Building quality in Andalusia, the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz

On the Costa del Sol it doesn’t often rain from May until mid-December. Leaking roofs or damp floors in houses without basements may therefore only be detected when the big rain comes.

That said, moisture problems can be detected through an inspection. So look carefully; mould stains cannot be removed 100%. Smelling also helps: open the cupboards. This is the quickest way to identify the smell of mould. And be aware of freshly painted houses: this is a popular trick to eliminate mould stains.

The building materials used in Andalusia are generally quite basic. In the climate here, triple-glazed windows are not necessary.

Bathrooms are usually not heated, and sometimes entire houses often have no heating or cooling of any kind. Sellers or estate agents like to say: “It doesn’t need it here.” But, indeed, it does! Tiled or marble floors can become very uncomfortable in the winter season.

Heating – if available – is mostly via A/C or heat pump. Higher-priced properties may have underfloor heating, which is ideal when complemented with solar power. Underfloor heating is ideal as a heat accumulator, heating for free during the day with self-produced electricity and still giving off heat at night, even when the heat pump is off.

Home automation systems are also becoming increasingly popular (KNX, Alexa or Apple). These are now attractively priced, but still require a great deal of programming. Centrally controlled shutters and alarms, as well as lights, music and air conditioning, are very practical. You can even have the home appear to be “occupied” when you’re not there. Or, you can switch on the air-conditioning system remotely so that the house is ready for when you arrive from the airport. Many devices now can be controlled directly from your mobile phone via an app.

The structure of buildings in Andalusia is usually made of concrete: a reinforced concrete skeleton with two layers of brickwork, often with little or no insulation at all. Roofs, whether flat or pitched, also lack insulation or a waterproof membrane if constructed before 2006 (when the new CTE building law came into force).

Despite being prohibited for about 20 years, it’s still quite common to find house electrics without earthing or PVC sheathing.


Our home inspector service is a straightforward and inexpensive appraisal to professional standards. It can help you to cut out practically all risks typical of buying a house in Andalusia. We recommend it for anyone looking to buy a property. More:

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