6 Tips To Estimate The Cost Of Building A Duplex In Nigeria

I often see inquiries on forums like Nairaland on the cost of building say a 3 bedroom bungalow.

This is not an easy question to answer because there are a lot of factors to consider when estimating new home construction costs.

So, let’s break down the process piece by piece so you have a framework for better estimating your new home construction cost.

6 Tips to Estimate the Cost of Building a Duplex in Nigeria

1. Determine Your Floor Plans

Select a floor plan that has been completed by or adjusted by a local general contractor or architect. You can also search online or architectural books to find the plan of your dreams.

The floor plan will determine the size, style, quality and features you desire your new home and will be the baseline for your project from here on out.

Here are a few ideas for floor plans for home layout.

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2. Find the Right Builder

Next, you should find the right builder or contractor. They should be experienced in building the type of home you want to build. They should be one who routinely constructs new homes that are comparable in size, quality and features to the one you’re hoping to build.

Finding the right builder is important in maintaining a proper execution, timeline and budget for your new home. They should be able to tell you their cost per square foot to build a house that is similar to yours, and at the same time, should be able to give you an approximate idea of what your home cost might be.

You should ask what exactly the construction cost includes.

3. Get an Idea of What Your New Home Construction Costs Per Square Foot

I know it is not realistic to arrive at an exact figure for your new home’s cost per square feet, but it is possible to get a figure close to it.

To calculate this, divide the total cost of your project as outlined by your builder by the total number of square feet in your project. That is, if the area you want to build your new home is 2,000 sq feet and the estimated cost of building a duplex projected by your builder is N4,000,000, the cost per square foot is 4,000,000 divided by 2,000 or N8,000.

You can also compare your desired build with houses that are similar to yours constructed recently. They should be similar in size, style, quality and features.

Take the price of the house – minus the land it is on – and divide this by the amount of square footage in the home you wish to build. When you do this with a few similar houses, you can know whether the estimate your builder provided is competitive and reasonable.

4. Know What Style, Quality and Features Refer to in Relation to Estimating Your New Construction Costs

Size is not the only factor that determines cost of building a duplex in Nigeria, style, quality and features are others too.

Style refers to the architecture of the house. Houses that are more square or rectangular costs less to build. Looking at a two story and one story building with the same sq footage, a one story will require a larger roof and foundation.

Some houses that need a deeper design might also require a roof with specially designed trusses.

The more angle and corners add to the labour, material and price of the construction.

Quality refers to the material used for building. These include flooring, paint, 12 and 16mm mm iron rods, cement, doors,windows, etc. The higher the quality, the more costs you will incur.

Always check out your options with your builder to get the best opinion.

Features refer to design considerations such as vaulted pitches, curved staircases, etc. Each of this additions can increase the cost of building your new home and add to the estimated square footage costs.

5. Leave Room in Your Budget to Accommodate Any Additional Construction Costs

Do not forget to include some common expenses such as site preparation, permit fees, time of year etc that can be overlooked but are equally part of the cost of building a duplex in Nigeria.

6. Be Proactive to Avoid Cost Overruns

The finished cost of a home is often more than the original estimated build price. Home owners get easily carried away with more beautiful flooring materials, vaulted ceilings etc.

Adding these will increase your cost. When something is chosen that is outside the contract this is called a “change order” and if you are working with an experienced builder they should be able to quantify these up-charges for you so you can make an informed decision.
Conclusion

Start by working with your builder to create as detailed a construction contract as possible. The more detail this contact reveals, the more accurate the cost of building a duplex will be, and the more likely you are to stay within your budget.

Some key components to identify in your contract should include:

Realistic allowances (Find out more about allowances here)
How a garage or basement is might be included/handled in the contract
If land is included in the square footage costs
Liability insurance costs
Utility connection costs
Septic system costs
Driveway costs
Sidewalk costs
Landscaping costs
Subcontractor costs
Green material costs
Inflation for a delayed build

In the end, it is a good idea to assume an additional 10% to cover unexpected costs, but the right builder should be able to help you stick to your budget. Also, you can always work backwards to keep within your budget. This means knowing what you can spend then designing a house to be built in an area you can afford with the style, quality and features that will fit your finances.

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