The home-building, home-maintenance and home-modernizing fields have been so thoroughly publicized and worked over, that the average individual is frequently at a loss to know what to believe or what to think about any of those particular subjects.

The publishers of this book are well aware of the amateur s point of view; and have gone to the trouble and expense of assembling and presenting to the reader, a series of actual photographs or reproductions which show exactly how apparently miraculous changes have been made in existing homes, and how real mechanics and tradesmen go about the work in which they are engaged.

The old Chinese proverb to the effect that "One seeing is worth a thousand tellings" may well be applied to the following series of illustrations; as they show just how a modernizing program is carried out, just how a professional roofer looks and acts when he is repairing or laying a roof, and exactly what the difference between tongue-and-groove sheathing and structural board sheathing consists of. The numerous reproductions of actual photographs shown in this chapter are presented for the sole purpose of pointing up the text or copy so that he who reads may also see.

Starting with the first chapter of this book, the following illustrations will refer to each chapter in proper order as closely as the available material permits, and it is hoped that the reader may first read and then see the points referred to.

Taking care of your home involves a great deal more than the mere painting of a badly-weathered exterior wall or the clearing out of a stopped-up sink. If you are actually taking care of your home and protecting your investment in it, you must keep up to date with your interior arrangement and equipment. People are spending many thousands of dollars for authentic Cape Cod exteriors, but they want modern, comfortable interiors. The fact that the living room has a hand-hewn beamed ceiling does not mean that the owner will be satisfied with whale-oil lamps for his lighting. When you embark upon the project of keeping your home in repair, you should match it with a modernizing program which will keep your home marketable at any time. Your efforts will be well paid for by an increased value of your house.

The average small- or medium-size house has certain types of material covering the exterior. It may be wood in various shapes; shingles, clapboard or flush-siding. It may be solid brick or brick-veneer; cement-block, cinder-block, stucco or cut-stone. It may have walls of asbestos shingle, composition shingle or composition board. Be what it may, the material will have merit, either great or small. The homeowners job is to find out all that he can about the material which covers his walls, and then to find out how to treat it and promote the greatest amount of service out of it. When he knows all about the exterior, he should find out all that he can about his interior walls and his floors. Done with that, he should find out all that is possible to find about his heating plant, his plumbing, and everything else that has gone into the make-up of his house. There are no strange and unknown materials in general use today, and once the owner knows what he has to deal with, it will not take too long to learn how and when to treat it for the ailments to which it is subject.