French electrical question about regs

Hi all. This is my first post so please be gentle with me. Im buying a house in the charonte area of france, were very excited.
Question 1, if i rewire the home with the help of a uk electrician i know (im a builder by trade) do i need to notify anyone before starting the work? As ive read a new installation has to be certificated before permanently connected to the mains.
Questions 2 im using all french bought materials, weres the best place to aquire them from?
Question 3 Can someone point me in the direction of a english version of the electrical regs please so my friend get swatting :blush:
Question 4 If anybody has done this before and has any tips on the subject i would be very grateful.
Thanks all for your time any and replys. Its reassuring to me that theres a whole wealth of info out there from people thats been ther and done it.
Tanks again, :beers: cheers


I can’t answer these with certainty so will let others take them, but in regards to question one, you’ll almost certainly get some slightly uppity replies in regards to your U.K. electrician. Assuming he’s a U.K. electrician who lives in the U.K., is he your friend who is coming to stay for a holiday and will help out as a friend with your renovating, a mate doing a favour for a mate being paid in kindness and beer, or is he just someone you vaguely know who you’re paying to do the work? If he’s being paid and is just another tradesman doing a job for you for money then he can’t work in France if he’s not registered here as an electrician and you’d be breaking the law having him do work on your house, and your insurance may not pay out if his work burns Theo place down or such. I personally am pretty relaxed about this myself since it’s unlikely anyone would ever find out, but others aren’t and it’s worth saying so at least you know the situation, and can then decide whether to continue on anyway or not depending on your appetite to risk! If what I’ve said isn’t quite right I’m sure someone will correct me but that’s my understanding.

Otherwise, I had a total rewire but I had a local Brit who’s been a registered electrician in France for 30 years do it, so I just made him lots of coffee and gave him lots of money and that was the end of my involvement so as I said can’t really answer the rest particularly knowledgeably, good luck though, and welcome!


If youve already got a supply, no new certification is needed

Try for switches, sockets, tableau etc for cables - twice as much as you think you might need!

1 Like

Hi Chippy and welcome to SF
We have lived in the Charente for 13 years; great choice :+1:
What @kirsteastevenson says in her post is spot on about Brits and employment… even before Brexit, this was an issue. Since Brexit even more so. UK citizens are now Third Country Nationals (TCNs) subject to very strict regulation across Europe. Jungle telegraph is a powerful tool and whilst you might escape notice in the community, don’t rely on it. There were times in the past where Brits “working” on the black were deported back to UK, their equipment seized and the work undone. That also included the English property owner being deported, by the way. Working on the black is viewed very seriously in France and as a TCN yourself, you are in a very precarious position as will be your friend if he is less than open with Border Contrôle about his reason for the visit. Suspicions will be aroused even more if he is travelling in a vehicle stashed with the tools of his trade :wink:
As to your subsequent questions, it depends where in the Charente but there are many builders merchants scattered across the Department; Angoulême, Ruffec and many other places. Many of them have dedicated electrical supplies for your friend to salivate over but do remember that even travelling between major communities is time consuming and his visa time may disappear rapidly…
As for 3. The internet has many references in English for re-wiring your house in France. You can use your search engine to find them but in the meantime, here are two:

4. We have a self build property and used an English speaking fully French qualified and insured Electrician to do our work with the correct decennial insurances in place to guarantee his work for 10 years. If you choose to sell your property within 10 years (who knows what the future holds) you may have problems convincing a buyer about the integrity of the work performed.
Employing “friends” to do work for you when the true relationship is actually commercial in another name is a risky business for French citizens let alone TCNs. Be very careful about what you plan to do is the best advice. There are many traps just waiting to catch you out.
Sorry to appear negative, but you really do need to consider where you are going with this. before leaping into the dark.

1 Like

thanks for the reply.
Hes a buisness partner and a really good friend. Hes helping me out for beer and food :joy:. Hes a very experienced and very qualified sparky. With the electric installation as it is, it looks very much a bodge job so need it doing. But with the prices as they are in france for a rewire i cant afford the cost of the house plus multiple thousands for the work. But when its done im getting it certified asap.
Thanks for the reply.


Are those qualifications recognised in France, has he got insurance etc. ? Because being qualified is one thing, having recognised qualifications which mean the work can be certified is another.


Hi vero, thanks for the reply.
Ive worked with him for 20 + years and have total confidence in his work. Hes helping me out as a friend (+ beer and food :joy:) I could go to Brico buy a full kit to rewire my house myself if i was so inclined couldnt i??? I trust him doing my electrics more then doing them on my own or some other electrition of the internet/advert. Plus looking at the electrical installation as it is, i couldnt do a worse job myself :joy::joy:

Of course you can, but that’s not what you are intending, is it… and you’ve just published that on a public forum to boot for the world to see :wink:

Hi Graham.
No im not doing that and that was my point. If you wanted a diy job you could do that. Im not.
Plus i will be getting it certified asap after the job is completed.

@Chippy57, no ring circuits, more along the lines of UK industrial wiring, with a few french funnies just to keep you on your toes. The French bteakers are double pole unlike UK single pole so they cut the phase and neutral not just the phase.

Yes i do. I been collecting info off the internet and printing it out for about a month now. Ive also past a copy over to my mate who is studying it. I couldnt really find a copy in english of the french regs in total. But ive got about 80% down on paper. Ive got another 4 months before the work starts so ill keep on looking :blush:

As far as I’m aware there are no french electrical regs fully translated into english.

Hi Corona
Yes its a mix of old style and modern english wiring plus like u say some french twists. My mate is impressed with alot of it, like the way the rooms/ appliances have a dedicated radial circuit. So easier to work on. Just isolate a room or appliance rather than the full circuit.Thanks for tge reply.

1 Like

Hi Flocreen
Ive been trolling the internet and have found most of it now thanks.

Hello Chippy and welcome.
Marriage is the only situation when a business partner is also a good friend and they can fail so beware.

Maybe but he is not qualified to work in France.

Who is going to certify the work once completed.

Please don’t think I am trying to pour cold water on your plans of a property adventure in France as it can be very rewarding, not financially I hasten to add. Since Brexit happened much has changed and no longer can you haul boatloads of cheap materials and labour from the UK to renovate a property that was so much cheaper to buy here than in the UK.

Like yourself I too am a builder (chippy trained) and started my french adventure in 1992. Much has changed in that time. We moved here permanently in 2008 and I had to jump through many hoops back then to become a recognised tradesman here. Post Brexit rules must be planned into your vision of property renovation, we are where we are.

I do genuinely wish you every success with your french adventure and I hope that the answers that SF members provide to your queries will help achieve your dreams.


Chippy check your message box

1 Like

As usual, @JohnBoy provides sage advice from his vast relevant experience.
Of course you can do the work yourself but “beer and food” is a consideration (ie payment) which in turn is “employment” in any another sense and therefore outside the terms of his visa.
A very risky strategy to be honest and if it goes wrong, as indeed it might, your life-long friend will not be in the best of places - as indeed may be the case for you too.


I think can arrange to do that I think - they’ve been mentioned on the forum previously.

But, as others have said, there are lots of complications to having a UK electrician do the job - quite a few of which are nothing to do with wiring regulations but employment law post Brexit, plus insurance (or lack of it) - both professional indemnity and also household if three is a fault leading to any damage (via a fire most likely) and there is any question that the installation wasn’t up to French Normes.

More chance of encountering three-phase domestically, otherwise very low max power limits compared with UK installations, no “twin and earth” (all conductors must be insulated and same CSA), star topologies (already mentioned), everything in conduit (gaine).

Interestingly the FrenchPropertyLinks page mentions that an installation can be compliant with any EU wiring standard which is not something that I previously realised. Including UK standards pre-Brexit - another dubious “Brexit Benefit” is that will no longer be legal.

Not that it would have a terribly good idea IMO.

Hi and welcome to Charente.
private message sent re documents / books.

1 Like

further, you don’t mention your status in France. Will this property be your main residence (ie you will have legal residence in France with all that entails) or a maison secondaire (second home) with your legal residence status remaining in the UK. These are also important considerations and must be considered.
For example, if this is to be a maison secondaire and you will intend to sell it at some stage, you may likely face taxation issues since you will be unable to show the correct justifications to mitigate the uplift in selling price from purchase to sale. Many have fallen foul of this over the years when their price expectation was unexpectedly wiped out by taxation.
I simply urge you to think very carefully about what you intend, to avoid issues along the way and in the future.