Ionia Guest House

Luxury accommodation in the Aegean countryside

Construction update

And now a quick set of long-overdue photos of the ongoing construction work.  I know I should have posted something weeks ago, but every time I was about to put some pictures up, I was tempted to wait for just one more development!

Our builders have done a great job.  They’re nearly finished, and soon it will be up to us to get some timber frames happening.

The concrete foundation slabs went down in four stages: first a rough layer of concrete directly onto the ground.  That makes a base for reinforced concrete beams that will go under the load-bearing walls .

Formwork for the concrete beams that will end up under the heavily loaded parts of the slab.

Formwork for the beams that will end up under the heavily loaded parts of the slab.

Lots of steel reinforcement going in.

Lots of steel reinforcement going in.

The slabs were big enough that it wasn’t possible just to dump concrete directly from the truck, so the pumping truck was called in as well for most of the pours.

Fortunately, concrete trucks get up our new driveway without too much trouble.

Luckily, concrete trucks can get up our new driveway without too much trouble.

Pump for pouring the concrete into the formwork.

Giant pumping truck for getting the concrete into the formwork.

The third stage was to dump heavy railway gravel into the gaps between the concrete support beams: this sets up a good base for the finished slab .  The gravel truck deliveries were dramatic, and the driver did well to get the truck into every corner where stone was needed.

About 30 tons of gravel arriving.

About 30 tons of railway-grade gravel arriving.

Gravel used as fill for under the slabs.

Gravel used as fill for under the slabs, and plumbing laid in.  Ready for the final pour.

Meanwhile our animal comrades have become very interested in the building process.

Zeytin approves of the work.

Zeytin approves of the work.

A range of different animals have been up to check things out.

Inspectors both large and small have been up to check things out during the night.

Sirem in particular has been really busy acting as site foreman, but we’ve also made time for a few other jobs.  Some neighbours invited us to harvest their pomegranate tree (long story).  It took longer than we thought — lots of standing up a ladder and getting scratched.  But the pomegranates are fantastic and make a disturbingly healthy-looking juice.

Pomegranates stored for winter.

Pomegranates stored for winter: if you hang them up with string so they’re not touching each other, they last much longer.

Ridiculously good for you.

Look at that vitamin C.  You could reach out and touch it.

We also put the finishing touches on our hügelkultur raised bed, which should make for lots of good vegetable options next spring.

Raised bed in the farmhouse garden is finally done.

Raised bed finally done.

And with colder nights coming in, I thought I had better build one more dog house for Tito (the dog who is not really our dog but just a stray who lives outside our gate and gets fed by us a lot).

Tito (who is not really our dog, he just lives on the street outside our place) get his own house.

Tito (who is not really our dog) gets his own house.  He is moving his head to make his face blurry which is part of his anti-paparazzi strategy.

The final part of the concrete work was pouring the 15cm-thick top slabs that will become the floor of each building.  The plumbing all seems to be in the right place so far.

Slabs all complete now.

Slabs all complete now (view from the top of the block).

And the swimming pool.  We know that in summer, life will centre around the pool for our guests, so we’re keen to do it right.  And the builders have been  fantastic.  (We’re happy to recommend them, if any Turkish readers are thinking about getting a pool built.)

Pool looking good.

Pool concrete looking good and being waterproofed.

Rounded steps in the south-east corner.

Rounded steps under construction in the south-east corner.

Tiles going in, and part of the deck area taking shape.

Tiles going in, and part of the pool terrace area taking shape.

Finally a couple of sunset photos so you can see what the winter light is looking like now.

Sunset with boots.

Sunset with work boots.

Winter sunset view from what will one day be the cafe terrace.

Winter sunset view (from what will one day be the cafe terrace).




  1. It all looks amazing guys .. congratulations

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks, Mark. It’s great to see things moving after so long where it was just trees and dirt up there.

  2. Really coming together :-)

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Cheers, Lorraine. It’s much easier now to get a feeling for how it might look when it’s finished.

  3. Fantastic pictures!

  4. Looking great. It appears swimmers in the pool will have a nice view, or maybe not after your buildings go up? I see winter in Turkey means the workers have to wear long sleeved shirts :) I know it does get colder later.

    As for Tito, I’m pretty sure building a house for him is legally binding as adoption.

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Good point about the pool. There’s definitely a great poor-man’s-infinity-pool aspect to it at the moment (I have tested this by walking around on the bottom of the pool peering over the edge.) But yes, sadly the buildings will take some of this view away. We’re also going to build a privacy wall on the north side of the pool, so you don’t feel you’re getting stared at by passing traffic on the road. We don’t want to build it too tall though, so you should still be able to see the skyline (i.e., the trees on the hill opposite).

      Yes, this winter has been much more normal for the area. Temps get up to about 16 during the day and down to maybe 3 or 4 (at worst) at night. Nothing as crazy as last winter’s minus 8. Yet. Hopefully January will be kind to us.

      He doesn’t really look it in that photo, but Tito is a pretty big dog. So I am going to leave his legal status up to him. He’s not easy to push around.

  5. The view from the pool looks especially fantastic. Will watch your hugelkultur bed with interest. I always thought this would put a bed out of action for too long whilst the log decomposes. But I guess it depends on the size of the log!! plus it’ll release the goodness over time. I may experiment with this at my plot.

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Cheers, Jane.

      Will keep you informed about how the hugel bed goes. We’ve had the logs out there in the elements for a while, and they’ve started to break down a little. My understanding is they will still act as a kind of water-storage sponge even before they break down completely. We’re also putting about 40 cm worth of soil on top of the logs and mixing up in some ash and manure and lots of compost. Time will tell whether it works!

  6. Well done Jason! Professional standard photos as usual.
    We liked the inspector’s footprints! I presume Zeytin is the manager.
    Keep up the good work.
    C & D

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:25 pm


      I think Sirem and Zeytin are co-managing the build. There’s also Cezmi, a ginger cat that we are minding for Sirem’s sister, who seems to think he is from the council. He also tries to get into any cars that visit the site.

  7. Looking great!

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Cheers. Let’s see if it still looks good once the professionals have gone home and we are in charge. :)

  8. From the pictures it looks as though the two of you are colonising an entire region; building roads and buildings (infrastructure), caring for stray animals and planting crops… You going to set up a church next? Just kidding!! It’s looking absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to see it all in real life!

    • Jason

      21 December, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Uh oh. She’s on to us!

      Do you have a few moments to talk about our lord and saviour Cthulhu?

      It’s not really a region, it’s just an acre. But thank you for playing to our megalomania. :) We’re really pleased with how it’s looking but of course there’s still so much to do. You definitely have to come and have a drink by the pool at some point.

  9. Hi Jason & Sirem
    The progress looks great – much has been done since we were there in October.
    The next step of building the walls and roof will be another major development.
    Good luck and we hope that all continues to go well.
    M & J

  10. Your raised bed inspired me: we have loads of green-cut waste in our backyard, including old logs and branches, with more on the way when we trim the fruit trees and cut down some of the more chaotic pines. Our original plan was to get hold of a wood chipper, and create a big compost pile. But the chippers cost a lot, so plan B was wait until we get a trailer and then haul it away to the local green waste (it’s free, and they shred it, and you can haul back as much shredded stuff as you like).

    But after reading up on HugelKultur,, I think we may have a plan C, so thanks!

    • Jason

      22 December, 2015 at 12:13 am

      Yes, I definitely think it’s a good option for branches that are just lying around and that you would otherwise burn or turn into sawdust. Hope it works for you.

  11. Fantastic photos. Hoping to get over in 2016 and see it all for real.

  12. Wishing you both well and here is to an adventurous 2016 in advance! I am sure plenty of more adventures lie ahead. Best, Sid

    • Jason

      28 December, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks very much, Sid. I’m sure you’re right about the adventures: hoping for more “A Year in Provence” than “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. We will see. :)

      Happy new year to you both as well.

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