Preparatory plans Before Building your Dream House


No doubt, you may have decided on the type of house to build during your dream and desire stage. Since no decision is cast in stone, I talk about this because of my personal experience.


When I dreamt and desired my first building (A 4 bedroom bungalow), my decision was based on my need at that time. I had also acquired a wrong impression that it was too costly to erect a storey-building. But when I started the project and coupled with other exposures and experiences that came to me, I knew better



A bungalow is a little cheaper while the storey-building is little more costler to build.

A bungalow may be faster — but if the money is available with good labour, a storey-building should not take longer time.


The cost of roofing a bungalow (buying of planks, roofing sheets, ceiling board, accessories and labour) could be used to cast the decking of a storey building.


There is economy of land when the building is a storey building Quantity discounts are more for storey building.


It is also more emotionally prestigious to have a storey-building at least, in this present dispensation and depending on your preference



Survey Plan

Land survey is the second document to obtain for the land. The document is very important and is usually handled by a Surveyor. Make sure the surveyor is qualified and registered.

Do not use trainee Surveyors. They will only prolong the process and frustrate your effort and in fact, make you pay more if not double. I had that experience. So, I know what I’m talking about.


The details of a survey plan are:

The survey plan shows the Surveyor measuring the land, inserting the survey plan pillars with government numbers and read if any.


At the end of the exercise, the Surveyor will deliver to you copies of the plan (both the paper copies and cloth copies). The red copy will be deposited at the Surveyor-General’s Office which means copy has been filed. Otherwise, no record will be in the Government office about your land.


Building Plan

Once the decision about the type of house to build is taken, the next is the building plan. This should be handled by a qualified Architect. The building plan should comprise the structure plan, which will in mm show the front elevation, rear elevation, right side views, the left side view, and the roofing plan. The building plan should be registered at the land office and relevant approvals obtained to avoid constant harassment officials with threats of demolition or heavy fines.


LABOUR SYSTEM Should I use a building contractor or do it through direct labour? This decision depends on the following:

(i)      The amount of money and time you have.

(ii)      How you raised the money:

(iii)     How long you want the project to last.

(iv)     How much experience you want to acquire


My opinion is that if you don’t have so much and you are spending your hard-earned money, get involved yourself as much as possible. Also if you want to build at your own pace and with a desire to acquire experience in building, then get involved. It was my personal involvement that gave birth from Government sanction such as to this book and I think it wasn’t a decision. Or what do you think?


However, whether you are using a contractor or direct labour system, ensure there is an Architect to supervise the project even S it on a part-time basis. This will help you avoid some structural problems that may end up costing you more.



How long do I want the building project to last? There are a number of factors which will influence this decision, namely:

(i)      The amount of money at one’s disposal both now and in the near future.

(ii)      The type of building one is embarking upon

(iii)     The vision of the man building. For instance, a person building with the vision to stop paying house rent as son as possible will aim at completing the building as fast as possible

(iv)     The number of unforeseen problems arising during the time of the construction.


This age long adage, ‘knowledge is power’, holds forth in this regard. Also the powerful Bible scripture which says that my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge in Hosea 4:6 has indeed summarized the indispensability of knowledge of the raw materials you indeed in the manufacture of your end product, your house.


Major building requirements include:

  1. Land
  2. Water
  3. Block
  4. Cement
  5. Iron Rods
  6. Sand
  7. Gravel
  8. Wood
  9. Labour
  10. Others



Some parcels of land may be under Government Acquisition. Government acquisition is of two types namely: Government Global Acquisition and Government Acquisition (for specific projects).


The Government Global Acquisition means where the Government acquires a massive expanse of land but without any specific projects in mind. This move is usually done in places where there are rampant land disputes by the natives or where Government wants to monitor the development of an area. For example, the land along Lagos- Ibadan Express way are under Government (OPIC) acquisition.