LEGGETT IMMOBILIER - LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST 17
RENOVATING FRENCH PROPERTY
E ALL KNOW
that renovating a property
The rewards, however, speak
for themselves. Not only will
you create the home you want,
you'll also enjoy the satisfaction it provides.
Most importantly, you
should always live in a property
before you start. See how you
use the existing spaces. Note
details such as where the sun
rises and sets. Then start from
the top down: ensure your
roof is watertight: check tiles,
valleys, flashings and guttering
before you add new plasterboard
or timber inside.
If you're not on mains drainage,
check the fosse septique,
as digging up an established
garden is heartache. A report
should have been undertaken
at the time of purchase.
Work with the building.
You fell in love with its rustic
charm and the possibilities
it presented, so why strip it
all out? Save all the building
materials you can, from stone
to timbers. Floorboards brought
back to life to restore the patina
of days gone by are pure gold
in any good renovation project.
And plasterwork should remain,
even if it has holes in places.
Patch it wherever possible.
Electrics and plumbing are
the next essentials. Beware
the cowboy lurking in a local
bar who offers to help you out.
Speak to the local Mairie to see
if they can recommend local
artisans. These craftsmen are
required to certify their work.
It's imperative to get a number
of quotes in exactly the same
way as you would in the UK.
And don't forget to check them
Insulation in old buildings
is essential. It's a dificult one,
as dry lining in an old building
doesn't look great. Replace windows
and doors with wooden
double glazed units. Don't go
for plastic in a centuries-old
building - it's not a good look.
If you're planning major
works, speak to your local
Mairie. It may be necessary to
make a Déclaration de Travaux.
Similar caveats can also apply
to the installation of swimming pools. In some villages,
near listed monuments, under
Bâtiments de France regulations,
you'll be required to conform
to the local style - even down
to the paint colour on your
shutters. Again, the Mairie will
help and advise you.
Keep all receipts. Should
you re-sell the property, it may
be necessary to produce these
to defray potential for capital
Last, but by no means least,
respect the building. Old stone
and timber buildings have
stood the test of time. Replace
like with like wherever you
can, and make any renovation
sympathetic. It will reward you
is the Chairman of