Renovating an apartment in Nice: how to manage your project?

As the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department, Nice is renowned for its real estate structure based on apartment buildings. Renovating these properties offers an opportunity for Nice property owners to make their investments profitable or bring them up to standard. It also allows investors to enhance the value of their future acquisitions for resale or rental purposes. However, renovating an apartment in Nice comes with a cost, and it's crucial to know whom to trust with the work. Here are some insights.

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Understanding Nice's Regional Specifics and Real Estate Market

Situated on the French Riviera, Nice benefits from its geographical location, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and several hills, providing an ideal backdrop for panoramic views. The city stretches along the Bay of Angels, facing the famous Promenade des Anglais. It boasts numerous shops and renowned sites, such as Place Masséna. Additionally, it features high-end real estate residences in Mont-Boron and apartments with Belle Époque architecture in Cimiez. Each building, whether with or without an elevator, offers rooms with terraces and stunning views of the Nice panorama.

The city's real estate comprises mostly multi-story buildings constructed before 1975. Renovation works are necessary in each building, whether it has an elevator or cellar. This ranges from total apartment renovations to bringing equipment up to regulatory standards. Energy-efficient renovations and room refurbishments (such as an independent bedroom) are also considerations.

With numerous apartments, houses, and shops, Nice has experienced significant development over the past decade. Its real estate market is quite dynamic, with French and foreign investors continuing to invest in the city and its metropolitan area, Nice Côte d'Azur. A price increase of approximately 22% in real estate prices was observed between 2010 and 2020. Despite a stagnation in sales volume due to the health crisis, the city now reaches the same level as Lyon and Nantes, with an average price evaluated at €4,500 per square meter.

The location of an apartment can impact its selling or rental price. Rental rates vary depending on the neighborhood, ranging from €16 to €36 per square meter, with an average rental price of €20 per square meter. Each multi-story building with an elevator in Nice offers apartments with one or more rooms, an independent bedroom, bathroom, living room, and dining room.

Popular neighborhoods include the Golden Square, downtown (especially the Liberation district), and the Old Port. However, most Nice families are predominantly distributed in the eastern and western neighborhoods. Those seeking a higher standard of living prefer upscale neighborhoods like Cimiez in the northeast or Mont-Boron in the southeast. Various enhancements can be made to each Nice apartment for optimized comfort (terrace, pool, bathroom, etc.).

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Assessing the Cost of Renovating an Apartment in Nice

In Nice, there are over 200,000 apartments, with or without balconies, with or without elevators, and of various layouts. Their owners may wish to renovate them partially or entirely to showcase their potential in photos. Whether it's renovating a bathroom, living room, bedroom, or any other room, the project should be budgeted for in advance.

Regardless of whether your property is located in the Liberation district, Nice port, Cimiez, or the Promenade des Anglais, careful consideration should be given to your budget. The aim is to cover the cost of your apartment renovation and potentially your labor. Knowing the estimated cost per square meter of your work will enable you to renovate your apartment rooms in Nice under the best conditions. Prices in the region vary depending on local circumstances, the scope of your work, and the initial condition of each room to be renovated. As such, you may receive different estimates for a complete apartment refurbishment, total renovation, or minor works.

For example, for a 20m2 apartment in Nice on the first floor, you should budget an average of €18,500. Quotes from local renovation companies range from €5,000 to €32,000. However, the initial condition of the rooms to be renovated (kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc.), supported by photos, can affect this budget range for the same area. If the room is in good condition, the operation carried out in the building is estimated between €4,700 and €27,000. Otherwise, you may need to budget €5,100 to €68,000. The nature and extent of the work to be carried out in the rooms should also be considered.

Minor works can be considered for renovating an apartment for sale in an older building. This involves refreshing the interior of an aged living room or bringing outdated installations up to standard. You may need to repaint one or more rooms, change tiles, install a mixer, upgrade lighting, or refurbish a cellar, among other tasks. These minor works are charged at around €4,600 for an area of 10 to 20 m2. For a set of rooms covering an area of 20 to 40 m2 you'll need approximately €7,200.

For the implementation of complete finishing works, the average cost is €18,500 for a 20 m2 residence. You'll need to budget between €15,400 and €54,000 if your renovation property is intended for sale and ranges from 18 to 60 m2. However, your expenses may range from €68,000 to €108,000 for renovating a Nice apartment of over 75 m2. This type of project involves relatively substantial work, such as:

  • Electrical system refurbishment,
  • Replacement of carpentry,
  • Room layout (living room, bathroom, and/or kitchen).

For the total refurbishment of your apartment in a condominium in the Alpes-Maritimes Nice, you'll need to consider larger-scale works. These include plumbing, electrical, attic, facade, and roofing works. The involvement of various building-related trades is often necessary for their implementation. In Nice, the complete renovation of a residence located in a building costs approximately €32,500. However, this budget is less than what is required to renovate a typical or high-end standalone house in Nice Liberation, Mont-Boron, or Cimiez.

Consulting an Interior Designer for Apartment Renovation in Nice

Renovating an apartment in downtown or metropolitan Nice requires thorough preparation. Hence, it's crucial to define your renovation needs beforehand. While you can handle certain tasks yourself (such as wallpaper installation or painting), more complex operations should be entrusted to a professional. Technical tasks indeed require specific expertise and equipment, whether it's reconfiguring rooms (kitchen, living room, or bathroom) or replacing electrical installations in a condominium.

It's worth noting that depending on the nature and complexity of the renovations, you may need to engage multiple artisans in the Alpes-Maritimes region. Coordinating these interventions in the building and overseeing the construction site can be time-consuming. Therefore, it's ideal to hire an expert to manage your apartment renovation project on the upper or ground floor, with or without a terrace, in Nice. This could include hiring an interior design agency.

Engaging an architect from Alpes-Maritimes is mandatory if your apartment renovation requires a building permit. You should also adhere to this recommendation if your project results in a floor area exceeding 150  m2 upon completion. Additionally, an Architect from the Historical Monuments of France should provide expertise if your property is located in a classified historical monument area.

However, you can still consult an interior designer without it being obligatory to renovate the rooms of a typical or traversing apartment, with or without a balcony or cellar. They design and renovate the interior spaces of your apartment building, regardless of the number of rooms. This building professional creates various layout plans optimizing the potential of your multi-room residence. The architect also assists you in selecting artisans, studying quotes, coordinating work, and overseeing the construction site.

Several advantages stem from the services of an architect agency during an apartment renovation in the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area. Such a provider tailors your property renovation according to legal, technical, or financial constraints. You also benefit from specialized advice for room layout, decoration, equipment, and materials. Engaging an agency also saves you time by overseeing the progress of your first apartment or house renovation project in Nice.

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Mathieu Amara

Mathieu Amara

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

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