This topic was inspired based on the experience I had recently with a building I was involved
in. The money we expected to spend really overshot my expectations.
There are many factors that makes your building project to shoot very high than expectation,
here we will discuss on minimising the costs.
(1)Location is one of the most important factors you consider before building your house, for
instance in lagos, the areas are zoned into low income earners, high income and middle income
earners. These criteria affects the fees the local authority charges on any paperwork you do to
secure your property, your building plan approval will also be calculated against the
designation your land fall into.
Omo Onile, artisans will charge based on the areas too and thats the reason why in lagos there
is no uniform charges from the artisans. So is good you know about this before choosing the
(2)Nature of soil. This is the most important factor you must take ointo cognisance, there are
very strong soils and there are very very weak soils that will cost you a lot to build on them,
so is important you get a professional to the prospective site before buying. The foundation of
the project mentioned earlier cost nine million naira (N9,000,000) to execute this would have
been possible with just one and half million naira or less in a more stable/solid soil.
(3)Use professionals. A lot of waste is encountered by some people in a bid to save money at the
expense of a quality job, hence they end up shooting themselves in the foot, it is important you
employ a professional to oversee your project because he can read the plan well and he is
trained to execute such jobs with little assistance, but most artisans can’t comprehend a plan
of a building though they may claim to understand it, but cheap technical questions by a
professional will expose their inadequacies. So hand over to the professional and save yourself
from avoidable wastes from mistakes and also come up with a good project.
(4)Also save money by designing to specifics and avoiding wasteful and bogus designs, the
dexterity of your architect is important in this, the ability to maximise space for effective
usage will also help to reduce cost of your building. A terribly designed roof will also cost
you more to adjust or modify. This is whyy you need an architect to design your building.
(5)Use quality but local materials where necessary. The madness for imported materials may not
really do you any good at the long run. It is well known that that Nigerian cable is one of the
best in the world but people still go about to import electrical cables abroad, you could save a
lot of money avoiding this.
(6)You can also save money by building in dry season especially for waterlogged areas, yes cost
of materials goes up during dry season but you can’t compare the losses you will incur if rain
stops your workers from working on site at anytime, though on strong soil with correct timing in
rainy season coupled with good management you may save money, but is not adviable.
(7)The use of multiple suppliers encourages competition aand gives you power to negotiate
prices. This you can use especially on products that are supplied in measured volumes like sand
(8)You can also save money when you go the market with your workers and find out costs of
materials youself and if possible order by yourself but with the advise of the workers for the
specific work the supplied material is meant for. This can also give you the opportunity to
familiarise with the seellers of the building materials you will use on site.
(9)If there is a good access to your site then you will also save more money on transportation.
Laboures will charge youa lot of money if most of your materials aren’t deliver to site because
of bad roads e.t.c
(10)Check for materials that can be reused on site like woods e.t.c that aree used on site and
can be reused once or twice before getting totally damaged. The offcuts from iron rods can also
serve other purposes on site.
(11)Get quotations in bits, is easier to monitor your spendings this way and you won’t get
overwhelm by professional jargons on paper.
(12)Buy only required materials to minimise waste
(13)Cultivate the habits of pricing down at the slightest opportunity
(14)Don’t give the impression infront of the artisans that you really have so much money to
throw around, they are likely to raise their fees if they know you can pay more.