Applying some wisdom in your building project saves some cost
To build a house in Nigeria today is to live with wolves. For your house to stand the test of time; for you to tackle the problems of the ‘Omo-onile’ meaning (land speculators); and for your workmen to build your house conscientiously, without reaping you off, you need to wear the hat of the biblical Solomon.
Essential points to consider. Listed are some of the things you should do first before building your house.
Do Your Land Survey. An estate surveyor will be of help in this regard. You should not allow the Omo-onile to use their surveyors. This is because the land could have been designated as a road. And their architect may not tell you the whole truth.
Use qualified Architect. The next thing is to engage a qualified architect who will draw your building plan. Before you engage an architect, ask for his referrals – what he had done before. Try and verify the claims. And in whatever you do, involve your architect or workmen. If you do it yourself, it gets them angry. And you will pay for it in different other ways. But if you give them some little chance to do it, they will give you their best. So, it’s always very important to carry your workmen along.
Get the plan registered and approved. This is to avoid the fate of some people whose building have either been demolished or have been marked for demolition by the government.
Make a List of materials needed. Get the list of the materials you need from them and get an idea of the price. Remember, you don’t have to buy everything. You can rent such things as planks for concrete slabs. Negotiate everything.
Construct a small store for your building materials. After you may have cleared the site for building, you should construct a small store where you can store your building materials. Then, you provide security, temporary light and water.
When you finalize with your building team – architect, builder/civil engineers, contractors and other workmen – procure your building materials and start the foundation.
Foundation involves digging of foundation trench, concrete blinding, foundation block work or ground beam, laterite filling, ramming, hardcore filling, conduit plumbing work, carpentry work and ground floor slab.
The process of block setting to lintel level involves some carpentry work (lintel formwork), steel bending, concrete casting of lintel, block work to roof level and casting of roof beam.
In roofing, you should make it high so that water can easily go down to avoid rust. Also, conduit wiring should be done before plastering. This makes the house neater.
What follows next is plumbing work finishing, window, doors and wardrobe frames, plastering and general finishing where you plant trees and grass to give you more ventilation.
As you build your house, remember, your first home needs not be your last. Though your beginning be small, your end shall exceedingly be great.
It’s worthy of note that you optimize your land space, buy bulk as much as possible and obtain quotations for labour materials from more than one source. He adds that you should buy original materials and avoid giving your jobs to quacks in an attempt to save cost.
Moreover, commit what you have to the project, however small it seems. Get a good architect to supervise the construction while you supervise him.
You can also turn your house to an investment. You can do this by building shop spaces to let, farming within your compound and making the ground floor of your house a warehouse.
After building, you still do not rest. Insure the house and do proper maintenance. Maintenance is preservation. Houses need maintenance. Cars need maintenance. Maintenance is required for the roads, the gutters, the staircases, the lawns, the flowers, the streetlights, the water pumping machine and so on. Even human beings need maintenance. Without maintaining yourself, you see that one day, you may slump, and God help you if you don’t die. We need to imbibe maintenance culture in our society.
This is the time to start your building project. Remember, he that observeth the wind will not sow.