Category Archives: Rental

Rental

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Just arrived in central Portugal

Just arrived in central Portugal what to do?


There is a strong desire in many people to use local builders to help renovate their recently bought home in Portugal. They feel that  it is helping to integrate into the local community.

Its a good idea, we only work with local people and have done so for the last ten years.

You do have to be very aware that although some English may be spoken there is an enormous gap between our experiences and expectations. In the same way that there are hundreds of types and colours of white paint.

There are many things done differently here than they are back in your home country

Very often people fall foul of the “I explained it too him and when we came back he had done something totally different to what was agreed.

Take for example a new client we came across recently. She had a newly converted stone house in Central Portugal.

When I asked her how she liked the workmanship (not carried out by Castelo Construction) she said “oh its fine but we ended up with a lot more rooms downstairs than we asked for!!!”


They had wanted an open plan downstairs but the builder took it upon himself to add rooms. Unfortunate you may think? or how could they get the translation so wrong?

As an experience builder I know the real reason for this “Mistake”

Because it was cheaper for him not to make a first floor capable of sustaining a long unsupported span as the client wanted it. Instead the “unwanted rooms” were built so that the walls would support the floor.

Then there was another client who came on holiday to their freshly refurbished holiday home only to find the bathrooms, kitchen and all the floors were tiled in awful, cheap looking, old fashioned tiles which were third quality not even seconds.

The builder had included in the price for tiling.  He had chosen the tiles and supplied them at around 3 euros a square meter in a color last in vogue 30 years ago.

The home owner was left with the cost of taking up all of the tiles cleaning off the floors and walls and re tiling at double the original estimate.

If you are looking to work with a safe pair of hand on your Portuguese property contact

 info@casteloconstruction.com

call Castelo Construction 00351 927168247

Our workmanship is second to none and we understand where you are coming from!

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Tools

The hire of building tools is not very common here in Portugal.

So you may be tempted to look around for a cheap alternative to rental.

No1. Don’t buy Chinese tools

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Don’t buy Chinese tools

I know that money is always tight and the Chinese shops sell all kinds of tools at very low prices.

Also the shops are always open so if you forget that you need a tool the Chinese store is an easy place to shop.

Why do I have this negativity about Chinese tools.

That is easy to answer.  In the past I have bought tile drills that would not drill wall tiles, not even one.

I have bought metal tape measures which had edges so sharp and ragged that when they retracted it was like holding a razor blade between your fingers. The resulting cuts poured with blood and were hard to stop bleeding when you were working.

If you want proof of typical poor quality Chinese tools.
Take this 10 mm SDS masonry drill. I didn’t know that it was Chinese and used it to drill 20 small holes in cement block.

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Carbide tip missing

After drilling what seemed like a very tough block I pulled out the drill and found that the carbide tip was not there. It had just fallen off !

making the drill bit useless.

Also a colleague using a Chinese hammer drill for three days had to stop using it because the hammer action had stopped.

Three days work and in for repair or the bin!

My Bosch drill on the other hand drilled holes faster and continuously.
The above proves to me that these Chinese building tools are very poorly made and I believe that they are bordering on counterfeit rubbish.

They are definitely not value for money, cost effective or a bargain and are a waste of your money.

There is another worry that I have with poor quality Chinese tools and that is the possibility of something dangerous happening if they break while you are using them on site or on your home renovation.
You are probably better off borrowing  better quality tools from a friend or letting a professional take care of it.

Here are my building tools top tips.

Tools Top Tip 1,     Buy a very good quality and long extension lead. One with rubber plug and a winding/carrying  spool.

Tools Top Tip 2,  Only buy “household name” tools which can be repaired in Portugal.

Tools Top Tip 3,  Don’t buy “professional quality” high end tools such as Sthil as you will not get anywhere near half your money back when you sell them.

Tools Top Tip 4,  Do not under any circumstances lend your tools out. Especially to local builders even if they are working on your property. It is very common to have them returned broken and you will be left with the repair bill.

Tools Top Tip 5,  Do not bring to Portugal DIY tower scaffolding especially if you are intending to erect it on public paths or spaces. The laws are changing and you could be fined if your scaffolding does not comply and also if you dont have a license.

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Diggers and Dreamers Plant Hire

Plant Hire

There is something fundamental a kind of primeval urge for us to have a go a driving diggers, earth movers and dumpers. I have met many a person who has invented or inflated a small project that they can do by hiring a digger or dumper from a plant hire company.

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Plant hire Portugal


Many people assume that it will be as easy to hire tools and equipment here in Portugal however unless you live in Lisbon or Porto it is very difficult to find anyone who will let you have a digger or dumper without a driver.


This is actually no bad thing. Accidents with even the smaller versions of earth moving equipment are often fatal.

This You-tube video is typical of people who have no training or experience.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT0PjLGYPRc

If you hire a digger and driver for example the length of hire will be less because the driver knows what he is doing so you save money and the work will be neater and safer for those working nearby and in fact better all round.

Castelo Construction don’t hire diggers and dumpers but we know a lot of people who do so if you need earth or stones moving contact us on info@casteloconstruction.com

One final point. If you are digging a hole for example to make a cesspit or a swimming pool you already know that there will be a lot of waste soil or stone (spoil as it’s called in the trade) On many occasions when a pool has been dug the owners think that they will just rearrange the spoil around the garden.

What happens if what you dig out of the hole is not nice top soil but rock. Do you have a place to put 60 tonnes of rock and if not are you ready to pay for it to be transported away.