About us

who we are - a SMALL company

what makes us different - customised building,  trust and integrity
what we try to do -our mission: building earquake proof houses that are in harmony with the environment at very reasonable cost

which are our future aspiratuions : not to grow to become a big construction company but to continue quality building of admirable houses for customers who appreciate stone building.

who we are
---in details...
       We are a small and versatile construction company  with a passion to carry out quality building. We select the very best stone masons , construction crews and materials to build your house.
  We pay due personal attention to every detail and to all your expectations and requests, and communicate with you  very frequently during  building.
       We build traditional homes that are in harmony with the natural and architectural environment. They are designed and built to resist earthquakes,  and to last strong and solid for the pleasure of generations of future owners.
       When we build a house we focus our attention 100% on the project and do not start to build another until close to completing the first. Our aim is not to grow  and expand as a company but to continue quality building of unique houses, to achieve excellence through dedication, and to build a long term relationship with our customers based on trust and integrity.


--- Our personal attention  to every detail to achieve customer satisfaction to the highest degree, and our pride in our work.  
Any detail that is important to you is important to us. We want we create the house you envision. We do ''customised '' building.
Do not hesitate to ask if what you see in a home interior magazine can be done for you.

--- Weekly communication - more often when needed.
During the whole building process we communicate  with the customer and send photos weekly and  cost reports as necessary.

---  Our prices are competitive because:

You may choose to have invoices issued in your name for every service : building, electrical, plumbing, woodwork, and pay SSH only for supervision and coordination of the work. Materials may also be bought in the customer's name. In this way you pay only surveillance fees, and thus avoid builders' profits on services and materials.
As a small company we employ a work force only for construction, so during any halt in building the company's running costs are low.
The fees of  our associate architects are far more reasonable than you can secure as an individual..

--- We build lasting relations based on integrity and trust. This  is the life blood of our business. We stay close to our customers long after any legal warranty on paper expires,  to solve any problem they may have with the house and to carry out any desired  changes.

 

Our Ethos

VALUE FOR MONEY
Stonemasonry - building in stone -  is amongst the most challenging and formidable of crafts. Nowadays few young people are willing to enter the profession of stonemason, which demands a certain bent or even passion, as well as long years of apprenticeship. Consequently construction will become increasingly costly in the future, and ever fewer houses will be built entirely of stone. Stone masonry will be limited to mere decoration  (fireplaces, facings) as being less demanding -  which is already the case in much of northern Europe.
A beautiful, well-built stone house retains its value for centuries to come. The maintenance costs of a stone house in the Cretan climate are considerably lower than those of a house built of other materials.

Crete is a safe place to invest - for a number of reasons.
Suffice it to say that the island has its own burgeoning economy, and will be less affected by or dependent on mainland Greece in the near future.

EARTHQUAKE RESISTANT  
    •    A stone house when soundly built can be far more resistant to earth tremors than concrete frame houses.
    •    Our architect-engineer Mr. Bikakis specializes in the design and construction of such houses and follows all specifications to the letter.
    •    Step-by-step photographs of every stage of construction provide proof positive of our constant supervision.
    •    Read more information on earthquake-resistance here.
    
HARMONY w. ENVIRONMENT
    •    We avoid cutting down mature trees. Our timber (pine) is imported from controlled-cutting forest areas in Austria.
    •    We space each of our houses in such a way as to retain the maximum land area around it.
    •    The stone used is extracted from licensed quarries.
We encourage owners to plant local plants: trees and shrubs which blend in with the local environment. Water in Melidoni is plentiful: this however, has not always been the case. Careful conservation is always advisable.
We do not install any garden lights, and our outdoor (veranda) lights are discreetly dim. We urge customers not ot place strong lighting outdoors after they buy the porperty for the following reasons. They:
    •    disturb animals such as owls when houses are set in a natural setting such as the edge of Melidoni village.
    •    alter the character fo a traditional settlement.
    •    are as disturbing as loud noise in a tranquil place.
Stone houses can be cooled naturally and do not need air conditioning even during hot summer days with no wind. All you have to do is open windows at night and keep them closed in the mornings. The outside air is hotter than the inside, until late in the afternoon.
Natural cool air conditioning cuts down on energy consumption.

Company History

 

My company, SOLID STONE HOUSE, dates from April 2007, so its establishment is comparatively recent. My interest in the building of stone houses, however, is a family affair and dates back to a far earlier time.

     My father, Aristotelis Papadopoulo, started photographing old stone houses in Attica and the islands of the Cyclades from around 1963, and over the years he build up a collection of photographs and sketches. In 1974 he bought a piece of farmland, a few acres on a rocky hillside near Keratea in Attica, intending to cultivate it, but the initial deep ploughing threw up so much loose stone that planting was at a first impossible. He set himself to clear the field for planting with his hands, gathering up the stones, large and small, in scattered heaps: when he realised how much of it there was, he conceived the idea of using it to build a house. Two of the last stonemasons in Keratea (both of them elderly men - this being before the influx of building workers from Albania) built the house here pictured, in 1976 out of the field's own rough golden-brown stone.

  In the photograph my father is filling up the verandah with barrow loads of stone, prior to paving it. All the stone for the massive walls of the house was gathered by his own hands from this one rocky field, while the cornerstones and lintels of cream-coloured limestone were gleaned from the demolition-sites of old houses in Athens.
     The field also produced sufficient stone for the rough dry stone walls enclosing it.

Keratea, Attica, 1976. 

Fulfilling a dream

     Born and bred in Athens, a businessman who had studied economics, my father may well have been unique leaving in his fifties a well-established family firm in order to fulfil a dream - and one involving back-breaking physical labour. This one solid stone house was the only one he was to build, but its construction pervade my childhood, and I inherited his love for traditional building in solid stone: a love which was to grow during later travels through Crete and Euboeia, the Peloponnese and the islands of the Aegean Dodecannese.

     I now live permanently in Crete, building houses which have first to satisfy my own ideal. SOLID STONE HOUSE is, for me, a way to do what gives me personal pleasure and satisfaction