8. Terms of Contrat de construction de maison individuelle (CCMI)

  1. Cooling Off Period
  2. Specification of Works
  3. Contract Price
  4. Stage Payments
  5. Works Programme
  6. Contract Guarantees
  7. Sub-Contracting

8.4. Stage Payments in French Building Contract (CCMI)

On signing of the contract, the contractor is entitled to ask for a deposit, called a Dépôt de garantie, of up to 3%.

This sum can be increased to 5% if the builder offers a garantie de remboursement – see later.

The money must be deposited into an independent client account that cannot be used by the contractor. Normally it is held by the Notaire.

The contract then provides for stage payments to be made, called l’échelonnement des paiements, in line with the progress of works, as follows:

  • 5% start of works
  • 25% foundations
  • 40% external walls
  • 60% roof
  • 75% windows and doors
  • 95% Practical completion

The initial payment of 5% at start of works can be increased to 15% if it was the builder who obtained planning consent. The 15% includes the intial 5% deposit made on signing of the contract. If a 3% deposit paid over, then this is also imputed into the first payment on start of works.

A retention of 5% is held against defects on handover and paid over when defects are remedied.

One of the problems that can sometimes arise with stage payments is determining whether the builder has reached the stage where a further payment becomes due.

This is a point you need to discuss with the builder and your architect at the outset so that there is no doubt as the how satisfactory stage completion will be determined.

Before you make any of these stage payments ensure you and your professional advisor visit the site to satisfy yourself as to the progress and quality of works.

The builder is not permitted to deny you access to the site, but there may be terms on which access is to be permitted.

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