Before taking on the project, ensure that you have all the precursor knowledge on drawings, materials and the cost implications for the entire project. This does not sound much like a saving tip but proper planning cuts back on the back on forth caused by not having a clearly outlined flow of work.
This back and forth causes delays, and in construction, delays cost money. If you do not possess the skills relevant to properly plan a construction project, it is advisable to seek out a professional such as a Construction Manager, an Architect or on an Engineer. This may come at an extra cost on your side but the savings made will be worth it.
2. Buy in Bulk/Reduce your trips
When you are able to properly anticipate the material requirements for each particular phase of your construction, you are able to buy in bulk and therefore reduce the number of trips taken to the hardware. The cost of transport will tend to inflate the cos of a project if not properly anticipated.
3. Invest in skilled workers
It is one of the easier ways to economically save time. If you have lead a project before you should have a few contacts of good fundis based on experience. With construction being a blue collar market, most fundis are hired on recommendations. You can also check whether they are accredited by NCA to ensure that they are qualified as artisans.
4. Invest in Safety
Better safe than sorry. The main work force in the site is human and therefore accidents may happen. Ensure that the construction crew is trained on safety measures, have a trained first attendant on site and ensure all your kits are stocked up. Human lives are very expensive.
If you are running a high risk project that runs for a long duration, consider getting some sort of cover for your workers. The cost of treatment and/or compensation can be very high. Safety first.
Here are some more tips;
5. The simpler the design the better.
Stick to the squares and the rectangles and avoid the curves. The more complicated a building is the more time,expertise and money it requires to build.
6. Use locally available materials.
If you are not aiming towards a specific look, use locally available materials such as red bricks in place of masonry stones for people who are live far from quarries and coral stones if you are building at the coast. Only do this under advisement of the engineer to ensure the structural integrity is not compromised.
7. Get your drawing tailored to suit your site and building. Too many people are copying and pasting drawings from one construction to another. One should take advantage of the fact that there are various structural options that could be cheaper for your site.
There are also numerous variations of slabs and walls in the market at the moment that could prove cheaper both in material cost and time used. This should be done under advisement of your engineer.
8. Use thinner walls for your interior partitions.
This is a common tip but still useful. If the walls inside the house are not designed to be load bearing, then under the advisement of your architect or engineer you can explore thinner options. For example, for masonry walls in Kenya a 50 mm difference in thickness translates to a Ksh. 5, saved on each block.
9. Build Incrementally
The last tip is not a cost reduction method but rather a construction approach method. Building incrementally basically includes building what you can at a slower speed. Most people build the outer shell and make the internal living conditions livable. With connections to utilities and services. Then furnishing comes later when once has already moved in.
Read more on affordable construction materials available in Kenya
Hope these tips have been useful. Build Wisely!