10 Steps to building a house in Kenya

House constructionBuilding a home can be a stressful process especially for first-timers who do not know the procedures to follow. Below is a basic checklist for putting up a house in Kenya.

NB: This article is based on the assumption that you have already acquired a piece of land on which you plan to build your home.

1.) Identify an architect who will be your lead consultant.

2.) Come up with a design brief (discuss this with the architect).

3.) Conduct a site visit together with the architect. This is important as site features may determine/influence the overall design of your house.

4.) Come up with the drawings upon consultation and input from both parties.

5.) Approve the drawings after which your architect picks other consultants, who include quantity surveyors, structural engineer, contractors, etc. Ensure the consultants are registered with the National Construction Authority (NCA).

6.) The quantity surveyor produces bill of quantities (which gives cost estimate of construction according to the design) after input from the respective consultants.

7.) After your assent of the above, the next step is to seek approvals from the city/county council, the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) and any other relevant bodies such as the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority – for land close to airports. You should also register your project with the NCA.

8.) Once all the approvals have been obtained, give your architect the go-ahead to send the contractors to the site so as to commence construction.

9.) Ask the architect to pay site visits during construction to ensure the work is being carried out according to plan or to make necessary changes.

10.) Once your house has been completed, invite city/council officers to approve your house to facilitate the processing of the building’s certificate of occupation.

At this point you are free to move into your new home. However, you will still need to apply for electricity, water and sewerage connection from the respective providers.

IMPORTANT: When finances are tight, it is so tempting to cut corners to save a shilling here and there. This, unfortunately, ends up compromising the safety standards of your house – a matter that may cost you a fortune five years from today.

It is therefore important to follow all the requisite procedures of construction and to engage competent professionals throughout your project.

Did we miss any step? Use the below comments section to correct us.

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