How to build your dream bungalow earning little pt 2

This is a continuation of my previous post titled, How to build your dream bungalow earning little. We would go more into details, best working practice, cost implications and questions & answer using the attached plan as our case studies…. i.e we would arrive at an approximate cost of building the house attached.

(We would not be considering government determined processes e.g approval – it is practically impossible to get that info here – visit your local authorities for help).



No1: Preliminaries

Under Preliminaries we refer to those activities that should be done, considered or made ready before the actual construction process begins. Most times we ignore this process forgetting how important it is. On a couple of occasions, I’ve visited people’s site to help with foundation works only to discover there is a big tree or root where the building is located.

ALSO READ: 4 Most Affordable Places to Live in Lagos Mainland

Other times, there is no access to drop materials or there is no provision for water (both for work and for workers to have their bath) Now what are the important preliminaries we would be considering?

* Clear the bushes, cut the trees & uproot, except trees fall about 3m from building location.
* Buy a small tank for water storage or rent one for the time being (we would save cash on this later).
* Ensure the tipper delivering materials can get to your site i.e all materials are dropped on your site.
* Ensure you negotiate with the Omo-onile on how much you’re expected to pay before the day of foundation – but preferably, don’t give them the money until the day of actual foundation works. Most times there is a fraction, and the fraction that didn’t get the money would still disturb you. Giving while work is ongoing is perfect because both fractions would have representatives present.

* Clearing and uprooting of trees (N5,000-7N,000 would clear your site while N10,000 would clear and uproot all trees)
* Water (find out how much a small tank goes for but it cost about N3,000 to rent & fill a tank of water)
* Workmen usually charge you extra if the material is not dropped on your site because they also have to pay workers to move the material to the site. This sometimes is a lot we’re talking about.
* Omo-onile could charge as much as N50k to 100k depending on your location.

>> Labour Cost: 10k

SUMMARY: The cost in this section are dependent on so many factors; it’s almost impossible to put a figure to it; my advice would be to safe about N100k for this section; most of that being fees paid to Omo-onile.

ALSO READ: How To Build a House

No2: Works Below Ground

Works in this sections include (but not limited to)
a. Setting Out
b. Digging
c. Foundation
d. Block works to foundation
e. Filling
f. German floor

A. Setting Out: The bricklayers claim we waste money by using profiles (setting out using wood and ropes) but they often create problems with their method of setting out using blocks. Since this thread is not about anybody but professional practices, we’ll consider setting out with profiles.

Materials Needed: (Based on the attached design)
1×12 plank = 4pcs, each sliced into 4 each.
Pegs = 32 pcs approx 3 dozen
Nails = 2″ and 3″ – buy about N1000 worth
Ropes = 4 bundles each at about N200

See also  Advice for First Time Home Buyers in Nigeria


Workmen Needed:
One carpenter or anyone that can handle the hammer = Daily pay
One experienced Supervisor = If it’s an experienced bricklayer Zero Naira except he’s not also doing the actual work if you’re getting a supervisor for this price would be around N10k.
The diggers or at least one of them = Cost would be analysed below;
* Planks: 4 x 1200 = 4800
Cost of Slicing per line = N70 x 3lines = N210 x 4planks = N840
* Pegs: 3 dozens x 1200 = 3600
* Nails = N1000
* Ropes = N1000

Labour Cost – 12.5K

With a total of about N11,500 (material cost) – paying this amount to ensure your house is properly set out isn’t a bad investment – if your bricklayer is experienced that’s good, you can, however, get someone to set it out for you for additional N5-N10K depending on your relationship with him or her. (Personally, I do this most time for free if I designed the structure to ensure some inexperienced guys don’t spoil/change my hard worked design)

ALOS READ: 5 Cheapest Cities to Live in Nigeria

B. Digging: The books recommend about 900mm depth for foundation but practically, it’s almost impossible to achieve this on very solid soil we’re considering. If you can get your workers to achieve 450mm – 600mm depth great and a width of 675mm

If your plan like mine is to do a German floor, there is no need to dig out some wall partition – but if you have a plan to continue without German floor, then all wall partition should be dug (although I don’t advice my clients to use the second method; I must be realistic that it comes with an initial cost most are not willing to spend)

ADVICE: I still recommend using experienced guys, people who are used to digging foundation (don’t get the Hausa guy that cleared your site to dig because he did a good clearing work, or the Ibo / Yoruba guy because he claims he’s done it before). The advantages are those doing this work are:
– Quicker
– They dig straight and ensure a level surface (makes it easy for the bricklayer)
– Saves time and material
– They charge appropriately.

The attached structure would cost you about 30K to dig; with six (6) quality hands digging, you should have it completed in a day or early hours of day 2; still in time for the foundation (concrete pouring) works.

* Digging = N30,000 – N35,000
* Water for workmen = N1,000 (about 5 bags of pure water).

>> Labour cost – N35k

Note: We would give individual cost, but after each section adds up to help your bargaining power – it means if all works sum up to say 30 Naira, you can give all works out to the bricklayer at 25 naira – you’re only asking for a discount for giving him so much at once. #wink

ALSO READ: Will Shipping Containers Reduce Housing Deficit in Lagos?

C. Foundation: This is the first of many important works and where most people unnecessary save material and money; in fact most bricklayers would even help you save here NOT BECAUSE THEY CARE but because it means less work for them at the same price of the actual work.

Normally the standard foundation thickness should be at about 150 – 175mm for bungalows (remember we’re building on solid soil) yet you find some people using as little as 50mm – 75mm ie 2″ – 3″ – You end up using about 15 bags of cement, then claim the professional wanted to cheat you by recommending 35 bags – NO; the professionals’ calculation was based on a standard 150mm thick foundation, what you did was 50mm or 75mm. Lets hope your house can withstand the weight to come.

See also  FG Partners with China To Provide Housing For Civil Servants

MY ADVICE: Ensure your bricklayer starts from one corner and transfer levels across to the others – to ensure a level plain for the block works, if the foundation was dug well levelled, this should be an easy process. Every good bricklayer knows the importance of having a level plain; cheap labour is most times bad for the job. avoid picking your workmen based on cost only, especially if you’re doing it yourself.


Materials Needed:
Volume of Concrete = 101.55m x 0.675m x 0.10m = 6.85m3 (based on attached design)
Cement (approx) = 27 – 30 bags
Sand: 20 tonnes (this should serve for all works minus German floor)
Granite: 30 tonnes (recommended) or 15 tonnes (being the minimum you should purchase)

* If you can’t afford Granite, then buy Double tipper of gravel, however, ask your supplier to ensure it doesn’t have too much of sand, you could add the phrase “I’ll reject it if sand is too much” – makes the supplier more alert to ensuring you get the best possible. Don’t expect a miracle, gravel is mined with sand.
Material Cost:
Granite (15 tonnes) = 60k – 65k
Granite (30 tonnes) = about 110k – 125k
Gravel (Double tipper) = 35k to Ikorodu;
Sharp sand (Double tipper) = 30k in Ikorodu; 55k to Mowe/Ibafo
Cement = N2,350 / bag (including transportation)

Labour cost – 25k

Note: Depending on your negotiation with your bricklayer, you might have to pay for renting of tools eg shovels, wheelbarrow etc, however, this shouldn’t cost too much it’s about N100-N200 per day for most tools.

D. Block works to Foundation: My recommendation here is even when you intend to build with 150mm (6″ wink blocks, ensure you use quality 225mm (9″ wink blocks for the foundation. We can’t guarantee the strongest 6″ is what you’ve brought so; spend a little more and save your building. (I am aware that Ghanaians, however build with 6″ – solid block even in storey building)

Materials Needed:
9″ Block @ 4 courses = 910 pcs (including waste). 9″ cost btw N150 – N180 while 6″ cost about N160 each, depending on quality and location.
Cement = 15 bags should do the job (Most times, there is a few left over from the foundation – so you’ll only buy the balance) – Don’t forget all calculation considers waste, so the less you waste, they more you save.

Sand? No, we’ve got enough

Labour cost – 50k

Since I recommended in my previous article that we negotiate all works above at once, let’s see how much labour cost we have:
Setting out = 10k
Digging = 35k
Foundation = 25k
Block setting = 50k (see the previous post if you need a hint on how we arrived at 50k)

ALSO READ: Cheapest Plots of Land for Sale in Ibadan

Total: 122.5k we didn’t add the 10k for site clearing (Now, how well can you negotiate?) – Put that to good use.

E. Filling: I actually don’t advice anyone buys filling solely for this purpose, you would dig your septic tank / soak away one day, where would you put the filling? Probably pay to get it out of your site or sell at a very cheap price. SO! DIG YOUR SEPTIC TANK and use the discarded filling for this purpose.

See also  Will You Buy a House with a Maid's Room?

If you don’t get enough filling to level your site, you’ll only need to buy a few more trucks. see No3 below for detail of material and cost implication on the septic tank.

Note: If you’re using this option, then ensure you have enough cash to complete the septic tank/soak away 90% – 10% being the slab cover.

F. German floor: I recommend you do this, but I most also note that it comes with some cost implication. We’ll analyse the cost below; then you can weigh your pocket.

Total Floor Area: 113.63m2
Volume of Concrete: 11.34m3

We’ll try and generate a rate per m3 in case you have a different design and volume…..hmmm, that rate would be N2500. (pls note that this rate does not work for decking and doesn’t work if you’re using machine)

Keep 5K at hand, the omo oniles‘ no dey take eye see concrete…

Materials Needed:
Cement: 35 – 40 bags (4″ thick)
Sand: 20 tonnes
Granite: 15 tonnes (but if you brought 30 tonnes initially, you’re covered)

>> Labour Cost: 30K

No3: Septic Tank & Soak Away

Let’s pick a size, but depending on your site that site might vary. In the previous article, my cousin had a very little setback (remember I told you the site is less than half plots (18×18) – so, we picked a narrow width and a very long length to compensate.

Let’s use Septic-Tank size of 2.4m width 3.0m length x 3.0m depth and Soak-Away 1.8m x 1.8m x 1.8m

Materials Needed:
Septic Tank = 280 (9″ blocks) & Soak away = 110 (6″ blocks)
Cement = 8 bags (including concrete footing for septic tank and plastering of the inside)
Note: only septic tank has a concrete base, as the name implies soak-away is left natural so the water can be soaked into the underworld. #wink

> Labour Cost:
* Bricklayer = 33.5k (all inclusive plus plastering) Normally I’ll pay less, the bricklayer has justed finished foundation works and he’s assured of the super-structure, this is where I tell him, look – you have a lot to do together, I can only pay 25k for all works….
* Digging only = 20k-25k

ALSO READ: 5 Best Areas to live in Ibadan

GENERAL SUMMARY: (Using the highest options i.e If cost above says 30k-50k; we’ll be using 50k for this section)



1. 3 Bedroom design used for this calculation
2. Excel Sheet for Break-Down

No4: Super Structure (Blockworks)

1. Block-works (super-structure) added

2. Added cost of Roofing using Aluminium long span

3. Latest Update; Cost of Windows, Doors and Burglary was added

4. Latest Update; Cost of Tiling entire Floor and Toilet Walls (only)

Visit to get an affordable plot of land for your bungalow today.


Source: Nairaland


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button