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Homeowner’s Guide to Understanding Which Trades Need Décennale Assurance

Many people dream of owning an older, unloved home in France, waiting for new life to be breathed back into it, where they can infuse their personality and style into their living spaces. Whether engaging with professional trades or undertaking self-renovation, your French home represents one of the most significant investments. It deserves to be treated with respect, with the proper care, materials, and experience and that means working with trade professionals who have décennale assurance for their trade.

We often receive enquiries about which trades require 10-year décennale assurance. To ensure that the work in your home is covered, we have compiled what trades need 10-year décennale assurance in this article and what you should ask to see. Your chosen tradesperson should possess the relevant assurance. As a customer, you have every right to request to see their décennale assurance certificate, preferably at the start of your discussions, to avoid surprises.

Lack of knowledge, experience, and understanding of French standards and regulations can often lead to unfortunate experiences during renovation projects or when selling a home.

What is the ten-year insurance?

The ten-year insurance provides coverage for damage that compromises the solidity of the structure or renders its use non-functional. From the official end of the work, the 10-year guarantee protects the work carried out. It applies to the owner but also successive new buyers in the event of resale of the property.

The law requires that all building professionals have 10-year insurance; failure to do so poses serious risks.

It is also obligatory that all trade/construction professionals have assurance responsibilité civile professionnelle or assurance RC Pro.

Be careful to check that those offering multi-services have not included activities that require décennale assurance.

https://entreprendre.service-public.fr/vosdroits/F2034

Professions requiring the 10-year insurance?

Consultant/Management professionals: Architect, property developer, design office, consulting engineer

Structure/Structural works: Roofers, masons, carpenters, zinc work

Fitting and finishing trades: Electrics, plumbing, carpenter, heating engineer, door and window installers, kitchen and bathroom fitter, plaster boarding/plastering, tiling, swimming pool installers, floor/parquet floor/flexible floor fitters

Is exterior/building painting required to be covered under assurance décennale? The answer is yes.

Meanwhile, interior painting is not necessary to be covered under the assurance décennale.

What should homeowners do? 

Engaging the services of a trade professional without décennale assurance is risky. Doing so leaves the homeowner taking responsibility for possible repairs themselves. 

Ask the trade professional to provide you with their 10-year décennale assurance certificate Ensure all activities that require décennale assurance are included in their certificate. 

Should the trade professional subcontract an element of the work, the trade professional is still responsible for the job, not the sub-contractor, as the sub-contractor works for the trade professional and not directly to the homeowner. 

What is the homeowner’s responsibility when self-renovating?

For a homeowner carrying out construction, repair, or renovation work without professional assistance, your work is not covered by assurance. If you sell your home within ten years, you, as the seller will be liable to the purchaser for any poor workmanship or hidden defects. 

Conclusion

Owning a home in France is a cherished dream for many. Whether entrusted to professionals or undertaken personally, renovation projects hold the promise of transforming living spaces. However, navigating French regulations, especially regarding the imperative 10-year décennale assurance, is crucial. This assurance ensures the structural integrity of your property and shields both current and future owners from potential liabilities. Understanding which trades necessitate this coverage and diligently verifying certifications can mitigate risks and ensure peace of mind. Whether engaging professionals or self-renovating, homeowners must grasp their legal obligations to safeguard their investments and uphold the integrity of their French homes

Further Reading:

Differences in building insurance cover

Sources:

https://www.lemagdelimmobilier.com/dossier-669-liste-travaux-metiers-soumis-assurance-decennale.html?fbclid=IwAR045OzB35RWZAop75yE487nMjdY7KRSr31U4E8pudaZHovg3WQXEYMkrNY

https://www.legalstart.fr/fiches-pratiques/metiers-btp/assurance-decennale-plombier-electricien/?fbclid=IwAR09gsP7TKzP5Ce8UtajRaLBPmSqZlrmllofcqcqg5JarCjBgTMN2JcU33g

https://jardinage.lemonde.fr/dossier-3749-assurance-decennale-platrier-plaquiste.html