By purchasing land or an old property, you have taken the first step to becoming Cretan home owners. The next equally important task is to locate and appoint your building partner. The following information may help you with the selection process.
Respected Construction Company
Crete Island Construction are an experienced and highly respected construction company who have a varied portfolio of modern, traditional and stone houses to their credit in addition to their high quality restorations. Formerly known as EBCC construction, this reputable organization was formed by Giorgos St. Fountoulakis and Claudia Marenbach-Fountoulakis to enhance Claudia's successful and well established real estate service, Crete-Island Estates.
By using their highly skilled workforce and first class local craftsmen plus only the highest quality materials and methods, Crete-Island Construction are able to offer fixed start and completion dates and a guarantee of work, all of which are crucial to the success of your project.
High technical quality
Most reputable construction companies are proud of their work. However, Crete Island Construction consider themselves to be exceptional and to demonstrate their technical quality and knowledge, the directors and staff would be delighted to familarise you with their work practices and show you examples of materials that would be used during the construction of your house. In addition, they have several completed projects that are available as reference sites which they would be happy to show you.
Individual creation of highest quality
Personal recommendations are a crucial element in the selection process, and Crete Island Construction have many happy home owners to introduce you to, some of whom enjoyed the creation of their home so much that they have decided to invest in further projects with us.
Giorgos Fountoulakis has a specific aim in his chosen profession. He wishes to make homes that your great-grandchildren will enjoy. Sound, good quality, well insulated homes at a realistic price that will last several lifetimes.
Finally, the Crete Island Estates and Construction Company commit to avoid overdevelopment and endeavour to blend their houses in with the local environment. It promotes exclusive bespoke constructions, small discrete projects and the highest quality renovations, so you can be sure that whatever house style you have in mind, Crete-Island Construction will produce an individual creation of the highest quality.
Planning and Designing your home
You may already have a picture of your dream home in your mind, or have some fixed criteria to guide you. Alternatively, Crete-Island can offer ideas for house plans from its extensive library. In either case the design process is relatively straightforward.
We will introduce you to qualified Greek civil engineer/architects who will be sympathetic to the style and concept of your house. Here in Crete, the civil engineer/architect is responsible for making all the plans, providing calculations & specifications for the construction or restorations and preparation of the papers for your building permission. He is legally responsible for checking the structure of the house during construction against the building permission specification and could also become one of your key advisors during the project.
Ideally, this should be an independent person who works for you and in your best interest. We can recommend and introduce you to the one we feel will be the right person for you and your particular kind of house.
Whichever style of house you select, it should always have its own charm and personality. Small individual touches like softened corners, cedar beams or fabulous pitched roofs will create a home with character.
You need to be aware that this could be one of the most frustrating periods of the construction process. It is not permitted to start construction or renovation without Greek building permission. This is no longer a formality here in Crete. Plans are presented and go through a detailed checking process to ensure that building density, structure, water & waste water systems and other key factors comply with national and local regulations. Your architect is responsible for obtaining this document. Crete-Island staff will monitor this process on your behalf and keep you informed regarding timescales and progress. This may take some time depending on architectural design, house location and time of year.
Construction in Crete
Construction here in Crete differs quite dramatically from Northern European countries. A house has to comply with earthquake regulations, provide insulation from the extremes of temperature we experience - long hot summers and very damp winters.
In addition to the weather, there are other factors to take into account when purchasing away from your home country. Building practices in Crete are sometimes open to abuse. As they are alien to most Northern Europeans, it is entirely feasible that corners could be cut or work to standards lower than stated, without the knowledge of the client, leaving the house open to long term problems. This could be by mismanagement, design or purely a cost-cutting exercise. With most of their clients many miles away, the onus is on the technical ability of the developer to ensure that work and materials is meticulously checked and is consistently top quality. Use of the correct materials plus vast knowledge and experience put Giorgos and his team well ahead of their competitors at all levels of the market.
Regular reports and photographs are provided during the project to keep you informed of progress and we would of course welcome personal visits at any time.
Your construction should start with an agreement between you and your selected building partner. When you have agreed and approved your plans, your architect will provide us with the detailed measurements and calculations which will enable Crete Island Construction to provide an estimate for the building. This provides the basis on which the Building Agreement will be drafted.
Our standard agreement provides details of materials and construction techniques, payment details and timescales. The agreement will identify what is included in the agreed price such as fitted kitchen, fitted wardrobes, fitted and tiled bathrooms, windows, doors, floor tiles, electric wiring and plumbing, plaster and painting, in fact everything you require except white goods & appliances and furniture. We will also apply for your electric and water services on your behalf. It will also itemize specialist features that have been requested and identify any requested exclusions.
Selection Deciding your colour scheme, locating your tiles, bathroom fittings and kitchens may prove an awesome task in a short period, but Crete-Island will provide a knowledgeable staff member to guide you through this. We can take you to our preferred suppliers who are able to provide a vast range of modern conveniences and features as well as items in Greek and Cretan traditional style. If you prefer to work independently, we can offer guidance and advice as necessary. Standard allowances for fittings and features are transferable.
We can recommend local suppliers for finishing details such as furniture, soft furnishings and appliances or put you in touch with someone to assist you with this service.
Pricing With our flexibility, Crete Island Construction has no need to compete with other Developers on a price basis. We are able to offer high quality homes to suit most budgets. The one thing however that we refuse to compromise on is quality. As one of the pioneers of residential building in the Apokoronas area, we have a consistent record of good, sound quality houses built to our clients' wishes and budgets. This is our commitment - to please our clients.
The cost of the construction project will be broken down into clearly identifiable stages. In this way, you retain control of your funds. Once the current stage has been approved by you or your agent, funds for the next stage can be released.
Extras The issue of Extra Cost may be raised during discussions. Our building agreement identifies all that is included as "standard".
Special features over and above the standard can be identified and included in the building agreement as Agreed Extras and a price given (for example: central heating system, coloured aluminium shutters, stone features etc).
Items that are under consideration but not finalized will be recorded as part of the selection criteria, but will be verified before the work is carried out, thus enabling our clients to review their budgets before any additional work is undertaken.
Once a final price is mutually agreed and the contract signed, this becomes the fixed agreement price. There are no hidden costs.
Inevitably, as the project evolves there may be additional enhancements that appear desirable (e.g. decor tiles, marble work-surfaces). Crete-Island will provide a price for the item and obtain agreement to proceed before carrying out the work. It will remain your decision whether to proceed or decline the offer.
Investment Your Cretan home may be turning a dream into reality, but it should also be a worthwhile investment. Buy selecting Crete Island Construction you will be commissioning not just a house, but a solid and re-saleable property which is likely to enhance its value much more readily than our low-cost competitors.