Building in Greece
Building is same everywhere in the world – complicated or uncomplicated. People may be reluctant of building, especially in a foreign country. This most likely is related to the fact that they have no experience in this field, that many people cannot really imagine a house on a plan, that they are worried about the costs and legal issues.
1. Find a suitable plot.
The residential land is generally divided into three categories in terms of building: the first (easiest) category refers to land within the city or village plan where you can build on a small plot and don’t need clearance from the forestry service. In these areas there are no particular structural restrictions in residential construction except that the building has to be positioned either on the border of the plot (but in this case no windows are allowed) or min. 2, 5 meters from the borders.
The second category refers to land located outside the city plan located within 500m of the boundary of the village plans. In this case you will need a minimum of 2000m2 of land, and you can build max 200m2. The house will need to be built at a distance of min. 5 meters from the borders.
The third category refers to land further than 500m from the village boundaries. The basic rule is that you need at least 4000m2 and the construction must be located within 15 meters from the borders.
2. Planning and approval/ building permit.
Once you have found your plot, a local engineer has to be contacted to draw up plans and to submit the building application. Alternatively, one could make a draft by a non-Greek architect that is to be “translated” into Greek laws (earthquake-proof, the height of the ceilings, concrete columns etc). In any case, you need a local architect to submit the planning application.
As also in your own country, you will discuss the design of your house and your individual ideas in close collaboration with the architect. You will give him your demands, required size and layout and based on your suggestions – and complying with Greek laws – he will design your house. The chosen architect will be your local partner and take over the coordination of all stakeholders (planners, government agencies, contractors, static, fire safety, energy efficiency, hydraulic and electrical design, etc.) on your behalf. His task is obviously very extensive and the collaboration will be lengthy. Keep in mind that you will not be regularly on site during construction, and that someone must therefore be your “eyes on the ground”. The entire building process will be followed and together with the constructor Benakis Constructions you will be kept updated on the progress of the building with regular photos and emails.
Once the final plans have been agreed with the engineer, he will submit your full dossier for approval and issuance of the permit. The estimated time of building permit issuance is from 4 to 8 months.
A building permit is required for new construction, or adding onto pre-existing structures, and renovations. The new construction will be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes. Failure to obtain a permit can result in significant fines and penalties, and even demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet code.
**The building permit is valid for 4 years, extendable for another 4 years.
3. The construction costs.
Once you have approved the plans, we will take the measurements and technical details from your engineer in order to provide you an exact cost of the building. The construction costs will be fully detailed with a complete list of works accompanied by a timetable of works and payments.
What are the key factors concerning the cost: is it a stone or brick built house? Is there a big slope on the plot requesting retaining walls? Is the access to the house easy or does it need concrete? Are electricity and water nearby? Are you happy with the standards offered by the constructor? How much landscaping does the plot need? All these matter in the costs of the building, but in general the costs amount between €1.600 and € 2.200 per m2.
4. The construction process.
Only once the building permit has been issued the excavation works can start. It takes 14 to 18 months to complete a construction including a swimming pool.
The structural plans must conform to strict Greek anti-seismic construction regulations, obliging the houses to be constructed on concrete frames with brick or stone infill, reinforced with steel and concrete. We use only skilled local tradesmen whose workmanship is known to us, and material suppliers who have proved their reliability.
And now comes the fun part: go shopping, get your house personalized!
You have a full impact on the looks of your house. You will choose the tiles, the color of the shutters and doors, the bathroom accessories, the layout of the kitchen, the size and shape of your pool etc. We will accompany you to the different shops offering the various services.
The company provides high quality standard materials which you can choose from. In case your choice is not within our standards, you will only be charged the extra cost. We cooperate with several tile/bathroom shops in the area, and for the woodwork we will accompany you to the union of carpenters who offers all types of carpentry to suit your needs. The internal doors, the kitchen and whatever you have chosen in wood will be tailor made by our carpenter.
Hope this helps,
with Love & Respect
If you’re looking for a stunning home, go ahead and take a peek of some of our stunning project.