Property Renovation


I am looking at a lovely old house in Tarbes France. It stands on a 1,000m of land but needs a complete renovation. But firstly it needs to be branched to electric, gas, water an sewage. Can anybody advise on how to get all branched and is it expensive?

Secondly, can I get any financial helps to restore an old house?

Any builders out there will to give a quote for works?

Thanks in advance,

Martin O’Connor.

Firstly, contact the local Mairie to find out about the water/waste. Enedis/EDF for electricity - sounds like it might be a new installation so it will need a temporary supply. Gas - really?
Unlikely to get any grants for renovation
Yes, it will be expensive

Thanks Mark, the seller has got the ok from the Marie. But I need to know who does the connection etc and is it expensive to do the connection? May have bitten off more than I can chew :slight_smile:

Of course you have! Those of us with old properties, we all have! :grinning:
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. Does mean it’s a good idea to have deep pockets and not expect to have any holidays for a few years and to manage expectations about how long it all takes and who’s available when. If you are not a competent builder yourself with experience of French norms it can be useful to employ a “maitre d’oeuvre” who will oversee the project for you, manage your budgets, bring you good local artisans as you need them and know who/what in the way of connections to utilities.
We did just that and it was well worth it. 15 years on - it’s still a money pit and we still have parts of the house to be restored, but we love it here. :grinning:


If there is water/electricity already there, then connections will obviously be a lot cheaper . Find out from the Mairie who looks after your water network and ask. Our commune looks after our own water supply /CA and (IIRC) and pays for 2/3 of the cost of a new connection , but no idea how widespread such a scheme is.

The main sewage pipe is about 30 meters from the house, will need to dig a connection from the house to the mains. Same for electrics and gas I suspect. Will find out how I do that or who does that.

There may be a connection point for the drains just outside the boundry line . Have a look before you start digging😃

Will do and thanks.

Here’s a link to a long article I wrote on my Facebook page about getting an electrical supply. It covers most things.

As a footnote, a standard “branchement” is all that is required then you are looking at around 1000-1500€, but each case is subject to an individual survey & devis.

If your location requires an “extension de réseau” then you are looking at several thousand Euros. A recent example cost the client 7K€ for an extra 100m.


think of a number, double it then add a good %age after all of that for contingency… these things are never as cheap as you first imagine them to be…

for what? I recall looking at a piece of terrain on which the seller told me “the maire has approved the plan to build on it” and when I arranged an appointment with the maire, the permission had expired years before… be careful!
A final point… don’t start digging up the road on your own account - it requires permission and there are different permissions and specifications required for each of the utilities…

Thanks Badger, all advise and help appreciated. Will be taken donations shortly (joke)! :slight_smile:

Thanks, I seen the paperwork last night and it was approved in 2020. But of course I will check all. I have not signed anything as yet, just looked at property, went through paperwork and made an offer. It is 1000m and there is an old house on the grounds, built in 1850.

but approved by whom and what was approved? planning now generally seems to be the preserve of the prefecture and is more tightly controlled than it once was in the past by Mairies.

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Hi @Martin_O_Connor

With the best will in the world, there is no point in relying on what you are being told by the Seller… paperwork from 2020 is not necessarily still correct.
It’s what the Mairie/Planning says re the situation now, which will carry weight.
Thus, my usual advice still stands good. You should go to the Mairie and tell them what you hope to do on the land (including rough ideas about the existing building).
The Mairie will tell you if these ideas are feasible and what paperwork needs to be done to confirm this… eg outline planning permission… and you should wait until permission (for whatever) is received… have it as a clause-suspensive perhaps… which means you aren’t held to the Purchase if you don’t get the Permissions you need.

This is my best advice and, of course, one can ignore this… it’s a free world.
Sometimes things work out well, without contacting the Mairie before Purchase… but I’ve seen enough things go wrong to prefer to point folk in the direction of Planning/Mairie before laying out any money or signing contracts.


Permissions also have expiry dates if work doesn’t commence. I think it’s about 2 years but may have changed since I last did this.

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absolutely! I think that was the issue I mentioned earlier and there is also the local plan PLU which may have changed or been amended since any original “permission” was given…

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Tarbès? I remember seeing a thread on here within the past year or so and it did not seem Tarbès was too many people’s favourite place…

Tarbes, préfecture of Hautes-Pyrenées, home of cassoulet beans, beautiful mountain views. Is it that bad really? (No è in Tarbes)

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Thanks Marie, all advise taken onboard. Money is not easy to come by, so will ensure everything is 100% before it leaves my pocket.

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Some confusion here, Stella’s advice is to go to the Mairie. No idea who this Marie is but she’s always popping up.