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New Build in Aude


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Having just completed the purchase of a large plot of building land near Quillan (which has taken best part of a year) we are now having our rose tinted spectacles taken off.  Having been advised by the estate agent that it was fairly straightforward building a new home, that we could do this well within our budget of £100,000 (for a 160m2 property) etc. etc. we now realise that it may be more complicated and costly than we were led to believe.

During our year wait we used the time to obtain "very rough" estimates for all the building work (in most cases we were quite specific); asked around for people who could prepare drawings and submit the planning application etc. and the availability of artisans to build the house.  

However, now that we wish to start on the project the "estimates" appear to be pure fabrication - some quotes we are now receiving being 3 times the original; no-one is prepared to submit our plans unless we employ the services of an Architect and none of the builders we contacted have availability for the next year or so. 

We are devastated and are now considering selling the plot.

One suggestion that has been mentioned to us (to save time and hopefully money) is to use the services of a UK timber frame company.  We have been in touch with a very competent company who have had experience of building in Europe, but who are not prepared to submit the planning application.  As a final effort to get our dream underway can anyone tell us if it is very difficult to fill in these forms, whether it is within the capabilities of someone with no building experience and whether we can use drawings prepared by someone who is not an architect (building is under 170m2).  How much does a permit de construire cost?  From the comments on a variety of subjects on your Forum it seems that the process of building a new home is fraught with bureaucracy and hidden costs and hardly seems worth the hassle.  Has anyone out there built there own home (not literally, but with the aid of builders etc.) and come out the other side?

If all else fails, I think we will make a profit on the sale of the plot even with the huge CGT we will no doubt have to pay.  Any advice, greatly appreciated!

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  • 3 weeks later...



I have been away for a few weeks and am only just catching up on the posts.  We are having a new house built in the Quillan area as well.  It took a long time to find a suitable building company but we finally settled on a traditional builder in Nimes.  They have an excellent representative for the Aude and we are just in her ‘catchment’ area.  We have been very impressed with her and the company to date.  They are building a number of houses for British and Dutch clients.  For comparison, we are paying 280,000 for a 250m2 house.  Having said that, the plot is steep and we are on a geological fault line so our ground works are more expensive than normal.  We are also having solar assisted under floor heating put in as the electricity bill for our bungalow on the other side of the village was horrendous over Xmas!


Drop me a PM if you would like further details.


Brian  11500  

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Thank you for your response.  We would be very grateful indeed to receive the name and contact details of your builder especially as you appear to be very satisfied with them.  I have heard that electricity is very expensive in this area (not sure why) and we too have been considering such a solar powered system - recommended to us by the timber framed company who initially quoted us - they reckon a house (200m2) should only cost 200 euros per year in fuel costs with this system.  Sounds ideal and very cost effective - hopefully it is as good as they say.  They quoted us 7,000 euros fitted - does this sound about right? 

(Think I am jumping the gun a bit here - haven't even got the builder yet and already I'm talking heating systems!!)

Thanks again Brian - look forward to hearing from you.  Fingers crossed this will be THE ONE!!


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