The construction standards in Portugal have been very, very high for the past 500 years. We’re a country with a lot of history, so there’s a lot of palaces and castles around Portugal that have been at the same place without any refurbishment for the past 400 to 500 years. The Portuguese have a history of being very dedicated to quality when it comes to building and to the construction of buildings.
We do not use a lot of wood. Instead, we use a lot of stones and we use a lot of bricks, so the construction in Portugal is very, very solid.
In Portugal, we have a very traditional culture; we tend to stick to the past. The things that worked in the past, we still use them today. So therefore, houses built out of wood or pre-fabricated houses do not have success in Portugal, even though they are very good and very warm.
When Portuguese look for a house and they knock on the wall and if the house is made of wood, they will not buy it. The Portuguese are really used to the thick walls that keep the heat within the house in winter and outside the house in the summer. For that reason we are really, really stuck with the old traditional ways of constructing houses.
The foundation of the house is the most important element of the building, and it’s the most expensive part of the building. We had an earthquake in 1755 in Portugal and just the coastal area was affected. The rest of the country didn’t have any other problems. So yes, for many years, we are very proud of the way we construct and build properties in our land.
(Thick walled construction of centuries old Portuguese buildings, pictured.)