People associate different buildings with different uses. Some are used as apartments, or malls, among other things. However, how you construct your building will determine whether you will have people fighting to rent it.
Frank Muwonge, an engineer with Franktex engineers, says many probable tenants are attracted to an apartment because of its appearance. Therefore, when building apartments, it is better and ideal to offer your clients services that have not been offered anywhere else including appearance and facilities.
“Different developers come up with designs that will be more interesting than the typical house design which is a way of marketing the building,” Muwonge says.

Hire an architect
When building, it is important to budget for expertise and advice. Benson Mayambala, an architect with Mayambala architects, says when it comes to having the best designs, the proprietor should hire experts with knowledge related to design and not just any architect.
“Hire an architect who specialises in speculative construction to plan the main frame of your building. This will ensure you get a strong structure that will stand the test of time and save you money in the long run,” he says.

Hire an expert for each role
The process of construction does not start and end with an architect.
“An architect cannot do it all. It is better to delegate different roles to their specific experts. There has to be a designer who looks at the specific house designs in the area to see how different he or she can make the one to be set up,” Mayambala says.
“It takes a whole chain of experts to bring out the beauty in any structure and it is better that different architects design different sections of the apartment,” he adds.

Choose the right material
Material is what defines the strength and quality of any structure. These materials range from steel, concrete, timber and wood.
“Timber casing homes regularly leave a ration of the timber frame visible so it can be a design as well as an engineering choice,” Muwonge says.
Just Like timber frame house construction, wood panel homes are prone to rot and damage from water, or damage from termites and vermin. With the insulated concrete form, which is a growing type of home construction, concrete forms are used to provide superior structure and firmness. While it is expensive, it relatively pays for itself by saving the owner money on heating and cooling bills over time,” Peter Kizza, an engineer with Kirungi Engineers, says.
“Steel construction which is popular with commercial buildings, holds the components together and help form the basic structure, which may be indistinguishable from wood frame structure when the structure is whole,” he adds.

Make your building glitz
Muwonge says when choosing a design for your apartments, it is important to think outside the box and differ from all other designs.
“Make your building as extravagant as possible so that it draws the eye immediately. Any prospect real estate manager should embrace diversity to have the most out of their property,” he advises.

Cost
Paul Tiboti, an architect, says depending on the design, the more complicated a roof is, the more expensive it will be.
He says a cobbled roof for a three-bedroom house can cost between Shs15m and Shs20m in total.
The cost increases depending on the size of the house. A pitched roof will cost between Shs10 to Shs12m.
When building with glass, the size and type of glass will determine the price. Tiboti says a single piece of glass costs between Shs30,000 and Shs60,000. For tinted glass, one would have to part with Shs5,000 more.

Tips

Ensure durability
Frank Muwonge, an engineer, advises prospective proprietors to build structures that can withstand the transportation and crane processes and those that are more robust than standard wood framed buildings.

Quality assurance
Ensure the material bought is of high quality to guarantee the strength of the structure. Also ensure that the area authorities inspect and monitor the area of construction in and in all phases of the construction.

Timely construction
It is better to have both on-site and off-site work taking place at the same time since this will help in substantial savings in construction time and ultimately in the costs as well.

Additional reporting by
Derrick Wandera
glugaaju@ug.nationmedia.com