Cost of building a home in Kenya: BY Architect Martin Mseghe: “How much will it cost me to put up this building?”, is one of the most common questions I get during the initial meetings with clients to discuss their brief and requirements in detail and also to agree on the terms of service.
The cost of putting up a building depends on many factors like the type of building, its location, specification of materials, wall to floor ratio, floor to ceiling heights, site topography, types of joinery and fittings, and quality of electrical and mechanical installations. The other major factor, of course, is the size (area) of space to be built up.
The easiest way to roughly estimate how much your building will cost is by consulting someone who has recently built something along the lines of what you want to build in both size and quality. Its easy to strike such a coincidence in housing projects since they are all almost similar in size, space provision and finishing. For other types of buildings however, it is difficult to get someone with exactly the same as what you may want.
For such, the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya has developed some guidelines for the major towns, picked up recently completed projects, measured their sizes in square metres and established their actual construction costs. They then calculated the rate of construction per square metre which, if multiplied by the desired size of project, would give a fairly accurate indication of the estimated construction costs. This cost is inclusive from foundation to finishes but generally exclude site works which may vary greatly even in projects that are similar in space provisions.
The rates are for Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu and would generally cover nearby surrounding areas. The could be slightly higher in more remote areas. They have also been specified for exactly what kind of building types they are, as the costs differ.
What you need to do is establish how big your building would be in square metres, then multiply that by the rate given.