About Cyprus

Roofs of Cyprus houses: family homes in progress

Cyprus House

Roofs of Cyprus housesAs soon as a tourist or a newcomer to Cyprus leaves the airport, the first thing what catches the eye is the flat roofs of houses built along the highway. Only few tile roofs of modern villas add some diversity to the landscape.

Concrete monolithic buildings without traditional roofs usually make Cyprus visitors think of the continuing construction works going all over Cyprus. Bundles of reinforcement steel, which are sticking out from the rooftops indeed create such impression.

Some ‘experts’ suggest that locals keep the buildings unfinished to avoid paying property taxes. In reality, there is another reason for Cypriots following this construction style.

  • By the way, in some European countries residents were indeed offered tax benefits for unfinished buildings, but it was never practiced in Cyprus

Traditional house construction pattern in Cyprus

In fact, reinforcement steel, sticking out of the tops of the buildings is left for making it possible to add an extra floor in the future.

  • By the way, the length and thickness of the rods is strictly regulated by legislation. This is why we see different size and length rods on every building.

Roofs of Cyprus housesFlat roofs and construction of monolithic houses gained its popularity in Cyprus in the 1950s, when these technologies were used for the first time in construction of high-rise apartment buildings. Before that, the walls of the houses were mainly made from sawn limestone in flat areas of the island and from stone in the mountains.

In both cases, the load-bearing capacity of the structure did not allow creating of flat roofs, since the wood was mostly used as a building material. In those times, flat roofs could be seen only in the expensive mansions, constructed using bricks and steel floors.

Expanding the living space

A need for one floor buildings appeared after 1974, when a number of settlers was forced to relocate to the south of Cyprus. That was the time when concrete square buildings became the most popular and most affordable housing. Soon most of the buildings in the biggest cities – from small shacks to multi-floor private villas were constructed using this method.

Only in the last twenty years, when new construction materials, such as foam wall blocks were introduced in Cyprus, builders started to construct classical monolithic carcases, which no longer reminded of fortification structures.

One of the most common ways of expanding the existing living space is to build the extra floor straightaway, while leaving the ground floor to be used as a parking space or as a veranda for a growing family.

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