Building A Low Cost House: The Ultimate Guide

  | 4 min read
building low cost house

While most people in Kenya are active renters, there is a  sizable fraction that desires more permanence and prefer to build their own houses. Although buying a house provides the same kind of permanence, it might be a lot more expensive and the buyer usually doesn’t have a lot of control over the conditions surrounding the house, since it is already built.

Even as you decide to build your own house, you are keen to ensure that you get a good one at the lowest cost. So, how do you do this? The tips below can offer the guidance you need;

Important Considerations Before Building a House

Your Budget

Your budget dictates everything you do when building your house, right from the plans and designs; the contractors and other professionals; materials you buy; location of the house, among others. Your goal is to build a good house while saving money. This means that the budget you work with should support this goal.

Purpose of the House

Why do you want to build a house? Is it an investment you want to add to your real estate portfolio? Do you wish to live in it? Identifying the purpose early in the process is key as it informs the design, size and the finer details in the house’s plans.

House Design

building low cost house - house plans

You should know that you will save most during the planning and design stage of your house. It is highly recommended that you get a good architect to weigh in all costs and get things right in terms of your house’s design. You will pay a Their fee is a small percentage of the build small fee of the building costs to the architect, but it’s completely worth it. This is because you get to save costs and at the same time rest assured that an expert is giving you a design you will love.

Cost Efficient Hacks When Building a House

  1. Get Quality but Affordable Construction Materials

building low cost house - quality construction materials

Steer clear of glitzy construction materials ads that have inflated. Conduct your research on quality providers and engage one after comparing a number of quotes. That said, we are not advocating for cheap solutions. Remember the construction materials you purchase will have to factor in aspects like life-span, durability and maintenance costs. They should, therefore, be the best quality you can afford. If you plan to live in that house for the next 50 years, cheap construction materials might turn out expensive in the long run.

  1. Adopt a Simple Geometry

building low cost house - simple geometry

The fastest way to an expensive building project starts with an emotional plan, characterised by complexities and unnecessary curves. Your architect should be able to advise you on how the plans and designs translate to construction materials and labour costs. In other words, how costly is it to translate this plan into an actual building?

  1.  Space Planning

building low cost house - space planning

The open plan has become very popular with homeowners for various reasons, including the fact that it creates a more social space and facilitates natural lighting. Even though it might be costly to have large open spaces – due to the additional structure required; a good architect will be able to work around this by planning for additional columns that reduce steel spans.

  1. Labour Costs

Based on the complexity and design of your plans, labour might account for a huge chunk of overall costs. Complex designs will require not only more man-hours dedicated to the project, but a higher level of expertise as well. Ensure your architect understands your budget and resolve to cut costs in your building project, so that he advises you accordingly in every stage of the project.

Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.


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