The Best DIY Book You’ll Read

By Sam Wood •  Updated: 06/10/21 

A DIY book can be an essential tool in your home improvement arsenal. The big ones come with tons of useful tips and tricks and if your anything like me you will find yourself digging them out time and time again for all those jobs you’ve never attempted before. But with so many on the market, how do you know which DIY book to buy? Well worry no longer, I have done the research, bought the books, and found my favourite. So with no more fluff, let’s get straight into the best DIY book.

My Top Pick!
Collins Complete DIY Manual

Collins Complete DIY Manual has sold over 3 million copies and is the most comprehensive and authoritative DIY manual ever produced.

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12/03/2021 08:01 am GMT

This book is a big boy, containing over 500 pages of DIY knowledge. This book has been around since 2011 but is regularly updated, so if you get a copy off Amazon you will be getting the most up to date version. This is important because as the years go buy rules and guidelines change, so buying the latest book will keep you up to date.

My copy of the DIY manual

My copy of the DIY manual

Collins Complete DIY Contents

Below I will give you a quick rundown of the contents of this book, just to give you a brief overview of everything it includes.


  • Check Lists
  • Insurance
  • When do you need official approval?


  • Colour Schemes
  • Preparation
  • Finishes
  • Paints
  • Wood Finishes
  • Metal Finishes
  • Wallcoverings
  • Tiles
  • Flooring
  • Carpets
  • Vinyl

Repairs and Improvements

  • Construction
  • Roofs
  • Walls
  • Plasterwork
  • Floors
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Stairs
  • Trims


  • Shelving
  • Flat Packs
  • Lofts

Home Security

  • Securing Doors
  • Fitting Door Locks
  • Securing Windows
  • Alarms
  • Protecting Against Fire

Infestation, Rot and Damp

  • Eradicating Pests
  • Wet Rot
  • Dry Rot
  • Types of Damp
  • Damp Proof Courses
  • Damp Basements

Insulation and Ventilation

  • Insulating Your Home
  • Lagging Pipes
  • Draughtproofing
  • Insulating Roofs
  • Insulating Walls
  • Double Glazing
  • Soundproofing
  • Ventilating Below A Floor
  • Extractor Fans
  • Heat-recovery Ventilation


  • Reducing Bills
  • Safety
  • Testing Circuits
  • Replacements
  • Fuseboards
  • Circuits
  • Electrical Cable
  • Sockets
  • Fixed Appliances
  • Communication Equipment
  • Lighting
  •  Outdoor Wiring
  • Rewiring


  • Plumbing Systems
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Drainage
  • Pipework
  • Taps
  • Washbasins
  • Baths
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Bidets
  • Sinks
  • Appliances
  • Water Storage Tanks
  • Hot-Water Cylinders
  • Hot Water


  • Open Fires
  • Room Heaters
  • Flue Liners
  • Log Burners
  • Central Heating

Working Outdoors

  • Gardens
  • Fences
  • Gates
  • Walls
  • Paths, Drives and Patios
  • Water Gardens

Tools and Skills

  • Tool kits
  • Decorating Tools
  • Woodworking Tools
  • Woodworking Joints
  • Building Tools
  • Ladders and Scaffolding
  • Plumbing Tools
  • Electrical Tools


Example Pages

Here is a quick glimpse into the book, you can see a great example of the kind of diagrams that come with this guide. They are thorough and very informative, and actually one of the reasons I really love this book is all of the detailed diagrams that come with it.

Example Page With Diagrams

Example Page With Diagrams

Step By Step Guides

The book also contains lots of step by step guides complete with photos, much like I do here at the bloke cave! Seeing a photo of someone actually doing the job step by step really does make it easier to understand the job.

All of the step by step guides are clear and easy to follow. I will include an example below so you can see it for yourself.

Step by Step Guide Example

Step by Step Guide Example

From The Publisher

This is what the publisher has to say:

“Collins Complete DIY Manual has sold over 3 million copies and is the most comprehensive and authoritative DIY manual ever produced.

For novices, DIY enthusiasts or professionals, this essential book continues to be the most in-depth, up-to-date and user-friendly DIY book on the market, covering everything from decorating and repairs to electricity, plumbing and much more.

This fully updated version features an even more accessible design to help you navigate easily through the info, and thousands of new photographs and illustrations to make sure you get your job done quickly and safely. There have been many changes to regulations in recent years, particularly in electricity (the new Part P legislation and changes to cable colours) – the Manual not only lists but also clearly explains these new regs and helps you work with them.”

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!