Here are the 5 steps to building a house in Kenya

Consult building professionals to avoid making expensive mistakes
Consult building professionals to avoid making expensive mistakes. PHOTO/FILE

Building a house is usually cheaper than buying a new home. However, a builder can spend more money building a home due to lack of proper information.

Here are down-to-earth tips to help you avoid making expensive mistakes during the construction of your home.

1.) Budgeting – Planning your budget involves finding out how much you can raise for your home construction and how much the project is likely to cost.

At this point you may realise that you will need a construction loan and it is advisable to find out the loan size you qualify for.

2.) Architect – Identify an architect who will be the project’s lead consultant. Discuss your brief with the architect, and if possible conduct a site visit with him. This visit is important because site features may influence the overall design of your house.

3.) Choose a plan – You can choose a ready-made house plan or you may ask your architect to create a custom-designed plan for you.

4.) Choose your team – Now that you have an architect, the next step is to choose the other project team members. They include a quantity surveyor, structural engineer, contractor, etc.

Every professional, be it a building engineer, contractor, quantity surveyor or architect, must be a member of a professional body and should possess a membership certificate from the respective association.

5.) Seek approvals – Submit your plans to the local authority for approvals from the city/county council, the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) and any other relevant bodies such as the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority – for land close to airports. You should also register your project with the NCA.

Once your plans are approved, you may give your project team the go ahead to start construction. You should make site visits during construction to confirm the project is being undertaken as planned.

6.) Occupation certificate – Once your house has been completed, invite city/council officers to approve your house to facilitate the processing of the building’s certificate of occupation.

At this point you are free to move into your new home, although you will still need to apply for electricity, water and sewerage connection from the service providers.

IMPORTANT: When finances are tight, it is so tempting to cut corners to save a shilling here and there. This, unfortunately, may end up compromising the safety standards of your house – a matter that may cost you a fortune five years from today.

It is therefore important to follow all the requisite procedures of construction and to engage competent professionals throughout your project.

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