More about us

The Hopeful Builders

We (the two foreigners in question here) are Tom, an American who has lived the expat life for more than 20 years and Janet, South African, author and writer of this blog.

We’ve both enjoyed living abroad (okay, not always) and have felt the need to create a home for ourselves somewhere, so in mid-2009, when the chaos of our life desperately required a nicer backdrop, we decided to take the plunge and build not only a house, but a life for ourselves in the Minho region of northern Portugal.  As we find our feet and attempt to turn the vision and dream (delusion?) of building a house in Europe into something concrete, we hope to entertain, inform and perhaps explain (not least to ourselves) why we’ve chosen such an unlikely destination – or as a friend once hesitatingly asked:  why such a backwater? ”  Indeed, why?  Join us as we find the answers and try to demystify the ins and outs of building a house in Portugal.


7 responses to “More about us

  1. love the blog! and the pics of the site are looking formidable – are you building small development?

  2. I enjoyed the piece that recently appeared in Expatica…I’m married to a Brit and we split our time between San Francisco and Paris. Thanks for the article!

    • Hi Roy, thanks for your comment. Those are two great places to live and quite a mix of cultures. Funny how enriching and addictive such a mix can become, isn’t it?

  3. Pity you did not give Grand Designs (BBC) a call when you started years ago… All I can say is Wow! ! had not checked on the status of your ‘Mars colonisation project’ in a while but I am totally astounded. You guys need a new motto. I know Americans like to go big, but it seems that throwing in an Afrikaans girl from RSA into the mix makes for an explosive combination. Wow. Astounded. (and secretly very envious… lol)

  4. I can think of some Afrikaans phrases (mostly with short words and exclamation marks). Lol

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