Renovation project - Do I need planning permission for new windows in France?
As the house is so cold and damp,
replacing the windows has become a priority. This is something I have
not been looking forward to as it means I have to go to the Mairie to
apply for planning permission.
I arrange what I am going to say in my
head and set off.
I ask for an appointment to speak to
the planning officer and I'm asked what for. I reply that I want to
replace the windows as they are rotten and old, I'm asked if I want
PVC and quickly explain that no, I want traditional wooden windows,
I'm asked what colour I want them and reply, white, I explain that I
want them to look exactly the same.
At this point the secretary starts to
speak English, I'm shocked I have struggled in here many times and
nobody has said more than a couple of words in English.
I ask if I can continue in French as I
need to practise, I'm rewarded with a big smile and she says yes that
We discuss the windows and I receive
the best response ever, we do not need permission if they are to be
replaced with exactly the same windows.
I give my thanks and apologise for my
broken French, to which she replies, not at all, your French is very
good and you made a big effort.
I have said it many times before, as
long as you try to speak French most people are extremely helpful and
I leave a happy bunny and more than
just a little impressed with myself.
It's a good day and nothing can ruin
it until later this evening when I go for a bath and have to sit in
our freezing indoor/outdoor bathroom. As I lie down to wash my hair I
look up at the ceiling and feel dread at what I can see, and realise
the bathroom is now our priority, we need to build one in the house
as soon as possible so that I am not looking at the black mould and
wondering how much of the paint will fall in on me!
It's amazing how your priorities can
change so rapidly!