Check out your French builder (Part 2)

Do your homework before hiring a builder in France – or just like in the UK you may repent at leisure.

Your builder has to be registered in France nomatter where he originates from and he should be able to give you details of his registration with the Chambre de Metiers. He should be able to show you his unique SIRET number, which should also be on any stationary.

If you want to check out a French builder’s credentials just go to and type in what details you have on him to see if he’s registered. To use the Manageo website’s search engine you need to know the following:

Raison sociale = company name
No. Siren = company number
Dirigeant = boss’s name
No. de tel = telephone number

Here you can check that details match; get a full address and telephone number and get confirmation of the work that a builder is registered to undertake.

France registered British builder David Lindsay said “Problems with builders are magnified when you’re away from your property and you face language difficulties and a different set of building regulations.

“You must see their registration details and insist on a detailed written estimate (un devis) which gives the price and payment terms. Never pay anything in cash up front.”

Always ask to see examples of past work and when work is done always get a receipt. Never be tempted by a reduction for paying in cash – you will have no comeback in the event of problems. You could also be storing up problems for the future with tax, VAT and, if you sell what is your secondary residence, capital gains tax declarations.

The French system is designed to protect the client from unscrupulous cowboys masquerading as builders, so take advantage of the fact that France is a civilized country with regulations and make the system work for you.


About Monsieur Gilbert

Monsieur G is an English Journalist, fluent in French, who has daily contact with French Estate Agents.
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