Refurbishing a house: planning and executing a house refurbishment

Refurbishing your own home

Refurbishing a house is a complex undertaking. Without a clever concept, you run the risk of spending more money than you need to. In normal circumstances, a renovation is carried out in stages and in a logical sequence. For example, it is advisable to start by insulating the house and then later install a heating system tailored to the new insulation values. Farsighted planning is essential. 

Optimum planning for a house refurbishment

What are the first steps?

In general, when refurbishing a house, the first step is to rectify any static-structural defects. These include, for example, damp walls or cracks in the building fabric. If you are completely redeveloping a house or redeveloping an old building, the first things on the list, after gutting, include installing electrical and water connections before moving on to the refurbishment concept.  

House refurbishment plan

The list below shows an overview of tasks, work and trades to be considered. Not all points apply for every property. The correct sequence is always essential to ensure a house refurbishment project is completed as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible.  

Example photo of plumbing work

  1. Rectifying static-structural defects 
  2. Demolition work 
  3. Work on the building shell (e.g. facade and roof: insulation, plastering, painting, roofing) 
  4. Refurbishing or replacing windows and external doors 
  5. Work on gas, water, heating 
  6. Work on electrics 
  7. Internal plastering 
  8. Interior work: Floors, doors, stairs 
  9. Painting and varnishing work 
  10. Installation of sanitary ceramics 

Tip: Financing and funding

Before you actually start building, research any state grants that might be available to help you restore, renovate and modernise your house. Grants and low-interest loans are often available from the state for the installation of modern, energy-efficient technology. The same applies for development work for accessibility and for the installation of safety technology. More details are available from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) bank and the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). 


More information about costs and financing

Energy refurbishment through to an age-appropriate bathroom

If you are renovating or refurbishing old houses, energy efficiency and accessibility are important issues. Smart home technology helps to save costs when renovating a house by ensuring low running costs for the house in the long term. 

  • Roof insulation saves up to 8% of heat energy 
  • Uninsulated old buildings lose up to 30% of heat through the external walls. Insulation promises correspondingly high savings. 
  • A lot of energy is lost through uninsulated heating pipes. Insulation reduces heat loss by up to 70% per linear metre of piping. 
  • Intelligent heating technology adapts to individual user profiles. Smart heating systems use sensors in and at the property to help save heat energy. 

More about energy refurbishment

Thinking of the future

As well as energy efficiency measures, right at the start of your house renovation project, it is advisable to consider accessibility factors in a property too. This will ensure you are already prepared for retirement. Because an accessible home with cutting-edge technology will allow you to live safely and with affordable energy costs as you get older.  

One of the most important rooms in this respect is an age-appropriate bathroomwith enough space to allow a second person to provide assistance if required. During your refurbishment, make sure you allow enough space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, that the doors are wide enough and floors are non-slip to ensure safety in the bathroom. A walk-in showerthat you can use comfortably and safely is a benefit at any age and will also make everyday life easier for families with children. 

More about accessibility