Book Review: Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Room Additions

Adding extra living space to your home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right guide it can be an achievable and rewarding project. Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Room Additions provides homeowners with a comprehensive resource for planning and executing a room addition from start to finish. With clear instructions, helpful diagrams, and expert advice, this book aims to make the process as smooth as possible.

A Thorough Overview of Room Additions

One of the standout features of this book is the exhaustive coverage of all aspects of room additions. It truly does provide a complete A to Z guide, walking readers through every step along the way. Topics covered include:

  • Evaluating the pros and cons of adding onto your existing home versus moving
  • How to determine your budget, assess resale value, and find financing options
  • Deciding on the type, size, and layout of your addition
  • Obtaining permits and ensuring compliance with building codes
  • Hiring architects, contractors, and subcontractors
  • Choosing building materials and fixtures
  • Preparing the site and laying foundations
  • Framing walls, installing roofing, wiring, plumbing, HVAC, and more
  • Finishing details like drywall, trim, flooring, painting, and landscaping
  • Furnishing and decorating your new space

From initial planning to final inspection, this book leaves no stone unturned in outlining everything that goes into a room addition project. The level of detail ensures readers will feel equipped to take on any issue that arises.

Clear Instructions and Visual Aids

One of the best features of Black & Decker’s guide is the clarity of the instructions. The writing is straightforward and easy to understand, even for those with little prior construction experience. Directions are provided for how to carry out each step in the addition process, from applying for permits to painting walls.

Supplementing the instructions are hundreds of clear photographs and diagrams illustrating the described tasks. Readers can see exactly how materials and components should be installed and assembled. Charts, graphs, and checklists also help distill complex information into digestible formats. These visual aids make a world of difference in helping convey key techniques and concepts.

Expert Insights for Homeowners

While there are many room addition guides aimed at contractors, Black & Decker’s volume focuses specifically on the homeowner’s perspective. It understands the reader is likely tackling major construction for the first time. From recommending tools for novice DIYers to warning of common pitfalls, the advice demonstrates this awareness throughout.

The author draws on his 30+ years of experience in residential construction and contracting. He distills this knowledge into practical recommendations homeowners can apply to their own projects. His expertise steers readers away from missteps and guides them through best practices. Even seasoned DIYers will appreciate the insider tips.

Helpful Planning Tools

Adding extra living space requires careful planning, from assessing needs to budgeting costs. Black & Decker’s Complete Guide provides readers with resources to guide the planning process. These include:

  • Layout graph paper for sketching floor plans
  • Sample contracts for hiring architects and contractors
  • Checklists of materials and tools needed for each phase
  • Comparison charts for products and building methods
  • Worksheets for calculating costs, return on investment, and more

These tools help readers thoroughly plan out details in advance and avoid frustration down the road. Having them compiled in one place makes the prep work required before breaking ground much easier.

Tips for Maximizing Enjoyment of the Addition

A significant portion of the book focuses not just on the nuts and bolts of construction, but helping homeowners fully enjoy their new addition once completed. It includes guidance on:

  • Decorating and furnishing the space in a cohesive style
  • Incorporating storage solutions to keep the area clutter-free
  • Choosing easy-care furnishings if the room will get heavy use
  • Setting up smart home technology, lighting, and entertainment
  • Landscaping and adding amenities like patios or deck areas
  • Working the new space seamlessly into your existing home’s layout

Following this advice will help homeowners get the most out of their addition for years to come.


For anyone considering adding a room addition, Black & Decker The Complete Guide is an indispensable resource. The unprecedented level of detail, clear visual aids, and tailored advice for homeowners set it apart from other construction guides. Readers will complete their addition projects with confidence by following its comprehensive, expert instructions. With the help of this thorough DIY manual, your dream addition can become a reality.

Frequently Asked Questions About Black & Decker’s Room Addition Guide

Q: What types of room additions does the book cover?

The book covers all major types of residential room additions, including master suite additions, media rooms, home offices, garages, sunrooms, attic conversions, basement build-outs, and more.

Q: Does the book include tips for saving money on a room addition?

Yes, it provides many cost-saving strategies like using modular construction, buying materials at discount outlets, and taking on sweat equity work yourself.

Q: Can beginners use this book successfully?

Definitely. The book is aimed at DIY homeowners with little to no construction experience. All instructions are tailored to guide novice builders through each process successfully.

Q: Does the book help you deal with contractors and subcontractors?

Yes, it contains advice for vetting, hiring, and overseeing contractors. There are also sample contracts and payment schedules to ensure quality work.

Q: Are the instructions easy to follow?

Absolutely. Directions are written in straightforward layman’s terms and supplemented with clear photographs and diagrams illustrating each step.

Q: Does the book help with design planning?

Yes, it includes guidance on room layouts, sample floor plans, furniture arrangements, and product suggestions to inspire your design.

Q: Can the book help with required permits and codes?

Yes, entire sections are devoted to navigating the permit process and ensuring your addition meets local building codes and zoning regulations.

Q: Is the book a high value for the price?

Considering the wealth of DIY information included, it provides outstanding value. Most buyers agree it is well worth the investment for such a comprehensive guide.