Do you own a house that was built before the 1980s and has never been renovated or refurbished? After 40 to 60 years, you should seriously consider a partial or total renovation. There are good reasons for the investment: You will significantly improve your living quality, optimize the energy efficiency in the long term and increase the market value if you want to sell your house one day. Because renovation or refurbishment costs a lot of money, you should prepare well for it. In this article, you can read what you should know before you talk to a professional about your project.
Good to know
All cost estimates are only indicative prices and are intended as a guide for you. If you want to know more precisely, ask certified craftsmen from your region for offers.
Partial renovation or total renovation?
A total renovation usually costs less than a partial renovation because certain work only has to be carried out once instead of several times. In addition, the work is completed more quickly if it is well coordinated, and it is less of a burden on the residents. Nevertheless, many homeowners opt for partial renovation. In order to spread the costs over several years and/or to be able to deduct the value-preserving investments from taxable income in several tax periods and reduce the tax burden. However, renovation measures cannot be considered in isolation. If you insulate the building envelope, for example, you should then replace your heating system and adapt it to the lower energy consumption. Experts therefore recommend the following sequence for partial renovations in order to avoid building defects such as moisture, mold or thermal bridges:
Replace windows, solar shading, and insulate the facade.
Insulate the roof, and if necessary also the roof truss and the basement ceiling
Replace heating system, preferably in an energy-efficient and resource-saving way
Kitchen renovation, bathroom renovation and pipe replacement
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A facade cleaning with repainting costs 3,500 to 5,000 Swiss francs without or 4,500 to 6,000 Swiss francs with deep priming for 100 square meters. To this must be added the cost of scaffolding. The thicker the facade insulation, the more expensive. Calculate 250 to 300 Swiss francs for 14-centimeter-thick insulation, plus or minus 330 Swiss francs for 18- to 14-centimeter-thick insulation, and about 400 Swiss francs per square meter for 30-centimeter-thick insulation.
The cost of windows depends on the frame and glass. For an energy-efficient and triple-glazed window, expect to pay about 600 Swiss francs (vinyl) to 850 Swiss francs (wood, aluminum, wood-aluminum or vinyl-aluminum), including installation. Options such as tilt and turn hardware, better soundproofing or safety glass cost extra. A double-glazed window costs about 100 Swiss francs less, but is less energy efficient.
The cost of sun protection such as blinds or awnings depends on the material and effort. Ceiling or wall mounting is easier than ceiling rafter mounting, for example, on sloping wooden beams. Expect to pay 2,000 Swiss francs (open), 2,500 Swiss francs (with roof) or 3,000 Swiss francs (with cassette) for a 4-by-2.5-meter articulated-arm sun blind. Roller shutters are more expensive than blinds. Expect to pay 1,000 to 1,200 Swiss francs for a 1-by-1.5-meter wooden roller shutter and 300 to 450 Swiss francs for a wooden blind of the same size.
The cost of a roof depends on the material, roof construction and insulation material. Expect to pay 25,000 to 60,000 Swiss francs for an average single-family home. Under-rafter insulation costs 40 to 80 Swiss francs, between-rafter insulation 60 to 150 Swiss francs, or above-rafter insulation 150 to 250 Swiss francs per square meter. Re-roofing costs 80 to 125 Swiss francs per square meter, or 15,000 to 22,500 Swiss francs.
For a flat roof, you should expect to pay 50 to 150 Swiss francs (tiling and waterproofing) plus 50 to 250 Swiss francs (insulating) per square meter. That makes 100 to 400 Swiss francs per square meter, or 24,000 to 42,000 Swiss francs for an average single-family house with a flat roof.
If the roofers are already working on the roof, they might as well install the modules for a photovoltaic system and have an electrician connect them. A 10-kilowatt-peak system costs about 25,000 to 30,000 Swiss francs. If you take into account the subsidies and, in many cantons, the one-time income tax savings effect, the solar system will still cost 20,000 to 25,000 Swiss francs below the line.
Replacing the roof truss costs 140 to 280 Swiss francs per square meter, or 25,000 to 50,000 Swiss francs for an average single-family house. If you want to convert and use it, you should expect to pay 50,000 Swiss francs or more (not including the wet room).
Having a triple-glazed skylight installed costs about 2,500 to 3,500 Swiss francs. In addition, material costs of 300 to 500 Swiss francs (plastic frame), 500 to 750 Swiss francs (wooden frame) or 600 to 900 Swiss francs (wood-aluminum or aluminum frame). Dormer windows or skylight windows are cheaper than skylight windows or pivot windows.
WIf you want to and are allowed to add a floor, you should expect plus/minus 1,000 Swiss francs per cubic meter and additional costs for fire protection, earthquake safety and building services.
If you only use your basement as a cellar, it is sufficient to insulate the ceiling. This costs about 35 to 100 Swiss francs per square meter. Insulating the basement ceiling from below is easier and cheaper than insulating it from above. If you want to live in your basement, you will also need to insulate the floor and walls. Expect to pay 50 to 150 Swiss francs per square meter for this.
A gas heating system costs about 25,000 Swiss francs (including installation) for an average single-family house. In addition, there are annual heating costs of plus/minus 4,000 Swiss francs and maintenance costs of about 650 Swiss francs per year. A heat pump costs more, but pays for itself more quickly because of the lower operating costs.
An oil heating system costs about 27,500 Swiss francs (including installation) for an average single-family house. In addition, there are the annual heating costs of plus/minus 3,300 Swiss francs and maintenance costs of about 650 Swiss francs per year. A heat pump costs more, but pays for itself more quickly because of the lower operating costs. In addition, more and more cantons are making it difficult or prohibiting the replacement of old oil heating systems with new oil heating systems.
An air-to-air heat pump costs about 32,500 Swiss francs (including installation) for an average single-family house. Added to this are the annual heating costs of plus/minus 1,300 Swiss francs and maintenance costs of about 250 Swiss francs per year.
An air-to-water heat pump costs about 40,000 Swiss francs (including installation) for an average single-family house. In addition, there are annual heating costs of plus/minus 1,150 Swiss francs and maintenance costs of about 250 Swiss francs per year.
A brine-to-water heat pump costs about 50,000 Swiss francs (including installation) for an average single-family house. Add to this the annual heating costs of plus/minus 900 Swiss francs and maintenance costs of about 250 Swiss francs per year.
For a floor heating system, calculate 200 to 250 Swiss francs per square meter. For a single-family house with 150 square meters of living space, this adds up to about 32,250 Swiss francs, including preparatory work, small materials, installation, planning, materials, and disposal, but not including connection to the heating system.
If you want or need to replace the entire building services - electrical, heating, ventilation and plumbing - you should expect to pay 20 to 40 percent of the building's value.
For a simple kitchen with veneer-coated countertops, cabinets, drawers and base cabinets and an oven, extractor fan, dishwasher, ceramic hob and refrigerator with freezer compartment, expect to pay at least 20,000 Swiss francs.
For an average kitchen with kitchen fronts made of real wood instead of veneer and a countertop made of solid wood or natural stone instead of synthetic resin or artificial stone, expect to pay 50,000 Swiss francs or more. The fixtures are fancier and easier to use, the appliances are higher quality, more energy efficient and smart. In addition, there is one or the other extra in it.
For a luxurious kitchen with custom-made kitchen furniture, wider cabinets and drawers, handleless and lacquered fronts, fine materials such as walnut or slate for the countertop and professional gastronomic appliances, expect to pay at least 100,000 Swiss francs.
For a simple bathroom, expect to pay 2,000 to 2,500 Swiss francs per square meter. This includes standard sanitary ware with simple fixtures, a mirrored cabinet, a vanity unit and standard-sized tiles.
For an average bathroom, expect to pay 3,000 to 4,000 Swiss francs per square meter. This includes upscale sanitary ware with designer fixtures, a larger mirror cabinet, a piece of furniture for laundry, and natural stone tiles on the floor and walls.
For a luxurious bathroom, expect to pay 5,000 to 6,000 Swiss francs per square meter. This includes exclusive sanitary ceramics with high-quality fittings, a large mirrored cabinet, possibly with an interactive mirror, custom-made furniture for the laundry, non-slip natural stone tiles on the floor and seamless tiles on the walls.
If you need to replace electrical wiring, estimate that it will cost 20,000 Swiss francs. The costs depend on many factors. If possible, you should renovate water pipes instead of replacing them. Expect to pay a few thousand Swiss francs for an average single-family home.
House renovation: Better to save too early than too late
A total renovation costs several hundred thousand francs. It makes sense to set aside 1 to 1.5 percent of the building's new value or more each year for home renovation - ideally from day one. Then you will have saved enough money to finance a partial renovation in stages or a total renovation. If that's not enough, you can increase your mortgage if you haven't raised the house to the 80 percent maximum, increase your mortgage if the renovation increases the value of the house, or finance the renovation with a construction loan.
House renovation: Save on taxes
Partial renovation is usually more expensive than total renovation. For tax considerations, however, it can make sense to stage the renovation measures and spread them over several years. For example, you can spread value-preserving investments over three years and deduct 50,000 Swiss francs from your taxable income three times instead of 150,000 Swiss francs once. In this way, you break the tax progression and optimize your tax burden. If you have increased your mortgage for the partial or total renovation, you can also deduct higher debt interest from your taxable income.
House renovation: Apply for subsidies
The federal government and the cantons provide financial support for energy-efficient renovations. As a rule, however, these subsidies are tied to certain conditions. For example, for subsidies from Gebäudeprogramm, you must renovate the entire building envelope, i.e. walls, roof and windows. In addition to Gebäudeprogramm, there are other subsidy programs. Find out more from your cantonal energy office or at energiefranken.ch. You need a renovation concept for your application and must submit the funding application before you start with the energy renovation.
House renovation: Is renovation worth it in any case?
Not necessarily. If the renovation costs exceed two-thirds of the property value, a replacement building would probably make more sense. There is a rule of thumb when partial renovation is worthwhile and when total renovation is worthwhile: If the …
... building fabric and market opportunities are good, total renovation is worthwhile.
... building fabric is good and market opportunities are poor, partial renovation is worthwhile.
... building fabric is poor and market opportunities are good, a new replacement building is worthwhile.
... building fabric and market opportunities are poor, you should only renovate what is necessary.
Do you live in an older house and want to improve your living comfort, optimize energy efficiency and increase property value? Talk to a certified specialist from our network about a renovation. He will advise you whether partial or total renovation makes more sense, recommend (energy-related) renovation measures and draw up a detailed renovation concept with costs and schedule.