Brief description of our technical support:
Are you thinking of buying a property with a view to renovate or restore it? It is not as easy as you might think! There are properties all over France that have never been completed. Perhaps their owners underestimated the size of the task, had insufficient technical knowledge or unrealistic expectations of what it was going to cost.
Discuss your plans with a qualified expert. To get a reliable and objective opinion you should only speak with an expert who has no commercial interest in the outcome of that discussion.
If you decide to purchase the property you can ask your surveyor for advice and support during the project. He can represent you when you are dealing with local and regional authorities, or artisans. Last but not least, you can ask him to carry out quality control checks.
Are you thinking of renovating a property or making changes to an existing property?
Whatever the complexity of the work, you will be exposed to several risks. You will be dealing with French authorities, regional rules and building regulations, builders, installation technicians, etc. This is probably unknown territory for you and there are numerous pitfalls.
Who are you going to use?
Will you hire a professional or someone who is not qualified?
You will find ‘cowboy builders’ everywhere in France. They are not qualified, not insured, not registered and often do not pay the relevant taxes. Their work could jeopardise the quality and value of your property. Using them might make your life very problematic.
FPS strongly recommends that you ignore ‘cowboy builders’ and use artisans. The artisan should be a qualified professional. He must be officially registered at the (local) French Chamber of Commerce and carry a Professional Indemnity Insurance. In most cases, the artisan will be a member of a relevant professional organisation which means that he must follow a code of conduct.
However, working with artisans is not easy at the best of times and dealing with them in a foreign language makes everything even more difficult. You know that the artisan runs a commercial business and may wonder if his suggestions are in your best interest. Does he understand what you want him to do, what your financial limitations are, what quality you expect, etc.? Is the quoted price realistic or inflated? Is the work that he has delivered of good quality?
Advice and support
Using an independent and qualified expert – from the start to completion of your project – will significantly improve the technical and financial control of your project.
The FPS surveyor will reduce as many problems and associated risks as possible. He will look after your interests vigilantly. He is not your project manager but your eyes and ears on the ground. His task is to give you objective and honest advice, carry out checks and produce the information that you need to effectively run the project.
Please find below some of the tasks that the surveyor can assist you with:
- Review the renovation plans that you have for the property and assess the associated risks
- Establish if the renovation is technically possible or even justifiable
- Calculate the approximate costs of the renovation (the surveyor will give you a reliable indication of these costs)
- Produce a rough budget for the renovation
- Based on the planned renovation, produce an estimate of the market value of the property on completion of the project
- Calculate the total expenditure of the finished property (purchase price, purchase costs plus renovation costs)
- Determine if renovation is financially viable (based on total expenditure and future market value)
- Produce initial drawings of the renovation (required for obtaining the necessary permits)
- Assess (if necessary by contacting the appropriate authorities) if the required permits are likely to be granted
- Prepare the applications for the required permits
- Maintain contact with the authorities to oversee progress of the application(s)
- Select architect and ‘maître d’œuvre’ (if applicable), artisans, etc. and check references and quality of examples of previous work
- Prepare requests for quotes and present and discuss requests for quotes with the relevant suppliers
- Check received quotes (proposed solutions/approach, prices, fees, time schedules, etc)
- Check the quality of the work (spot checks during the project and an acceptance test at the end of the project)
- Make recommendations about whether or not the work should be accepted (how the ‘bon de reception’ should be processed)
- Make recommendations about whether or not the payments should be made (based on the results of quality checks)
- Carry out final acceptance testing and advise whether or not the final payment should be made