Finding a repupost firm to build your home in France

If you are interested in having a new home built, by choosing your own villa from a selection of models or having an architect design a home for you, your first concern will be about quality. How do you find a construction company that you can trust, that will comply with the highest standards and regulations, and that will come in on time and on budget?

The label “NF Maison Individuelle” is an accreditation given by the CEQUAMI, a state-recognised body.

The NF label has existed for three years as a quality label for construction firms who build ‘maison individuelles’ or detached houses. The percentage of companies applying for the certification is rising continuously. The advantages of using a registered company are the following:

• You are dealing with a recognised professional who has nothing to hide and has proved this.
• You benefit from the neutral and independent advice of CEQUAMI who inspect construction sites regularly to see if timeschedules are being respected, for example.
• You are assured of transparency and a commitment to quality.
• Your house will have a better resale value with the NF certificate.

To qualify for NF registration, a construction company must:-

• Conform to certain standards of organisation and specific specifications;
• Have certain guarantees in place with an insurance company;
• Have publicity material which is transparent and detailed, referring to among other things the rights and obligations of the Master of Works, the project plan and financial plan;
• Must guarantee delivery at the price and time agreed;
• Must have insurance covering civil and professional responsibilty and ‘décennal’ insurance for all contributors;
• Must have insurance for damages.

The Contract
You should be supplied with precise and detailed project plans and a contract in line with national regulations, containing clearly outlined prices and services that will assist the client.

The Planning and Building Stage
The company will visit the land with you and analyse the limitations of the soil, the rules concerning building in that particular environment, and technical regulations concerning acoustics and heating. They will help you to choose materials and products that are suitable.

They should provide one person to act as liaison officer with you, and select sub-contractors, carry out regular checks on progress on site, manage any delays and any modifications to the plans.

Handover and After Sales Service

The company should visit the site with you before handover, to assess any remaining work to be carried out. On handover they should provide you with a file which includes:-

• The plans with any changes marked on them
• The list of contractors used
• Instructions for maintenance and use of the house
• Information on how to obtain after sales advice and assistance
• Measure to be taken in the event of defaults being found or damage occurring
• Certification for a NF Maison Individuelle
• Satisfaction survey to be returned to CEQUAMI

Assurance Dommage-Ouvrages

This guarantee must be in place before the building site is opened. It offers ten years of cover for anything that damages the foundatiosn and pays for repair while responbility is being established. If a house is sold before the ten years are passed, the Master of Works is obliged to provide a certificate of insurance to the new owner.

Guarantee of Completion

Finishing off work may be carried out up to a year after delivery of a house. This inclues faults indentified by the Master of Works on handover or those notified in writing to the construction company during the first year of use.

Guarantee of Good Workiing Condition

Elements which are removable, eg shutters, gates, doors, are covered for two years from the date of handover.

‘Garantie Décennal’
Professionals and artisans carrying out the work on a house are responsible for ten years for any damages found to the bulding that are not due to misuse or wear and tear.

This article was produced with the assistance of CEQUAMI. For more detailed advice on the choice of construction companies, contact them directly at: 4, avenue du Recteur Poincaré, 75782 Paris Cedex 16 or visit their website, www.marque-nf.com. To find a registered builder in your area, visit

If you have had or are having a new house built for you in the Languedoc and would like to share your experiences, please contact us

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