I neglected an important aspect that should run pari passu your building project. This involves the construction of a soak away and septic tank. If you do it at about the time you are making your foundation, you can use the excavated soil to fill up the foundation and if not enough, then compliment with a tipper trip or more of laterite soil that may be enough to do the job for you. Construction of soak away and septic tank can be an expensive venture (in cost of cement – which must be generously expended – especially, and blocks) to undertake compared to its size because of its importance and the peace of mind it grants occupants of the house if it is properly constructed, such that liquid waste can be adequately and effectively separated from the solid into their appropriate chambers, without compromising the integrity of the system.


If the land on which you’re building is lateritic, you may also use the excavates to mould mud blocks that you can still use to build, that is if you find it to be of the quality required for building. You may even poach on others excavating for Soak Away purposes, especially if they have no need of the laterite, and pay them for something less than it would cost you to buy a tipper trip or more for the same quantity of laterite, and then you can augment with the ones you’d be left with no choice to buy.

Because of the difficulty and extra cost involved in ferrying the sand to a location near you or even on your building site, you may crave the indulgence of the one from whom you bought the laterite to mould the blocks there and come to move that in about two days when it’s dry. After fortifying the building at lintel level with cement and gravel you will have to place three coaches of mud bricks before commencing the roofing. I have earlier stressed the importance of ensuring that all that’s needed for roofing is ready even as you mould blocks for building, because of the unstable nature of mud blocks in the face of rainfall, especially if you’re building in a place like Lagos during the dry season but with such unpredictable weather pattern (that it can even rain in the heart of the dry season in December), hence the need for protection, which roofing provides. When you have done this you may take as much time as you need to “recuperate” till you’d need once again to enter into other details concerning the house.

As for the roofing, I will simply outline the cost that you have to bear in mind. You will need a trailer load of wood which costs about =N=90,000. The wood will then have to be chopped into appropriate sizes, that will suit the purpose of ceiling and roofing amongst other sundry. Afterwards, the pieces of wood will have to be “treated”, to prevent the wood been reduced to rubbles by termites before they are then knocked into place atop the building, and elsewhere as the roofing activity may require.


Aluminium Roofing Sheets appear to be in vogue now, especially for their durability. They also come in different colours and you can easily express yourself with the colours of your roofing sheet. The going price of a bundle of Aluminium Roofing Sheets is =N=14,500, hence =N=217,500 will be the cost of the 15 bundles of roofing sheets that will be required to completely cover the top of a 3-bedroom bungalow. The Aluminium Roofing Sheets will be nailed to wood (already set in place atop the building) using an estimated three bags of nails of different sizes, costing about =N=5,000 per bag, i.e. =N=15,000 in all.
Cumulatively, it will cost a conservative total of =N=322,000 to cover the expenses of roofing a three-bedroom bungalow.

At this point, the building project is by no means finished. It is just that the shell is complete, paving the way for the more tasking internal work to begin, besides plastering the mud block building within and without, such that at the end only those who saw the building at the time mud blocks were been laid will be able to tell, as there’s virtually no difference with the final outcome (in terms of outlook) and that of a cement block built three-bedroom bungalow. There are several alternative roofing materials that can be explored but I haven’t mentioned them because they aren’t cheaper alternatives to the one I have presented you with, even though they can be said to be better. Remember that the idea here is to demystify building, so you know that you could as well own your home in Nigeria at affordable cost.


N.B. The Naira exchanges to the Dollar at the time of qwertying this at =N=198.41 to $1 officially.

1. http://www.nairaland.com


7 thoughts on “OWNING YOUR HOME IN NIGERIA (3)

  1. Of course, these help in no small measure. This series remain unique and well articulated.

    As for Aluminium roofing, to roof a 4 bedroom apartment in Lagos, I got quotations totalling a little over a million Naira and I thought I got the advantage of reliable but cheap source. With your revelation here, I must counter check what I was given. Whatever be the case, my mind still still tells me roofing in Lagos is more expensive than in many towns especially from Northern states.


    1. Yes, someone else I know also queried my figures, though the only major difference between his figures and mine had to do with the wood.

      If you look at your figures too, wood may also be the area where we differ, and I can’t readily say why that is so. Maybe if I get you wood from where I get mine, it may come to about the same price as yours because of cost of transportation, and workmanship (especially in and for a place like Lagos).

      In the end, compromises and bargaining power, as well as your ability to knock off middlemen will go a long way in determining how cheaply one can source most of these building materials.


  2. After several months of inflation in the country, I’m very sure the prices for last year, when this blog was made must have shot up today. We’re currently in hard times.


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