Permis de Construire

The permis de construire is equivelent to planning permission in the UK. The sytem in France has recently beed overhauled and now has a simplified form that needs to be completed. In France you need permission to make changes to the appearance of the front of your house and extend into Greniers and barns etc.. In cases of simple changes to windows etc you may only need to complete a "Declaration de Travaux".

If you are replacing like for like (in the case of a replacement window or door) you can usually go ahead without formal permission. It is always a good idea to check with the local Marie before undertaking any work. Some areas might forbid the use of certain meterials such as PVC or rolling metal shutters etc. This would certainly be the case if you are in a protected area, or an area that has a "monument" such as an ancient church or the like. Many areas also have colour charts which restrict the colours that you can use to paint the front of houses, windows and shutters etc.

When applying for permission in protected areas, the normal 2 month wait is extended as the file needs to be sent to "Battiment de France" for approval. They may stipulate the materials that need to be used and or modify your original plans before they are approved.

Any work that involves taking the surface area of your property over 170 meters square will need to be designed by an architect. There are 2 measurements used when calculating the surface area of your house. The SHOB and the SHON. The first is the measurement of the outside walls to outside walls, all floors, balconies, mezzanines and attics. This includes all areas that you would not consider habitable. The SHON is the habitable space. It is the SHOB that is taken into account when considering if an architecht is required.

Below are some useful sites which will give you more detailed information

Ministère de l'Écologie, de l'Énergie, du Développement durable et de l'Aménagement du Territoire - French government site explaining the permis de construire and how to complete it.

Permis de construire/Permis d'Ameneger - Downloadable and printable form for new constructions or refurbishment of greniers, barns etc.

Permis and Declarations for building works - Click here to access these forms to complete and send on-line.

Batiment de France - Further information on the role of the chief Architect and their role.






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