
q TH6124.C66 2008
This 4th edition includes new material and is completely current with the 2006 Universal Plumbing Code. From basic repairs to advanced renovations, the Complete Guide to Plumbing also includes new sections on working with gas pipe, PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), and outdoor plumbing.
 
(Black and Decker) The Complete Guide to Wiring
q TK3284.C65 2011
Current with 2011-2013 Electrical codes.
 
(Black and Decker) Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair
q TH4817.3.C655 2008
This updated edition is presented in a larger portrait format for better visual clarity. All the features that made the original book America's bestselling bible of home repair are still present, including more than 2,300 color photographs and detailed step-by-step directions.
 
Elliott, Steve
The Portable Dad: Fix-It Advice for When Dad's Not Around
TH4817.3.E45 2009x
For college students, twenty-somethings, and anyone else who keeps Dad on speed-dial for car emergencies, plumbing woes, appliance advice, and more. The Portable Dad’s got all the answers to all the basics: how to hang, unclog, patch, drill, paint, mow, lube, edge, weed, sand, pack, and more.
 
Ferguson, Myron R.
Drywall
q TH2239.F47 2002
In this illustrated Taunton Press book, the author shows, step by step, how to install drywall to ensure smooth walls and ceilings. There is also a video production.
 
Kardon, Redwood and Douglas Hansen
Code Check Electrical: An Illustrated Guide to Wiring a Safe House
q TK3285.K37 2010x
The sixth edition of this Taunton Press book covers every type of residential electrical system, offering the most up-to-date information on grounding, bonding, service panels, branch circuits, GFCIs and AFCIs, switches, receptacles...
 
Masonry and Concrete Step-by-Step
q TH5313.M3525 2004
This Better Homes and Garden guide provides illustrated techniques to install, repair, replace, maintain, and improve patios, driveways, steps, walkways, walls, and more. Step-by-step format provides basics for beginners and reassurance on complex projects for more experienced DIYers.
 
Plumbing: Real World Know-How You Wish You Learned in High School
TH6123.P565 2011
Discover how to unclog drains, fix frozen pipes, put in a new sink or toilet and even upgrade your water quality with step-by-step illustrations.
 

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Videos

Flooring: Hardwood Floor, Laminate Floor, Ceramic Tiles
(DVD) TH2525.F554 2008x
Presents a range of different floor coverings and a step-by-step instructions on how to install them.
 
Installing Trim
(DVD) TH5695.I57 2003x
Craig Savage shows how to install door and window casings, baseboard, and crown moldings.
 
Laying Hardwood Floors
(DVD) TH2529.W6 L39 2003x
Don Bollinger shows how to get professional results when laying your own wood strip floor. Everything is covered step-by-step, from removing old flooring to finishing at the edges.
 
Professional Tips for Easy Wallpapering
(DVD) TH8441.P7623 2008x
Viewers are walked through all aspects of papering a room.
 
Wood Flooring
(DVD) TH2526.W6 W663 2010x
Wood flooring expert Charles Peterson covers the complete step-by-step installation of a wood strip floor in this Taunton DVD.
 

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Websites

Hardware / Home Improvement Stores

  • Ace Hardware
    A "helpful hardware" dealer-owned cooperative of hardware stores that specialize in service, with more than 4,700 stores in 50 states and more than 70 countries. Includes a "store locator" to find a store near you.
  • Home Depot
    The national website of the metachain of home development super stores. Use their store finder to find one near you.
  • Lehman's
    Located 118 miles from Pittsburgh in Kidron, Ohio (near Canton), Lehman's originally served the surrounding Amish community but eventually went into catalog sales and then to an online store. Read more about it in this October 14, 2009 article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse
    Lowe's has information on "How-To's" projects, "Safety Tips", and product highlights. You can find a store in the Pittsburgh region with their store locator.
  • True Value
    True Value Company, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives with approximately 5,800 independent retail locations worldwide. You can find an affiliated store in your area with their "store finder".
 

General Home Improvement Sites

  • Ask The Builder
    Tim Carter is a syndicated newspaper columnist whose website is full of information on remodeling or home building. You can search his site for topics needed, read his past columns, or use forms to find a professional contractor.
  • Better Homes and Garden: Home Improvement
    If you have a home-related project or problem, this is a place to start. Here you'll find information on plumbing, wiring, carpentry, decks, masonry & concrete, and Project Calculators.
  • DoItYourself.com
    For do-it-yourselfers, this site provides answers to some of the most common household maintenance problems.
  • HGTV: Home and Garden Network: Home Improvement
    The website for the Home and Garden TV network also offers sections on Kitchens, Bathrooms, Decorating, and Landscaping.
  • Hometime: Home Improvement and Repair
    This site is based on the popular tv show, and has an extensive collection of how-to information on all sorts of home projects.
  • Home Improvement Helper
    This site will give you basic information on various projects, such as roofing, flooring, etc.
  • The Housing Zone
    This site for the professional builder/remodeler is good for recent news in the housing industry.
  • HUD: Home Improvements
    Federal programs to help with repairs from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Remodeling: Cost vs. Value Report
    This website for Remodeling Magazine offers the annual "Cost vs. Value Report" telling you which home remodeling efforts pay off.
  • ToolBase Services
    On this website, the National Association of Home Builders provides technical information on building products, materials, new technologies, business management, and housing systems.
 

Specific Remodeling Projects

  • American Lighting Association
    The American Lighting Association is a trade association representing the lighting industry. Their website includes brochures on lighting for your house as well as a directory of lighting consultants.
  • Chimneys.com
    Find out how your chimney works and how to maintain it. From the site for chimney professionals, also offering a guide to find a local chimney sweep.
  • Energy Star
    ENERGY STAR was introduced by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products, in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. ENERGY STAR has expanded to cover new homes, most of the buildings sector, residential heating and cooling equipment, major appliances, office equipment, lighting, consumer electronics, and more product areas.
  • H2Ouse - the water efficient home
    A website from the California Urban Water Conservation Council providing advice on how to create a water-efficient home. It tells you how to save water in the garden, laundry, bath, and kitchen.
  • Home Ventilating Institute
    Do you need to improve the ventilating in your house? This website has a guide that covers whole house ventilating, bathroom and kitchen ventilation.
  • Kitchens.com
    On their website you will find an Interactive Kitchen Remodeling Guide which provides information on cabinet structure (frames and door styles), Pulls & Knobs, Appliances, Countertops, Flooring, Sinks & Faucets, and Architectural Details. They link to kitchen remodelers that in turn link to manufacturers of cabinetry, flooring, etc.
  • National Kitchen & Bath Association
    Thinking about remodeling your kitchen and/or bathroom? All the tips and tools you need to get started on your kitchen and bath remodeling project can be found here!
  • National Wood Flooring Association
    Expert information wood flooring information. Covers installing, maintaining, repairing and refinishing wood floors.
  • The Not So Big House
    Are you tired of the trend towards ever bigger houses? Then you will enjoy this companion website to the Taunton book by Sarah Susanka.
 

Pittsburgh Resources

  • 16:62 Design Zone (Lawrenceville Corporation)
    Extending from the 16th Street Bridge in The Strip District to the 62nd Street Bridge in Lawrenceville, the 16:62 Design Zone includes more than 100 shops, galleries, studios, and professional services firms catering to home design.
  • ACTION-Housing Green
    ACTION-Housing Inc. has created ACTION-Housing Green as a way to offer energy conservation tips and partnering opportunities to homeowners, property owners, tenants, regulators, and utilities.
  • CCI Center
    Conservation Consultants, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is responsible energy use in homes and other buildings. They provide energy consultants to check the energy efficiency of your home.
  • Landmarks Housing Resource Center
    The Landmarks Housing Resource Center in Wilkinsburg offers workshops and seminars on home ownership, restoration, do-it-yourself work, cost-effective tips on green initiatives, and discussions on neighborhood and community development. Part of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.
  • Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show
    An annual show held in March at the David Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The largest home show in Pittsburgh with 1400 exhibits.
  • TribLive Classifieds
    Powered by the Pittsburgh Pennysaver. Search the classifieds for garage sales and equip your house or apartment on a shoe string.