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House Broken: How I Remodeled My Home for Just Under Three Times the Original Bid

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As big Al, Tim Allen's right-handy-man, Richard Karn tends to keep in the background, cleaning up Tim's messes and allowing Tim the spotlight on their show-within-a-show, Tool Time. Now, after a hair-raising year trying to rebuild his dream house, he's ready to speak out -- and speak out he does, sharing advice about the good, the bad, and the horribly expensive. Not quite As big Al, Tim Allen's right-handy-man, Richard Karn tends to keep in the background, cleaning up Tim's messes and allowing Tim the spotlight on their show-within-a-show, Tool Time. Now, after a hair-raising year trying to rebuild his dream house, he's ready to speak out -- and speak out he does, sharing advice about the good, the bad, and the horribly expensive. Not quite the Mr. Fix-It he plays on television, Karn initially hires contractors to remodel the kitchen and two bedrooms. Naturally, this expands into redoing the entire house, setting off a construction (mis)adventure that Karn -- coming from three generations of contractors, but somehow not inheriting the right genes -- is ill-prepared for.


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As big Al, Tim Allen's right-handy-man, Richard Karn tends to keep in the background, cleaning up Tim's messes and allowing Tim the spotlight on their show-within-a-show, Tool Time. Now, after a hair-raising year trying to rebuild his dream house, he's ready to speak out -- and speak out he does, sharing advice about the good, the bad, and the horribly expensive. Not quite As big Al, Tim Allen's right-handy-man, Richard Karn tends to keep in the background, cleaning up Tim's messes and allowing Tim the spotlight on their show-within-a-show, Tool Time. Now, after a hair-raising year trying to rebuild his dream house, he's ready to speak out -- and speak out he does, sharing advice about the good, the bad, and the horribly expensive. Not quite the Mr. Fix-It he plays on television, Karn initially hires contractors to remodel the kitchen and two bedrooms. Naturally, this expands into redoing the entire house, setting off a construction (mis)adventure that Karn -- coming from three generations of contractors, but somehow not inheriting the right genes -- is ill-prepared for.

31 review for House Broken: How I Remodeled My Home for Just Under Three Times the Original Bid

  1. 4 out of 5

    C

    Maybe I just don't like celebrity memoirs. Or maybe I just don't read the good ones. Richard Karn's memoir relates his experience remodeling the house he bought after his rise to stardom, for -- as the title says -- "just under three times the original bid." Since he provides the original bid as just shy of $300,000 (in the mid-90s), we're talking about a lot of money. If you're looking for home improvement tips, you won't find them here -- Richard is no Al Borland, and his experience involves his Maybe I just don't like celebrity memoirs. Or maybe I just don't read the good ones. Richard Karn's memoir relates his experience remodeling the house he bought after his rise to stardom, for -- as the title says -- "just under three times the original bid." Since he provides the original bid as just shy of $300,000 (in the mid-90s), we're talking about a lot of money. If you're looking for home improvement tips, you won't find them here -- Richard is no Al Borland, and his experience involves his dealings with a designer and a contractor, who he's more or less complimentary of. Rather, the book details the pitfalls you're likely to encounter if you undertake a very expensive professional remodel. The writing just isn't that funny -- honestly, the title (which I took, perhaps wrongly, as written as a sarcastic twist on the title of a book that might be written about saving money) was the most humorous part. Most of the other jokes fall flat, and you only learn a little about Richard Karn himself. I guess the main positive of this book is that it helps you relate if you're in a similar situation involving a pricey rehab that keeps getting more and more expensive. Cost overruns happen, and even people on TV have some level of cost constraints (even if those cost constraints are, in current dollars, over $1.3 million).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I found this book to be hilarious. he writes in a very easy and open style which I really enjoyed. I bought it since we are getting ready to start building our dream home and it really opened my eyes to some of the pitfalls heading our way! Love this guy and loved this book!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    quick read but didn't get anything out of it. quick read but didn't get anything out of it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darrendriven

    Sorry Richard Karn, but although I found you to be a humorous sidekick on TV, you just can't write cleverly. Sorry Richard Karn, but although I found you to be a humorous sidekick on TV, you just can't write cleverly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Michels

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Stypula

  9. 4 out of 5

    Diana Rhee

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

  11. 4 out of 5

    Troy Oldert

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Van Curan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Jerome Pruitt

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kent Lester

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cin Masson

  18. 4 out of 5

    ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Beebe

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paulapsn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Josh Herold

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tdraut18

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ankenbauer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rod Strothkamp

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Brackman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melinda K. Hylton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex Allred

  30. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  31. 4 out of 5

    Alison

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