French building words

When you have received a quote, assuming that you are using a French builder, it will be in French! Sometimes (often…always…) this can cause problems of comprehension, so in this section I have listed some of the more common expressions used, with their English language equivalent.

The lists are divided as: ‘General’, ‘Building’, ‘Electricity’, ‘Plumbing’ and ‘Roofing and Carpentry’:


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

General

General
Apparent: visible


Electrical Tip

“Although at first glance lighting, sockets and off-peak heating in France may all appear familiar, closer investigation will reveal that the installation methods are different to those employed in the UK”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

Devis: quotation for work

Diverse: various

Enterré: buried

Etanchéité: water tightness

Frais: expenses

Gravats: rubble, rubbish

Mains d’oeuvre: Labour cost

Marche: step

Nettoyage: cleaning

Nivellement: levelling

Percement: pierce, make a hole

Remplissage: filling back in

Travaux annexes: related / necessary works

Building Terms
Béton: concrete

Coffrage: temporary wooden boxing that concrete is poured into while it sets

Dalle béton armé: reinforced concrete floor

Dépose: take down

Encadrement: framing, surrounding

Enlèvement: removal

Fondation: foundation

Film polyane: plastic sheeting, used under concrete as dampproof course

Linteau: lintel

Pierre: stone

Sablage: sand-blasting

Sable: sand

Electricity terms
Allumage: lighting

Ligne alimentation: electricity supply line

Piquet de terre: earth rod

Prise: socket

Prise spécialisée: special socket for washing machine, oven etc

Tableau de répartition: distribution box / fuse box

Va et vient: two way switch

Plumbing terms
Alimentation: supply of (e.g. water)

Baignoire: bath-tub

Chaudiére: Central heating boiler

Chauffage: heating

Cuve: reservoir/storage tank

Douche: shower

Evier: sink (kitchen)

Fourniture: supply of (e.g. bathroom equipment)

Lavabo: sink (bathroom)

Pose: installation

Raccord: joins

Receveur de douche: shower tray

Robinet: tap

Robinetterie mitigeur: mixer tap

Tube cuivre: copper pipe

Vanne: valve

Roofing and carpentry terms
Bardage: wooden cladding on building

Cadre: frame

Chevron: part of wooden roof structure

Faitage: the apex ridge of the roof

Fenêtre: window

Menuiserie: doors, shutters and windows

Panne: part of wooden roof structure

Planches de rives: wooden planking around the bottom/outside edge of a roof

Porte-fenêtre: door with glass in

Poteaux: support post

Rabotée: planed smooth

Serrure: lock

Quincaillerie: ironwork (handles for windows and doors, fittings for shutters)

Vantaux (abbreviated often to vtx): number of openings for door/window

Volet: shutter

Volige: wooden boarding on top of roof structure

Zinguerie: zinc items – refers to gutters etc


Quick tip

Paint effects

Try out different paint effects to give your home a new look, try rag rolling, stippling or marbling. If you’re handy with a paint brush and eager to let your inner artist out, then consider painting a trompe l’oeil effect on a wall. Remember you could simply project an image onto a wall and paint around it – you don’t need to be a great artist to have a go at this. So get your paint brushes out and get creative.


 

Give is your thoughts by email ….

or join our Forum and discuss your tips or experiences Visit the forum


Off-peak

“If you elect to have off-peak (heures creuses) electricity, then EDF will provide you with wiring controlled by their equipment to switch your off-peak system on and off. The EDF off-peak equipment is usually a relay located beside their meter and fusegear. This relay is meant for the control circuit functions of your contactor (contacteur) or off-peak relay (jour/nuit) only. It must not be used to directly control equipment. The EDF relay is timed to operate in the usual manner at the predetermined off-peak times”

Excerpt From: Thomas Malcolm. “Electricity in your French house.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/electricity-in-your-french-house/id413215097?mt=11


 

We are a new website, we are still growing our content, we want everyone that is renovating in France to help us feature what we all wanted to know when we all started, contact us with all your experience and tips, we live just south of Celles Sur Belle, in Deux Servre, 79, and are just about to start out on our next renovation, every job we start on, every problem, product or skill we need to learn about i will try and find some useful information on the internet and share it with you, yes I could do this by sharing it on facebook, but the problem is it just helps facebook and disappears down the timeline, here links and articles will be searchable and here permanently for you to book mark and refer to, so watch this space … and if you have links and articles that have helped you let us know !!1

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