In the UK I usually try to cost and compare electrical, carpentry and plumbing work on the basis of between £150 - £220 a day (including VAT where applicable). Maybe up to £250 for someone really exceptionally good.
Does anyone know of comparative figures for France (in Euros)?
Nigel just as a general heads up - most things involving labour, building, maintenance and materials are way more expensive in France than in the UK. I can’t think of anything cheaper but no doubt some other SF members may well do!
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My next door neighbour is a retired jobbing market-gardener and agriculturist who works to the very highest standards of tradesmanship. At the age of 82 he is still in great demand.
Hé tells me that the going rate is 45 Euros per hour. He works very quickly using his own tools and in my judgement he is good value for money. He also does small building and maintenance work, again with great economy and attention to detail,and at the same rate excluding materials.
I know this is an old post.
A friend told me that her odd jobber told her his prices were the ‘going rate’. I said “No, that is what he wants you to pay”. I suggested that she approach the Pole Emploi or one of the many local employment agencies to find someone.
Paying an hourly rate is not the best idea. A price for the job, then the quicker they finish, the more they are earning. €40 an hour is €76460 per year. That is more than our Paediatrician friend earns.
A lot of people do not know of the tax advantages to paying someone via CESU. I told my friend to stop paying her man cash. By using CESU, (there is an on line calculator that you can use) it looks like she will pay more, but it will actually save her €38 per day on what she is paying him due to her being over 70 years of age. Our Doctor friend pays this way for her cleaner and although under 50 years of age, she still pays less.
I’ve been trying to persuade people to pay this way, but the problem they think they’ll pay more in the end.
I have a friend who comes over a few weeks of the year, & she wants me to do some stuff at the house…is she eligible if not here full tme ? She’s early 50’s aswell so don’t know if that makes a difference.
Back in the UK…many years ago… a neighbour employed builders £1,000/week for as long as the project took… I thought he was crazy … but… his decision.
Difficult to believe that an otherwise clever chap would be so daft…
He was in London all week and home weekends… After 6 weeks, he started wondering why the work was not progressing very much…and I mentioned that as far as I could see, the builders spent more time up the pub than on the project…
The whatzit hit the fan and those builders were never seen again (I think he buried them under the cement… )
CESU is a great (and legal / not ‘black’ / not cash in hand) way to pay someone if you’re French tax resident (i.e submitting income tax returns here) - you receive a minimum tax credit of 50% of the net wages and social charges paid out over the year. This amount may be more depending on your circumstances.
CIAS: Centre Intercommunal d’Action Sociale… is another useful site…
No money changes hands… timesheets are signed and the Trésor Publique send the client a bill, once every so often… reasonable hourly rates which include all the necessary social bits and bobs, so the client can rest easy.
This service is available to folk who have a French property but not necessarily full-time residents.
You need to be tax resident here for it to work via CESU, but I didn’t know about the one that Stella mentioned (CIAS).
When we moved here in 2006, we had had a water leak three weeks before and a bedroom required painting with emulsion once we had cleaned off the mould . It had been very warm since the leak in the roof. Our insurer told us to get quotes. For two coats of emulsion in a 3.5 x 3.5m bedroom, we were quoted €750. Basically for a day’s work. Or two half days, but it was Summer, so one coat in the morning and another in the afternoon. That was the equivalent that we paid our decorator in the UK for a week!
A friend got a quote for an interior painting job, thought it sounded reasonable so gave the go ahead. They didn’t realize the guy was turbo charged and worked so fast they had actually paid him 300€ a day.
I don’t know what they would cost. But I think that it is too much. A friend from the UK has a holiday home in our village. He paid €10,000 to have the outside of his three bed standard house painted white. He wouldn’t listen to me that he was paying too much. It took ten days, but could have been done quicker.
I base what people want to charge me on what I think the job is worth. I’m lucky in that I am fairly good at diy. There are certain things that are a skill, such as bricklaying or plastering, that I can’t do, so will willingly pay someone else. If they are asking too much, they don’t get my business. I used a local French electrician that I knew here for a job on a commercial property that I had. His devis was very fair, compared with others. I asked him why. He said that when people finish their apprenticeship, they are bombarded with offers of finance for signwritten vehicles etc. They get all the fancy accessories and then realise they have to pay for them. So, when they get a job, their quote is high. They do the job, but because they are expensive, they don’t get the word of mouth jobs that others do, so they are caught in a spiral.
When we moved here we had (still have) an oil fired boiler. I had no idea what servicing they required, so we continued with the guy that had been doing it for the previous owner. €220 was the ‘going rate’ for that in 2006-7. He then disappeared. We found another Central Heating Engineer, English as it happened and fully registered here. He charged us €89 in 2008 for a full service of the boiler. He also showed me that it hadn’t been properly serviced for years. We still happily use him because he charges us and many others that use him, a fair price.
Last year a friend wanted 3 or 4 (I can’t remember now) cctv cameras fitted in her stables so she could observe her horses from her house. I know a chap in the UK involved in this type of work and asked what she would require in terms of equipment. He gave me the list and the details of his supplier. I spoke with him and he gave me the prices for cameras, cable, hard drive, monitor etc, plus ancillary bits and pieces. The total was just under £700 plus shipping. He said that it shouldn’t take too long to install and was within the capabilities of most people .
My friend wanted three quotes.
The first chap that came gave a quote of around €3000 for the equipment and installation. He broke the whole devis down completely. Fitting he estimated would take ten hours at approx €40 per hour TVA included.
The second chap quoted over double and didn’t break it down to the same degree.
I got the first two guys from the internet.
The third chap she knew of already. He quoted on a lot of additional electrical work including an additional light in her stables (lighting in situ already with the main fuse board in the stables) for €800! (Just for the single light).
He wasn’t offering to supply or price the cctv equipment, but gave her a number for his ‘supplier’ in the UK. He did however quote for the installation of the equipment. €2650 plus TVA. My friend said ‘I’m going to use him as he is the cheapest’. I had to point out to her that she had no idea how much the equipment was going to cost from his supplier, but she knew the installation time was ten hours, so that made his hourly rate at €265. She said that she hadn’t looked at it like that.
I consider that someone like a carpenter or maybe a tiler is more of a skilled Artisan than a painter. Apologies to any painters who think differently, but that’s my opinion.
We knew of someone here (like so many other P&O tradesmen, so known as they decide their trade on the way over) who set up a building and decorating business. He was charging €240 per day for his services and those that worked for him. I know workers weren’t getting that rate. I asked him what people said when he told them his rate. He did say that some were shocked when he told them (this was four years ago as they’ve gone back to the UK) but his answer was ‘You have to pay the most to get the best’. You don’t and certainly didn’t get the best in his case!
You need to work out what you think is a fair price for the job, which in most cases is only going to come from experience.
I was too busy to do a job in our house, but not only that, can’t plaster, as my plaster dries between hawk and wall! The job was to brick up a doorway in our kitchen and open another from the hall into our utility room. I asked a guy to quote. He turned up with another guy and looked at it. I already had the door to fit. Several days later, I got the quote (ten years ago) for two men for four days. €1600. I got another guy in, a local one. He had an injured leg but did it in two days on his own.
We also have experience in the UK for employing tradesmen and have an idea of how long the job should take.
Depends as well where you live - not just local rents -but also travel times etc. I know I’m paying a tad more given I’m miles from any trade - but equally its not that hard to work out if a price is fair - I know I nearly died of shock when I first got a price to skim old walls - when all three quotes are in the same ballpark you know that’s the rate
It’s very easy to say ‘I’ll pay what I think the job is worth’ but the reality is most people here will pay the going rate because they have no choice. I worked in the construction industry in the UK for 20+ years before moving here so know how much the various trades charge there and a qualified painter is far cheaper than here perhaps half as much per hour. As others have pointed out the costs of running a business in France are crazy and artisans have to charge a sensible but to many high rate to survive.