Architect sketchRenovation or conversion projects require careful consideration. Good advice is essential, as is an understanding that this is likely to be a once in a lifetime exercise that should be very rewarding.

To this end, planning plays a vital part in two senses. The first is making sure that all planning laws and regulations are complied with. The second is the communication and organization of the details of a project.

Within the framework of the French planning and urbanism rules and regulations, most, if not all, building works in France will need some kind of authorisation. This can be as basic as a déclaration préalable (informing the authorities of your intention to carry out minor works) or a full-blown permis de construire (a request for planning permission for bigger projects).

The intended works will dictate what kind of consent is required. Planning laws in France can be daunting and the language problem only adds to the anxiety felt by people dealing with this level of bureaucracy. French planning authorities have to follow guidelines that are available to all and allow them to be easily understood. For the renovator this programme can be confusing and add to the apprehension.

In the organising sense, it allows an artisan to quote from an agreed framework and allows real decisions to be made using a template that is understood by the client and the builder. A decent set of drawings will allow the renovator or converter to show what the intended outcomes are for a project. Usually undertaken at the outset, they can show details like doors, windows, room schemes, bathrooms and kitchen layouts.

At their simplest, they are sketches that provide a framework for discussion. They can provide information that will allow an artisan to provide meaningful quotes and offer real advice based on the specifics of the intended plan. As a concrete (ignore the pun!) set of proposals, they can be modified at the planning stage, which is a lot cheaper than midway through the build – a definite bonus. A good set of design drawings will save you money and are well worth the investment.

For the above scenarios, and anything in between, help is at hand. As a registered enterprise, we at Renovate in France have the skills and expertise to be able to offer, at the simplest level, production of working drawings to satisfy artisans, builder’s requirements for work quotes. Right up to full-blown planning permissions for renovation, conversion work or new build projects.

We have a proven record in dealing with the French planning agencies; Architectes at Batiments de France, D.D.E. and C.A.U.E., this allows any communication between parties involved to be fully understood by both sides to ensure not only project success, but also legal compliance.

If you would like to know more about this service please contact us.

• Stephen Davies

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