What’s the cost of building a house in Kenya?

High quality finishes increase construction costs.
High quality finishes increase construction costs. PHOTO/FILE
The cost of house construction in Kenya varies depending on many factors such as the typography of land, size of the building and specification of materials among other elements.

However, it is possible to get a rough estimate of the amount of money needed for your new house project by considering the following:

1.) The square footage
Examine a newly constructed house that is similar to the one that you envision. Get the price of the house, subtract the cost of land and divide the amount by the size of the home.

For example, if the house is valued at Sh75m and the land costs Sh45m, then the construction cost is around Sh30m. If the home is 450 square metres, then the cost per square metre is around Sh66,700.

READ: 7 Tips to Build Your Own Home

2.) Quality of finishes
High quality finishes significantly increase construction costs. Building a modest house in Nairobi costs about Sh30,000 per square metre, while a high-end home costs upwards of Sh60,000 per square metre.

3.) The features
The internal and external features of a house are key determinants of building costs. Reducing the size and number of windows can, for example, lower your costs while using vaulted ceilings and high roof pitches can greatly increase your costs.

4.) Size of the house
The size of a house is also an important consideration since the building cost per square metre is often higher for a smaller home compared to a larger home. This is because when putting up a bigger house, the cost of pricey items such as a bathroom or kitchen is distributed over more square footage.

IMPORTANT: The Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya has developed some cost guidelines for major urban centres based on recently completed projects in the respective areas. The costs, which are on a “per square metre” basis can give you a more accurate estimate.

However, you will require the services of a quantity surveyor for an accurate budget estimates preparation in the pre-contract stage and also cost control and planning during the construction period.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read the latest issue of Construction Kenya digital news magazine. Flip through the pages or download a copy to read offline. Sign up for a FREE subscription to get the paper delivered to your inbox every month.