This week marks the celebration of love, Valentine’s Day. Americans and Brits go all out to show their love. They...
Everyone in America and the UK likes to think about doing home improvement jobs themselves. Why not? You can save money and take pride in knowing that you performed a task that many people could (or would) not!
When my husband and I lived in the US, we repainted our house twice. The first time, we learned that if you sit on a black-shingled roof in the summer in order to paint your eaves, you can receive first-degree burns on your bum! The second time, we did not repeat the same mistake. But we were competent at many simple DIY projects.
Our first five years after moving to France, we rented a house and had no experience with French DIY or its vocabulary. Then, we bought a house that was older than the USA! All the electricity, plumbing and eventually the roof had to be replaced. We moved in, and the only stairs from the bedrooms down to the kitchen were on the exterior of the house! We knocked down walls, built new ones, installed a staircase (on the inside this time) and did many other things.
We spent countless hours at Castorama and Leroy Merlin. No project took fewer than 3 trips (and sometimes up to 5) to the store because we bought the wrong item or size. Ten years later, we are still renovating, but the most difficult things (we hope) have been finished.
This month’s English Now is all about the British love for DIY and will give you all the vocabulary you need to go to a British hardware store and take on any simple DIY project with confidence. Just don’t do what we did and stay in the UK so long that you forget all your French words for tools! (that’s another story for another day).
home improvement = amélioration de son chez soi
save money = économiser
pride = la fierté
an eave = avant-toit
eventually = finalement
to move in = s’installer
to knock down = démolir
countless = innombrable
fewer than = moins de
to renovate = rénover