Loft renovation advice please

We own a second small house in the 65 region and we visit during holidays only - and not at all since the pandemic.
I am starting to plan a renovation of our attic space. I am looking for general advice and tips. I have many questions. I would love to touch base with anyone who has done similar work to learn from them.


Oh, it does look lovely.
I see you’ve at least 2 windows already… light and airy.

Perhaps one of the first things to do will be to check with your Mairie. To find out if there are any restrictions on what you can do…

Depending on what they say… let your imagination run wild… and get back to the Mairie, to ask for their blessing, once you’ve got a plan in mind.
They’ll doubtless have a form to complete , but generally nothing onerous.
Then you can get started…

Best of luck


And whatever you think it will cost, double it :wink::laughing:

Are you going to be doing any of the work yourself or be getting artisans in to do it for you, if the later treble it :open_mouth:


I had something similar done about 20 years ago. I had 30cm of fibre insulation put in. So it would look very different. If I was doing it now I’d probably put in more.


And then just to be sure double it again!

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I think the best advice I could offer, based on my experience, is that if you wont be physically in-situ at the house during the works, then getting someone to check quality and progress during the process can be invaluable. For the first round of work I had completed, I didn’t and I regret it dearly, as many many years later I have uncovered a few less than favourable situations.


The first thing you need to decide is what do you want to use the space for? Bedrooms, with or without bathrooms/extra living space/ music, craft, art rooms etc. That will help decide on things like additional light (velux) requirements, services, size of rooms, insulation, heating, access and egress. Then think about materials - plasterboard, wood panelling etc, flooring. Once decided then advice is usually much easier to give.

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Also make sure it is very well insulated and that the roof is watertight with particular attention to the zinc around chimneys.

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I suggest putting in several Velux windows with blinds, so that you can let the heat out during the summer months.


So my current thinking is to insulate roof and create a ceiling with plaster board, and paint white. I want to have the original wooden beams exposed. The height of the cross beams is currently a bit hazardous and they need to be raised. I am not sure how easy or expensive this will be - I assume I will need a structural engineers advice about the feasibility.

Hopefully insert three small conservation type velux in the rear slope opposite the three small existing windows.

I also wonder if we should insulate the floor; currently the loft is unbearably hot during the summer months and while insulation in the roof will help, will insulating the floor help too in terms of keeping it cooler and providing some sound insulation?

Also think it might need air conditioning to be bearable over the summer months.

Velux with blinds is a must; thanks for that suggestion!

Want to keep the space as open plan as possible…

Teenage dormitory/ chill our zone / movie room idea? With a bathroom / shower room and a work space…

I have been stung by building works in Scotland in the past; hence my desire to become as knowledgable as possible in advance of engaging a professional to carry out the works. I am meeting a builder next week at the house; English speaking thankfully, so at least the language barrier is not going to be a major issue. I hope…

Just may expect you to pay an “English price” - be warned.


Ah ok. Got you. Is there a big differential?

Can be so useful having an English speaker… to figure out what will or won’t work in a situation.

As always, best to get several quotes (like for like) and then it’s easy to see if someone is taking the michael.

Dare we mention the Siret numbers… and the need to check that the Siret is actually suitable for the work being undertaken… ??? :wink:

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Depends what the rest of your property is like and what they think they can get away with. 1 1/2 to 2 x Certainly around here the British in their big old houses are assumed to be wealthy - joke! The fact is, of course, that all our money goes on actually maintaining the big old houses we have foolishly fallen for.


Neighbours thought we were millionaires… they now realize the sad truth. :rofl:

but they did love being involved/consulted on the various works we were thinking of… helped us to settle into the community.


i should schedule an appt with the mairie. We met him once previously to ask about paint colours for our shutters and he seems very disinterested! Basically said we could choose what we wanted.

Ok that is a new one on me. How does one check the SIRET number is correct for the proposed works? At

Our first builder was english, but that did not work out…

An English speaker can be useful… and English builder/artisan can be equally useful, provided that person is fully qualified in France…
Not knowing why your one “did not work out”… I cannot comment.