Factors that Contributes to Cost of Building Projects in Nigeria


(1) Location

The location of a building inadvently contributes a lot to the high/low cost of building. The Nigerian case for class has a long way of affecting cost of building generally, especially Lagos.

What happens in our urban areas is class segregation, a case whereby you were once poor and fits for the slums and outskirts or other areas that are less prime, and suddenly your economic purse changes, the first thing that happens to an average Nigerian is to relocate. Why? because he believes that is where is class is, the only place fits for his children’s education, his business e.t.c

There is the general belief that when you move among the high and mighty yourself, you get more connected to where money is, and the probability of getting contracts is there. But people fail to realise that you can connect to anybody and makes friend more easily in today’s ICT age without relocating.

Hence you see when a place is designated as Government Reserved Area, what usually happens is the influx of the rich and this turns even a terrible and non-developed land atimes to prime lands overnight just because of class and oppressive nature of the rich. The building artesans/workers ends up charging more when you are building in those area because of the influx of moneybags. So you will end up spending more money and you won’t get the land cheap either.

(2) Type or Nature of Soil

This is where a lot of people gets it wrong and shoots themselves on the foot when planning on building projects. Soil types, strong, mild or very strong generally affects the overall costs of the building.
soils are classified under five main headings.

1) Rocks, which include igneous rocks, limestones and sandstones

2) Cohesive soils, such as clays where the constituent particles are closely integrated and stick together.

3) Non-cohesive soils, such as gravels and sands, whose strength is largely dependent on the grading and closeness of the particles.

4) Peat which is decayed vegetable matter of low strength with a high moisture and acidic content.

5) Dump site or made ground which may contain waste of one kind or another and can cause settlement or stability problem.

When building your house the nature of soil on your site will go a long way in affecting your purse. Find out if the land is the good loadbearing type and you will cut cost. People digging your foundation will not need to dig so far, and foundation concrete you will also use will be minimal in comparison to weaker soils. Dump site is the worst place to use because you will need to remove the debris, else your foundation will be affected and this will cost you more. The stronger your type of soil the lesser the amount of money you will spend.

The topography or level of your land also is very important for you to spend less, in a case where one portion of your site is very low to the other, surely this will take you more money to manage in terms of either block or split-level constructions.

Make sure you get to the exact portion of the land you are being proposed to, because if you by oversight or carelessness buy a damp site, you will need to effectively drain the water to increase the stability of the ground, to avoid surface flooding, and to avoid dampness of the surface of the inner walls and basements, and also to remove humidity in the immediate vicinity of the building.

I have fallen into a mistake like this before so I know what it may cost you if you do same. Firstly, you may have to fill the land and spend more money, though when you were buying the land in question you paid so less and you were given the impression, that you won’t spend more. But you will regret unless you are so rich, I have seen a first hand experience on this, that is why when buying a land is better you buy in the rainning season to give you the opportunity of accessing the site in question. A client once bought a land so cheap but in a very low area, which makes his land a runway for water drainage, you need to witness it when rain is falling yourself, then you might appreciate what I am talking about, strong water currents mind you can overturn a house.

A waterlogged ground will also require reinforcement or iron and concrete which ordinary bungalow in a strong and clear area will not need.

(3) Access to infrastructure

Proximity of land to good infrastructures like road, water, electricity and others goes a long way in affecting the cost of building a house. You may not know, if a tipper can not get access to your site, you will spend 50% of the money you could have used in bringing materials to your site on labour that will carry them. For instance carrying blocks to the site where is actually needed.
If water is close that is also an advantage. But this also have is own negative effect on cost of land, but at the long run it is better to buy where all these amenities are in place.
Note: consider the cost of running your own pipe, electric poles and grading or clearing the road.

(4) Traffic Access

The human and vehicular access just as explained above can be of great benefit and the influx of people to places like that can also leads to high cost of construction.

(5) Taste, type and Size of Design

High taste demands high cost, your class or status may most likely reflects on the kind of building you want, the type of electrical fittings you want in your house to cater for your utilities, air-conditioner, e.t.c your plumbing fittings to cater for jacuzzi, spas, bathtub, swimming pool e.t.c and other fittings for your comfort and convenience may cause your building cost to rise.

The type of building entails either it is a simple 2,3 or 4 bedroom bungalow or it has to be a duplex/manssionnete. Generally, it costs more to build storey buildings because of the cost of completing concrete floors to just acquiring more lands and building on them for the same numbers of room.

In terms of size the rooms size, the kitchen and other purpose area sizes may even make an ordinary 2 bedroom flat for you to be costlier than another man’s 4 bedroom flat. Then talk of additional utility rooms like study, game rooms, prayer room, extra living e.t.c.

(6) The Menace of Omo Onile (Land Owners)

There are cases of “Omo Onile” trying to outstretch the buyer even when you have paid them their illegal entitlements. Some can go as high as making you repurchase your land again altogether. What of the selling of Government acquired Lands to unsuspecting buyers, this is very, very common in Lagos, God saves you if the Government wakes up one day and decides to ask for their land, you will count yourself lucky if they only ask you to pay or repurchase the land. What if they ask you to evacuate altogether and your building completely bulldozed.

(7) Proximity to Institutions

Educational, Health and Religious institutions dots our landscape but what most don’t realize is that they invariably raises the cost of getting lands in their localities, because of influx of people going in and out of these various institutions, commercial activities are always affected positively, thereby bringing business opportunities to those in the locality. An obvious example is Canaanland Ota in Ogun State. You can see the visible increase of properties in this once a forest suddenly turned to haven of investors, and buildings of all manners springing out.

(8) Commercial Viability of the Area in which Building is Constructed

(9) Quality of the priofessionals and artesans involved

If you use quacks for your building project,yes at presence you will spend less but be aware that before the house is completed or after ,you will spend much more if you refused to use a professional. Talk of the cost of maintaining your house after parking in,the quality of the design that an architect could have easily given to you cheaply ,what of the structural disposition of the building that a civil or structural engineer could have given you for extra peanuts or a quantity surveyor that will cost your building and knows if you are heading for the rock ,or the builder that would have made sure your drawing plans is properly represented or executed and standards are not compromised .Get a professional in the field and let him recommend an artesan -bricklayer carpenter e.t.c to you or you get one by yourself or one that was recommended for you .you then must make sure you check his old jobs and confirm that it is good’or tell your professional to follow you and access the persons past job, he should be able to point to one.

(10) Materials

building materials also contribute immensely to the quality and cost of house immensely ;from what you used in foundation to the materials of roofing ;there is always an array of prices . Even cement bags are of different prices ;What of the blocks ;they also depends on quality; some can sell theirs #10 to#20 difference from others because of the rich cement mixture ratio and the type of sound, while others could just double the price of lower quality ones. For example “BECO BLOCKS” price is usually double the common ones around in Lagos.
I guess you know even in roof there are categories also from the ordinary asbestors roof to the modern aluminium the prices always varies.

(11) Quality of finishes

there are different types of finishing which also raises an issue of taste and money to be spent .Even painting atimes can cost more than what is required to buy major materials in another persons building. With the advent of more technological breakthrough in building accessories, where you can now have bullet proof doors and windows with metal detectors, with furniture companies coming out each day with new innovations, there is bound to take into serious considerations the cost of finishes in overall costing of your house.

(12) Aesthetics

The beauty atimes goes along with the complexity of a design, this you may not know affects the cost of building a lot, especially when the walls of building are not aligning and the roof are also complex this may raise the overall cost of the building.

(13) Time or Duration

When a building is taking long time to complete, there is the tendency of spending more at the long run. Consider materials that would have gotten spoilt due to long delay of use on site, what about woods that are left for rain to be beaten, cement that have gone bad, there may be need for some replacements on site anytime you go back to continue after a long lay off.

(14) Inflation

Unstable economic conditions and rise in fuel products also affects building indirectly by multiplier effects. Remember vehicles that uses fuel are needed to bring materials to site.

(15) Security

When the place is close to a police station or is noted to be generally very secured, houses in this area will always go high up.

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