The process of building a house is increasingly becoming expensive and more than ever people may occupy incomplete houses.
Sarah Wamoga, a resident of Goma Mukono District bought her land in 2007 with the dream of constructing her house in the shortest time possible. However, this was not possible due to several factors.

“I had also considered buying a piece of land as the most difficult thing but I was wrong. I thought putting up a structure would be accomplished in the next three years but this was not the case,’’ she explains.

Wamoga says in 2010, her house would not go beyond the window level, abandoning the structure for four years.
The clay bricks started weathering away. In her single roomed rental, Wamoga’s daily prayer was for it not rain especially in the night because the roof leaked.

With a small sum of money, in 2014 she resumed the construction occupying it soon after roofing and place in the window frames
“What I ever wanted was to have proper roofing over my head that would not keep me worried each time it rained,” she explains.
Many house owners aim at completing the critical stages of the house that is why even without window and door glasses, she occupied her house with the idea of completing the others later on.

John Lubowa, a civil engineer with sawa construction company Kyegere says building from the foundation to the finishing stages of the house is not easy as it calls for determination in terms of money as a number of materials are required.

“Today you will find that many people no longer aim at completing their houses as one is able to build it to a level they think is suitable for them to live in then they can occupying it,’’ he says.

Lubowa adds that it is advisable to work first on the rooms that you think will be of great importance depending on the availability of funds.

According to engineer Joseph Oryang, in most cases, before you choose to move in the unfinished house, the number one priority must be a toilet.

“It does not matter whether the house has got windows or not but a toilet is a must have as the local council leaders will not arrest one for occupying an incomplete house but they will for not owning a toilet,” he remarks.

He says after toilet, the bed room can be completed next, depending on one’s choice and how comfortable they wish be.
Rashid Ssenyonjo, an architect and civil engineer with HIL-Consult, says other than occupying a dusty room, the house would appear a little neat if one can apply concrete on the floor to minimise on the dust and to keep clean.

“You may not necessarily plaster or tile but ensure that all the walls are sealed off to prevent anything harmful from the outside getting into the house and for privacy,” he advises.
Ssenyonjo adds that it is important to make the house water proof before occupation. Windows and door openings should also be closed off with metal grilles and temporary shutters.

However, It is better if one builds a house in a treading fashion, like one or two rooms first, finish and occupy them. Then add others later as funds become available.

Why unfinished houses?
Lubowa says people themselves into unfinished houses to save for completion, living in a rented house comes with a number of challenges as paying rent every month which money can be saved house materials.

“Moving in will give you a chance to supervise and monitor the resources as many house owners complain of being cheated in teams of construction materials. This can also help one manage and make stock of some materials like cement. Giving directions on what you need the constructers to do,” he comments.

If a person is living in a rented house and is having challenges finding money to finish his house, it would be a wise decision to move in and use the savings on rent to push the project to completion.

The risks
Oryang adds occupying an unfinished house is unsafe as it is always cold as some houses are without the ceiling and glasses which can result in to health issues to the people living in. Entering a house still undergoing construction can be easy but staying in such a house exposes the occupants to accidents like injuries due to falling fragments, tools, live electrical wires and falling from heights in case it’s an incomplete flat.

“It brings about inconvenience to the house owner and the builders. It becomes hard to finish an already occupied house as it will require moving from one room to another. This is most likely to take longer than expected,’’
Yet some other house owners once they move in they just seem comfortable ignoring the incomplete parts of the house which might take forever if one is not one is not committed to completing the house.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com