Cost to build a single-family house

Inflation increases building costs

Learning how to estimate building costs is an important step when planning to build your home. Below are tips to help you figure out how much it will cost you to build your home.

To begin with, the cost of building a house is determined by many things such as the terrain of your land, size of the house, shape, etc. Always think about them when planning a new home construction.

1.) Land
Is the land flat? Will your need to move rocks or fill it with stones? The terrain of the land you are building on can affect the site preparation cost and, in effect, the cost of the new home construction.

2.) Size
It will cost you more to build a small home than to build a bigger residence. This is because when building a bigger house the cost is distributed over the land area.

It also costs less (per square metre) to construct a two-storey home with the same area as a one-story house. This is simply because two-storey houses have smaller foundations and roofs.

3.) Shape
Houses with rectangular shapes cost less to build, while those with more angles and corners tend to cost more. This is precisely because angles and corners increase labour and materials input. It also costs less to build houses with dome-shaped roofs as they generally use materials more efficiently.

4.) Kitchen and bathroom
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive areas to build in a new home. When using other homes to estimate your building costs, make sure the homes you’re looking at have similar features as the home you envision.

5.) Inflation
Apart from reducing your purchasing power, inflation also increases building costs by about 7 per cent annually. When using other homes as benchmark for your estimated costs, be sure the homes are less than six months old.

6.) Market conditions
New homes that look like the one you want to build can help you to draw up a specific estimated amount of the cost. Establish rapport with the home owner and ask for the land price and the house price.

Take off the price of land from the price of the home, then divide the outcome by the square footage of the house. The answer is the cost per square foot, and you may multiply it by the total square footage of your dream home to get an estimate of the building cost.

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.

NB: You need to consult a quantity surveyor for more accurate figures.

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