“Modernize” Your Home

Home MOdernizing Guide coverHome Modernizing Guide: New Life for Old Dwellings

Submitter: This was pulled for weeding from the shelves of our public library.  While much of the  information is still valid, there have been many improvements in materials and techniques in the 26 years since this book was published.  Most pages are just text, some have line drawings and diagrams, and the few photos are also in black and white.  I’ll confess to bursting out laughing when I saw the cover!

Holly: I’ll see your 26 years and raise you 10 more. It’s been THIRTY-six years since this was published, and it shows every single decade.



  1. No, a lot of this would not still be valid. Building codes, insulation materials, communications infrastructure, and more have changed dramatically in that time.

  2. If it had a lot of photos I could see this being a nice gift for an architect so they can have handy references for clients who want a retro look in a modern home or office.* But in a library and without a lot of photos? Forget it.

    *Reason I say that is because the library I work at desperately needs a full remodel or even be torn down and rebuilt, but a LOT of patrons say if it lost it’s 1960s look they’d stop coming. So frankly, like it or not, we’d need to find someone who can do a modern take on a 1960s design – while making the place completely ADA compliant.

    1. I find it hard to believe that. People will just stop using the library because they made it more modern? Think of the people who stopped visiting because the place is now a dump.

      1. And yet that’s honestly what they’ve told me.

        There’s a group in my town that want to keep everything frozen – no new homes, no new businesses, no new designs to the buildings. They want everything frozen in time. I keep saying they need to move to Randsburg, CA, since they like decay so much.

  3. Modern construction (or more specifically Mid-century modern) was an design movement which was popular from the early 1930’s to mid 1960’s. This book was clearly written with the idea of retrofitting these ideas into older homes. Yes the cover is bad. Yes libraries clearly get way too much money. But to mock an old book for being outdated (when it still addressed the issues the author set out to archive.) seems kind of stupid.

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