Well…. 2020 is over and I am sure everyone will never forget it…

So here in Greece, we were in lockdown from March for a good few weeks until it was started to lift in May … and on May 26th we got our license [permit] finally to build the container home. The permit office asked a load of questions while I was there and so I have promised them we will have an “open day” when it is done and they can all come and see ….

Obviously, without Lockdown we would have had it the end of March as it was literally 99% ready as we went into lockdown… so it took a year!

The next shocker was the base… One main point of the container home is, of course, the cost compared to a normal build and in our heads, we had images of small concrete pillars to hold the containers or a concrete low wall the shape of the containers – like in these pictures – and of course, had budgeted for such.

If you are going to do a shipping container build in Greece you cannot do this! According to Greek regulations, you must have at first skin of concrete of 10cm – then the base of the whole building is marked out and this must be 30cm deep with full steel structure inside AND an electrician must come and install the system for lightning strikes [even though we said the containers should work on the Faraday principal ] and your electrical pipes EVEN if you are going off-grid and there will be all of this from the solar panels !!! The argument from the authorities is they need this base because of earthquakes – even though we explained another reason for us going with the containers is they are seismic proof…..

So, first of all, we had to make the “skin” base … yes we made it very very VERY big – the main reason for this is 90% of the year you spend here, you spend outside and the boys LOVE to BBQ so eventually the extra base will be outside living area and built-in BBQ and one day [after a lotto win!]  a “Hot pot” [family nickname for Hot tub]… Our wonderful Greek builder joked it was big enough that we could hold our own πανηγύρι” [festival] as they do one day a year in each village/church….

THEN when this is all installed and laid out your local engineer makes an application to the local authority for the building inspector to come out and check it BEFORE you can pour the concrete…….THEN of course lockdown again so this took 8 weeks before he could come, but apparently, even without lockdown this is not unusual to be this long…….so he has finally been and checked it and we are all ready to go – but now it is raining, after the most incredible Indian summer here winter finally arrived as well… So now we wait …again….

Since I started this the rain abated and the base was poured – even the concrete people were asking why so much base for boxes that only touch the ground for 17cm in each corner… but hey ho as they say …….So then we had to wait a week for the concrete to settle and “mature” lol….









  • Nathan

    I am looking to build a container home in Kalamata. How easy is the permit, does it have to be in a specific area? Thank you

    • monrocorfu

      Hi – you would need to talk to an engineer to get the permit for you and they can explain any rules or regulations as apparently Corfu has some rules that don’t apply elsewhere – like 15m from each boundary, and we had to make the base with a 5cm gap for any mistakes! So best to speak to a local engineer and they can tell you the rules – especially as they just changed a load on Jan 1 st! Good Luck!

  • Tom and Denyze Joyce

    Fantastic …. congratulations to all 3 of you … we so enjoy reading your posts …. we have rebuilt an old house ourselves here and have empathy for all the loopholes you have been through … huge similarities
    Can I ask what side of the island you are based
    Keep writing … looking forward to it
    Kind regards Tom and Denyze

    • monrocorfu

      Thanks to you both – we originally did an old cottage here so we should be used to it LOL…. we are in the south, near Messonghi – we will be doing an open day once things have moved along so do keep an eye on the social media and pop along if you can … probably New year if not before…..Best the Monro family

  • Ahmet Yalçin

    Dear Monro’s

    congratulations – great work and documentaion. Thank you it helped me a lot.

    I am trying almost the same in Lefkada (did not yet applied for permist!). Can you share with me please also your design – how will it look at the end?

    Just to allocate some budget, what do you think the total cost will be?


    Best regards

    • monrocorfu

      Kalimera – and glad to hear we are helping you!! 😉
      I will do a post about the design as soon as possible …then you can see – there is a selfcontained studio with raising bed, a one bedroom house with store room where all the solar equipment is as we will be off-grid…If you have a look on the instagram or facebook pages you can see the drone footage showing the shape of the base – like a u as we will have a courtyard in the middle…
      Budget at the moment no idea as we have had some shocks – the base being the main one .. soon as we have finished the studio [first project ] then we can give you a better idea…
      Happy Containering !!! LOL

  • Cara

    Absolutely amazing, well done to you all.incredible following your journey.
    Lots of love Cara &Rob

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