If you’re considering buying a property in the South of France, be it an apartment, a town house, or an older building, one option you may be weighing up is the potential of taking on a property as a renovation project.


While embarking on a house renovation is often a reliable way to get more for your money and a profitable return on investment – not to mention ensuring you construct the precise living space you desire – it is nonetheless a complicated process (especially when buying a property overseas) that will require full commitment on your part to see it through to the end.


Every house or property you look at is going to need varying amounts of work in order to bring it in line with your precise needs – and the fact is you’ll be buying a property that you know in advance is going to cost you significantly more in the long run than the asking price.


As such, buying a property to renovate overseas is a nerve-wracking endeavour, which is why we’ve put together this post covering what you need to know and whom you should consult when taking on a renovation property in the South of France.

Get a Reliable Local Property Surveyor on Board

One of the most important things to do when considering your options for the best house to purchase is to take advantage of the services offered by a trusted local property surveyor.


A professional property surveyor will conduct a completely unbiased assessment of any property purchase you’re considering to ensure you only spend money on a worthy investment. A surveyor will visit the property, complete a thorough inspection, and you will then receive a detailed report outlining the current condition of the property, and precisely what issues there are with it so you can make an informed decision about the purchase.


Moreover, your surveyor will be able to tell you how realistic your renovation plans are and whether you’ll be able to obtain planning permission for them. This is crucial. No matter if you’re planning a loft conversion, an extension, a garage conversion, or any structural work that will make significant changes to the size or shape of the building, you’ll need the appropriate planning permission or listed building consent in the first place before any work starts. The worst house to buy is, of course, one that you can’t get approved for renovation. Your house surveyor will help you search for and find the right property for sale for which you can get your plans approved.


Read more: An Easy Guide on How to Get French Planning Permission


Deciding on a Project Manager

Once you’ve found and purchased a suitable property to renovate in the South of France, you will need to assign a manager to the task of organising and overseeing the project.


You may consider being your own project manager. However, a full house renovation is no mean feat – especially when trying to organise everything in a foreign country where you might not speak the language or have a full grasp over how building trades work. For this reason, we recommend hiring a professional project manager to help you see your project through – especially if this is your first time taking on a self-build project in France.

Renovation Property France

(Image source: pixabay.com)


One of the most important things to realise is that there is such thing as a general contractor in France. This means that you will need to appoint each trade separately and deal with many different subcontractors, all of whom must be managed in terms of time and budget.


Your professional project manager will handle the entire coordination of the various teams and people who will be involved in your project, and will ensure all materials are sourced and ready at the right time.

Executing the House Renovation

The final stage of the house renovation journey is to actually start the project in earnest.


While there are no official steps to follow per se, the stages you plan for should look roughly as follows:

  • Finalise your plans– whether it’s a bedroom, the bathroom, kitchen, or the entire ground floor, finalise all plans before work starts.
  • Repair any existing structural defects– renovations nearly always involve tearing bits of a building down, so make sure the rest of the property is fully secure to ensure the whole thing doesn’t crash to the ground as soon as you knock a wall through.
  • Demolish the necessary sections of the building– if you’re conducting major works and rebuilds, this is the point where you should demolish the old parts of the building.
  • Install the renovation in accordance with the design– now is the time to rebuild the parts of the property you are renovating; this stage will include the installation of new walls and doors, as well as things like new kitchen units, bathroom units, etc.
  • Install plumbing and electrics– with all the new units and walls in place, now is the time to finish any wiring or re-wiring, hook up any solar panels, plumb in the central heating, and install any new plumbing that may be required.
  • Finish the walls– with the plumbing and electrics all fitted and working correctly, it’s time to get plastering and finish the walls.
  • Decorate and clean– the final stage is to decorate with paint and/or wallpaper, varnish any wooden fixtures, and then clean up.

Charles Mackintosh – South of France Property Surveyor and Project Manager

Buying a property for a house renovation in the South of France is an exciting prospect. However, it’s crucial that you seek professional assistance to guide you through the process.


Charles Mackintosh is a professional property surveyor and project manager serving overseas buyers in the South of France. With over 30 years’ experience living and operating in the region, Charles is at your service to spearhead your entire project – from helping you find the ideal home at the right price in the right location, to overseeing the renovation work from start to finish. Charles has established a huge directory of highly reliable builders and trades professionals to conduct your work who have experience with old buildings, and he will organise all materials, schedules, quotations, and building works from beginning to end.


Get in touch today for more information.