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Just arrived in central Portugal

Just arrived in central Portugal what to do?

There is a strong desire in many people to use local builders to help renovate their recently bought home in Portugal. They feel that  it is helping to integrate into the local community.

Its a good idea, we only work with local people and have done so for the last ten years.

You do have to be very aware that although some English may be spoken there is an enormous gap between our experiences and expectations. In the same way that there are hundreds of types and colours of white paint.

There are many things done differently here than they are back in your home country

Very often people fall foul of the “I explained it too him and when we came back he had done something totally different to what was agreed.

Take for example a new client we came across recently. She had a newly converted stone house in Central Portugal.

When I asked her how she liked the workmanship (not carried out by Castelo Construction) she said “oh its fine but we ended up with a lot more rooms downstairs than we asked for!!!”

They had wanted an open plan downstairs but the builder took it upon himself to add rooms. Unfortunate you may think? or how could they get the translation so wrong?

As an experience builder I know the real reason for this “Mistake”

Because it was cheaper for him not to make a first floor capable of sustaining a long unsupported span as the client wanted it. Instead the “unwanted rooms” were built so that the walls would support the floor.

Then there was another client who came on holiday to their freshly refurbished holiday home only to find the bathrooms, kitchen and all the floors were tiled in awful, cheap looking, old fashioned tiles which were third quality not even seconds.

The builder had included in the price for tiling.  He had chosen the tiles and supplied them at around 3 euros a square meter in a color last in vogue 30 years ago.

The home owner was left with the cost of taking up all of the tiles cleaning off the floors and walls and re tiling at double the original estimate.

If you are looking to work with a safe pair of hand on your Portuguese property contact

 info@casteloconstruction.com

call Castelo Construction 00351 927168247

Our workmanship is second to none and we understand where you are coming from!

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 kelvin@casteloconstruction.com 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