Building a House in Crete, Greece

Do I need an Architect or Structural Engineer for my project?

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Building a House in Crete Guide by ARENCOS, Chania Architects and Engineers
Unless you are familiar with residential project constructions before, you might find yourself confused by the list of professionals your extension or conversion might need for your next project in Crete.

Especially when it comes to structural engineers. While many people are familiar with the architectural services and responsibilities of an architect, structural engineers have yet to make their way into popular culture.

However, which one do you need? Both? One? Neither?

If you want some clarity, here’s everything you’ll need to know…

Structural engineers and architects can be found working together on building projects; however, they complete different tasks.


Structural engineers focus on how a building is built and what materials should be used to ensure durability. Architects put more effort into how a building will look and the aesthetics. 

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Any work you do on your property that alters its appearance from the outside is likely to require Planning Permission from the local council. Any internal works that involve altering the structure of the building will also need Building Regulations approval.


This can be done either through our real estate firm – ARENCORES, third party real estate agents or property owners directly.

Read our Property Buyers Dedicated Guide and discover the process and tips to facilitate your decision making.


If your project requires a permit, get a permit. If you are working with a contractor who suggests skipping this step, we strongly suggest to consider moving on to another contractor.

As cumbersome as the process may be, it will be better than dealing with the authorities if they find out you should, but don’t have a permit. The Local Building Authorities might force you to obtain a permit and could double or triple the permitting fees.

It may also shut down your project or require you to tear down your work (for example, remove a wall to see what’s behind it) if there is a question as to whether the work was done according to building permission. In short, it is not worth the risk!

Average Fees

Fees are generally payments to structural engineers/and/or architects to cover work they have undertaken for clients under the terms of an agreement. They are generally paid in instalments, either on regular dates or at pre-agreed stages of completed work.

Fees may be calculated based on time charges, as a fixed lump sum or as a percentage of the overall project cost. This requires that an approximate build cost can be estimated (so that an appropriate percentage can be calculated) and that the scope and nature of the services required from the architect are known.

However, fees are entirely dependent on the complexity and size of the project and the conditions of the appointment.

Other consultants’ fees, fees and charges for intrusive site investigations, specialist support consultants’ fees and contractor’s fees for the provision of pre-construction services may also applied.

The Real Numbers

At ARENCOS, we provide an affordable service with no eye-watering fee surprises. Large new-build projects may attract lower percentage fees than small works to existing buildings, commercial projects may attract lower fees than residential projects, and works to historic buildings may attract higher fees.

The percentages given below are indicative only and apply mainly to residential projects. The fees are subject to the general VAT rate (24%).

3.5 – 4.5% of the construction cost for pre-contact design services, and
7.0 – 15.0% of the construction cost for post contract management and supervision services.

Appoint an engineer or architect for my project?
Appoint an engineer or architect for my project? Image Source: Unsplash

You Require Transparency & Effectiveness

Helping clients maximize the value of their investments and transform their real estate assets value.

We pair extensive architectural and functional expertise with deep knowledge across total architecture and sustainable design to help our clients reimagine the role they play in project design, development, and use.

Our unique understanding of shifts in client needs, familiarity with the current trends and state-of-the-art materials, and use of the full power of traditional and nontraditional elements allow us to provide careful diligence on critical procedures:

  • Design and Architectural Drawings
  • Conceptual Design
  • 3D Models
  • Design Development
  • Planning Submission
  • Building Regulations
  • Sustainability and Digital Footprint Assessments
  • Construction Documentation
  • Construction Supervision
  • Post – Completion Project Support
  • Contractor Recommendation
  • Expert Reports and Surveys
  • Due Diligence
  • Site Visits

Make the Leap. Take the Lead.

Do you need help?

Contact us.


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