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Finding Builders In West Crete


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#1 phild

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:21 PM

Hi folks!

I hope somebody might be able to give us some advice on this...

We managed to buy a nice plot of land last year, in the hills behind Kissamos - and we have now finished a house design with an architect in Chania.

Now, since we can't go to Crete 'til September, we've been looking on the internet for builders, and... to be honest, there just don't seem to be many with websites, which is quite understandable.

We have asked the architect if he can recommend a builder or two, but we also feel that there's no substitute for the voice of experience - which is why I'm asking the question in this forum.

Have you had a really good experience with a builder who works in west Crete? Do you feel that you can recommend them to us? Are there any to particularly avoid? ;) (Answers by PM would probably be best!)

We realise that 'good' is a relative term, but we're happy to look at all recommendations, because this is a good way to find people to see once we get to Crete in September.

We do actually have an 'agent/builder' already, but I'm not sure that we'll be using them to build, as the contract is looking exceedingly biased in their favour, particularly with regard to finances!

Many thanks for any help you can give!
---
-Phil.

#2 Papous

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 02:16 AM

Hi Phil.

Welcome to this - in general - helpfull forum. A lot of members are enjoying there holidays now, guess thats the reason why you have to wait a little longer as usuall to get some answers. ;)
"?? ???????? ??? ?????? ????? ????"

#3 phild

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 12:08 PM

Hi Papous - and thanks for the welcome!

The response is not as low as it seems - although I can imagine that a lot of people are sunning themselves in Crete at the moment - I wish I was! ;)

I have had a couple of PMs about builders for which I'm very grateful. Certainly one builder that was mentioned looks to be a lot more professional than the one we have been negotiating with.

We're giving our current builder a bit more time to see if he's going to become a bit more reasonable, but somehow I doubt it.

Thanks again for the welcome!
---
-Phil.

#4 Papous

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:02 AM

You're welcome :lol:
Let's hope for the best then. Is it a local builder you're negotiating with?
"?? ???????? ??? ?????? ????? ????"

#5 phild

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for your good wishes.

The builder we're negotiating with is a local one, but through an agent.

I'm not really sure how much detail I should give in an open forum - I don't want to cause any problems...

:lol:
---
-Phil.

#6 Papous

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 12:28 AM

No no, please don't. Was just asking because I'm planning to buy a little house myself.
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#7 Wim

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 10:32 AM

Hi Phil,

Your architect must be able to advise you about contractors. I'm not sure about my colleagues on Crete but, here in Holland the architect is the impartial adviser towards his client, who knows about the quality and prices of the concerned or several other contractors.

The best thing I can advise you is ask one for his recommendations and then have a look at the building and a chat with the owners. Eventually together with your architect.

It is also possible to have a public tender. What you need then are drawings and a written specification.
This is the most common way in the contractors world.

Good luck.

:lol:
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#8 phild

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 12:06 PM

Papous,

Good luck with your little house. If I find a good local builder, I'll send you their name.


Thanks Wim,

I've asked our architect - he's going to be advising us of his recommendations soon.

I thought I'd ask people in the forum too, though - and I've had some good replies vai PM, giving me some interesting ideas. There's nothing like getting a client's perspective on a builder, rather than an agent or architect perspective, as I think it wil give me a better indicator of the sort of experience I'd get out of the builder.

Thanks for the idea about the public tender - I hadn't thought of that - I'm not sure that my project will be big enough for people to want to tender.
---
-Phil.

#9 Wim

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 12:48 AM

Try it.
Because otherwise you'll never know.

:lol:
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#10 tom

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 10:46 AM

My experience (from a pool only), is that you have to assure yourself (in the contract !?) that the contracter that you choose will be all the time at the building site.
Our pool builder was hardly at the site. His workers, all non local, worked maybe 2 hours a day and the rest of the time the were sleeping eating and phoning. the work took 6 x the agreed period.
I also would put in the contract a penalty for not being ready in time. you can be lenient here, but I would put some dealine.
Another reason for the contractor being on the site is the quality. The most important reason for choosing a contractor is that he inspires you with confidence. If then he is never on the site, the quality of the work done will not be controlled. And in buidling faults can be hidden in only a few hours building progress.
The above makes it neccesairy for him to be a local.
The social control might then help as well. Several Greek in my village expressed their indignation, about the work going on at our place. Even people I never met before, so it went arround. A local builder would probably have been more carefull.

I also would ask how many foreigners he puts on my buidling side. I have nothing against foreigners, but unfortunatly my experience puts more trust in locals.
You also could use your architect as a site controller. but then he should have no relation to the builder and he should be financial responsable for any misdoings, this will cost extra. But in any case, he can't be thre all the time. So certain mistakes will even get unnoticed by him and you'll fiind aut (long) after the building is finished.

I hope I didn't put you off At the end the same rules apply when you build in Belgium or England .

#11 phild

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 11:48 AM

Wim,

Yes - you're right there.

I'm looking at a few builders now, and will ask at least 2 others to give me a quote for the job. Not exactly public tender, I know, but at least I'll end up with 3 quotes, and can then choose the best.

Tom,

Thanks for your post. It sounds like very good advice. I do want to use a local builder, and support the local economy, and I really want close supervision. All of this is in my 'specification'.

The problem is that since I'm not living in Crete yet, it's very hard to make sure that the builders are always on-site - I guess you have to assume that the supervisor will really check that for you. You have to trust the supervisor to do the job - so knowing the supervisor and having a good relationship is a key requirement for this.
---
-Phil.

#12 tom

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 12:20 PM

I made a kind of tender, if only to be able to compare apples with apples.

I should have added a point of supervision and garantee about time schedule keeping, maybe with a proposal by the offerer for a fine.

#13 phild

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 02:47 PM

Oh yes! There will definitely be a penalty clause for overdue work. I'd insist on that - as well as withholding a proportion of the final payment until the work has been 'snagged'.
---
-Phil.

#14 sue

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:00 PM

Hi,
I was just looking through the forum and found your bit about builders. Well done about the land at Kissos it's lovely there. We are in a similar position to you as we have just bought land near Bali. We are looking for architect/engineer to design our house. We have been given names of two builders on recomendation from others. Maybe we could swap information by PM.
Sue

#15 paulmoyes

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:02 PM

Hi, Is there much work for decorators in Crete? I am thinking of moving there but want to keep on working for a while.