Saturday, 12 March 2016

Renovation project - French windows

Renovation project - French windows

We have to replace all of the windows in the property and luckily because we are replacing like for like we do not require planning permission.

I was over the moon when the Mairie informed us of this and now we can go and buy the new windows.

We call at Brico depot in Morlaix to buy them, but are informed that they no longer sell wooden windows, we are gutted. We really do not want PVC, and if we install PVC we will have to wait 2 months for the permission to come through.

We head home disappointed, but start to search other shops on line.

We find a shop called Lapyere, we have bought from here before and the stock is good quality, but more expensive, but we have no choice.

We go armed with our measurements and there are no English speaking staff.

This really puts my French to the test. But we manage and I have ordered the correct windows (I hope!)

It is quite difficult to understand the measurements as you have to add an extra measurement to the windows and they did not have all of the exact sizes,

But I do impress myself by arguing the price, they are more expensive than I had calculated, this turned out too be the handles, we quickly cancel the handles that were going to be ordered and order some different ones at a considerably lower price.

The assistant also puts a note on the delivery sheet stating that we are English so not to speak quickly when they telephone us to arrange delivery.

My head hurts so much when we get home, I had spent nearly an hour with the assistant and the only English she spoke was “oh My God” when she saw the price of the decorative beads, to make them look more traditional (we didn't order those!)

John will make them instead for a tenth of the price,

Top tips

  • Make sure your measurements are correct (taking into account any additional measurements required)
  • Check the total cost and don't be afraid to question it
  • Ask the staff to add a note for the delivery company to explain they will need too speak slowly


  1. More pictures please, Jenny! Always enjoying your writing and tips. How much do replacement wooden Windows cost in Brittany?

    1. thanks, the windows vary in price, with the cheapest being at Brico depot, we used these last time and were good, but his time we had to use Lapyere, it was approx 1600 euros for 6 windows, each of these shops have websites and you can see what is available :)

  2. It's a nightmare with the windows, I remember when we were about to buy an off the shelf window from Bricoman in Laval and the assistant who spoke perfect English (thank goodness) explained that the actual size of the window was in the very much smaller print at the bottom which would have made the window too big, if its a bit smaller than the opening you can do something about it but bigger and you have to start chipping away at very stubborn stone walls, not a good idea, there is a company in Durtal which sells all the wooden windows that have turned out to be the wrong size at a much cheaper price

    1. luckily John realised the difference in time and was able to calculate what we needed, it is just more difficult in French as I am translating, it took team work :)