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garantie decennale questions


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After doing some searching on this site I found a very useful link to http://www.conseils-infos-batiment.fr/garanties/decennale.php as I was interested to understand more on what was actually covered under this garantie.

I'm slowly working my way through this to get a better understanding.

The reason for asking is that  a property that I had made an offer on, but subsequently pulled out of , was around 9 years old. At the time of initial viewings the agent was keen to tell us that it still had around a year of the garantie to run.

However, after we had a survey done which threw up a couple of things like some flaking crépe, and damp earthfloored cellar the agent started to tell us that these were probably not covered by the garantie. We left the agent to take back our issues with the seller and also confirm the position with the the garantie. However, in the meantime another issue gave us cause to pull out of the sale so we never followed through on these issues.

I guess my question is, how useful is that garantie if you actually try and claim against it. Is it full of "weasal words" that render it fairly useless. Is it typically a hard battle to get anything claimed against it.

The question is really for my future knowledge. Whilst we aren't particularly looking for newish houses we don't rule them out either.

Any views and experiences greatly appreciated.

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Earthfloored cellars are damp, decorative finishes like crepi do deteriorate and require maintenance during a 10 year period. 

Neither of these would put me off buying a house in otherwise good order, however structural cracks etc would be covered.

If you meant enduit instead of crepi, and if it was put on when the house was new, or by a registered insured artisan then decollement should be covered, but be aware that to avoid paying TVA many finishes are not done at the building stage and are often done on the black afterwards.

I have friends whose house was just inside the decenelle period when they bought it and had recurrent problems with a blocked drain, the artisan who had done the work had since retired and his insurers paid for another company to replace the deformed pipe, it was a big job and required diggers and reinstatment of lawns and terraces, they had no problems with the insurers trying to wriggle out.

P.S I have just reread your posting and see that you pulled out of the sale over another issue.

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J.R. Thanks for the reply.

Although I've tried searching to better understand the difference between crepi and enduit I have to admit I'm still not sure.

Here's shot of the external wall in question showing some of the flaking and underlying damp which is visible externally from the damp cellar.  Crepi (as the agent referred to it) or enduit?


My presumption is that the external wall coating (crepi or enduit) was applied at the time of the original house build.

As I said, the detail of this particular house isn't that relevant as we pulled out due to a combination of reasons. However, it's useful to have a good understanding for the future.

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"Here's shot of the external wall in question showing some of the flaking and underlying damp which is visible externally from the damp cellar.  Crepi (as the agent referred to it) or enduit?"

It's neither.....it's called "ravalement" and is done by a specialist company at the time of building. It should certainly last longer than 10 years and I would have thought they would have insurance to cover this.

We frequently re-do ravelement but normally after 15 - 20 years when stains etc have set in.

As the problem seems to be damp rather than bad standard of ravalement, I would guess that they would not be responsible, but the builder?

Hope this helps,


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Aly and J.R.  Thanks for clarifying this. In simplistic terms though, all of these are basically external wall rendering - is that right? Presumably the difference is in the physical makeup of the mix, the method of application, and thickness of application?

I'm presuming now that the question of whether the rendering would be covered by the decennale comes down to what type of rendering has been used and what it's normal lifespan is before "normal" maintenance is required.

eg. if crepi typically needed patching (or whatever) after 7 years and the house was 9 years, the decennale wouldn't cover it. However, if it was ravalment with a 15 year life it would?  Have I got that right?

On the more general question of the decennale with a house 9 years old am I right in believing that the decennale will have been put in place by the original builder of the house and that this would cover all of the construction regardless of whether he had brought in sub-contractors to do specialist work - eg, tiling, rendering?

Additionally, the decennale would be held by the house owner who would pass this on to any subsequent buyer? If the original builder was no longer in business, this would not be a problem as the decennale is an insurance and the claim would be through the insurance company who, in the case of a successful claim, would appoint an appropriate tradesman/builder to carry out the rectification.

Sorry to labour this but but "forearmed is forewarned".

Many thanks

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"I was not sure what it was so didnt want to post, it looked too thick for crepi and more like chaux based enduit de renovation applied by projection."

That's more or less it....not sure that it's chaux based, but a team of guys comes along with big machines and basically spray the whole building, leaving a nice even coat in your choice of colour (and a lot of mess!).

If well done, it'll last for years and years before needing tidied up.


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