It’s possible to achieve a great house design with a low budget. To achieve this, one must invest keenly on the architectural design. A good example is Allan Donovan’s House in Kitengela which is designed with a West African concept in mind-flat roof with pigeon holes on the parapet wall.
Another example is the Hacienda Eco City Development in Mombasa which is also coincidentally designed with a West African/Islamic architectural concept with a flat roof and pigeon holes on the parapet walling.
The presidential State Lodge in Sagana, Nyeri is also a magnificent piece of architecture that has utilized architectural design to achieve greatness without necessarily using very expensive materials. It’s a plain rectangular house with hipped roofs and low aluminum casement windows.
Technological uses also affect budget. New lighter roofing materials such as stone-coated steel roofing tiles save on the amount of timber trusses used to support the roof.
The choice of foundation type will also affect the costs. Estates such as Jericho in Eastlands area were built on a raft type of foundation which is very cheap to put up. The ground floor slab rests on small sized beams which are laid on top of the ground so no excavations and foundation walling is done.
On superstructure walling, within Nairobi area, masonry stone is readily available hence not expensive. A cost-effective way to achieve elegance is to have the stones hand-dressed to a pattern of your liking. Hand-dressed stones bring out character to your house and will save you in terms of maintenance since they virtually require no maintenance at all.
Prefabricated houses are slowly coming into the Kenyan market. These houses are the solution to affordable housing in the developed economies such as USA, China and Europe and it’s a matter of time till they find their niche in Kenya.
In conclusion, architectural design and use of appropriate technology can greatly reduce the cost of construction of your house.