Historic properties can be a challenge. There’s damp to be dealt with, crumbling walls to be shored up, and wiring and pipework to be replaced. But they can also hide some beautiful original details – the likes of which can’t be replicated in new-build homes.
With that in mind, we’ve found five of the best renovation challenges currently for sale in France – from gothic palaces and chapels to faded country estates in need of TLC.
17th-century chapel in Picardy, Hauts-de-France
€245,000 via Espaces Atypique
The owners of this 17th-century chapel have already made a start on converting the building into a private home, installing a kitchen, bathroom and mezzanine bedroom inside. There’s still lots to do with the rest of the 120 sqm of space, however, including deciding how to make the most of its original Gothic vaulted ceilings, carved angels, and turret. Get a closer look.
Former car garage on the outskirts of Paris
€770,000 via Espaces Atypique
This Charentonneau warehouse has a wealth of raw industrial features waiting to be polished up, including high ceilings, cement floors and steel doors. There’s a rather sorry looking one-bedroom on the upper level, as well as a downstairs warehouse with 198 sqm of space. But it doesn’t take much to see the warehouse’s potential as a pair of lofts or unsual single dwelling. The centre of Paris is only half an hour train ride away too.
Country house in Barbentane, Bouches-du-Rhône
€1.39m via Daniel Feau
Faded glamour oozes from the rooms of this Barbentane country estate, which dates back to the 18th century. If the 360 sqm of floor space isn’t enough, there’s another 4,500 sqm of enclosed parkland around the property, including a path lined with plane trees.
Mansion, Villers-Campsart in Hauts-de-France
Some 3000 sqm of space lie behind the grand iron gates of this four-bedroom Hauts-de-France property, which was previously used as a bed and breakfast. Inside are high ceilings and a huge loft, which is ripe for conversion. But interiors are undoubtedly in need of some TLC and it’ll take a dose of elbow grease to get rid of all the clashing wallpaper. The home is located in the town of Villers-Campsart, which is a 40-minute drive from Amiens.
‘Mystery Challenge’ in Paris
POA via Daniel Feau
Part of a homogenous row of Parisian townhouses next to Elysée Palace in the city’s 8th arrondissement, this property was designed in 1860 by Emile Pereire and is in need of what the agent calls ‘heavy renovation.’ Details are scant, but the listing says the house is set over three levels and is serviced by an elevator. Period features including ceiling frescoes and iron Juliet balconies which overlook the street below are intact.