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I've recently bought a book called 'concise dictionary of house building terms' (arranged by trades) French-English/ English- French, compiled by Alan S Lindsey published by Hadley Pager Info.

ISBN : 1872739113. It cost me £27.00 but I think it's well worth it to learn how to say lots of the bits and pieces we are going to need in the future. It has nearly 300 pages.

The book has 14 sections covering the architect, earthworks and foundations, builder, carpenter and joiner, roofer electrician, glazier etc..... I think it's really good- very useful if you need to translate to someone what it is that you need to convey, especially useful for when you may be at the builders merchant. 

I also bought some DIY style books from Leroy Merlin in Calais. They were 5.90euros each . I'm sure they're not to everyone's taste but for learning the language in French even though the work itself is 'easy' to do when you've learned how to do these things before.

 Anyhow, these books are pretty handy too:  (some were all in one section at the store but one or two were dotted about elsewhere in their own relevant store sections) [accents omitted because I don't know how to put those in here correctly yet]

1. depannages electriques de l'installation ISBN 2737241480

(means breakdown of electrical services installation/ thereabouts)

2.Les chapes et dalles ISBN 2737241545

(covers and flagstones techniques of work)

3.Les cloisons en carreaux et plaques de platre ISBN 2737241219

(translated very literally as: partitions in squares and plasterboards)

4. la Maconnerie pas à pas ISBN 2737241162

(masonry step by step)

5. L'installation electrique dans les pieces d'eau ISBN 2737241510

(translation thereabouts as: the electric installation of water rooms- eg bathroom is shown on front cover)

6. la plomberie  pas à pas ISBN 2737241189

(plumbing step by step )

7. sa baignoire choisir et installer ISBN 2737241405

(bath- tub to choose and install)

8. la douche choisir et installer ISBN 2737241367

(the shower to choose and install)

9. l'amenagement des combles conseils et concepts d'architectes ISBN 2737241626.

(the installation of the roofs. councils and concepts of architects.)

So now I've got myself a very mini 'library' of DIY French style books, I just need to translate them.


I just thought I'd share it with whoever may find it useful too. Now all I have to do is learn how to  translate them even though many of the words seem a little familiar.....

If anyone else out there has found any really useful renovating books as they've undertaken their project I'd be very grateful if you would share the title/ISBN on the back (usually) of the book.


Also, a book I could really do with finding is one which clearly shows how to fit insulation under a concrete slab (lounge floor to be) whereby the insulation is only fitted around the perimeter but a square/rectangular area is left in the middle for the floor to breathe. It is a very old house we are buying and the architect we have seen says that perimeter insulation is the way to go. Or have I misunderstood something because putting a concrete slab down as the floor usually involves a DPC membrane, but the architect says that using perimeter insulation will allow the floor and room to breathe to help alleviate condensation problems when you begin to heat up an old stone house with a wood burning stove. If anyone can help with this I'd be very grateful, because the building books I've been trawling the internet for become very expensive when they're not the right ones (and you can't try before you buy unless I have the title and authors/ISBN's to check the books out at a large reference library).  Many thanks in advance  for any suggestions, and all gratefully received.  


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