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….