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N. Smyrni, Athens, Greece
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Greece, Heraklion, 71500
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General information

The construction of houses in Greece, as well as in any other country, is often much cheaper than the purchase of finished real estate. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity to put your ideas in practice, and not to adjust to someone else’s taste. When it comes to obtaining a a residence permit for real estate owners , construction grants the owner the same rights as buying a house. And the time investment and the accompanying issues are more than repaid with the result – of course, provided that the construction was carried out without violations and in compliance with building standards.

Building codes in Greece are regulated by the General Construction Code (Γενικός Οικοδομικός Κανονισμός, or ГОК), with consideration of the amendments made by local legislative acts. It is quite difficult to understand the Code – the document includes many references and terms, inherent only to Greek legislation. The amendments usually only complicate matters by imposing additional restrictions, often quite unusual.

Herewith, profitable investments in the construction of real estate imply the maximum use of the construction potential of the land plot. Therefore, having decided to build a house in Greece, it is better to familiarize yourself with the construction requirements in advance and understand the intricacies of Greek legislation, so as not to regret the lost opportunities later.

Building coefficients

When determining the construction capabilities of the land plot, one applies four key coefficients: building area, land-to-building ratio, coverage ratio, and the number of floors in a building.

  • Under the permitted building area, one means the total area of all floors of the construction object. It is measured along the exterior perimeter of the building and does not depend on the number of its floors.

  • The land-to-building ratio is established by law for determining the gross building area. It helps determine the permitted building area.

  • The coverage ratio is expressed as a percentage and refers to the maximum area of the land plot, which can be used for construction in Greece.

  • The height of building– the number of floors allowed for construction in a given region and a land plot. When determining this parameter, one considers all floors, including the socle floor, and the attic.

Permitted building areas and peculiarities of their use

The type of a land plot meant for construction is an important criterion used for determining the building capabilities of land plots in Greece. All land plots in Greece fall into two types: Icopedo and Agrotemahio.

Icopedo is a land plot located within the construction plan of settlements. Agrotemachio, in simpler words, denotes a plot from the category of agricultural land. In Greece, construction on such land is also allowed, although their building density significantly differs from the one of the lands of the first category. Herewith, the construction of commercial objects on Agrotemachio is allowed – for example, hotels, production facilities, as well as installation of solar panels for generating electricity for subsequent sale. Moreover, the building coefficient in this case increases to 0.2. Nonetheless, to obtain a permit for construction of a hotel, the minimum size of Agrotemachio should start at 1 – 1.5 ha, depending on the region.

Area restrictions for house construction in Greece

Depending on the region, the Icopedo building coefficient ranges from 0.4 to 2.4. When it comes to the Agrotemachio building coefficient, the permitted building area depends on the total area of the object. It is calculated in the following way:

  • For land plots up to 4.000 square meters – 200 square meters
  • For land plots up to 8.000 square meters – 200 square meters plus quadrature, the area exceeding 4.000 square meters is multiplied by 0.02
  • For land plots of over 8.000 square meters – 280 square meters plus quadrature, the area exceeding 8.000 square meters is multiplied by 0.01

Pay attention: when calculating the permitted building area, one should not consider the area of ipogio, the ground level, if it does not exceed one and a half meters from the ground surface. Usually, there are no restrictions applied to this level, under the condition that the height if this structure from floor to ceiling amounts to at least 2.2 meters and does not exceed 3 meters.

The building rules for the land plots of less than 4.000 square meters, which are adjacent to the roads, linking the lands between settlements, are a bit different. The construction possibilities per each of such land plots are subject to individual clarification.

For large Agrotemachio areas, adjacent to the roads between settlements, one allows segmentation, which makes it possible for you to increase the area of construction.

For the land plots, located on the first line of the sea, there are restrictions, regarding the number of floors: on lands such as Icopedo, the height of buildings cannot exceed three levels, not including an ipogio. For the land plots of the Agrotemachio type, the limit is two levels and an ipogio.

When it comes to Agrotemachio, one should consider that the construction should sit at least 15 meters away from the boundaries of the land plot. This rule makes some land plots inappropriate for construction

When building several houses on one land plot, it is necessary to keep the distance between them, which is specified by the GOK. For Icopedo, it cannot exceed 8 meters, for Agrotemachio – 3.75 meters. Apart from that, the buildings on the Agrotemachio area should be linked via a covered structure of 1 to 6 meters width, made of the same materials as the main buildings. On the Icopedo areas, the buildings can be built separately from each other.

Greece Invest construction specialists carry out a comprehensive analysis of the land plot for calculating the building coefficient and other construction features, holding a simultaneous check of the legal purity of the land plot.

Calculation of stairway areas

The construction of multi-storey buildings includes the availability of the stairs. For a more rational use of construction areas, the calculation of stairway area is regulated by the individual rules.

Thus, during the construction of low buildings, the area of external stairs is not included in calculations. And in the case of the internal stairs, connecting the ipogio with the first floor (in Greece it is called isogio), they are referred to as isogio square.

In cases where the last (upper) flight of stairs of a multi-storey building is a continuation of the stairs, connecting ipogio with isogio, its area is not included in the total footage of the living space.

The area of internal spiral metal staircases is also not calculated during construction.

Technical structures

Technical structures are necessary for domestic servicing of the houses. In most cases, they are built between the main buildings for circumventing the rule on the maximum distance between buildings. In the latter case, all buildings should also be connected through a covered structure. The technical structure should include at least one level (apart from ipogio), the area of which will be later treated as residential.

Construction steps

  1. Setting tasks for an engineer-architect. At this stage, it is important to put your trust in house construction to experienced professionals (https://greece-invest.com/contacts) for drawing architectural and planning solutions that will please the customer and allow him to get permission for building a house in Greece
  2. The development of a project for obtaining a construction permit. This step also involves obtaining of certificates from Forestry Development Authority, illustrating that the lands are not listed in the forest fund of Greece, and certificates from the archeology department, showing that the land plot has no archaeological value
  3. Application of certificates for obtaining a building permit. Here again, you will need the experience and professionalism of an engineer-architect for presenting and support of a project in the city’s planning organization
  4. Construction works and technical supervision. This stage includes the performance of earthworks and requires the presence of a representative of the archaeological service
  5. Completion of construction works. This stage includes the completion of building procedures, as well as collection and signing of the documents, needed for registration of the finished construction object from the city’s planning organization
  6. Facility commissioning. After completion of construction, the owner can also order additional repair or finishing works

Building permit in Greece

Terms and cost of obtaining a building permit

The construction of houses in Greece is impossible without obtaining a building permit. Depending on a number of factors, the cost of such a permit may differ for different projects. These factors usually include:

  • type and size of a land plot
  • the number of buildings on the land plot
  • total and residence area of constructions
  • area of technical buildings and ipogio

For instance: in the case of maximum use of the construction capabilities of a land plot measuring 200 square meters, not including pool construction, the value of all expenditures, required for obtaining a building permit will amount to €25.000 and above. This payment includes the costs, charged for development of the construction project, government charges, and the cost of technical supervision during construction work.

Usually, the procedure of obtaining a building permit takes from several months to six months. To speed up the process, you should better entrust the building permit obtaining procedure to professionals .

Swimming pool construction permit

If you want to build a swimming pool on the purchased land plot, you will need to have a special permit. In Greece, the swimming pool is considered an object of luxury, and therefore the cost of obtaining an appropriate permit may seem disproportionately high. The size of the future pool plays the key role. It is possible to slightly reduce the costs by receiving a permit for pool construction together simultaneously with the permit for construction works on the land plot.

Field design change

After obtaining a construction permit, you can introduce changes in the approved project made only under agreement with the city’s planning organization. Any changes in the project are subject to extra fees – the cost depends on the number and nature of the applied changes.

Which constructions are considered residential area in Greece?

The term “residential area” in Greece has a completely different meaning. It is not a sum of squares of all living rooms in the house. According to the General Construction Code, the residential area includes all constructions within the lines of the building, with a few exceptions. A fairly lengthy list of all these exceptions is specified in the General Construction Code. They usually include garages, ipogio, recessed balcony areas, balconies, etc.

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