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Everything posted by zeb

  1. Well, it's been raining/drizzly for days, brightening up now but the weather forecast for the weekend is iffy - storms and sunshine. The asparagus is fat, tough and white, nothing like the beautiful tasty green asparagus my dad grows in Essex. Apart from that, the vide greniers, music and springtime plant festivals have started so there's always something to go to at weekends, and we love it!! Have a look at http://www.sortir16.net/ to see what you are missing!! However, take heart!! As you are based in London, I bet you are earning (and able to spend) a hellofalot more than me!!
  2. It's not a gite or a CdH but we stay in the Etape hotel next to LeClerc at Boulonge when travelling from Charente to the UK. It's clean, comfortable and only cost 50 euros a night with breakfast (for 2) and you don't have to book - just pay by credit card in the machine at the door! There are lots of nice restaurants in Boulogne for evening meals.
  3. Erm......monaco, you're not claiming that your two children are dependants for tax purposes are you? That's how your post reads.
  4. Have you tried www.gites-de-france.fr ?
  5. If you moved here permanently in 2007 you wont have to complete your first tax form until May 2008 (for the year 2007). But, if you moved to France sometime in 2006 you need to complete it this year, for 2006. They won't chase you - you have to go to your local Hotel d'Impots and collect the necessary forms. After that they send them to you automatically.
  6. zeb


    As far as I know, painting and decorating doesn't have to be guaranteed but most building works do. Decennale is more expensive for some works, i.e. couveture, than others, i.e.carrolage This may help with what works have to be covered: http://www.conseils-infos-batiment.fr/garanties/decennale.php
  7. So does that mean that by having the odd holiday here and there, we're skimming "the surface like tourists" etc and are not integrated enough into our community? Er, most of our French neighbours have an annual holiday - I feed their cats and hens, water their plants etc. Oh dear, I feel guilty now for seeking out other bits of France!!
  8. Sorry, this is nothing to do with France (or the forum), but someone sent me an email last night, which I read and remarked on to MOH. I then lost my connection, as usual, and forgot about the email. This morning I tried to find it as it could be important. I've been through every email that I've received this year and it's not there! Is it possible for a sender to remove an email once it has been sent and opened?
  9. This post has made me feel really sad!!! I'm just over 50 but not too old to party, ride bikes and play cricket (er, if I wanted to)! Good job I don't feel like shunning any over 70s!
  10. OMG - we must be doing something wrong as we have holidays every year, otherwise my OH would just collapse from overwork. They are not exotic or costly - a week or two in gites in other parts of France (usually with some friends who live in far flung places), and a few days every four months or so in the UK - just to relax and enjoy each other's company and see our nearest and dearest! But, yes, when you add up the time lost and the charges which have to be paid whether you are away or not, these breaks work out very costly. Unfortunately cash hasn't been offered for a long time! PS I heard that the cotisations are so high as it's assumed that artisans do do cash work. Dunno if there's any truth in that. Good luck faye, but don't rely on B&B to keep you. Go for the dry lining instead!
  11. [quote user="Chief"][quote user="Fumanzoku"]Sounds great, be sure to get a good deposit though. [/quote] Would a deposit be appropriate when the owner is effectively asking for someone to do them a favour?.....don't know :-/ [/quote] It would be mad not to have a large deposit and some sort of legal agreement drawn up. There are all sorts of weird characters out there who often appear extremely nice /trustworthy on the surface, so just take care.
  12. You can register your spouse as conjoint. A bit extra is paid in cotisations but then the spouse will be entitled to health/pension in their own right. As conjoint though, the spouse can only work in the business, not set up and run something unrelated. Say if you ran the computer repairs business, your wife could also repair computers, take your phone calls, do deliveries, run your shop etc but could not run a hairdressing salon on your registration number. My garden/property maintenance business (registered at the Chambre de Commerce) was registered in my name with my husband as conjoint (yes, eyebrows were raised) but then he had more work than I and it had evolved into mainly building related work, so we deregistered at the CdM and reregistered in his name at the Chambre de Metiers with me as conjoint so I can go out and do tiling/labouring jobs for him (but don't!). I just make tea, take phone calls, wash his filthy clothes and collect paperwork for the accountant. There is a fairly useful site available for business set ups/tax regimes.........I think Will can lead you to it.
  13. The devis should be signed by the artisan and the client; it then becomes a legal contract and what you see is what you pay. Any alterations to the original devis have also to be signed and attached. Er.... one point, adventure. What do you mean by changes in TVA on materials? Perhaps your artisan has priced his works at 5.5% and should've have priced them at 19.6% (There are two rates of TVA applicable to renovations - loosely 5.5% is charged by the artisan for renovating a building which was habitable at one time. 19.6% is charged for converting barns into habitable accommodation, installing swimming pools, adding terraces etc. There are of course variations. see http://www.conseils-infos-batiment.fr/fiscalite/tva-5,5.php) If this is not the case, can you elaborate?
  14. Well, in my little hamlet, it's very laid back. They mow, and we mow if it's rained all week, but normally they chill out and so do we. You may find though that the farmers work if rain is forecast for the week ahead, especially through the harvest season which is quite long here. I remember someone on the forum complaining because the farmers around her hamlet worked evenings and weekends during the summer. Dunno what she expected! So be prepared, if you're relaxed about things like that, you'll be fine. Just pray that a renovater doesn't move in next door. (Luckily for us, our neighbours have been quite laid back about that!)
  15. [quote user="abbo"]please tell me it is illegal to mow your lawn with your large sit on noisy mower on a sunday afternoon in france[/quote] See what your neighbours do. Ours work in the garden when ever the weather is good, but never between 12 and 2. They do sometimes get out the mower on Sunday afternoons, and we do likewise if really necessary. When we first came we were told that you couldn't use any machinery on a Sunday and we respected that.....until our neighbours got out their mower! If you live in a village though, it's best not to as any noise really echoes in French villages!
  16. [quote user="Iceni"][quote user="zeb"]A lot of my time is usually spent on St Botoph's platform, weighed down with goodies, waiting for a train!![/quote] Aka Colchester Town ? John not[/quote]Yeah, it's always been St Botolph's to me!! Edit: I give up with this quote malarky!! Post edited by a mod to make the quote easier to read
  17. [quote user="Prasutagus"] Q for mods - why are so many of us registered on the same date, 23.8.04? [/quote] There must have been a promo on that day! Moi? I love Colchester and can't wait to get back for my next visit at the end of the month. A lot of my time is usually spent on St Botoph's platform, weighed down with goodies, waiting for a train!!
  18. Apologies Linda, I'll try to be more helpful with this post..... You can work on cotisations of around 4000 in the first year plus decinal which could be up to 3000 a year (the 10 year guarantee), but then it's adjusted according to your tax bill (good reason to get a good accountant). If your husband has only just registered, he should get a cotisation bills soon from AVA, URSFF etc. Opt to pay by prelevement monthly (for us, it's a bit like having a big mortgage again). Also, there is no incentive to try to earn big bucks in the first years (or ever?) as you are penalised later with higher charges. Your subby will have the same charges (but maybe not the insurance decinal) so doesn't come cheap. I posted earlier what we have to pay the guys who work with us occasionally. Good luck.
  19. If he's registered in France and has done the course (which is obligatory) he'll know all this, and how to cost up (hourly rates, materials, TVA, cotisations etc) as it's covered, repeated several times, and this is what everyone who is there talks about in tea breaks!
  20. We sometimes subcontract work to other registered artisans when we need to speed things up - normally around 200+ euros day. Your carpenter friend should know roughly how much to charge as this is covered in detail on the stage (course). Our accountant provided a list of charges for certain works (France is very regimented!), and this list is available in some books. Good luck. Pricing up jobs and getting it right is an art!
  21. If you have work to be done, most artisans charge by the job. Reading on this site, many base their quotes on around 30 euros an hour (expensive, but in France nearly half of this has to be paid out in cotisations - health and pension charges) plus TVA and materials. Just remember to try to get two or three devis (estimates) in and a) if you sign a devis, it's a legal contract, b) add start and finish dates to the devis, c) don't pay more than 30% up front and pay the rest in stage payments, keeping a decent percentage back for when the jobs finished and you're satisfied with the work. If you are thinking about registering to work as an artisan, see above regarding the cotisations.
  22. [quote user="squidge"][quote user="Tresco"] Hi Squidge. I looked again at your website, and the pictures there would lead me to expect all white towels and linen [/quote] errr yeeessss - unfortunately the current pics on the website aren't actually of our house - that was demolished by mark last week as threatened... by the time our first paying guests book (whenever that will be), the website will be showing pics of what they can expect ...as it should do!!!!.. i just couldn't be arsed / didn't really want to put up piccys of how it looks in it's current state..... [/quote] LOL - I was just about to book!! Edit - apologies re the quote, I don't like gobledygook either! Post edited by a moderator to untangle the gobbledygook.
  23. [quote user="Clair"]Indeed![:)] I was asked to complete a new H1 form after installing an above-ground pool (subject to a déclaration de travaux, which automatically kicks a H1 follow-up). .[Www][/quote] Sorry - going off topic a bit! I didn't realise you had to get planning permission to install an above ground pool, Clair? Are you sure? I thought it was just inground pools. We have a little one (4mtr diameter, metal wall) which we are going to put up next to the patio at the weekend (on the box it says that it will take 3 men, five hours - ha!). Should we fill in a form? Edit - Eek! How do you do a quote without the gobbledegook? Edited by Moderator to make quote legible
  24. [quote user="Clair"]In view of previous behaviour, be aware that any post to this thread which does not stick to the subject will be immediately deleted by the moderators.[/quote] I don't understand this.....I've obviously missed something here. To me, Lenny has asked some perfectly valid questions, so why are they met with such a response? Lenny, I know it's not really answering your query, but looking through our local (16) pages jaunes there are many companies who install geothermic/aerethermic and solar heating systems, as tax residents in France can claim 50% credits on energy rated heating systems including most woodburners (it cannot be claimed on the labour charges and there are conditions) which the government is promoting. We have a friend who has had underfloor heating installed which is run from a heat exchange pump, and another who has a rad system plus swimming pool run from a heat exchange pump (pompe de chaleur). Neither had the ground space for geothermic but both have benefitted from the tax credits and low electricty bills. AFAIK their systems aren't reversible. If anyone is interested there is an exhibition of eco friendly house construction and heating systems at La Rochelle later this month.
  25. I think it would only be holiday home owners and, perhaps, folks who live in Northern France, who would bring anything over from the UK. I can understand why folks have to "hit the ground running" when they get here rather than trailing around unfamiliar towns or shops for items that they can collect from B&Q on a weekly basis between holidays. We have on the odd occasion had paint and teabags brought over but everything else is bought in France as it would be very expensive to drive all the way back for a few items which are a bit cheaper in the UK. However, we are seriously considering looking for a replacement secondhand gearbox for our tranny on our next trip (car parts really are expensive here)!! It really makes me laugh though, the threads where people offer to bring over and sell us tonnes of plaster/Kingspan, or what have you, as they think we who live here can't find or get on with French equivalents.
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