Key Factors to Consider When Building a House

Affordable Housing project in Kiambu launched by government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna on Wednesday February 23, 2022
Affordable Housing project in Kiambu launched by government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna on Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Government Spokesperson

According to a 2018 house index survey by Kenya Bankers Association, 68 per cent of homeowners built their units compared to just 17 per cent who acquired readily built houses.

Johnson Kathurima, a contractor, while speaking to explained key factors one should consider before building a house.

Planning your space

When aspiring homeowners want to build a home they should consider the basic principles of planning the space of the house.


Workers at a building under construction
Workers at a building under construction in Nairobi County on November 2021.
Construction in Kenya

Kathurima explained that the living and dining rooms should be positioned towards the south side of the house which has the best sunlight positions.

“You consider planning your space according to your life expectations such as family size, career choices, and guest accommodations. This will help you plan your rooms such as the number of guest rooms, size of the living room, and dining room ” he stated.

Ready-Made or Original design

When an individual chooses to build a house, they can consider using ready-made designs or original designs. Original designs are preferable when one chooses to build on land with peculiar shapes and sizes.

“It's advisable to seek a professional when it comes to looking for designs for unusual land shapes. The original designs are more expensive than the ready-made designs since a lot of details will be considered to meet the client’s needs and expectations” he elaborated.

Hire an Architect

It is important to pick the right architect, preferably a local architect since they network with county government officials when seeking approvals of the designs. The architect will advise on estimating the cost of building your house based on the details you give him or her.

“When looking for an architect ensure he is registered with the Architectural Association of Kenya(AAK). An individual should look at his portfolio of designs and ask for references. 

"It is really important to physically meet the architect as he or she will divulge more details such as  recommending building professionals, potential  resale value, and attractive interior designs that may help you when building  the house.”

Set a budget

Before one decides to build a house, they should set a budget based on the total cost of the building materials, labour, down payments, property taxes, and additional costs such as landscaping, decking, fencing.

“When setting up your budget, kindly consider the building budget, furnishing budget, and finishing budget. You can adjust the details of your house based on your financial limitations.”


NMS Houses that are under construction in a Nairobi Estate
NMS Houses that are under construction in a Nairobi Estate

Understand government regulations

When building a house one should keep in mind the government regulations such as land-use restrictions, safety protocols, and building codes.

The building codes of constructing houses will revolve around the design and maintenance of certain structures in a given area. There are land-use restrictions that limit the type of structures that can be erected in an area such as commercial, residential, and industrial use.

“There are land-use restrictions but their guidelines to changing the use of land. There are fees involved for individuals who want to change ”

Resale value

When building a home, location and accessibility should be a top priority since they will factor in the resale value of your house. Assets like homes appreciate over time and they can be a good investment during inflation.

When an individual thinks about the potential resale value of a home that information will be applicable to avoid overspending on functional spaces.

“You should consider the growth of the real estate industry in Kenya. The value of ready-built homes will vary based on your location. The resale value of your house might come in the future if you wish to use capital gains for your retirement.”