FACTORS THAT AFFECT CONSTRUCTION COSTS IN KENYA

Building your own home is one of the most rewarding tasks one can undertake. It requires excellent research, proper planning, budgeting, and execution of the laid out plan for the project to be successful.

One needs to engage professionals to come up with a precise figure as to how much it would cost to build your dream home. To determine this, several factors should be considered such as house design, site location, fittings, specification of materials, floor to ceiling heights, and economic factors.

House Design

The shape and design of the house influence the total cost of construction. It affects the amount of material needed, the level of finishes, and the expertise required.

This is where an architect comes in. They design and draw up the building plan, putting into consideration several things such as the topography of the land, which hugely affects the type of house you can build on the land.  They then get the project approved once they have met all the building requirements.

The style of the house also matters. Some people go for a modern style that is cheaper. It uses minimal decorative elements and an open floor plan that reduces cost. Traditional style home has a lot of detailing in the design. These are colonial or Victorian style homes. The time and materials that go into these homes make their cost more expensive.

Site Location

The soil at the site will determine the foundation to be used. Black cotton, for instance, must all be removed down to the rock level. The soil also determines the depth of the trenches to be dug and the re-enforcement needed. Red soil is easy to use. The foundation takes up about 20% of the cost of construction.

Poor road infrastructure can cause an increase in the cost of acquiring the materials.  Local availability of building materials affects the cost of transportation.

Fittings

These include mirrors, fitted cupboards, lighting fittings. These items depend on your style and cost differently depending on their type and quality. High-end fittings are more costly at the onset but give value for money during the lifespan of the building.

If you have a flexible budget, consider engaging an interior designer to merge your dream home with style and appeal. They will advise on design themes, colors, and concepts that they implement to create a beautiful space for you.

Economic Factors

Kenyan shilling a background with new series of banknotes

The source of financing plays a huge role in the final total cost of a building. For instance, the interest on borrowed funds could go up because of inflation or market forces affecting the initial cost. Inflation is a key determinant of the lending rate.

Inflation occurs when prices rise due to an increase in production costs such as raw materials. It has a ripple effect, the prices of common goods and services such as food, fuel, and transportation go up. Cost of construction materials will also rise, affecting your initial budget.

Types of building contractors

These are the professionals you will come into contact with throughout the building process. They include the architect, contractor, quantity surveyor, structural engineer, electrical engineer, plumber, carpenters, painters, and landscapers. These professionals are very important. They should be consulted at every level.

To cut on costs use the most important licensed contractors and what you can yourself, for example, painting.

An architect is an important contractor as they help in designing the house and get the project approved. Another important person is the contractor who will help you source materials and supervises the subcontractors to make sure your requirements are met.

A structural engineer is also important as they work on the foundation and structure of your house. A civil engineer will make sure the building codes are followed and the materials used are of good quality. These contractors must be licensed. If any of the regulations are not met they will be held accountable. 

Many people avoid using contractors to cut on costs but end up spending more trying to fix a shoddy job. Unless you have experience in construction, do not go at it alone. Avoiding these professionals could cost you a lot in the long run. For example, your building could collapse due to a weak foundation or your wiring could be done wrong leaving you with huge electrify bills.

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