Aspects of a house renovation or barn conversion in France

Buying and renovating a property in France can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive - but get it right and it will be the most exciting decision you ever made, with a lovely home or a lifetime of great holidays to follow!

You must be crazy to try it?

Thinking of renovating a property in France? Thousands of people have already done it successfully - and others have found themselves embroiled in years of expenses and problems! The good news is, with a bit of planning the whole process can be great fun, a fascinating learning experience, and also extremely rewarding.

The process of creating a home (or second home, or a thriving gite business) from little more than a derelict shell or a pile of stone in a field in France might just be the most exciting thing you have ever done, and should be if you plan ahead and have realistic expectations about the time and cost involved.

When people talk of renovation in France they can mean all sorts of things, from a substantial redecoration and refurnishing a house that has been unloved for many years, to buying a plot of land where a house once stood - but now has little more than a few stones to remember the original property by.


There are numerous things to consider - from the arliest stages of checking whether planning permission will be granted, to the final challenges of getting your newly renovated home ready to live in, while maintaining the authentic qualities that you are looking for in a renovated home (if you wanted a new home you'd just buy one!).

Challenges along the way include language issues, financial problems and budgets, desigining the layout - especially challenging if you are renovating an unusual building such as a barn or castle - plumbing and wiring, walls and ceilings, doors and windows, insulation...and hundreds of other little things that will demand your immediate response when your contractor comes calling!

The Property Renovation process

the process falls broadly into three categories:

1) The general aspects of a renovation project: surveys, finding and buying a property to renovate, finances etc. See stages of a renovation project

2) The renovation process including the more specific areas of work involved, such as repairing a wall, laying a floor etc. See renovation projects for a long list of the projects and tasks you willl need to complete, as well as building materials in renovations and barn conversions.

3) Financial matters related to building renovations