Before and after portugal renovation

Renovating a derelict Manor House in Portugal

the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal


Today is such an exciting day, the house will finally look somewhere near finished (though still work to do on the stone work around the windows)

When we bought the old Manor House, it had suffered over 40 years of neglect (as you can see from the photo) we wanted to return it to its former glory and the locals told us originally it had been white and yellow.

There was so much work to do to the outside before we could even begin to think about painting it.

There were no windows downstairs, just rotten shutters that had had bad repairs completed on them, the main doors had been replaced by badly fitted wooden doors and the upstairs had been replaced with aluminium windows.

Getting the new windows had been a nightmare, but we finally got as close as we could to what it would’ve looked like originally.

The other big problem we had was the amazing sandstone window frames, because of water damage over the many years, some of the stone had washed away. Luckily John was able to make a template and rebuilt the cornice with cement and lime. (we still have to paint those in a stone colour) This will kill John, but we have no choice, the original stone has been damaged too much to ever bring back to life.

the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal
The carvings have been added tot he old sandstone window frames

Once the walls had been scraped, cleaned and filled it was ready to paint. This was a fun job as the building is about the height of an average 3 story building and all we had was extra long ladders. this meant John on the very top with me holding the bottom in place. Our lovely neighbours came out and put the red triangles on the roads to warn the drivers (luckily we don’t have fast cars here).

however even John could not get to the very top, to paint the yellow so we hired a cherry picker for the day, I have to say I felt so much safer with this and the fact that it had been arranged by a local builder who helped us for the day.

The village have all enjoyed watching the front of the house progress and now we are no longer the scruffs on the block!

the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal
The house as we bought it
the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal
Cleaned and filled ready to paint
the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal
Very long ladders!
the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal
Much easier with the cherry picker
the-old-manor-house-portugal Jenny-and-john-in-portugal
Almost there, but what a difference


If you are planning to do a renovation in Portugal and need a place to stay, take a look at this website for great accommodation, commission free and book direct with the owner


For informative articles and information

26 comments on “Renovating a derelict Manor House in Portugal

  1. Julie Seidel

    Looks great! xx



    Wow! Jenny You must be so proud !!


  3. It looks magnificent – well done both of you for your work. Can’t wait to see more of the inside.


  4. You must be so proud. Bringing an old building to live is like giving a loving home to a rescue dog or cat. In the the reward is just priceless.


  5. Gail Allen

    It’s looking marvelous Jenny and John, what a great job you’re doing.



    absolutely fantastic work, you both should be very very proud of yourselves, have so enjoyed reading your blog. Good Luck in your future business, but how about a good holiday first, you deserve it.


  7. Susan Jackson

    Wow, that is absolutely gorgeous–if you are selling I sure hope you make some money–is it the prettiest house in the area now? You guys are amazing.


    • Thank you, we are not selling, we are hoping to open next year with a holiday apartment. the neighbours all love it as well, though they keep pointing out that John did not paint the very top of the chimney!


  8. john preece

    looks amazing



    Stunning Jenny Absolutely stunning


  10. Hi! I’m Pedro, i spoke to you yesterday πŸ™‚ Here’s my blog with a few photos of Fungalvaz. Cheers πŸ™‚ (Nuno Freire is my middle name)


  11. Jenny, I had followed your renovations for the past several months, I am so happy for you guys,for the final transformation is finally done. I love the way it turned out, things always take time money and certainly patience. Are you breathing yet?? lol…enjoy some good tea or glass of wine and relax a bit! Great job.


  12. Just amazing! Congratulations! You must either have been very fit or are now very fit after so much work! Beautiful!


  13. Wow…what a transformation…..and what dedication risking life and limb up that ladder! We are in the early stages of our own restoration…so this is a real inspiration…..may you spend many happy years there.


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