Selling house after DIY works

Hi everyone,

Its been a while since I’ve been on here as the brocante we set up in 2020 has unfortunately not survived and I’ve been trying to deal with the liquidation process since early February and all the stress that goes with it.

Also, my Dad died at the beginning of January and I’ve really not had the chance to start grieving. In the middle of this, we all had Covid and OH is still not feeling right weeks later.

Anyway, to the main point - we can no longer afford to live in what we hoped would be our ‘forever’ home when we bought it in 2013 and have worked on it ever since. When we lost the business, we owe money to the bank as I was a personal cautionnaire to the loan.

Due to lack of funds, we have done almost everything ourselves.

Firstly, OH rewired the house and changed the tableau and put in earth, under supervision of a trained electrical consultant (off the books) for the trickier bits. He is still chasing as many wires into the walls as he can as many went into goulottes at the time, thinking we would have plenty of time to sort it out later.

So, we have no invoices or certification for the works… when it comes to getting the diagnostics done, what is the best approach that you can recommend?

Do we admit to having done the works ourself and just risk some elements possibly not being in conformity?

I don’t think we can claim not to have done any works as they are clearly recent and I’m guessing that any potential purchaser could ask to also be provided with the previous report from when we bought it and it hadnt been renovated since the 1950s? (Or not?)

Secondly, in 2018 or 19, we had the wooden windows changed on the ground floor of the main house, which gives onto the interior courtyard for more performant wooden windows. They are not visible from the street and at the time, it didn’t even occur to us that we may need an authorisation as they don’t give onto the exterior of the property. But now I’m having a niggling doubt… can anyone clarify and again advise the best approach on this issue?

Do we go to the Mairie and ask them about it i.e. the possibility for retroactive permission, if it was required, or just say nothing and claim no knowledge of a change of windows?

Many thanks in advance for any advice that you may be able to give.

Friendly comments only please, I’m too delicate mentally for over criticism and non helpful responses, thanks for your understanding :blush:


Most important thing… keep calm.

I’m sending you a Private Message about your queries.


Sorry things haven’t worked out for you.

Retrospective planning is common here, so not something to fret about. Ask at your mairie, and quite possibly all you’ll need to do is a retrospective declaration prélable to tidy up the paperwork.

The DIY works are potentially more problematic, as there could be an issue of the decennial insurance as well as things not conforming. In your position I would approach a firm who do diagnostics and see if they could come to give you an informal opinion so you get an idea of what might have to be rectified, inspected, changed, etc

Depending on what the market is in your area it could pay you to get this sorted as otherwise buyers who need any sort of mortgage could be put off - so reducing your potential market.

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Thanks Stella for your invaluable advice.

Thanks Jane, good to know… will head to the Mairie tomorrow, I know the urban planning lady already so will have a quiet chat with her.

Will also call the diagnostics company when OH has hidden a few more cables!

I cannot give you any advice Danielle, but I know some SF’s can and will help as much as possible. Wishing you a positive outcome.
Take care :hugs: :hugs:

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My understanding is that the deccinal is only for works done by tradies. Many homes don’t conform as the rules change quite often and it is just noted on the diagnostic. It is perfectly legal to do your own works so I think as long as you are honest about it there shouldn’t be an issue.

I’m sorry about your loss. I’m also not good at grieving, in the last 3.5 years I’ve lost my dad, grandparents (nan last weekend), all 3 godparents and my sister last April. I don’t think I’ve yet greived properly for any of them between covid, job loss, nightmare teenager ect. My only advice is be kind to yourself which with the business problems you probably don’t have time to do. Take care and let us know how you get on.


Thank you very much!

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The main issue for me is making the house appeal to buyers at the price you want. As a couple of threads recently, many might be put off if eg electrics don’t conform or there are concerns about precisely what has been done. And that could impact on price.

Yes, that is another consideration. We need to make decent money from it in order to rebuild our lives afterwards on a reasonable basis.

And whilst the whole site could still do with some finishing up works or decoration to the new owners taste, we have spent 9 years putting in the hard graft (and bottomless pit money) to do all the big stuff, so we definitely want it to pay off… which the agents say it should do if we can manage to get these last few essential bits done.

After all, it hadnt been updated since the 1950s and we are leaving it in much better condition than we found it! Its incredible the things that were not included in the diagnostics we received when we bought it. No mention that it was entirely unearthed for example, the first electric shock was, well, shocking!

So the urban planning lady at the Mairie considered, based on the info I gave her, that we had replaced the windows like for like (same size, material and colour) so no declaration of any kind to be done… 1st win!


Because electrical standards change so frequently, it is entirely possible that a house built fully in compliance only say 2-3 years ago, may not conform to today’s standards.

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Yes, I agree. But if I were buying a house I think I would view a house with electrics that were installed by a registered artisan and did conform at the time (albeit x years ago as long as x wasn’t’ too big a number) rather differently from a house with electrics installed by a DIY’er. One would have no clue whether the person involved was competent or not so would have to be quite trusting.

Obviously we did it to a high enough standard to be happy and comfortable that we were safe to live here with our now 4 yr old daughter and everything works as it should. Otherwise, we wouldnt have attempted it.

Hopefully that should provide some reassurance.

It was DEFINITELY not safe when we took it on and faced the 1950s family DIY with fuses that consisted of S shaped bent pieces of thick wire, no terre (as we found out) and a 60 year old tableau. But the diagnostic did not show up any major anomolies!!

So some people are certainly willing to take on a system dependent on the evaluation of the diagnostic (for better or for worse!). I agree its less ideal than a qualified electrician… but then Ive seen some fairly dodgy installations by those so called experts too in my time…!

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Like the kitchen down lighters in our current house! Nasty smell one day that we traced to previous owners qualified electrician having used the wrong cables that had melted…:scream:

All I’m saying is that it could put some people off, or mean that some people are tempted to make a lower offer than they otherwise would.

Pay attention to the kerb appeal (horrible phrase) and dress the place nicely and hopefully the first family through the door will have a coup de coeur and not care about plumbing or wiring.

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The important thing as I understand it, I am not sure if it has been mentioned by somebody else, is that when you sell you would be wise to have a waiver clause put into the contract under which the buyer waives their right to claim against you should any faults develop that would normally be covered by the 10 year insurance.
I believe the default position is that all major works are covered, and if there is no actual insurance policy in force because the work was not done by a professional, then the responsibility rests with you, unless the buyer signs a waiver.
The notaire may or may not insist on this but in any case I think it would be wise because although inevitably it may lower the selling price I imagine the last thing you want is the buyer potentially coming to you with a claim within the next 10 years.
This is irrespective of diagnostics or anything else.

Is this possible? If so it would inevitably lower the price.

Ok, thats interesting, thank you.

Does anyone else have experience of this please?

I will try to wade my way through internet info in the meantime to see if I can find out some more about the 10 year recourse even in the absence of professional works.

Have a good day everyone,


Especially as the “wise after the event” squads are everywhere. Its so easy to find fault with something many years later. Spec’s change, did they maintin it properly, too many variables.

It comes down to that you as the seller are responsible for any work undertaken in the previous 10 years - if the work was done by a professional and they had Décennale insurance the work is then covered by that instead - the Décennale Insurance certificates are included in the sale documents.

For work you have done yourself I think it is possible to obtain your own insurance policy to cover your work but it will cost €€€€.