Artisan problems

In July last year we had new double glazing installed at a cost of almost €9k. Over the winter, it became apparent that we had a significant draught coming in through the kitchen window. Looking sideways on, you can clearly see daylight and I had to pack the gap with kitchen roll. After several phone calls, he finally came round, messed about and said it was sorted. after opening the window, once only, the problem is back and he's now ignoring all calls and a registered letter giving him til the 20th Feb to make good. Unfortunately, we don't have legal cover with the house insurance so they can't help. They did say we should get an expert out at a cost of approx €400 and take it from there.

I am loathe to spend money we may not get back but I don't see why the company should get away with it. We had a problem with a pool at our previous house and paid €700 for an 'experts' report and it got us nowhere - €15k lost

Any advice as to who I should speak to. Do I go to a huissier, an advocat? Can I contact his insurance company direct?

Thanks in advance

Lisa - Brill glad its getting sorted.

Hi Lisa- we had a bad experience with a "roofer" back in 2013, a very long story that I will not bore you with, only to precis by saying we were not happy with his work and couldn't get any response from him. So we wrote to the local "Chambre de métiers et de l’artisant de la Creuse" quoting his SIRET no. basically asking him for:-

and I quote "Your assistance would be appreciated to:

1 Help us get Mr ------ insurance details so we can claim on it, we have e mailed and written a letter to him (recorded delivery) asking for details with no success.
2 Ensure that he does not do this type of work again."

It got it off our chest, and we hoped action would be taken. To our surprise (albeit several months later) we were asked to go to the local Gendarmerie to be interviewed on the matter. Apparently the police in France investigate these matters. It was a bit nerve racking but all very civilised and were told that they were pursuing him for this and other matters, we were given the option of following it up and claiming monies against him, but by that time we wanted to "get on with life" and put it down to experience, and did not take further, satisfied that he was being investigated for the "other matters".

I hope this is of some assistance to you and Bonne Chance.


In fairness I don't think Simon was referring to your purchase price, more likely the wholesale price. Not all windows are created equal, some have steel or aluminium re inforcing built in, other just rely on the PVC profile. A friend used to work for a window company and did me a great help of getting some PVC french doors for the UK house. They are crap and talk to you every time the sun shines but I can't be bothered to change them for now.

Thanks Terry, I will take a look.

are you sure, a good quality window will have galvanised steel inserts for strength.

unless a reputable window company installed them than the are probably cheap windows.

all pvc windows are now recycled and eventually the poly mar in the pvc breaks down causing problems.

my kitchen window when quoted for a replacement was £700 and that was for a 4x4 foot opening in a standard size, the cost goes on the glass and instalation. the more you get done the cheaper.

John, there is a small claims procedure. It's an EU law . If you want the full regulation look at Useful Links/Legal, scroll down to the relevant para and there is another link which will put you onto the relevant page of the relevant EU Official Journal (click on the relevant language icon).

have the same problem with my windows back in the uk, the side of the opening window does not seal on the window frame, caused by the window from warping when the sun gets on to it and heats it up, to remedy the problem you either have to seal the frame up with sealant and not have an opening window or replace the whole frame. another possible solution is to cut a strip of foam and glue it to your opening window to form a flexible seal.

this problem only occurs on cheap windows.

I understand, if you could put a ruler or some other straight edge up against it. I had a problem recently and it was the gasket seal had got doubled up on the join because it had twisted, probably in the factory. Not immediately noticeable but sometimes just good observation helps to see the issue. It's crazy they won't help and crazier still the system is so expensive in france, no small claims court.

On another job I helped Hamptons letting agency out as they had quotes for having to remove a window to cure the issue but the window was on the 10th floor so a very expensive repair. I could see the problem and it took 20 mins to correct, no crane required and they ducked out of paying the mere £50 I asked for. (traveling time was not part of the 20mins)

Yes Jane , a bit tabloid of me, anything fitted can you wrong as you say but it isn't going to cost the trader to put it right other than a couple of hours but they spend longer being evasive than sorting it out, it's pathetic.

Yes Lisa that's why we call those boat pools, because they float so easily. It's too late now but a special valve attached to the main drain can relieve the water pressure under the pool. They are called hydrostatic relief valves for any future reference. The pools can also be repaired in situ should it have cracked the bottom.

No help now of course but I do understand, your issue. any idea what's actually causing the daylight through the window. It's easy with PVC types to distort the frame slightly and cause this or indeed some over exuberant builder can do the same on wood to. It shouldn't be a difficult fix even if the window has to come out and be re fitted, unless it's a manufacturing fault?

John, these people would not agree that they are Rogue traders. They just do not have the idea of customer service, ie. we got it wrong so we put it right.

They only seem to be interested in the next job.

I bet that ends up costing more for the suits to get involved and still won't fix the problem. If you can recover those costs as well as getting the window fixed properly then ok go for it. The majority of people just tell you you should have had insurance blah blah.

Finding another tradesman to touch it is unlikely as they inherit the decenial claim so much red tape creates it's own industry and problems and as usual the bottom of the chain doesn't get anywhere.

Calling in a huissier might have the desired effect. It will cost you money, of course, but probably less than an independent building expert. And you will have proof acceptable by a court of your complaint. Have a look at Useful Links/Legal. It might also be worth talking to one of the consumer associations -- Useful Links/Consumer -- who will advise you on the best way to go. You will probably have to pay a subscription but it's probably the cheapest option.

What is the actual problem with the window, is it the seal not closing the gap or was the frame slightly out of flat, plumb whatever.

I see pursuing people through the "correct manner" in France as a waste of time. the French have their equivalent of Rogue traders as the UK, same issues and as you don't have legal protect on the insurance you need to find a proper engineer to sort it out. Registration does not mean quality, in any form of career from lawyers to litter collectors.

€400 would buy a complete new window and i doubt you need it just proper fitting/re fitting.

€700 for an expert to look at your pool? and €15000 lost how? why?