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Choosing a house in Portugal

Choosing a house in Portugal

You’re ready to choose a house in Portugal. Sounds straightforward enough and you have certainly watched the place in the sun, moving abroad TV programs showing all the various delights on offer. All you have to do now is draw up a short list and agree on the one that you want. Simple!.

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Choosing a house in Portugal

If only it really was that simple.

When choosing a house in Portugal there are a few more angles that you need to cover if you want to own your ideal home in Portugal.
Your probably aware that there are potential problems and expenses if you buy an old run down property and a new property may break the budget completely.
So what about a newer property? Not an old ruin It will have larger rooms and windows that let more sunshine in. An established garden and everything will be ready to move into.

Yes you would certainly think so however here are a few things to consider first

Electricity
Drainage and sewers
Damp and condensation
Woodworm
Structural non-conformations (potentially large structural problems)
No insulation and inadequate heating

You could say it’s a bit of a minefield and it can be for unwary or naive people who are on a tight time frame between returning home and choosing the right house.
That is why I can never understand people with no Portuguese construction e experience who buy a property blind instead of having a property appraisal done.

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Choosing a house in Portugal

I will very briefly describe some of the potential problems regularly encountered from the brief list above.
Electricity – 90% of a newer property that you look at will have underpowered electrical circuits, not enough sockets and be liable to tripping off the power if you have the TV, Dishwasher, and light on!!!

Drainage and sewers
– Most newer property will have undersized drainage pipes that are also laid at such a low fall the drains will block easily. The cesspit will be covered over with a concrete slab and earth.
Damp and condensation – Those telltale sooty marks along the edge of the ceiling are mold spores, not soot. Unfortunately!
Woodworm – Untreated wooden roofs or built-in furniture may already be showing signs of infestation. Just how bad is it and can it be treated or will it have to be removed and replaced.
Structural non-conformations (potentially large structural problems) – If the property was built on the cheap or extended by an unqualified idiot. There may not be the correct amount of reinforcing steel in the pillars and beams supporting the walls, roof and floors. It’s not a good time to find this out when you have already bought it.
No insulation and inadequate heating – Insulating houses has been the law for some time but its installation wasn’t policed so builders and home owners opted to save a few bob and leave it out. Many people here believe the “Caxias do air” or cavity in the wall is insulation. It’s not it is just a gap between two cold walls.

Choosing a house in Portugal talk to Kevin or email him Kelvin@casteloconstruction.com

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