Building a home in Portugal can be a very time-consuming procedure, because of the specific requirements of each local municipality. Here are some steps to keep in mind.
Choosing a Building Plot
When choosing a plot to build your home on, you should apply for a previous information requirement (Pedido de Informação Prévia) from the local municipality. The description of your building purposes for the plot, must be included in the application. If permission to build has been granted, you´ll know what kind of constructions are allowed for this plot.
Having decided to buy the plot with the given information, it has to be classified in the municipality´s master development plan (Plano Director Municipal).
If you’re choosing to have a home built on an existing urbanisation, you must ensure that the urbanisation has been approved by the local council and must, therefore, follow the given Detail Plan (Plano de Pormenor).
If you buy a plot on an existing urbanisation, the basic infrastructures are already installed (electricity, communication, sewage). In case you don´t, all the infrastructures will have to be carried out on your own expenses.
Building the House
To build the house you are going to need:
- First, a civil engineer or an architect to design the architectural project, subject to the local council´s approval
- Second, the planning for electricity, sewage, water system, gas pipes, etc., which has to be submitted after approval of the architectural project
After this process, you will be holding the building permit and still have to look for a licensed builder.
The responsibility to supervise the building works, however, is of the engineer/architect you´ve hired. He is the one, who decides the work is finished. But, it doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t have a look for yourself.
Registration and Licenses
Now, when the building work has come to its end, the builder must arrange for an inspection by the local council to ensure that it has been constructed according to the plans and building regulations. After a satisfactory inspection, the local council issues a property use permit ( alvará da licença de utilização). Finally, the property has to be registered at the local authority, like the local tax office and at the local land registry.