Buying a New Build House - Ready to Decorate?

Hello. We are intending to buy a new build house and have been looking at prices from several building companies for the models they feature on their websites. They seem to be good value, but I suspect the devil is in the detail. A key phrase appears to be ‘Ready to Decorate’, infering that the price includes everything aside from a lick of paint on all walls.

Would that be right?

Or maybe it means something quite different to a French house builder.

We are meeting up with a few companies early in May and I would like to get some background before then so I better know what to ask.

Any advice appreciated.



It would be worth establishing in kitchen & Bathrooms are included.


Also worth asking what sort of “finish” will actually be in place. We had windows fitted by our builder, when I queried the fact that that we subsequently had to plaster/paint around them to “make good” etc etc… he explained that he had quoted to “fit” not to finish as well…

Re your question…
Their idea of “ready to decorate” might well equate to something entirely different to yours/mine. check it out very, very thoroughly, even if your questions might sound petty/daft to you and I… best in the long run.

“Decorate with what???” might be a question which reveals some interesting answers. (tiles being one answer… perhaps… depending on the room)


Beware of one thing, some companies subcontract all the plumbing tiling electrics etc and results can vary wildly even to the point of it going to court.

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Maisons SIC is one such, they did a great job for a friend of mine, and an absolutely appalling one for another friend right next door. 2 completely different sets of subcontractors and it was terrible. Water pouring out of the plug sockets, causing an inner stud wall to disintegrate, bathrooms tiled not according to the plan, no insulation and various other problems.
They take no responsibility and shuffle the blame off onto the subcontractors.

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Prêt à décorer means that you will have to do all floor finishes, as well as all walls and ceilings. Most have no kitchen installed, just the electrics/drains to fit one to. Some are v basic in terms of bathrooms, so need to check what is actually proposed and layout. And the garden could just be a builder’s tip. They may not even have full heating.

By law they have to be habitable, so you will have water and electrics. Everything else is for the contract detail.

They are great for young families who have tons of family nearby who will lend a hand. If you will have to use tradespeople to finish it, then may not end up hugely cheaper than clé en main.

And the other thing is not to use UK ideas to work out how much it would cost to finish! Or do, but then double it!


Also the exterior wall will not be “finished”. It’s a bit like buying a new car. You choose the basic model you want then add from a list of optional extras

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I used IGC ( English speaking) to build a house in 2011 and would use them again. Similar to buying a turn key property. All aspects of the build are discussed with all options of internal fittings agreed. A small deposit is requested prior to plans being drawn up and stage payments are made after each stage is complete. The final 5% is paid at handover of keys once you are happy with the completion. No doubt some details may have changed now but it could be worth checking IGC out.

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IGC are top of our list at the moment, so thats re-assuring. Thank you.