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French building terms


The first time we went to the builders merchant yard in our area in the beautiful 7 Valleys region, I was absolutely stumped when my husband said at the counter “ask them where the acro props are”. Well I could speak French fairly well but I had hardly come across the word for acro prop before in English let alone French and I couldn’t even begin to describe one so he drew a picture and eventually after much humorous help from the staff, order was restored and acro props were found!

There are some good books on the Amazon website which give extremely comprehensive glossaries for building terms in France. As a matter of fact I’ve rarely seen the word acro prop crop up in any dictionary I’ve seen. Perhaps you’ll never need it either but just in case,  here to help you is a petite English to French glossary of building terms.

English French
Acro prop Étai de maçon acier
Bath-tub Baignoire
Beam Poutre
Brick Brique
Breeze block Parpaing,
Central heating boiler Chaudiére
Concrete Béton
Connect Raccord
Copper pipe Tube cuivre
Doors, shutters and windows Menuiserie
Earth rod Piquet de terre
Electricity supply line Ligne alimentation
Expenses Frais
Foundation Fondation
Frame Cadre
Heating Chauffage
Insulation Isolation
Ironwork Quincaillerie (eg handles for windows and doors)
Levelling Nivellement
Lighting Allumage
Mixer tap Robinetterie mitigeur
Plastic sheeting Film polyane (type used under concrete as dampproof course)
Quotation for work Devis
Reinforced concrete floor Dalle béton armé
Removal Enlèvement
Reservoir/storage tank Cuve
Roof tile Tuile
Rubble, rubbish Gravats
Sand Sable
Shower Douche
Sink (kitchen) Evier
Sink (bathroom) Lavabo
Shutter Volet
Socket Prise
Step Marche
Stone Pierre
Tap Robinet
Window Fenêtre
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