• Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Uganda, Kasangati | Real Muloodi News |  In Part 1 of this series, we explored the story of Mr Sulaiman Kururagire, a humble motorcyclist in Kampala who constructed his dream home despite his meagre salary. In this next instalment, we share Mr Michael Barigye’s story of building on a low budget. 

Mr Barigye had saved USh 30 million over four years from his job and upcountry banana farming project. In 2006, he bought a 50 x 100 foot plot of land in Kasangati for USh 17 million. He started building with the remaining USh 13 million. Mr Barigye’s dream house was a three-bedroom house with two indoor toilets, a bathroom, sitting and dining rooms and a kitchen. 

According to Mr Barigye, he spent most his USh 13 million on the foundation of his home. The foundation consumed about 40 bags of cement, each bag cost USh 32,000. The money could only raise the house up to the window level. He halted the work at that level for nine months as he worked and saved more money to resume.

“I did not compromise on the foundation because I was aware it determines the strength of the house. I bought hardcore stones, gravel, a few iron bars and clay bricks that could withstand any kind of water affects on the foundation. It is where the bigger percentage of the USh 13 million was spent,” Mr Barigye says.

Mr Barigye’s target was to raise at least USh 15 million in nine months to take him to the next level. Once he reached his USh 15 million target, he resumed from the window level, past the ring beam level, and purchased all the timber for roofing. He then got a top-up loan of USh 6 million from a Sacco to finish roofing.

“The USh 15 m was not enough to buy versatile iron sheets, and I had to halt again for approximately one and a half months as I saved for iron sheets. It compelled me to get a low-interest loan of USh 6 million from a Sacco at work to do the roofing, because I did not want the roofing timber to get damaged and add to my expenditure,” Mr Barigye explains.

Roofing and fixing the window and door frames cost him approximately USh 6 million. In 2018, Mr Barigye halted the construction once again for eight months, because he had become financially dry.

Mr Barigye continued working and saved around USh 6 million, which he used for plastering. He bought white sand, one truck trip at USh 600,000. Upon realising that he was running out of sand, he supplemented it with one sand trip of a smaller Isuzu Forward truck at USh 300,000. 

“The cost of sand depends on the source. I sourced mine from Kapeeka, in Luweero. When you buy it from local dealers who also source it, it is costly compared to when you get it from the source,” Mr Barigye advises.

Mr Barigye used 60 bags of cement, each at USh 1.92 million, while labour cost USh 2 million to complete the plastering. In total, he spent about USh 40 million from the foundation to plastering, which left him financially exhausted. Therefore, he moved in before painting. 

He advises that if you are building on a low budget, look around for a trustworthy and patient engineer. Open up to your engineer about your income inflow so that there is no extravagance in using materials, even when you are not at the site.

According to Joseph Oryang, an engineer with Century Investors Limited, if your dream is to build a home on a small income, putting up a simple two-bedroom house may cost close to USh 50 to USh 60 m with the installation of a sewerage system. 

Mr Oryang says that with skilled workers, building materials such as bricks or blocks are easily made on-site instead of purchasing them from a vendor, thus saving the homebuilder money.

Additionally, you only need to purchase cement, sand and block frames. If blocks are laid well with smooth surfaces, you can save on plastering the inside and outside.

To further save on your home construction, Mr Oryang recommends limiting the number of interior doors. 

William Kavuma, a furniture dealer at Ndeeba, says you can use semi-solid and solid flush as interior doors. 

Semi-solid flush doors cost between USh 70,000 and USh 100,000 a piece, while the solid flush doors, depending on the type of wood, can cost up to USh 400,000 without the frame.

Building the house of your dreams on a low budget is challenging, but achievable if you have discipline and resolve. If you cut down on unnecessary expenses, you will have a plot of land on which you can build your dream house in a relatively short time.

Today’s featured image is by ConceptHome.com, Concept Engineering LLC., provider of quality architectural designs. If you like what you see, you can order the Architectural Design PDF & CAD SET for House Plan CH577 for US$ 390 directly from their website. 


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