Owning your own house provides emotional and financial security and in Nigeria, it’s considered a symbol of success. It’s not easy living in a rented house, especially if you live and work in metro-cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt. The money you’ll be spending on rent is no child’s play and after putting up with this for a while, there will come a point when you will be tired of giving up your hard earned money to your landlord every year as rent. There are primarily two ways of owning your own house in Nigeria; building it or buying it.
Building your own house is the most common way of owning a house in Nigeria, thanks to the increasing investments in real estate by developers and financial institutions, there’s a growing opportunity for Nigerians to buy a home for themselves. Before you get started on building your own house, you need to check out residential building construction mistakes in Nigeria and how to avoid them.
There’s a lot that goes into the building of your own house. Even if you have all the money, there are still some critical questions that need to be answered for you to successfully build your own house in Nigeria.
Such as; how would you build your house? Who should you have on board? Who are the likely contractors, architects, quantity surveyors and engineers you will be working with? Do you even need all these people? These questions and many more need to be answered when you want to build your own house in Nigeria. How would you build it?
There are two very common approaches to building a house in Nigeria. The first, and which is by far the most common approach is the Do-it-yourself (DIY) method and the second is by way of Design-and-Build.
In the Do-it-yourself (DIY) method, the client (owner) has all the money in place, buys a house plan from an architect or draws one up by themselves, purchases all the material and takes up the service of a contractor to provide labour – bricklayers, plumbers, casuals and electricians – such that it is the contractor’s role to direct the construction activity to completion.
In the Design-and-Build method, the homeowner approaches a developer or construction company. The developer has a team in place that will consist of professionals – contractors, sub-contractors, architects, and quantity surveyors – each with defined roles.
While there’s no right or wrong method to use when building your own house in Nigeria, both of these approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.