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HI Folks
Need some help ,we have a home in the Passais, Barenton ,Le Teilleul area of Normandy. And we have had several builders out to price groundwork ,Fosse replacement and general maintainence and all but one have not come back with any prices for the work, We are finding it increasingly annoying that this has happened .Can anyone on the forum recommend through personal experience tradesmen who are reliable????
Regards Wes
 

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Hi

In my experience it's quite common for tradesmen to come, view the work, promise a devis, and then.....NOTHING. Either they have lots of work to do - and can pick and chose; or they avoid non French due to language and possible non payment problems - no insult to you, but if you were a builder it's easier to get money from a French person !

Try asking neighbours and in local shops etc. I've found that "local contact" is very strong in France and personal recommendation counts for a lot.

FWIW, I've found that French artisans don't like bidding for work and then the owner takes the lowest price. Better, find a local man and tell him that you put your trust in him. I don't promise that it works every time, but it seems to be the culture in small villages where I've lived.

DejW
 

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Look for builders who advertise locally. I think that to some extent artisans have their own 'patch'. Do you get the annual fire brigade calendar or does your commune send round a free mag? Usually you will find there are a few artisans who advertise in all the local publications and they seem to be the backbone of the commune, they have a good reputation there and they want to protect it. Those are the ones to try first, it seems to work better than trying to bring in an artisan from another commune. Well that's my theory and it has worked so far.
Also French artisans tend to be more specialised than British builders. A groundwork specialist won't want to do general maintenance, a general maintenance man won't install a fosse. Suggest you break the work down, approach specialists and get separate quotes.
 

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Euro trash is quite right (as usual!) - as often in France things operate in water tight compartments. There's no real equivalent of the "jobbing builder" in France who will take on a piece of work and then get in the tradesmen as necessary. Here, it's either an architect to manage it, or get in the individual tradesmen yourself.

DejW

Look for builders who advertise locally. I think that to some extent artisans have their own 'patch'. Do you get the annual fire brigade calendar or does your commune send round a free mag? Usually you will find there are a few artisans who advertise in all the local publications and they seem to be the backbone of the commune, they have a good reputation there and they want to protect it. Those are the ones to try first, it seems to work better than trying to bring in an artisan from another commune. Well that's my theory and it has worked so far.
Also French artisans tend to be more specialised than British builders. A groundwork specialist won't want to do general maintenance, a general maintenance man won't install a fosse. Suggest you break the work down, approach specialists and get separate quotes.
 

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Euro trash is quite right (as usual!) - as often in France things operate in water tight compartments. There's no real equivalent of the "jobbing builder" in France who will take on a piece of work and then get in the tradesmen as necessary. Here, it's either an architect to manage it, or get in the individual tradesmen yourself.

DejW
I beg to differ - sorry. "My" bloke here, a chippy & roofer, acted as "clerk of works" to a major job of ripping out two bathrooms, replacing one in situ, adding another one in a former bedroom, breaking through from the bedroom behind. I and the animals went down to Corsica for the 6 or 7 weeks he could schedule it all. He did all the works he could, brought in a plumber and sparks he knew and had worked with before, and used my local boys for labour.

But ... I knew him previously and he'd done other work for me, my sprog, and friends so I felt I could trust him. I'd drawn up all the plans to scale, marked in lights, electrical points, finishings, etc etc and we went through them all meticulously a few times in advance - ie what I wanted the finished job to look like, how he achieved it was up to him and the budget was a +/- thing 'cos we couldn't anticipate what horrors would be revealed ripping the old stuff out, but he kept me informed by phone. (He also dealt with my post, fed a cat that had absented itself the morning I left so was still here, and fielded random phone calls!)

Extraordinary perhaps, but based on trust in a small-ish community. So it is possible, but you do need time to get to know what's what and to do the ground work. It helped perhaps that my French ain't too bad either (& I brought him back cheap(er) cigs from Corsica in part-payment of his bill ;)).

h :)
 
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Hi Hils

Well done, you've found a useful chap. The prob is that there are not many like that in France.

DejW
 

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Hi Hils

Well done, you've found a useful chap. The prob is that there are not many like that in France.

DejW
I think there probably are; the difficulty is in winkling them out ..... and then finding a window when they're available.

h
 

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HI Folks
Need some help ,we have a home in the Passais, Barenton ,Le Teilleul area of Normandy. And we have had several builders out to price groundwork ,Fosse replacement and general maintainence and all but one have not come back with any prices for the work, We are finding it increasingly annoying that this has happened .Can anyone on the forum recommend through personal experience tradesmen who are reliable????
Regards Wes
The most reliable artisans we have used have been recommended by neighbours or the Mairie. If you want a fosse installed, finding someone local is important as their biggest costs, I believe, are transporting the diggers, so you don't want one from miles away.

You could always ask at the English Butcher's in Barenton, they have been there quite a few years so probably know many of the local tradespersons.
 
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