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How to find a (reliable) project manager near Nice

 
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TobiasT



Joined: 24 Nov 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Fayence

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: How to find a (reliable) project manager near Nice Reply with quote

My wife and I are due to complete on our first property abroad in a few weeks - a holiday rental that we'll also use ourselves. It's in Fayence, Provence-Alpes-Cotes d'Azur region, about an hour south-west of Nice.

The property needs some serious upgrading, mostly aesthetic. As we'll be managing the work from the UK we'd really like to find a local project manager to run the show there.

Are there particularly useful sites or even contacts that might help us start our search? It's an intimidating project so any tips aside from this would also be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks - Tobias and Julia
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Zingara



Joined: 09 Apr 2013
Posts: 611
Location: Antibes, PACA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Tobias and Julia

Some of the others will be along with sound suggestions, I'm sure...particularly those that manage properties / arrange repairs etc (tho' not necessarily from your region).

We're just (?up) down the road from you, in Antibes. Brockles is a member on here, and again not far (he may have some ideas).

Having works done in France is not as straightforward as it might first appear. In part it depends on how you've bought (eg. as an SCI, or personally), whether you want to reclaim any of your costs against your rental business (You will need to use a French-registered company), your insurance (again, you should use a French registered company).

You may need to get an 'architect' involved if you want supervision / local tradespeople...not a cheap way to go, I know, but it should then be done to the 'letter of the law'.

There are a lot sharks on CDA, and they don't inhabit the water!

I speak from 14y of 'experience', but I by no means don't know everything!
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declanja



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 509
Location: Nice France

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tobias and welcome to the forum. We have a one bed in Nice so not far away. I cannot help you on specifics unfortunately but you have two things going for you already. One is you have found this forum and the second is that you are looking for a project manager. We carried out two refurbishments of our apartment and project managed them ourselves (from Ireland!) with not so good results. So ask around your area for recommendations, check their previous work and remember that the cheapest is cheap for a reason! Best of luck. Declan
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TobiasT



Joined: 24 Nov 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Fayence

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zingara, thanks for the tips. We agree that whilst it's not the cheapest doing it the proper way is probably best, at least this first time around. We've heard plenty of stories of people going the cheap option and it ending up costing them more in the long run.

Declan, thanks as well and same response as above. It's good to know we're on the right track! We're both quite pragmatic and organised people so can't really imagine the stress of trying to manage it ourselves from the UK.

We're experienced doing this sort of thing in the UK, but know it all happens very differently in France. Hopefully we can find a decent project manager to hold our hand through this process!

Thanks - Tobias and Julia
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ORIGIN



Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: PROJECT MANAGER Reply with quote

Hello - in 2006, we bought an old property needing a full renovation. We are based in England and had no knowledge of the area. We used a local architect found on the internet, who designed the plans and project managed the works, and well established local builders chosen by the architect after tendering the work to 5 or 6 contractors.

Regrettably, despite these efforts, we got bitten. It turned out that that neither the architect nor the builder performed to the professional standards reasonably to be expected of them.

Advice to try and avoid these problems – if you do not speak good French, do your best to find someone who does.

1 - architects draw up plans, on no account let the architect who draws up your plans project manage the build. I also suggest asking your architect to prepare 3D computer images from the plan so you can see illustrative images of what the plans will actually be and make changes before work starts.
2 - finding a project manager/maitre d’oeuvre– depending on the size of the project, this person can be almost critical to successful work. Ask around local expat groups, search online, ask at the mairie, look at any well-organised building projects near where your property is and check the board outside. This will tell you the names of the project client, the main contractor and the project manager. Also, perhaps check professional groups like - https://www.maitredoeuvre.com. When you find a few, check and talk to references of projects of a similar size to your own.
3 – in due course, once appointed, ensure architect, contractor, project manager all sign every page of the builder’s agreed quote.
4 – IMPORTANT - obtain DOMMAGE-OUVRAGE insurance. This cover means that problems, if they occur, can be fixed without you proving negligence by the builder or anyone else. We did not have it – hence a court case. You may be told that you do not need this as ‘you will be covered by my insurance' but in my view, it is expensive but potentially very worthwhile.
5 – much information is available at FRENCHENTREE and other similar websites.
8 – expect the project to run 30-50pc over budget and take double the estimated time.

Many of us have our dream of a house in ‘la belle France’ but so many people have had problems getting work done. Even after all the fuss we had, our house is now a delight and I hope my suggestions help your project a little.

Good luck.

Peter
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TobiasT



Joined: 24 Nov 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Fayence

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter, lots of great tips here, thanks. Sounds like you had a pretty hard time of it. Fortunately my wife speaks French (I'm learning, but a long way off dealing with anything like this, describing my family's age is about my limit) so that may count for something.

I'll try your recommended sites and see where we go!
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