Buying a house is a huge investment. Finding a ready-made one that fits your needs and your lifestyle is a bit hard because you might be forced to make some structural changes. You then end up considering building a home from scratch. You could either build the old fashioned way or consider building a mabati prefab house.
What is a Mabati Prefab House?
Also known as a prefab house or an iron fabricated house, a mabati prefab house is built off-site beforehand and later shipped to the desired destination. There is a preconceived notion that people who live in mabati houses in Kenya are poor. Just like a wooden house, people have not embraced the idea of building and living in iron fabricated houses. They prefer the common brick and mortar way of construction. But maybe you should consider going the prefab way. These houses are visually stunning and will make you the talk of the town.
What are the pros and cons of constructing low-cost mabati houses in Kenya?
1. Construction is Fast
One advantage of building a mabati house is that the construction time is reduced compared to the brick and mortar mode of construction. This means you will not have to keep following up with the fundis or worry about your construction material getting stolen while you are away. There is also the issue of the weather which you won’t have to concern yourself with. Your home will come ready-made, all you or the workers will have to do is assemble it at a specific location.
2. Energy Efficient
Another good reason you should consider building a mabati house is that it will save you some money on electricity costs. Reason being, these houses have solar panels on them and unique windows which makes it easier to save on energy. When people construct using the brick and mortar method, materials brought to the site emit toxic chemicals harmful to the environment and humans. For instance, roofing tiles and plumbing pipes have lead, a poisonous metal which can affect your health. PVC pipes have substances which can cause cancer and other diseases. If environmental and personal health is important to you, you should definitely think of building a prefab house.
3. It’s Affordable
It is cheaper to build a mabati house than it is to build a brick and mortar one. Most of the money you will save is on labour. You will not go through the hustle of dealing with a fundi who keeps telling you that the building materials are not enough because you will know beforehand exactly what you need. You will also pay fewer workers to build your home. If you are not yet convinced, do some research on how much you will spend on a prefab house and how much it will cost you to build a normal house.
1. Cost of Land
If you don’t already own a plot, that will be the first expense you will incur. You have to buy the land where the prefab house will sit. You also need to figure out how you will have electricity and water in your home now that all these utilities won’t come with the house. Before buying land, you might have to do a soil test to ensure that your new house can sit on that land. More additional costs will come from inspections and getting land permits.
2. You’ll Need Ready Money
When buying a new house, you can get a mortgage and pay for it over the years and move into your new home. But with a prefab house, you will need to pay for the construction of your home before it is built. The contract should have a payment plan for the duration you will complete paying. You will need to do proper budgeting before you commit to building a prefab home to avoid it stalling along the way.
3. Low Resale Value
In case you ever feel like selling your mabati house, it might be difficult to sell it. Because there is a notion that mabati houses are for “poor” people, the value of your house will not grow in case you are thinking of selling it. It might take time for people to change their perception when it comes to mabati houses. So you could end up never selling it or finding it difficult to find a buyer.
Having an open mind when you think of buying a house could be the difference between finding your dream home and having to spend more money fixing a home to make it “perfect”. Before settling on going the cheaper route of buying a mabati house, doing proper research will help you make the right decision.