Before starting to learn French construction and building vocabulary, it might also be interesting for your students to know a little about the different construction techniques used in France.
Construction techniques in France depend on the region, and also on the age of the building. Houses can be built of stone, brick, wood or even mud bricks.
Modern French houses tend to be built of brick, and covered with a render of either lime or cement. More and more eco houses are also now being built, using wood and glass.
Older houses can be built of stone, or of bricks made from a mixture of chopped straw and mud. Local builders would have made use of whatever materials they could find, including river sand or clay, so buildings styles vary across France.
In the south, for example, many old farm houses are half-timbered on their upper storey, a style called colombage. The more important buildings, such as châteaux, would have been built completely of stone to show off the wealth and taste of the owner. The more modest buildings, such as farmhouses, would be built of stone on the façade, and the other walls might be built of briques de terre, or mud bricks. The whole building would then be covered with lime render to give a unified look.
Roofs are usually made from tiles, either slate or terra cotta.