Author Biography: Henri de Marne

Henri de Marne is perhaps America’s most trusted expert on residential housing, with a nationally syndicated column that has been running for over 38 years in newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

He began his construction career in the mid ’50s, concentrating on all aspects of residential construction, repair, and remodeling. As a skilled researcher with an avid curiosity, he accumulated a vast store of knowledge in order to solve the myriad problems besetting the average homeowner.

In addition to his column, de Marne has served as a consultant for homeowners, architects, engineers, builders, and condominium associations. As a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) he has inspected hundreds of homes for prospective buyers. He has taught courses on home inspection to the real-estate industry, lectured construction-industry groups on building techniques, written numerous articles for builders as a contributing editor of the Journal of Light Construction, arbitrated construction disputes, and served as an expert witness in construction cases.

He contributed the first chapter of the Consumer Reports book Preventive Home Maintenance, and was senior consulting editor for an edition of the Readers Digest book New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual.

His newspaper column, About the House, began in early 1974 with the now-defunct Washington Star, which was at that time a large-circulation afternoon daily in Washington, DC. The column was syndicated nationally by United Features Syndicate, and has appeared ever since in newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada, under the title First Aid for the Ailing House.

In that time, he has provided thoughtful answers to countless thousands of questions posed by his readers. It is hard to imagine a single question about houses that wouldn’t have been raised and responded to. In this book, he has sorted through the archives in an attempt to cover every major issue, along with many minor (but interesting) ones.

He has edited the answers whenever appropriate, for the organization of the book and to bring all information up to date. The result is a valuable resource for homeowners, enjoyable for browsing through, yet organized to make it easy to find information when needed

The Blog: About the House with Henri de Marne

In addition to his current book, Upper Access is proud to be the publisher of Henri’s popular blog site, About the House with Henri de Marne. The site is described in this short video:

The Book: About the House with Henri de Marne

This is a complete manual for homeowners. When things go wrong, or when you are ready to remodel, you need expert advice. Henri de Marne is one of America’s best known and most trusted experts, who has answered just about every question a homeowner can face. For example:

  • What is the green stuff growing on my roof?
  • Why does my basement stay damp?
  • How can I get rid of carpenter bees?
  • Can I paint my basement floor?
  • What can I do about the rust stains on my driveway?
  • Which heating and cooling systems are most efficient?
  • How can I scrub the little black spots off of my vinyl siding?
  • Does the asbestos on my pipes put my family in danger?
  • Why do my plumbing pipes make a banging sound?
  • Why do cracks appear between my walls and ceiling every winter?

Those are just a few of the thousands of questions Henri de Marne has addressed in his syndicated newspaper column, First Aid for the Ailing House. With this book, you can find the answers whenever you need them.

De Marne has updated all the answers for this book, to reflect the latest in research, materials, methods, concerns, and tastes. The result is a comprehensive manual for todays homeowners, a ready reference to consult whenever things go wrong or improvements are planned.

What People are Saying

“A house does not heal itself. Which is perhaps why I’m so fond of About the House with Henri de Marne. It’s a question-and-answer bok you can browse randomly, flitting from topic to topic until you come across a problem you have in your own home and then find an immediate solution to it.”

—Kathy Price-Robinson, Los Angeles Times

“I read a lot of books on real estate, and most are only marginally useful. Many are by experienced writers who don’t truly understand the topic but get published anyway. Others are by knowledgeable authors, but their lack of writing skills makes their books hard to use or difficult to read. This week I’m happy to report on the new book, About the House with Henri de Marne: How to Maintain, Repair, Upgrade and Enjoy Your Home. De Marne’s book would make a good gift, especially for a first-time home buyer. It’s a manual that covers any array of household tasks and gives a great overview of the physical elements of a house.”

—John Adams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Henri de Marne has compiled over 32 years of savvy construction expertise in this very practical book on just about everything that can happen—or go wrong—with a house. A real treasure-trove of commonsense advice.”

—Journal of Light Construction Update

“Henri de Marne, known for his newspaper column ‘First Aid for the Ailing House,’ answers more than 1,000 frequently asked questions from homeowners in About the House with Henri de Marne: How to Maintain, Repair, Upgrade and Enjoy Your Home.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Complete with photographs, diagrams, and drawings, Mr. de Marne leaves no stone unturned and eliminates those pesky multiple trips to the hardware store. . . . A perfect addition to every home, About the House should be a standard fixture next to your medical, cooking, and other reference books. A great gift for existing homeowners or new ones, and I’m not ignoring renters. If you live in a building you should have this book.

—Mark Nash, Reviewer’s Bookwatch

“An excellent resource of tips, tricks, and techniques for keeping one’s home in top condition.”

—Midwest Book Review

“This book may become my top reference for household repair and maintenance. About the House is immediately accessible with clear headings. . . . . The scope of the book runs the gamut from Astro-turf (how to remove it from a veranda with boiling water) to zinc roofing strips (to prevent growth of mould and algae).”

—Sheila Robertson, Acreage Life

More information and how to contact Henri de Marne

To arrange an interview or to help track down Henri for expert information and advice for a news or feature article, contact Steve Carlson at Upper Access Books. Call 1-800-310-8320 or 802-482-2988, or e-mail To reach Henri de Marne directly by e-mail, use