Building, Construction, and Design etc.
When you move to the Silver coast, depending on whether you buy a new or old property you will probably want to put your own stamp on it, the same rules apply here as they do in the UK, if you need a builder ask around, get written quotes and do not be afraid to ask to see work they have done.
If you need help in finding a builder just ask us, we have done a lot of work to the property we purchased so know the builders, decorators, carpenters, window, swimming pool suppliers etc.
One major tip, if you can buy your own materials do so, this will save you money as the builders tend to add around 30% to the material cost.
Daily living costs are cheaper here in Portugal than the UK, foodstuffs in particular are a lot cheaper, one thing not cheaper is gas and electricity only recently has the market opened up to competition so the major suppliers have had a bit of a monopoly, so hopefully prices will come down, electricity in particular is probably around 20% more expensive than UK prices and IVA, the Portuguese equivalent to VAT is 23%.
The Silver Coast has a plethora of shopping centers and major grocery stores including the likes of Aldi, Lidl, plus others of the same ilk within easy travelling distance of most major conurbations.
Travelling around Portugal by car can be expensive but need not be if you are clever and use the secondary roads rather than the Toll roads which charge by distance traveled and the type of vehicle, as an example a 150Km journey on a major road would cost you around 10-20 Euros depending on what your driving.
The major motorways are well maintained and little used, there are plenty of services along the way, and even if you use the secondary roads with no tolls there are small cafe´s in the small villages who welcome the passing trade.
Television, Telephone, and Internet services:
Since 2015 there is no satellite signal available for UK television, if you want TV from the UK you will need to get it via internet, there are quite a few providers online and we can advise after using a couple of them, obviously the quality of the TV will depend on the quality of the internet provided, fortunately Broadband internet via fibre optic cable is becoming more common, speeds up to 100MB are quite common, in reality you can expect to get around 90MB depending on the area you live, this allows for a good internet feed and a non buffering TV provision.
The main providers for mobile phone and home phone are MEO, and Vodaphone, they have packages for home phone, up to 3 mobile phones and TV similar to the UK although prices can be equivalent to the UK providers.
Depending on where you live the gas supply will be bottled gas, mains gas, or you may have a large refillable tank.
Gas appliances come equipped for bottled gas and must be converted for mains gas, a conversion kit should come with the appliance although this must be fitted by an approved company, again we have a contact for this.
Electric supply in Portugal is 230 volts, compatible with UK appliances.
A typical socket shown below:
There are plenty of convertors UK – EU to buy in the DIY shops.
AC Voltage: 220-240 Volts
Entertainment and eating out.
If its one thing the Portuguese have in common with the Brits its a love of food, good wine, and good restaurants.
As one of the major suppliers of wine, here on the Silver coast we are blessed with an abundance of vineyards and during the harvest season you can buy grapes very cheaply and make your own brew (not that iv’e tried yet) but i’m working on it.
One thing you will notice is the cafe culture is alive and well here on the silver coast, most do a range of sandwiches to order and coffee lovers will enjoy the costs, a large milky coffee for around 80 cents or 60 pence, a little different to the £3.00 in the UK.
In short you won’t find any pubs on the Silver coast, most if not all of the restaurants serve alcohol even some of the cafe’s serve draught beer, bottled beer is cheap by comparison and the two main brands Sagres and Bock are in my opinion quite nice, although I have to keep testing to monitor quality control :O)