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new build/garden etc

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Portugal.
Subforums: Property for Sale/Rent, 2nd Hand Items for Sale/Wanted

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new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:36 am

I must apologise for those that replied to last year's message, but I could not work out how to reply. THank you.
We have now got the show on the road. After many problems we are about to start the build in Carveoiro. We will be having solar panels installed on the roof of the property, but are unsure if solar is a good idea for the pool. I have tried to look on UK sites and completely confused, plus it seems incredibly expensive. Our pool is a very irregular shape and we will need to cover it. Has anyone got any ideas? We will need to landscape the garden, which is on a slop. My thoughts are plenty of weed control matting, stones and bark. Plants would be those not requiring too much water. Would love a palm, but when we visited the garden centre around Lagoa the prices were crazy. We also need irrigation. What would you suggest in relation to planning the garden from scratch? Possibly a company to deal with all aspects of the garden, but who? We have to buy furniture. Beds seem so low, do they ever have Brit height beds that are not divans? Outdoor furniture of any quality seems expensive, but probably looking in the wrong places. Plasma screens in Worten seemed quite a good price. We will need to install shutters and our architech has considered this but it would appear the shutters (electric) are est at 7000 euros, not sure how many though (2 bed property). I would also like to consider putting in an expanse of decking to effectively create a car port under it (as the ground is a storey lower than the main build) and use the top part as part of the pool sunbathing area. Any thoughts on appropriate men for the job? There really is so much. The kitchen is sorted though. Thank you in anticipation! Rolling Eyes


Regular Poster
Regular Poster
Re: new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:11 pm

Wow lots of questions:
OK if you plant drought tolerant plant u do not need to water. Plant garden in winter so it gets rain - big joke as now raining in June!!!
Gravel & Bark are great - check bark does not get into pool re wind! I would get the builder to do the finishing re garden walls decking etc. Not cheapest but should be most reliable. Sure u asked lots more but this is bit I recall.
Good Luck.
re Solar - ask local Solar installation experts. Out on West coast it is FF solar - they seem v v good and I'd see them before build get's too advanced they had lots of fab advice for us but sad to say too late as our villa was already built!


Re: new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:40 am

onThank you for replying. Yes there were lots of questions and no doubt more will come up. As you say if you get too far with the build some things may be too late. We will look into FF solar. Re: landscapping, this will be well away from the pool. The bark will be where the boundary plants are, probably about 40 mtrs (although that is a guess). The nearer sections will be stone. Where did you build and are you living there? We are initially building for holidays and rental, but hope in about 10 years time to spend winter in Portugal, plus other periods if we can retire early.


Regular Poster
Regular Poster
Re: new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:26 am

If you are not planning to live there, maybe shingle (brita) would be the best with drought tolerant plants. Perhaps you should enquire about a borehole then you could set up an automatic water sprinkler. I am sure Rod will come on this one about solar panels. With regard to building good luck, hope you get something signed with an advocad dont rush the time as most Brits do just get something signed about what they will do and what they wont do. It will save you time and heartache in the long run that is my only advice. I have just gained my licence and am about to sue the builder, and am making problems with Imoppi (now renamed) and the local Council who also did not fulfil their duties. If you tie in your builder, believe you me, it will save you an awaful lot of probs.


Forum Pro
Forum Pro
Re: new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:03 pm

onWe had lots of problems with a dodgy lawyer, but then changed. That is all sorted. The builder is very good - possibly not the cheapest. Our architect is expensive, non Portugeses and extremely fussy. Bit of a prima donna, but brilliant. He also project manages. He insisted the builder and we sign a contract. Having said that the build was due to commence 1.3.07. It did not - no water or electric. Next problem on excavation suddenly a huge hole appeared. Seems it may be a historical river (now dry). We had an engineer in and the rest of the land is fine and therefore we have changed the layout slightly. We have only just come back and hope they will restart in the next couple of weeks. We have learnt to be VERY patient and do not expect things to happen too quickly. It has taken 3 years so far from ownership of the plot. Regards


Regular Poster
Regular Poster
Re: new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:35 pm

Yvette - welcome to Carvoeiro. I’ll try to help with your numerous questions (or at least give you my views and opinions).

Solar heating for hot water is certainly advisable. I have had a solar panel on our current villa for 8 years and it is excellent. There is a manual switch with timer in the fuse box (they are extremely neat) so that it is possible to heat the water using electricity and this is used about 8 days a year. I have replaced the valve twice in the 8 years; otherwise no problems. I am installing a solar panel in our new house “as I write this”. I had quotes from SACL (EN125 Porches), Autoheat (next door to SACL) and Novambiente (Messines). I’ve opted for Novambiente this time.

Solar panels for the pool are certainly viable. Get a quote by all means but I think that it will be prohibitively expensive. A better solution is to look at a pool cover. This extends the swimming season by one month either side of the summer months. Unless you are an ardent swimmer and want to swim in November through to February, heating the pool is expensive. You can get pool covers to fit irregular shaped pools. Either one that rolls off and sits across the top without touching the surface of the water (you just need the clearance around the pool) or one that sits on the surface. However, even pool covers are not cheap. They are beneficial though to extend the swimming season.

We had our current garden professionally landscaped and computerised irrigation installed (9 years ago now). However, with our new garden I will do it myself and just buy in someone to do the final installation of the “computer system and controls” (though may finish up doing this myself if the price isn’t right). Installing the irrigation pipes and “pop-ups” and “drips” is easy and very cheap.

There are companies on the Algarve selling British beds. Goodwoods at Lagoa is one. Remember that British bed sizes differ from those in Portugal so if you buy a British bed then you need to buy British bed linen. Pillows (UK size) are difficult (maybe impossible) to find here. Portuguese beds are much more firm than British ones.

For the Plasma try Radio Popular at Portimão. Cheaper than Worten I think.

For decking there are plenty of carpenters around but I have not used anyone so can’t help on this one.


Rod S


Forum Leader - Portugal
Forum Leader - Portugal
Re: new build/garden etc

Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:32 pm

Thank you Rod. I wish you well with your new villa. Apparently our build still has not recommenced because the builder is waiting for the electric to be installed. I was wondering is the pool (solar) heating may be a no no. Since we will be renting out we will have to have pool heating, plus we intend to spend off peak periods at the villa. I will consider about the beds, my main gripe is the Portuguese beds are so low, where as the Brit beds are usually higher. I looked on the web site for Radio Popular and it appeared they were more expensive. In any event once we need to install fixtures and fittings we will visit there. Since we will not be living in Portugal I think the landscaping will have to be sourced out. Its all exciting, but I will not hold my breath as to when we finally complete the build.


Regular Poster
Regular Poster
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