So, you’ve bought the land. The next stage in building a home in Greece is to find someone to design it for you. Diana from Corfu Home Finders explains where to find the second step in creating your own special Greek home.
Most people building a property in Greece already have a general idea of the style and design they would like. But how will your ideas fit this region of Greece, this plot and the way you will be using the property? These are the matters you will need discuss with an architect or engineer, to see how your ideas can translate onto the plot you have chosen. They will also be able to tell you if they will stay within the planning regulations.
Not everyone has a fixed idea. Maybe you haven’t really thought past buying your plot. Now you are starting to think of exactly what your ideal home should be.
Either way the first most important step is your architect or engineer. An architect will be a slightly more expensive option, because they create an original design and convert it to your actual build.
Whichever you choose, they will show you the best designs for your plot. Of course your own preferences and the usage of the villa once built will be paramount. For example, whether it will be a family home, a letting investment, or both. They will endeavour to make the most of your views, and of your surroundings.
Before you purchased your plot your lawyer will have made sure that it is eligible for planning permission. The next step is for the engineer to provide plans for you to approve. Once approved, they will forward the plans to the planning department.
At this point you have two choices of developer. The first option is to engage the services of a developer who will use an ‘in-house’ engineer to undertake the designs and co-ordinate the project at every stage. They will look after the project right up to ‘key in the door’ stage. The other option is work closely with an engineer but select your own building team.
Costs of building your Greek home
The first ‘turnkey’ route can average out at approximately €1,700 to €2,000 per square metre of build. The developer should itemise every aspect of costs, from the initial plans, applications to the planning department, the actual build and all relevant taxes.
The construction costs generally include:
- clearing the plot,
- access to the property,
- a parking stand,
- the build completed with all fixtures and fittings excluding white kitchen goods (kitchen requirements tend to differ according to whether it is a holiday home/permanent residence etc.),
- water and electrical connections.
Check how much exterior work and landscaping is included, as this is normally an additional cost. Payment for this type of build is usually in stage payments. You pay a deposit for the planning permissions, a second payment for the start of construction, and so on all through the build.
Learn more about your options for raising finance for a build or renovation in our How to Pay for It Guide.
The itemisation should include every detail such as electrical points, light switches and full details on the types of products being used. If you are available to visit, the developer will normally arrange for a visit to a selection of suppliers to choose tiles/bathroom fittings/doors and windows/kitchen cupboards etc. If not, you can choose online. In any situation the client can always be updated.
It is most important that the building specification is checked to every last detail to make sure everything is included. We hear so many stories of people who have embarked on a build, with a projected budget offered by the developer without a 100% clear picture of what is included. They have found literally to their cost that at the end of the build they are presented with an additional unexpected bill for items not included in the original specification.
If developers’ estimates vary, find out why. There are so many cases where a quote looks much more economical but turns out to be more costly in the end. Ask also to be shown other build projects completed by your developer. A good developer will be able to put you in touch with previous clients for discussion on their experiences.
More hands on
Going the independent route can be attractive, your engineer/architect obtains approval for your plans, and you then select your own building team, saving the costs of a project manager. This is obviously more ‘hands on’ and although you are in control of costings you are responsible for the co-ordination of the project with workers and suppliers, so any delays if you have to wait for an electrician/plumber are going to add to the overall cost of the project.
If you decide to go this route you MUST adhere exactly to the plans approved by the planning department (polydomeia). Any variation requires an amendment application. Fail to comply with the planning permit means you may be liable for fines.
Another reason for compliance exactly with the planning permit is the electricity supply. When you start building you’ll be using ‘building electricity’. But this is only valid for the term of the build, for a period of up to four years.
Only when the build is completed can you apply for permanent electricity. The planning department will only approve this when the build is complete and all expenses and taxes have been paid. You can arrange and certify this with your accountant. Additionally, your engineer must sign a declaration that the build is complete and legal. The planning department may decide to inspect the build to verify this.
If you decide to include a pool on your property it is best to include this in your original planning permit. Not all pools require a permit, so it is not necessary if you go for smaller ‘liner’ pools. A concrete pool, for example 4.5 m x 8m, can cost in the region of €25,000+ depending on the design, and obviously this is more economic to construct while the main build is being carried out.
A liner pool can start from about €12,000 completed and should be guarantee for a minimum of 10 years. Costs always vary depending on the location/terrain of the proposed pool. If you are planning to use the property as a holiday let, then the safety aspect of the pool for children must be a prime consideration.