All posts by Castelo Construction Lda

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

Condition of a roof or floor

People often ask about the condition of a roof or floor when they are showing us around their newly acquired home in Portugal.

Woodworm problems!

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Cinq choses à savoir sur un toit typique portugais, la conception typique du toit, l’achat d’une maison au Portugal, le toit est en bois, l’eucalyptus entier. toit purl Eucalyptus, le toit a été remplacé dans le passé, les solives de toit sont sciées en Eucalyptus, desserrent les tuiles, le pin portugais, entraînant l’effondrement des toits, les tuiles placées à un angle trop faible pour qu’elles ne fonctionnent pas correctement les tuiles, la pluie dans la toiture, exemple de toit construit par Castelo Construction avec des bois correctement dimensionnés qui dureront des générations,

They either noticed the presence of woodworm and tried to ignore it or did not see it the first time around.

When its time to discuss the alterations or improvements they want to make to the property it usually comes up in conversation more from an “I hope they say it’s nothing to be concerned about” point of view

then a practical Let’s get rid of it NOW! standpoint.

Admittedly it is hard to understand what the effect of visible woodworm is going to be unless you have lots of experience.
As I write this my new near neighbors are ripping out their old boarded ceilings and replacing them with plasterboard. I hope but doubt that they have spent any time or effort in eradicating the real problem that they are about to cover up.

Take a ceiling for instance if you can see woodworm damage in the ceiling then you most likely have Wood wormed roof joists, tile lath, and trusses.

It’s a real case of papering over the cracks this time with plasterboard! Which is going to become apparent in the medium term? It’s not just homeowners who hide woodworm problems hoping they will go away. We have experience from property appraisals that we carry out some of the devious ways sellers try and hide the effects of woodworm damage in the hope that dumb foreign buyers won’t notice the problem.

The bottom line is that a serious wood worm problem is always going to cost you. Hopefully, we can make that cost minimal while providing a lasting resolution to the problem.

contact Castelo Construction info@casteloconstruction.com”

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Are you cold and miserable

Are you cold and miserable

Its raining cats and dogs today, grey skies, cold and miserable. One of those days when you have to motivate yourself to go out.

coimbra, stone house,damp wall, cold house,mold,,Are you cold and miserable,Portugal. castelo construction,
Are you cold and miserable

Although it is late November it is not cold enough to have the wood stove or central heating on until around 4 pm. (I live in a properly insulated and heated home)

I recently met a couple who have lived here in central Portugal just under three years the other day they both said they had never been so cold in their lives as their first year in Portugal this is something we hear often from people that we meet socially. So why is it so common?.

I believe that there is often a blindness or mental block (I don’t know what to call it) when it comes to home buyers thinking about, heating, cooling and ventilation.

It could be because most people have only visited Portugal in summer when it’s hot and sunny all day especially July and August up until the first half of September. Cold and Portugal just doesn’t seem to equate.

Take the Coimbra area where I live as an example. Coimbra, situated in central Portugal, enjoys a climate cooler than Lisbon and, is normally warmer than Porto. Temperatures here are mild with warm summers. The area within 10Km of the coast is mildest and as you head further east to locations like Arganil, Castanheira de Pera and Serta you get a little more rain than Coimbra.

One thing that is worth knowing if you are house hunting. Those villages strung out in lines along hillsides are built there for a reason. They are usually at low cloud level because the rely on the early morning fog/mist/rain to help water their crops. Old villages in Portugal are always located next to a natural water supply because that’s house people lived. Growing things on their land that the family could eat and sell.

Enough about the weather let’s take a look at why your home is so cold.

The average Portuguese home is as well protected from drafts as your home in the UK if you left the back door wide open all winter. Coupled with the fact that very few homes are insulated at all, have draughty single glazed windows and doors and a heating system that is totally inadequate.
The lack of insulation, dramatic daily temperature changes during the day, high humidity drafts poor heating systems it’s a recipe for months of misery.
We understand how to make an old house warm and a new house as warm as you would expect. Contact Kelvin by email kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and tell us about your problem.

This site has very detailed information on Portuguese weather.
https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/portugal

In fact, annual precipitation amounts to 1,450 mm (57 inches) in Braga, and 1,100 millimetres (45 in) in Porto, while it drops to around 900 mm (35 in) in Coimbra, to 700 mm (27.5 in) in Lisbon, and to about 500 mm (20 in) in Algarve. The rainiest season is winter.
Winter, from December to February, is mild on the coast, even in the northern part, since the average temperature in January goes from 9 °C (48 °F) in Porto, to 11 °C (52 °F) in Lisbon, to 12 °C (53.5 °F) in Faro.

In winter, there are periods of good weather, because the Azores Anticyclone can move over the country even in this season, but there are also waves of bad weather, with rain and wind. Sometimes, gale force winds may blow from the ocean, especially in the north.
The position of the country, overlooking the ocean, provides good shelter from cold winds and night frosts, which in fact are very rare and not intense: the coldest records along the coast are around -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F).

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smart electricity meter

Smart electricity meter

Letters are arriving at homes all over Portugal asking homeowners to contact EDP so that they can set up an appointment to come and connect a smart electricity meter.

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smart electricity meter

You may be aware that this is also happening in your home country too because it is an EEC funded project which will eventually be linked to all the utilities enabling utility suppliers to “help us make savings” while charging us more for what we use.

I must admit that I have a very poor opinion of the EDP ( Portuguese Electricity Supplier) and their humorously named customer services.

I will try to put this sentiment to one side during this blog post so that I can point out potential issues for the none resident homeowner.

Meter location,
There has been a big push by the EDP in recent years to force people to move their electricity meters outside of the house to the perimeter of their properties and mount them in a purpose made cabinet. At your significant cost!

The way that they do this is to make you move the usually, wall mounted meter that you see in the entrance hall of many older homes here. You buy the property, the existing electricity account is terminated and when you go to reconnect/change names on the account.

They insist that you move the meter before they will connect. They may even insist on an electrical survey being done.

With the arrival of the new smart meter, I don’t know for certain if they will still force you to move the meter or not.

I would assume that they will as it is logical if they want to control all the utilities entering a home then they would all be together in a “utility wall”

If you do not respond they will still install a smart meter which necessitates cutting you electricity supply for a short time. This may impacy freazers fridges and items that you have on timers.

In the blog post below you can see an example of a “utility wall”
Link – http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2016/02/27/electricity/

Siemens is one of the suppliers of the new smart meters that EDP Distribuição is already installing at the clients’ homes, in a phased strategy. But in addition to the smart meters the company also developed the system that will allow to manage and control all data of the electrical network.

More precision in consumption measurements but also more detailed information, and more regular data communications with the power service provider – no need for manual counts – are some of the advantages that the new smart meters (also known as smart meters or Energy Boxes ) allow. The immediate benefits are transferred to customers and to EDP Distribuição, but they also prepare the system for future challenges, such as the possibility for each user to be a producer and store of energy.

In addition to the provision of smart meters, Siemens Portugal is also implementing a network information management system at EDP Distribuição that bridges the new meters and analog models, and also allow the collection and management of network data.

www.casteloconstruction.com