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Idiots' Guides

Handyman France has published a short series of Idiots' Guides, all of which are available here.

Whilst they are free, please follow the link below to make a voluntary donation to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, via Little Fat Norman's website. All credit/debit cards accepted. There is no minimum fee - please just donate as much as you like. Considerable time and effort has been dedicated to the writing and publication of these guides with the sole intention of raising money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Please do not overlook this contribution.

Thank you.

The guides currently available -

Each of these Guides give basic steps to achieve the various objectives. Some of the information may seem blindingly obvious, but often it is the obvious that is overlooked. Too easily, people find that the project they have undertaken is not quite as straightforward as they imagined. Particularly in France where the rules, tax rates, etc. can be quite different to those in UK or anywhere else. Or that the technicalities of, say, running a pool become confusing. The starting point in most of the Guides is therefore that the reader knows little, if anything, of the subject matter and so starts at the very beginning.

Handyman France has published the various Pool Guides to assist people who perhaps for the first time find that they own a swimming pool. The processes can be difficult to understand. Particularly when buying a pool, it can be stressful if you are uncertain about the thing you are buying and have to rely on the salesman to give you good advice - but will he? More assistance can be obtained from Handyman France if needed. Charges may apply.

The Gîte Set-up Guide is for those owners who think they may be able to rent out their property to holidaymakers. Whilst the process is not in itself complex, the guide is there to help avoid the pitfalls that can arise if insufficient thought is given to some aspects. There is also a simple spreadsheet that can calculate how many of which items are needed, and can even take account of budget figures. Please look at the README page first. It is downloadable in formats suitable for Apple Mac; Linux/Ubuntu; and Microsoft - choose the best one for your computer's operating system. More assistance can be obtained from Handyman France if needed. Charges may apply.

Just for fun, the Fingerpoken Verboten notice, which has been used with some success in gîtes where guests have access to pool controls, is also available for download. Too many notices banning this and demanding that can be unwelcoming and consequently ignored. The point of the exercise was to discourage guests from playing with things, but in a way that is not too dictatorial.

Other guides are available here to assist with assorted issues that you may encounter as you embark on second home ownership. TVA rates can be difficult to understand and paying the higher rate needlessly can be expensive. How you you know if the tradesman you are talking to is bona fide?

All are designed to make life a little easier and a little (or maybe even a lot) less expensive. So please remember to make a donation to

Thank you.