From an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan… our latest renovation project

Here at Kiwi Construction we like a challenge; we love to make the impossible, possible! So, we are as pleased as punch to have completed in April our latest project, constructing a new pool and pool house for a holiday home in Espiute. We started and finished the build within 3 months, working of course within the necessary restrictions relating to social distancing and safe working.

There were other challenges, too.

The area around the beautiful 18th century house in the delightful Béarn countryside is full of narrow lanes, so when the task involves transporting a large pool structure you can imagine that it requires careful planning – and driving!

Fortunately, our team of multi skilled, multi-disciplined trades relish these tasks and more. Kiwi is proud of the fact that for every development we use our in-house team: masons, plumbers, electricians, carpenters. This benefits the client as they only have one point of contact and enables us to manage all aspects of a scheme.

We started the project in January, putting in the foundations and laying the concrete for the pool base. The pool is located next to an old derelict barn, now converted into a pool house. In one of the photos, you can also see that we constructed the terracing and a rendered wall, adjacent to which is a pump house. Heating for the pool and the main house is supplied by the same system.

Over a period of 7 years we have been working with the same family, so it is great to see another project coming to fruition. An old barn is now a good-looking pool area for the family and their guests to enjoy. Please get in touch if our multi-service and friendly team can help you achieve your dreams, turning them into reality….

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact :
Grant & Joeline Norris
+33 (o) 6 11 80 21 86

grant.norris@wanadoo.fr

Home

Found your dream French home needs renovating? We can help

Imagine. You have found the French property of your dreams. It is in the perfect location – however, the property needs significant renovation.

Finding the ideal home in France is what many of us long for, but when we do it can feel overwhelming thinking about the organisation of the build or renovation project and the decisions that need to be made and the paperwork to complete.

We understand that.

Since 2005 Kiwi Construction has been working in France undertaking all types of renovations – interior and exterior – with specialist expertise in heritage properties.

That is why whatever the project, our focus has and always will be taking away the pressure from our clients so that they can enjoy their lives.

Living in France, like all countries, can sometimes provide a particular set of challenges, particularly if you are not fluent in the language. We are fully bi-lingual and experienced in managing projects, including dealing with planning applications for example.

If the property requires partial or complete demolition, we will organise this and dispose of the rubbish to ensure a clean and tidy site on completion.

Co-ordination of many projects – large and small – often involves working with a number of different artisanal trades; that’s our job, allowing our clients to deal with just one: us!

We can similarly help with the interior decoration to achieve that stylish finish to a property.

Grant Norris, co-owner of Kiwi Construction, oversees all elements of a renovation/build project as well as helping clients to choose the right tiles and select the colour of paint they are looking for to ensure that the end product is a home that our client will love.

At all times, our role is to plan for the long term. We will make sure a property is designed exactly to our client’s requirements, with all work guaranteed for 10 years.

If you would like to discover more about our services, please click on the Facebook Messenger link https://m.me/KiwiConstructionFrance?ref=w6184123.

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact:
Grant & Joeline Norris
+33 (0)6 03 18 53 31
grant.norris@wanadoo.fr

Home

#renovation #France #artisans #buyingpropertyinfrance #landes #paysbasque #holidayhomes #bearn #landes #windows

Beautiful bifold doors for your home in France

Bifold doors are the perfect solution in many parts of the home.

Sometimes referred to as folding sliding doors, bifold doors are incredibly flexible. They are useful for connecting an interior to a terrace, a swimming pool or maybe to a covered exterior gallery and a conservatory.

Bifold doors slide open easily; the panels are designed to fold up against the wall like a concertina. Unlike older designed doors, bifolds slide smoothly into place providing a contemporary look for your home.

Bifold doors are strong, secure, easy to use and stylish, too.

What are the other benefits of bifolds?

  1. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter. On a hot sunny day, open your bifolds to cool a room. When it’s cold, bifolds are thermally efficient to keep your home snug and cosy.
  2. Bifolds are space efficient. Unlike patio doors, bifolds fold-up neatly allowing you to use the wall space.
  3. Bifolds bring the natural light into your home. This is especially useful if you are seeking to brighten a dark area with sunlight.
  4. Bifolds are low maintenance. Because they have fewer panes or frames you will spend less time cleaning. Properly fitted bifolds – by a professional – will not require regular maintenance or repair. (All of our work is guaranteed for 10 years).
  5. They look fab!

We think therefore that bifold doors are ideal for your home in France.

We only fit the very best quality bifold doors.

That’s why we have teamed up with Polish company AL-Tech who are market leaders in aluminium windows, bifold doors and more. AL-Tech has a range of Swiss, German and Czech engineering business partners and all fixtures and fittings comply strictly with French requirements – RT 2012 – for building and installation.

If you would like to discover more about our services, please click on the Facebook Messenger link https://m.me/KiwiConstructionFrance?ref=w6184123.

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

 

Contact:

Grant & Joeline Norris

+33 (0)6 03 18 53 31

grant.norris@wanadoo.fr

https://www.kiwiconstruction.fr/         

 

#renovation #France #artisans #buyingpropertyinfrance #landes #paysbasque  #holidayhomes #bearn #landes #windows

 

Summer and autumn festivals in Les Landes and Pays Basque

During the late summer and autumn, the days are gradually shortening but there is still plenty to enjoy in Les Landes and the Pays Basque with its many fêtes and musical events.

The warmth of the summer sun and the cooler evenings is a positive invitation to everyone to enjoy a good party, the streets rich in colour with the local celebrations.

Many villages and small towns continue with the tradition of a summer festival and it is a good way to meet people as well as sample the delicious food and drink. Indeed, there are at least 40 events in Les Landes during the first 3 weeks of August, ranging from our own community of Tihl (2 – 5 August) to the larger festival in Capbreton (9 – 11 August). There are sadly too many to name individually!

La Fête Du Sel is a 4 day festival (12, 13, 14 & 15 September) in the town of Salies-de-Béarn.   The name “Salies” derives from the French word “sel”(salt) to describe the saline water content in the surrounding area. Salt is recognised historically for its beneficial properties resulting in Salies-de-Béarn becoming a popular Spa town.  The festival programme includes concerts, street markets, dancing, parades and lots of other activities. It is not to be missed!

Another of our favourites is the La Fête du Piment à Espelette in the Pays Basque. The annual event takes place at the end of October (26 & 27) when the town is transformed into a riot of ruby red, spicy peppers (piments in French), which you can see displayed all around the town. The festival attracts 20,000 people and is now in its 51st year.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

If you would like to discover more about our services, please click on the Facebook Messenger link https://m.me/KiwiConstructionFrance?ref=w6184123.

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact:

Grant & Joeline Norris

+33 (0)6 03 18 53 31

grant.norris@wanadoo.fr

https://www.kiwiconstruction.fr/         

3 fabulous festivals 🎊 not to miss this summer 🌞

We love to party – and the summer is the perfect time to do this in the Landes and the Pays Basque. We have selected three of the very best summer festivals; full of colour, music, dancing, street theatre and of course plenty of delicious food and drink.

  1. Fêtes de la Madeleine – Mont-de-Marsan

For five nights in July, the capital town of Les Landes celebrates the traditional festival of Madeleine with concerts, events, shows, meals and other entertainment.  You will see thousands of people enjoying the festival in blue and white outfits. Plenty of animations for all the family to enjoy! 17 to 21 July 2019.

  1. Fêtes de Bayonne

Bayonne is a captivating little city of timber-framed houses set on the confluence of two rivers. Every July a 5 day festival is held which is the largest in France. Like other festivals, people will dress up in red and white (matching the colours of the Spanish city, Pamplona) and enjoy the music, street theatre and parades. 24 July to 28 July 2019.

  1. Dax, La Feria

Each year in mid-August, the town of Dax holds its feria, a gathering mixing bullfighting – bloodless – and popular celebrations for all the generations. During the five days and five nights of this festival, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors dressed in red and white, singing and dancing to the sound of bandas orchestras and musicians. 14 – 18 August 2019.

Enjoy the summer – and hope you have an opportunity to visit our beautiful region and wonderful festivals.

If you would like to discover more about our services, please click on the Facebook Messenger link https://m.me/KiwiConstructionFrance?ref=w6184123.

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

 

Contact:

Grant & Joeline Norris

+33 (0)6 03 18 53 31

Discover the delightful sweet and dry wines of the Jurançon region

The Jurançon wine region is discreetly situated in the beautiful part of South West France where we live. The stunning Atlantic coastline is to our west, we have the lush green forests of the Landes, the city of Bordeaux to the north and further south it is not too long before reaching the foothills of the Pyrénées and the gateway to Spain. And we love it.

What is there not to appreciate about Jurançon wines? They are wonderful!

They are either delectably sweet or perfectly dry – and a glass of Jurançon is fabulous with foie gras.

It’s fair to say that Jurançon wine is less well known than other appellations, however, we can claim that it is one of the oldest. The appellation dates back as far as the late 14th century when the best vineyard areas were recognised and valued by the princes of Béarn and the parliament of Navarre for taxation purposes.

Why are Jurançon wines so good? The weather certainly helps – the combination of the cool sea breeze from the ocean, the dry warm Föhn winds from the Pyrénées and the pleasantly hot summer temperatures providing a longer period of time for the delicious grapes to ripen.

Virtually all of the grapes grown in the region are white, mostly from the Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng, with a third variety being the Camaralet de Lasseube. These grape varieties have adapted well to the climatic conditions, with the fruit growing high above the ground. This benefits the grape by avoiding the worst of the spring frosts, making the grapes very resistant and hardy.

If you have never visited this fantastic region before, why not come and try Jurançon wines for yourself?

Santé!

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact:

Grant & Joeline Norris

+33 (0)6 03 18 53 31

grant.norris@wanadoo.fr

https://www.kiwiconstruction.fr/         

 

Realise your French dream – and avoid costly mistakes 

Renovating a property in France is the dream for many of us.  We love the characterful properties, the laid back lifestyle and of course the spectacular coastline and countryside.

The Landes in South West France is a popular destination for many homebuyers who appreciate the unspoilt natural landscape, the respect for the environment, its close proximity to Spain as well as the excellent transport links to cities such as Bordeaux and Paris.

Once you find the house that you have been looking for, it can be tempting to press ahead without necessarily giving sufficient time or consideration to the finer details in planning your construction project. However, in the long run this haste could prove very costly indeed.

Recently there has been a good case in point. On the French Riviera, the owner of a €50 million château has been instructed by the court to demolish his property because he had not obtained proper planning permission.

This maybe an extreme example; it is important to note though that the construction of any building over 10 m2 requires planning permission. It always pays to ensure you have the right permits.

Also, if you carry out any renovations yourself and decide to sell on your property, you will be liable for the cost of maintaining these improvements for a period up to 10 years. That is why all professional artisans hold what is called decennial insurance.

Fortunately there is a solution: at Kiwi Construction we can do all phases of renovations for both interior and exterior projects specifically specialising in heritage properties. We have been working in the region since 2005 and therefore have more than 15 years’ local knowledge. We understand the sensitivities of local planning and have our own in-house draughtsman who has 30 years’ experience.

If you are considering any kind of renovation project please contact us and we will be happy to talk through your ideas whatever the challenges. We make the impossible, possible!

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Grant and Joeline

Making the impossible, possible

New Zealanders – or Kiwis – are well known for their can do attitude and optimistic approach to life. So when Grant and Joeline Norris and their family settled in south west France from their native land more than 25 years ago, they were determined to share this positive spirit amongst their new compatriots and French friends.

Making the impossible, possible is at the heart of what Kiwi Construction, the firm created by the couple after Grant finished playing rugby for Dax, offers to all its clients. Grant who is a qualified quantity surveyor and Joeline, a chartered accountant, have utilised their professional experience, know-how and understanding of the French culture and heritage to the benefit of their international clients.

The family have over the years successfully integrated into the community, with their children attending local schools and the whole family participating in social activities which characterise everyday life in the Landes. Their approach has been to marry their Anglophone culture with a deep appreciation and understanding of French values and approach. In particular, their experiences over the past two decades have helped shape their way of working by listening to the views of the older generations.

“There is always a way” is very much the Kiwi Construction philosophy – a determination to find a solution which works for the client and gets a job done successfully. This approach combines a focus on the customer and a respect for the traditions of their community, including the buildings and architecture which forms a key part of the region.

If you have a project which looks to be seemingly impossible – or you are seeking a fresh perspective – why not contact us? We love the challenge of all kinds of different renovation and construction projects, large or small.

✅ Please add a comment below and accept the invitation to come join us in Messenger 👇👇

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact:
Grant & Joeline Norris
+33 (0)5 58 55 35 22 / +33 (0)6 03 18 53 31
grant.norris@wanadoo.fr

Home

#renovation #France #artisans #buyingpropertyinfrance #landes #paysbasque #holidayhomes #bearn

construction france

Making the best of the space in your home in France

Why is creating an effective use of space in your home so important?

We discuss that question often with our clients; we understand how crucial it is to plan the layout of their home to design the floor area as efficiently as possible. Whether the property is large or small, planning the allocation and positioning of the interior space is a key step for ensuring that your home is appropriate to your needs both now and in the future. 
Retaining the character of the property as part of a renovation project is an essential part of what we do, respecting the heritage of your home whilst also making it more comfortable for modern living. So, what are the main things you need to consider?

1. Think about the position of the plumbing for bathrooms, toilets, showers as well as for kitchen units. In the first instance, consider the practical needs of you and your family. Any significant new renovation is likely to require new plumbing pipes, so decide where you wish them to run and the position of your kitchen and bathroom areas. Termites can also be a problem, needing a water supply to exist. This could be from condensation on a water pipe or a leak in a badly maintained wall… so another reason for looking closely at the structure of your property.

2. If you are planning an extension, avoid through rooms. You need to ensure that your home is liveable and the circulation space healthy, therefore it is wise to consider the function of every room at this planning stage. Providing direct access to areas such as the kitchen, dining and living space is especially important.

If you are considering a renovation project and thinking about making the most effective use of space, contact us and we will be happy to help. We have extensive experience in undertaking renovation and constructive projects in this beautiful region, working with a range of property professionals.

Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact:
Grant & Joeline Norris
+33 (0)5 58 55 35 22 / +33 (0)6 03 18 53 31
grant.norris@wanadoo.fr
https://www.kiwiconstruction.fr/

#renovation #France #artisans #buyingpropertyinfrance #landes#paysbasque #basquecoast #cotebasque #planning #spaceutilisation

How heat efficient systems can reduce your energy bills

If you live in an older property in France, you may be familiar with the challenge of keeping the property warm and properly ventilated.

We advise our clients that three of the most important considerations are good insulation, installing a cost effective heating system and ensuring a good circulation of air in the building.

Insulation will help to ensure that the property is air tight and well insulated. This will keep it cooler in summer and warmer in winter and save up to 80% in heating and cooling losses. Insulation can also help to reduce condensation.

Having a well maintained, efficient heating system is also crucial. There are of course a range of options, including solar heating, geothermal heating, wood, oil, electric or non-geothermal systems such as heat pumps.

However there is a third consideration which often clients do not think about…. the importance of good ventilation and the efficient circulation of air. Mechanical ventilation systems – often referred to in France as Double Flux VMC or otherwise known as Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems – can reduce your heating bills by around 20%. They work by drawing in the fresh air from outside and take it out via a simple flux mechanism.

There are a number of benefits: you’ll experience fresh, cooler air during the summer (perfect for hot evenings and nights) and it’s cheaper compared to air conditioning. These ventilation systems are better for your health, too. You will be less likely to experience mould in the house and for those who suffer from conditions such as asthma, the cleaner, purified air will be a real advantage.

So if you are looking to retain the character of your beautiful older property in France – but introduce modern thermal efficient systems to make it more comfortable – now you can… 
Kiwi Construction delivers professional expertise, exceptional customer service and quality construction to all its’ clients covering the Biarritz, the Pays Basque and Landes departments.

Contact:
Grant & Joeline Norris
+33 (0)5 58 55 35 22 / +33 (0)6 03 18 53 31
grant.norris@wanadoo.fr
https://www.kiwiconstruction.fr/

#renovation #France #artisans #buyingpropertyinfrance #landes#paysbasque #basquecoast #cotebasque #ventilationsystems#thermalefficiency