• Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | In Part 1 of this series, we explored purchasing land on a monthly salary below USh1M. In Part 2 of this series, we gave a detailed construction breakdown and cost analysis. In this next installment, we provide further tips to help you achieve your dream of building your own home on a modest salary.

Other Ways to Help Achieve Your Dream


A salary loan can speed up the cost of construction significantly. However, Abdu-Wahab Nyanzi, an architect with JR Consultants advises to only obtain a loan where the repayment instalments are equal to the savings you have accumulated.

Particularly at the roofing stage; a loan can help you roof the house quickly and move in faster. Then you can put the money you would otherwise be spending on rent toward servicing the loan.

“A loan helps the client get all the money in bulk to push the project to completion in the shortest time possible,” says Nyanzi.

Proper Supervision

Nyanzi recommends that site be properly supervised by a qualified architect, all the way from foundation to completion. Otherwise, you may encounter the wrong interpretation of drawings. Such errors that could lead to costly demolitions, re-work, and expensive delays. Further, the architect might come up with other cost saving ideas during their supervision.

Christine Nankiinga, a business woman in Mukono, attests to Nyanzi’s advice. She relates how her walls had to be demolished because the local mason she had hired constructed them in a crooked way.

“When my husband took over the construction it was at window level. He hired an architect to look at the work, and the architect recommended that all the inside walls were brought down because they were crooked. We incurred such a huge financial loss constructing the walls from scratch,” she says.

Nankiinga further explains her plan was misinterpreted by the mason. Because he did not understand the plan, he built some rooms larger than others, and as a result squeezed in the sitting and dining room. “The builder completely left out the garage, even when it was clearly provided for on the plan,” she says.

Use of Salvaged Materials

Using salvaged materials can significantly reduce the cost of construction. Materials like bricks, windows, doors, vents and roofing timber can be salvaged from sites that are being demolished, then reused in your own home.

A lot of the above materials are in very good condition or need only a little repair when buildings are demolished.

Participating in the Construction

Nyanzi says labour is expensive, therefore taking part in the construction to do some of the non-technical work can really help you to save.

You can perform work like digging the foundation, carrying bricks, mixing mortar and painting, without putting the project at risk. Even cleaning up the worksite each day can go a long way.

Nyanzi even suggests inviting friends over the weekend, preparing food and drinks, and they too can take part in the build activities. This way, you can get free labour, while your friends get a day out with free food and drinks.

Use Local Materials Wherever Possible

Use of materials that are local to your building site can further contribute to saving you money in transport costs. Materials like sand, bricks, timber and gravel should be sourced from the nearest providers to the site.

Try to minimise the use of unique materials that have to be sourced long distances from the site, which will cause you to incur more in transportation and duties, Nyanzi says.

Move-In as Soon as Possible

Nyanzi recommends to occupy the house as soon as it has a roof and is weather proof. “Whereas this might contravene the regulations of public health and safety, the client might find this a cost saving option in its own right,” he narrates.

Any money that you save on rent at this stage can be put towards fixing the fine installations like power, water floors, among others.

Living at the site also helps you monitor the project more closely.

Diversification for Faster Results

Décor Design Constructors, a company that deals in affordable housing, says that although it is possible to build a home with a modest salary as we have described, rarely will their clients achieve it using only their salary this way. “It could take up to 15 years for someone who wants a three-bedroomed self-contained house, the ultimate definition of modesty for most people. Our advice; diversify.”

Keep Poultry:

Save around USh 3 m in a year and use it to start a poultry farm. Renting the land to set the farm may cost USh 500,000. Use USh 600,000 for chicken house construction, buy your first batch of chicken feeds at USh 300,000 and use the rest of the money to buy 600 layer chicks @USh 2,500 each.

In six months, you can sell off the chickens each at USh 10,000, after selling eggs along the way. The amount from selling the chicken sums up to USh 5 million (Using 500 chicken, assuming 100 died). With 5 million, you can lay a foundation.

You can also use your poultry farm as collateral for a loan, buy another bunch of chicks and repeat your six months’ cycle.

Goat Keeping:

You can buy a she-goat per month, each costs USh 100,000 and entrust it with someone in the village. Goats produce twice a year, and a young one is ready for sale at the same price in six months. You can achieve your dream faster through goat farming.


Earn from Agricultural Rental Units in Your Homestead

Cost Analysis: Building Your Dream House on a Small Income, Part 1