By Prudence Minayo
Living in a nice cozy house is a dream for most Kenyans, but do you know what’s much better? Building your own house! It gives you so much satisfaction knowing that you own the house and no one will ever show up on your doorstep to ask for rent. Most people just feel as if building a nice house is one of life’s greatest accomplishments.
However, it can be a very expensive and daunting process. Thinking about materials, labor and process may just give you a headache. The good news is that this long process brings about an incredible sense of satisfaction.
To build your own house, a huge amount definitely has to be spent but you can cut on this costs by taking into consideration a few things in this article, both before and after construction.
- Conduct a study of the land, such as soil samples and land is in flood area
Do you know how many buildings collapse during the building process or a few years after building? The cases are numerous and they don’t make headlines, especially if nobody dies.
Anyway, sometimes it is because the owner failed to do a soil sample. Find out if the particular soil supports building. There are different types of soils, including shrinkable ones. Once you find out the type of soils, it becomes easy to determine the type of foundation to erect. For example, if the soil is shrinkable, the foundation has to be very deep so as to sustain the building.
Remember, the type of soil has major influence on the stability, design and sustainability of foundations, hence, research properly on the soil. You want to build a house that will outlive you, not collapse in a few years.
Floods-avoid areas that are prone to floods. Otherwise you will find yourself migrating everytime there is prolonged rainfall. Areas where seasonal rivers pass can be very dangerous. Do your homework well before purchasing land to build your dream house.
If what you’re looking for is a cost-effective house then design is key. Choose a simple design, simple does not mean tasteless. There are so many simple designs out there that are very classy and elegant. Plus, you could always add beautiful flowers and create a wonderful landscape around the house. Reduce the number of corners as they tend to require increase in materials and labor, choose a simple roofing style as way.
- Hire professionals
There is always the temptation to reduce costs by hiring cheap labor, but at times cheap can be expensive. It is vital to hire someone with a wealth of experience. They will know what to do or not to do. Of course, there will be a few handy people that are still training but ensure they are being guided by a trained personality. You don’t want them mixing up things or putting less where more is needed and more where less is needed. This may cost you the entire project.
2. Employ modern technology
Old and outdated technology may increase your expenses and interfere with the productivity of your workers. Today, there are a number of innovations that seem expensive but end up saving on costs in the long run. This may include stuff like prefabricated panels.
3. Buy the products by yourself
It is very rare for people to be honest with money. This is why as a builder you have to source for your own materials. Imagine hiring someone who tells you a wheelbarrow of sand is kes300 more than it’s worth. If you are to use 10 per day he/she gets to pocket more than kes3,000 a day, in six days that is kes18,000. Imagine how much you’ll have saved by just doing it yourself. So, don’t rely on people, get out there and find out the prices on your own. This will save you a great deal of money. In addition, you can bargain for good prices and save the money rather than have someone else bargain then lie on the price. If you really think receipts are 100% accurate then think again, unless you’re sending someone to buy at a place you are familiar with and know their prices and receipts they offer.
4. Look for less expensive materials
Walk to different stores and check out the deals they have to offer. Some of these shops are too expensive and without knowing you may end up losing so much. Look for a nice affordable place and ask others for recommendation, you may end up getting quality stuff for half the price.
5. Do some things by yourself
If the money is too tight do some basic stuff yourself. For example, painting. Anyone can learn how to paint. It’s not rocket science. All you have to do is check out some tutorials, identify the colors that work for you and start. If it is a three or four bedroom house, you can finish in no time, especially if you get help from friends and family.
Building a house is probably one of the greatest investments you can make. A nice two bedroom will not cost you less than 2.5 million but it’s going to be worth it. There will be other costs added while doing the interior but as long as you put up the building, the rest can follow at a slower pace.