How much will my house cost?

Well, on this issue that is special to everyone, you will have to cool your heels because there is no rapid fire method that contractors can use to find out how much your house will cost to construct. It requires time ,simply because the cost depends on many variables which do not lend themselves to use of neat formulas that will spit out figures like say your dream house will cost Kshs 5000 per square meter or cubic meters.

However if you give a contractor, an accurately described house with specifications and standard materials expected to used, she or he should be able to give you cost per square meter , after a few days. What will happen is this: The contractor will calculate the cost of the house starting with foundation to the roof and then divide it with square meters it will stand on or the cubic meters it will occupy on the plot.Embed from Getty Images
For example let’s assume you wish to build a bungalow with net usable area of 290 square meters , total floor area of 305 square meters on a 400 square meters plot. Second, let’s also say that the building construction site has stable soil and the building  load will only require a standard foundation for the house. Over and above that , lets assume that the minimum building code will be observed by the contractor, he or she will the operate above board and will always be on site to approve or reject second rate building materials before they are used by his or her crew and that he or she will ask for decent and normal wage or profit.
Given the above scenario, then a verifiable cost of your house may be arrived at by crunching the number for the following component details of you house:

1. Main house area-This will have the foundation, one storey floor plan with living area, Kitchen,three bed rooms and two baths, walling and roof. We can assume your house will use 4,000 Bush stones at say Kshs 23/pc , Floor finish-1000 tiles at Kshs500, Kitchen-10 granite counter tops at say Kshs 2000/pc, and hardwood bank of cabinets at say Kshs 1500/pc and Roof- 100 MRM roofing tiles at say kshs700/pc and 6 prefabricated roof trusses at Kshs 50,000/pc .
2. Sealants: Assume the whole house will require 2000 tons of sand at Kshs 25000/ton, 1000 tons of gravel at Kshs 58000/tipper truck and 10,000litres of water at Kshs 10/per liter.

3. Fixtures: Assume 6 doors, 4 windows, two water faucets, one toilet ,one bathtub with a shower, and Kitchen sink. The prices will vary with particular brands purchased.

4. Patio (covered)-You plan to use concrete pillars and  MRM roofing tiles.

5. Basement(assume this house will not have one ).

6. Garage- in square meters ( assume this house will have a one car garage).

7. Terraces( assume this house will not have one ).

8. Backyard deck that is covered ( assume your house will not have one).

9. Sidewalks and drive way( less than 90 meters).

10. Water connection and septic tank installation.

11. Finishing like paintwork and plastering.

12. Vendor costs like electrician, plumbers and concrete mixers.Embed from Getty Images
As you can attest to it yourself, these are many variable with pricing that varying by manufacturer and  building materials type. However by leveraging a personal computer throughput, the contractor should be able to arrive at costing of each of the 12 heads and then add them to get the sum total. From here it’s become your holiday game to deduce cost per square meters from the total cost of the house.

In  a few words, this  is how  your prospective contractor will work backwards from the specification to deliver to you a figure that sound and feels amazingly neat to work with, in determining whether your dream house is feasible given the money in bank account . Remember, however, that this figure amount to nothing more than a rough estimate. The actual cost may or may not overrun your budget. But even if your budget falls short , you can be sure a substantial part of the house will be complete and what might remain unfinished will most likely , be  finishing details like plumbing fixtures, garage and drive ways that aren’t after all not particularly urgent priorities. You can finish them even one year later, when additional funding become available.

©2017 Copyright: East Africa Little Hardware ltd.


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