Awakened Life Project : Projeto Vida Desperta Rotating Header Image

Schist House Renovation at the Quinta

The water tank is completed and the house is well on its way!


Construction began the last week of April and has been going full force ever since. We have a team of about 5-6 Portuguese men working everyday. They are great guys and it always amazes us how much they can get done in a very short time.

Here is Juliano proudly introducing his handiwork!


We are at the quinta everyday now planting and clearing the land and it’s such a joy to look up and see our house appearing before our very eyes stone by stone! The original house was 2 rooms, one up and one down. The original room upstairs is now our living room (sala) and downstairs is the kitchen. We have added an extension on, the top room is our bedroom and the bottom is the bathroom with a little wood storage/dog house space next to it.


The whole house will be in slate stone. Where there are bricks (on the new section) it is being stone faced. The walls on the original part had to be raised as the bottom floor was very low. These walls are being done all in stone.

We are getting estimates on the solar hot water system, wood burner central heating system and the general solar system. Then all that’s left is getting the water pump and the pipes in place!


The pictures will tell the rest of the story! If are looking for a builder we can wholeheartedly recommend Eusebio Santos and his crew. They are efficient, the price is good, they are great guys to have on ones land and they do a great job.

Shot from Across Valley

Stay tuned, will post more photos as the job continues!




  1. nigel green says:

    hi guys been following your progress,love what your doing!im a permaculture designer working on a project about two hours south of you,ive buit and installed a ram pump to get water from our stream up to the house,the pump itself can be built quite cheaply,in the spirit of cooperation if there is any advise/help you need please contact me on the above e-mail, keep up the good work,kind regsrds nigel

  2. Felix & Annie says:

    Hi Cynthia! Great to find your website. We have bought a ruin near Coja, similar situation to yours, and are planning rebuilding & extension in traditional style. Are you anywhere nearby? We wonder because last year we actually met a builder called Eusabio who owns some property near us and he does this kind of work. When our plans are passed (probably April 09) we would like to consider using him. Do you have contact details for him?
    Hope your house is coming on well!
    Regards, Felix

  3. Felix & Annie says:

    P.S. Would also be really helpful to have an idea of building costs. Do you have a rough figure per sq.m. for the basic construction?
    Cheers, Felix

  4. Joe says:

    Hi,congratualtions for the good work. Don´t forget the hillside behind the house, it does´nt seem very stable.Perhaps some trees will help.

    all the best

  5. Joao says:

    Hello Cynthia,
    This is a wonderful site… Very inspiring and so much info. As it happens we just bought a little quinta, well, some terraces and a little dry stone house just by Benfeita! We will be there in 2 weeks, unfortunately we are not moving there yet, but soon will be living there permanently. Are you near Benfeita? All the best of luck, we hope to meet you one day. Peace. Joao, Clare & 4month old Django.x

  6. Toby Jarvis says:

    Hi guys,
    they’re all coming out the woodwork now ….!
    We too have bought a pile of old stones! We’re in the algarve, a fair old way from you, but have nearly 300m2 of ruins with stunning old schist walls which have been waiting for us to come along.
    I’m an artist (- sculptor,propmaker,carpenter) my partner Nina is a hypnotherapist and together with Beatriz, born out here in December last year, are all living on our hillside in a couple of yurts and a caravan.
    We’re planning on starting up a creation centre, and with our vast array of contacts, want to begin an exchange between local and international artists/therapists/musicians etc etc. As part of this we’d like to rebuild our site as sustainably as possible. We’ve got the backing of the President of our Camara and interest from some funding bodies who are keen to maintain traditional skills, so are looking around for information/advice/builders/costs (in schist in particular but also cob and cana).
    Would love to hear from you and also anyone else that is heading down a similar path (or has already arrived at the door….)
    Regards, Toby.

  7. Raymond Babb says:

    Hi there

    Were planning to renovate our ruin in Colmeal, near Gois hopefully in June.

    Good luck with your project!


  8. Ray N says:


    Please could we have the contact details of Eusebio Santos your builder. We have a ruin to renovate in Colmeal.


    Ray Babb

Leave a Reply

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Best Green Blogs