7 questions to ask yourself before starting a renovation project in France

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 July 2016 | UPDATED: 17:24 19 July 2016

Do you dream of a French kitchen like this?

Do you dream of a French kitchen like this?


Before you start renovating and decorating your French property ask yourself these 7 questions and save yourself time and money

1. Will the property be your primary residence, a holiday home or an investment for rental?

If you’ll be living there yourself, you can add personal touches such as quirky signs and family photos, and you may not care too much about the bathroom being updated. However, if the property will be rented or shared, the decor needs to be less personal and the amenities up to date.

2. What is your budget for decor?

Set a budget, and stick to it. Ginny Blackwell of International Property Shares recommends around €10,000 for a two- to three-bedroom project in France, but has often doubled that to make a property really magnificent.

3. What is your timeframe, and is it realistic?

Be prepared for delays, and then anticipate some more. Then double your estimated time for the project. Expecting delays can help you make decisions on products that need to be ordered, versus ones that you can find nearby – this forces you to be creative, which can give your home unusual flair. Try brocante markets in France and Le Bon Coin and Truc for online bargain buys.

4. Who will do the work?

Do you plan to do it yourself or hire a contractor or decorator? Consider sharing the work with a handyman who can troubleshoot, or a decorator with creative ideas.

5. What furnishings will the property need?

Create a room-by-room list of requirements – you could base it on this inventory.

6. Where can you buy what you need?

Visit Bricomarché, Bricorama, Castorama, Leroy Merlin or Mr. Bricolage, all of which sell the practical things for internal and external DIY. You’ll also find various chain stores on the outskirts of most larger towns in France: Carrefour, Auchan, Leclerc and Darty.

7. What will be difficult or too expensive to find in France?

Some things are a lot more expensive in France than in the UK (paint, for example) – so do some comparison shopping online. Try Googling items using different countries’ browsers: French Google or Italian Google as well as UK Google. It may pay to have something shipped from abroad.

Like this? You might enjoy:

3 things to do before starting a renovation in France
6 useful tips for renovating a property in France
How to carry out a renovation in France
Finding a builder in France
Renovating a Burgundy home while beating the bank
21 French words to help with your DIY or renovation project

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