Q: ARE ALL HOUSES THE SAME? A: On first viewing most constructions look similar. However, when looking at the detail and materials used during construction there are many different levels of quality. It simply is not possible to build the cheaper houses to the same standards applied by Crete-Island Construction.
Q: DO I GET WHAT I AM PAYING FOR? A: You certainly should get what you are paying for. In the past unfortunately some companies promised certain materials that were not subsequently used. So "surprise visits" could sometimes be useful.
Yes, unfortunately the profession "constructor" is not protected, so anyone with or without a construction background can call themselves a constructor. Crete Island Construction believes that building in Greece is different to other locations in Northern Europe and builder should therefore be familiar with the technicalities required. They also believe it is important that the constructor is actively involved with the building, spending time on site continuously monitoring the materials quality and work being carried out.
When selecting your building partner, it is also wise to establish who will actually be constructing your home. Many companies in the area are construction entrepreneurs - in other words just coordinators or project managers who co-ordinate sub-contractors to do the work.
Q: IS INSULATION IMPORTANT? A: Crete Island Construction believes that a high standard house should be well insulated. If correctly insulated, a house should not normally require air-conditioning. Good insulation also means less heat wastage during the winter months.
If constructing a conventional house with a concrete frame, one has to consider the concrete as the skeleton of the house. First quality cement should be used by competent and professional technicians for this stage. The house should have footings, to provide a sound starting base and these should be constructed 70 cm within the ground, not simply laid on top. One cannot cut corners with the cement - it is approximately 35% of the value of the house, but of infinite importance.
As Crete is an earthquake area it is important that the strongest materials are used. Crete Island Construction not only uses good quality iron for the reinforcing, but also uses additives to make the concrete more pliable, thus filling every gap and crevice. These additives also protect the iron.
Q: HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MATERIALS WILL BE USED FOR MY HOUSE? A: Ask for a detailed technical introduction to materials and methods to be used. This will ensure you have the correct knowledge on which to base your constructor selection rather than just a price comparison.
Q: WHAT GUARANTEES DO YOU GIVE REGARDING START & COMPLETION DATES? A: A reputable organization should be able to give a confirmed start date and provide a contractually agreed completion date. Crete Island Construction will provide a firm start date on signing of the building agreement and guarantees a completion date in writing as part of the building agreement. As they have their own earth moving equipment, construction tools & machines and a permanent skilled workforce, delays in building program are less likely.
Q: IS A DETAILED BUILDING SPECIFICATION GIVEN? A: You are entitled to a detailed list of materials and specifications as part of your building agreement. Crete Island Construction will provide a written building specification, identifying materials that will be used during the construction or renovation project. The Director, Giorgos Fountoulakis, plays a direct on-site role managing and directing his workforce. With his wealth of knowledge in this area, this provides the client with the assurance that he is monitoring quality of materials and work personally throughout the building program.
Most non-Greeks find the local method of disposal of toilet tissue bizarre and in some instances quite distasteful. There is a practical reason behind this. Old town sewage systems and the local infrastructure are just not able to cope with the practicalities of disposal. The Cretan coast-line remains unspoilt due to the lack of commercial disposal methods. However, modern toilet tissue has to be durable and can take some time to disperse. There are 2 main methods in use throughout Greece that have been updated to accommodate modern expectations.
Septic tanks allow liquid waste to be filtered through the stony ground creating a mini sewerage filter system. Solid waste biodegrades naturally if you avoid the use of bleach and other harsh toilet cleaners. Toilet tissue can be disposed of, but could possibly in time reduce the effectiveness of the soak-away system.
Cess pits are solid frame constructions, normally a series of cement rings set into the ground, which will require emptying from time to time. This method is now required by local regulations for waste disposal within village or town boundaries or if in very close proximity to a neighbouring property. The annual cost of disposal is minimal in comparison to high waste water processing charges in the UK for instance and is a regular practice in rural areas throughout Northern Europe.
Crete Island Construction will provide the appropriate sewage disposal method in a practical and suitable size. The construction method and approximate size will be identified in your building specification.
Q: WHAT WILL MAKE MY HOUSE SPECIAL? A: Crete Island Construction believes that each house should have its own personality. Care and attention to detail will set your house apart from the mass produced estate type of dwelling.
Q: MODERN CEMENT HOUSES LOOK IMPERSONAL. IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE? A: Crete Island Construction use many techniques and features to avoid the box-like look of the modern cement framed house including soft rounded corners, stone round windows, doors and corners. However, if you want something more in keeping with the village houses and environment, then a stone house may the answer. Crete Island Construction can offer a variety of stone houses which are constructed in the old style but with modern room sizes and layout. Their stone houses are built with solid walls approximately 40-50cm thick with corner stones that interlink at each corner to form a solid frame.
Q: ARE ALL MODERN STONE HOUSES CONSTRUCTED IN THE TRADITIONAL WAY? A: No, some modern stone houses are constructed with two thin stone walls filled with cement and there is a possibility that this method may not prove to be as strong and long lasting as the traditional construction method.
Q: IS RENOVATION OF AN OLD PROPERTY PRACTICAL HERE IN CRETE? A: Yes, it is perfectly feasible to renovate an old property, but as with modern houses you are likely to be offered hugely differing levels of work quality. Simply put, you get what you pay for. The price of a quality renovation will not be cheap, but will result in the restoration of a beautiful Greek village home with all the modern facilities. Crete Island Construction guarantees the use of quality craftsmanship and materials to provide a long-lasting and trouble free home.