French Tools and House Repairs Vocabulary 🛠

Author: Suzanne

In this article, I will list the French vocabulary for house repairs: names tools in French and English, as well as verbs that are used when doing renovations in French, French vocabulary for craftsmen and trades etc…

I hope you enjoy these lists of French tool & repairs vocabulary.

Please feel free to add relevant tools, renovation, repair related vocabulary (in French and English please) in the comments section below and I will add them up to the lists. Merci!

You may also be interested in my free lesson: 80 French house terms with audio recordings.

French Tools Names

  1. le marteau –  hammer
  2. le tournevis –  screwdriver (do say the final S)
  3. le tournevis cruciforme – phillips head screwdriver
  4. la clef à molette / la clef anglaise – wrench (F is silent, pronounce the wrench “clé” – you can also spell it this way)
  5. la clef à pipe – socket wrench
  6. le mètre – tape measure
  7. la pince universelle – bull-nose pliers
  8. la pince coupante – wire cutters
  9. la pince à dénuder – wire strippers
  10. le serre joint – clamp
  11. la perceuse – hand drill
  12. la scie – saw
  13. la scie circulaire – circular saw
  14. la scie à métaux – hacksaw
  15. la scie à ruban – band saw
  16. la scie sauteuse – jig saw
  17. la scie vilebrequin – ceramic tile saw
  18. la hache – axe
  19. la pioche – pickaxe
  20. le coupe-carreaux – tile cutter
  21. la lampe à souder – blow lamp
  22. l’échelle (f) – ladder
  23. l’escabeau (m) – step ladder
  24. le tréteau – trestle
  25. la brouette – wheelbarrow

More Tool – French Vocabulary

  1. le rabot – plane
  2. le burin – chisel
  3. la lime –  file
  4. le niveau – level
  5. la vis – screw (do say the final S)
  6. la cheville – expanding wall lug
  7. le clou – nail
  8. le boulon – bolt
  9. le joint – washer – also grout
  10. l’écrou – nut
  11. le foret – drill bit
  12. le papier de verre – sandpaper
  13. le ruban isolant – insulating tape
  14. les lunettes de sécurité – safety goggles
  15. la colle – glue
  16. le décapant – paint stripper
  17. le pinceau – paint brush
  18. le rouleau – paint roller
  19. le grattoir – scraper
  20. la truelle – trowel
french vocabulary house repairs

French Craftsmen & Trades Names

  1. un corps de métier – a trade
  2. les artisans (m) – craftsmen, skilled workers
  3. le maître d’ouvrage – site manager
  4. le maçon – builder
  5. le couvreur – roofer
  6. le charpentier – carpenter (roof structure)
  7. le menuisier – carpenter/joiner (doors, windows etc)
  8. le carreleur – tiler
  9. le plâtrier – plasterer
  10. l’électricien – electrician
  11. le plombier – plumber
  12. le chauffagiste – heating engineer
  13. le peintre-décorateur – painter-decorator

Are you considering buying / renting / renovating a property in France? I recommended someone who’s helped several students of mine buy and renovate properties in France. She’s a true expert and can assist you with finding the perfect property and contractors, fill legal documents… Contact me for more info.

French Repair Materials Vocabulary

  1. l’enduit (m) – filler
  2. le plâtre – plaster
  3. le contre plaqué – plywood
  4. le placo – plasterboard
  5. le crépi – stucco
  6. le béton – concrete
  7. le mortier – mortar
  8. le carrelage – ceramic tiles
  9. le joint – grout
  10. le silicone (or le mastic) – caulk
  11. la peinture – paint
  12. le vernis – varnish
  13. l’amiante – asbestos
  14. le béton- concrete
  15. la pierre – stone
  16. le chêne – oak
  17. le bois – wood

In the story of my upper Intermediate French learning method À Moi Paris L5, chapter 6, Mary, Patrick and their friends talk about the renovations they’ve done in their house.

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More Details & Audio Samples

French Renovation Vocabulary

  1. le devis – bill estimate
  2. le terrain – the land
  3. la parcelle – plot of land (on administrative maps)
  4. le plan cadastral – plot boundary map
  5. les plans d’architecte – architect’s plans
  6. une coupe – cross-section
  7. une extension – an extension
  8. l’assainissement – sewerage treatment
  9. l’ossature bois/métallique – wooden/metal framework
  10. une chape liquide – liquid screed
  11. la garantie décennale – 10-year guarantee

List of French Repairs Verbs

  1. peindre – to pain
  2. sécuriser le chantier – to make the worksite safe
  3. percer des ouvertures – to make openings (for windows, doors)
  4. boucher un trou – to fill in/block a hole
  5. casser la dalle – to break up the (old concrete/cement) floor
  6. refaire le sol – to put a new floor down
  7. poser/installer une fenêtre – to put in a window
  8. mettre quelque chose aux normes – to make something meet regulations
  9. (se) raccorder au “tout à l’égout” – to connect to the sewerage system
  10. poser une fosse toutes eaux – to instal a modern septic tank
  11. relier la propriété au réseau d’eau/EDF – to connect the property to the water/electricity system
  12. déblayer le site (de gravats) – to clear the site (of rubble)

To practice this French tool and house repair vocabulary, I invite you to read my French / English bilingual story about renovating a house in France.

Author: Suzanne


Bonjour ! My name is Suzanne and I am an English woman in love with French and France. I have been teaching French for the past 30 years, and moved to Jugon-Les-Lacs, a charming village of Northern Brittany 12 years ago where I now offer French immersion stays at the teacher's home. I hope you will come visit me one day!

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