Walls Around Us: The Thinking Person's Guide to How a House Works

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9780394578248: Walls Around Us: The Thinking Person's Guide to How a House Works
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Examines the structure of a house by discussing such materials as plywood, insulation, roofing, shingles, and paint, and explaining how electricity and plumbing work

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From the Inside Flap:

ever quailed at the thought of buying a two-by-four or suspected that his (or her) dwelling is breaking down out of spite will be charmed, educated and entertained by this delightful history and how-to of the house.

From Kirkus Reviews:

``Most...men,'' says New Yorker staff-writer Owen (The Man Who Invented Saturday Morning, 1988, etc.), ``feel a paralyzing fear...at a lumberyard or hardware store.'' Fortunately for the jack-of-few-trades man (or woman), courage--and the knowledge it's based on--can now be gleaned from the author's literate, lucid, and witty guide to home building and repair. Owen's own house, a Connecticut Colonial built around 1790, serves as his model. Needing to repaint the house, for instance, he sets off to find the ultimate paint, winding up at the firm of Keeler & Long, which makes paint for nuclear power plants (``It would probably be expensive,'' muses Owen, ``but it would last practically forever. Using it might even turn out to be a pretty good move, in the event of nuclear war''). There, he learns much about paint--including that the firm's epoxy-based product won't do for him (``epoxies [tend] to deteriorate in sunlight,'' warns proprietor Henry Long)--and passes that information on here, along with his own know-how on the history, nature, and uses and abuses of paints: We learn, for example, the pros and cons of latex paint, the best ways to keep paint from peeling off a house, and, in the sort of unexpected detail that livens every page, the trouble with letting a cow near a freshly oil-painted house--it will lick the paint, which contains flaxseed. Fascinating explorations of walls, roofs, kitchens, bathrooms, electricity, lumber (and its enemies: the stethoscope from a kid's toy medical bag is useful, Owen tells us, for detecting the munching of carpenter ants) follow, and come together in a detailed description of how, using power-tools, he adapted an extra bedroom into a custom-built study. Owen transforms even the repair of a leaking hot-water pipe into an enticing adventure: his congenial guidance will likely enthrall those who enjoy home repair--and, marvelously, many who don't. (Thirty-five line drawings--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679741442: The Walls Around Us: The Thinking Person's Guide to How a House Works

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0679741445 ISBN 13:  9780679741442
Publisher: Vintage, 1992
Softcover

9781114829060: Walls Around Us: the Thinking Person's Guide to How a House Works

Villard, 1991
Softcover

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