Costs of property renovation

How much should you pay for a renovation property?

1) try to estimate the cost per square metre of a renovated house in your chosen area, and of roughly the same size as your propsed project – ideally do this for several properties to get an average value per square metre
2) calculate how many square metres your renovated property will have, of internal floor space

3) Using the above estimate how much your renovated property might be worth

4) Deduct the proposed purchase price from this figure

5) This figure represents the maximum that you should need to spend on renovations for the property

6) Next divide this maximum spend balance by the square metres of the property. This should give you a broad idea of how much you can spend per square metre.

We look at actual costs per square metre in more detail below. For now, assume that you need 150 euros per metre for a general refresh, 500 euros for a major overhaul and 750 euros per metre for a complete build or build from a ruin. Remember it is always easy to spend more than this, harder to spend less.
If the figure you calculated in (6) exceeds these figures by a significant margin the property is perhaps worth considering. I know this is a very general guide but it may help you avoid pay too much for a house in need of a lot of work.

As a refinement to the above you would need to separate out the cost of the land. A complete ruin on 5 acres of beautiful hilltop overlooking a medieval town but with planning permission to build a new house can have a significant value because of the land and the planning permission, of course, even ignoring the ruin itself.

A Quick Guide to Renovation Costs

The most common questions I receive from people considering buying a property to renovate in France relate to costs of work.

What i have done here is to scedule the approximate costs of one of our own renovation projects. The project consisted of renovating a barn, with a floor area of about 250 square metres, from ‘barn/animal’ condition to a state in which we are all now pleased to live in the barn. The costs shown should at least provide an indication of the costs involved. I did do quite a lot of the less ‘serious’ work myself – you will need to add at least 50% to the total if you do not plan to do this.

The prices shown are for what I consider to be a ‘normal’ standard of finish. If you demand the best quarry tiles available, solid granite kitchen surfaces and reclaimed oak floorboards etc you can very easily come to a figure very much higher than those below.

All costs are in euros (approx 1.3 euros = £1)

Laying new concrete floor, 150 square metres


Flooring / tiling


Roof including insulation 250 square metres


Roof (Velux) windows * 4


Insert openings in walls – 6 windows, 1 french door, in old stone walls


Doors, shutters and windows – 2 french doors, 10 windows, 12 sets of shutters


Staircase – poured concrete


Repointing stone walls, both inside and outside – cost of materials only, mason price per square metre is 25-40 euros


Rebuild 50 square metres of colombage wall


Central heating – oil based heating system, in part used some old radiators from another building. No underfloor heating


Build mezzanine floor – 80 square metres, supported on new timber joists


Plumbing and sanitary ware – bathroom, showerroom and WC room


Complete wiring


Kitchen – IKEA (fitted myself)


Complete new septic tank / drainage field system


Other materials – including all plasterboard for walls and ceilings, metal structure for internal walls, cement for 75 square metres of screed in the kitchen, woodstrip flooring and insulation for 80 square metres of mezzanine level, paint, timber etc etc

These were the main tasks that I did myself. If you are paying for these to be done or fitted for you I would assume more like 40,000 euros total. (Say, internal walls 30 euros psm, floor tiling 35 euros psm and screed 15 euros psm, as a rough guideline)


10 responses to “Costs of property renovation”

  1. claire ashworth

    Hello, please would you consider linking with my website i am trying to set up my business and i am based in east anglia. Do you or do you know any builders in the gers region that i could send my clients to?. I absolutely love your web page, having done several big renovation projects both in France and the uk you speak total practical sense, keep upthe good work, glad i found you, regards claire.

  2. Steve

    Hi, I’m looking to purchase a renovation project in Savoie. I found something suitable recently but have been put off by the cost of a project managed renovation. I’m being quoted 1600 euros per m2. Is this par for the course?. The house (or barn) is 70% non-habitable so I appreciate that the VAT amount will be higher but this still seems like a lot to me?

  3. Clive

    Hi; my stepson bought a townhouse in total disrepair nearly seven years ago and has painstakingly restored it doing all the work himself. On selling now just before completion the Notaire has dropped the bombshell that as well as the 16% plus-value tax (which I told him to expect) he’ll have to pay another 19.6% TVA on the difference between the original buy price and the resale price.This represents in total more than a third of the net sale price, namely 35,000 euros! Can you tell me if this can possibly be correct. Frankly, if so, why do we bother? Respectfully, Clive

  4. Steve

    Do you have any contacts I could try? I’m struggling to get anything more competitive.

  5. Tony

    If I employ an artisan who has art293 B du CGI and does not charge TVA what are the consequences on a renovation project.

  6. Mark Perrott

    I am looking at renovating a place in the Aude region. Does anyone know about approximate costs for beam and block flooring (plancher hourdis) please? Per square meter?


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