Single or Two storey
It depends on one's taste and circumstances (health, age etc) as well as on the size of the plot. In my opinion the plot should be around 3-4 times of that of the ground floor house size in order to have a reasonable garden. So if you have a large plot, go for the single / ground floor. If not, use our formula for the ground floor area only. A two storey house looks more "architecturally impressive" as opposed to a bungalow and it can offer better views from upstairs. For the untidy people (!!), a 2 storey is more convenient in this respect.
Flat or Pitched roof
Both can look as attractive, but most flat roofs in Cyprus are ugly with all sorts of unconcealed equipment and solar heaters etc placed on top. A pitched roof offers the opportunity to cover these, it offers better insulation and it can provide an attic.
Basement V Ground Parking
A basement parking space is better, since it is more secured and it can be used also for other uses eg maid's quarter, wine cellar etc, but it costs 3 times more than a carport. If lack of space (small plot), opt for the basement, but then and in addition to the added cost, one must consider the staircase from the basement. If two storey house and basement, provision for a lift is a must.
Depending on one's age and health, a lift is becoming more and more popular. If no space / money, opt for an electrical climbing chair to help you out. For this you need a spacious staircase at least 1½ meters width. If not sure, when you are building your own home, make provision for a lift, so that you can install it at a later stage (in addition it is a good selling point in future).
Roof Garden – Views
More and more in use, but this requires a flat roof and with provision of water / sewage / electricity etc. Not a must, unless you have added views. In addition consider the extra staircase. If you want one, make all provisions for eg a bar, wc etc including proper insulation and finishes, pergola, flower pots etc
Glass Verandah Walls
A good alternative, which does not block the views. Proper glass (thick) is a good solution, quite safe and needs less maintenance. A better proposition than railings.
As circumstances stand at present and with crime / thefts etc being on the increase, we would recommend to adopt an alarm system, especially if the property is not fully occupied (eg holiday homes). Bear in mind the "maintenance cost" referral to a local resident etc. We could not live with οut this.
Garden + Cost
Avoid grass, it needs a lot of water and maintenance, opt for trees and low vegetation instead, although admittedly grass looks better. Place underground nets and shingles on top of the garden.
Opt for a movable equipment which can be moved on spot of your guests. Lovely new machines nowadays.
Lovely to have but it costs in terms of maintenance + – € 150 pm (4 x 8.0 mts.) Invest on a cover. Overflow pool looks much better than skimmer type, but it costs 50% more. Vanishing edge (infinity) pools are better, but more costly and it depends on the views offered.
Not really needed to build. Very good low cost wine coolers available in the market. Opt one with trays and glass door. Depending on your requirements, they range from € 500- € 1.500 (home use).
Use ceramic tiles (of all sort of quality). Marble looks better but it gets stained. Parquet is an excellent alternative, but more costly and care in use is needed. If in two minds, use parquet in bedrooms.
Shower or Bath
Depends on one's requirements, but with our climate, a spacious shower with the gadgets (jets) is a better alternative and space saving.
Use ordinary satellite etc, but if bad reception use a gable network with all sorts of channels. It costs approximately € 20 pm however, but you save on satellite cost.
Avoid if in apartment. Think always of the neighbors who might not share your love for pets.
The local external "sprits" finish is lower cost and needs very little maintenance, but not very good looking. Paint is better but budget for € 500 / year (maintenance every 2-3 years). Stone is expensive but looking better (additional € 30 / sq.m.).
House Size V Large Garden
It depends on your life style and style of living. Opt for a smaller house and larger garden since 70% of our living timing with the local climate is outside.
Opt for one shower / bedroom plus a guest wc If no space, have a master bedroom en suite and one common (2 bathrooms).
For storage explore all available voids from the start. A never ending requirement.
Although we do not want to discourage you from building your own home, we want to end by quoting a Serbian saying "…. Only a moron decides to build his own house …..", but we add, then it can be fun (at times).