Receiving your new home: precautions and procedures

Acceptance of the work on your new home is the last step in your construction project. This is a crucial phase, because it consists of a verification of all the elements of the site and the work carried out in order to validate their proper execution. This is a step not to be missed, because it is the one that acts as the start of the legal guarantees intended to protect you in the event of faulty workmanship. Here are our tips for a successful reception of your home.

What does the reception of the work of a new house consist of?

The reception of a new house is a kind of meeting which allows to validate the good realization of the works, directly on the spot. This is a legal act which allows the owner of the dwelling, or project manager, to validate the work carried out, and this with or without expressing reservations, as stipulated in article 1792-6 of the Code. civil.

The project owner is thus summoned on site by the builder or the project manager with the various craftsmen involved on the construction site in order to verify that all the work has been carried out in accordance with the construction contract.

Once this work has been verified, the project manager receives a report of acceptance of the work signed by the various craftsmen. This report makes it possible to officially authenticate the good reception of the new house and to date the beginning of the various legal guarantees which must apply.

In fact, the following guarantees then begin on the date of receipt:

  • The ten-year guarantee :this insurance covers all damage that compromises the solidity of the structure or that affects certain elements that make the house unsuitable for its occupation (foundations, roof, waterproofing, cracks, insulation, etc.). The ten-year guarantee is valid for a period of 10 years from the acceptance of the work.
  • The two-year guarantee of proper functioning : during the two years following the acceptance of the site, the manufacturer must repair or replace all the equipment presenting a problem of operation and which can be dismantled.
  • The guarantee of perfect completion : during the year following the date of acceptance of the site, the builder is obliged to repair any anomalies reported by the client in the report, in the reserves or sent by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

The reception of the work of a new house is not a mandatory meeting, but it is highly recommended. Without this, no acceptance report can be signed by all the parties, which does not allow the start date of the legal guarantees to be established.

You should know that the time to devote to this meeting is very variable. A contracting authority who has had the opportunity to visit the site regularly, to monitor the work of the various professionals and to point out any pitfalls will have already made great progress on the issue. One to two hours will therefore be sufficient. On the other hand, in the opposite case, because of the number of points to be checked and the questions that will arise from them, it is necessary to plan about half a day.

How to equip yourself and what to check when receiving a new house?

What equipment is required?

When accepting the work of the new house, it is recommended to be well equipped in order to correctly check the essential points.

Here is what we advise you to have with you:

  • A camera or smartphone to take pictures of any defects. This will allow you to have visual evidence.
  • A light bulb and a phone charger or electrical device to test the proper functioning of electrical outlets and sockets.
  • A flashlight to detect any faults in the darkest spaces.
  • A bubble or laser level to ensure that the surfaces are flat.

Also bring all the documents relating to the construction of the house in order to take stock of any problems.

What are the points to check?

It is essential that you make a complete tour of the site in order to check that all the work has been completed and correctly carried out, in accordance with the contract established with your builder.

Do not hesitate to lead the visit in order to take the time you need. In general, the builder is more in a hurry than you and you might miss some points. If you wish, a construction expert can accompany you.

Be thorough and observant. Take the time you need to check everything, because any item that is not recorded in the report or in the reserves will be considered accepted.

During your visit, remember to check the following points in the house as a priority:

  • Masonry and structural work : Check the finishes of each room.
  • The attic, the crawl space and the cellar : if your house has one, check these elements and in particular the condition of the ventilation grilles.
  • Coatings : check that the surfaces of ceilings, walls and floors are well made, flat and have good joints.
  • joinery : open and close the doors and windows, check that there are no scratches and that the installations are properly insulated.
  • Electrical installation : test all the sockets, turn on all the lights at the same time, play with the switches several times and quickly to check the correct sizing of the installation.
  • Plumbing : open all the water points and check the flow, flush the toilets and check that there are no leaks.
  • Heating : turn on the heaters and check that hot water is flowing.
  • Home automation : if your house has one, check that everything is working perfectly.

Here are the points to check outdoors:

  • Go around the land and check that the house looks good and that the surroundings are in accordance with the contract.
  • Examine the condition of the facade and note any elements that do not comply with the contract.
  • Go up on the roof to check the good condition of the tiles.
  • Check the condition of the gutters and their proper installation.
  • Make sure that the construction site is clean and that the waste from the ground has been evacuated.

What about the acceptance report?

Upon acceptance of the new house, the builder gives the client a report of acceptance of the work. It is enough to validate it or to refuse it by specifying the reasons.

  • If the site seems to you to be in conformity with the contract and without defects, two possibilities are available to you: if you have carried out the visit alone as the client, you have 8 days to pay the balance of the invoice and 7 working days to report defects that you may have missed. If you are accompanied by a professional, you must pay the balance immediately and irrevocably accept the report.
  • If you have noticed defects, you have two choices: you can still accept the keys after reporting the defects in the report and the builder will have to have them repaired. If you refuse the keys considering that the accommodation is unsuitable for its use, a new date of reception of the house will be fixed. In any case, we recommend that you do not pay the balance until the repairs have been made.

Once the report has been signed and the reservations lifted, you can send it to the town hall of your municipality within 30 days.

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