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Building in Portugal

So you’re going to carry out some building in Portugal.

 

Excited, you bet!  Worried about the pitfalls and problems that you may meet along the way ?

Of course. The main worry is that we don’t  know what there pitfalls and problems that you may meet along the way may be.

Do you have a contingency fund and plan. Probably not but times pressing and you just want to get into your new home ASAP.

 

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Building in Portugal
Pitfalls and Problems

If they are not living in Portugal most people really need someone to oversee the work and are just not sure how to go about it from this distance.

 People may suppose that it would be a less expensive way to go with a local Portuguese person/builder/architect than through a company like Castelo Construction.

 In reality  working with Kelvin at Castelo Construction will actually save you a lot of money. I know this may sound counter intuitive but let me explain.

 

There are 4 main areas where people fall foul when trying to manage a build or renovation remotely.

Having witnessed many people who have bought a property in Portugal and are overly excited and optimistic about the whole refurbishment project. This exited state makes them easy targets for “local, friendly builders” who may speak a little English.

They often use the opportunity to ramp up the prices massively and the new to Portugal foreigners just pay through the nose because they know no better and have nothing to compare with.

Added costs can also come about because time is regarded very different here deadlines are never worked to. If you run over your license time then that’s ok because the client is responsible for paying for the license.

 

The other major money pit is although they “local, friendly builders”  may speak some English the big mistake is that people think “he knows what we want” when they absolutely do not have any idea of what we expect from a home or quality of finish.

My most mind boggling conversation was with someone who said we love the house BUT we were not expecting so many very small rooms downstairs!!!

Having rooms positioned wrongly, the incorrect materials being used and expensive errors like tiles laid in the wrong place which then have to be moved or changed at your expense.

The worst negative event is I suppose the builders who take your money and runs off to work in France knowing that you can’t do anything about it. This is a lot more common that you would believe from reading the online expat forums.

 

My advice, take it if you will.

Work only with people who have done it before, can show you examples of their work and provide excellent testimonials from foreign clients.

How often do they send you email and photographic reports?

Have they got large outstanding debts to the Fiancés (tax office)

Have they done a project in the style that you want.

Do they respond quickly and clearly to your inquiries.

Are they a registered company.

 

Like I already said if the best thing that can be said about the person you are going to put your trust and money in is  “our builder speaks a little English” is not a good starting point

contact  Kelvin@casteloconstruction.com

About Castelo Construction Lda

Castelo Construction Lda are builders in Central Portugal. If you need an English speaking builder for renovation or new build work we will provide free estimates and carry out your work to a very high standard. Central Portugal builders, Central Portugal construction. New Construction and Refurbishment of Portuguese Property Its 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 that 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. 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. As the build progresses we are involved with many specialist sub contractors 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.