Builders language


(Kevin Bibb) #1

English translation of French building words in a quote or devis



France > Property
renovation


When you receive a quote for work (assuming you are using a French builder) it will be in French! Sometimes this can cause problems of understanding, so
here I list a few of the more common expressions used, with their English
language equivalent. The lists are divided into 'General', 'Building',
'Electricity', 'Plumbing' and 'Roofing and Carpentry' sections.


General


Apparent: visible


Devis: quotation for work


Diverse: various


Enterré: buried


Etanchéité: water tightness


Frais: expenses


Gravats: rubble, rubbish


Mains d 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


Rableau 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 dge 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



(Jo Blick) #2

this ilooks like a free online version…
http://www.granddictionnaire.com/btml/fra/r_motclef/index1024_1.asp


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #3

I can recommend The Concise Dictionary of Housebuilding Terms (French English) available from good bookshops. We used this a lot during our last renovation project.

Suz

www.UK4Me.co.uk

UK Stores Delivering Overseas


(Michael Boone) #4

Great stuff Kevin!

When I first moved to France I picked up a little book from Point-P that translated a lot of terms and or words for tools and material from French to English they may still have them. So go in and ask! ;)

I am also a contractor here in France and want to give a little advise to you all when dealing with Artisans.

1)No less than 3 bids

2)When dealing with artisans ask for copys of there assurance decennale and a copy of there No.Sert. from the chambre du Métier if they don't have or are not willing to give it to you say thank you and good by. Why?

There are Some Artisans ??? That are working with out or not the right assurance.And/or a No.Sert this is there licence to do business as an Artisan !! A simple call to the Chambre de Métier in your area will give all the info you need about your contractor. Better safe than sorry!!

These thing are very important as they list the things they have the coverage for.

3) When ever possible use a Artisan that is known by friends or someone you trust. Word of mouth is still the best advertisement. With Electrical,plumbing,heating an air you will want a Guarantee!! and so will your Insurance!! :)

4)You don't need to use the guy in your little village just because! Most of the time you'll get a better price from someone that is a little farther away. If he tells you he has a lot of work and can't do it right away are you willing to wait?! thats a good thing as he probably has a good reputation! In this Economy the good one's have work the others well there looking!

5) If you go with a Artisan ask for a start date and how long it should take! When giving a check du Accompte no more than 35% and you need a facture for the 35%. As the date starts to arrive just give him a friendly call to see if his start date is the same and needs you to do something like more a trailer, a pile of sand or gravel or and old car that may impied him from getting to the site. I alway appreciate when the client has everything out of the room I'm working in so I don't have to move things as I go. It's always good to cover thing if you can't move them! In renovation "DUST" is part of it and it gets EVERYWHERE don't do a big cleaning until the job is done!! LOL

Just a few things to think about when getting bids for a job!

Cheers Michael


(Tanya Parks) #5

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks very much for your email and sound advice. There's clearly no substitute for experience and your references to your own costings are pretty astounding. Fortunately, I am a French speaker, I'm just a bit lacking in plumbing vocabulary - or rather, I was, until I learned my list of words last week prior to tackling the first contenders. I'm used to dealing with craftsmen, as I worked on interiors of prestige houses for London based designer after leaving the Army, from rip out to final finishes, so thankfully, not too 'green'. However, any help with specialist vocabulary is very gratefully received as it's really satisfying to be able to communicate with these guys (they tend to be men in the Basque country) on a more professional level. If you have an idea of the correct phases for 'First' and Second' Fix, that would be good, thanks. Last week was hilarious - the first of five plumbers clearly didn't want to be there and there was a lot of teeth-sucking (we've seen it all before but you've got to put a smile on and just get on with it). He was swiftly followed by a second who couldn't have been more 'can-do'. We'll see what the devis produce. Unfortunately, we can't move the chaudiere ourselves, so that needs to be given to someone who knows what they are doing. We intend to do as much as we can ourselves, but while my husband is away getting his electrical qualifications, I'm running with the estimate for the job. If anything, it's good to get an idea of the locals' fees and character for future reference.

Thanks again for the top tips!


(Catharine Higginson) #6

100% agree with your closing statements Jeremy. We do it all ourselves. Obviously I am using the royal we here as Mr.H gets to do it. I just get to write about it…!


(Jeremy Kincaid-Smith) #7

Hi Tanya

I hope this reply isn't too late to be of help.

You need to ask them to "couvrir, cacher or encaisse les tuyaux apparents. Cacher is probably the most common expression. Get several quotes because you may be taken for a ride not being a French speaker. I know! I have been renovating in Perpignan for the past 8 years. I intitially had builders in to do various bits of major construction work and then fired them for bad workmanship, theft of tools etc.... I have had quotes from artisans ranging from the absurd to rediculous, ( double glazed windows an example ranging from twice the purchase price of the house to 17 times less for the job eventually done by a still very expensive company. I have done all my plumbing, electrics, sewrage, swimming pool, walls, floors, ceilings etc etc. If you have the time to do research on the net as to how to do things - (you tube is incredible for that), sometimes fix or do again and lots of patience, and TIME then doing it yourself is undoubtably the way to go.

If I can be of any help let me know.


(Kevin Bibb) #8

Tanya i think the phrase you are looking for is recouvrir



(Tanya Parks) #9

Hi,

Ok thanks. I haven't got the quotes in yet. I need to explain that I'd like the devis to come back with separate costings for first and second fix. At least, that's what I was used to in the UK, but maybe that's not done here???

Finally, would I use the term 'encadrer' if I need to ask for any exposed pipes to be 'boxed' in the bathrooms? Sorry if I'm asking too much, but thanks for any help.

Tanya


(Kevin Bibb) #10

Hi Tanya

Not sure but the easyest way for me is scan the doc and translate in (google translate) translator-bar 5 community tool bar


(Tanya Parks) #11

Hi Kevin,

This list is great. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

May I ask a question? Are you familiar with the expressions that plumbers here use for 'first fix' and 'second fix'? I'm getting quotes in for a project and I want to break down these costings.

Very grateful for any help, thanks a lot.

Tanya


(James Higginson) #12

Very useful glossary, thanks Kevin.