Builders in France

A guide to finding and using builders in France

Builders in France - a varied bunch

Ask any ex-pat and they will tell you a story. Everyone has a tale to tell about builders in France. Everyone has an opinion, and there are many who love to tell you that whatever it is you thought you knew on the subject, you were wrong. There are bad builders out there... cowboys and highwaymen who will con you out of your last centime and build you a house that will fall down as soon as the wind blows. There are other builders in France who work "on the black" and can cause you to face a frightening invasion of gendarmes and some enormous fines. There are those builders who seem to be everything you want, but fail to actually turn up to start the job... or perhaps, even worse, those builders who start the job but disappear from the local radar long before the work is finished. So be warned and be careful.

Finding the right builder in France

All this can be quite disconcerting for a newly "ex-patriated" member of the community, whose future happiness depends upon finding "the right one" from this fickle bunch we know as builders in France. If you are in the position, as so many of us are, of needing a builder in France, there are a few things you can do to smooth your path and avoid the pitfalls.

French builders or English builders?

Is it better to employ French builders or English builders? It really is horses for courses. If you speak very little French it makes sense to employ an English builder to avoid the communication problem (Learning French, Learning to speak French - Misadventures in a Foreign Tongue). Even if you do speak French you may prefer to use an English builder because of the common knowledge base that you will share, and there is certainly no reason why an English builder in France is not every bit as well qualified and legally registered as a French one.

French builders may have an advantage

The French builders may have the advantage, though, of local knowledge, of local building techniques and materials, and may have long established useful links with other craftsmen whose services would be helpful to you in the future. There are also now many more nationalities operating as builders and other tradesmen within France, with the opening of the European boundaries allowing a flood of different nationalities into the country. There are, of course, both good and bad builders of all nationalities, and whichever you choose, the qualifications and legality are of more importance than what is written on the passport!

How to find builders in France - personal recommendation

There are several ways that you can find builders in France, and it is also possible that builders may just find you! One of the best ways is, as ever, by personal recommendation, as the builders then come with a reference from someone that you can trust. Moreover, if the builders have completed work for a person you know in the area, you will be able to see the work that has been done and to draw your own conclusions as to the quality. Indeed both references and quality of work should be examined carefully even when using a builder who hasn't come through personal recommendation. This is of utmost importance.

Find a builder in France at your Mairie

As with so many things in France, the local Mairie is another good starting point. If you have only just moved to the area and don't yet know anyone to get a word of mouth recommendation, try asking at the Mairie about reliable local craftsmen. Whilst not directly accountable they are unlikely to point you in the direction of a cowboy or an unregistered builder, so there is some sort of safeguard built in to this method of finding a builder. The possible downside, however, is that those who work in the Mairie will be local people with their own causes to promote, and may be more keen to get work for dear old Uncle Claude then to be completely objective.

Find a builder in France by using Qualibat

Qualibat is a database of registered builders that covers the whole of France, and if you have no way of obtaining personal recommendation then you could do worse than take a look on its website, www.qualibat.com. Once again, you will find only legitimate and qualified tradesmen on here, so it is a useful resource.

Find a builder in France from Internet sites for ex-pats

There are various websites that offer help and advice to ex-pats and French property owners, and these can be another very useful resource. Our site, for example, has a Services section that lists tradesmen (Builders providing a service in France).

Find a builder in France from local publications

You can also use the services sections of local publications to seek tradesmen. There will usually be various adverts under the different headings of the trades, and most areas have a good choice of builders listed.

Find a builder in France from trade organisations

There are several trade organisations to which a builder can be affiliated, but you need to be aware that whilst some of these give a certain guarantee of quality and conformity, they do not necessarily include all good qualified builders in their membership. For example, many English (and other non French nationals) builders (albeit suitably qualified and registered etc.) may not affiliate to these societies because of the language barrier. However, they can certainly be worth investigating, especially if your level of French is good.

Builders in France affiliated to UNCMI and FFC

Consider builders with affiliation to UNCMI (Union Nationale des Constructeurs de Maisons Individuelles) if you are looking to build a new house from scratch, and are using a standard design. If you are building something a little more individual it may be worth finding a builder from the ranks of the FFC (Fédération des Constructeurs de Maisons Individuelles), which is known to be a very good organisation that provides legal and financial guarantees for work done by their members. (New build property in France, Building or extending property in France, Land for Sale in France.)

What to check when you've found a builder in France

When you think you have found a builder who may be suitable, or if one has presented himself (which can happen if he spots the potential for a good job!), it vitally important to know how to check his credentials if you are to avoid some potential problems. The first thing to do is to ascertain that he is registered for work in France, so that you safeguard yourself against a person who is working on the black. Not being registered does not necessarily mean that he is a bad builder, but if you employ him and you are caught it would leave you open to an investigation by the gendarmes, and to some very large fines. Not an ideal way to begin your new life in France.

Check that your builder is registered in France

Checking that the tradesman is registered is easy. A registered builder will have a Siret number, amongst others, on his paperwork, and this is the identification you need. You can check if you wish, with the local Chambre de Metiers that the Siret number is correct. All tradesmen (artisans) have to register with the Chambre de Metiers in their prefecture, thus creating a simple and effective database for checking legality. It is also good to know that in order to register, the tradesmen have to take a course on good business practice and to display their formal qualifications and record of related experience.

Check your builder has a ten year guarantee

Check too, that there is the normal required ten year guarantee policy in place, as this is there to protect both you and the builder and is very important. This guarantee should protect you from non completion of work, from bad workmanship and from failure of materials over time.

Since this article was written a visitor to the site has advised differently. Please see point 1 in the "your comments" section, about decennale insurance.

Devis

Another way of safeguarding yourself is to request an official quote, or "devis". This is binding, so you have the peace of mind that the builder cannot begin the work then bump up the price without justification. Of course, make sure that the work you ask the builder to do is exactly what is detailed on the devis. I have heard builders complain that a client has accepted a devis for a job and then changed the requirements of the job completely and expected the price to remain the same. Check what's included on the devis carefully too. There have been cases where a client has received a bill considerably greater than the quote on the original devis, only to be informed that the devis was for materials only, not inclusive of labour.

References and quality of work

And finally, as mentioned earlier in this article, once a builder has been found and his credentials checked and verified, don't forget to check the builder's references and inspect the quality of his/her previous jobs, if at all possible. This is very, very important. If you are unable to do either, it may be that you should walk away from this particular builder and look for another.

Paying builders in France

If you are contemplating major building works then it is common to be asked to pay the builder in stages. You will probably be asked to produce a deposit payment before work begins, to cover the initial materials required to start the job. The payments will then be staged as necessary as the work progresses, with each payment having an official invoice detailing exactly what has been agreed, what has been done, and what has been paid to accompany it and to act as a safeguard. If the job is a small one and likely to be completed in a week or so, it is normal to pay at the end of the work.

Redress possibilities

If you should find yourself in the unfortunate position of having paid a builder upfront for work that is not completed, or not completed to your satisfaction, you have several possibilities for redress (assuming the builder is registered). You can claim against the ten year guarantee, you can approach the Chambre de Metiers with which the builder is registered, or speak to his trade association.

Additional articles which may be of interest:

Plumbing in France
Property grants available in France
Surveyors in France
Green and eco friendly building in France

About the author

Joanna Simm moved to the Languedoc area of south-west France in October 2004 having found her property through French Property Links.

your questions...

1. A question about insurance cover (added 16/9/10)...

We are currently suing our builder who took the money and ran after leaving our house a bomb site. He has decinale insurance but they claim it does not cover unfinished work. Your site states to the contrary, who is right?

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. As far as I am aware, it is possible to claim against non-completion of work and bad workmanship through 10-year building guarantee policies, but this does not mean every policy will do this. There will be exceptions and excesses in certain policies, as there are in the UK for various insurance policies. I wonder if you checked your builder's policy before taking him on, as if it stated this would be covered, you must pursue the insurance company.

Failing that, as mentioned in our article, you can try and sort out the matter by contacting the Chambre de Metiers with which the builder is registered, or speak to his trade association.

Or perhaps it would be worth contacting a legal adviser, as I am certainly no expert in these matters. You could try the following link on our site:

French Legal Services

I wish you the best of luck.

2. A question about withholding payment (added 31/1/12)...

Hello, thanks for a very informative article. I have one question. We have signed a devis with a French builder and sent him a first instalment. He has completed the work, but there are several things not quite finished and a few finished badly. We have asked him to finish these, but he just says they were not in the devis and keeps sending the invoice to us.

We intend to send him the money less what we think it would cost to finish the work properly. This amounts to only 2000 Euros on a 20,000 Euro job. Can we do this and are there any legal problems?

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. If you are absolutely sure of what the devis says, and that the builder has not complied with this, then I would say you have every right to withhold money, as the devis is a binding document. However, if it is a matter of bad workmanship, then you will need to work this out with the builder and agree a standard which you would be happy with. If things don't go well when talking to the builder, you could approach his trade association or the Chambre de Metiers with which he is associated, to see if they can offer advice.

My colleague Joanna in France adds the following:

"It can be a minefield. If you have an insurance policy, you could ask the insurer if they can have an independent expert to look at the job and try to resolve the dispute in an amicable fashion this way. This is often done, and seems to be quite successful in many cases."

Finally, for expert legal advice, you may wish to use the following page of our site:

French Legal Services

I wish you all the best with resolving this issue.

3. A question from a builder about payment stages (added 7/6/12)...

Hi - I am a builder registereed as a auto entrepreneur. I have almost completed a job for a client (neighbour and good friend). But now she is saying that I have not done a good job, although she has recommended me to several people, and shown them the work I have done. She has a reputation of trying to get out of paying, but you always think "they would not do it to you". Well she did. What I would like to know does anyone know the standard % of monies given to builder through the job ie deposit / stages and amount left to end? I did not put a payment plan on the devis, but my client seems to want it all ways. Small deposit, large amount left at end. Not paying for material bought on her behalf. It appears that we may be going to court now, so I need to gather as much information as possible. And no I have not taken out any insurance. As an auto entrepreneur it was too high and this was my first job, very dispondant now. So if anyone could help with the payment plan %, I would really appreciate it, plus any other advice. Thanks.

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. I have been in touch with my colleague whose husband is a builder, and she says:

"Small jobs, done in a day, no deposit can be taken, or a very small amount. If the job is large, you would usually ask for 50% up front, 50% on completion. However, this is not always the case. On a massive job which is being done now by my husband, as it is so big (involving lots of different artisans etc) a lesser amount was taken, only 25%. This is what the French Master of Works said was normal for such a big project. So 25% deposit, then staged payments so at the end there can only be 10% outstanding. There is actually a statute in France covering this.

If you can avoid going to court in France, please do so. Nobody wins except the lawyers in France, far far worse than UK. It goes on for ever and costs a fortune. I know loads of people who have done it and all wished they hadn't.

I would go to the Chambre de Metiers and ask for advice.

There may also be an "expert" you can call to try to resolve the problem. Perhaps this can be arranged though your insurer, presumably you have public liablity insurance? I assume you also have to give a 10-year guarantee of works? Might you be able to call an impartial expert through this to mediate?"

If you would like more information, my colleague says she and her husband would be only too happy to try and help further.

4. A question about devis (added 4/10/12)...

We have just bought a house in France and we got this roofer to give us a quote, which he did and sent us a devis which we signed and sent back. He said he would do it this in August/September. Now if he does not do it in the time can we get someone else? He as not signed and returned the devis to us. Thank you.

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. I have been in touch with my colleague Joanna who says that as far as she knows, a devis is legally binding within its own terms. So you may need to check if the devis has a time stated on it. And if you have indeed signed and returned it, you should also contact the roofer before going on to employ someone else. Probably, because he has not signed and returned it to you, it is not legally complete, but if he wants to be difficult he might say he has a signed copy himself and that he posted yours to you and it isn't his problem if you didn't receive it.

So, what Joanna says to do would be to contact him stating that the original agreement was to complete the work in August/September, and ask when he intends to do this now. Give him a time limit and tell him if this is not done by then you will need to employ another roofer. If doing this by post you should send it accusee de reception (signed for). And point out that you did not receive the signed devis back as well. French law is so complicated, it is always best to do whatever possible to prevent future problems.

5. A question about the ten year guarantee scheme (added 13/12/12)...

Hello. I am a builder who does lots of nice quality of work in the UK from full houses to big handmade kitchens. I have bought a house in Lucon, France with the view of eventually living and working there full-time. I have already worked on several large projects mainly for ex-pats who I have invoiced as if the work was in the UK. I am fully covered with my British public liabilities for me and my team to work in France but I would like to get the ten year guarantee scheme as well. Is this possible as a non resident? I have not got a siret number. I am a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen which also insures my work. I have a customer who needs the ten year insurance for the bank to release funds. I am his preferred builder. Is there anything I can do? Thanks.

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. I have been in touch with my colleague Joanna who used to live in France and she says that she doesn't know for sure, but imagines you would have to be registered in France and have a siret number to qualify. She is checking to see if she can find anything definitive on this so I will get back to you if she does. In the meantime you may like to contact some of the builders we have listed on our site (under Business Directory), to see if they can help.

I assume your customer's bank will not accept the insurance you can offer through being a member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen?

An update...

Further to the above, I have received an update from Joanna, which although is in no way is a definitive answer, it may help:

"It may be possible to get a decennale with a business registered in England, by taking out insurance with a French company, depending on the insurance company. You may have to try a good few first to get one to agree. It would be wise to say you are just a builder. If you say you also do plumbing, woodwork etc it will cost a fortune. You should expect to pay between 1-2K per year for it. You will meet this problem time and again if working in France, and be warned, many employers will insist on seeing the decennale before agreeing any devis."

I hope this is of use.

6. A problem with a client retaining money and wanting a refund for work done (added 31/5/13)...

Hi - a client has contacted their insurers as they are not happy with the work my husband has done, I think they are wanting a full refund. We were not able to finish the job completely and they sent us a letter saying they would get someone else to finish it using the retained money, we agreed. They have now instructed an insurance surveyor. We do not have insurance as we couldn't afford it (I know, but we now have product liability). Where do we stand?

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. My colleague Joanna, who used to live in France, says:

"We have been in similar situations, but not quite the same. Usually we have been able to resolve the dispute. I think the problem here rests with the insurance, or lack of. And I don't know what actual work this refers to, if it is literally building work or what. I think it's law in France that all builders and similar artisans must have a decennale - a ten year insurance that covers all work. Not sure that product liability will suffice. I think I would pull out all the stops to resolve the problem personally, without recourse to authorities if possible. Though it may take some persuasion if the other party is French - they are sticklers for the rules.

It may be that an "expert" can be called upon to help resolve the problem. This is a way of doing things that seems common. They try to decide what is a reasonable way out of the situation impartially. It might be what your clients are doing by contacting their insurers, as the experts come via insurance policies. If so, then all could be OK. In our experience it worked well, calming stroppy clients and finding sensible ways forward.

I understand for the clients to get a full refund, this would necessitate proving that the work as standing is deficient in some way. And paying for the rest of the work to be done by an artisan of the injured party's choosing would normally be acceptable."

I hope this information is of some use. Other than that, as I am no expert in this field, you may wish to contact other builders in France for their advice, perhaps using the Business Directory on our site. Then of course there are always legal advisors you can contact.

7. A question about a client with holding payment from a job (added 19/9/13)...

Hi there - we run a fully registered and insured building company and have done for the last five years in France. My question is: We provided a Devis for a roof job - the Devis was accepted and signed by both parties. We have been on this job now for a number or weeks and the customer has paid each stage payment with no problem - until now. We arranged for a concrete company to deliver self-levelling concrete via a pump last week and the day after the concrete was poured it has cracked very badly.

The problem we have now is that the customer has refused to pay a stage payment for work done on the roof, which is a completely separate job to the roof work. He said the next stage payment of 8000 Euros he will pay - LESS whatever it will cost to put the concrete floor right as he is not prepared to pay for a "top layer" of concrete that would be required.

As far as I am concerned the roof work is a totally separate topic and should not legally stop him from paying for the roof work. We hope to have finished the roof by the end of this week, so expect the last 10% to be paid also.

Where do we stand legally as I feel the concrete is a separate issue that should be dealt with separately and not stop the customer for paying up for the roof work. We could have walked off the job because of this but that is not how we operate and I feel the customer is now playing games. We have suppliers invoices, labourers wages to pay, etc by the end of this week and will be stuck if we can't get the money he owes us by then. Any help/advice would be very much appreciated.

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. My colleague Joanna offers the following advice:

"I would suggest you call on an 'expert' to resolve this. Usually available free from your insurance, and impartial no matter who calls them. It may also be worth calling on the concrete company to put this right, if it could be their fault? I don't know what the legal answer is, if the client is French this sort of thing seems to happen quite a bit, one assumes they know the score. And regarding some of the work being separate from other work, I could speculate that if the work is all for the same person it might be construed as all part of one job, even if there are separate devis, but that is speculation."

Other than that, as answered above, you may wish to contact other builders in France for their advice, perhaps using the Business Directory on our site. Then of course there are always legal advisors you can contact.

I'm sorry we cannot help further, but wish you all the best in sorting it out.

8. Problems with unfinished work and payment (added 7/11/13)...

Very interesting forum. Now we are connected to internet again our story is sadly similar to the above. We bought a granite property in a small village near the forest of Saint Severe, Calvados. With the main house we bought a parcel of land on which there was a building in poor repair, classed as a ruin. We have begun rennovations and employed a "builder" reccommended by the agent we bought the house through.

Taking this on trust we didn't investigate the credentials of the builder and as a result have parted with 2/3rds of the building costs with the work left unfinished. We want to engage another builder, so have given the existing one an ultimatum to finish the work, due for completion in June (now almost Novemebr) and to finish by 24th November, and we will pay now in weekly payments to control the work better. Failing this we have asked the builder to quit but so far have only an email to say he is thinking about his options?

The devis we now discover was very loose, no mention of the staged work to be carried out for the payments so everything left ad hoc. We signed a devis but it's not on a letter head and the builder doesn't have a copy, so we want to cancel this as the work is poor and very incomplete and have been advised by our very helpful and informative new prospective builder, to send a registered letter for the current builder to quit.

At present we don't want huge legal tie ups so are prepared to write off any money we have spent over and above any good works carried out till they stopped work, simply to get the job finished.

We were also advised to investigate the current builder's seret number and whilst registered on websites, it is only for "Realisation de couvertures par elements". What does this mean (we think it's roofing) and can he legally re-build the ruin back to a house/garage? We are going to see if he is registered with the Chambre de Metiere.

Could you comment on this please - any thing to help us sort this out.

Jo Rhodes, editor of French Property Links replies...

Thanks for contacting us. I have been in touch with my colleague Joanna who says:

"It seems to make a big difference if the builders are French or British, and you don't say which yours is. The French seem able to dig up all sorts of rules that Brits can't get their heads around, so the only suggestion I have here is to try to get an "expert" out to sort things. This should, I think, be part of the insurance that you as a householder have.

A builder is bound by a devis, and I have been told by a Frenchman that even a spoken agreement holds up in France, though how you would prove this I have no idea.

I know builders that have done this sort of thing who have been told that they will receive notice to quit and must fund the finishing/re-doing of any works that are not satisfactory. As your second builder says, a letter must warn the first builder of this action and give him a chance to correct things. So it can be a long process.

It would be worth checking the Siret number, and you would be right to go to the Chambre des Metiers. You used to be able to register as a General Builder, which did cover roofing and so on, but I think if your first builder was only registered as a roofer, you may have a case against him for doing work he is not registered or qualified to do.

I'm sorry this doesn't help much. But I do think it would be worth investigating getting the expert round. This is a sort of mediator paid by the insurance company who will impartially inspect the work and situation and advise on what can be done.

And perhaps find a third registered British builder to speak to who might shed more light? It definitely shows that a detailed devis is needed, with stage payments to be made on completion of each stage etc., and that you should be signing things off as you go along."

Perhaps you can use our Business section to find more builders who may be able to help further? It does seem that "Realisation de couvertures par elements" refers to work on the roof, but I am no expert in these matters so I would suggest you get confirmation from experts in the field.

Should anyone reading this be able to help further, please do go get in touch.

An update...

Thanks for that. Yes the builder is British, living in France and he employs others to help who are not registered and we think he pays them cash so they are not registered except under his cover. I believe he was a fork lift driver who got an Auto entrepreneur status two years ago then got a Siret number (withheld for legal reasons) with "Realisation de couvertures par elements" description.

So far three independent builders have commented on his workmanship, and a wood floor we have been told has to come down, as he has used a self-made plywood sandwich "I" beam to span 6-8 meters but it is only 12cm thick instead of a proper one or proper oak beams. So the floor is already warping and is very bouncy and vertical struts are needed for safety.

Other builders have condemned the wall work and also for putting the roof on before re-building the walls to make it have a more finished look, so the infill behind the walls can't be made and they are hollow instead of solid.

He wants more money for carpentry and a further amount out of the last 1/3rd originally set aside for when the work was finished and signed off.

It's all very distressing.

9. More problems with builders (added 15/1/14)...

Hi - I hope you can help me / give some advice? We commissioned two UK builders one year ago to do work on our small French house. We had a quote with Devis. We have stuck to our payment terms throughout this year. The builders however have not stuck to their terms. They have lied on numerous occasions and have put down their tools and left the job once this year without telling us which meant we arrived at a building site for our summer holiday. They have shouted at us, hung the phone up on us and been very rude. We thought about sacking them but realised we would lose the money we had given them already. To complete the job we would have to give them 7,000 Euros. Three months ago we gave them 6,000 Euros. They have done nothing until this week when they have started to put the fosse in. Yesterday they telephoned us to say we HAD to give them the remaining 1000 Euros THIS MORNING for pipes & gravel otherwise they would leave the fosse half done and not complete the remaining work in the house.

We are so stressed. We had planned to go to our house for Christmas which they knew about. Can you advise me what to do?

Our reply...

Thanks for contacting us. Some of the above replies should give you an idea of what you could do. I would think the best way to go is to resolve this amicably, though in your case it seems this might not be possible. From what you have said, paying them more might not get the work done, or if done, not to an appropriate standard. So if what was agreed with the builders in the Devis has not been done, I would contact your insurers, who most probably would get an expert round to examine the work. You could also contact the Chambre des Metiers where the builders are registered. I am afraid this won't solve your problems in time for Christmas though. Legal advice is obviously available, though this is where the costs will start to increase even more. You could perhaps use the following page of our site:

http://www.frenchpropertylinks.com/frenchlegalservices.htm

I'm sorry not to be of more help.

10. A question about who is responsible for changing a devis (added 15/10/14)...

Hello - we have signed a devis with an electrician, he has carried out most of the work but we did have to change some things as he was going. Now he is complaining as the devis was not changed. Who is responsible for altering the devis and getting it resigned when things are altered? Thank you.

Our reply...

Did not your electrician provide the devis in the first place? If so, I am not sure why he cannot just draw up a new one for you to re-sign. I would think both you and your electrician need to work together on this, as you both seem to be aware the devis is now not right. Ultimately I am not sure who is responsible for changing a devis, though I guess the person to instigate it would be the person who benefits most by the changes made. Perhaps you could check with some electricians working in France (we have some listed in our Business Directory) or your Mairie?

11. A question about builders' insurance (added 20/10/16)...

Hi - we have had a house in Charente for about 5 years. We have had lots of work done by French tradesmen and it has mostly been very good. Some have been large jobs, like replacing all the windows, and some more minor.They have all been small local tradesmen and with valid sirets. However, we have found it impossible to get any of them to show us any insurance. In order to get the work done we have had to go along with this but now that we need work doing to the roof we are not happy to allow someone to do this without insurance. Can you explain why they don't seem to have any and how we can find someone who does?

Our reply...

Thanks for contacting us. I am guessing these local tradesmen don't have the insurance due to the cost of purchasing it, though I didn't think this was very common. I was under the impression most had this insurance, if they are working legally with valid siret numbers etc. Perhaps you could find some builders with insurance using our Business Directory, or ask your Mairie, etc, as we mention in the above article.

Should anyone reading this be able to help, please do get in touch.

your comments...

1. Builders not finishing work is not covered by decennale insurance (added 31/5/17)...

Refering to the above article and points raised in the "your questions" section, a visitor to the site kindly offers the following information:

A contract for the construction of a house plans for staged payments according to work that needs to be done/construction stages. Normally no money should leave a bank account without proper documentation/paperwork. It however happens from time to time.

The decennale insurance does not cover for a builder leaving a job having been paid, but the job not finished. It covers any structural defects that may appear within 10 years of the work having been completed.

To avoid this costly mishap, you may request that your builder carries a "Garantie de Parfait Achevement" (Guarantee for the completion of the property) whereby the insurer or a bank offering such guarantee, will cover the defaulting builder and enable the work to be completed.

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