In Summary

Issue?. There have been arguments about when is the right time for a man to build his own house. CHARLOTTE NINSIIMA finds out different views

Moses Katongole, Assistant Superintendent of Police at Nanjjanakumbi Police station, is one of the few who started building his house at 18 years when he was in Senior Four. He was an assistant accountant in S.3, earning Shs250,000. He utilized his father’s land and made bricks himself in a surburb, Kiwatule. Because of his notion to save, he put up a 2-roomed structure in four months. He advises if you have money, build up a structure. There is no age limit to it however when you have money consider to first finish your bachelor’s degree.

There is no formula for when to build a house. There are different perceptions attached to age, money, family, employment that are prerequisites. It is one big milestone that some perceive to have accomplished their house!

A brick at a time
Isaac Tigo, a lawyer, who has not built a house yet, believes one should first have the idea, the land and work on a building plan and get a trustworthy person to start the construction. “You can always add a brick at a time. If the house takes long to be completed, I won’t worry knowing I didn’t steal the money.”

The earlier the better
Whereas Denis Nuwagaba, a father of five and real estate dealer, acknowledges that building a house is a financially draining lifetime venture; it can be your dream house for your family to stay in or one that combines your commercial instincts and a bit of family comfort.

“Whichever way it requires a protracted commitment. Buying the land, saving one coin, or getting a mortgage. It’s a long process but the earlier one begins the process the better to avoid spending on non-essential items and partying, buying expensive cars or phones and endless expenditure. Building builds responsible spending and discipline.”

Stephen Obeli, relates to the biblical teaching in Proverbs 24: 27, “Put your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home.” In summary according to him, the time to build his own house is when he has worked out a stream of incomes.

Plan, plan
Ricky Musaali, Construction Consultant at Design Engineering Services Ltd, confirms there is no right time per say, one of the key things that a human being needs is shelter.

Musaali adds that it is down to have the requisites; land (should have access to the road, water and electricity), money to source materials used for construction and a plan- These are the most important things. The plan ought to be approved by municipal authorities.

“Once approved, source out a group of builders under the supervision of the construction manager who ensures there is quality control at the building site; mixing the right portions of sand and cement. Aligning the bricks in the straight line, the construction method is good so that you have those checks and balances. House designer ought to be nearby to give you guidance on the implications of any changes.”

“In addition to having an architectural plan, one must have an electrical, plumbing, structural plans or even a landscape design, a set of builders that can appreciate what you want to build and be able to help you achieve it. The biggest challenge people have is to use small experienced builders who built a store or a toilet somewhere and elevate them into building a storied house. Obviously, the challenges manifest at some point of time,” he continues.

Build in phases
Musaali advises that one needs to know how many bedrooms they want and have an idea of how much it will cost. If you have money in big block, then build at once. However, for regular salary earners, it’s better to save up money and build in phases.

“When the house is designed, then you will know what cost the house will be. You start construction in phases, you commence from the foundation, super structure which is from the foundation up to the ring beam, then you do a sown roof, reroof, thereafter you put windows and shutters, then rendering (also called plastering) flooring, add electricals, plumbing and drainage finally move in,” Musaali advises.

Those phases have to be respected depending on the house, size and finishes.

Two cents
A regular house costs between Shs 50 and Shs200m on average with basic rooms plus three bedrooms. If one is able; they can do phases with ‘50m’ together with a hardworking team; its tailored to a work in progress for one month and a half maximum.
Musaali assures that the part that hikes the cost of the house is the finishes.

Once you starting putting the tiles, casement or aluminum windows, kind of glass and paint you are going to use; all feed into the cost of the house.