Thursday, September 28, 2023

What it will cost you to build two, three, and four bedroom house today

Cost of Building House in Kenya: Author Unknown: One of the most frequently asked question is “How much does a 2/3/4 bedroom house cost to construct?” Probably it’s the most answered question and perhaps caused more controversies, convergence and divergence of views and opinions.

Here, I seek to visit the question of cost estimation. The Table below was issued by the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, about a survey that they did on various houses in various towns, in order to estimate the cost of construction.

It used to appear on the journal section of their website. The values are given as estimates and not actual costs that one will incur in the building process. Which means that there would be deviance of almost plus or minus 30 per cent or something of that nature depending on things like land prices and local economies etc. Therefore, these values are best used as guidelines in helping future prospecting homeowners figure out (guesstimate) how much they should put aside as a budget for construction purposes.

My summary is as follows for residential construction:

  • Low-end values (2000/= to 2500/= per sft)
    • Medium end homes (3000/= to 3500/= per sft)
    • High-end Homes (4000/= to 5000/=)

Home sizes:

  • Minimum room size is 10ft x 10ft = 100 sft
    • Maximum room size (14ft x 14ft = 196 sft or Approximately =200 sft)
    • Average room size = 150 sft or 12 ft x 12ft

Room organization and Arrangement in a house:

  • Kitchen: 150 sft
    • Living Area: 150 sft
    • Dining Area: 150 sft
    • Hall way and Common Bath/ Store and Closets: 150 sft
    • Bedroom 1: 150 sft
    • Bedroom 2: 150 sft
    • Bedroom 3 and additional Bedroom: Add 200 sft, (150 sft for bedroom and 50 sft for bath)

Why I chose to build my 3 bedroom house at Sh. 2.5mn instead of buying

House Sizes by bedrooms:

  • 2 Bedroom: = 900 sft
    • 3 Bedroom: = 1200 sft
    • 4 Bedroom: = 1,400 sft
    • 5 Bedroom: = 1,600 sft and so on.

Cost Assumption and Estimates: Assume that we are going for a low-end with basic and standard finished at 2000/= psft. For example, using ISSB or Interlocking Stabilized Blocks.

Cost Estimates will be as follows:

  • 2 Bedroom: = 900 sft = 1.8 million
    • 3 Bedroom: = 1200 sft = 2.4 million
    • 4 Bedroom: = 1,400 sft = 2.8 million
    • 5 Bedroom: = 1,600 sft = 3.2 million etc


Now, there are those who say that my house is in “Oshango” (Rural and Peri-urban Setting) and not in an urban area, where land is cheap, labor is plenty and cheap, or some are just exceptional bargainers or business geniuses or sometimes you build your house with your family members and friends, neighbors, self-help group, DIY or Do It Yourself on your spare time or weekends, you have a brother or sister who is an architect, engineer, contractor, quantity surveyor etc. and the argument is that by so doing we can cut the cost by ½ (half). Then these will be the revised estimates: @ 1000/= per sft.

  • 2 Bedroom: = 900 sft = 0.9 million
    • 3 Bedroom: = 1200 sft = 1.2 million
    • 4 Bedroom: = 1,400 sft = 1.4 million
    • 5 Bedroom: = 1,600 sft = 1.6 million etc.

Cost of Building House in Kenya

These are the realistic minimum values that can be possibly achieved. Anything beyond these values is very doubtful and really deserves to be re-looked at twice, especially in this environment that we live in, that of inflation, profiteering, deals, theft and fraud, deceit, lies and miss-information, miss-management and mistrust and misunderstanding among ourselves, missed opportunities and many other miss……

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