How to be Handy [hairy bottom not required]

Build Money Saving DIY Skills, Create a Unique Home and Properly Look After Your Stuff

Non-Fiction - Home/Crafts
424 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

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.


    Book Review

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.

Gisela Dixon

How to be Handy [hairy bottom not required]: Build Money Saving DIY Skills, Create a Unique Home and Properly Look After Your Stuff by Ian Anderson is a “how-to” book on how to be a handyman or handywoman. How to be Handy by Ian Anderson is a comprehensive guide that starts with the basics such as the correct use of a hammer to more complicated skills such as carpentry or how to use power tools properly. The book is divided into several sections such as developing practical skills and a “can-do” attitude, creating a tool box, assembling and maintaining things, repair and maintenance, creating new things, health and safety, and many more. Each of these topics is covered in depth with several sub-chapters in each section. There is also a very useful list of websites at the end, along with a detailed glossary of terms.

This is an extremely useful book to have and I can see it being my basic go-to guide for any handyman project. Of course, a lot of information can be found on the Internet, but it is a great help to have it all consolidated in one place. I liked and appreciated that the book emphasizes the need for just getting down to learning the basic skills required and not waiting until there is an emergency. Ian stresses the importance of starting off learning with whatever tools one has, and then building upon them as and when one can. The writing is clear and straightforward and easy for anyone to follow. This is a great book to have around for DIY home needs and projects.

Ruffina Oserio

How to be Handy [hairy bottom not required]: Build Money Saving DIY Skills, Create a Unique Home and Properly Look after Your Stuff by Ian Anderson is a great book on getting creative and learning to do things that are fun and useful. In this interesting and captivating guide, the author offers invaluable training to readers who are interested in becoming handy, taking control, and having things running the way they want. From the art of getting tools, to fixings and fasteners, assembling and installing flat packs, maintaining and repairing stuff, to improving and creating new stuff, to implementing the best safety measures, the author offers readers what they need to know in a style that is fun, upbeat, and accessible.

For most people, having broken things at home can be cause for worry and hassle, plus they have to waste money in locating an expert to fix things they can fix themselves. But it doesn't have to be so. In this book, readers will learn to fix simple things in the items they use every day, maintain and fix stuff they want to keep, repair stuff when it gets broken, know where and how to find the information they need. One has no doubt that the author is a genius when it comes to being practical and, apart from learning to be handy, readers will find valuable information on putting order in their lives and breathing life into the things they touch and use. The book features great images that are useful.

Ian Anderson’s book will transform the way we relate to things. It gives readers the technical know-how and confidence they need in handling their stuff, completely giving them a new approach to relating to stuff they work with. How to be Handy [hairy bottom not required]: Build Money Saving DIY Skills, Create a Unique Home and Properly Look after Your Stuff is just brilliant, intelligently written, and packed with information that helps readers take control.