DIY Dictionary

We've included this DIY dictionary because once you get started on improving your home in the Charente, you will probably discover how few technical words and phrases there are in most of the dictionaries.

We are putting together several lists of terms covering building, plumbing, electrics, etc. into our DIY dictionary

If there's anything you can't find yet or you would like to see in this DIY lexicon, please let us know.

In the meantime, this translation tool from SDL is one of the best we have found...

Tip: If you want to know if the French word goes with le or la keyin the beforehand; e.g.
The concrete-mixer = le bétonnière

If you key in a phrase it will give you the gist of what you want, but like all these tools it is not 100 per cent reliable. (It also defaults to English/Spanish translation, so make sure you select the one you want first.)

If you need any help with dealing with French builders, plumbers, etc., or if you are going to need to order large quantities of materials and you are worried about over- or under-ordering, you can always ask us.

Currently we are working on the Building Materials list - we will be adding more each week.
But, you can of course search for a DIY Dictionary via Amazon.

Building Materials – Matériaux de chantier

English – French

Aggregate (for making concrete) – gravier pour béton

Barrow - brouette
Blocks (concrete or breeze-) – parpaings
Bricks – briques
Bricklayer / builder – maçon

Cement – ciment
Cement-mixer - bétonnière
Concrete – béton
Corrugated roofing – plaque ondulée

Downpipe – tuyau de descente
Drain cover – couvercle
Drain grill – grille de sol
Drain inspection unit – regard

Flu-liner block – boisseau
Flashing (lead) – bande de plombe

Gate - portail
Glass brick – brique de verre
Glass fibre wool – laine de verre
Glue – colle
Gravle – gravier
Gutter – gouttière

Insulation - isolation

Ladder – échelle
Laminated - lamellé
Lead flashing – bande de plombe

Mortar – mortier

Oil tank – cuve à fioul

Panel - panneau
Plank – planche
Plastic roofing sheet (corrugated) – plaque pvc petite onde
Plastic roofing sheet (flat) – plaque polycarbonate
Plaster – plâtre
Plasterboard – plaque de plâtre
Plasterboard screws – vis de plaque de plâtre
Polystyrene (expanded) – polystyrene (expansé)
Porch – auvent
Post (timber e.g.2x2) – chevron

Reinforcing rods (concrete) – fer à béton torsadé
Render – enduit de façade
Resin – résine
Rock wool – laine de roche
Roof-liner – écran sous-toiture

Sand – sable
Scaffold – échafaudage
Screed - chape
Septic tank – fosse septique
Shutter (window-shutter) - volet
Shuttering for concrete – planches de coffrage
Step-ladder - escabeau

Timber – bois de charpente
Trestle – trétau

Wheelbarrow – brouette
Window - Fenêtre
Wire fencing - grillage

Kitchens – Les Cuisines

English – French