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Any mumsnet recommendations for books or websites on house renovations?

(7 Posts)
systemsaddict Mon 19-Jan-09 16:43:20

Since mumsnet can solve my parenting crises, surely it can help with property issues too?

We are househunting at the moment - slightly crazy perhaps but are stuck in tiny terrace with 2 small children so have little choice. We've seen a couple of exciting houses which the credit crunch has unexpectedly brought into our price range, but they would need some work - possibly rewire, roof stuff, new kitchen in different room from existing kitchen, fairly major things. We have no experience of organising this sort of thing at all, current house has only needed new carpets and floor which was easy, and I feel a bit lost.

Can anyone recommend a good book(s) or website(s) for a property renovating beginner? We need to have an idea of what we would be getting into before we can move to making offers on places ... TIA!!

prideandprejudice Tue 20-Jan-09 20:39:25

Sarah Beeny's done two really good books that helped me in a similar situation - we did a total renovation last year. Aimed at would-be developers rather than home owners but the advice is really sound. One is called the Property Ladder - the Developer's Bible, I think.

systemsaddict Tue 20-Jan-09 21:23:24

Thanks p&p! I'll check them out. Any other recommends gratefully received!

OneLieIn Tue 20-Jan-09 21:27:06

Move or Improve the magazine is great and gives you realistic guidelines on price.

Also on the websites like and bbc you can get to property information from the programs.

What are you thinking of doing? We have done our last 3 houses!

systemsaddict Wed 21-Jan-09 06:48:44

Thanks OneLieIn. The house we are looking at for 2nd time tomorrow is a huge (5 beds - our current house only has 6 actual rooms!) Victorian terrace. The kitchen is on 1st floor and would need moving down, for us. Then we'd turn the v. big room that was the kitchen into the master bed with ensuite. Then the bathroom would need replacing, including taking out partition between wc and the rest. There is a massive cellar which has been tanked but looks like it needs some tlc, and I imagine the roof, electrics and heating also probably need attention. Oh and it's single glazed - not sure if windows original, need to check tomorrow, every possibility.

So quite a lot on that one really! But it's dirt cheap for what it is, opposite best primary school in town, and we'd stay in it for at least 11 years and probably more like 15, so it should make us money in the long run.

If not that one, there are quite a few big Victorian properties around cheap right now in current climate, ex-student lets etc, so whatever we look at we may well end up getting something needing work, so I need to be well informed (and well-enough informed to talk dp into all this too!!)

OneLieIn Wed 21-Jan-09 10:11:00

Wow - sounds great. Where are you in the UK?

(Thinking ah, I might move there :0 )

systemsaddict Wed 21-Jan-09 10:21:18

I'm in Lancaster, it's lovely! grin

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