Building a home requires careful and lengthy planning. Family members are sorting out all options, proposals are put forward and swept aside, disputes do not stop even after the start of construction work.
One of the fundamental decisions is what material should be used to build a house. To find the proper one, you need to take into account many factors such as the type of your location and plot or personal exterior preferences.
Major requirements for the construction of Cyprus houses
It is quite logical that in order to obtain a building permit, you need to remember many legislative restrictions. There are enough nuances, but they, as a rule, are easily solved specialists. It is enough for the future owner of the house to know the most basic points.
Earthquakes in Cyprus are not uncommon. They usually do not cause damage, and the locals feel weak vibrations. However, the requirements for construction and earthquake resistance in Cyprus are quite stringent.
In this case the best construction materials are:
- houses made of concrete panels (high-rise buildings)
- wooden houses built according to a special technology
- houses made of monolithic precast concrete.
Other materials are less earthquake-resistant, but if you find a proper foundation design, you can use them too.
Number of stories
In some areas, due to the above-mentioned seismic hazard, there are restrictions on the number of stories of houses. A project also can be rejected if it has a basement as in Cyprus it is not always realistic to build it. Therefore, you should think about the number of stories at the stage of buying a plot.
This requirement is very important in Cyprus. It's all about drought as the fires break out in the summer time by time. Therefore, you need to use fire-resistant material and create a safe electrical system.
Houses in Cyprus are traditionally planned according to the following layout:
- a hall, a living room and kitchen
- separate bedrooms
- bathrooms in each of the bedrooms.
This information is useful if you want to buy an incomplete construction or make a project according to someone else's layout. If you have your own plans, you need to develop your own project, and this is always an additional cost.
In cities and villages, especially in large and tourist ones, the houses may need to have a special exterior. The neighboring houses should be similar in order to preserve the authentic appearance of the entire residential community.
This must be taken into account when decorating a building. As a rule, stone, decorative bricks are used for this, tiles are placed on the roof. In some cases, there are some requirements for the fence.
Materials used to build a house in Cyprus
Now we will discuss private houses - cottages and villas - which are being built according to an individual project.
There are not so many wooden houses in Cyprus. They can be found in the "deep" parts of the island such as highlands. On the coast, a wooden house has too many disadvantages and inconveniences. These include:
- intolerance to moisture as it is necessary to clean it annually, but even this does not always save from mold and swelling
- wooden house quickly heats up and cools down: in the summer it is impossible to stay in the house, and in winter, without proper insulation, it is too cold
- high fire hazard as there is a high risk of fire in drought
- high cost as wood in Cyprus is not the most demanded building material, so its order and transportation will cost a lot.
A wooden house in Cyprus is good in the mountains, where there is no extreme heat and humidity. It is as comfortable as possible to be in a house made of timber or logs. And also it does not have any troubles with internal and external decoration.
Raw brick is a traditional material for Cyprus and has been used for several centuries. As a rule, all ready-made village houses are built from brick. Now the raw brick is not used, as the builders now offer hollow bricks or ceramic blocks.
The advantages of a brick house include:
- perfectly keeps cool in summer and warm in winter
- looks very nice
- has good sound insulation qualities
- is one of the most fire-resistant materials
- there is an opportunity to create the most creative shape for lovers of arches, bay windows and asymmetrical structures.
Despite the many advantages, the disadvantages should not be overlooked:
- low earthquake resistance (see paragraph above)
- high bricklaying costs
- the need for a strong foundation, thus this is often unreal in mountainous and foothill areas, or very difficult.
Before building a brick house, it is better to get to know your future neighbors, as perhaps some of them already have similar housing. If so, you will be told about its pros and cons.
A modern material that began to be produced around the world relatively recently. It is a porous, non-toxic and lightweight brick of large size. It is easy to install and use.
Aerated concrete houses have an undoubted number of advantages:
- thermal insulation is 2-3 times better than bricks have
- high fire resistance
- moisture resistance
- does not require large costs for laying and leveling.
It is comfortable in an aerated concrete block house at any time of the year as it is cool in summer, warm in winter. At the same time, moisture does not accumulate inside the rooms, which avoids fogging and fungus.
At the same time they have disadvantages such as:
- there should be solid foundation, otherwise the block will crack
- good ventilation is required
- the risk of buying low-quality blocks.
This modern material is inexpensive, but for design and installation it is necessary to find a good and responsible expert.
A frame house in Cyprus is the fastest and cheapest idea. Its essence is the erection of a wooden or metal skeleton with external and internal walls. Utility lines, insulation or soundproofing material are placed between walls.
The main recommendation here is not to save on cladding material and choose a metal skeleton. Then the building will be strong, durable and beautiful.
The advantages of frame structures include:
- fast speed of construction
- any type of land, you can make a pile foundation or something else
- saving on building materials and work
- houses are very earthquake resistant.
Despite the pros, there are also plenty of cons. It is impossible not to mention:
- almost complete absence of sound insulation as it requires special sheathing
- if you have made the wrong choice of insulation type, it will be cold at home in winter, and too hot in summer
- high fire hazard
- the building requires major repairs every 25-35 years
- small pests (mice, sleepyheads, insects etc.) can settle inside the house.
A frame house is excellently considered as a summer house, a seasonal house, a bathhouse or a temporary structure. If you want to build something for your grandchildren, it is better to refuse this type of construction.
To insulate or not to insulate a house in Cyprus?
Anyone who has lived in Cyprus for at least one winter knows that you need to warm up your home in winter as you cool it down during summer. Therefore, insulation is a mandatory stage of construction.
What sheathing with insulation material gives:
- significant savings on heating by 2-3 times!
- rescue from mold both in summer and winter, if you have ventilation system
- comfortable stay in the summer.
Therefore, when choosing any of the materials, be sure to have insulation. The coastal Cyprus has only +5 degrees (at night) in winter, and there is snow in the mountains.
A little about interior decoration
It is also worth thinking about what should be inside the house. Competent renovation can create a pleasant microclimate in all rooms.
Cypriots traditionally prefer "cold" floors which are made of tiles or marble slabs. They help to keep cool, which is so necessary in summer, thus they help to save on air conditioning.
But do not forget that in winter they turn into an ice cover. That is why Cypriots often wear house shoes. Thus you should think about underfloor heating, at least in the bathroom and bedroom. Carpets are not an option, since fungus can quickly grow there.
Another option is to install laminate flooring. It won't keep you cool in summer, but it won't make your feet freeze in winter either.
Parquet is a luxury option that is not very suitable for Cyprus. Yes, wooden floors are pleasant and beautiful, but they have two significant disadvantages: they do not tolerate moisture (this type of floor lasts for a maximum of 10 years) and they cost too much.
Even in a well-heated room, you should not glue wallpaper as fungus can appear under them. You can pay attention to moisture-resistant wallpaper, this is a good option for rooms that do not face the north side.
The easiest way is to plaster or paint the walls. This allows the renovation and repairs to last longer, and also save you from mold.
Don't forget about the veranda
An important part of the house are verandas and balconies. They must be in your house layout.
Here are some good reasons why:
- You can make the living room smaller thus this will reduce construction costs. A small living room is easier to heat up or cool down.
- It is good to install a summer kitchen there, many people do not like the smell of cooking that spreads throughout the house. If you have a summer kitchen, this problem will be solved at least for 8-9 months a year.
- The veranda will give the house a special flavor and beauty.
- You can make a fenced room on a veranda and keep there things that you don't use. A kind of storage room that will save space in the house.
- If you have pets, they can live on the veranda and not inside the house. In the summer they will hide under a canopy from the heat, and in the winter - from the rain.
Your home plan can also include a swimming pool, gazebo, barbecue area, sauna and much more. The main thing is to find good construction specialists.
Looking for property in Paphos, Larnaca or Limassol (apartment, house, villa for rent or to buy)? Contact the DOM real estate in Cyprus. The company's specialists will help you find the perfect home for free. Follow the link.
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