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We are Mike Dennis and Jez Bird, and we set up En Chêne - literally 'in oak' - at the beginning of 2018. It is a registered SARL company, based in the Dordogne, south west France. The company is new, but between us we have decades of experience. We love what we do and make every effort to ensure that each job is perfect. This involved finishing one project at 3 o'clock in the morning to ensure our beautifully planed oak was covered up before an unexpected storm blew in!

Jez on Mike:


'For Mike, timber framing is not just a job, it's a passion. He is hugely knowledgeable about timber and old buildings (he has an MSc in Timber Building Conservation from the University of York), and was accredited as a Maître Artisan (Master Craftsman) as soon as he arrived in France - which is not something the French give out lightly! He trained for 10 years with a master timber framer in Wales and then in Canada. He has more energy than anyone I have ever met, and enjoys his work more than anyone I've ever met. The quality of his workmanship is extraordinary – he works to the nearest millimetre: anything less simply isn't good enough!'


Mike on Jez:


'When I first met Jez I could see that there was the potential to create a business together. I was in the Royal Marines for several years before starting life as a timber framer; Jez was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Engineers for 22 years before moving to France in 2007. His skills as an officer and engineer, plus his experience working in property for the last 10 years in France, make him the perfect partner: he takes care of the business, is the point-man for other contractors on site, and speaks the language... I haven't been in France as long, so am still working on my French!'