In this trying economic times, those with the need and desire to own their own homes might have to revert to low cost home building techniques, a low cost home does not necessary mean a low quality home, rather it means a home that is structurally and functionally sound but may lack the fancy bells and whistles needed to compete in the” I pass my neighbors” category. The following ten ideas if dutifully followed would enable the average Nigerian teacher parents own a decent two or three bedroom home.
Reduce the area of the home: there’s always the tendency to overbuild especially when building a home for the first time with the emotional attachment involved, but to keep costs down, there’s need for a clear headed analyses in order for the family to get the home they need and can afford rather than burdening themselves with the home they desire and can’t afford, thus they need to ask themselves basic questions like do we really need a third/guest bedroom, the dining room(experience world over shows that people hardly uses their dining room),ante room, visitors toilet, prayer room, exercise room, home office, en suite toilets etc? It’s ironic that the average size of Nigerian homes have been increasing due to these newly fangled additions while the average size of Nigerian families is falling due to lower birth rates. The simple truth is that a family of four with children of same sex can easily live comfortable in a two bedroom flat consisting of two bathrooms and a kitchen and measuring roughly 30’x30’.
Well designed multi use spaces: a well designed bedroom with a good furniture plan can be a bedroom, study room and home office all rolled together into one, a dining room/area can also serve as a study room, home office and game room if well planned. What makes a home functional is the thought exercised in its design rather than its square footage or cost of construction.
Avoid swampy soils: nothing pushes up the cost of construction more than building on swampy/waterlogged soils that need expensive foundations like raft and bored piles foundations.try as much as possible to buy land with dry and strong soils .
Avoid site preparation costs: avoid lands that would need filling, grading and rock blasting. Such site preparation costs would push up the total costs of your new home.
Simple roof design: aim for simple roofing styles with low pitch and less corners. The cheapest home to roof is a rectangular shaped structure without gables. High roofs look more impressive but cost a fortune. Aim for something simple.
Less windows and glass: Glass looks good but it’s costly. Carefully place your windows to eliminate waste.aim for standard sized windows and eliminate any fancy glass.
Fewer bathrooms: one of the latest fads of modern building designs is the advent of en suite bathrooms which means that each bedroom comes with its own bathroom. The most costly rooms to build in your home is the bathroom so reducing their numbers to the absolutely necessary minimum is a vital step to reducing the total cost of constructing a new home.
(￼ Incorporate fewer corners into the design: the easiest house to build is a rectangular home with a rectangular roof. Incorporating corners, curved walls and slanting walls while been visually more pleasing would dramatically push up cost. Avoid these like the plagues if you’re intent on lowering costs.
Go for a minimalist finishing and ornamentation: fancy roofing sheets, concrete fascia (so called parapet), window hoods, arches, tiled walls, decorated pillars, moldings, elaborate pop designs etc are all nice but not necessary features that would quickly push up the cost of constructing a new home.
Hire professionals: it’s often a false economics to design and build your own home because there are always places where you commit costly mistakes that would cost even more to remedy. Likewise, the bricklayer is not an architect neither is he an engineer. Use the right professionals for the job to avoid costly mistakes.
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