Ball park figures for work


(Dave Thornley) #1

Having seen a property in the Vaucluse today and being out of touch with costs of realistic prices for work here in France I would like a few "ball park" figures for the following.


New septic tank install, I prefer the one that needs emptying only once every few years.


Full install of central heating with boiler. I have a figure for install using geothermy but need a figure if I went the gas boiler route ie radiators etc.


Full rewire of property.


Property has 7 bedrooms, way too many, 3 bathrooms, plus kitchen and 4 other rooms.


Area is roughly 340m2 over both floors.


At this stage I am angling for rough estimates to see if the property is a non starter or not.


If anyone can hazard a guess or point me in the direction of someone who can many thanks.



(Pip Martin) #2

I have just seen where you are situated. I know of a chap called Rick Peacock. He owns and runs the Manoir de Longeveau, Longeveau, 16390 Pillac, France. You can find a telephone number via Google. I haven't spoken to him in a while but, he had a full team of artisans working on his place and as I recall, most of them did work for other people as well. All English but French qualified.

Might be worth a call or exploration. If you speak to him tell him it's his old Apple Mac contact who put you on to him.


(Pip Martin) #3

I have a recollection that all Fosse Septic now have to be of the biological sort that empty out naturally into the soil and don't need emptying, just inspecting from time to time. That's certainly what installed on my property and was installed in late 2012.


(John Wellum) #4

The purchaser pays the estate agent fees. Find out from the agent how much. If the house is with more than one agent the fee may differ/be negotiable. We were pressurised to sign by the agent.

Having said that the agent should know of local tradesmen. Ours organised the "devis" for some roof repair work. But, wash my mouth out with soap, I felt on another property that the agent would receive a commission.

In theory the local marie should be able to provide contacts for local tradesman. The practice might be silence.

ArtisanExpert may help. As per advice on other threads try and obtain several quotations. Beware the "English" price.

If there is time, a local architect will have a feel for converting "modernisation" plans into budget using local artisans, and they should know when (particularly energy efficiency) grants and tax reductions are available.

In my own experience do not expect good communication (2 of 10 architects replied), nor speed. It took the immobiliere more than three weeks to get the carpenter/roofer on site to prepare the "devis"

"Google" will find reputable reports on the state of the market (broken down into geographic regions) , the market generally fell by 1%, but is bouyant in e.g. Bordeaux.

The Drome/Vaucluse is popular with other continentals. The Ardeche on the other side of the Rhone is slightly cheaper.

If you proceed you will have an experience opening a french bank account. Again follow advice in other threads and register with a currency brokers. There is no rhyme or reason to the fluctuations in the currency markets, but estimating a total budget of around 500M the currency savings are considerable. My broker transferred the euros direct to the notaire's client account, and no charge, whilst some banks might even charge on a percentage basis.

Finally, consuming lots of garlic might strengthen your resolve. You will need it if your experiences are similar to my own


(Dave Thornley) #5

Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply. As it was it turned out a pointless exercise as the vendor will not reduce the price in respect of the basic works that need undertaking even though the property as been on the market for over 18 mths. I do at times despair of getting a property here. My wife and myself have just about had enough and a return to the UK is looking more likely by the day. I would pitch my budget somewhere between what Irene and Brian propose!


(Brian Milne) #6

For the septic tank (fosse) have a look at the terrain. If you need a heavy digger, rock buster or even blasting as some people need here, then reckon with something in the region of €18k for your septic tank to be installed. If you are looking at the cheaper alpha and beta type ones that can go up to 10 years without being emptied, because they have the large round container that goes deeper than the conventional square tanks, then the excavation can be far more expensive but still work out overall cheaper. The problem is that not all places allow them. We could have one, but a district a short distance away has an absolute ban.

Electricity depends on how much rewiring you need plus the installation of ducts, re-plastering and so on, on a property that size go upward of €10k. My OH helped a potential buyer get a rewire quote on a four bedroom place that came to €12k on both quotes from electricians whose work she knows well.

Central heating can be economical using plastic pipes but go for copper and it goes up fast, quality of radiators, boiler and its capacity (seems like you need a big one with seven bedrooms to cover). It will cost either way. A maître d'oeuvre might be able to have a look and give you a ball park figure based on local prices and charges. Reckon in 20 - 30% overspend on your budget which just about everybody finds in the end.


(Dave Thornley) #7

Beg to differ maybe I have just been unlucky.


(Peter Bird) #8

You're obviously not asking the right people. Most artisans who give an estimate will give a full run-down of prices which is almost always the going rate for the job. They have to be competitive or they don't have a chance of geting the job. Every job has a tariff so you just compare the unit prices for each task ie. Tile covering with roman tiles 20€ the square metre or whatever the rate is etc etc Prices aren't 'plucked out of the air' unless the artsan is trying to fob you off or rip you off !


(Peter Bird) #9

No idea about the UK but there is a national index of property rental and selling/buying prices for ever area of France. Agents will use this index as a rough guide when putting a price on a property. This price isn't definitive but a useful guideline for the agent, seller, buyer or tenant. But as someone said the bottom line is that the price is usually what a buyer is willing to pay, not necessarily how much a seller needs to recoup the outlay etc.


(Véronique Langlands) #10

Which is why it isn't such a bad idea to call a Maître d'oeuvre, they are used to working on all sorts of projects and with all sorts of teams of artisans so they generally have a good idea & also know who is a joker & who isn't.

They can, eg, give you a couple of ballpark figures, one top-end one basic for renovations etc. You will find one in the yellow pages. I did a lot of work to my house which is 450m2 and the M d'O was invaluable for stress avoiding and well worth the 10% I paid for his services once the work was done, as he saved me more than that.


(Dave Thornley) #11

In the ideal world yes but I have not the time to go into such details for a property which is just a possibility.

I have in the past asked various trades to quote for work. Either one of two outcomes seems the norm one, is they never bother even giving a figure or if they do they pluck a figure out of the air stick a premium on it and do not care if you accept or not.


(Dave Thornley) #12

Exactly and that is what I am trying to come up with.


(Peter Bird) #13

Dear oh dear, what an attitude...


(Elaine Rogers) #14

That's a very dangerous and sweeping statement Dave with no picture.

A property is worth what a person is willing to pay for it.


(Peter Bird) #15

How long is a piece of string ?

The only real way to get your answers is to ask for at least two estimates for each item to get an idea. I'm sure most Brits, French and anyone else having undertaken a renovation job will have gone at least 20% over budget !


(Véronique Langlands) #16

You could ask a Maître d'Oeuvre in the area what these things cost locally if you need a ball-park figure - things like a fosse septique & rewiring won't vary hugely (although installing the fosse will depend on the ground as Alex said) but heating will depending on what you choose, and then things like flooring, painting etc vary tremendously. So for bargaining purposes 'X per m2' is a figure you can get from a Maître d'Oeuvre & it should be realistic.


(Dave Thornley) #17

Thanks for the answers guys. I am not worried about the actual cost as such just to get an overall rough figure to use as a bargaining tool on the asking price, which as with most French property seems to be based on no solid basis other than ignorance and greed.


(michael archer) #18

We had a full restoration done on a 450m2 property 5 years ago.

The full rewire was 19k euros, including telephone cables and satellite cables to most rooms.

The fosse system like what you want 9k.

We went for underfloor heating on both floors with a heat exchange system expensive to put in but half the price of oil to run.

The above include TVA at 5.55


(Alex Thurgood) #19

Your mileage may vary, and could be wild guess but :

septic tank : 5-12 KE, but pretty variable depending on where the house is located, local run off, slope, rivers/wet courses, etc ;

central heating with boiler/radiators : up to about 15 KE ;

electrics : 8 - 10 KE - lots of rooms means lots of copper !