How to estimate building costs

Accurate budget estimates
You should consult a quantity surveyor for accurate budget estimates. PHOTO/FILE
Having a rough idea of how much your new house will cost can help you prepare financially. Here are tips to help you estimate your building costs.

1.) Count the square footage
Look at a newly built houses that are similar to the one you envision. Get the price of the house, subtract the price of the land, and divide that amount by the square footage of the home.

For instance, if the house is worth Sh50m and the land costs Sh25m, then the construction cost is Sh25m. If the home is 450 square metres, then the cost per square metre is about Sh55,500.

2.) Consider the finishes
Note that high quality finishes significantly increase the building costs. A modest house in Nairobi goes for about Sh25,000 to Sh30,000 per square metre – with a high-end one going for about Sh50,000 to Sh60,000 per square metre.

READ: Cost to build a single-family house

3.) Interior features
The interior features of a house greatly influences building costs. For instance, increasing the size and number of windows, use of vaulted ceilings and high roof pitches can significantly increase the costs.

4.) Size of the home
The size of a house is also an important consideration. The cost per square foot is often higher for a smaller home compared to a larger home. When building a bigger house, the cost of pricey items such as a bathroom and kitchen is distributed over more square footage.

NOTE: You will require the services of a quantity surveyor for an accurate budget estimates preparation in the pre-contract stage and also cost control and planning during the construction period.