Monday, July 27, 2009

The changing face of building in France

In our local area work for some builders appears to be drying up and several local builders have closed down. The august break means that a there will be no change in this situation. It appears that medium to large sized companies are being affected the most at the moment. We have seen offers of 30% discount in prices for building work being offered by some unknown or newly formed companies, however 30% of what is not clear.
The introduction of a new way of registering a company in France means in effect anyone can set up a business as a tradesman without any qualifications or experience and without the need for a ten year guarantee for building work. All this means, in a roundabout way is that the customer takes on the responsibility for vetting the competence of tradesmen.
This seems to imply that in case of faulty, bad or dangerous workmanship the only option open to the dissatisfied or injured client is direct legal action against the tradesman concerned, whereas at present, a claim is made against the insurance company that the registered tradesmen has to have.
As far as the liability of these new businesses are concerned it appears that certain assets can be declared as "unseizeable" which means that any claims for damages may be limited, or non-existant.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Latest updates

We have just started a new service, a listing of properties in the Langudoc-Rousillon for sale, all of which require renovation,
visit frequently for news of properties as we hear of them.
You can also follow our dedicated Blog at
As always we will answer any questions about buying and building in France at

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The weeks go by

Well its been an eventful few weeks Our main computer crashed a few days ago, unfortunately I was unable to salvage much. I am now planning to get an external drive and use some backup software so that it will not happen again...
Our new panoramic photos have gone onto the back burner for a while however they will all be up soon.
I am thinking of buying a new panoramic head so that I can make even better panoramas.
While some of the building tradesmen that we work with are worried about a slowdown, none are suffering yet.
There are still clients out there.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Loans & planning permission

It appears that bank loans for buying properties are becoming more difficult to obtain, and now decisions on the availability of loans are taking longer.
Decisions on applications for planning permission appear to be taking less time than previously in some areas. In spite of the new simplified applications it seems that the process is still not simple.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We are now back on line after storm damage on the network somewhere. We shall try to maintain a more consistent presence from now on.....

Sunday, February 15, 2009


This is our first blog on building in France, this blog is to accompany our website french building info and to keep you informed of any new changes in both the practical and technical sides of building in France.

A brief description of who we are and what we do:
Sue Petherbridge.
Diplômée en Direction de Travaux, Gestion d’Operations de l’école d’Architecture de Montpellier:

Established in the Languedoc-Rousillion for nearly thirty years, we have been involved in construction and coordination/project management for most of that time. Sue and Co has experience working with many local builders, tradesmen and artisans. During the last few years our activities, in response to our clients needs have evolved, we offer a complete range of services which range from property search services, where we find properties to specifications for clients, help with all aspects of buying property, translating and signing of legal documents, the design and construction of new properties, conversions, extensions and remodeling of existing properties, to property management for rental properties and annual maintenance. Our projects range from interior design, conversions of existing buildings, restoration and renovation of properties and new builds.
If you wish to visit our company site click on the