Design & renovation for investors & property owners on the French Riviera

Design & renovation for investors & property owners on the French Riviera

Frequently Asked Questions

From start to finish, whenever you have a question, we will always take the time to explain everything making sure you have complete piece of mind. Here are some of the more frequent questions we get asked.

Are you fully registered here in France?
Yes we are. All our work is carried out by registered artisans.

Do you have the correct insurance to cover building work?
Yes, of course. We have full 10 year Decennale Insurance.

Do you provide free quotations?
Yes, all quotations are provided without obligation and are valid for 3 months.

Could you help and advise us on our project?
We would be happy to help you with all aspects of your renovation work. In actual fact we are frequently consulted even before clients make a purchase of a property. Occasionally clients need the reassurance, impartial advice and professional knowledge on the property’s potential before they commit to buying.

Will you liaise with Syndics, Architecture and Marie?
Yes we can, do and will on behalf of your project

How much will it cost?
Obviously, the cost depends on the scale, type and size of the property, and the level of your specification. You may prefer to start with a fixed budget; in this instance we will then give you the options available for those costs. If you already have an initial layout, we will provide you with an accurate estimate instantly.

Will you carry on working while we return to home?
Yes, we are professional and if we agree to a time frame then we will carry on working until the job is done. We will always be available to speak to via phone or Skype and will keep you updated with photos via email of the progress being made.

What deposit do you require and when do you expect payments?
We normally ask for a deposit to cover cost of materials. Then we ask for stage payments as the job progresses. We only expect final payment on satisfactory completion.

How long will it take?
An apartment takes around four months to refurbish. A complete villa renovation takes around five to eight months, and a house where a basement needs to be excavated, and therefore needs underpinning, will take eight to ten months.

Do you only work on the French Riviera?
Excellent quality renovations require a lot of constant close supervision. This is why we prefer to work in areas that we can get to with minimum travel time, but are happy to undertake larger projects further afield.

How can we be sure that the work will be carried out properly?
We have an excellent reputation and we are more than keen to keep it!

Can you provide us with references?
Of course – we are always more than happy to show you work we have completed as well as provide written references.

What to look for in a builder/renovator

How do we choose the right builder?
It is always tempting to choose a builder who is fluent in your language and often you are under pressure to find a builder quickly during your short time in Nice. Some may come recommended, which is positive, but always ask to see previous work or visit a current job in progress. All should be registered in France and they should always provide you with a quote (devis) for the works involved and on that devis will be their ‘siret’ number. It’s then easy to check to see that what they say they can do, they are registered to do. You can easily check online, there are plenty of sites to do this on, for example www.societe.com. Type in their siret number and it’ll give you their name and what works they are registered to carry out.

Will the builder be insured during the work?
A builder should be insured for the works that they are registered for. Always ask to see their insurance ‘Decennale’: this will cover any building problems that may happen and without it you could be liable and feel the full force of the French legal system. This very comprehensive insurance doesn’t come cheap for builders so be aware that if the devis (quote) is considerably lower than other builders quotes it may be because they are not covered with this insurance.

Is it worth paying cash?
A big NO! Firstly, it is illegal and, should you have a site inspection, you could be liable and may also receive a visit from the local police. Secondly, there will be no record of the works that have been done, so there will be no insurance in place. There really isn’t much to gain from paying in cash other than the TVA saving. The TVA on most building projects on properties over 2 years old, which is the majority of most renovations, is rated at the lower TVA rate of 7% rather than the higher 19.6%, so really there is no incentive to expose yourself to any risk.