Constructing a home in Kenya is a dream that many working class Kenyans harbor. Unlike constructing a home, constructing a building within a municipality can be a herculean task given all the hurdles that you have to go through in order to get a permit. The cost implications discourage individuals to put up such buildings. Putting up a home is however much easier. However, when constructing a house that is bound to last, several steps have to be followed.
Getting a house plan
A house plan is basically an artistic impression that defines the entire specifications of a house including the proportions, the design, the materials for building, and the construction methods and machines. The house plan takes into account in its analysis the site the house is to be set up.
Armed with a house plan, an individual can then approach a contractor to ascertain how much the house is going to cost to construct. The charge to be asked for building the house is based on the number of square feet in the house. It is important to note that the more the unique additional features that a house may have, the higher the costs of building the house. In addition, a larger house is cheaper per square foot than a smaller house. The costs of some expensive items are distributed over the other items in the house. The size of the house is a quintessential consideration in determining the total costs of putting up a house.
Concrete is the most popular building material in Kenya currently. Many buildings being constructed today use concrete. However, metals such as steel are gaining popularity. Other materials include asbestos and plastics though these materials are a bit expensive. Eco-friendly construction materials are advocated.
Employing new cheaper technology in your construction
Given the rapid rate at which technology is changing today, constructing a home is now a very easy, cheap and fast activity. This is through the use of Prefab homes or prefabricated homes. A fabricated house is a house that is built away from the site it is to be set up, say in a factory, and then carried to the house where it is to be set up. Panelized homes on the other hand are homes where the various panels such as walls with doors, windows and wiring, the outside setting are transported to the site and then installed to make a house. Not only are prefab homes cheap to put up, they take a very short period of time to put up.
The construction permits needed for a commercial building in Kenya
Building a commercial building requires a lot of permits before the official ground breaking process. Buildings especially those put up in a town have several processes that have to be followed and getting the permits from the relevant authorities.
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- Submit the architectural plan and receive a provisional building permit from the city planning department of the county that the building is to be set up which may take up to 30 days.
- The next step is to submit and obtain the structural plan approval and the final building permit from the planning department after incorporating the architectural plan and executing any changes that have been recommended. This process takes up to 10 days.
- Contracting an environmental expert who shall give a project report on the environmental impact of the project to be submitted to Nema. It usually takes 5 days.
- Obtain approval by Nema on the environmental impact assessment study of the project taking 30 days.
After obtaining these permits construction of the property can now begin though some approvals need to be obtained such as:
- Onsite inspection of the building site after completion has been complete by the municipal authority. This process may take up to 30 days.
- Receiving the occupancy certificate once the building has been inspected and is deemed to be in compliance with the approved architectural drawings which may take 5 days.
- Apply for water and sewerage connection as well as the electricity connection. For the water and sewerage connection, a survey has to be done to determine a fees estimate after which the fees, the company’s registration form, the PIN number and the application form are sent the relevant water authority for approval after which connection and installation may begin. The same applies for the electricity connection.
The above are the key issues that are prevalent in the construction industry in Kenya. The number of contractors in Kenya is many and one is advised to choose the contractor who suits their needs and who is within the individual’s budget, with a proven track record and reliable to finish the job within the stipulated time period.
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