Those that are interested in restoring derelict houses to their former glory could benefit from undertaking plumbing courses, a commentator has suggested.

Writing for the Independent, Kate Watson-Smyth said that the biggest part of planning any refurbishment work is to be honest about what work can and cannot be completed without the help of professionals.

If people have trained on plumbing courses, they are likely to be able to complete more of the necessary tasks without hiring contractors.

However, regardless of how much of the work a developer can do themselves, Ms Watson-Smyth said that making contingency plans is essential.

She explained: "The most basic advice is that it will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you planned/feared."

Earlier this week, those who have completed plumbing courses were told that textured walls and natural materials will be among the biggest trends for bathroom design in 2011.

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