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Categories: Post Construction

 

1. Solar energy

 

The sun is the main source of energy in the world.

In a building project, this energy can be utilized to generate electricity for the home, and also provide heating – this gives rise to both environmental and economic benefits.

There are a large number of companies and non-profits in Africa that offer good guidance an provide resources for utilizing solar energy in your home.

 

 

2. Using energy-saving lights and appliances

 

 

Categories: Post Construction

 

1. Carry out periodic upgrades

 

After a couple of years, carry out an aesthetic upgrade to a given area in your home that you feel is worn down, or has an outdated style. E.g. You can choose to repaint the kitchen cabinets, sand down and stain doors a different color etc.

 

2. A stitch in time

 

When something is broken, or malfunctioning – take effort to have it fixed immediately before it creates a downward effect on adjacent elements e.g. a leaking roof fixe in time can prevent a ceiling from being damaged entirely

 

3. Deep cleaning

 

Create a plan to clean out every inch of your home over a given period, as this is a good way to ensure maintenance. For example, roofs and gutters should be cleaned often to ensure good quality of rain water collection and also to avoid blockage of downpipes

Categories: During Construction

1. House Size: 

The footprint size of your house is one of the biggest determinants of the cost of the house. Choose a house plan with a square footage and corresponding price that is well within your construction budget

The height from floor to ceiling also affects your costs – To save money, have this height as the minimum livable height, instead of having high ceilings.

 

2. Buy from Wholesalers Instead of Retail.

When buying selected materials, e.g. doors, floor tiles etc. look to purchase the items in bulk from a wholesaler or fabricator. This is a sure way to save a decent penny. 

Do your due diligence and find out online, your local hardwares etc. – where the source of some construction materials is.

Furthermore, always ask for a discount if buying in bulk.

The most expensive item in a shop is not necessarily the best quality.

 

3. Choose simpler, open and well-designed floor plans

The more complex a design, the more costly it is to build it. 

A floor plan with many corners, curves, and walls will definitely take longer to build, and will cost more.

 

4. DIY (Do it Yourself)

You may choose to engage yourself in the task if creating certain decorative pieces that you would like to have in your house e.g. wall art, light fittings, etc.

You can also reuse materials that have been discarded from house demolitions, garage sales – be on the lookout for such deals.

Choose a design style that has a forgiving aesthetic. For example, an industrial style home can work without having to put in floor tiles above the screed, allowing significant savings

 

5. Build in Phases

As Rome was not built in a day, neither is your dream home. Consider moving into your home once you have the basic amenities put in, then slowly add on your desired finishes over a period of time as your savings increase

Categories: During Construction

1. Site Clearance and Excavations

Once a contractor and his/her team has been appointed, one of the first things to carry out is clearing of the site. Depending on the nature of the land, this involves cutting off shrubs and excess vegetation, site leveling, and general clearing before the actual construction commences.

Excavations are done to pave way for haying of the foundations in accordance to the resident engineers’ guidelines. Different soil types call for different depths and extents of excavation.

 

2. Foundations and Substructure

This is the next stage, and is the point at which the reinforced concrete foundations are measured and built.  It includes placing any drainage under ground floor slab, placing a moisture barrier (DPM) between the soil and the slab, treating the soil with anti-termite protection and finally casting the concrete of the ground floor slab.

 

3. Superstructure and Walling

At this stage, the reinforced concrete elements e.g. columns, suspended slabs, beams etc. are built. Walling usually goes up at the same time. It is important to build these elements are specified by the building consultants, and as per relevant building codes as these forms the support structure of the house. 

 

4. Plumbing and Drainage

Pipe work and ducts for water supply and foul (dirty) water disposal is built into the structure

 

5. Electrical Installations

Conduiting for lighting, and power supply are is built into the structure.

 

6. Roofing

At this stage, your house begins to look more complete. This is when your roof support structure gets built in (E.g. Timber trusses) and the covering placed on (E.g. Corrugated Roofing sheets)

 

7. Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are built-in at this stage to secure the house, so that interior finishes can commence.

 

8. Internal Finishes

This stage is determined a lot by the tastes, preferences and budget of the developer. Internal finishes include; Choice of floor finish, Paint, Light fittings, Cabinets, Counter tops, sanitary fittings etc.   

 

9. External Finishes

This consists of the elements that make up the exterior view of the house, as shown in the renders and animations purchased