Tried and trusted tips to save cost on your building project

Many people wish to save cost on their projects but miss it at various stages of the project. For some, it’s too late before the error is noticed. Employing some of these tips listed below will ensure you save money on your project…

Keep it simple

If you want a simple cost for your project then it’s best to keep the project simple.
The more complex a project is the more complex the cost becomes.

For instance a simple shape means less columns hence less cost. Also a simple mono-pitch roof will be less expensive to build than a high gable roof.

Reduce the size
If it costs N 90,000 per square meter to build and you have excess of 10 square meters in your plan, that’s already close to a million naira to be wasted even before you start the project. Sometimes you need to ask: do I need this waiting room or this big lobby?
Taking off the excess fat from your building plan will ensure you save cost upfront.
Also, do you need to go up a storey building or just a bungalow will do? The bigger the building the more the cost.
Consider open plan
Making use of open plans means that the amount of block work, wall plaster ,painting and doors is reduced. This automatically leads to a lower cost.
Open plans can generally be used in the waiting, living room, dining room, staircase and kitchen areas.
Reduce concrete and reinforcement (rods)
Concrete and reinforcement rods can be reduced by eliminating concrete facias, concrete columns which are only decorative, protrusions from the building which serve no functional use,
Since cement/concrete and rods are some of the most expensive building materials it’s a good idea to reduce its use if you are thinking of reducing cost.
Optimise finishes
You may want to consider finishes which are fit for use. Porcelain tiles or high-end marble tiles? You may find out that porcelain may just give you the desired effect while spending less.
Sometimes good workmanship is really what you need not expensive materials.
Plan the cost from start to finish
It’s best to plan the entire project as one instead of in different parts. For instance buying a cheap swampy land will later mean higher project cost because you will have to backfill more.
In this case it may be better to buy a good land which is a little more expensive but reduces future building cost.
Hence, know that any saving you make early in the project may mean more expense in in the future. It’s good not to consider these issues separately but link them to the future effect.
Engage professionals
Professionals are experienced persons who have been trained to give you value.
Use this experience to your advantage.
Someone once gave an inexperienced person to design his building, rooms were placed in the center of the house without windows, many other basic errors were also made .
He wasn’t aware until he started building and later had to demolish the building leaving only the foundation after spending close to 7 million naira. You can simply avoid this by engaging the right professionals.
Avoid swampy land if you can
Swampy lands mostly require raft or pile foundations which are more expensive than strip foundation commonly used on dry land… In some cases more than twice the cost.
This means building on a solid ground is mostly cheaper for the same project type.
Mind the time or project schedule
The longer a project takes the more cost it is bound to incur in terms of logistics, labour costs, unforeseen circumstances, material fluctuation, risks etc.
Time is directly linked to cost on projects. Hence getting your project done in record time will surely have a positive effect on cost.
Trust your contractor
If you appoint a contractor and you keep monitoring all the little details then you may have to go back to the selection process. It’s counterproductive to appoint a contractor and not allow do them do the work by constant interference.
One of the most important jobs you have on your project is to select the right contractor.
Once you do this manage them but don’t micromanage. Your fear is likely to come to pass if you keep negativity on the project by not building trust. This impacts negatively on cost.
Don’t use family or Friends
If you can, avoid using family or friends for projects if they are not trained regarding building projects. There has been many instances where those you feel will take after your interest do the exact opposite.
A woman abroad once sent money to her in-law to buy land for her, she couldn’t get her money or the land for over 2 years, she got only excuses until she contacted the company directly, made payment and perfected the documents within few weeks… she didn’t get her money back from the person she initially trusted.
Moreover this may end up affecting relationships which you may like to preserve.
It’s easier to discipline those you have less emotional connection with. Your project is a business and should be treated as such… this reduces risk and loss of money.
Ensure proper communication
Lack of communication leads to misunderstanding which in turn leads to loss of money.
Proper communication keeps no one in the dark and enables all parties to understand each other better for the benefits of the project. Communication also involves proper supervision and reporting such that all parties on the project are always on same page.
These tips if followed will ensure you have a hassle free and cost effective project experience. Thank you!!
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  1. Temitope

    Incisive and useful tips.
    Great write up!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Emmanuel

    Thanks a lot for this tips. Now that i am here, i will like to ask this question if you will have an answer:
    ” How much approximately will it cost to do the decking of a 4 bedroom duplex of about 170sqm ?

    • Dexta Glin

      See a Quantity Surveyor
      Work should be done before your answer is given

  3. Nice! Thanks for sharing.

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