Thinking of building a new home? Here are some tips…
1. Contact Local Builders
Meet with builders who construct houses that are similar in size, quality, and features to the home you want. Builders will tell you how much per square foot they usually charge for home construction. If you ask, some builders will provide you a list showing the materials they will use.
To help you estimate the cost of building a house, you can request complete quantity surveys of materials and labor. These are separated by location into concrete, walling, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing, windows and doors and masonry. This helps you to know the installation points of each specified product. The bill of materials is provided in Excel format to enable you to easily send it out for pricing.
2. Count the Square Footage
Look at newly constructed homes that are similar in size, style, quality, and features to the home you want. Take the price of the home, deduct the price of the land, and divide that amount by the square footage of the home.
For example, if the home is selling for KES 16.3 Million and the land costs KShs. 300,000, then the construction cost is around KShs. 16 million. If the home is 2,000 square feet, then the cost per square foot is Kshs.8000.
Use several new homes in your area to get an approximate square footage price. After you have calculated an average square footage cost, you can multiply that cost by the finished square footage of your house plan to get a ballpark estimate.
3. Economize with simple plans–
Download simple plans for temporary, semipermanent, timber and tented camp houses. Each simple layout costs USD 5.00 payable by PayPal.
- Plan 300 = KSHS 1,400,000
- Plan – 375 = KSHS 1,700,000
- Plan– 600 = KSHS 2,800,000
- Plan – 650 = KSHS 3,000,000
- Plan – 1100 = KSHS 4,800,000
- Plan – 1400 = KSHS 6,500,000
4.Expect Some Features to Cost More
The most expensive areas in a home are usually the bathrooms and the kitchen. The number of windows and the size and quality of windows can also affect the cost. Vaulted ceilings and high roof pitches can increase the cost of a home. When using other homes to calculate an estimate, be sure the home has a similar style and features of the home you plan to build.
The cost per square foot is often higher for a small home than that of a larger home. When building a larger home, the cost of expensive items (such as a furnace or kitchen) is spread over more square footage. Consequently, a larger home may have a lower square footage cost than a smaller home. Also, it usually costs less to build a two-story home when compared to a one-story home that has the same square footage. This is because a two-story home will have a smaller roof and foundation. Plumbing and ventilation are more compact in two-story homes.
Download Material Conversion factors HERE
Small details in the design of your home can make a big difference in the price. To save on costs, begin estimating construction expenses before you select your final blueprints. Here are important factors to consider:
i) Size of the building
When building a home, it’s best to work with even numbers. Have your home size rounded up or down to increments of two feet. This reduces wasted materials. Also, it’s most economical to build a home which is no deeper than 32 feet. If the depth exceeds 32 feet, then your roof trusses may need to be specially designed and will be more expensive.
Building cost calculator ? HERE
ii)Shape of land and home
The shape of the plot and the the desired shape of the home affect the price. Generally, triangularly shaped plots/houses cost less to build. Having more angles and corners in the shape of your home can increase the amount of labor and materials needed to build a home. Dome shaped homes also make efficient use of materials and tend to cost less than other shapes.
iii) Site Preparation
Preparing a site for construction can have a big impact on the cost of a home. Building on a flat lot will usually cost less. If you have to haul in lots of dirt, do a lot of grading, clear trees, or blast through large rocks, then site preparations can become more expensive.
iv) Cost Overruns
Usually the finished cost of a home is more then the original bid price. Cost overruns occur from overspending the allowances, making changes, and encountering unforeseen problems. Proper planning can greatly reduce cost overruns. In general, it is a good idea to allow an additional 10% to cover unexpected costs (contingency sums).
v) Inflation and Market Conditions
Usually the cost of building a home increases around 3% to 6% per year. If it will be several years before you begin construction, remember to include inflation into the cost estimate for your home. When using other homes to compare prices, try to use homes that have been built within the last six months.
All construction projects begin with the recognition of an opportunity or of a problem.To turn this recognition into a finished building or some other construction requires a multitude of decisions.These decisions concern amongst other things the location, size, quality, complexity, social and economic influence, time scale, organisation and cost of the project.They are made by a multitude of people.. It is a matter requiring much skill and knowledge to guide a construction project through this complex decision-making process.
Property Services Agency (1981: 5)