Building a home back home

 Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost

Once you choose to construct a home back home, the next immediate step is to identify how to start. Most people rely on  relatives or friends living within Kenya to select a site (location) , obtain designs and construct the home.  In order to ensure that the building commences and progresses smoothly  they periodically send money home. This arrangement has worked for some but an increasing group of diaspora get conned by their own family members because of poor workmanship or non-existent projects.  Family ties  prevent them  from taking legal action against them. Today we advice you on how to  avoid these problems.

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1.  Let Professionals Handle your Project:

Building professionals ensure a number of things. First, by appointing a team of professional contractors, you benefit from expert advice in design, construction, costs and all other aspects of the project including legal standing.Building professionals also ensure that the quality of workmanship in construction is upheld. They become your eyes and ears on the ground.

Letting professionals handle your project also enables you to easily acquire mortgage  if need be, from lending institutions  In Kenya, a registered architect and some instances, a registered engineer is required for all projects.

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2.  Don’t Send down all the Money at Once:

For construction projects, it is smart to remit funds gradually as opposed to in lump sums. The reasoning is this: the risk of loss of funds in unscrupulous deals is reduced.

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3. Conduct due diligence

Always make an effort to verify all project details.  These details include:the validity of issued certificates, the evidence of the construction site, the status of the project and the reputation of the contractors.

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4. Stay connected with your local team

Keep constant communication with your local contractors. Make an effort to visit the site at least once a year, to assess the situation on the ground. Keep your eyes on your investment!

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5. Retain all relevant documents

Your property documents are what you need and will stand proof of ownership in case of legal tussle or private incursions. Examples may include the title deed/settlement agreement or share certificate for the land, the architectural & structural documents and significant agreements.

In KENYA?

You may find the paper below particularly useful.

The Cost of building works paper can be downloaded below

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Planning building cost for construction (Location)

Now that you have decided to build a home, the next stage is to plan for construction.  The aims  of cost planning are to:

  1.  Ensure that you are provided with value for money.
  2. Make you, as the home-builder, and designers aware of the cost consequences of their proposals.
  3. Provide advice to designers that enables them to arrive at practical and balanced designs within budget.
  4.  Integrate costs with time and quality.
  5. To keep expenditure minimal

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION….

In real estate as in business, the choice of location has a tremendous impact on cost and opportunities. It is therefore important to select a location which will favor you as home builder.

For example the cost per meter squared of building a home in Nairobi can be Kshs. 43,000 but constructing a similar unit in Nakuru can be KShs. 40,000. That Kshs. 3000 difference  counts for a significant relief on your wallets.

Generally, building costs tend can to vary between locations due to one or more of the following factors:

  • materials/products available or commonly used;
  • ground conditions normally encountered;
  •  material/product prices due to distance from place of manufacture or distribution;
  •  distance from labor source;
  •  local regulations;
  •  labor productivity (e.g. due to adverse climatic conditions);
  •  builder’s risk and market conditions;
  •  labor rates – In Kenya,the rates for labor  especially for individual home builders, is determined by personal negotiations with the the key contractor.

Another factor closely related to location is the characteristics of the land/plot

LAND CHARACTERISTICS

These are the geographical influences on land, including topography, climate, soil conditions, area, availability, cost and liability to earthquakes and  flooding. In the past.

  1. Soil or geological conditions

These may have a bearing on the pattern of land use, the density and costs of development. Foundation type and complexity for any particular building are determined by the subsoil conditions. Unstable soil conditions can and the climatic conditions can also play their part in influencing development.

2. Topography

This can also influence building costs. Whilst elevation and views (particularly as development moves up a hill) are generally considered desirable, it comes at a premium. Generally, the cost of building on steep slopes is greater than that of building on level sites.

As home builder, it is important that you choose a suitable location before commencing planning any further.

Contact us at info@stroikagroup.org with your inquiries today.