Building Stages

At times you get confused on where to start from, how to move and what to do to jump-start your project. Knowledge of building stages also helps to save time and gives you the opportunity to plan ahead and reduce cost. When you are thinking of building a house what comes to your mind should be in this sequence.
(1) Concerning what type of house you want, what purpose is it going to serve? residential or commercial? or others, this will give you an idea of the location, and the size of land you need to get. It is however important you seek advice from your Architect on what type and size of land can suit your dream of what you are planning. After this you need to see-
(2) Your land speculator or agent, that will help you in getting land that soothes your purpose, a lot of them advertises on papers these days so getting one may not be too difficult. He arranges with the Omo Onile, pay their dues and you also get a lawyer to help you in preparing and checking the documents to make sure you are not buying a land that is Government acquired from the wrong person,and to avoid land with dispute.
(3) Now you need the local town planning authority in your area to make sure that land can be used for the purpose you have in mind and they can give first hand information about development pattern in this area ,Land under Govt acquisition would best be found out here.
(4) Meet the Land surveyor to demarcate your land and draw out the site boundary, he will also put the corner pieces demarcating your land from your neighbor.
(5) The drawings of the land surveyor is what the Architect will use to come out with a befitting plan after talking with you, he may also be responsible for approving the plan in town planning office.
(6) Is now time to move to site, for let’s say 2-3 bedroom bungalow at starting, get 2 trips of sand, 2 trips of gravels, look for a secured place you can keep your bags of cement get a tanker or drum where you can always have water to use, after you must have cleared the site. Buy for a starter 1000 blocks or as calculated from your estimation.
(7) It is time of setting out, some bricklayers uses blocks to set out a foundation especially when it is a small building and the ground is level, or your Architect or Builder can collaborate with bricklayer to do this in a more complex plan. They will buy wood, ropes, nails and you have to pay for the services or based on contract as you deem fit.
(8) After setting out digging begins, then concrete is poured round the foundation, then blocks are layed by bricklayer on top of concrete to 3 or more coaches serving as the d.p.c level. It is then filled with sand and rammed (beating to make hard) then oversite concrete or German concrete is poured round to cover the d.p.c (for waterlogged, sloppy or sandy area you may need to apply reinforcements or Iron at the edges of building and nylon-like membrane is used to cover some site especially when there is a threat of water disturbances).
(9) Blocks are now laid to window base, 4 coaches or layers after marking out the doors, then after the 4 coaches you mark out the windows and go another 5 coaches, the entire opening in the house is now ready for concrete lintel.
(10) Get your Iron benders or welders, they will have to make their estimate the carpenter and the bricklayers are all going to work here the welder is responsible for cutting and bringing in the Iron, the carpenter makes the frame or boxes to accommodate the concrete, and the bricklayer with labours or casters pours and see to it that the boxes are properly filled with concrete. After this, add 2 more layers of block and you are ready for roofing.
(11) Get your carpenter, cost the timber or steel for larger projects. The covering roof proper that can be aluminum, asbestos, plastics, galvanised zinc etc.
(12) If you are thinking of conduit wiring or plumbing, then you need the help of electrician and plumbers now, and you can be putting your ceiling after or simultaneously. Digging of your soakaway pit and connection of pipe services by your plumber should commence, and tillers or terrazo contractor if you are using one comes after plastering by the bricklayer, Electrical work also continues, fixing of door frames, wardrobes by furniture maker, windows and other accessories can also go along based on taste, style or pocket.

An architect with decades of experience


  1. Thank u very much, pls ppl, if u need oda info, meet ur architector, cos i am ok wit dis step by step buildng

  2. Haba! You have missed alot of things. No concrete wall head, no rafter hook no….
    And i have observed that your usage of technical terms is very minimal. Write like a professional please. Regards

    1. Thanks Bldr. Muhammad Auta, I appreciate such criticisms it helps me to sit down and work better. As for technical terms is deliberate, this site is not for professionals is for laymen that wants to have the ideas, you already know much about what I wrote so it couldn’t be for you.

  3. @builder Muhammed. I think you can be constructive in your criticism and state any missing item cos i believe this forum is meant to help other. Appreciate the effort put up into this write up and make your addition of any missing link as no one is above mistake.

  4. I really do appreciate yr good work, pls i just got a table land at post housing scheme ojo lagos, 4 bedroom burg allow and 2 bed bq, how much can it cost me to park in?

  5. This stand as a challenge on others in building industry, and to the stingy masters that is refusing to show some certain things likes these to their baby engineers and other baby professionals. this is very common to some engineers in Abuja.
    Indeed, you’re a good man and a good citizen of Nigeria, WELL DONE.

  6. Hello Emma,

    Great site you have here.

    I have seen situations were German Flooring has been poured after building up. Also, some insert internal door frames before doing the German Flooring. Reason being that ‘Frames are more secure’. Is this true? and is it advisable. Note building is a 3 bed bungalow.
    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    1. Hi Ena,
      Pouring of German concrete after building up is very common in areas that you don’t have water problem because it seems to save cost though it doesn’t make it right the ideal is to do it before laying blocks on top. Frames can always be very firm when is properly done you don’t need to cast it with the concrete what in later years you wish to remove the entire frame for something better, you are bigger now and you want to renovate and change the doors and frame for something more modern/new/bettter then you have to break the concrete.

  7. Dear Emma,
    there is problem where i built my house,
    no matter how you build the house there will be some cracks!
    People now build and parked in bcs there is a logic that when it hear voices the crack wil reduxe.
    What do yyou think someone can do to build a house in this area witjout a crack?

    1., Don’t be superstitious about this oga.
      Well I think you guys should get engineers first to do an assessment on that area, don’t be surprise that may even be happening because of the type of materials available there. As for people parking in it is normal when a house is left empty it will deteriorate after a long time so it doesn’t have to do with any spiritual thing.

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