useful DIY programs?

We are currently pondering what to do with our house. Our third bedroom is more of a cupboard and while it’s fine for sprog2 at the mo I suspect that something bigger will be a good idea in the next few years given that she is female and will of course need 3 wardrobes just for her bloody shoes (what is it with women and shoes??). Moving is the obvious option but selling up at the moment would give us something like 120k profit. Say we then take a 100k mortgage we probably have 200-220k spending money. That doesn’t really buy us much of a three bedroom house around here (not if we want a decent sized garden like we have at the mo). Anyway, we *like* our current place and the location isn’t too bad either. Also, given that we are soon to get highspeed trains to london, work has started on the sea front development and at last, things are starting to happen on the new shopping centre moving out of Folkestone just now seems like a dumb idea.

An extension might be an option but given that we already have a large conservatory we would end up loosing that to make space for the extension – seems a bit pointless. The final option that we are pondering is a loft conversion. This seems to be the best option at the moment but I’m a bit lost as to where to start. To get some ideas for the last few months we have been watching DIY programmes. There seems to be endless DIY progs around at the moment but none that actually help us it seems.

We have Location Location which is great if we were first time buyers – we aren’t. Relocation Relocation would work if we wanted to move and we had budget for a couple of london flats. Property Ladder is for idiots with too much money who want to buy up places and then attempt to do them up with unrealistic budgets only to sell them to make even more money whereas Grand Designs is an interesting programme but seems to require you to have huge budgets, a need for a hugely complex and OTT heating/stereo system and no house.

If we wanted to move to Spain then there are several programs showing me how to buy a place in the sun and while DIY SOS is vaguely entertaining it doesn’t really tell you how to go about actually doing anything (why is there always one family with a child with a desease on it each week? They *always* win unsurprisingly). This Old House would be great if I wanted to totally gut an american house but most of what they show is completly irrelevant to the UK. What I really want is a programme that shows a family in the UK (say folkestone) where people who are generally happy with their house but want a little more space (maybe a loft conversion for example). It should show how to go about this – do you get an architect? A builder? Straight for the structual engineer? One of those “loft conversion companies” who I’m sure just sell you an off the shelf conversion. It should cover all the pitfalls and explain what permission is needed and who to talk to to get it (do I want building control or planning? If I want a dormer then you need planning. Maybe.) I’m sure if the TV company were to subsidise the project a bit to keep things running along I think this could be a ratings winner. Still, if they want a family to take place I think I know of one who would be interested.

You read it here first. I await the call from Channel4/BBC/Home and Leasure. If they throw in Sarah Beeny as a presenter then all the better…

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2 Responses to useful DIY programs?

  1. Andy says:

    If your thinking of DIY loft conversion, you might want to have a look at my blog http://roomuptop.blogspot.com/ . It’s not quite finished yet 18months and counting but my daughters been living up there since christmas

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