Renovate your home in 5 questions

Renovate your home in 5 questions

1 What is the purpose of a diagnosis?

Indispensable before starting your house, a complete diagnosis is needed to identify the type and importance of the work to be done: those you want and those that are needed.
It's about whether the job site is within your reach or whether you need to hire professionals for certain parts.

  • In case of big cracks in the facade, subsidence of floors, roof leaking ... the work will be important.
  • To solve structural problems, you need help from a design office that will perform the necessary calculations.
  • A duly insured company is recommended, as well as an architect to coordinate the various stakeholders.
  • If your home is old, poorly organized but healthy, you will redistribute the rooms and adapt the plan to your current lifestyle. This will have repercussions on almost all lots: electricity, plumbing, floors, heating ... This is still important work.
  • If decorative work or embellishment enough (painting, carpentry, floors ...), the site is then within reach of novice handymen.


2 Which points to check?

The frame and the cover: a visit in the attic is essential to control their general state. Observe faults and battens that support the cover, identify pieces of wood damaged by insects or fungi. Identify water seepage that broken or displaced tiles may have caused. If the wood has rotten, you may need to reinforce some parts or change them, which is a lot of work. On the roof, damaged tiles are also to be replaced.

Electricity:  consider an installation as outdated if it has not been modified for several decades, or if the electrical panel does not include a differential switch (module marked ID 30 mA).

Copper plumbing: if the networks have a very long life, the equipment, meanwhile, last less (about 15 years for a hot water tank, 20 years for a boiler). After these delays, they become energy-hungry and may fail at the wrong time. To check the water tightness of an installation and to detect any leaks, compare the meter readings taken in the evening and the next morning.

The insulation: if one has cold winter and hot summer, insulation is ineffective. Visit the attic to have the heart net. 20 cm wool mattresses in good condition are suitable. If the insulation is crushed, torn or damaged, replace it.

The joinery: they must be equipped with at least double glazing. But the cold can also pass between the frame and the opening if they are damaged or collapsed ...

The parquet floor: if it creaks, it can be treated, but a damaged floor whose blades are broken or sag can be repaired case by case. Be careful, too many small localized repairs end up taking longer than removing and replacing the floor.

3 What do you do yourself?

The demolition of a partition, the change of sanitary facilities, the removal of a parquet floor ... so many works that require little skill but are tedious and tiring. As proof, a plasterboard of 7 cm weighs about 70 kg / m2; a wall of 3 m long (H. 2.60 m) integrating a door does not represent less than 440 kg of rubble!

The electricity network can be modified or extended by a careful handyman. Technical knowledge, a good guide and a lot of methods are essential to avoid short circuits. But if it is necessary to recreate the entire network, it is better to call on a professional. At the end of the construction site, the latter must have his work aimed for and obtain a certificate from the Consul, which will be demanded by the energy distributor before connecting his meter.

Plumbing has been simplified. Thanks to new materials such as PER (crosslinked polyethylene) and multilayer, it is possible to install the distribution network of a house using mechanical connections (seamless). The installation of a hot water tank or an air/air heat pump can also be done by a good handyman. While a gas boiler must be put by a professional.

The masonry is affordable if it is well equipped and, for most books, well supported. Mounting a partition, pouring a screed ... require manipulate many heavy, dusty and bulky materials.

Carpentry ( parquet flooring, furniture making ...) is one of the favorite areas of handymen because wood is a noble material and pleasant to work. To succeed in your work, you must have quality tools and look after the finishes.

The painting requires a good preparation of the supports: it is necessary to reseal, to cover and to pass a primary before the painting. A work achievable by all.

Demolition: caution ...

The demolition with its lot of dust and noise is one of the most thankless phases of the site. In addition to demolishing, it involves getting rid of the pounds of rubble in licensed dumps.

The demolition of structural elements (walls, floor, framework ...) must be carried out by a qualified and insured company, under the orders of a design office. Otherwise, you will have no guarantee as to the stability of the house.

4 Why choose a professional?

The architect DPLG or DESA *: simple mission consulting or project monitoring from A to Z, he has the technical knowledge of the structure of the building (the law imposes it above 170 m2). After the design, he wrote the specifications and drew the plans to find the companies. He follows the site if you entrust him with the project management. For a complete project, its fees vary from 8 to 15% of the amount of work.

The interior designer: he intervenes on the volumetry of the pieces, plays with the colors, the materials and the lighting; he also designs furniture.

The project manager: he assists you in the follow-up of the construction site (like the architect). His role is very useful if you entrust the work to craftsmen of different bodies of the state.

Companies: very few general contractors support all the bodies of state and in fact call on subcontractors for part of the works. But if you follow the site yourself, the general contractor will coordinate the stakeholders. If you entrust each position to different companies and craftsmen, then you will have to coordinate the teams or call on a contractor or an architect.

* One is a government graduate (DPLG), the other is a graduate of the Special School of Architecture (DESA). of the speakers.

Good to know
• For the project management, you can call on a qualified professional OPQMOC 
• The Renovated House NF mark attests to the overall quality of a renovated house, including that of the stakeholders.

5 How to control your budget?

A renovation project incurs a large budget and must be anticipated as much as possible. The first step is to clearly define and describe all the planned work. To show on the plans of the house the modified parts, the number of takes to be posed, the surface of floor to be sanded ...

Indicate in the description of the works, the quantities, the references and the prices of the products which wished (by specifying the type bathtub, tiling, door ...). This is a tedious step, but it will allow (to you and the company consulted) to more accurately quantify the work.

Do not forget to book between 5 and 7% of the budget to unforeseen. In case of change of ideas during construction, or if unexpected work is required after the demolition, you must be able to pay the costs without questioning the entire project.