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The Complete Guide to Renovating and Improving Your Property [Paperback]

Liz Hodgkinson
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Dec 2006

The Complete Guide to Renovating and Improving Your Property helps readers make the right decision about every aspect of property improvement - what is worth the effort and what will be a good investment. Informative and enjoyable, it provides expert advice on a wealth of topics, including arranging the finances, finding a good builder, project management and planning regulations.

Whether you are planning to undertake major renovation work, home improvements, conversions, or even build a house yourself, this practical book is essential reading. Full of eye-opening real-life stories and a resource section filled with useful addresses and websites, anyone facing the minefield of home improvement will find this book indispensable.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kogan page; 2 edition (3 Dec 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749448709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749448707
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 620,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Informative and enjoyable, it provides expert advice on a wealth of topics...Essential reading for anyone facing the minefield of home improvement." -- News on the Block

"Will prove indispensable to anyone facing the minefield of home
-- Oxford Times

"Full of useful advice." -- Scotland on Sunday

"Information on a wealth of topics which will help make the process a whole lot less painful."
-- Holiday Cottages Magazine

"Practical, no-nonsense style...peppered with case histories..An honest and thorough guide." -- Square Foot

"This book for me has it all and is essential reading all within over 200 pages of practical and indispensable advice."
-- Onestopview.com (blog), March 2008

"This little gem of a book..is informative, enjoyable, and most importantly, clearly set out." -- Uptown Magazine

"With its commonsense approach and tips from a seasoned expert, it's an all round good read."
-- Manchester Living

Book Description

Helps you to make the right decisions about every aspect of property improvement - what is worth the effort and what will be a good investment, from arranging the finance to surveys and valuations.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the most annoying book I have ever read 15 Mar 2010
Firstly, this book details different aspects of renovating a property and it is adequate in what it does. There are no real "trade secrets" in this book as Liz Hodgkinson is a journalist who happens to like property, writes about it and has owned a few properties herself. She does give plenty of examples but alot of these tend to be "as a case in point, my friend ....." Surprisingly, most of the horror stories involve her friends failing to do things and most of the success stories seem to involve the author.

Liz generally comes across as a negative, know it who can find the bad in almost every situation. For example, in her introduction she decrys the "done up to sell look," sighting her anecdotal evidence about a house that stayed on the market for over a year because the people who would buy it, the chattering classes, were wise to the tricks of property developers. Her logic was that if they had not renovated it that people would find it more attractive, as they could do the work themselves.

She comes across as the most obnoxious of bores on all sorts of property related subjects, of which she seems to possess scant knowledge. Gems such as "don't imagine that officials will be happy with a vague drawing scrawled on the back of an envelope," when applying for planning permissioin may lead the reader feeling more than a little patronised, rather than enlightened.

I would give more detail on the topics that she covers but I fear that you, the reader of this review, might actually like the sound of those topics and consider buying this book. Instead I would recommend something like "Property Ladder" by Sarah Beeny, even if you only want to do something to your house.

In conclusion, if you have an IQ in single figures and like being patronised, buy this book, if not, avoid it like the plague!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter waste of money 22 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not aimed towards DIY renovators but property developers, and quite frankly if a property developer needs a book as basic as this one they are in the wrong game. The book contains gems such as "never take an estate agent's word that a place on the market you may be interested in buying needs 'cosmetic work only'" and more dangerously advice such as "If interested in a property that has seen better days you can either have a survey done or call in a builder friend to give it the once over. My own views of surveys is they are largely a waste of money" - two quotes taken at random from the same page when I flipped the book open. Every page reveals such trite comments. Apart from dismissing the need for a surveyor, the author urges the reader to employ the professionals for every task, my favourite being the interior designer - "some people imagine it is unecessary to retain a designer at an early stage, but I'm not so sure. The television image of interior designers is they ponce around matching up this and that and acting in an outrageously camp fashion..."

Perhaps it's a satire and I didn't get it? Certainly this book is beyond a joke and I'm fuming that I wasted my money on it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice 30 Jan 2009
This book contains excellent advice on all sorts of renovation and refurbishment projects. Takes you through the process, from deciding whether you really want to do the refurb given the hassle and costs, to completing the works. Recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars great product 7 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great product, great value. the rest of this review does not need to be continued expect that this website waants a certain number of words
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