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After spending many years renovating old property we have decided to buy a plot of land and self build.
Any advice regarding building regs,inspection at various stages,problem areas,personal experiences,most welcome.
We are in Northern Brittany and have seen a few nice cedarwood chalets and may consider this as an option.
We are aware of course that plans or at least a basic design has to be approved by the local Mairie.
No one has ever mentioned building inspectors and I am unable to find any references in any threads.
Any advice appreciated.
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I am in the process of doing a similar project in the Dordogne.It would appear that Building Regulations and inspectors do not exist but the 'planning application' stage is slightly more detailed,the electrics are however inspected.I'm sure the builders on the forum will give more details.
Regards Tony
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You will need to make a formal planning application before you consider starting work on your house. If the planned net liveable surface are is more than 170m then the application will need to be made by a qualified architect. The planning application is quite involved, though, so you should get advice before doing it yourself - if only to avoid delays and rejections.

Upon completion of your house - you declare this to the Mairie - there will almost certainly be an inspection of conformity by the DDE (the DTU - who define the norms - intervening in case of conflict). These inspections are, in theory, systematic but you know how it is in France. I have heard of cases where the owner has been obliged to take his house down because of non-conformity. The authorities are unforgiving on this.

If you get your house build built by professionals then they are responsible for making sure everything is done to the norms. If you do work yourself, then *you* are directly responsible and there is a good chance that you will be caught out if you have done any non-conform work. It could also jeopardise your insurance if any catastrophe results in non-conform installations.

Just be aware that there *are* norms for almost everything and that there *are* systematic inspections.

If you have any specific questions or would like us to put you in touch with a good architect then please don't hestitate to contact me.

All the best!

Ben Symons
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