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Prefab homes

Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:31 pm
by Mary
Hello Everyone,

I was really wanting to build a home in Crete on a piece of property that was passed down to me. It would be more of a vacation home since all our kids are here in the states. I'm sure it's a lot less expensive to build a prefab house. I was wondering if there is anyone that knows about this or your opinion on them.

Thank you,

Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:46 pm
by Wayne d
I've seen prefabs being built on Kefalonia but not heard anything about them in Crete in any of the many Estate Agents I've visited. There does seem to be loads of companies in Greece building these. Don't know how 'quake proof they would be though, maybe they would be built on some kind of Earthquake-proof base!!
I'm sure the permanent residents will know more.
Having looked at the pictures they do look okay, but I don't know how they would be viewed locally.

Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 8:28 pm
by filippos
Hi Mary,

The nearest thing I've seen to prefab homes in Crete are "Procat" (the brand name). They're actually a steel framed structure for strength with walls using lightweight building blocks (Thermalite or similar). As you already own the land it may be a reasonable alternative building method for you as, I think, the build cost is around €600 sq. m. as opposed to 1100+ for conventional methods.

It's a more 'industrial' method of building and there are some design constraints (for example, they don't normally include curved element. I'm sure it would be possible but at a cost). The properties meet all the earthquake and other building regulations and when finished don't look any different from buildings using more traditional construction methods.

There's a builder in Kalyves who builds using this system and has a show house on the main road about 2 km from Kera.


Posted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:08 pm
by Kilkis
When we first came to look at houses in Crete we visited Casa Procat near Heraklion. Their office is on the slip road coming off the national highway as you are travelling east at the turn off for the power station. Their construction method is a wooden frame filled with insulation, rather like UK fibre glass roof insulation, and covered with mesh, a bit like chicken mesh. The frame is pre-constructed in panels and then assembled on site. Once assembled it is rendered on site so it looks the same as a normal Greek build of concrete and brick. They took us to see a house on the outskirts of Heraklion. It was behind a big BMW garage on the right hand side of the road as you go on the main road south out of Heraklion. You need to drive up through all the garage car parks which are on the side of a hill. There is an ostrich farm next door. The quality looked excellent. We were unsure of the exact building cost because they were only quoting for their part of the construction. You still needed to get an architect, apply for permission and do all the foundation work. They would liaise with the architect over the plans. As far as I could tell it meets all earthquake requirements, has very good insulation properties with all that implies for damp and energy costs, and would be indistinguishable from a "normal" house.

In northern Greece, the company I worked for had all its building built by a local company called Preconstructa. These used precast concrete panels with insulation embedded between the concrete skins. The panels slotted together on smaller properties such as houses or slotted into vertical concrete beams on larger buildings. Again it met all earthquake requirements but I would say, based on a house built close to where we lived, it looked more like a prefab.


Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:08 pm
by Mary
Thank you all for your input.


Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 10:03 am
by filippos
Hi Mary,

I see you downloaded my Kalyves and Almirida area guide. Many thanks and I hope you find it useful when you come over later in the year.

I imagine you're also finding Carol's Living in Crete book interesting as it's packed with useful information.


Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 5:22 pm
by freddie
Hi Folks,

This is my first post on this site, having followed the posts made by Kilkis, Filippos and others on another site, I thought it worthwhile to follow them here too.

I have not been to Crete in quite a while. I remember staying in Almerida about 10years ago. I have a vague memory of looking at a show home I passed whilst walking to Kalives. I don't know if this was the same place as Filippos mentions. It was I think, some sort of prefab and looked rather nice. What made me smile though was the large sign saying '1st for earthquakes'. I wasn't sure if this referred to earthquake resistance or that if there was an earthquake, anyone inside would be amongst the first to know about it.

If it was the same place, presumably these homes have some sort of track record by now. I too would be interested in finding out more about them.


Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:18 pm
by filippos
Hi Freddie,

If the show house you remember was on a hairpin bend just above Kalyves then it probably is the same one. The builder is Myridakis and they have a pretty comprehensive website. There are one or two places you may have to interpret the English.

A year or so ago they built five houses across the valley from us and they look OK. That sounds half-hearted but I'm biased as I prefer older style houses. They have to meet earthquake regulations and, from what I've seen, may outperform concrete frame construction in earthquake resistance.


Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:44 pm
by Kenny
Please excuse my ignorance Filippos but what do you mean by old style houses?
I thought rightly or wrongly that all homes built from 1962 had to meet earthquake regulations. Ken.

Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:50 pm
by freddie
Thanks Filippos,

Yes, I remember the hairpin bend. I'll take a look at the website when I get a chance. Time to finish cooking the evening meal now though. Thanks for the link.


Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 7:08 pm
by Mary

Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:11 am
by Mary
filippos wrote:I see you downloaded my Kalyves and Almirida area guide. Many thanks and I hope you find it useful when you come over later in the year.

I imagine you're also finding Carol's Living in Crete book interesting as it's packed with useful information.

Hi Filippos,

Downloading and printing your book was easy! I especially like your maps and photo's.

Carol's Living in Crete book is full of important information.

Also, on this website, on 'Crete Links', I purchased a book on 'Build a Greek' that has a lot of information on building a home.


Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 8:32 am
by filippos
Kenny wrote:Please excuse my ignorance Filippos but what do you mean by old style houses?
I thought rightly or wrongly that all homes built from 1962 had to meet earthquake regulations. Ken.

I think you've misunderstood, Ken. With my comment about older style houses I was referring solely to the appearance. The Myridakis steel frame houses look modern and I prefer older styles.

As for earthquake regulations, as you say, everything must comply but the construction methods used by Myridakis may exceed the requirements of current regulations and outperform concrete construction in earthquake resistance.

I read somewhere a couple of years ago an article about typical regulations and building methods in earthquake zones. In concrete constructions the reinforcing steel bars are "tied" together with wire and the thrust of the article I read was that it would be much better if the rods were welded together, especially at corners and where floor/roof rods meet those in the walls. Of course this would cause the price to increase substantially. The Myridakis type construction consists of a steel frame where all joints are bolted together with fairly substantial bolts and may, therefore, be stronger than steel bars tied with wire.

I'm not an engineer so I may be wrong. I know that there are other factors to take into account but it just sounded logical that "chunky" bolts might be stronger than soft iron wire.


Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:23 am
by Kenny
Yes my apologies Filippos.I did misunderstand you.Thanks for your explaination as this has taught me something new. Ken.

Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 9:12 am
by Assimilate
Someone has posted some pictures hereof a log cabin going up on the mainland. There are also answers to questions on earthquakeproof, fire proof etc