Why Houses in Cyprus Not Made Out of Wood?

Почему на Кипре не строят деревянные дома?
4 February 2022 Irina Zholnirova

If you have traveled around Cyprus, you have definitely noticed that neither ancient nor modern wooden houses are found here. Unless somewhere in the highlands you can find a wooden house.

Is it possible to build a wooden house in Cyprus if you really want to? Or should I choose another material?

Why the Cypriots did not build from wood - a historical moment

If you look into any history textbook or take the time to go, for example, to Khirokitia, you can see exactly which houses were built by the first inhabitants of Cyprus. They were mostly round houses with small windows. They were built of roughly hewn limestone, stone and clay (raw or simply by coating the frame with clay).

Later buildings had a rectangular or square shape.

The variety is mainly observed with roofs – there are flat, single-pitched, gable, four-pitched and even cone-shaped.

Wood as a building material has also been found in Cyprus before, but very very rarely. Beams or boards were used to make a support for the roof (the central pillar in the hut), rafters for the roof, shutters and doors.

Sometimes thin wooden beams were used as a frame for a clay house. Thus, the tree turned out to be "packed" in clay and stone, respectively, and was not seen from the outside.

An interesting article about a traditional Cypriot house.

It is easy to guess why the inhabitants of Cyprus in any of their epochs did not want to build their homes out of wood.

There were a number of reasons for this:

  1. Fire hazard. Hot climate and drought are not the best company for a wooden house. A single spark could kill an entire village.
  2. Swelling from moisture. Humid climate is another enemy of the tree.
  3. Difficulty with suitable material. Not every tree is suitable for building a house. Of course, there used to be more forests in Cyprus, but they obviously did not satisfy the requirements for the properties of wood. But there was always plenty of clay and stone. So it is logical that the Cypriots chose a more affordable material for construction.

In general, it is quite obvious that wood used to be unacceptable as a building material for a hot, arid country. However, times are changing. Modern technologies are coming into our lives.

They learned how to treat the tree with flame retardants (means that protect against fire), antiseptics and antifungal liquids. There are special coatings that protect the beam and the log from getting wet, swelling and rotting. It would seem that now it is possible to build a wooden house anywhere in the world!

But no. So far, a house made of wood in Cyprus is not a good idea. Let's look at it from the point of view of modernity.

Disadvantages of a wooden house in Cyprus

It cannot be said that modern technologies, impregnation and processing 100% solve two old problems: fire hazard and instability to moisture. They still remain.

The drought in Cyprus is a serious matter.

At this time, not only the house becomes a fire hazard, but everything around it: dried grass, trees and shrubs withered from lack of moisture. Therefore, even a wooden house impregnated with flame retardants is not the safest place to live in such a climate.

High humidity (which does not fit in with drought, but this is only at first glance) is another enemy of a wooden house.

There is another property of wood that becomes a minus for any southern country – it heats up well, even too well.

For regions with harsh winters, this is an advantage, but for Cyprus, where sub-zero temperatures are met rarely, this is a disadvantage. The tree heats up quickly, but does not want to cool down from the word at all. The air conditioner will solve the problem only if it is never turned off at all. That is, 24/7 for about 8 months a year. Can you imagine what the electricity bills will be coming in? And if you turn it off, the house will almost immediately turn into a dry bath.

There are two more interrelated problems that hinder the construction of wooden houses on the island:

  1. Shortage of materials. And not only construction (timber, log), but also necessary for processing, impregnation, caulking and other things. All this is there, but you need to order, wait and pay a lot. Because all this wealth will be brought from the mainland.
  2. There are few specialists in construction. A log or timber house requires a special construction technology, which is not common in Cyprus. The first idea that comes to mind for a Russian–speaking resident of the island is to find a person who has moved from the north who knows how to build wooden houses. It can be done, but it is very difficult! In addition, in such cases, I would like to see a specialist with a team, and not just a craftsman who "built a house for his mother-in-law in Saratov."

And finally, there is another disadvantage that cannot be ignored – a wooden house takes time to shrink, from 1 year to 3 years. This scares a lot of people, because it is much easier to build a house from another material, go into it right away and live.

Is it worth building a house made of wood in Cyprus?

In short and simply, it's not worth it. A wooden house will require not only a lot of time, but also efforts to maintain. In Cyprus, this is simply not justified.

The only exception is a house in the highlands. There is a slightly different climate there, there is no such humidity and heat, snow falls and lies in winter. But this does not negate the high cost of construction and operation.

If you really want a wooden house (aesthetics, air inside and everything else), then pay attention to alternative options. They are quite capable of satisfying your dream of a wooden house.

Interesting alternatives

The most successful option is the interior and/or exterior decoration of the house under the tree. Moreover, it is possible to make both a chic repair using expensive wood arrays, and a budget option with imitation.

What the modern market offers:

  1. Lining for walls. A wonderful option for any purse – you can limit yourself to a simple lining, or you can choose an elite one.
  2. Veneered panels. A thin leaf cut of valuable wood species. As a rule, it does not cover the entire area of the walls / floor, but only a part – as a decorative element.
  3. Engineering board. Another option for decorating. It is suitable for both walls and floor.
  4. Parquet flooring. It can be applied both to the entire floor area and to a part of it.
  5. Laminate flooring. Today there are a lot of types of laminate, including imitation wood. So it will not be difficult to choose a decent one.
  6. Wallpaper, films and plasters for wood. A simple option for a small cosmetic repair.
  7. Tile under the tree. A chic option for bathrooms, hallway and utility rooms.

Do not forget that the exterior wood trim also exists. So, if you want to get the aesthetics of a wooden house, then you will always find something to your taste.

You can read about material which is better to use while building a house in Cyprus.
Finally, a good option is to buy a ready–made house. DOM Agency offers the largest number of houses and villas in all cities of Cyprus. You can also contact specialists on any real estate issue.

See also:

  1. How To Start Home Repair In Cyprus
  2. How to make a cozy apartment in Cyprus: 6 tips for landlords
  3. Land Registry Department in Cyprus
  4. How the coronavirus affected Cyprus real estate
  5. Buying real estate in Cyprus for cryptocurrency
Source: DOM
Photos: pixabay.com, free images.google
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