Housing is classified as one of the necessity of human want from time immoral. It was in the form of shelter. Owning a house is the hope and desire of all citizen of Nigeria. However, the average Nigeria citizen has found it a hard target to achieve and the need to get affordable one is very important too.
Understanding the basic steps in building a house will aid your knowledge more and always make come out with better result. It does not matter whether it is your first or second house.
Here are the steps of building a house,
1. Purchase a Land
The first step is getting a land you are going to build your house on. Make sure you consider the location and surroundings you want to build your house in, the type of soil your house will stand on, the price of the land. Make sure you get all documents leading to proof of ownership of the land. I will advice you get one plot of land(18mx36m i.e 60ft x120ft) however you can settle for half plot if your budget does not meet that of a full plot. Once this is done you are set for the next step.
If after the land purchase you don’t have enough money to erect your structure, try as much as possible to fence it so that there won’t be TRESPASS TO LAND.
2.Get A Building Design from An Architect (Not a draftsman)
Once the purchase of the land has been settled and all the necessary documentation done, next is to get the service of an architect to draw the Plan of the house you plan to build.
After your taste and the requested facilities and rooms you wish your house to contain has been discussed ,your architect gets the plan designed to fit and meet with the building standards of the authorities in line with the location of the plot. There are regulations regarding what can be built, where and how, the architect is the best person to help you through this process. Before a standard house is erected, involving an Architect will be a very good thing to do.
3. Make a Bill of Quantities (BOQ)
Once the architect is done with the drawings as required before he presents it for building plan approval or after he must have done so, you will need the services of a quantity surveyor to come up with the Bill of Quantities (BOQ).
It is the determination of what building a house will cost you. Ordinarily, it is a very good thing to have this and you will be required to even produce it for verification if you are seeking financing in funding the construction of your house.
One reason this is carried out, is to avoid losing business in case the client gets discouraged on knowing the near actual cost and concludes that he has no means of raising such a sum and as such backs out. Either procrastination sets in or there is a total cancellation of the project.
4. Getting A Builder/Contractor
Once the idea is conceived by the architect, the BOQ has been drafted and a plan is approved by the local authorities, the services of a Builder or Contractor can be procured. A Builder is someone who ensure that what you have on your plan is what is constructed on ground at not more than the estimated cost except where there are reasons. A Contractor is simply a business person who supplies the machines, labour and material for construction. Again here, as the owner you may choose to supply the material by yourself or you may leave it entirely to the contractor. The Contractor may or may not have an engineering background but will have someone with engineering background if he has no engineering background though most Contractors double up as Engineers.
5. The Actual Building Construction
In Nigeria, there are two very common approaches to building a house in Nigeria.
They are ;
a. Do-it -yourself (DIY) method and
b. Design-and-Build Method.
–In the Do-it-yourself (DIY) method, the client (owner) has all the money in place, buys a house plan from an architect or draws one up by themselves, purchases all the materials and takes up the service of a Contractor to provide labour – bricklayers, plumbers, laborers, electricians etc- such that it is the Contractors role to direct the construction activity to completion.
–In the Design-and-Build method, the home owner approaches a Developer/Construction Company like us. The Developer or Company has a team in place that will consist of professionals- contractors, sub-contractors, architects and quantity surveyors-each with defined roles.
While there’s no right or wrong method to use when building your own house in Nigeria, both of these approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.