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Various building/refurbishment questions

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Posts: 1251
VIP Member
Topic starter
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago


We're currently getting quotes together for a refurbishment and partial new-build, and are getting conflicting suggestions from different builders. Seeing as most of the issues are outside of our previous experience (either 'cus they are "Portuguese" things, or things we didn't have in the UK) I wonder if anyone could give advice/experiences on these matters.

1) Insulation - we have a single storey house with a concrete slab between the ground floor and the loft. The roof is tiled with timber rafters and with currently no insulation. We do not intend to make the roof-space "usable", and I would prefer to keep the timbers visible for future checking/treatment. So far we've had suggested:

a) Take off all tiles, fit insulation panels on top of the rafters and then replace the tiles on top of the insulation;
b) Insulation panels fitted between the rafters, with possibly also boarding the underside of the rafters;
c) Insulation panels fitted to the top of the slab - ie, the "floor" of the roof-space;
d) Insulation fitted to the underside of the slab, in effect a false ceiling to all the ground-floor rooms.

2) Hot water system - the plans indicate a pumped circulation system, with the heat source being a gas boiler taking water heated by a solar panel. If I understand it correctly, this should have hot water circulating all the time, so we get instant hot water at the taps. Saves water, but will it be heavy on gas and electricity for heating/pumping?

3) Indoor pool (concrete construction):
a) Salt or Chlorine?
b) Vinyl-lined or mosaic-tiled?
On both of these aspects, we've had strong recommendations for each option.

Any comments greatly appreciated.



7 Replies

Posts: 102
Ask Our Expats Consultant
Joined: 4 years ago

PEX is readily available, for sure.

Tongue/groove insulation panels we haven't seen, but that's not to say they don't exist. 

A slight frustration here can be finding definitive sources of products. People swear by Leroy Merlin (a French chain) which is the only major retail chain with really large stores (though many of them aren't actually that large) but they carry what suits them, and there are fantastic ranges elsewhere (but often not properly catalogued online). Finding the relevant brand, then searching their stockists, works best (though our local Dyrup paint franchise swears never to have heard of some Dyrup products 🙄 and that's not uncommon)



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