Purpose of this page

Reasons behind this page is to help other people in similar position and those about to or thinking of embarking on a similar project. I'm also hoping people will learn from my mistakes, use some of my quotation or amount spent as guidlines. Ideas from people with similar experience are also welcome, pls email your ideas and experiences to naijainvestment@aol.co.uk or use the contact form, pls remember to leave comments.

Personal experience of building the below 4 bedroom twin duplex in Lekki

Construction Of this project started in 2007, the project now just need finishing and partition wall in front and at the back, if anyone had told me before construction started that i would encounter all i encountered, i'll probably would not have gone into it. Building a house in Nigeria can seem impossible especially if you're a novice and if you live outside Nigeria.

Firstly the amount budgeted went more than double, secondly everyone would try and make money off you, items costing N2000 became N5000, quantities of stocks doubled. At a point, i sacked everybody working on the project as they were all corrupted and uncontrollable, the contractor even let two rooms out to a couple and 3 kids even though the house was uncompleted, i only got to know cause i sent someone to take pictures, i was then told access to the 2 rooms rented was denied by the tenants, some damages were done to the electrical piping work and three windows were broken by the so call tenants, after sacking the corrupted lot  i then looked for new set of builders in the okoko area was very surprised about how cheap their fees were compared to the previous ones who resides in the lekki area.

Building this house has now made me a sort of pro, i now know what to avoid for my next project starting soon at ikota after the completion of this one and also how to slash the cost.

I can give first hand advice, assist and help with contruction, recommend builders, suppliers of building materials(depending on area) source out land and properties 4 purchase (lekki area),can also save you money and headache (especially people in similar position as me), also my team of builders, electricians plumbers etc has grown with me and are more like a family members.


Windows

All windows (The twin duplex, two BQ/guest chalet (1bedroom, living room, bathroom and kitchen) and two gate house was done for 500 thousand naira this includes transportation, fixing, glass etc.

Roofing of the house

The construction of the roof frame came to N320,000, labour of N70,000 is included in this amount.

The Aluminiun roofing cost N900,000, this amount came to this as i asked the company who was going to do the fixing to do the measuring after the roofing frame was constructed, i then went to one of the factory manufacturing aluminium roofing to place the order, i was originally given a quotation of N1.3 million

Wiring of the whole house

I was given a quotation of 1.2 million naira for wiring of the whole house, including the BQs and gate houses, the electrician was introduced by my contractor, i rejected the quotation because as at then the relationship was already becoming strained,My mum then help sourced out another electrician, believe me, everything was done for only 700 thousand naira, imagine, i saved 500 thousand naira, my only regeret was that the same contractor handled everything untill we got to the alluminium roofing stage, the same contractor is a family friend and has known me since i was 12 years of age, sometimes when i think about the money i've lost i cried, (it's people you think you can trust that can be quite deceiving sometimes, especially when it comes to money)

Bore hole quotation, water treatment inclusive

I've recently obtain quotation for borehole for the twin duplex for N310.000, pumping machine and water treatment machine is inclusive. I obtained 3 quotation, the 1st at N400.000, the 2nd at 360.000 and finally the cheapest quotation at N310.000. I thought i share this as it might serve as a guidelines for someone else wanting to do the same. Pls bear in mind that water tank and pipes are not included, these are already been installed

Pictures of the project from early days to present

Back view before plastering

 


Front view before plastering

Front view before plastering. Wondering what the iron rods and other materials on the floor is for? Well the Foundation had to be reinforced.


Why buildings may collapse and some steps that could help avert the problems in the first place

THE QUALITY OF THE BLOCKS USED: The quality of material used is a factor in building failure. Take for instance the 9-inch hollow blocks used for the construction of external walls of residential buildings; these blocks support the weight of the "decking" and other floors above it in conjunction with "pillars". Since the strength of the blocks depend on the ratio of cement to sand used for molding them, the right proportions must be used for molding the blocks to ensure that they are strong and durable. The so-called "ready-made" blocks sold by some block industries do not measure up to expectation. Some of these block industries mass-produce the blocks and in a greedy bid to get the most number of blocks per bag of cement, they use more sand than necessary resulting in very weak blocks.  The only reason we do not have even more cases of buildings crumbling as a result of weak blocks, is because of the presence of columns "pillars" which are the primary load bearing components in buildings.

THE QUALITY OF CONCRETE USED: The other building material component that is sometimes bastardized at the peril of the building itself, is concrete. Concrete is used for construction of foundation footings, lintels, "decking", "German floor", beams and columns. Concrete is made up of sand, cement and stone and when iron bars (rods) are added, it is called reinforced concrete. The strength of reinforced concrete depends on the proportion of cement, sand, stone and iron rod in it. After the design of a building by an architect, the structural designer calculates the amount of weight the building will carry - this is called structural analysis. The engineer then determines the size of beams and pillars that will help carry that weight. He also determines the number and sizes of rods that will be put into the beams and pillars to strengthen them for carrying the weight. What I have just described is the ideal situation, which is not always what happens resulting in structure failures. Problem arises when proper structural analyses is not performed or better yet, when no analysis is performed. The result is that the contractor resorts to trial and error method of construction: he may not use the needed number and sizes of iron rods or may fail to construct adequate numbers and sizes of pillars. Some contractors even fail to use the correct mix design for the concrete, the list goes on. All these errors aggregate to make a building susceptible to failure.

POOR COMPACTION AND CONSOLIDATION OF FOUNDATION SOIL: The other important reason a building could collapse is lack of adequate compaction of the soil inside the foundation before placing hard-core and pouring the "German floor". If the soil is not properly compacted before the German floor is cast, as construction progresses, settlement occurs causing cracks on the walls and German floor that invariably lead to structural failure. WEAK SOIL: Also, because of their geologic make up, some layers of soil are just not strong enough to carry the weight of a building. This is mainly applicable to the top layer of the soil on most parcels of land. If this factor is neglected and the building is constructed on the soil anyway, differential settlement of the building starts and leads to cracking of the walls and decking. In some cases, the building just continues to sink and this can be seen in many parts of Lagos. If a soil investigation reveals the presence of weak soil on the upper layers of a parcel of land, the structural designer rectifies this by calling for a deeper than normal foundation. This means digging until strong soil is encountered before laying the building foundation. There are other reasons why a building would be susceptible to failure but I think the reader gets the gist.

So what can one do to guard against it? Below are some of the proactive steps that could help: Always insist on structural analysis after the architect has designed your building before construction starts. Structural analysis and design determine the weight that would be exerted on the building and specify the correct number and sizes of columns and beams needed to help carry that weight. The correct location of the columns and beams and the sizes and quantity of iron rods needed, are also specified. Make sure that the blocks you use come from reputable sources that use the correct mixture of cement and sand for molding them. Blocks with too much sand have the tendency to crumble at the slightest movement and could never support the weight of a building for long. Insist that the building foundation is properly back-filled and consolidated before the German floor is cast. This will prevent secondary settlement and cracking of walls. Your representative must keep an eye on the mixing of the concrete to ensure that the correct proportions of materials are used. For example, if the plans specify a concrete mixture of 1:2:4, it means that 1 part of cement to 2 parts of sand to 4 parts of stones should be used in the mixture. Make sure that the contractor sticks to it otherwise you would end up with concrete not strong enough to do the job. Also, ensure that the specified sizes and numbers of iron bars are used. Finally, your construction representative must be knowledgeable, independent and assertive otherwise the contractor will have a field day in taking you for a ride.

Side view before plastering

 


Far view After plastering

The total for plastering cost 900 thousand naira, as compared to quotation quotation of 1.3 million naira given by the corrupted builders.


Update

Recently, the fence has been plastered and the coufing on the fence has been done, couple of blocks were placed on the fence to make it from 10 coaches to 12 coaches. The plastering and coving took 50 bags of cement,  1 lorry load of squashed granite, 2 lorry load of sharp sand and 1 lorry load of plaster sand. Also iron was inbeded in the coving. Also the whole compound has been filled as all the plumbing work has been done.

The right driveway

The right wing of the duplex. The whole compound took 16 load of 15 ton filling sand at the rate of N23,000 per 10 ton. 14 was first bought but wasn't enough, also N1000 per truck load was paid to the labourers to spread it bringing the total spend on filling the compound to N384,000.


The left drive way of the duplex

 


 

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