In Kenya, building a house cost an arm and a leg. It is important, however, to note that the cost may vary from town to town and is dependent on the design of the house and the cost of building material used.
In Nairobi like in other major towns, most of the dwellers tend to rent. A good number of people, however, prefer to own a permanent residence. Owning a residential property can be done in two ways; buying a ready made home or constructing your own.
A disadvantage of buying a ready-made house is that it tends to be expensive and denies you the much-needed control over the conditions that surround the property. That is why most people prefer building their own up from the ground.
So, how do you build cheaply in Kenya?
This is a guide on how you can build a low-cost house without having to compromise on quality, safety of your family or their comfort.
The average cost of building a house in Kenya
As mentioned, the average cost of building a house varies from town to town. It also depends on:
i) The typography of land
ii) The size of the house you seek to build
iii) Material specification and
iv) The design of the house
Assume that person A and B are building a 3-bedroom house, the design is the same, the materials used are the same, and that the only difference is that A is building the house in Kamulu, and B is building in Nakuru.
Now, it would cost A way less than it would for B to construct the house. This is because most of construction materials needed can be found around the area.
When budgeting for your new home, you need to consider the following to come up with an inexpensive budget for the project:
• What size and design of house are you looking for? Remember, the more the square footage, the more it is going to cost you.
• What it will cost per square footage. You can do this by bench marking on house similar to the one you seek to build. Get the total value used, subtract the cost of land, and divide the balance with the square footage of the house.
• What kinds of external and internal features do you want? To build cheaply in Kenya, you might want to reduce the number of doors and windows.
• What types of finishes are you looking for? Generally, it will cost approximately 30, 000Ksh per square meters for an average finishing and about 65,000 ksh for high-quality finishes.
How to build an inexpensive house in Kenya
So, how do you build cheaply in Kenya where the cost of almost everything seems to be skyrocketing daily?
It is not that hard really. Most people are tuned to believe that cheap is synonymous with low quality. I beg to differ; cheap does not in any way mean that the house will be of low quality.
This is simply a guide on how you can cut down on all construction inputs to bring the cost of your house down without compromising on its quality.
To build cheaply in Kenya, you will need to:
1. Buy a surveyed and bounded plot of land.
A surveyed and bounded plot set aside for construction is what is called a building lot. It will be cheaper to build on an economical building lot that does not require you to pay public services or another cost such as excavating, clearing bushes, or fixing extended drainage.
2. Go for a simple design
When looking to build cheap, I’d recommend that you go for a simple house plan. Depending on the size of your land, you can choose to go for a Bungalow or Maisonette. Simple floor plans are easy and cheap to construct. Also, avoid intricate roof lines.
3. Consider the size of the house
As already mentioned, the cost of a building a house will vary with the size of the house. To build a cheap house, go for less square footage that is easy to build and cheap to maintain.
4. Go for a multi-story house
Going tall is another good way to building a house cheaply in Kenya. This type of house can have the same amount of living, the catch is the foundation, and the roof will be much smaller.
5. Instead of a wood cabinet, go for open shelves
Though woods finishes may appear more elegant, you can save a lot by going for open shelves or stainless steel cabinets. Incorporate frosted glass doors to spices things up.
When constructing, you do not have to buy all the material you need. A cheap and a more affordable way are to recycle. You can also go for second-hand construction material that are cheap and of good quality.