Builders rates

Hi there ,as You know by now we are moving to the South of France shortly ,check Teresa’s posts for details :slight_smile: .

Im a bricklayer-stonemason with over 25 years of all round building experience.

Im trying to figure out rates of pay for builders in France as I will have to start pricing work when I get there,any help pointers/info would be greatly appreciated.

Most of you seem to be doing up a building or just finished one so you must be fairly up to speed with rates etc…

Please do not use this thread to bemoan the prices builders charge, any other tradesmen can message me in private :slight_smile:

Thanks folks


Hiya Conor ,
Im south of Toulouse and have been here just over 2 months now.
All the old buildings which us expats are drawn to are thankfully usually built of stone and a lot of work that you will find here if not most will be through the expat community.The newer builds that the French seem to favour dont really have a lot of work to them bricklaying wise ,they tend to just be more or less terrecotta block boxes.
There is work here but you will have to be versatile ,Ive done one small piece of stonework since Ive been here and a ton of work that I wouldnt normally do in Ireland or the UK (because I would just be busy laying bricks all the time).
Saying that I have some stone work this week thats just come through and the possibility of a long run of work if a job comes off but its over an hour away (travelling for work seems more commonplace here) .I could have a job fixing up a French womans house 5 minutes down the road from me but its a bitty messy job and Id rather do the travel and be out on site doing what Im used to until I get my French a bit more up to speed.
It can be a bit fustrating going to the builders yard here as nothing is the same , and unless your French is good its a struggle ,but the people are absolutely lovely so its not as bad as it could be.
I had to buy and lay a solid wood chesnut floor for a client here ,I dont think I could have done it in England or Ireland if I only spoke the amount of English that I have French.
We absolutely love it here and although slightly out of our comfort zone we enjoy each day ,each little step forward and each triumph. You will need an amount of money to get up and running but if your prepared to spend the initial time and money it will be worth it.

Hope this helps


Hiya Suzanne,
initially we will be staying in Les Cammazes just soth of Revel,we will be there for 6 months while we look for a long term property in and around 40 minutes from Castres

Whereabouts are you planning on setting up Anthony?

Thanks guys for your answers,they have been very imformative.
I think if possible Ill try and work for someone else while I buy myself some time to get everything I need in order to start my own business.Ive had a few promising leads already.
Im looking forward to working with stone again,something I havent done since I left Ireland 5 years ago and fancy the more creative side of my trade rather than throwing up brick and block boxes which I seem to do a lot of here in the UK,Ive included a picture of my work,the sort of thing I want to be doing.
I dont feel so daunted with having to deal with French Bureaucracy with so many helpful people here on this forum
Thanks again

Hi Anthony,

The Autoentrepreneur system is excellent BUT you’ll need to get your clients to pay for the materials, because if you add them to your clients’ bills, they’re included as part of your turnover, which means you will soon exceed the turnover limit and you will be paying tax and charges on them. We’ve been quite happy to pay builders merchants bills directly when we’ve had builders in for plasterboarding and stuff and it seems to be accepted generally. The other downside is that you can’t reclaim VAT on equipment… van, mixer etc. Just found this in The Connexion

Hi Anthony,
The average rate is around 35/40€ per hour for trades. Its pretty high because the social charges are very high in France, there are 2 ways of paying them and when you first arrive in France the best system to use is autoentrepreneur, which offers a pay as you earn system. You pay a flat rate of around 22% of your turnover, so your 40€ is immediately reduced to 31€ and that doesn’t include tax which is paid separately. As a bricklayer/stonemason you have to provide a 10 year guarantee on your work which is paid for through insurance so along with your professional liability insurance, it will set you back at least 2000€ a year, probably more, when you find someone who will insure you.
Obviously, the price per hour will vary depending on how much work is available locally but competant tradesmen, with the correct registration/insurances, running a van with professional kit can not afford to charge less than 30€ an hour unless they are doing it as a sideline.
My husband is a carpenter and professional tools do not come cheap.

Hi Anthony!
Get in touch with Chris Nurding as he is working here in a similar field and will be able to advise.