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Architect's Plans Under 170m2


Ysatis

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   We want to build a house under 170m2 and understand you don't need to employ the services of an architect. Can anybody tell me that if you don't need to employ an architect, what does that mean to me; ie: do I have to submit plans that conform to a certain French standard as I've heard from some French estate agents that you can draw them 'on the back of a fag packet', so to speak, unless you exceed the 170m2.

   Has anyone been through the process of drawing their own plans (not going over 170m2) and submitting them for a P de C, if so, any information would be appreciated.

Regards,

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Your plans would probably still need to be seen at some point by the DDE especially so if your septic tank ( if you have one) is not newly built within this calendar year of 2006 because of the new regulations. It seems that from reading the experiences of others on this forum that even if the maire agrees to some things then the DDE (planning authority) can still end up being involved.

We looked at this other forum website for some of their info:

http:/languedoc.angloinfo.com/countries/france/buildplan.asp?p

 

I'm not sure if quoting the above is fully ok on this forum in case there are any issues between them so I apologise if it is not allowed, but you may find the section on 'Technical Dossier' interesting.

The mairie's office should be able to provide scale maps/plans that you need. If you are able to sketch or draw house plans fairly neatly so that the details are clear to the reader then maybe you would be fine without an architect, but drawing on the back of something would not look very caring about how you intended to comply or proceed within respected methods of submitting plans. It's best to keep it all professional looking to the best of your abilities.

Be aware though that although it doesn't cost to submit the plans, once they are granted that a locale taxe d'equipment is charged and a couple of people on this forum have mentioned that it is a few thousand euros, some of it paid in instalments if you are converting say a barn to a house. This is something we need to find more information on from somewhere...?....

Hope it helps a bit.

The Mrs.  

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I seem to remeber reading somewhere that plans had to be drawn at 1:50 showing plan and all elevations.  Certzainly our architect submitted such plans.  So back of a fag packet needs to be taken with a pinch of salt - sorry to concatenate metaphors.
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We drew our own plans and found a local builder to do the job. It was not difficult and, although a little slow at times, it was a fun project.

You need a decent set of floor plans, elevations and a site plan. You also need a 'sketch' showing how the building will look in its natural surroundings. Our builder did that for us, cunningly glueing a rough free-hand drawing to an enlarged photo. We filled in the application for a construction permit but the builder checked and agreed it before it went off to the Marie.

I brought some software to help me produce the drawings - Microsoft Visio Professional - because it its so easy to learn and use. It took about 2 or 3 weeks to get the hang of it. Really clever people use 'AutoCad' which takes about 15 years to learn and needs a PhD in astro physics to use. Others use the good old steam driven pen or pencil which isn't such a convenient proposition because every significant change to make (and there will be lots and lots of them) involve you in new drawings.

(The builder said he was happy to do the drawings and all he needed was an outline indication "on the back of a fag packet". Didn't seem such a good idea as presumeably we would be paying for his drawing time and would lose significant control.

My advice is get some french building product catalogues (they use stuff that can be different from what you're used to seeing), poke around a few building sites in France first, and then GO FOR IT!!

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We did our own plans. I used a product called Turbo Cad, cost about £25,  which didn't take too long to learn - I just went through the tutorial provided one wet Saturday. There are several similar, and of course Visio, which will all do the job. Turbo Cad came with ready made drawings of trees, showers, loos etc but I guess the others may as well. Floor plans, elevations (all sides), site plan, together with maps identifying location, together with photos of the site were required, and also a cross sectional drawing of the site drawn through the house. I omitted the last as I couldn't see the point and was asked by the DDE to submit them before approval- no big deal although I did have to make a visit to the office to discuss the exact positioning of one window because the lady didn't want me to cut a minor post to fit it. This required moving it a few inches and cutting another identical post but it kept her happy. Apart from drawing in biro all over my photos she didn't really make any changes at all but smiling and keeping our cool seemed to ease things throught.

I made a point of including floor area calculations on the plans to demonstrate that we were below the limit where an architect was required.

I did do the house plans at 1:50 but I don't recall that being a requirement although all the info was on the forms. I think the only requirement was that the plans had to be on A4 minimum size paper whereas I did them on A3 as I managed to source a cheap A3 printer at the time.

Our situation was slightly different from your situation in that we were doing a conversion rather than new build. The rules on engaging architects still seemed the same though. Ours is a standard shape Normandy Pressoir so we were able to look at others that had been converted to see what did and din't work. We even stayed in a couple of B&B's that were in similar buildings. That was important as we picked up quite a few tips from others that we could incorporate in the design.

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   Thanks painterman, andyh4, piprob and alane for all your replies. I t all sounds reasonably straight forward if you are competant and familiar with drawing plans, which my husband is apart from the computer technology that is available. My husband uses the good old fashioned pencil.We have done some research and feel that it's something we can do ourselves. Again, many thanks.

Regards,

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I use a program called sketchup to draw plans for  P de C. It generates 3D images of your house and dimensioned and scaled  2D drawings with as much detail as the DDE require.

I got a copy of a similar P de C for my first application from the Marie, they said do it like this.

I took loads of photos and superimposed the 3D model in sketchup thus creating 'before and after' pictures. They liked that very much.

Combined with dimensioned plans from every elevation I've done 4 successful P de C.

Sketchup is free, just give it a google.

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Thanks bigjimbishop,

   If we are going to try drawing plans using the computer it has to be easy to do and understand. Neither of us are that good with PC's, my husband has no experience of using one at all. But thanks for the information and I will have a look at the program sketchup, see if it's something a novice like me can cope with.

Regards,

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I drew all my plans with a pencil and the DDE said that they were fine - I even managed to get the architect to use them for the full planning application, which save me some money, as he didn't have to do much drawing work!

Warren

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  • 1 month later...
It became apparent that we did not have the time to master how to 'draw' plans using the computer so we also drew ours with a pencil and so far, so good, apart from recently having a letter from the DDE that we had left a few pieces of information out of the dossier. Which we have now completed and due to pop in the post tomorrow.
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