UGANDA, Matugga | Real Muloodi News | In today’s challenging economy, building your dream house may seem out of the question. However, building your dream home can be one of the most exciting and significant projects of your lifetime!
Not everyone has millions put together to build their dream house in one go. But even with meagre earnings, if you plan well, you can still achieve this tremendous investment. The pay off is financial security and quality of life for your family.
Sulaiman Kururagire, a motorcyclist in Kampala City, bought his 50 x 50 foot plot of land at Sanga village in Matugga in 2009 at USh 2.5 million. According to Mr Kururagire, he saved the money for almost two years.
After acquiring land, Mr Kururagire did not have enough money to build his family home immediately. His dream was to build a four-bedroom home for his family, with a dining and living room, a kitchen and two indoor toilets.
An architect friend transformed his dream into a house plan. The drawings cost him USh 200,000.
Saving Little by Little
“There are days I go home with as little as Shs20, 000 depending on how busy I have been. There are days when I am unwell and stay home or when one of my family members is unwell and I have to spend on medical bills. There are also unexpected needs and this means that if I am saving towards something that costs a lot of money, it takes a lot of time. It is why I started building in 2015,” Kururagire narrates.
“As a daily earner, the money I retire at home with was not enough to sustain my family and build at the same time. I had no clear budget estimation to complete the entire house, but I had a picture in mind of the house I wanted,” Mr Kururagire says.
Despite the unpredictable savings, Mr Kururagire was resolute in his determination to put a roof over his family’s head within the shortest time possible. In 2015, he built his dream house in phases.
Building in Phases
To avoid wasting more money on rent, Mr Kururagire built two rooms first; a living room and a bedroom. He bought 10,000 bricks (two Isuzu Forward truck trips) at USh 150 a brick, and two trips of sand that cost him USh 120,000 per trip from Semuto, a short distance from his sight.
Mr Kururagire added 15 bags of cement at USh 25,000 each, plus 30 white iron sheets at USh 18,000 each.
“Even if I could not build the complete house I wanted, I was happy that I had two rooms to call home. If I had waited to save as much as USh 50 million, I would still be renting. The biggest motivation was land acquisition. I am still saving to have the rest of the rooms built. Much as it will take time, I am happy that the landlord is off my back,” Mr Kururagire narrates.
At the roofing stage, because of working on a tight budget, Mr Kururagire used roofing poles which were cheaper instead of timber. With three trips of sand, he could plaster his house. Still, with his tight budget, he applied two makeshift layers of paint and built an outdoor latrine that enabled him to move into his home.
“The engineer and his foremen charged me USh 800,000. I told my engineer that I was working on a tight budget of USh 6 million, and he did everything within the budget, from the foundation to roofing and plastering. I would pass by the site in the evening after work to see the progress of the construction,” Mr Kururagire says.
Mr Kururagire’s story teaches us that if you are determined, strategic, and flexible, you can realise your dream home, even on a meagre motorcyclist’s salary.
In Part 2 of this series, we explore another inspiring story of an Ugandan of modest means who built his dream home. He explains how he did it, how long it took, and the breakdown of what it cost him.
Like the featured image? Learn more about it, including a preview of the plan for it, in Part 2.
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