The Building Standards in Greece
In Greece, homes are more robustly constructed than in most E.U. countries
As a member of the European Union, Greece follows European home-building standards and in some areas has its own building codes. Furthermore, the design and construction of buildings and houses comply with the European regulations and standards with existing stringent regulations for earthquake protection.
It is no secret that Greece is a country that experiences earthquake occurrences. However, these are few & far between. This has resulted in a different building matter and methods compared to other European countries. In order to safeguard citizens & buildings, the Greek government has laid down very specific & stringent building regulations that developers must adhere to. These include the use of particular materials, such as reinforced concrete.
In Greece, every home – and building, in general – must have a large resistance against earthquakes. For this reason, Greek laws demand building by a skeleton. In other words, not the walls but the columns and the beams carry the house, and can resist a very strong earthquake – more than 8 degrees on the Richter scale.
The building standards in Greece are also high, due to the size and the maturity of the Greek home construction industry: the market for building materials is around 7 billion euros, 75% of which is local production. Around 1,400 companies deal with supply, importation and distribution materials. There are round about 46,000 registered architects, civil, mechanical and electrical engineers.
One reason for the industry’s growth is the gradual deurbanization of the Greek cities. Many people in Greece are moving to new homes on the outskirts of big cities or in nearby villages. A second reason is the development of the holiday and retirement homes market. Crete has always been one of the most mature home-building markets in Greece, due to demand from both Greece and abroad.
Finally, we advise that the construction company you choose in Greece for building your dream home are an experienced team of building experts, as there will be no need to worry if everything is done correctly. The builder should make sure the architect is on site during the stage of the operations carried out and ensuring that the reinforced steel is placed correctly and the right concrete mix is used. Apart from the right mix, it’s always a good thing that the concrete dries slowly – this way it increases its strength.
2.4.2. What to Look for Before Buying
In Chania, Crete, all real estate agencies haven’t been created equal
Here in Chania, Crete, you can find a lot of small real estate agencies and construction companies. Unfortunately, some of them have no absolute experience in the field, and are not considered professionals.
As Chania, Crete real estate consultants, our aim and main goal is collecting information from reliable real estate and construction companies in order to assist you as much as possible through your property investment. By doing extensive research and background check-up on the companies that have associated with us in the past and will in the future, we make sure that the information presented in Creteliving.com are more than credible. After all, it’s your fundamental right to know who you are really dealing with for your property purchase.
It is more than recommended that you use a reputable and experienced real estate agency or construction company through which to buy your property. Always try to ask around either the locals or the people that have already purchased homes for more details and references. Note that towns in Crete are fairly small and people know people. Rumors usually spread of how professional – or not – real estate agencies and construction companies are.
2.4.3. Building Specifications in Detail
Reality check: Houses in Crete, especially the new-built ones, adhere to very high building specifications
In Crete Living, all properties listed are constructed to the highest standards, and are suitable for comfortably living all year round.
In general, all the new-built houses in Crete adhere at the very least to the following building specifications:
Excavation works for the foundation and the septic pit are carried out in order to prepare foundation works.
Re-enforced concrete designed according to Greek Building Regulations. Steel is used for the frames and floors of the building, under the supervision of the engineer.
External: Two skin hollow clay brick party walls with 5 cm thick filled with Styrofoam for thermal insulation, maintain the coolness in summer and warmth in winter.
Internal: Walls are made out of brick and then covered with three layers of plaster (external walls are double brick with air gap for insulation).
Walls between flats/villas: Two skin hollow clay brick party walls with thick rock wool for acoustic insulation.
Full thermal and water proof insulation on flat roof slabs finished with cement based tiles. It can also be a pitched roof with wooden frame and ceramic tiles.
Cement based plaster laid in 3 coatings with a spatula–durable finish.
Usually, floors are tiled, including verandas and balconies. You can customize the tiles to your own design. You can also have a wood floor installed.
In most properties the staircase is made out of concrete and tiled.
Bathroom and toilet fittings, as shown in the plans, with tiled shower area, bathroom floors and walls, will be tiled up to the height of the doors with a choice of tiles. Sanitary fittings of porcelain.
In most cases, the kitchen will include cabinets in the colour of your choice, backdrop to the sink and water taps. The wall between the cabinets and the counter will be tiled. You can customize the tiles to your own design.
Doors - Windows
Window frames, balcony doors, shutters made of white aluminum and double glazing windows will be complete with locks and handles. Internal doors from wood will also be complete with locks and handles.
Electrical installation works include plugs, switches, aerial points, immersion heater in bathroom and the connection with the local electric company. Please note that no light fittings are made.
Hydraulics and plumbing
Hydraulics and plumbing include the connection with the local water supply, the connection with the septic tank, all the gathering pipes from the pitched roof and the verandas using the pipe-to-pipe system.
Inside: The house will be usually painted white with plastic paint (3 layers) on spatula finish.
Outside: The house will be painted a colour that is agreed by mutual agreement or as specified by the architect using acrylic paint (3 layers).
Wooden doors/frames: They will be usually stained in a natural colour using ecological friendly water based paint.
Hot water – Air condition
Hot water boiler (immersion heater) operating with electricity fitted is standard. Provision (piping & sockets) for a/c split units in the living room and every bedroom. In most properties, provision (piping & electrical) for solar panel.
Future central heating
Pipes will be laid under the floors for future central heating.
Common garden areas
In most cases, landscaping, provision (cabling) for external lights, security lighting in common-use areas, water proof insulation of external planting areas and paving of all common areas with cement based tiles are included.
Building license – Workers’ expenses
The cost of the building and all of the workers’ expenses are included in the cost.
Please, read again the previous list. Print it, if necessary. From now on, make sure that every house in Crete you consider buying, follows at least these building specifications.