New house DIY: are you ready for a fixer-upper?

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Properties in need of renovation can be an affordable choice, but quite how much will be based on your current skills and budget. What can you do yourself, and what should you leave to the pros?

As first-time buyers, PR manager Robyn Morrison and her fiance had a choice to make. Should they find a one-bedroom flat they could move straight into but would outgrow quickly, or a bigger house that needed a lot of work? The latter was a daunting project for the DIY novices and, watching water pour through the kitchen ceiling a few months later, Morrison admits wondering if they’d made the right choice.

“Living in rented accommodation, we’d never even put up a picture on a wall,” she says. “The closest we’d got [to DIY] was putting together Ikea furniture, and even that was hard work. I went into [the project] slightly with rose-tinted glasses, thinking all [the house] needed was a lick of paint and a new carpet. Actually there was quite a bit more.”

Related: Going up or digging deep, how to finance a home extension

There is still an appetite for DIY among homeowners, some of which has been caused by cowboy builders

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