On this page are some FAQs to help guide you through employing an architect in France and through the complexities of a building project here. Please feel free to post your own question, it may well be of interest to others. We will reply as soon as we can. Only the subject, question and reply will be visible on the website.
Q: How can using an architect save me money?
A: It is often thought that employing an architect can be expensive and not cost effective. However, by employing professional help, great cost savings can be made in building techniques and materials and many fundamental mistakes avoided, thereby minimising project costs and time lost. During the tender process we supply builders with full specifications in French to French norms, thereby ensuring you have a handle on projected costs from the start and avoid unpleasant financial surprises later.
Q: What grants can I obtain to lower my building costs?
A: There are certain grants available particularly for those who are registered to pay tax in France, usually in the form of tax offsets for using certain energy-saving materials or building techniques. There are also grants available for restoration of historic buildings where a detailed dossier for the projected work has to be presented to DRAC (Direction régionale des affaires culturelles). Depending on the project an in-depth study of the building is required which can take the form of an archaeological report etc. All this we can help you with.
Q: How much does it cost to employ an architect?
A: The level of our professional fees depends on the nature of the project undertaken. We are able to make a quotation on a particular project once we know what is entailed, at this point we draw up a contract with you in order to move onto the next stage. In most cases, we base our fee structure on the RIBA ‘plan of work’ which sub-divides a building project into its different stages. In this way we can undertake for you all, or any, part of a building project within certain projected fee guidelines.
Q: How do I get my project started ?
A: The first step is to engage us for an initial consultation. This is to assess the site or, if it is to be a renovation, the existing building with all its flaws and idiosyncrasies. We will discuss with you the viability of your project given your budget, including any planning issues that might be involved. For this initial consultation and depending on the location we charge a fee of 250€ ex. TVA + travel costs. This fee, without travel costs, is deducted from our first invoice should you take the next step to engage us to work further on your project.
Q: If I am not in France how do I know what is happening on my building project?
A: We offer project full management as an extra service to plan, co-ordinate and oversee the work programme. This time-consuming process involves chasing the contractors and making sure that they are keeping to the planned building schedule as well as any re-scheduling should there be delays due to provision of materials or as a result of bad weather. We also keep you up to date on a very regular basis with the advancing work and the financial requirements during the building process.