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First steps

In June 2005 we bought the plot from Steve, asked him to be project manager, and through him consulted an architect and discussed a building project. We discovered that Steve lives in a new house opposite the church and owns the plot below ours.

Any design for a house on that plot had to take into account the slope of the terrain, and the fact that there is a triangle of communal land between the plot and the road, while Portuguese regulations state that buildings cannot extend further than 30 metres back from the road. A design was produced in August 2005, but it had several unsuitable features. Notably, it was much bigger than we had asked for, and it had a roof that was very high on the road side. Steve was not happy with it, but he sent us the plans (below).

When we saw the plans, our main objection was that the living area was lower down the hill (on the left of the plans) and the bedrooms were higher. We felt the best view was from the upper part of the plot, and we wanted the sitting room and its veranda to be as high as possible. We agreed with Steve's alteration to the roofline, and asked for a new design. Once the holiday season was over the new design was produced, and approved by us. An application for planning permission was made in October 2005, and we expected a reply by January. Unfortunately some minor adjustments had to be made to the design for technical reasons, and when it was resubmitted (as below) the planning department in the town hall was in the middle of moving offices. In the end we had to wait until some time in the spring of 2006 before permission was finally given!