building terms

09/02/2009 - 07:40

Hi AllAs we are in the final stages of renovating our house in Le Marche,( Almost there but seems like the finishing line is quite some distance away. Does this sound familiar?) and we will probably be making a few trips to and from the builders suppliers / ferramentas. It would be useful if there is anyone out there who knows of a glossary or similar, of Italian terms for stuff like, nails, screws, paint, wall plugs etc. Can anyone help?John



Perhaps it may be an idea to do a wiki with all the terminology needed for renovations, diy, and similar situations. Just have a look at our Wiki on cooking terminology in "Il Buongustaio" Circle. It may be very helpful.

Yes a screwfix book is a great idea. My husband took the screwfix book when he spent a month in Italy renovating our house. When I arrived there two weeks later I was amazed how many building terms he knew.He also suggests a digital camera for any really awkward plumbing fittings etc that may need replacing. Then at least you have a picture on the camera screen to point at if all else fails.Mind you when he asked for una borsa di intonaco (bag of plaster) expecting a bag of pink plaster powder to mix up into plaster he was most surprised to be given a bag of wet ready mixed white plaster - hence "nothings ever quite as you expect it".This has come to be our motto several times since then. 

I have an Italian - English Buidling dictionary. Dizionario Tecnico Dell'edilizia by J H Neueboom S Francescato.Editors BE-MA Editrice, Via Teocrito, 50, MilanoI bought it 15 years ago so don't know how easy to find now

 there are serious problems with many of the words you get off dictionaries.. paint for example has many diferent terms depending on what you want... my italian speling being even worse than my English will not allow me to help ...but vernice will be what you might know as gloss paint, emulsion is a diferent name and woodstain another... plaster ..intonica is another nightmare... you have at least 50 or so diferent bags lined up at the building merchants ,, ranging from obsure title like KC1 not a plaster but a coating to put on walls before the final plaster... which again has several diferent grades depending on what you are looking for...and consistencies regarding lime sand content...internal/external grades... same with paints grouts and tile glue... its a wonderful world you are arriving to... agree with many of the comments above... find the nearest Brico to start with and do dself service... that way you soon get to know the names and then you can take advantage of the cheaper prices at the buildrees merchants... also dont discount you local hardware store... you save on petrol... you also are able to wander around these places generally picking up stuff yourself... ie things like nails and sceews pretty well always sold loose and as cheap as anywhere... things like light fittings and bathroom fittings are aslo availabe at brico type places i think Le Marche much as Abruzzo has huge sheds like Castorama situated all along the coast road... i recall for sure one around porta ascoli... and i would say these products are very expensive here in general but less so with better choice at the sheds...often having good discounts on things...when your outfitting a non finsihed propety with llights and shades you can save an awful lotyou will be an expert in no time.. on all the terms its suprising how quickly you learn it all ...good luck

In reply to by nigelgh

 good idea,... theres also one in ancona