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Home > The Survival Guide > Renovating a House in France

Renovating a House in France

Tuesday 26 April 2005, by A correspondent

Finding the right tradesman to fix your roof, rewire your electrical installation, replumb the leaden depths of an old fashioned water system, is not easy. Getting it wrong can be expensive and depressing.

Before looking at the finer points of choosing and finding builders and tradesmen let us note some general rules to bear in mind.

1. As an owner you can be heavily fined for employing ’black’ labour, that is unregistered, cash or nothing labour.

2. Changes in the French laws means that no longer are you allowed to count three times the sum of your materials bills against any capital gains when your house is sold. Only bills from tradesmen and companies registered in France are allowed.

3. There are French laws coming in to effect, that will mean on the sale of your property not only will you need to supply termite, lead and asbestos certificates, but also a certificate for your electrical installation.

4. Looking on the black side, if your electrical installation does not conform to French regulations, your public liabilty and house insurance will not pay out on any disasters(fires, deaths etc) which have an electrical origin.

5. Most new build work carries statutory guarantees, these enhance resale value and your security of mind.

(My thanks to Francois and Marie of Heraudio ,Click here to visit the Heraudio website, our English speaking electrical team from Roujan, 34, for pointing no.4 out to me.)

The Languedoc is the fastest exploding region of France ,this has nothing to do with electrics!!,the population is growing through migration from other French regions and immigration from the Northern European nations. This means that good tradesmen are very much in demand,and while you might like your building works to be carried out tomorrow, most of the better tradesmen have months of work lined up and you will, in the long term, do better by being patient.

As in all countries when there is a building boom, some builders try to shorten queues and cull their clients by upping prices, for major works it is a good idea to look at at least two if not three ’devis’.

We are going to build up a directory, Here, of tried and trusted Languedoc tradesmen and building companies with a bias towards those where there is at least one passable English speaker.
Any recommendations that you can make please insert there or add to the bottom of this article as a comment.

Guidelines provided by The French Property Company Ltd.

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