Cost per Square Meter of Renovation Works

Understanding the cost of renovation and construction per square meter is a common challenge in the real estate sector. On-site, various expenses are involved in administrative procedures, renovation of both structural and finishing works. Prices of services and materials usually depend on these factors. In principle, the budget for renovating a house or an apartment is determined per square meter of living space. How do the renovation works of a house or an apartment proceed? What budget for what project? What financial aids should be prioritized to renovate a property properly? To avoid errors in the quote for renovating a house or an apartment, here are some insights!

Expenses related to the preparatory stage of a renovation project

Renovating a house or an apartment involves several crucial stages. It should start with a detailed study of the project and completion of administrative procedures.

Pre-project study

Undertaking a renovation project involves a preliminary cost study providing access to the estimated cost of works and renovations. In this regard, you should pay serious attention to all details to be able to provide maximum explanations and compare quotes from craftsmen. Even if you plan to carry out the renovation works of your house yourself, the advice of a professional, especially an architect, is essential. By asking the right questions to an interior designer, for example, you can rationally arrange all the rooms of your accommodation.

Completion of administrative procedures

The renovation of a house or an apartment necessarily involves administrative procedures at the town hall. In this regard, you may need to obtain a building permit or a prior declaration of works, depending on the scope of your project. Consult craftsmen to correctly complete your file and easily obtain your authorization. Note that applying for a building permit requires the assistance of an architect as soon as the ground footprint after works exceeds 150 m2. In any case, the services of a professional are essential for assembling your authorization request file.

Entrusting the study of your project and the request for urban planning authorization to a professional, especially an architect, incurs a cost. You can bill it either at a flat rate of 1,000 to 1,500 euros or at an average rate of 100 euros per hour.

The cost of heavy renovation works

Renovation works on the structural aspects within a house primarily concern earthwork and foundations. The aim is to maintain the overall strength of the building. For this, specific work may be necessary, such as backfilling and drainage. Regarding load-bearing walls, which play crucial roles in supporting the entire house, specific shoring measures should be planned. Facade renovation works are also part of this.

Renovation of the structural aspects also involves the review and, if necessary, repair of the roof and frame. The same goes for external joinery, such as doors, windows, patio doors, frames, and casings. Furthermore, works on the structural aspects are necessary if the planned renovation concerns expanding the accommodation (raising the roof, enlarging the walls, etc.).

In terms of pricing, renovation works on the structural aspects are heavier than others. This activity itself is also called heavy renovation. Thus, it will be invoiced at a more substantial amount, at least 1,000 €/m2.

The cost of completing comprehensive renovation works

In terms of renovation, finishing works are essential to completely renovate your house. Here, the cost of works and renovations per square meter is determined from several activity items.

Energy and sound renovation of the house

Energy insulation is a very essential step in renovating a property. This is beneficial both in terms of comfort and energy savings. This operation is strongly recommended, or even required, by the State before renting or selling a real estate property.

Depending on the condition of the house or apartment, energy and sound renovation may involve the refurbishment of :

  • wall insulation: the cost per square meter can vary from 30 to 100 euros, depending on the craftsman, materials, and chosen technique (external or internal wall insulation);
  • floor or low-floor slab insulation: the required budget can range from 20 to 50 €/m2 depending on materials, installation, and chosen craftsman ;
  • roof insulation: with a cost per square meter ranging from 25 to 80 euros depending on the insulating materials and installation technique, but also on the craftsman ;
  • attic insulation: which costs between 30 to 100 €/m2, depending on whether they are convertible or not, but also depending on materials and techniques adopted;
  • window insulation: which is billed between 210 and 620 euros per piece depending on the selected technique (double glazing replacement, secondary glazing, etc.).

In addition to energy and sound insulation, it is also essential to focus on the heating system. In this regard, it is much more reasonable to opt for more economical and, above all, environmentally friendly equipment. Consider replacing your old heating system with an ecological appliance, such as heat pumps (4,560 to 15,100 euros), wood heating (1,560 to 6,100 euros), and solar or biomass heating (3,100 to 15,100 euros).

Moreover, concerning the ventilation system, ensure that all rooms in your house are well ventilated. Specifically, air circulation in your interior must be from air intakes in living rooms (bedrooms, living room) to air outlets in service rooms (bathroom, kitchen, toilets). In this context, opting for a Mechanical Controlled Ventilation (MCV) is the most recommended solution, with a price ranging from 400 euros to 5,500 euros.

Electrical Installation Works

Electrical renovation represents a more or less significant expense, especially if no restoration has been carried out for years. Moreover, electrical installation is governed by the NF C15-100 standard in France. To meet the imposed standards, several essential steps are to be carried out, namely :

  • Diagnosis of the entire installation to assess its general condition, potential risks, and hazards that may occur ;
  • Preparation of electrical installation plans, changing cables and wires, changing certain equipment (panel, protection), and adding certain mandatory elements (switches, lighting) ;
  • Dismantling of the previous outdated electrical installation.

In terms of pricing, the cost may vary depending on whether the electrical renovation is partial or complete, and depending on the fees of the hired professional. Find in the following table the amount per square meter for renovating the electrical network in your home :

Type of Electrical RenovationPrice per Square Meter (in euros)
Partial renovation without heating modification90 – 130
Complete renovation without heating replacement130 – 160
Complete renovation with heating modification160 – 220

To ensure that the electrical installation meets standards and the best conditions, it is advisable to entrust the work to an electrician.

Plumbing Renovation

Just like the electrical circuit in the house, the plumbing system wears out and deteriorates over the years, requiring renovation. This can include :

  • Small works, such as pipe replacement, faucet replacement, toilet flushing replacement, etc.
  • Complete renovation, including the replacement of the entire plumbing system.

The cost of plumbing renovation depends on the complexity of the work and, of course, the necessary materials. On average, the budget to be spent is around €80 per square meter (including supplies and installation). To renovate your plumbing properly at a fair price, it's best to entrust the work to a plumber.

In summary, renovation works related to the finishing touches are billed at a rate ranging from €500 to €1,000/m2The budget may be higher if you plan to replace your heating system with more economical equipment, such as eco-friendly heating.

Budget Required for Finishing Works

In terms of renovation, finishing works refer to the decoration and embellishment of all rooms. This includes painting, wall and floor covering, installation of lighting fixtures, sanitary ware (bathroom, toilets, and sinks), kitchen fittings, etc. It is also known as partial renovation of the house. 

Among the finishing works, painting represents a fairly costly expense. Generally, the resulting quote can range from €15 to €40/m2. The cost of the project depends on the type of paint (chosen according to the type of wall to be painted) and the work to be done. In addition to painting, you can opt for other types of wall covering, such as fiberglass, wallpaper, tiling, polished concrete, and paneling. As for the floor, you should budget between €20 and €195/m2, depending on the type of covering and installation technique chosen. The kitchen fitting, on the other hand, requires a budget ranging from €10 to €30/m2.

In conclusion, the price per square meter for renovating a house or apartment varies depending on the planned works, the necessary materials, and the professional hired. Approximately, the quote for renovating your house or apartment properly can range from €150 to €2,000/m2.

How to Finance Renovation Works Properly?

As you can see, renovating a home is not an easy task, both in terms of work and finances. In practice, a large portion of French households, especially those living in major cities like Paris, do not have enough resources to complete their projects. Fortunately, the French government provides financial assistance to encourage homeowners to renovate their homes properly.

The first opportunity available to you is a mortgage loan. Specifically, similar to construction or purchase, renovating your home gives you access to a bank loan. Even more relevantly, the government has implemented the eco-PTZ (Zero Interest Loan) to finance the energy renovation of any energy-consuming housing in France, particularly in Paris. Depending on the situation, you can also opt for MaPrimeRenov', energy grants, reduced-rate VAT at 5.5%, and assistance from Anah (National Housing Agency).

Mathieu Amara

Mathieu Amara

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

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