Generally, it is heavily legislated that if you are going to build something, you have to build to a certain standard and that standard tends to be good. There are no modern methods of building here. In other words, there is no steel frame, no wooden frame, or that kind of thing. We build using bricks and mortar. The structure is still reinforced with concrete on the structural load bearing parts of the building, villa, or apartment. You would also have a slab on each layer. If it is a two-story house, you would layer a concrete slab across and then you would in fill with brick. You would lay and run the services and utilities by literally breaking the brick and creating a little tunnel for the electric, the sewerage, and all the plumbing.
Generally, construction here in Algarve is very solid. This is not California in terms of earthquake risk but Portugal is not far away from a meeting of two of the tectonic plates in the Atlantic. The last major earthquake was quite some time ago, in 1755, it was very destructive so most of the modern buildings here are built to earthquake standards or close to it. From a physical construction perspective, you would find very solidly built properties. You will not be knocking on drywall and wooden structures here.
In terms of the quality and finishing perspective, the structures here in Algarve are very good, especially the modern builds. There is a proliferation of marble in Portugal so you will see a lot of buildings or homes that were finished with marble and with big tiles, which are very modern and clean. There is a very modern look to the inside of the house. The bathrooms are modern as well, with suspended sinks and a lot of glass.
An average-sized property is 1/3 bigger in Portugal than it is in Spain. Sometimes the size is reflected on the price and sometimes it is not. The pricing depends on the area. We find that people remark that the residential construction here has more space than they would have expected. A typical two-bedroom apartment, for example, would be in the region of 80 to 100 square meters (860 square feet to 1,077 square feet), whereas in Spain, the average is about 60 to 80 square meters (646 square feet to 860 square feet).
( Modern Portuguese home, pictured.)