You are currently viewing Prevent Painful Disasters: Review Tradespeople with Our Expert Checklist

Prevent Painful Disasters: Review Tradespeople with Our Expert Checklist

You’re the owner of a French home!! It needs a bit of TLC, and you are looking for tradespeople. There are forums, Facebook groups, and people who know people. These are great places to look for decent tradespeople. Your local Mairie or your insurance company will also have access to quality tradespeople. So, before hiring the first tradesperson to step over your threshold, pause and take your time. To prevent painful and costly disasters, get into the habit of reviewing tradespeople.

Due Diligence Discipline

Homeowners should carry out their due diligence before engaging the services of a tradesperson. We have created this single-document review checklist to help homeowners in France prepare to work with tradespeople in their homes. 

Prevent Painful Disasters and Download the Checklist:

· Ask to see INSEE certificate / KBIS extrait: A tradesperson will have an INSEE certificate or Extrait KBIS with activities registered. Check NAF/APE codes with a siret checker such as Please make sure they are in date and showing less than six months

· Ask to see insurance documents: A tradesperson must have minimum l’assurance responsabilité civile [RC Pro]. Specific trades are required to have “l’assurance decennale” – a 10-year guarantee. A copy is required to accompany their devis. Make sure these are in date. Ensure that all activities that the tradesperson will carry out are included in the document. Each year, each insurance company issues a new attestation to the business. Should a business unwillingly share any insurance documentation with you, this might be a good reason not to sign a devis. 

· Check across digital platforms for online presence. Do they have a website? Do they have social spaces? Do they advertise in local magazines? Can you find them online? Many reputable businesses promote their activities across a spectrum of places, which means they are actively looking for new work at all times. Some don’t advertise, which is fine, as many trade businesses rely solely on word of mouth. 

· Ask to see evidence of previous work. Don’t just accept pics shared from a Facebook post, as somebody else’s work can often be passed off as their own [yes, this does happen]. You don’t want to see the pretty finished article. You want to see some depth to the work.

· Ask to see reviews/testimonials or speak to previous clients. A reputable business will often showcase testimonials on their website, social media, and Google, which is excellent. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak to previous clients.

· Do they have any claims/issues against décennale assurance? Many trade businesses pride themselves on having assurance without claims against them, but some have a trail of claims. 

· Get several quotes. Base your final decision based on the factors mentioned above. Being the cheapest doesn’t always mean that you are getting the quality that your French home deserves. There’s a big difference between receiving a handwritten devis with many factors missing versus receiving a well-presented devis that includes all the relevant legal requirements. The rapport between client and business speaks volumes. Are they answering all of your questions? Are they listening? Are they offering guidance and solutions based on their competence and skill of knowing what they are doing as per French normes and standards? 

Registered tradespeople are required to fulfil certain obligations when running a trade business in France. For example, legal requirements exist when presenting homeowners with a devis. When you are happy with your research and the devis you have received, you are in a comfortable position to sign a devis. Once you have signed with ‘bon pour travaux’ and handed it back to the tradesperson, it becomes a legally binding contract. 

There is much to do, but working through this review checklist will help you eliminate the wheat from the chafe. Get into the habit of using this checklist regularly for all trades crossing over your threshold.

Download our Review Checklist

If you have any questions, please contact us here

You might also want to read Homeowner’s Guide to Understanding Which Trades Need Décennale Assurance