There is a tendency to confuse renovation and rehabilitation. However, these are two very different terms. The first implies heavy work, while the second involves a simple upgrading of the house. You have fallen in love with an old house and decided to buy it? Rehabilitation works will be necessary. Find out in this article how to proceed and how much the project will cost.

Definition of rehabilitation


To rehabilitate a house consists of its reorganization or in its restoration without having to proceed to its destruction. The main goal is then to make it habitable. Thus, the architecture, i.e., the external aspect of the building (facade, structure), is preserved. The work to be done will rather be based on the improvement of interior comfort.

It should be noted that any type of building can be rehabilitated. Generally, the rehabilitation works concern old buildings such as old farms, barns, old churches, etc.

Rehabilitation can also involve the repurposing of buildings. The primary nature of the property will be changed so that it becomes a residence or a building that can be used for other purposes. For example, an old factory or a warehouse can be converted into a loft. Paris, the famous city of fashion and design, results from the rehabilitation of an industrial building dating from 1907.

How to proceed with the rehabilitation work?

As mentioned, the first work to be done in terms of rehabilitation often works to bring the house up to standard. One spares the aesthetic elements but rather privileges the comfort aspect. The project can start from the installation of thermal and acoustic insulation (on the walls, roof, floor, ceiling, and openings) to the sanitary fittings through the renovation of electrical installations. The installation of a heating system may also be necessary to provide luxury to the future home.

Very often, more specific work is required. Indeed, most of the walls of old buildings have moisture. This necessarily implies drying or waterproofing work on the façade. Associated with these is the installation of a ventilation system to ensure good air circulation inside the house.

Another element to check during the rehabilitation work: is the state of the roof. If it has deteriorated, it will have a significant impact on the insulation of the building. Indeed, a roof in poor condition promotes heat loss. Obviously, this may increase the heating consumption, which will surely lead to an expensive energy bill. If this is the case, it is necessary to plan roofing renovation works.

The last point to consider is the inspection of the roof structure. The vast majority of older buildings have a frame made of wood. If the frame is in very poor condition, it must be replaced or repaired. Over time, it is quite possible that parasites and wood borers infect it. Curative treatment is then required.

How much does it cost to rehabilitate a building?


Before starting the rehabilitation work, you should know that a prior declaration is generally required. The steps are easier if you are accompanied by a professional. In some cases, you are obliged to apply for a building permit. For example, it may be for a change of destination, the location of the building is a protected area, the creation of a dormer, etc.

Concerning the cost of the realization of a rehabilitation project, you must know that it is higher than the price of construction or renovation. On average, the cost of the work varies between 1,800 euros TTC and 2,300 euros TTC per m². However, it is wiser to allow for an additional 15% since a project of this kind sometimes has surprises: recourse to a surveyor, additional study, reinforcement of a beam hidden in the masonry, etc. In short, the cost varies from one building to another.

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