Steps on how to build a house in Nigeria 2021

Steps on how to build a house in Nigeria 2021

Have you ever thought of buying land in Nigeria and building a good house? Or maybe you already acquired a plot of land or two and are now interested in building a new house. Constructing a new home is never easy, but if you plan well and have an idea of the processes of constructing a house, then you will begin to find things a little easy.

The steps to building a house in Nigeria are similar, no matter the city you are building in – Lagos, Ota, Abuja, or any other city. What varies is the labour, cost of land and building materials. For example, building a house in Lekki, Lagos, is considered expensive than building in Ijebu-ode, Ogun state. This indirectly tells us that the properties in Lekki can be regarded as “prime real estate”.

Grounds and Cribs are a team of real estate professionals who help you buy or sell your properties quickly. Get started by sending a property request by using the contact form.

Plan well

Do you want to build a house? Plan and plan well.

Are you looking for something specific in a house? Or what type of house do you like to build?

Planning well cannot be over empathize when it comes to building a home in Nigeria. It is by far the most crucial step. Planning remains planning whether you want to build cheaply, quickly or for profit.

These are some questions you need to ask when planning to build your house:

  • Is it a duplex or bungalow?
  • How many rooms?
  • How many toilets?
  • What will be your source of water? Borehole?
  • How will your house be powered? Generator or solar?
  • And a lot of other things.

It would be best if you looked at other people houses for inspiration. Take note of the part of their home you love and the ones you don’t. Also, go online, do some research and get as many ideas as you need. Those ideas you got can be used as a reference for your architects, builders and interior designers.

Make a budget that is realistic and achievable

Two things almost always happen when making a budget for building a house. Either the things in your budget cost more, or the house takes longer than you first thought about it.

The first estimate you get from the builder is likely to miss some things that you will surely need. At times, finishing cost of building the house is overlooked – some of the thing that make up these costs includes TV satellite cable, water tanks, electric meters, window covers, etc. Sometimes, fences and gates are not always included in the initial estimate.

If you plan to build your house on an estate, never overlook additional costs like roads and security services. Also, remember that there are other costs like building plan fees. If you add these costs together, you will notice that they are almost taking 25-30% of your budget.

To get an almost accurate budget, here is a general list of costs that you may find helpful:

  • Acquiring a suitable plot of land (if you have bought one)
  • Site cost
  • Government taxes to pay
  • Building cost
  • Building plan fees
  • Finishing cost

If you compare what you want and what you can afford, if it matches, you can go ahead and purchase the right plot of land.

Hiring the services of professional real estate agents is a better way to source land in Nigeria. Luckily, Grounds and Cribs are here for you. Once you see the one, you can go ahead and buy the one you like. Just tell us your budget and requirements, and we will get back to you with a list of lands perfectly suited for you.

Here are some factors you need to consider before buying a plot of land:

  • Price
  • Accessibility
  • Location
  • Markets, schools, malls, healthcare, etc.
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Security

You must identify and verify all the details given to you before you release your hard-earned money.

Hire the services of an architect to create a design

On the ground that you have already purchased a good land and have some design ideas, you can now hire an architect to bring those ideas to life. The architect will create a plan of the home you wish to build.

A competent architect’s job is to:

  • Properly understand your plans and ideas
  • Make sure your ideas are viable
  • Represent your ideas on paper
  • Make sure your ideas go with the latest building standards and regulations.

Ensure you get a more accurate estimate

In this step, it is highly recommended that you hire the services of a quantity surveyor (cost consultant). They can give you a bill of quantities – includes an estimated cost of materials, parts and labour. The estimate that the cost consultant will provide will be based on the specification and designs made by the architect.

When you have a more accurate estimate, it gives you a more substantial ground for negotiating with the builders or contractors.

Get a building plan approval from the government

For an individual to begin developing a plot of land, it is essential that building approval must be obtained from the relevant authorities. Most times, getting this approval involves payment. Some of the document you will need includes:

  • Title documents – Certificate/ Right of occupancy
  • Site analysis report
  • Survey plans
  • Floor plans
  • Design plans
  • Environmental impact report

In Lagos, the relevant authorities are the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority (LASPPDA) under the Ministry of Physical Planning and urban development.

Picking the right contractor, developer or builder

The job of a builder ensures that your approved plans finally get built on the ground. The builder endeavours to complete the project on ground at the estimated cost gotten earlier. Note that the builder may or may not source the needed materials and labour; it basically depends on the arrangement you made with them earlier.

Who is a contractor? A contractor is one you contract to complete the building project for you – typically from start to finish. Once money for the project has been allocated, the contractor will source materials and hire the needed expertise to complete the building process.

One advantage of working with a contractor is that you will have time to do other things as the contractor can hire on your behalf – from project managers to electricians, engineers, etc., to complete the process. If you decide to work directly with a builder, you may be required to hire the necessary expertise yourself, i.e. someone to do the wiring, roofing, decking, foundation, etc.

However, if you do not have the time or expertise to do all these, it is advisable to work with reputable contractors because they are more knowledgeable and will get the job done faster than you.

If you are capable (i.e. you have the money) and want to avoid the stress of building a house in Nigeria, hire a real estate developer. A developer always has a team of professionals, from architects to quantity surveyors, contractors, sub-contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc., that can complete the building process from start to finish.

There are some factors you need to consider before choosing any builder, contractor or developer, they are:

  • Have they been licensed?
  • What are their past works?
  • Are they easy to work with?
  • Were their previous clients satisfied with their works?
  • How much do they cost?
  • What type of home do they specialize in?

Note: Before you enter or sign any agreement, ensure you understand what you are signing; if you need a lawyer to go through the details, do hire one.

Constant communication is key

Ensure you are in continuous communication with your builder, contractor or developer throughout the building or construction process. Get ongoing updates on signs of progress made, and make sure you visit the site as much as you can. Requesting regular pictures is an excellent way to identify and rectify any problem. If you are too busy, it is recommended that you hire independent site inspectors as they will report to you at different phases of the building process.

Save more money

The up-and-down of the economy has made building a home in Nigeria expensive and cost overruns. To tackle this problem, you need to discover how to save more money without sacrificing quality.

One way you can do is to bargain. Always try not to pay the first amount given to you; obtain two or three quotes for any items required in the building process. Doing this ensures that you always get the best deals possible.

In conclusion

It is never easy to build a house in Nigeria, but if you follow the steps and guides in this article, the journey to owning your home becomes quite straightforward. In summary, make sure you plan well, get the appropriate approvals and work with competent and reputable professionals that will help build your dream home.



We all know that a C of O on a property means that property’s title has been perfected but you still need to watch out for certain indicators otherwise you could get scammed and lose out completely.

When you hear that a property has a C of O, don’t lose your guard.

You still need to open your eyes wide and do some more findings in order to land a perfect deal.

Learn more in this video.

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