Maduka Nweke, [email protected]
Problems of housing in Nigeria have gone beyond kid glove handling. Most people who wants to have their own houses are afraid that they may not meet the amount required to put up a habitable abode just for the nucleus family. This is worsened by the antics of developers who will come with bogus programmes and schemes promising juicy apartments that can come easily to home seekers or tenants. The fact that so many materials are involved make people often see building a house as a Herculean task without knowing that secrets on how to build a house on a small budget abound. Building a house in Nigeria is commonly viewed as a very expensive affair. Truth is, you really do not need to drain your savings or go knee-deep in debt.
The only thing needed for you to start is initial planning. Those who fail to plan have inadvertently planned to fail. This also applies to building a house of your own in Nigeria. To build a house on a small budget, your planning must be very detailed and done in good time.
The task of building a home is not one you embark on blindly. It is a project that must be thoroughly planned. There is a need for you to develop a realistic budget, estimations and expert service that you can afford. Experts will help you with your design. For instance, an expert who knows you want to build on a budget will help you cut down phantom space (Phantom space includes empty space assigned to a place like a garage).
You are aware that different building materials abound. There are the fine coated ones that are not quality yet because of their fancy nature, they are very costly. In this way, your decisions on building materials are easily one of the most important decisions you would have to make to succeed with your plan of building your house on a small budget. Always consider your budget whenever you are buying building materials for your building. When budgeting for building materials, you should settle for building materials like wood, tiles, glass and flooring materials that fit into your budget. It is crucial to ensure that your desire to reduce costs does not impact on the quality of building materials.
Get quotations from multiple suppliers. The aim of this is to eventually get the very best quotations for the building materials you will eventually settle for. For instance, the fact that a supplier sends you a quotation for 25×40 ceramic wall tiles at N1,300 does not mean you can’t get it at a more affordable price elsewhere. In essence, always weigh your options because that is what will always make you go far in the project. Many a time, the sketch given to developers may be the origin of confusion. The sketch may be so ambiguous that understanding it becomes another job. It is very important to cross your ts and dot your is so that whatever that is capable of making you incur extra cost in the course of carrying your project is totally expunged. Getting the right design for your house will help you save a lot of money. To achieve this, you will have to work with the right architect. You should, therefore, take your time to search for an architect who understands exactly what you want to achieve. The architect will charge a fee but the right design will help you save more in the long run. For instance, your architect will understand that the geometry of the house should be kept simple.
It is important to engage experts. There are a number of benefits for you when you engage the services of a certified contractor. For instance, the contractor is bound to have a good number of suppliers and workers who can be trusted to help you achieve your goal of cutting cost to its barest minimum. Most importantly, you should avoid using your brothers or relations who are artisans because any mistakes from them is bound to cost you extra. You will not be able to ask him/her to pay for any mistake in the course of his job. You also have a better chance of getting really good deals from suppliers when you use a certified contractor. You should make the best use of resources you have made available. Bear in mind that when building your house, emphasis should be in ensuring that money is saved in the long run by putting your budget to the best possible use.
Aside doing the above, you must be around to supervise the job and make sure that what you want is what is given you otherwise, you will have yourself to blame when a major error occurs. Monitoring the construction process is just as important as making preparations. Don’t take anything for granted. Ensure you monitor the process as it progresses. The reason you should do this is to make sure the materials and services you paid for are precisely what is delivered to you. By this too, you will be building within your budget otherwise, you will be forced to make an extra sacrifice. It is not okay to make the funds available and then assume that everything would be taken care of. Check to be sure materials are delivered as at when due. Everyone needs money so the moment you look away one or two materials of yours may also look away.
Monitoring is crucial to ensure that what is being done in terms of construction does not deviate unreasonably from the estimated cost and resources marked out for the construction project.
Be sure to maintain consistency in the design you approved and don’t tend towards advice that go against the design you chose. If you do that, Building a big house on a slim budget is not realistic. The bigger the house, the more you have to spend. If you really think deeply about your needs, you would realise that you really don’t need to build a house with 6 or 7 bedrooms. Keep your house simple and you will be able to keep the budget slim. In reality, most families do not need more than a 2,400 square foot house but a lot of people end up planning for houses that really stretch their budget.
When you are building on a thin budget, you may decide to give some rooms more attention than others. What this means is that some parts of the house will get a better finishing compared to others. For example, you can decide to give your kitchen and living room more superior interior finishing while places like the bathroom, toilet and bedroom get modest finishings. Another example is your bathroom. You don’t need a marble finishing for your bathroom if you are building on a slim budget because they are expensive. Instead, you can settle for ceramic tiles. For lighting, you can use nice fixtures for your dining and living room while you use plain fixtures for other parts of the house.
Do not rush getting your house done even if you don’t have the financial muscle to do it within a time frame. This will help you in making sure you use solid or quality materials. If you rush, you will run short of cash and so condescend to using inferior materials. Buying accessories, fixtures and furniture for your interior should be done wisely. First of all, you must understand that there is no compulsion to buy new fixtures and furniture from expensive showrooms situated in posh neighbourhoods like Allen Avenue, Ikoyi, Lekki and luxury malls in Nigeria. Instead, you should focus on moving in with what you currently have.