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Timber/ Wood Surveys in France

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Pre-purchase timber and damp surveys are common practise in the UK. However, this is not the case for the French property market. Problems with woodworm, termites, wet-rot, dry-rot and dampness can often remain hidden and can cause widespread damage to buildings that is expensive to repair. It would therefore be wise to seek independent expert advice on these issues in order to be fully aware of the condition of a French property, before signing a compromis de vente or promesse de vente, which are legally binding agreements.

There are few timber and damp experts in France, and buyers are often unable to find a local expert, particularly one who provides a report in English. Property agents will inform you of all the positive aspects of a purchase, but buyers should remember that agents act on behalf of the seller. Local builders (artisans) may provide a quote for repair works, but their advice cannot be taken as expert or independent.

Checkwood are UK-based specialist timber and damp surveyors, providing independent pre-purchase surveys for UK buyers of French property, with reports in English. This allows buyers to be aware of any problems and the extent of any repairs needed, or gives them assurances that problems are minor or absent, before proceeding with a purchase.



The Survey

Checkwood’s experts carry out a close inspection of all structural timbers in the property, such as roof timbers or floor timbers, for woodworm, wet-rot, dry-rot and termites. The inspection involves visual examination, hammer sounding, probing, fibre-optic examination (for instance behind panelling), moisture measurement, and decay detection drilling of timbers where required. A survey for dampness such as rising or penetrating damp is also carried out. Following the survey a report is issued, in English, highlighting any timber or damp problems and giving recommendations for repairs.




Checkwood can usually attend the property within three days of instruction, and provide telephone briefings to clients on the day of the survey. This allows buyers to act quickly when required. Full written reports follow within two working days.





Checkwood predominantly operate in the north-west regions of France, including Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardie, Haute Normandy, Basse-Normandy and Brittany, but can provide surveys for property anywhere in France if requested.




The consequences of proceeding with a property purchase in France without a timber and damp survey could be horrendous, and involve significant expense and inconvenience. You would not proceed with such a purchase in the UK without a survey, so can you afford not to have one on your home in France? Typically, Checkwood experts will travel from the UK to and from the property in France, carry out the survey, and issue the report for around the same cost as a structural pre-purchase survey on a UK property. This represents excellent value for money, and is an extremely cost-effective way for buyers to ensure that purchasing their dream home in France does not turn into a nightmare.  





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