Ian Anderson is an award winning professional builder, carpenter, handyman, and humanitarian. A Licentiate member of the City & Guilds Institute of London and holds a MSc degree in Trauma & Disaster Management.
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
How to be Handy [hairy bottom not required]: Build Money Saving DIY Skills, Create a Unique Home and Properly Look After Your Stuff is a nonfiction home maintenance book written by Ian Anderson. Anderson’s been a professional home builder, renovator and repairman for over thirty years, and while it’s second nature to him, he’s written this book to show how anyone can become handy and learn to maintain their stuff. His first lesson shows that being handy is in your head. He opens his book with a call to begin exploring your world and seeing how things work. Anderson realizes that most people think practical skills are something one is born with, but with a little bit, or sometimes even a lot, of practice, anyone can begin to perfect their own handyman skills. His approach is slow and methodical, and he’s ready with no small amount of warnings about the sharp edges of the tools you’ll be using, but Anderson’s guide makes becoming a handy person an infinitely doable thing.
Ian Anderson’s nonfiction home maintenance book is the handyman’s guide every handyman wannabe has ever dreamed about. He takes nothing for granted and is infinitely patient as he shows you how to develop an unerring sense for when things need to be fixed, and he guides you to exactly the tools and materials needed to tackle the job. I was spellbound reading this book, which is loaded with pictures, illustrations and instructions. After all these years of not knowing what the various tools, nuts, bolts and other maintenance esoterica were even called, I was finally able to refer to them by their real names and learn exactly how they were used. Items that have been sitting in my toolbox finally had purpose! Having Anderson as your mentor/handyman guru is a real treat as well. He’s the consummate instructor, one who never takes himself too seriously and rarely pontificates. Best of all, he’s quite specific on setting limits for projects and repair work, and giving you enough guidance to keep you from infinite disaster and/or injury. There will be lots of silly mishaps and some wasted materials as there inevitably is in learning any trade or skill, but Anderson’s careful eye and your good sense should stand you in good stead. This well-written and very helpful book should be on everyone’s bookshelf -- if only to tell your handy friend or local expert what you need them to do. How to be Handy is most highly recommended.