Couple buys abandoned tower and converts it into a special vacation home

Couple buys abandoned tower and converts it into a special vacation home

What a special abode!

On a hillside on the Greek Mani Peninsula is a special tour of the 19 th century. The abandoned structure looks like it's going to collapse, but this couple dared to completely renovate the tower. And the end result was a special design that looks amazing!

Couple buys abandoned tower and converts it into a special vacation home

Abandoned tower in Greece

It all started in 1984 when Kostas Zouvelos and his fiance saw a sign for sale near a collapsed tower on a hill overlooking the ocean. The tower was built in the early 19 th century, on an isolated hill of Greek Mani peninsula. The couple didn't hesitate for a moment and fell in love with the tower. After buying the abandoned tower and using their craftsmanship, they turned it into a beautiful house.

Watch the video below:

Mani's story

The special tower was built at the beginning of the 19th century on the edge of the peninsula. The tower is well located and served as a defense against external enemies. According to the history books, only a few families stayed in the tower. The islanders were never under Ottoman occupation, like the rest of the country, and helped Greece achieve independence in 1832. After the war, the houses and towers were abandoned in large numbers when the inhabitants of the peninsula immigrated to Athens.

Renovated into a wonderful holiday home

Zouvelos and his wife, Kassiani Theodorakakou, spent eight years working on their dilapidated tower. They managed to convert it into a guest house with three bedrooms. To make sure the building matched the surroundings, they changed the color of the mortar three times. To make the mortar, they used a traditional technique called kourasani, using lime, local soil, river sand, ceramic powder, and a small amount of cement.

Tower furniture

Working with the building's original 25 square meters per floor, the couple created a kitchen and entrance hall on one floor. On the other floor there are three bedrooms. With space-saving features like an in-room shower, sculpted bed, and space-saving kitchen, it all fits right into the house. Finally, they have also created additional outdoor living spaces with a sun terrace, a swimming pool and a large terrace with replanted century-old olive trees. Who wouldn't want to stay in a beautiful vacation home like this?

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A good start is to change the windows if they are not double glazed. En suite the bathroom because with the kitchen it is the parts which cost the most in modification of the plumbing and in elements.

Also renovate the electricity because the standardization is still essential and can be very expensive.

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Hassan fahmi·Translator · June 22, 2020 Location: Paris, France

Ken streiff41 years of building This answer may not be an accurate translation of Ken Streiff's answer in Quora in English  :

What questions should I ask home renovation contractors when contracting for a kitchen reno?

How am I protected from you taking my money and using it for something else? How long have you been doing this? References ? References are meaningless if they are not checked and rechecked.

What happens if you sink? Is your deposit refunded? Does your deposit concern me specifically or is it intended to cover other projects simultaneously? If so, what is it for?

What is the level of quality that you guarantee me? There are different "grades" of quality and finish, both in materials and workmanship. Putting a Rolls Royce kitchen in a Tinker Toy house is not a good idea, nor the other way around.

Have you had any complaints? How do you treat them? Can you prove it?

What are the stages of the guarantee? If the ___ is defective, do you cover replacement labor? What about the things I buy?

Do you do the work yourself? What are the things that are outsourced? Subcontractor's insurance, surety, licenses all need to be checked and controlled.

Privilege protection? Make sure subcontractors are paid and get privilege releases from them. Ditto for suppliers. No excuses. Or no progress payments. Make sure that these protections and guarantees are included in your contract. Ask "Where is this stated in the contract? There is none? BIG RED FLAG.

What will the contract look like when completed?

What about damage or theft? Who corrects it or pays it?

34  viewsShow 1  positive vote1

If I want to completely renovate a room in my house, where do I start? And what to do next?

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Gallence Francois· Aug 17, 2020 Formerly Company Manager

So start at the beginning;) (it's better!)

I believe you can know where to start to renovate a room, but in case you are really unable to find the answer, then start with this:

Pre required: 1) Old clothes or overalls 2) Dust mask 3) plastic sheeting for the floor or furniture 4) painter's tools (scraper, sandpaper, wood block, rollers, finishing brushes, cloth, etc.) 5) bag of plaster, primer paint (if the wall requires it) large pots of paint (depending on the type and surface to be covered, with water, acrylic, cellulose or glycerophthalic, matte or glossy as needed, but I recommend the mate which is easier to install and where we see less of the small defects ...)

How to get started:

  1. empty your pieces of furniture (or in the event that you cannot put them in another room, cover them with plastic sheeting or old sheets and put them on the left half of the room)
  2. Then scrape and sand the ceiling and walls, then you clean the floor of waste and put a plastic sheet on the floor and along the wall! You dust with a brush while airing the room.
  3. Then you coat the ceiling first and the walls afterwards.
    You let it dry at least overnight.
  4. The next day you sand (first with thick sandpaper and then fine) then when everything is smooth, you pass the last stroke of the brush and again you get rid of the waste and put the tarpaulins back in place.
  5. In the end you attack the paintings. Usually cellulose, acrylic, or water-based matte paints are used for ceilings.
  6. I advise you to use rollers (faster) and by putting a grid on the paint pot, in order to remove excess paint when necessary ...

Know that to paint a surface correctly in general we cross the strokes of paints (valid with the roller as for the brushes), then we let dry the first layer and we spend a second for a better finish ...

See these links for advice on the paintings:


How to clean your painting equipment in an environmentally friendly way?

Good luck and success… PS: it is always good to get help when renovating an apartment! First, because it's more pleasant to work with two or three. Then because it gives you more courage and we can discuss the best way to do a specific job. Last but not least because we finish faster! ;)

844  viewsShow 6  positive votesShow shares · Reply requested by  Yvan Jovanovic