Architects in renovation

Architects involvement is more common, from a very early stage in the project. You might also like to discuss your project with an architect at the pre-purchase stage, rather than after you have purchased the property. Although an architect is not usually involved until later on, when the plans need to be drawn up for the project (a strict requirement of planning permission for projects having more than 170 square metres of floor space) it is less common before the purchase.

But if you have questions about how feasible your planned project is it would be best to resolve them early on, even at the risk of payng an architect who tells you the project is not possible. Such queries might include:

– Is the existing building sufficient to support the weight of a new roof?

Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


– Is the ground where you are hoping to build a large extension stable and secure enough to support the new building?

Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks.


– Is your budget sufficient for the project that you are planning?

We have never personally used an architect at this stage, but that is partly because it never really occurred to us to ask whether the building was strong enough to support a new roof etc . We simply assumed, through our ignorance, that if there was an existing roof, then why not a new roof? That ignorance subsequently caused us some difficulties (not insurmountable), and we would probably behave differently with any future renovations.

In general, if you do have any doubts (or recognise that you should have doubts if you knew more about it) it must be preferable to spend a few hundred euros early on in the process, rather than wait until you have actually bought the property.

I would of course reommend that you use a local architect, who will have experience of the local techniques and conditions.

DIY Tips

Want to add a personal touch to your home? Then get creative to add style that’s one of a kind to your home. Patchwork, knitting and crochet can all be used to add chic soft furnishings and accessories to your home, from cushions to throws and more. If you are new to crafting there’s lots of advice available online including helpful craft tutorials. Also take a make do and mend approach to upcycling existing pieces in your home with paint, decoupage or fabric.


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“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks.


We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

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