Normandy Properties and Renovations
We have a selection of affordable properties for sale in Normandy, France.
We also offer a comprehensive home renovation service with a full 10 year guarantee.
Nicholls Renovations & Properties, Normandy, France Testimonials
English Builder in France
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Registered Artisan in France
RenovationWe would like to say a big thank you to all of our customers and for the kind messages that they have sent, some of which we have included below.
We are in the process of renovating a farmhouse and Nicholls Renovations have just completed the first phase. It has been a totally stress-free, almost pleasurable experience, thanks to Geoff and his team's friendly, courteous and professional approach. We have found that all the members of the team, Martin, Carl, and Chris are punctual and considerate, as well as being tidy, skilled and energetic in their work. Geoff is full of ideas and helpful suggestions for the project and his knowledge and experience covers a wealth of subjects.

We have done several building projects over the years and we can state, without hesitation, that Nicholls Renovations are the best building firm we have employed. Their standard of workmanship is extremely high, but more than that, they are a pleasure to have around. We are looking forward to phase 2 of our project and would be more than happy to show any prospective clients the work Geoff has completed up to now. Their workmanship can attest to their ability far better than any words. All in all, a very well-run family business.

If anyone does want to see what Geoff and the boys have done here, we'll be more than happy to show them round.

Wendy and John Humphreys
EURL Nicholls have been the main contractors for the renovation of our stone farmhouse in The St Pois area, purchased as an abandoned project in 2007. The work has involved elements of design and build as well as interpreting and realising plans we had roughed out ourselves.

Throughout the project, we have been extremely pleased with the quality of craftsmanship and the creativity of Geoff and his team in finding ways around the inevitable problems thrown up by working on an old building. Much of the work was done in our absence, but this gave rise to very few problems as we were kept up to date by means of email and photographs.

The end result is a building brought back to life skilfully and sympathetically; we consider ourselves fortunate to have found such a reliable outfit, led by a real enthusiast, to guide us along the way.

David and Tracy Marshall
Over the past five years we have engaged Nicholls Renovations to complete a wide range of building projects ranging from internal work including plumbing, heating, studwork and plastering, to more extensive external work including the installation of fosse septiques, re-construction of stone walls, replacement of major oak timbers as well as complete roof replacement. The ability to successfully co-ordinate and complete all of these aspects in a professional has been an immense advantage and is certainly to be recommended.

We have learned that thorough planning, assessment of need and attention to detail is critical to creating perfect solutions. Geoff's wealth of experience and reputation in this area has enabled us to achieve just this. Whenever we have had the opportunity to complete some of our own work, Geoff has always been willing and available to offer advice and support so that we have been able to get our share of the enjoyment!

I would like to express my extreme gratitude to the whole Nicholls Renovation team for making all of the work they have completed so successful and trouble free. The trust they have developed during this period has enabled us to hand over keys without hesitation knowing that all will be safe, secure and above all completed to a very high standard.

Without reservation I can recommend Nicholls Renovations.

Paddy Smith & Joy Walker
Nicholls Renovations repaired and reclipped the slate roof of our Normandy farmhouse in Oct 2011. Geoff's team were friendly, polite and helpful and the work was completed within the time specified and to the estimate.

We're very pleased with it and would gladly recommend the company to anyone looking for similar roof work.

With permission we have included below recent email conversations between prospective clients and exisiting clients who agreed to offer a direct reference for work we have done for them in past. We would like to express our sincerest thanks for the humbling replies included herein. If you would like references from our previous clients or to see the work we have done for them, then with their permission we will be happy to pass on contact details to make it possible.

Email 1 sent to our clients:

Dear Carol & Bryan

We have been given your email address by Geoff Nicholls of Nicholls Renovation. We are considering contracting Nicholls Renovation to rebuild the gable end wall of our house in France.

We would welcome your opinion regarding this company in relation to:-

  • their standard of work.
  • expertise in carrying out the work.
  • keeping to the time scales.
  • their overall manner and professionalism in approaching the work.
  • keeping to their original quotation and not trying to add-in extras.
  • dealing with any problems that may have occurred.

If you have any further comments to add, that would be welcome. Thank you in advance.

Genny and Eric

Reply 1 to email 1:

Hi Genny and Eric.

We don't have a bad word to say about Geoff and his team and the work they've done for us, and will be doing again in the New Year for our outbuilding. I hope you've had a chance to look round our house with Geoff - if you're interested in the process please have a look at www.langottiere.com where my husband Bryan has documented the project for his own enjoyment but it's useful for people like yourselves to look at.

Anyway, dealing with your points in order:

  • their standard of work - very high - Geoff is meticulous and oversees all works.
  • expertise in carrying out the work - every member of his team has the skills required - only an electrician was brought in for our project.
  • keeping to the time scales - all time scales were met other than an urgent roofing job that came up soon into our project and we managed this with Geoff in order that his other client was able to stay in his home. We were in the UK so weren't in a rush. We were asked if we didn't mind first before he accepted doing the other work.
  • their overall manner and professionalism in approaching the work - even before we had decided to use them they were very open about their work. We happened to go past one of his renovations in Ger. He was out getting something and we met his brothers who were more than happy about us wandering around looking at the work in progress. Nothing hidden.
  • keeping to their original quotation and not trying to add-in extras - there were no extras - the quotation was pretty much spot on.
  • dealing with any problems that may have occurred - as above re the other urgent job which can't be foreseen but was handled well. We came over a few times delivering things from the UK and were able to discuss progress with Geoff but any issues he was either able to handle with a phone call, or just made sensible decisions himself. It didn't take us long to know that he knew what would work.

I hope you decide to go ahead with them, and if so am sure you will not regret it. Good luck with your project. Do keep in touch. Copied to Bryan, my husband, in case he has anything to add. If you want to ring us at all, our home number is (not published).


Reply 2 to email 1:

Hi Genny and Eric,

Carol has covered much of our experience and I can be equally as supportive. Unfortunately the French system is bust and that causes the major proportion of projects to fail, sit in any bar there and listen to the stories.

In France you need to be registered as an Artisan with a single trade (e.g. plasterer, mason) which leads to people working alone and self-employed rather than in teams or companies on projects. While the French can employ contractors this way (perhaps mates or family) and manage what they each do, if you are hands-off / off site and have a project that needs more than one skill it is really tough to manage them at all.

Many of them turn up and pack up when they like without explanation. For example you would normally need to organise the trades in the right order yourself and check their work, they may blame delays on each other and add costs. Don't rely on using the snail-like legal system either. If you hire a 'project manager' they get paid as a percentage of the project and it turns out that they are really an arbitrator and while you pay their bill they actually run between both sides to find a compromise. For our complex project there was no way we could allow this to happen and we found that Geoff was one of very few that took on 'projects' rather than tasks, taking full responsibility for quality, price and time.

As Carol said Geoff whisked us off to see his teams previous work where owners still trust him with their keys, other builders drove us past to look over walls at buildings or showed part finished work that did not impress. I'm happy to recommend Geoff as I know his team have all the skills needed and take every project personally, any final 'snagging' and Geoff will come personally to see it is fixed. But in such a crazy market everyone is forced to become suspicious from stories of failures and lawyers or insurers suggesting that you cannot trust anyone. Well fortunately we found one that you can, not just his work but his advice on how to approach it too!

Let us know how it goes.


Email 2 sent to our clients:

My name is Harriet Cox and my husband and I have a house in Normandy. We have asked Nicholls Renovations for a quote and they kindly gave us your contact details for a reference.

It would be greatly appreciated if you could tell me how you found working with Geoff and his team, what type of work he was doing for you and what you thought of the end result.

I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

Many thanks, Harriet Cox

Reply 1 to email 2:

Dear Harriet

We are more than happy to provide a reference for Geoff and his team.

Geoff and his team have renovated 2 properties for us. We have found them to be totally reliable, the workmanship on both properties was excellent. the follow up service very good. Geoff has a real eye for design and is able to bring out the best, utilising the original character of the property.

Our first property was a village property which had been empty for over 50 years. Geoff and his team gutted the property, replaced all floors, repaired walls, rewired, plumbed and replaced windows and doors. Also converted the attached garage into a dining room.

Our current property is not in a village and had not been lived in for many years. Geoff seamlessly extended the property to double the floor area over 3 floors. Replaced the roof, new doors, windows, floors and completely rewired and plumbed the property.

We cannot recommend Geoff and his team highly enough.

Kind regards, Nikki Routh

Reply 2 to email 2:

Hi Harriet

I can't praise Geoff and Sarah and their company enough.

We bought a small barn a few years ago and went through a due diligence process with 3 companies, only one of which (Nicholls) gave us confidence they could do the job. From the outset Geoff was able to show us inside any number of houses they've worked on.

Our conversion at the time I believe was the largest project they'd undertaken (if you're interested my husband Bryan has created a website for his own enjoyment documenting the process - www.langottierre.com). It was really a rebuild, and we went through the process with no problems at all, just coming over when decisions were required or to bring over things like the fitted kitchen, tiles etc which were all cheaper in the UK than in France and we took advantage of 24 hour crossings on the ferries which I'm not sure are available now as cheaply.

Geoff is totally trustworthy and is able to make decisions with you remotely - his suggestions have always worked out (e.g. you will see the atrium landing which he re planned for us to give us extra space and to look better).

We are extremely happy with the result which came in on time and budget and we will be using him again to renovate the other small building on our land hopefully in the New Year. They have access to our keys for showing clients around at any time, and I hope you've had the opportunity to see what a great job he and his brothers/employees have done.

Most importantly for us we have had a hassle-free experience unlike so many people who dream of having a place in France but years later are dealing with the aftermath of employing the wrong builders.

Good luck with whatever decision you make - do keep in touch and let us know what you think of our place if you have the opportunity to look round it. I hope you have as good an experience working with Nicholls Renovations as we have had, and continue to have.