Why is the cost of renovation more expensive in Paris?


Before undertaking renovation works in the Parisian suburbs, the prices involved must be considered. The cost of renovation in Paris is the highest compared to other locations in France. This increase is closely linked to the real estate market in the capital. In this sense, renovation is often the result of real estate investment to restore a house or building to good condition for rental purposes. However, in this city, it takes very little for property prices to rise.

Negotiation is the only way to obtain an affordable price for materials and labor in the Parisian suburbs. If you're wondering why renovation in Paris is so expensive, you need to consider a few factors. This article will address the main reasons for the significant cost of renovation in the French capital.

Reasons for High Renovation Costs in Paris

In general, renovation is one of the most important stages in a real estate project. In this regard, the Paris region is considered the most expensive locality for property owners. The cost of renovating homes there is significantly higher, about 20% more than the national average.

Property Size

The size of the property to be renovated is one of the reasons for the high cost of renovation in the Paris region. Bringing a building up to code in the area can cost you thousands of euros. However, depending on the extent of the work, the estimate can quickly climb into hundreds of thousands of euros. Therefore, it is important to know the size of the property to understand the factors that affect the renovation price.

Carrying out renovation works for a larger apartment or house will naturally be more expensive than for a smaller dwelling. The consumption of materials will be greater on the construction site. However, it is important to note that if the dwelling is too small, the amount required for renovations can be equally high. Concentrating all the technical elements of the dwelling in one space can generate higher amounts on the work estimate due to their complexities. However, this is the case with the majority of Parisian studios. The renovation budget is generally calculated per square meter, hence the importance of size. Thus, for basic upgrades to a 50 m² apartment, you should budget between €11,500 and €32,500.

Knowing the area of the part to be renovated is even more important for budget planning. Roughly calculating the work estimate based on an average price per square meter helps avoid significant additional expenses.

Property Condition

The overall condition of the house or building is an important factor that can significantly alter the estimate of your renovation project. A building that requires some upgrades will be easier to renovate than a house in ruins. Even though the chances of finding dilapidated buildings in the Paris region are low, it is wiser to invest in a well-maintained property. The cost of renovation will be less substantial, thus more advantageous for achieving a good return.

A dilapidated or even uninhabitable property will require almost complete renovation, whereas for a run-down property, partial renovation may suffice. Carrying out works related to real estate is expensive in Paris due to their rarity. Few investors put their money into a rundown house to refurbish it. As a result, it's a market where clients prefer profitability over quality.

Companies that undertake housing renovations generally charge more in Paris. Consequently, the more run-down your property is, the more expensive the work estimate will be. It is advisable to carefully choose the professional in charge of the project for the smooth progress of the works.

Extent of Works

The amount of the work estimate according to its extent is self-evident. In the city of Paris, this statement takes on even more significance, as everything is noticeably more expensive due to the location. It is a highly coveted city, both by affluent tourists and real estate investors. Consequently, participants in the real estate renovation market take advantage to increase the bills related to the works.

Carrying out extensive renovation works includes demolition lots. With the upgrading of energy installations, such as insulation, electrical components, and gas ducts, you should budget between €1,200 and €1,700 per square meter. These works mainly concern modifying the structure of the dwelling to minimize energy consumption. If you touch load-bearing walls, you should prepare for a higher budget from the outset.

Partial renovation works involve making modifications to plumbing or minor electrical equipment. Removing non-load-bearing partitions is also part of these minor renovation works. If you decide to set up a site for these purposes, you should budget €700 to €1,000 per square meter.

Refreshment works involve only a few minor modifications to the dwelling. Changing tiles, renewing paint, or replacing small household appliances are considered minor renovations. Even in the Paris region where everything is more expensive, this type of procedure is less costly. The price of these works is generally between €150 and €350 per square meter.

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The Price of Materials

The price of materials in the city of Paris surpasses those of other regions. Consequently, it has a significant impact on construction and renovation projects. Materials constitute the largest portion of construction quotes, hence their importance. The price hike is mainly due to the 2021 shortage, which was marked by the health crisis. The resumption of activity in various international markets weighs on the price of materials necessary for renovation. All localities are affected, but in Paris, prices are more substantial. An increase of 50 to 80% in wood costs has been observed in eight months and 35 to 80% for steel.

The impact on these prices at French suppliers is due to insufficient production. Some products are imported from other European countries to fill the gap. Upon arrival, construction materials follow the prices practiced across the Atlantic. With high demand in the Paris region, this price has increased due to the location and urgent needs. Price differentials can reach up to 9% more in Paris, compared to provinces carrying out the same types of works.


Labor is necessary to carry out any renovation project. For the smooth progress of the work, you must ensure to hire professionals. The cost of labor greatly influences the final price of renovating your home in Paris. In most cases, the bill for the craftsmen's services represents half of the budget allocated for the improvement works. The amount to prepare generally depends on their nature.

To carry out the main works, you should budget approximately €600 for labor. The works concerned include masonry, roofing, external joinery, and rendering. This estimate was made based on a standard construction. You can potentially negotiate the service of each craftsman to obtain a discount.

You should consider the architect as part of the workforce since they are the first professional who can assist you if you are planning a major project. They will identify any problems related to the structure or humidity to provide you with appropriate advice. They will also provide precise indications and advice on the amount of work required for the complete or partial renovation of the dwelling. During the renovation, they will serve as a guide to coordinate all the work carried out by the various trades. The fee for using an architect's service is charged between €70 and €120 per hour, depending on experience and specialization. If they manage your renovation project from start to finish, you should budget 10 to 15% of the total work amount. Professional assistance is necessary to avoid hastily done and poor-quality work.

Improving Energy Performance

During apartment renovation, works are often aimed at improving the energy performance of the dwelling. This approach aims primarily to reduce energy demand by increasing the efficiency of the building's installations. Some opt for replacing various appliances, while others take the initiative to use renewable energies. However, resorting to these options is very expensive in the Paris region.

Works on electrical installations do not concern the actual constructions. They are more about changing equipment for better energy efficiency. The modification part that requires work is adapting the location of the devices. Connection with gas ducts or various electrical installations requires the assistance of professionals for safety reasons. Moreover, apart from minor adaptation works to accommodate new equipment, improving energy performance does not really require a construction site. For the replacement of heating, you should budget between €10,000 and €20,000 per square meter in the Paris region.

Plumbing is sometimes the reason for renovation due to water infiltration or leaks. Indeed, water-related problems are usually the most devastating for real estate structures. They leave difficult-to-remove traces and can directly damage the foundations of the house. However, renovating the plumbing system is not the cheapest to perform. For a complete system check in addition to renovation, you should budget between €4,000 and €5,000. For water drainage, you should consider the deterioration of certain walls to access the piping network.

Insulation works are part of the necessary projects to improve the energy performance of a dwelling. Reducing energy consumption is important in metropolises due to high population density. Paris is one of them since it is a business center as well as the capital of France. Works related to insulation concern the thermal envelope of the building. This insulation allows for considerable savings as it affects the general use of heating. The most affected parts by insulation works are the roof, walls, windows, and floor. With good insulation, a reduction in energy consumption will be guaranteed, in addition to ventilation comfort for good indoor air quality. The expenses for the complete thermal insulation of a house in the Paris region range from €400 to €450 per square meter.

The Structure of the Parisian Real Estate Market

The structure of the real estate market is one of the key factors driving the rise in renovation prices in Paris. The real estate sector in the capital is already well-established with its share of investors and renovation professionals. Being a newcomer in the real estate field in Paris is not really advantageous since prices are very different from other localities. Real estate values are constantly rising, even in the less desirable neighborhoods. Consequently, the high concentration of the student and professional community increases housing demands. The rising real estate value and high rental demand have consequences on renovation. The latter is more expensive due to the urgent need, for investors and companies, to compensate for the lack of housing.

Aids and Programs to Avoid Excessive Costs

There are aids and programs available for investors who wish to venture into real estate in Paris and throughout France. These small boosts from the government or private organizations are mostly related to energy renovation.

"MaPrimeRénov'" is a grant aimed at landlords and condominium owners. It allows financing the installation of more efficient heating systems to reduce energy consumption. It is also granted to encourage insulation of walls, roof, windows, and floors to avoid thermal losses. By taking advantage of this offer, you can save on the interior design of your home in the Parisian suburbs. It is important to note that to obtain this grant, the work must be done by an RGE-certified company (Recognized Guarantor of the Environment).

"Habiter mieux sérénité" is a counseling support and aid to finance low-income households in their energy improvement projects. However, landlords are also eligible, provided they achieve an energy gain of at least 35%. The amount of the grant is a maximum of 15,000 euros and is intended for heating and insulation installations. Therefore, renovations mainly concern the roof and the wired network for heating installation in the room. This aid has been put in place so that low-income households can save more in the near future. It also serves as a guide for complex renovation projects with advice given based on the nature of the renovation project to be carried out.

Obtaining financing is always necessary, especially for renovation in the city considered the most expensive in France. Alternatively, you can benefit from various loans with very low interest rates if you are not eligible for assistance. For example, the eco-interest-free loan allows you to finance the energy improvement of your home without paying interest.

Mathieu Amara

Mathieu Amara

Graduated in political science, I have always been passionate about renovation and construction work.

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