Secrets of building a home on a small budget
Building a house in Nigeria is commonly viewed as a very expensive affair. Truth is, you really do not need to drain your savings or go knee-deep in debt. The following pointers will show where to cut costs.
The popular line – “Those who fail to plan have inadvertently planned to fail” also applies to building a house of your own in Nigeria. To build a house on a small budget, your planning must be very detailed and done in good time.
The task of building a home is not one you embark on blindly. It is a project that must be thoroughly planned. There is a need for you to develop a realistic budget, estimations and expert service that you can afford. Experts will help you with your design. For instance, an expert who knows you want to build on a budget will help you cut down phantom space (Phantom space includes empty space assigned to a place like a garage).
Your decisions on building materials are easily one of the most important decisions you would have to make to succeed with your plan of building your house on a small budget.
When budgeting for building materials, you should settle for building materials like wood, tiles, glass and flooring materials that fit into your budget. It is crucial to ensure that your desire to reduce costs does not impact on the quality of building materials.
Get quotations from multiple suppliers. The aim of this is to eventually get the very best quotations for the building materials you eventually settle for. For instance, the fact that a supplier sends you a quotation for 25×40 ceramic wall tiles at N1,300 does not mean you can’t get it at a more affordable price elsewhere. In essence, always weigh your options.
Get the right design
Getting the right design for your house will help you save a lot of money. To achieve this, you will have to work with the right architect. You should, therefore, take your time to search for an architect who understands exactly what you want to achieve. The architect will charge a fee but the right design will help you save more in the long run. For instance, your architect will understand that the geometry of the house should be kept simple.
It is important to engage experts. There are a number of benefits for you when you engage the services of a certified contractor. For instance, he/she is bound to have a good number of suppliers and workers who can be trusted to help you achieve your goal of cutting cost to its barest minimum. You also have a better chance of getting really good deals from suppliers when you use a certified contractor.
Make the best use of resources you have made available. Bear in mind that when building your house, emphasis should be in ensuring that money is saved in the long run by putting your budget to the best possible use.
Monitor the process
Monitoring the construction process is just as important as making preparations. Don’t take anything for granted. Ensure you monitor the process as it progresses. The reason you should do this is to make sure the materials and services you paid for are precisely what is delivered to you.
It is not okay to make the funds available and then assume that everything would be taken care of. Check to be sure materials are delivered as at when due.
Monitoring is crucial to ensure that what is being done in terms of construction does not deviate unreasonably from the estimated cost and resources marked out for the construction project.
Keep it small
Building a big house on a slim budget is not realistic. The bigger the house, the more you have to spend. If you really think deeply about your needs, you would realise that you really don’t need to build a house with 6 or 7 bedrooms. Keep your house simple and you will be able to keep the budget slim. In reality, most families do not need more than a 2,400 square foot house but a lot of people end up planning for houses that really stretch their budget.
When you are building on a thin budget, you may decide to give some rooms more attention than others. What this means is that some parts of the house will get a better finishing compared to others. For example, you can decide to give your kitchen and living room more superior interior finishing while places like the bathroom, toilet and bedroom get modest finishings.
Another example is your bathroom. You don’t need a marble finishing for your bathroom if you are building on a slim budget because they are expensive. Instead, you can settle for ceramic tiles. For lighting, you can use nice fixtures for your dining and living room while you use plain fixtures for other parts of the house.
Look out for deals on fixtures and accessories
Buying accessories, fixtures and furniture for your interior should be done wisely. First of all, you must understand that there is no compulsion to buy new fixtures and furniture from expensive showrooms situated in posh neighbourhoods like Allen Avenue, Ikoyi, Lekki and luxury malls in Nigeria. Instead, you should focus on moving in with what you currently have. Later, after you must have moved in, you can then begin to upgrade your fixtures and furniture.
Before you even begin to shop at all, you should make a list of things you need for the house. This will help you compare cost as you move from one store to another.
Reduce current living expenses
You must pay special attention to your living expenses if you are serious about building a house on a slim budget. Consider moving to a cheaper house, reducing your monthly spend on social outings, cable subscriptions and other items to a level that still ensures you, manage just fine.
When building a house on a budget, every single Naira that you can possibly commit to the project will go a long way in determining how achievable your targets will be.
Is there any other thing that should be considered when planning to build your own house? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.