Having a house renovated or built from scratch allows us the opportunity to install new back and front doors.

We tend to think about style first, then maybe the material it’s going to be made from and then cost and finally security features. Which is a little out of sync with what a door is supposed to do. Secure your home and keep out the weather!

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What kind of door to choose

If you ever watch the Police programs on TV where they carry out raids on suspects homes you will have no doubt noticed that even a very strong UPVC door with a multi locking system is only able to stand 30 seconds of real force before it buckles and bursts open.

Thankfully in Portugal we are very unlikely to have our homes attacked with such ferocity. Unless you are a part time drug lord or gun runner that is.

Install strong locks in your doors
Install strong locks in your doors

You door is probably (if ever)  only going to suffer the attentions of an opportunist thief or someone may attempt to drill out the lock which requires time and makes a lot of noise.

Most modern external doors here in Portugal are made from either wood, UPVC or aluminum.


The aluminum doors and windows are broadly similar to the UPVC products that you will have experienced in the UK. They have multi point-locking systems and are usually trouble free in operation.

One word of caution – make sure that you have hardened lock barrels fitted not the normal ones. These are cheap to buy but resist being drilled out very well.

Aluminum doors come in all sorts of colours and are available in many kinds of wood grain finish. I prefer aluminum because it withstands the huge range of temperatures experienced in Portugal and also withstands the summer heat without buckling or jamming. In the case of an emergency like a house fire the doors and windows will not jamb shut.

If you are about to choose windows or doors for your home in Portugal why don’t you request our free check list so that you can be sure each supplier is pricing for the same standard of product.

A quick look at wooden doors. The reason for the “quick look” is that in general I don’t recommend them. Unless that is they are made of well-seasoned, good quality hardwood. If you’re paying less than 1,000 Euros a door they wont be.

Inferior doors including those made by your local friendly carpenter will not be made of the correct quality or properly seasoned timber.

As a result this will happen.

The door will expand and stick in the frame making it hard to open and close. When it is shaved a little to make it fit. It will become loose and rattle in the summer. It will also twist and bow because of the high temperatures and high humidity.

The yacht varnish, micro porous eco paint, traditional gloss paint or teak oil that you decorate the door with will need to be taken off and replaced every year or certainly every three years even if the door is located under a porch.

I say this as an experienced carpenter and disappointed home owner who has in the past succumbed to the temporary charm of a nice wood front door!

About Castelo Construction Lda

Castelo Construction Lda are builders in Central Portugal. We have 12 years’ experience of working with and delighting clients in Portugal. Tel 00351 927168247 or If you need an English speaking builder for renovation or new build work we will provide free estimates, fixed prices and carry out your work to a very high standard. Many of our clients are not in the country full time so rely on our regular photographic updates and written reports. They are always surprised when they make inspection visits. New Construction and Refurbishment of Portuguese Property It’s exciting for both our team and of course our clients to mark out on the earth the site of a new home. We will have been with them during the design process and have spoken to the architect many times so we will be comfortable with what we are about to do. For many clients, this stage is a little daunting as it’s hard to see without experience just where the house is going to be in relation to other things on the property. Once the foundations are dug out the house normally looks smaller than they thought, As the pillars and foundation wall start to go you get a much better idea of scale. You can see with your mind’s eye the location of the kitchen, bedrooms and so on. Once the walls are up and the first floor is in place the rooms start to looks smaller again (something to do with the light absorbing properties of the bricks) once the walls are plastered the rooms look a lot larger and it starts to feel more like the home our clients imagined building. As the build progresses we are involved with many specialist subcontractors and it is our job the get them on site at the right time so that the trades do not overlap and time is not wasted. Once the roof is on and tiled it is traditional in this area to have a dinner on site. Everyone who is involved in the build is invited to share a suckling pig dinner with local bread, oranges and of course wine. This is a great way for the clients to enjoy some local hospitality and meet the craftsmen who are building their new home. We also invite the near neighbors so that they get a chance to see what’s going on (when the house is at a very basic stage) and it gives our clients a relaxed opportunity to make their acquaintance. As we always accompany our clients to choose, kitchens, tiles, bathroom fittings or whatever they want. We can help with translation and of course negotiation! As the house is coming to completion we always have them professionally cleaned so that when we hand over the keys it feels more like a home than a building site. 2 months after the house is finished we are back to check for any small faults that may need attention and of course we are available to help and advise should that be needed. Central Portugal builders