How many times have we heard tales of friends or acquaintances who have fallen foul of cowboy builders, electricians, or plumbers? Most of us are familiar with the term ‘P&O Qualified’, which refers to the shady operators who suddenly sprout skills and qualifications on the ferry to France, but how can we avoid the costly mistake of inadvertently letting them loose on our own homes?

This is where a new online service can come to the rescue. Artisan Central is a free-to-use consumer service, which fills the gap in the market for an online directory of pre-checked, highly skilled artisans working throughout France.

Members have an online profile which includes the information customers are often afraid to ask for and which cannot be included in standard advertising such as customer reviews. Members and customers alike are safe in the knowledge that only the finest, proven professionals can join Artisan Central.

 

Working with Artisans – Checklist:

 

Need the help of an artisan in your home? – use the artisan checklist to ensure you make the right choice.

 

  1. Don’t rely solely on the recommendation of friends or neighbours – do your own checks.

 

  1. Use the SIRET number to view details of the business registration and its principal activities: www.societe.com

 

  1. Request two or more recent customer references, check them carefully and see the artisan’s work for yourself.

 

  1. Request an up to date business insurance certificate and check the activities listed cover the proposed work. If in doubt, call the insurance provider!

 

  1. Before work starts it may be necessary to take out additional legal cover on your own home insurance – check with your insurance provider, especially for major renovations, structural work and new build.

 

  1. Genuine artisans are happy to produce a business identification card, copies of trade-related qualifications (if applicable), insurance policies, photographs of their work, and customer references.

 

  1. For larger projects, obtain three written quotes (devis) which should include a payment plan, proposed start date and duration of works. Once signed, a devis is legally binding so ensure you understand the contents before committing.

 

  1. If work on your main home will improve energy efficiency, you may be able to claim a tax credit if the artisan is a member of Reconnu Garant de l’Environnement and can provide an RGE certificate.

 

  1. Keep records; problems with work may not be evident until some years later and without records you will not be able to make a claim.

 

  1. Where possible choose an Artisan Central member. Our pre-checked members represent Artisan Central’s principles of quality, skill and professionalismartisans you can trust.

 

To learn more about working with artisans, information about members and membership, visit the Artisan Central website:

www.artisancentral.fr

Tel: 05 49 87 82 69

Email: [email protected]

 

 

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