Construction team from UK

I want to bring in a team from the UK to convert my house on a fixed price I put them up and buy materials any problem with this.?

suicide? get drunk? who knows

I have friends who have been doing this for years, but with Polish builders. They are very happy with the arrangement. I'm not sure how it affects the 'déclaration d'achèvement des travaux', if you need one. I think that my friends' building projects have not altered the exterior structure of their house, so they don't have to have the certificate.

If you want to sell the house and there have been major works, new owners might be put off in there is no "assurance decenale" in place.

What about insurance in case of accidents ? Having had someone die during our roof rennovation I am very glad I was able to show instantly that I had employed a company to do the work and he was working for them not me.



We have a couple of freinds who have renovated the inside of a large Chateaux and after using a veriety of French artisans they now only use a team of Polish workers who I have to admit are doing a supurb job at a very fair price. The Polish team have been there for 4 years now and the one thing that the owners said was how hard they work with never a single complaint and the quality of their work.

It won't make you very popular with the local community. You are supposed to support the local economy.

Is you construction team familiar with French regulations for electrical installations?

I hope you are not considering UK electrical equipment & cable etc?

Unless this construction team are registered to work in France, do not even consider it!!! Working on the "black" in France has severe penalties if caught. For example, 5-year ban from France for every UK worker; and a €30k-40k fine for you! If you don't believe me, Google it using URSAFF search parameters...

If there is a 'control' they need to be paid according to French minimum standards. Minimum wage, time sheets, social security payments, "déclarations de détachement" etc.

When I renovated the inside of my house eleven years ago I used a Polish team based in Nice that had been recommended to me. I got the benefit of Polish workmanship but with local knowledge. They moved in for three months and all their work has stood the test of time. I didn't know any locals then so mamaged not to offend anybody by giving the work to "outsiders" and the team kept a low profile.

Also, not being an expert, but having rebuilt a couple of houses over the years, I would question the concept of a "fixed price". There will always be variations and I can only imagine they will be larger and more unexpected :-) if the company/team are from another country.

One thing that you need to bear in mind when it comes to sell. French builders, trades people etc provide a 10 year warranty. If you sell during this 10 years, you pass on the invoices and guarantees to the new owners and the remainder of the term transfers to them. If they make a claim, then they go to the trades person concerned. If the tradesperson does not respond, cannot be found, can't communicate with them, then the warranty falls onto you. You authorised the work and whatever problem is now your problem.

I had this problem after selling a house, a French roofer decided he didn't feel like fixing his work and I started receiving letters in the UK from a French avocat.

If you intend staying on for long term, go for it, but I'd preferably get someone who knows local standards, is registered and is competent (as was not the case with my roof!)

If you are intent on using Brit workers on an old french house, then you have to check if they have ever worked with NHL limes, or worked on buildings in Devon, Suffolk etc. where there are clay built buildings. Horrendous damage, resulting is enormous cost is caused by Brit builders using cement mortars on the clay/lime mortar built buildings.

Besides this, you will have problems with the electricity, as mentioned before, which could effect your insurance. When you go to sell, the french inspection people will not pass non french work. You could also have problems with your energy supplier, if they make an inspection.

As to the employment status of the imported workers, that can be complicated. Employing non french registered workers could put you in trouble with the gendarmes. It is they who check out building sites. I would have no hesitation in shopping you to the Gs!

When friends asked me to come back out of early retirement, to renovate an old house, I registered with the system.

You will also have problems with claiming building costs against capital gains tax, if you sell.

The point about undermining the local economy is a valid one, and could make you very unpopular with your french neighbours.

Getting a set price for a renovation on an old property is also a mistake. Problems arise that cause the builders to cut corners, so as to keep in profit.

Getting back to materials. How many of your team have every used poplar, which is the normal timber used for roofs. Do you know why poplar is the favoured wood for such work? Do they know about french plumbing materials. 15mm is not available in France, much to the chagrin of a lot of clueless brit and irish expats, who load up the van with Hep and Marley stuff!

In every French community you'll find Le Corbeau. It's often the postman but whoever it is they delight in shopping you (or anyone, they're not particular) to the authorities, again normally the Maire. So if you imagine that your activities will rest below the radar (and your workers aren't registered, your works won't be guaranteed and your planning may or may not exist, plus you are taking work from the local community) you are deluded.

Shopping one's neighbours to the authorities is so cultural in France that they have two words for it. Denoncement is a civic duty, if you see a crime being committed you must report it. But delation is shopping someone simply for the joy of doing so. I've told many a French person that their favourite sport is delation. Invariariably they go red, splutter and then agree. Try it sometime.

Those are very valid points. A French maçon knows how to use tradifarge and the proportions to sand etc. Plumbing also. British and French electrical standards are completely at odds and in my opinion the French have the edge, their disjoncteurs isolate both active and neutral, British just the active. So if something like a fridge or washer is leaking onto neutral, you can still get a zap.

When in Rome...

But apart from that no issues then?

Apart from the crows, the labour laws, the electrics, the plumbing, the lime mortar, the fixed price, the insurance and the language .... what problems?

The French plaster is more expensive?

Neil sums it up well...If the authorities discover that people are working on the black etc., (and they will find out) and, if those working for you may not be toeing the line... and if they pursue it, they can make life hell - not just for those who are doing the work but for the client too. There are tales of people doing time for such things - and, don't expect to get a warm welcome at the routier caff at lunchtime... your fellow diners will have heard about it too. French registered artisans must offer a ten year guarantee on their work and so, naturally they see it differently to you - you are 'getting away with it' - they can't... Better to get a local (could be a legally working Brit if you must... or can find one locally) registered builder to act as worker/project manager and assist you in hiring local trades. That way you get electrics and plumbing to French (checkable) standards and the right materials used et al... Everybody wins and you'll also get local support from your new neighbours... Important if you're sticking around!

There's no "problem" as such, if you don't mind breaking the law, and they don't mind breaking the law... you don't mind pissing off the locals, you don't mind having a house that will not pass final inspection at the end of work, or be able to sell, and that your workers don't mind working with completely different systems than at home.
Also, about "but who is going to know".... You neighbours will expect you to integrate somewhat into society, and if you don't even ask locally for quotes, you will be reported quicker than the scaffold goes up.
There are a few threads on this site about getting along with locals, integration and whatnot, but I can assure you, one way to piss off the neighbours is to shun them all in favour of a mini UK you set up for yourself.

So how do you stand if you simply want to renovate a house yourself in the majority of the work such as underground drainage, septic tanks, roofing, internal works .......and in addition to this employ say the local plumber and electrician? Am I right in saying that in addition to the plumbers and electricians ten year guarantee I can obtain a similar ten year

insurance policy from say Axa insurance to cover my own work?