At times, just the thought of beginning a home improvement project is enough to make your head spin. Leaky kitchen faucets, chipped bathroom tiles, stained upholstery – – you name it. Tasks large or small can loom over your head like a dark cloud. But, there’s hope!

Luckily, we live in a time where great information is just a few key strokes away, often found online at sites like, or Home improvement help is, basically, available to us on demand.

There are, however, other great places to find invaluable DIY tips and advice. Namely, in good, old fashioned books. We’ve selected 3 of our most reliable “Go-To” volumes for a variety of projects you may have around the house.

#1. Dare to Repair by Julie Sussman & Stephanie Glakas-Tenet

File_000 (27)This first pick is great for ANY property owner, especially first time home buyers. It demystifies home improvement repairs while addressing every topic from how to install a door bell to major appliance maintenance. There’s even a section on how to chose the proper contractor.

#2. DIY Home Repairs: 100 Fix-It-Yourself Projects by Sarah BeenyDIYRepairs

Author Sarah Beeny starts out by sharing her personal story about how her father empowered her as a kid to pitch in with repairs around the house so that she could draw upon those skills later in life. It’s an encouraging message. What’s also neat about this book is how it starts you out easily, taking you step-by-step through smaller tasks like what to have on hand before you begin any projects (check out our blog post on toolbox essentials here). Make no mistake, this book is not just for novices. It may begin with the basics but it’s filled with complex projects and great advice. The illustrations are wonderful, too.

#3. My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…and Other Things You Can’t Ask MarthaFile_000 (25)

Now this book may not spring to mind when you think of DIY or Home Improvement, but, we included it because it covers home care – – which is super important. We LOVE this book! Author Jolie Kerr, who also writes the column, “Ask a Clean Person” and can be found on Tumblr, tackles virtually ANY embarrassing house cleaning query you could think of in this book. Not only does she guide you through how to clean “barf” out of your leather handbag, she’s great at dispensing advice like how to clean floors of all kinds, what types of products you should and shouldn’t use in your laundry appliances and how to care for your stainless steel surfaces. (This isn’t in the book, but, she gives great advice on how to recover from a disaster involving a Roomba vacuum and dog poop – – PRICELESS! Check it out.) We highly recommend this book.

This list includes just 3 of our favorite reads. We’d love to hear from you about what home improvement literature you’re reading. Let us know in the comment section below.