I was beginning to be seized by the most intoxicating of all manias—that of building for oneself. Lawrence Durrell. Bitter Lemons, 1957.
Design & Build: the basics
Outside of urban areas, a minimum of 4000 sq. m (c. 1 acre) is usually needed to obtain planning permission. Occasionally it is possible to build upon 2000 sq. m. Upon this land planning permission can be granted for a property (or properties) up to about 200 sq. m in size. This building limit rises with the area of land owned.
Once planning permission is obtained, construction can begin. This involves excavating, laying the foundations, and building a reinforced concrete frame, which protects the building from earthquakes. Bricks are then laid to make internal and external walls, followed by the first plumbing and electrical fix. Rendering of the inside and outside follows, and then the floors are laid. The installation of windows and doors (internal and external) is followed by the second electrical and plumbing fix (installation of cabling, bathrooms etc). Once the carpentry has been completed (kitchens, wardrobes etc), the property can be decorated. This whole process from excavation to completion can be achieved in 12-15 months.
It is also possible to build a property in a more traditional way, using stone and wood. Greece has a plentiful supply of local stone, and with the gradual revival of building in this way, more and more people are choosing this option. A stone house is more expensive to build, but considerably more charming, better insulated (cooler in summer, warmer in winter) and requires less maintenance. Although it is quite labour-intensive, and therefore more expensive, some savings can be made — no external rendering is required, and the property can often get away with fewer ‘luxuries’.
Design & Build: the costs involved
The costs of the land can vary dramatically, depending obviously on supply and demand, proximity to utilities (water and electricity), proximity to the sea and so on. Very roughly, prices start from approximately £8000 per 1000 sq.m and can rise dramatically, especially if the land is close to the sea. Transaction costs are not high — a solicitor is required as well as a notary public and a government transfer tax is payable, but only on the ‘objective’ value, which can be considerably lower than the market value.
Construction costs for a property built in the ‘normal’ way described above are usually of the order of 800-1000€ per square metre, though this depends on final specification. Other necessary costs are planning permission, connection to utilities, the construction of a septic tank, landscaping and a pool, if one is to be installed.
The cost of building a stone house is so dependent on the cost of the stone chosen and the labour involved that it is not possible to give an accurate indication. Certainly it is more expensive, but some savings can be made compared to a ‘normal’ construction, and a stone house will need much less maintenance. It also has a longer life expectancy.
Design & Build: what we offer
We cannot claim to know all of Evia. Indeed we cannot claim to know most of Evia. But we believe that the part of Evia we do know intimately is one of the most delightful and desirable parts in all of Greece.
We can help you find suitable land. We can help you buy this land. We can help you design your property. We can manage the whole construction project from beginning to end, or just bits of it. And we can look after your property once it is built.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us.