Building in the Algarve
There has been a trend in recent years towards more modern designs reflecting lifestyle influences of open-plan designs, glass and light, large kitchen living areas, home cinemas and gymnasiums. There is still a preference for the traditional build but with a more contemporary interior. The expertise exists within the Algarve to make any of these combinations possible.
Behind any layout needs to be a structure that is fit for purpose and can cope with the Algarve's climate i.e. very hot in summer, can be wet in winter, in spring there can be temperature variations between night and day over 20°C, and of course, be designed according to the law for the odd earthquake tremor. This means ensuring structural designs are adhered to, with the correct materials: plenty of insulation and waterproofing systems that are capable of dealing with movement and temperature changes and using materials that can weather the Algarve climate, not just looking good for six months.
Many move to Portugal for the abundance of sunshine, and to enable more natural light, glass has been advanced with not only security features but heating and solar reflective properties. Aluminum with thermal insulating properties should now be used as standard, enabling windows and doors to be made bigger without the fear of overheating or conversely freezing.
Kitchen and bathroom designs are two key areas that clients tend to take extra care on. All trends are catered for and if you see something that inspires you, always show it to your builder. There are very few designs in the Algarve that are not available but solutions to combat this are always provided. One practical warning though; the water here is hard so insist on a water softener and a good quality tap.
Energy prices are going up year on year, so it is also important that clients select energy-efficient cooling, heating and lighting systems. LED lights, for instance, consume approximately 10% of the power of traditional lighting. Heat pumps work on the principle of extracting heat from the air or the ground and can also lower your fuel bills, whilst being better for the environment.
Home entertainment systems are now standard along with the rapidly changing audio visual market; specialist equipment prices are becoming more affordable. Rooms are often designed around modern technology and as seen in a lot of client wish lists, a private cinema room is a must. If this isn't to your liking, we do advise you to make sure adequate systems are installed for future technology developments. Other intelligent systems that can control heating, lighting, audio visuals, security via your iPad and/or from a remote location, are now common practice. Security products have also advanced with the rapidly changing communications industry and there are many applications using wireless beam technology that can add early warning protection to our homes.
There has never been a better time to build than the present day.
There are three forces in the outcome of any project and they are dependent upon one another.
Those forces are quality, cost and time. The theory states that you can have any combination of two of the forces in your favour, but the third will suffer. For example, you can have a project that is high quality with fast delivery, but you will pay higher costs for it. Similarly, you can have a project that delivers quickly at a low cost, but the quality will suffer.
Bear these criteria in mind when selecting your builder.