Category Archives: refurbishment

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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

Bouwer die gevaarlijk hoeken

Bouwer die gevaarlijk hoeken

Deze foto toont een lokale bouwer die gevaarlijk hoeken snijdt met betrekking tot de veiligheid van zijn werknemers en mensen in de buurt.

Het is het soort dingen dat we hier in Portugal zien, maar voor de niet geïnformeerden ziet het er waarschijnlijk onschuldig genoeg uit.
Laat me vooropstellen dat niet alle bouwers gelijk zijn en onze collega’s zowel bekwaam als veel ervaren zijn. Ze zijn ook verzekerd op het juiste niveau.

Bouwer die gevaarlijk hoeken
builder dangerously cutting corners

Voor mij beschrijft het perfect het verschil tussen wat je zou verwachten te zien en te ervaren in het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Frankrijk of Nederland en wat er gebeurt in Portugal.
De reden is dat bouwers in Portugal geen officiële training hebben of zelfs veiligheidstrainingen, de overgrote meerderheid is niet verzekerd of jammerlijk verzekerd voor dekking van hun werknemers, uw familie of uw eigendom.

Een typische jongeman als hij niets anders kan vinden, zal uiteindelijk op een bouwplaats werken. Hij zal alle basistaken kopiëren zoals betonneren, metselwerk, misschien zelfs wat timmerwerk.
Als hij niet goed is, wordt hij ontslagen en gaat hij van werk naar werk.
De hoofdoorzaak van het probleem en de reden waarom gebouwen hier slecht zijn gebouwd of slecht zijn gerenoveerd, is dat de jonge bouwer niet gemakkelijk de juiste manier kan leren om dingen te doen als zijn ouderlingen en leidinggevenden a, dom of b zijn, geen echt begrip hebben van wat ze doen of c, opgeleid tot lagere schoolniveau.

Neem bijvoorbeeld een bouwer van middelbare leeftijd die ik ken. We hadden het over het bouwen van grote keermuren en het probleem dat veel van hen hier uiteindelijk uit de verticale hoek bewegen of leunen.

Hij zei: “de reden is dat ze de huilgaten op de verkeerde plek zetten” “Ik heb de mijn altijd dicht bij de top van de muur gezet”
Ik vertelde hem dat we bij Castelo Construction altijd een bouwkundig ingenieur gebruiken om grote steunmuren te ontwerpen zodat ze niet in de toekomst kunnen bewegen. Deze wanden hebben altijd de huilgaten in de buurt van de bodem van de muren. Ik liet hem foto’s zien van het werk dat we hadden gedaan en enkele grote muren die werden uitgevoerd door aannemers van de overheid.

Alles met huilgaten in de buurt van de bodem.
Blijkt dat hij niet kon lezen, dus hij was niet in staat om de instructies van de civieltechnisch ingenieur te lezen en gewoon “geïmproviseerd terwijl hij meeging”
Helaas, als je een huis liet bouwen of renoveren door deze bouwer, zou je in de toekomst een schadevergoeding kunnen eisen. Waarvoor wij u het allerbeste bieden.

Cash or Receipts, castelo Construction, english speaking Builder, Portugal

Cash or Receipts

Cash or Receipts what will you do?

Paying cash from building work is not the perceived benefit that it was with less suppliers accepting cash builders are stuck with how they could use their earnings.

Portugal has had a very long and very active Black economy. The Portuguese government is trying to change this far too late to a shade of Grey and in fact since recent laws were passed in 2017 more and more companies are offering invoices when you buy goods and services. Just in case there was any confusion it’s also against the law to avoid tax payment.

Why is this important to you when you are having construction work carried out in Portugal. This will be one of your greatest expenses when living here. There is a temptation for people coming to a foreign country to avoid “additional expenses” if they can.

Obviously, any builder wants to put through his books as little as possible basically to avoid the payment of tax and Iva which in Portugal is 23%

Castelo Construction looks at this from a different angle. We always provide invoices for work carried out.

why is this important it’s important to you?

Simple

Because when the time is right to sell your property in the future whether refurbished or a new build you can claim your VAT Iva back from the tax man saving you so you 23%

Obviously no invoice no savings.

Many people who when down the cash route ended up complaining that they had missed out on the 23% saving when it’s too late.

Here’s a little money saving tip for free without you having to go down the Cash or Receipts route. If you are going to open a bank account in Portugal to buy your property and carry out building work in Portugal make sure that they have a branch in your home country. For instance, Banco Santander Totta has this arrangement.
Then all you have to do is open an account with them in the UK and carry out bank to bank transfers for FREE.

Talk to Kelvin about your construction project on 00351 927168247
Or email kelvin@casteloconstruction.com

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