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Restore a house

Restore a house

Have you had a crush on an old barn? Undertaking the refurbishment of an old building requires a lot of expertise. To embark on such an adventure requires a significant personal investment and significant learning. Explanations from Frédéric Charpentier, architect specializing in restoration. Interview by Gilles Wallon What should be examined in priority before embarking on the restoration of a house? You can do some maintenance work yourself: small one-off repairs to facades, painting work on windows and shutters… For the complete restoration of an old building, it's different: you have to do a preliminary study and establish a diagnosis. Generally, it is necessary to learn and observe old buildings in order to be able to preserve, during the works, the old character of the habitat. Catering is a profession, those who wish to tackle it must train themselves with organizations or associations. With Maisons Paysannes de France, for example, you can find internships that allow you to do small jobs yourself. What are the pitfalls to avoid when you want to restore a house? Precipitation is the greatest danger. We often believe that you can do everything yourself and that it's simple. To be able to restore heavy things yourself, you have to devote a large part of your time to them. Renovating an entire house means weeks - even months - of work, a real seasonal activity. If you decide to call on professionals for major work, you should not embark on company consultations without having previously defined a technical and administrative specification. Clearly, if you have, for example, an entrepreneur who offers an outdoor lime rendering and another who offers an economic coating of monolayer type on an old house, it is not the same technique and this will generate two different prices. One may be tempted to refer only to the price, when the result will be very different. How much does it cost to restore a house? The costs are extremely variable depending on the repairs and new installations that one plans to create. Whether or not you have to do the roofing, renovation, windows, doors, floors, thermal insulation, interior coverings, electricity or even plumbing, the differences will be enormous. Restoring an empty old building with existing walls and roof costs almost the same price as building a new house. But in the end, obviously, the architectural quality will be much greater in an old house than in a new house. Because the old and heritage character is highly valued. Frédéric Charpentier is a DPLG restoration and heritage architect, specializing in quality green building and new construction. > More info www.architecte.free.fr