Monday, March 14, 2011

Building a house - In Greece: Part III

Last week's post ranged the gamut from the history of Cephalonian architecture to drawings of our planned home. Today I finally get to show you real construction photos of our home as it's coming together. We broke ground in October 2010 to construct the underground garage, which will serve as the foundation of the structure. We dug four meters down from the street level. Dirt was hauled out, and reserved to be used later.

One-meter-high T-beams were constructed and laid out across the foundation, which acted as anchors for the structural beams of the garage.

Rocks and dirt were filled in between them, and a layer of cement was added on top, creating a solid foundation while forming the garage floor.

By November, the support beams were constructed out of reinforced concrete and rebar, and the underground walls of the garage were constructed and water proofed. 

The walls of the pool were constructed too - yes there will be a pool! I can give credit to my sister for that one. Our dad has always thought they were ridiculous on an island with the most beautiful beaches, yet she managed to convince him that there would be no way to rent the house to tourists without a pool. Eventually we plan on working with a company to rent the home during the months we aren't there. 

The wooden molds of the garage ceiling (essentially the ground floor of the house), and the molds of the garage walls stayed in place for about a month until the concrete completely dried. The metal support pipes you see below were left in the garage during that time. 

View of the garage door from the outside

View of the staircase leading up to the ground level

Looking outside the garage door

By December, the molds were taken off, and the garage started to look like - well a garage.

Looking into the garage

Looking at the staircase leading up to the ground level

Looking out the garage door

Most of December and January, work was at a standstill as the crew waited out the winter rain. The following are a few photos we received in mid-February that show the space between the walls of the garage and the retaining wall, which you see being built here on the right. The reserved dirt that was removed back in October will be returned to fill up this space to the ground level - and if you can imagine, that will be the backyard. 

Looking at the street from the ground level. Almost everything you see here will be filled in with dirt.

And there you have it! The photo above is what the view will be from the ground level, and it's pretty much what the house looks like today. During the month of April the steel frame of the house will go up, and I'll have more photos to share with you then.

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