If you are coming to Portugal either to buy a property or already own one you will no doubt be interested in the Home building and Renovation Show which is held in London during September. http://www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/
Has there ever been a time when home alterations and renovations were more fashionable and popular.
For most people its not just about the significant increases in value that you can make to a home. It is about living somewhere nice and knowing that you have played a major part in what was achieved.
If you are an armchair renovation fan or aspiring property developer you may have watches some of the hundreds of home building and renovation shows from around the world on TV.
Home building and renovation in Portugal has a slightly different aspect to what you would expect to find in the UK for instance.
In general older properties in the UK are built to superior standards than what you will find in the equivalent age Portuguese property.
Which means that you must always prepare for and fund the basics first.
What are the basics?
1, Rising damp, penetrating damp and high levels of condensation.
2, Damaged roofs, sagging or rotten roof timbers and poor quality roof tiles.
3, Wet rot and Dry rot
All of this before you apply even a lick of paint!
We often meet people from all over Europe who have packed everything up to come over and start home building and renovation work in Portugal. Very often they have made lots of plans some of which can be very fanciful indeed.
They often are in such a hurry to “get moving” that they buy materials and expensive tools (I must admit I fell into the expensive tools bracket), shipping containers and vehicles in order to hit the ground running.
Some hit the ground rather harder than they hoped. Only a minority of people will have even considered half of the 7 items above and will commence the admittedly exiting project of home building and renovation. Most people will also have little or no previous building experience.
This is unfortunately what happens.
As a rough estimate based on our eleven years experience 10% will be back to their home country in the first year. Many would have found that Portugal wasn’t for them or may have run out of money or have health problems.
Another 10% will have found that there was legal issues, planning constraints or structural problems with the building that they purchased. They will also go back to their home country in the first year.
A further 20% will live in a property that was much bigger than they had back home. They may have over stretched themselves financially and certainly not tackled the basics first.
They will now be in a position where they can not afford the cost of tackling them or don’t want the disturbance so they live with the on going problems of constant damp and high humidity causing the need for yearly redecoration and maintenance. They live with mouldy clothes and that tell-tale-smell.
They will also find the first year of living here the coldest that they have experienced.
Half of these people will sell up and leave within three years of arriving in Portugal.
What would our advice be –
1, If you know that you don’t have the skills to take a dispassionate and informed look at the property that you ant to buy. Pay someone to look at the property for you.
Ideally before you have made an offer in writing.
2, Use a professional company to cure the damp problems or install a modern sewerage system so that you can live comfortably.
3, If the roof needs replacing or renovating have it done professionally as this will speed up your renovation and make a dry, safe environment to work under. The outcomes of most roofing accidents are permanent. Why take the risk?
Sort out the basics – apply your energy, flair and ideas to your new home and stay safe.