How much does it cost to build a house in Kenya? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among the future homeowners. It is a question that can not be answered simply because the cost of a house hugely varies depending on the size of the house, the construction materials used, whether or not you are using a contractor and level of finish expected for the house.
In this article, I will explain how one can go about estimating the cost of building their dream home or shelter. The first thing you need to know is the size in area, square metres being more commonly used in Kenya. If you have a house design already, the size of your house can easily be obtained from the house plans. If you do not, here are some average sizes of homes to help guide you.
Average house sizes
– Bedsitters – 17.5 Sqm. (Apartment) , Singles (10 by 10) – 10 Sqm
– One bedrooms – 30 sqm (Apartment)
– Two bedrooms – 45 sqm (Apartment)
– 3 Bedrooms – 100 – 120 sqm (Bungalows)
– Mansionettes – 150 – 180 sqm.
Knowing the size of your house is the most important tool for cost estimation because it gives you a multiplier which you can use with any construction rate to give you a cost estimate. If you would like to know more about sizing and locations of rooms in the house, read more about it here.
There are different rates of construction for different materials. The rates are also affected by the level of finish you would like to have for your home. Using a contractor also has an impact on the cost of construction because the construction will be treated like any other business and therefore the client has to cover the profit the contractor makes.
Below is a simple table that will feature the two commonly available construction methods in Kenya, Masonry and Mabati housing. It will show you the rate that should apply for the houses you seek to build depending on the above named parameters. Remember that the estimated cost of building is given by the area multiplied by the rate of construction.
If you wish to construct a medium finish, average sized three bedroom house, using a contractor the cost estimate is given by:
3 bedroom floor area – 120 sqm.
Cost of building a house using a contractor – Kshs. 25,000 – 30,000. Therefore the cost will vary between , 120 sqm*25,000 – 120 sqm *30,000.
The cost will vary between 3 Million and 3.6 Million. However, should you decide to build it without a contractor, the cost can come down to 2.4 Million. This however, will require you to have some technical expertise and good management skills.
Here is a table with the rates to enable you to calculate a cost estimate for your construction:
All rates are in Kshs.
If you are reading this in 2023, it will be wise to add 5,000 per sqm to the above rates to cater for increased material pricing. When doing your cost estimation, do not forget to add the cost of service charges such as electrical connection to the grid, sewer connection or septic tank construction, approval process fees, design fees etc. It is usually prudent to get the whole picture before you start spending money on your project.
Note that these are just estimates and the actual cost may vary.
Are you interested in alternative methods of construction? Read more on affordable housing types available in Kenya. Looking for methods on how to save costs during construction, read more about construction cost cutting tips.
I hope this read has been useful, Build Wisely!