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Staying Put: Remodel Your House to get the Home You Want    by Duo Dickinson order for
Staying Put
by Duo Dickinson
Order:  USA  Can
Taunton Press, 2011 (2011)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you are thinking about possibly remodeling in the year ahead, this is definitely a book you'll want to page through before starting.

Perhaps you want to enlarge an existing bathroom or add one off a bedroom. Dickinson has some ideas on how it can done. Need more closet space, another bedroom, a large living room or perhaps a home office? You'll find helpful hints on how these projects can be launched.

What about a kitchen renovation? It may sound like a good idea but it can be costly, so check out the do's and don'ts of a job like this. Nearly every conceivable project to make your home more livable is covered in this well illustrated guide.

The author features over sixty projects which have been completed since the recession hit. Before and after photos, plus simple floor plans, show what each remodeling job has entailed. Dickinson, who has been designing and renovating homes for three decades, is also practical and focuses on staying within a budget when discussing how to go about a remodeling job.

He also has a sense of humor which, as anyone who has done a makeover can tell you, is a vital quality to have if you intend to redo a part of your home while still living in it.

Now, obviously, one has to be practical and work within the existing footprint of the house and the lot it sits upon. Not all things are possible because of zoning restrictions, cost or just the way the existing structure is laid out.

'Working with existing buildings requires more patience, knowledge, and craftiness than the tear-down mentality of unfettered expansion or building on a naked site,' writes Dickenson. 'But the advantages of sober thinking and value-conscious building are obvious and will be revealed, explained, and expounded in this book.'

In the opening chapters you'll read about some of the issues you'll have to consider if you wish to go forward with a home expansion. This not only includes a way of evaluating your existing structure to determine what is possible, but it also touches upon permits and plans.

One of the key determining factors of whether or not a project will go smoothly and turn out the way you hoped it would is finding the right contractor to do the job. Finding the right person and drawing up a proper contract are essential elements in making sure your home renovation story has a happy ending.

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