Searching for the right place

Discussion in 'Portugal Property' started by Ady, May 6, 2008.

  1. Ady

    Ady New Member

    Does anybody out there have any experience of the pro's and con's between buying a finished property, something that needs renovating or just a plot of land and building from scratch?

    After a couple of recent viewing trips I seem to have leaned away from my original idea of a finished house to finding a peaceful plot of land and building something that suits. I think I would prefer central Portugal. If you have any advice it would be appreciated.

  2. pvostany

    pvostany New Member

    Property in Bulgaria

    I prefer Bulgaria as the countryside is really peaceful. My home is a brand new one and I ve bought it through bestbulgarianestates for 16000 Pounds Now some final touches are needed only
  3. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    We bought a piece of land with a couple of ruined houses and some farm buildings on it, replaced and rebuilt into new house and little cottage. best way to do it is design and build, that way you get exactly what you want and at a much lower price, only problem is the time it takes to get the planning and build.
  4. Ady

    Ady New Member

    Thanks omostra06, I must admit that's the way I am inclined to go. Do you know where I could see a range of building plans to get more ideas?
  5. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

  6. f_ribeiro

    f_ribeiro New Member

    You should definitely get an architect to design the house for you for several reasons, but I would just name two

    1 - an architect has the necessary knowledge to help you build the best house at the lowest cost
    2 - an architect can help you in all phases of the process, from inception to completion
  7. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    I dont tottally agree with getting an Architect to design your property, depending on how skilled you are personally at ideas, vision, design etc, then laying out the design yourself is the best thing to do, then simply get an architect to convert it into proper plans suitable to go into the planners. no one knows what you like and dont like better than you and your familly, so even after several meetings with an Architect, they still wont fully understand your taste and be successful at designing a property to suit your needs, best do it yourself. its also cheaper this way, as the Architect wont be doing lots of designs, layouts that you reject, planning your layout and design your self, you will end up with a better house. very personal to you.
  8. f_ribeiro

    f_ribeiro New Member

    I wonder if you have ever worked with an architect before from the beginning of a project.

    Basically what your saying is the same as don't get a doctor in the beginnings of felling seek. First decide what medicine you want to take and then get a doctor to give you a prescription because you know exactly what is better for you and it will cost you less.

    Let me make clear some point:

    1. The fees of an architect are fixed fees, so rejected layouts are part of the work and no one is charged extra for that.
    2. The fact that you haven't build a house before makes you less informed than an architect to deal with such issues as quality of space, lighting, air quality, construction cost, detailing, water proofing ....but most of all, quality of the space you gone be living for a long time.
    3. Expertise in dealing with issues like permits, builders, Câmara and all the other people that is involved in a process.

    Working with an architect is exactly the same as working with a doctor, lawyer or any other professional service. They will give you expert advice in what they feel is the best solution for you, now and in the long run. You have the power to decide to follow their advice / prescription / project. But most of all you have to trust in their knowledge the same way you expect that the people that use your services is expecting the best service and advice you can provide.
  9. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    i have worked with architects on a few things, thats why iam saying that in my experiance its better to design a project yourself, as only you know what you want.
    I didnt say dont use an architect, they will of course deal with the building regs, planning submission etc side of things, what i did say is if you have the skills, design the house your self as only you know what is best for yourself with regards to layout, space design etc, once you have your on personal design, then talk to the architect to have the whole project prepared.

    I dissagree with you about architects fees being 'fixed' they are not, part of the planning and design of a property envolves a evoloution of ideas as the design takes shape, if there are changes and architect does and will charge for any changes he has to make. he may make changes in the begining for free but if there are changes during the planning period or indeed the build, he will charge more for these changes.

    i dont think the fact that someone has not built a house before has anything to do with good design and layout, people live in houses they know what they like and dont like, dont get good design mixed up with the nitty gritty of drawing plans to incorporate building regs, permits, builders, Câmara, lighting, air quality, construction cost, detailing, water proofing and all the other people that is involved in a process.

    what iam talking about is actual design/layout, the best people to do this is the client, if they have the skills, as i have said in the begining, this is my opinion, as an architect you will of course advice people to use your services, thats normal and there is nothing wrong with that.
  10. f_ribeiro

    f_ribeiro New Member

    As an architect yes I advice people to use the architect's services, not mine specifically.

    "I don't think the fact that someone has not built a house before has anything to do with good design and layout"

    It has. Most of the people don't like they're houses because they don't work for them the way they should. They like pret-a-porte and not tailor made. When dealing with an architect you can have an idea of a layout. We have clients that bring us plans drawn by them, but that is just a starting point. We always change the layout to something that the client wasn't expecting because we find what suits them the most, and believe it or not only an architect as the knowledge to do that.

    My advice is always to present your ideas to the architect with a scrap book of what you like. This is more important than a layout. It doesn't mean that you gone have a house like a collage, but it helps a lot to understand the client and the type of house he is interested in.

    Anyway, Is an healthy discussion and hopefully helpful not only to Ady but also to most of the people who intends to built is own house.
  11. Ady

    Ady New Member

    Good discussion guys, I am always happy to get different viewpoints. I tend to agree with preparing one's own layout as it will then include all the important aspects of your own personal living space, and then get involved with a professional who can take it forward and advise on tweaks that may improve things.

    I have just drawn up my own design for a small place that should suit me (using a nifty piece of free software) and I am very pleased with the result. That was the easy bit, now I just need to find a piece of land to build it on, someone to build it, and yes even an architect, and start the whole process rolling...

    Have you guys been through this already?
  12. Luis Miranda

    Luis Miranda Guest

    Visit this address and will be without doubts.

    Visit this address and will be without doubts.
    Moradia no norte de Portugal + cinco Bungalows Amares
  13. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    i think were both basically talking about the same thing,
    what i said was.

    "I dont tottally agree with getting an Architect to design your property, depending on how skilled you are personally at ideas, vision, design etc, then laying out the design yourself is the best thing to do"

    if someone has a clear idea of what they want, the type of property, the layout etc then thats fine, they know what they want, they have a clear vision of what they want to build, they dont require an architect to help them design it.

    others may not have the vision to see or imagine a property, these people could probably benefit from the services of an architect, to help understand what they want and translate that into a workable project/design.

    everyone is different, some people can design a property on their own, others may require some help.
  14. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    we first moved to Portugal about four and a half years ago, we bought and old farmhouse to restore, we have been through the whole planning process for ourselves and for clients, so pretty much upto speed on whats involved, how long it takes, costs etc.

    right now were building a new 3 bed house (that we designed ourselves) and a 2 bed cottage (also our design)

    you cant beat the experiance of building your own house, it can get difficult dealing with, architects, builders, engineers, council etc. but as long as you do your homework and know what you want and dont allow yourself to be advised/bullied into building something you dont fully like or using a builder, architect, engineer that you are not fully cumfortable with then its a fun experiance. make sure you budget well and allow for some overspend, and be realistic about timeframes for planning and building.

    what area are you looking in?
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  15. Ady

    Ady New Member

    I have looked at central areas, between Torres Novas, Pedrogau Grande and Coimbra, and enjoyed them all...Where are you based now?

    What would be a good rule of thumb for a quality finish build, say about 120m2 single storey? and what would be a reasonable time-frame from your experience?
  16. f_ribeiro

    f_ribeiro New Member


    Please don't take it personal because it is not, but designing your layout for a plot that still doesn't exist might mean that all your work might be wasted.

    Your designing a layout that could be placed anywhere and that means that you are not getting the best from the location you'll find. Better consider finding the place that you like and then designing the house taking advantage from views, solar angles, existing vegetation and all the particular conditions of the site.

    We're currently working on a project for Penela (beautiful area by the way) and the layout and shape of the house as changed so much since our first sketches and it will change until we find the best solution. That is how the work should be done. And yes we have fixed fees and will not charge more for the changes.
  17. omostra06

    omostra06 New Member

    Hi Ady
    well the design time can be as little as a month or as long as several months depending on time restraints you place on yourself and the complexities of the design.

    the planning period in the local council, will take anything between 8 months and 14 months depending on which council your plot is in, some work faster than others,

    you will then have one or two years to build depending on what time you applied for, normally to build a new one level house of 120sqm your looking at 6 to 8 months, average.

    costs can be anything between 400 to 600 euros per square metre, again depending on the standard of materials and finish you want to achieve.

    architects costs should be around 2500 to 3500 for that size of build.

    the building license will vary from council to council but can be as little as a 1,000 euros to as much as 15,000 for a large new build.

    these prices are correct in our area of central Portygal, expect to pay more nearer the cities and the Algarve.

    we are near Tomar at the moment but the houses we are building are in Martinchel, near the lake of Castello do Bode.
    did you see the link to some pics of our current project that i posted before?
  18. l.a.a.s

    l.a.a.s New Member


    Assuming that one has experience in building construction area, otherwise one will have a lot of problems

    Best regards

  19. turncoat

    turncoat New Member


    the more work you have to do (if you lack experience) the more stressful it will become evidently.

    If you have to paint some walls, it will be less stressful than planning a building and erecting it obviously.

    Also, think about whether you are fluent enough in the langage to talk to planning officers etc. in Portugal (i don't know the procedures there)

    But whatver you decide on doing.
    Good luck! and best wishes! x
  20. broomrider

    broomrider New Member

    find right place

    Well said f Ribeiro. Too many know all Brits in Central Portugal, I know cos I am here.

Share This Page