Construction in Portugal is regulated by an official body known as IMOPPI and builders are required to obtain an annual licence called an ‘Alvará’.
The architect or project manager normally invites the builder to submit a tender for the work on behalf of their client and this usually takes about a month to six weeks.
It is recommended that at this stage a draft building contract is drawn up which can be discussed with the builder.
The builder’s quotations can be presented either on the basis of a schedule of prices or lump sum for the total cost of the project. A lump sum contract is generally preferred by the majority of clients once the contents of the tender are defined in detail.
It is worth remembering that two major causes of delay in construction are defining accurately the materials and conditions of payment so special attention to these points may well lead to a quicker completion of your home.
An average villa takes 10 months to build. To complete in less time is a commendable achievement.
Time spent both on site and in the drawing office with your architect in the early planning stages is time well spent. The more detailed your brief the closer they can come to your original concept. And once you have decided on choice of tiles, fittings etc stick to it if possible as this can avoid irritating delays later if different materials have to be ordered.
It is advisable to request a detailed quotation for all the design sketches, calculations, finished plans and supervisory work required to carry out the project from start to finish.
Your architect will also be able to help you obtain the building licence from the local council as he or she is familiar with all of the relevant regulations.
It is equally important that you choose an authorized builder on the same basis as your architect.
Your specifications should contain everything down to the last detail so that there no misunderstandings later.
The builder’s quotation should give not only a price but outline a construction schedule and a proposal for staged payments.
It is prudent to ensure that there are no hidden extras such as VAT (IVA in Portuguese) or fluctuation clauses relating to sudden rises in the price of building materials.