7. French Building Contracts
- Contrat de construction de maison individuelle (CCMI)
- Contrat d'entreprise/Contrat louage-ouvrage
7.2. Contrat d'entreprise/Contrat louage-ouvrage
Where you not only engage an architect to prepare the plans but then organise the construction work through several building professionals you will need to enter into separate contracts with each company or artisan.
These contracts are known as contrats d'entreprises or contrats louage-ouvrage.
This type of contract is not regulated or specified in the same manner as the CCMI and offers less consumer protection. Whilst the contracts may be suitable for repair and maintenance work, they are not designed for the construction of a new home.
Nevertheless, many smaller builders do not simply carry sufficient professional insurance cover that would enable them to take overall responsibility for a large CCMI project, so you may well find that you have little choice in the matter.
However, it is possible to use both contracts for the same project.
Thus, if you do not want to use a single contractor for the whole of the works, one solution is to engage the main builder to undertake the superstructure works using a CCMI contract, and then arrange for plumbing, electrical and other works to be carried out by other contractors using a contrat d’entreprise for each trade.
Clearly, the major problem with individual contracts is that in the event of problems on site, or later defects in the property, there may well be no clear single contractor willing to accept responsibility. Accordingly, you would be well advised to appoint a project manager who would be given responsibility for ensuring that the project came in on time, to budget and to the required standards.
As these contracts have no specific model form, you will need to determine the precise terms with the builder, with the assistance of your architect. Nevertheless, the law specificially prohibits any clause which seeks to remove or reduce the liability of the builder from their ten year building guarantee.
The main terms of the CCMI contract are considered in the next section.
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