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Gazebos, sun shades and garden rooms, garden structures, build in Portugal, discuss the project, structure, outside dining room, Garden shade structures, pergolas, bamboo roofed, straw roof, grass roof, roofed structure, pillars, timber shingles, roman roof tiles to glass, outside dining rooms, Moroccan style, Japanese tea houses, sit and relax, reading or chatting with friends, prevailing wind, dappled shade, very special relaxing hideaway, screening and shade plants, ultra-modern design, ancient reclaimed chestnut beams, cartwheels, old olive jars, hand-carved stone troughs, planters, changing seasons, Gazebos, alpendres, waterproof roof, roof beaten copper, glass, natural bamboo, cloth under the roof, Caribbean feel, Walls, rendered bricks, stone, timber, sailcloth. colours and textures, glass bricks, subtle lighting, fire pits, chiminea, Fountains, fish ponds, cascades, daybeds, hammocks and built-in furniture, like bookcases, fridges, wine cabinets, barbeques, wood oven, smoker, Castelo Construction, Kelvin, 00351 927168247,@casteloconstruction.com

Gazebos, sun shades and garden rooms

Gazebos, sun shades and garden rooms are very popular garden structures that we are asked to build in Portugal by our customers in Portugal.

One of the interesting things for our craftsmen to work with is the different designs that our clients come up with.
We are often given sketches ranging from a page out of a notebook to ripped out photographs from fancy coffee table magazines.

Our job is first to talk through the design with the client so that we fully understand what they are trying to achieve. We then discuss the project thoroughly so they don’t miss any features which could be expensive to install later. We talk about the use that the structure is going to be put to.

It could, for instance, be an outside dining room so the water supply and drainage for a sink would a nice addition then, of course, there is lighting both inside and out and even planting of shade and windbreak areas.
As you can imagine it’s a pretty long list but because we have built many of these structures the process for us is straightforward.

Garden shade structures fall into three main types.

1, Structures with post or pillars and no waterproof roof. These are pergolas which will have plants or vines growing over them or straw, shade membrane or bamboo roofed so that they provide shade only.

2, Then there are the waterproof/ weatherproofed roofed structures which can also be on pillars or be surrounded on 3 sides by solid walls with roof materials ranging from timber shingles, roman roof tiles to glass.

3, The fully walled buildings with solid tiled roofs can be used as outside dining rooms, Moroccan style living spaces, Japanese tee houses. Ideal to sit and relax reading or chatting with friends. The goal is to keep out the weather rain, wind and sun.

More on the three types of garden structures

Pergolas are usually employed where the client wants to keep out of a prevailing wind, have dappled shade but are not interested in sitting out in colder weather or in the rain.
They do allow a skilful gardener to make a very special relaxing hideaway with the use of screening and shade plants, They can be of an ultra-modern design or as traditional as you like incorporating ancient reclaimed chestnut beams, cartwheels, old olive jars and hand carved stone troughs as planters. There will occasionally be times when due to the foliage being affected by changing seasons the pergola will not provide enough shade.

Gazebos and alpendres with a waterproof roof.

The roofs can be tiled made of beaten copper, glass, in fact, anything that you can imagine one of my favourites is natural bamboo underneath the tiles as it reminds me of Bali. You can also hand linen cloth under the roof to give a Caribbean feel.

Walls can also be made of all kinds of materials from cob (a mixture of earth and straw) rendered bricks, stone, timber or even sailcloth.
The important thing is to choose the material to suit the purpose that you are going to put the structure too.

Oh and don’t forget the colours you can incorporate into the design. Not just in the furnishings but in the structure. You can use whatever colours and textures you like for instance opaque glass bricks or bottles set into the wall to provide a little subtle lighting

If you are looking at year-round use you want to consider fire pits, chiminea to keep warm on winter nights.

Fountains and fish ponds, cascades, day beds hammocks and built-in furnitures

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outside entertaining area
like bookcases, fridges, wine cabinets, barbeques and wood ovens
Whatever design you are thinking about Castelo Construction are here to help

Call Kelvin on 00351 927168247

Or contact him on email at kelvin@casteloconstruction.com

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Cracked walls

Cracked walls

 

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cracked walls

Horizontal cracking, vertical cracking, angular cracking, crazing, blown render, stone wall, stone house wall, damaged wall, damaged render, render replacement.

I was asked to look at a Portuguese house recently which had suffered with the external walls cracking. The couple were about to buy the property but wanted to make sure that the cracking wasn’t recent and that is was not going to get worse. Obviously they didn’t want to put their hard earned money into a money pit.

 We don’t have a crystal ball so you have to research the property and look for evidence.

Here are a few things we look for. New building close by, land slippage, flooding, property extensions, part demolitions of connected out buildings or adjoining properties. Cellar excavations or new drainage installations.

Then we start to look at the overall structure. How is the property built, with what materials and methods. Is the roof old, is it straight or sagging, what is the condition of the main roof timbers. Do they have splits, cracks or breakages are they suffering from bad woodworm infestation.

Then we look inside the property to see if there are cracks matching those outside on the inside. Is there evidence of rain water entering the cracks and passing to the inside of the property.

Once we have established that there are no obvious and serious external factors causing the cracks we can look at the types of cracks Horizontal cracking, vertical cracking, angular cracking, crazing, blown render, stone wall, stone house wall, damaged wall, damaged render individually.

It is not often appreciated that most old Properties in Portugal do hot have what we would call foundations in northern Europe.

They relied upon building flexible walled houses that would move slightly over time and settle into the ground. Ground frost is not usually a problem here so the houses stay viable for a couple of hundred years.

It takes many years of construction experience and many years of Portuguese building method experience to be able to read property problems.

If you are contemplating buying a property in Portugal contact Kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and we will be pleased to help.

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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.