A guide to getting your house done
It is everyone’s dream to own a house. Owning a house requires a lot of hard work and saving to finally get that money needed to start building a house. It is a shame to see the dreams of many Kenyans get shuttered by the scammers and fake construction industries. We all have witnessed demolitions in Kenya, leaving people homeless and frustrated. One ought to be extremely careful while buying land. Be keen to follow the process required to purchase the land and also do research of its history.
In this article, we are going to enlighten you on the process that you should follow while building a house. Each of the points is very important. It will safeguard you from scammers in the real estate and construction industry.
1. Conduct a feasibility study in the house or land
One of the qualities that you should be on the lookout while looking at land is a feasibility study. A feasibility study is the duration of time given to an interested buyer to carry our tests and study on the property to confirm whether the buyers interests are met. It includes a document that will have an analysis of the tests, determining whether the property is feasible, profitable or even worth the price tag. It can take a duration of 4 to 8 weeks depending on the size and number of tests being carried out.
Conducting a feasibility test will present to you the potential of the land. You don’t want to end up with a land that is not fertile. This means that you will be in a position to know the type of soil that is found on that land. Note that some types of soil, such as black cotton soil, are expensive to build on.
Besides, it will give you the historical background of the land eliminating the possibility of another person owning the land. You can visit the commissioner of land in that county, who will give you more details about the land.
2. Sketch your house
This is what we call a preliminary design. After you settled all issues on your land, the next thing is to sketch your house. Have a clear picture of what you want: how many bedrooms you want, the size and type of kitchen, the space of the living room, number of different rooms and so on. These are a very important part of your house building since it will determine your budget
3. Know your budget
How much are you willing to spend on that dream or sketch house you have on paper? Do you have the whole amount or you will take a loan? The money will do most of the talking when it comes to building a house, but you are in control.
4. Home architectural design
Each step of this stage is carefully thought by a professional architect. After sketching that beautiful dream house you want, you will give it to an architect of your choice who will transform your sketch into an organized and functional manner. Follow up the whole process to ensure the architecture does not tamper with the original idea as per your lifestyle and pocket. Be keen when it comes to the design process; a little twist from the original could add a lot to your expenses
Also, make sure that the architect has enough skills and has experience in supervision and construction. Ask around from your friends and colleagues for a known architect. look for the following qualities while choosing an architecture:
- High sense of design
- Great listening and communication skills
- Tremendous drawing skills
- Passionate about architecture
- Team player
5. Know everything in details
Just like a wedding, building your house only happens once hence need for commitment and perfection. Most of the people know nothing about measurements. They just agree to everything that the architect says. That should not be the case, be the person to make decisions. Make sure you have information about everything in detail. Know the number and measurement of every room. Don’t leave all the work to the architect, his work should include explaining and illustrating in person using a measuring tape. Ask questions and ask for clarifications where you don’t get. Ask for a pictorial view of your house and make sure it has the following:
- Layout plan
- Block plan
- Foundation plan
- Site plan
- Title block
If you notice that any of the above parts are missing, don’t be afraid to ask the architecture as to why it is missing.
6. Engineering design
For a bungalow, you don’t need an engineer, but you can consult one when you feel the urge. When it comes to storey buildings, it is very essential to get an engineer. Make sure that he is qualified by having experience in planning, designing and analyzing. The design should prioritize the safety and comfort of the residents. The engineer’s drawings should be able to clearly show
- Foundation plan
- Columns and walls
- Ground slab plan
- All floors details
- Beam details
Note that if all the above drawings are complete, you can take them to the authority for approval. Each print out must have the stamp and registration number of both the architecture and engineer for architectural drawings and structural design.
7. Service engineers
Service engineers are responsible for operation and monitoring of electricity, installation and designing of the drainage system, plumbing systems and so on. They are water and electricity engineers. They are mostly used in complex buildings. You can use a trained and experienced plumber for a small building.
8. Quantity survey
Finally, this was you get to know the amount you will be estimated to pay. After the engineers and architects have done their work, then the cost estimation can be done. A quantity surveyor will be the one do evaluate the expense of the entire project. He will also need to:
- Prepare bills of quantity
- Negotiate for tenders and contracts
- Calculate the costs of evaluation
- Value the work is done and prepares receipts for payments
- Makes sure that costs do not exceed the budget and the set completion period.
For small projects, the developer can ask the constructors to provide a quotation for the proposed project. The quotation will have all the materials needed in the different levels of the house. You will then use it to determine the total cost of your house.