If you own property in Brittany, it you may want to undertake some building or renovation work on it at some point. Whether it’s cosmetic touch-ups or full remodelling, you will probably need the help of a professional for picture-perfect results. The good news is that there are plenty of (English-speaking) companies in Brittany who can take on your building projects, big and small.
Why should I use a local builder in Brittany?
When building or renovating in France, it is tempting to bring builders and materials over from the UK. The problem is that British builders won’t usually be aware of French building regulations, or offer the same guarantees. They’re also unlikely to be familiar with local techniques or materials.
Buying building materials from the UK can present issues, because they won’t be adapted for use with Breton materials and may not meet French requirements. Local Breton craftsmen and artisans often prefer to use trusted local materials to ensure that their work can last for its guarantee period.
The exception to this is with decorating materials, as the variety and quality available in the UK is often superior. Just make sure to keep compatibility in mind, for example matching paints with the surface they’ll be used on.
Maison Bretagne Renovations is a family-run team of renovation experts based in Brittany led by Jon Tuson. Jon, an accomplished carpenter and joiner, ran his own contracting business in the UK for more than 16 years before relocating to France in 2007. Maison Bretagne Renovations specialises in maintaining the character of a property while bringing it up to modern building standards.
How do I find a builder in Brittany for new builds & large projects?
Before you find a builder you’ll need an architect. They will plan your build, and make sure your dreams for your property can be realised, as well as offering expert insights into use of space, cohesive design and more.
Andrew Allen, is a member of the ‘Ordre des Architectes’, and runs a personal design service. He is always happy to chat informally about your ideas, and can arrange feasibility studies, planning applications and soil surveys. Andrew also liaises with local authorities on behalf of his clients.
For more Brittany architects and surveyors, see our Local Business Directory
Then, you’ll need a builder. Your architect may have recommendations, and these can be incredibly valuable. We would always advise you get three quotes for your work, both for cost and timescales, and try and see any work they’ve completed in the past. It’s also important to make sure you can communicate clearly and freely with whoever you select, so if your French is a little rusty you should try and find an English-speaking builder.
Can I get a builder to renovate my property in Brittany?
Brittany has several traditional building methods that are specific to the region, so for renovation projects or new builds that are constructed in traditional Breton styles it is crucial to use artisans familiar with these techniques. Traditional methods used in Breton buildings (which will require an expert) include timber frames, wattle and daub, intricate brickwork, and roofing, including thatch. These Breton building techniques will ensure that your property has character, but they do require an experienced builder to complete to the right standard.
There are numerous companies who specialise in undertaking renovations, either totally, or just stepping in where you need the help. There are a number of renovation specialists listed in our Business Directory.
Our Business Directory lists over 40 Brittany companies in the building sector, from people can turn their hand to any general building or decorating work, to specialists in sandblasting, painting and decorating, and stonemasons. There are also electricians who are used to working on new builds and renovations.
Also try our Business Directory for Brittany companies dealing with swimming pool construction and maintenance, satellite installation, property management, gardeners, removals and storage, estate agents, electricians, plumbing and heating, and specialists in fosses septiques (septic tanks).
For some excellent advice on building and renovating in France, visit FrenchEntrée’s Renovation & Decoration section, which explains everything from materials, regulations and tools, to renewable energy diccounts, money-saving DIY and employing an artisan.
To find property for sale in Brittany or elsewhere in France, browse our Brittany Property Search.