MasterBuild Africa

Guidelines When Planning to build your own Home

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Owning a house provides emotional and financial security. Having gotten to a point in life where you have decided to begin construction of your own home, there are two approaches to making your plans a reality.

  • Labour Contract method, and
  • Design-and-Build method.

In the Labour Contract method, you buy a house plan online or draw one up to suit your taste, you then purchase all the materials and take up the service of a contractor to provide labor – craftsmen, plumbers, casuals and electricians e.t.c. In the Design-and-Build route, you approach a developer. The developer has a team in place that consists professionals – contractors, sub-contractors, architects, and quantity surveyors.

Owner: The owner is the client of the project.

Home Owner

Architect: I’ll call him an artist because he is behind the beauty of a house. He comes up with a floor plan, elevation, roof design, interior design and proposed material. The owner will work with the architect by issuing a client brief based on the owner’s taste – number of rooms, number of floors, desired type of roofing and so on. The architect is majorly involved in the initial stages of development and as the project progresses his involvement decreases.

An Architect

Quantity Surveyor: The Architect hands over the plan to a Quantity Surveyor who then comes up with a Bill of Quantities (referred to as BoQ or BQ). This document shows the work to be done at each stage of the construction work, the means and the cost. The quantity surveyor will be involved in certifying payment schedules.

Quantity Surveyor

Contractor: After the plan has been approved by the local authorities, a contractor whose job is to supply machines, labour and materials can be hired.


Civil and Structural Engineer: A structural engineer will assess the house plan and periodically supervise construction to ensure the soundness of the building. A civil engineer will be involved in works such as design of drainage, septic tank and driveways.

Civil and Structure Engineer




Source: BuildingKE

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