Category Archives: Building in Portugal

Anything related to building or renovating property in Central Portugal

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how long Removing render from stone houses

How long

 How long does it take to remove the cement render from a house wall and re-point between the stones with lime mortar.

Many people ask is it possible to remove the cement render from a house wall and re-point between the stones with lime mortar for a DIY enthusiast.

 

info@casteloconstruction.com

Cement render on stone house

We are asked these questions a lot. So here are the answers.

It obviously depends on the size of the stone house wall. This one is eight meters wide by 6.5 meters high.

Looking at it from the DIY perspective. Do you have enough scaffolding available to carry out the work safely? Are you confident standing and working on scaffolding at this height?.

Do you have all the tools for the job.  Renting tools in Portugal is very difficult you will need a large SDS hammer drill, scaffolding, chipping hammer, Very high-pressure jet wash (not one that you wash your car with) and re-pointing equipment.

How long? It all depends upon how fit you are as to how long it will take. A reasonable estimate would be 3 times the man hours that it takes us.

Our guys are professionals and work on this type of thing day in day out so they don’t need a lie down in the afternoon. Make no mistake you will hardly be able to raise your arms after the first day if you are doing this for the first time  I don’t care how fit you think you are.

The repetitive and very dusty work really is hard. Dust in your eyes constantly and large amounts of fine dust to breath in.

Cleaned and ready for pointing

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How long does it take to remove the cement render from a house wall

We had a team of two people working on this gable it took them two days to take off the old cement render which was on a south facing wall and baked on. The erecting of the scaffolding and high-pressure jet wash took another day. That’s 6 man days or you could say a week’s work for two people to get everything ready for pointing. There was also some stone to be replaced before the pointing.

If my reckoning is correct then it will take a DIYer 12 to 18 days of hard graft to make just the gable wall ready for pointing.

 

Much better to contact Castelo Construction  kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and have the work done for you at a reasonable price.

Castelo Construction Lda. Helps people like you to get the very best out of your new home in central Portugal.

Whether it is an old house that you want to refurbish or a new home which you want to construct. We help you to make the most of any property project with our professional, design, construction, project management and maintenance services.

Professionally managed services with full accountability ensure that you get what you want. On time and to budget. We work only with experienced and licensed tradesmen, architects and engineers to deliver exceptional results.

 

info@casteloconstruction.com

Doors through stone house walls

Doors through stone house walls

You have found the ideal property in Portugal; perhaps it’s a traditional stone built house with lots of character but not much interior light.

It could be for instance that you want to gain access a nice area of the garden without going around the house or your plans for remodeling the interior space require a new entrance door through stone house walls.

Doors through stone house walls, Houseinpenela,

Doors through stone house walls

How do you do it, can it actually be done, what are the potential problems.

Castelo Construction has been carrying out this type of structural work for many years and with very good results. You can have a normal width door or even patio style doors knocked through your brick or stone walls even if they are over a meter thick.

 

How do you do it?

With a great deal of care and experience. This may sound obvious but taking a section out of the structural walls of a building can be very dangerous because of falling stones and debris. The work is usually done with three people.

Can it actually be done?

Because you are altering the structure of a home it is very important to make sure in advance that it can be achieved. It is not a case of trying a location and seeing what happens next. Our craftsmen understand the stresses and building methods that they have to deal with which requires years of experience.

Doors through stone house walls,penelahouse

patio doors through stone house walls

What are the potential problems?

If the stone walls of house have an uneven amount of stress they can buckle and collapse if a hole is cut in the side of them.

Remember the stones in old houses are only held together with mud. You can experience the effect of cutting a large hole in a house by cutting a hole in a cardboard box.  You will see that it immediately becomes unstable.

Which is why we use our many years of experience a great deal of care and tried a trusted techniques to support the house while the work is being carried out.

It is important to understand how dangerous this kind of work can be. In the UK last year  11% of workers suffered serious injury from falling objects.

“demolition sites pose particular dangers”

 https://www.injurylawyer.com/blog/construction-worker-deaths-and-demolition-hazards-prompt-osha-news-release/

 To discuss your building in Portugal contact info@casteloconstruction.com

Doors through stone house walls,Doors through brick house walls

Doors through house walls

 

 

Condensation on your windows

At this time of year do you suffer from condensation on your windows in bedrooms?

We have noticed it in a lot of homes even with newly installed double glazing and this shows a potentially large problem or two.

Take for instance the windows. If they are double glazed there is no way that they should have condensation on the inside pane of glass. If they are affected by condensation it is probably because the gap between the glass is not sealed and filled with inert gas like Argon it is just filled with normal air (not even dried filtered air) and this is very common in Portugal.

For independent information, we recommend you take a look at. http://www.double-glazing-info.com/Choosing-your-windows/Air-or-Argon-gap

A double glazing window comprises two panes of glass, separated by a spacer bar and seals to create a hermetically-sealed environment. The cavity width between the two panes, air or another gas filling used and the type of spacer bar, are all key factors in the unit’s final energy, solar and acoustic insulation properties. Which dictate condensation or not!

The cavity is filled under vacuum conditions with either dehydrated air or an inert gas to improve insulation and prevent condensation within the unit. Depending on the gas filling used and the type of window, the cavity width for a double glazing window is generally between 4 to 20 mm.

Condensation on your windows, castelo construction, portugal builder,builder in Portugal

Condensation on your windows

The recommended cavity width for Low E energy saving double glazing window when filled with dehydrated air is 16mm – and 14mm when the cavity is filled with argon gas.

Less heat transmission with double glazing window and a warmer home

The physical properties of the dehydrated air used in the cavity means that it transmits (ie loss) less heat by convection or conduction than normal air. This is because the molecules of dehydrated air are relatively immobile, and therefore have a ‘lower thermal conductivity’. The same physical properties of dehydrated air also give it lower acoustic conductivity, for improved sound insulation.

If normal atmospheric air is used the performance of the panel’s is further reduced.

Double glazing window energy efficiency can be further increased by substituting dehydrated air with an inert gas, such as argon, xenon or krypton within the unit. Argon, which has 34% lower thermal conductivity than air, is the most commonly used. Although argon-filled units cost around 5% more than air-filled units, they can improve a double glazing window’s U-value or energy rating by over 30%. Argon fillings should last the lifetime of a double glazing window and over a period of 25 years should not lose more than 5%.

Which begs the question – Why do the local window suppliers do it. Use air I mean it can only be because they make more profit.

If you are buying windows in Portugal ask the supplier to give you a written assurance that an inert gas has been used to fill the glazing panels.