Advisor for RENOVATION, REPAIR, REAL ESTATE and CONSTRUCTION for foreigners living in Japan

How to find a reliable renovation contractor in Japan.

How to find a reliable renovation contractor in Japan.

If you wanted to renovate your own house in Japan, how would you find a renovation contractor? Did you find an English-speaking reliable renovation or repair contractor in Japan?
It is quite rare to find a renovation contractor you happen to know nearby in Japan, where you are not used to living.

Even if you search the Internet, you probably don’t even know what words to enter in Japanese. In addition, even in this safe country of Japan, unfortunately, there are some 悪徳業者 [akutoku gyosha] (あくとくぎょうしゃ) “unscrupulous companies”.

And if you don’t speak Japanese, you won’t be able to communicate accurately about the contents of the work, the schedule of the work, and the amount to be charged for the work.

For this reason, sadly, many companies do not take kindly to construction requests from foreigners. These people in the construction industry are even less fluent in English than the average Japanese.
In this website, I would like to explain in as much detail as possible about the repairs and renovations that foreigners may need to do to live in Japan.
Also, if you are having trouble with repairs or renovations, please leave a message through the chat box.

These are useful words for searching a renovation contractor in Japan.

工務店 [koumuten] (こうむてん)

japanese-renovation-contractor-こうむてんkoumutenContractor company, they can handle medium-sized renovations (changing the layout, changing the location of the kitchen, replacing the bathroom, etc.), as well as large-scale reconstruction (completely tearing down the old house and making it new) and building a new house.

Koumuten company has its own architects, and if you tell them what kind of renovation you want, they will arrange all the work, including carpentry, electrical work, and equipment installation.

リフォーム会社 [reform gaisha] (りふぉーむがいしゃ)

In Japan, renovation is called  リフォーム [reform] (りふぉーむ) . Therefore, a company that specializes in renovation is called a リフォーム会社 [reform gaisha] (りふぉーむがいしゃ).
They are often a little smaller in scale than 工務店 [koumuten] (こうむてん) and are responsible for partial renovations. For example, renovating only the toilet, kitchen, and bathroom, or changing the wallpaper in a room.

建築会社 [kenchiku gaisha] (けんちくがいしゃ) = 建設会社 [kensetsu gaisha] (けんせつがいしゃ)

They are larger in scale than 工務店 [koumuten] (こうむてん) and can construct steel frame and reinforced concrete buildings. They are capable of constructing large scale buildings such as condominiums, hotels, office buildings, and commercial facilities.

設計事務所 [sekkei jimusho] (せっけいじむしょ)

Sekkeishi-japanese-designerAn office in which an architect performs design work. If you request a design, some of them will arrange all the necessary construction work or renovation work. Since they are specialists in houses, you can consult them about any problems you may have with your house, or ask them to make repairs.

The types of 職人 [shokunin] (しょくにん) “craftworkers “

In Japan, the craftsmen for each construction project are separated in detail, and the work is assigned to each of them by the construction company or designer.

大工 [daiku] (だいく)

Daiku "carpenter" in Japan Carpenter, In addition to processing wood, sometimes they also process plasterboard, the base material for walls.

塗装屋 [tosou ya] (とそうや)

Toso ya (painter) in JapanPainter

電気屋 [denki ya] (でんきや)

Denkiya-japanese-electicianElectrician, they can be in charge of installing air-conditioner, lighting, and are also responsible for any kind of electrician work including internet wiring.

設備屋 [setsubi ya] (せつびや)

Setsubi-equipment-installerThey specialize in installation of equipment such as kitchens, toilets, bathrooms, and hot-water heaters etc., and are also responsible for plumbing.

内装屋 [naisou ya] (ないそうや)

Replacing wallpaper and floors. Wallpaper is also called クロス [kurosu] (くろす), so a person who replaces wallpaper is also called a クロス屋 [kurosu ya] (ないそうや).

足場 [ashiba ya] (あしばや) = 鳶職人 [tobi shokunin] (とびしょくにん)

scaffolding man-japanese-tobi-shokunin-ashibaScaffolding man, Not only when building a new house, but also when repainting the entire house, the entire house needs to be covered with scaffolding.

左官屋 [sakan ya] (さかんや)


畳屋 [tatami ya] (たたみや)

A person who makes tatami mats. Tatami ya can process tatami to fit the size of a Japanese-style room.

ガス屋 [gas ya] (がすや)

gas-meter-japanPerson in charge of gas installation. They are  in charge of gas piping work or installing hot-water heater.

水道屋 [suidou ya] (すいどうや)

Suido ya (water service man) in JapanPeople who repair water-related facilities such as toilets, kitchens, and washrooms. They come to you immediately when you have a water leak. However, you should be careful because there are some unscrupulous contractors who will take advantage of the weakness and charge you a lot of money for a repair that can be easily fixed.

建具屋 [tategu ya] (たてぐや)

They can  install doors, 襖 [fusuma] (ふすま) “sliding doors”” 障子 [shoji] (しょうじ) “paper sliding doors”, and other fittings, and fix poorly fitting doors. They can also install a key cylinder to the door.

サッシ屋 [sashe ya] (さっしや)

They are responsible for installing windows, screens, and sashes. Also repairs windows that are not working properly.

家具職人 [kagu shokunin] (かくしょくにん)

Furniture makers

基礎屋 [kiso ya] (きそや)

build the foundation of a house.A company who build the foundation of a house.

植木屋 [ueki ya] (うえきや) = 庭木屋 [niwaki ya] (にわきや) = 造園屋 [zouen ya] (ぞうえんや)

A company that prunes plants growing in the garden. 庭師 [niwashi] (にわし) is a person who prunes plants in the garden.

表具屋 [hyougu ya] (ひょうぐや)

Hyogu refers to 障子 [shoji] (しょうじ) “shoji screens”, 襖 [fusuma] (ふすま) “fusuma doors”, 画帖 [gajou] (がじょう) “picture books”, 屏風 [byobu] (びょうぶ)” folding screens” , 衝立[tsuitate] (ついたて) “partition”,  掛け軸 [kakejiku] (かけじく) “hanging scrolls”, 巻物 [makimono] (まきもの) “scrolls”, and 額装 [gakusou] (がくそう) “picture frames” made of cloth or paper. The process of making them is called 表装 [hyousou] (ひょうそう).

洗い屋 [arai ya] (あらいや) = 美装屋 [bisou ya] (びそうや)

A company that cleans the inside of a house after construction or renovation work is completed.

看板屋 [kanban ya] (かんばんや)

They print and install store signs. They can arrange for a high-altitude truck to install even the highest places