5th Jul 2021
The cost of building a house in Kenya varies depending on many factors such as the typography of land, size of the building and specification of materials among other elements.
However, it is possible to get a rough estimate of the amount of money needed for your new house project by considering the square footage of your house, quality of finishes, and the type of the house.
That said, it is important to understand that the above aspects are quite general and can only give you a rough estimate of total costs.
You will need to engage the services of a qualified quantity surveyor for accurate estimates of total costs of your project.
You can check with the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya for a comprehensive list of all quantity surveyors in the country.
Meanwhile, let’s get down to business:
1.) The square footage
Examine a newly constructed house that is similar to the one that you envision. Get the price of the house, subtract the cost of land and divide the amount by the size of the home.
For example, if the house is valued at Sh75 million and the land costs Sh45 million, then the construction cost is around Sh30 million. If the home is 450 square metres, then the cost per square metre is around Sh66,700.
2.) Quality of finishes
The quality of finishes greatly determines the cost of building a house in Kenya. High quality finishes significantly increase construction costs.
The average cost of construction in Kenya is about Sh35,000 per square metre for a modest dwelling in major towns, while a high-end home costs upwards of Sh60,000 per square metre.
3.) House features
The internal and external features of a house are key determinants of building costs. Reducing the size and number of windows, for example, can lower your building costs while using vaulted ceilings and high roof pitches can greatly increase your costs.
4.) Size of the house
The size of a house is also an important consideration since the building cost per square metre is often higher for a smaller home compared to a larger home.
This is because, when putting up a bigger house, the cost of pricey items such as a bathroom or kitchen is distributed over more square footage.
The Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya has developed a construction costs handbook for major urban centres based on recently completed projects in the respective areas. The costs, which are on a “per square metre” basis, can give you a more accurate estimate.
However, you will require the services of a quantity surveyor for an accurate budget estimates preparation in the pre-contract stage as well as cost control and planning during construction.
Frequently asked questions
It costs about Sh35,000 per sqm to build a modest house in major towns of Kenya, while a high-end home costs upwards of Sh60,000 per sqm.
Based on the above estimates, a modest 3 bedroom house (125 sqm) will cost about Sh4.4 million, while a pricier one will cost over Sh7.5 million.
Assuming that your house will cost Sh65,000 per square metre, a 4 bedroom maisonette (149 sqm) will cost Sh9.7 million.
At Sh65,000 per square metre, a 5 bedroom house (169 sqm) will cost about Sh10.9 million.
Editor’s note: The above costs are basic estimates and you need to engage a qualified quantity surveyor for accurate budget estimates.