First-class stone building is costly because it takes longer. Stonemasons need time to fit stones of varying sizes snugly together.
Often, a wall that looks good from the outside is not necessarily a wall that can bear heavy loads or stand up to earth tremors. On the inside, it may be built hastily, with an excess of cement to fill in gaps, or worse still, with too little cement, barely enough to hold the stones together.
We supervise building all day long making sure that everything is done properly: cement amalgam, stone placement, stone size, stone colour etc.
Stone houses in Crete used to be plastered on the outside. This ensured waterproof walls and a dry house. Nowadays, when we renovate old houses we often remove the plaster from exterior walls to show up the (often beautiful) stone facing.
New stone houses are not plastered, because a stone surface is considered more aesthetically attractive to look at than plaster (so most people believe at least).
In order to stop water penetrating the stone and cement and reaching the interior, causing dampness on inside walls, we:
That is why we can provide a 5 year guarantee for a dry interior all year round!
Note: After 5 years walls should be inspected and small cracks filled in. The house should be thoroughly aired twice a year.
Walls that have not been plastered will eventually produce a little dust, no matter what kind of stone is used. This dust is caused by fluctuation in temperature and humidity, and is a natural effect.
Such dust is harmless and can be wiped away every spring. Dust can be reduced and almost eliminated by the use of stone varnish. This type of varnish tends to darken the colour of the stone.
Our architect-engineer specializes in the design and construction of such houses and follows all specifications to the letter.
This construction becomes more costly because meticulous fitting-together of the stones is more time-consuming.
The weight of a house with stone walls 50cm. thick is enormous. Should a tremor occur, it is crucial that the house will move as a single unit. This requires robust foundations.
We have used at least 4 Tn of steel for each of our 100 square meter houses, and 40m-55m of concrete. Proof of this is given in the photographs taken at every stage of the construction process. Few other builders do this.
This is crucial to earthquake resistance. There are various opinions on the best way to match stones. In general, different sizes of stone should be used so that all gaps are filled, while a high-percentage cement solution holds the stones together immovably.
Stones should be positioned horizontally, not vertically. Every square meter of wall must have at least four (4) stones that straddle its entire thickness. Walls that look attractive to the eye are not necessarily robust, load-bearing constructions.