France

ALBION Building Consultants carry out pre-purchase property surveys in France. We have been surveying French properties since 2001. Our principal, Martin Quirke, has over 40 years experience in building surveying and architectural technology. There is no limitation on the type of property we can survey, from the smallest to the largest. We recently surveyed several large chateaux in Evian near Geneva, in Burgundy and Morbihan. Please visit our specific website: www.surveys-in-france.org

Our pre-purchase surveys are either full RICS Building Surveys or “Clos et Couvert” (walls and roof only). The latter is best suited to renovation projects where major works are proposed, including internal demolition, etc.

Property Assessment Service: for clients who live outside the EU and find it time-consuming and expensive to view numerous properties we provide a “technical inspection” service. We will visit properties on your behalf and check that it matches your criteria as well as looking for major structural defects visible on a walk-through. Email us for details of this service. This type of inspection is not a substitute for a building survey but it can weed out the “wheat from the chaff” and save considerable time and money for overseas clients. We can also take critical measurements of the interior if clients need confirmation of the space(s) available.

Apart from pre-purchase property surveys we can also advise on development potential, monitor building projects and measure buildings and land prior to development and/or renovation or extension. If you have a purchase or project in mind please call for a fee quotation. If you have had building work done on your French property and are unsure about the standard or acceptability of the work we can inspect it.

If you need advice on how to reduce carbon emissions and save on energy costs we can also carry out a Thermal Imaging Survey, see below.

MEASURED SURVEYS – FLOOR PLANS are popular with property buyers once they have made the decision to buy. New owners often intend making significant changes to their new home and the first stage is to produce Floor Plans of the existing layout. We produce accurate floor plans showing all of the major elements of the building. Our floor plans are also used for space-planning, builders’ quotes, upgrading services installations, e.g. electrical layouts, kitchen planning, etc.

We can also provide Topographic Surveys of the plot showing all boundaries, contours and other features for an additional fee. Our computerised drawings can be used to submit for approval to the local Mairie (Mayor’s office). If you are employing a local designer we can issue them with the survey drawings in order for them to compile the necessary applications. Our digital drawings can be viewed on any computer (Mac or PC) by downloading free software such as Autodesk DWG Viewer or Adobe for PDF images. Paper copies are also available up to A2 scale or you can have the data on CD.

Martin Quirke regularly writes articles on building surveying topics for “French Property News” and “Lost in France”. If you visit their websites you should be able to see the latest ones. They include advice on cracks, damp, condensation, roofing, thermal-imaging, avoiding disputes, subsidence, avoiding cowboys, cost-control, dry-rot and wet-rot and so on.

Please note that we are 100% independent. We have no links whatsoever with estate agents, developers, builders, lawyers or any party that may have a vested interest in the sale of a property. Our advice is wholly impartial and in the interest solely of our clients.

When buying a property in France you should get “Expert Diagnostic” reports/certificates from the vendor for energy efficiency, electricity, gas installations, septic tank installations, asbestos, lead in paint, natural hazards and termites (where these are prevalent), etc. However, none of these include the structure, dampness, roofing, subsidence and so on so they are no substitute for a proper building survey.

An “energy efficiency survey” is also no substitute for a thermal imaging survey which we recommend on all larger properties. This is completely non-invasive and uses infra-red technology to “see” potential problems within the structure such as missing or defective thermal insulation, leaking flats roofs, plumbing leaks and underfloor heating defects, potential for mould, overheating electrical components, air-leakage, etc. Please note, this type of investigation is not included in a standard Building Survey and costs extra. It is also best carried out when there is a temperature difference between inside and out of 10 deg C, i.e. in the winter.

At ALBION we have £1,000,000 Professional Indemnity Insurance cover (PII).
We are happy to quote our fee for any type and size of property anywhere in Europe. See a small selection below of properties we have surveyed in the past 13 years.

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