UGANDA, Wakiso | Real Muloodi News | Wakiso resident, Ruth Nabukeera, set out in search of a piece of land to purchase after years of hard work and saving. Although she intended to buy vacant land to construct her home, a half-acre of land with an unfinished house caught her attention. Ruth recently shared the saga of her unfinished home with Daily Monitor.
When Ruth surveyed the land, it was very appealing to her because the unfinished home was fairly close to what she had hoped to build.
“The land had a fairly old unfinished structure; a two-bedroomed house that was not exactly what I had intended to build, but I could adjust it to suit what I wanted. The house was almost on the wall plate and in my calculations, the offer made business sense,” Ruth explains.
Wanting to be certain that she was making the right decision, Ruth engaged the services of a contractor to assess the unfinished structure. The contractor assured her that the structure was in sound condition. Based on his commendation, Ruth purchased the property and began construction.
“The old bricks that made the last layer on the structure were removed, and we added new lines of bricks before the wall plate was done. We also broke two separating walls down to expand the rooms. Soon after, roofing began. Unfortunately, a few days after we put the timber structures up, the right-hand side of the structure collapsed,” Ruth tells, painfully.
She had to demolish the house and start afresh.
Before you decide to complete or demolish an existing structure on your land, it is imperative that you seek advice from the right type of experts, and do due diligence to avoid losses and risks that may arise in construction.
Let a structural engineer assess the building, and an architect draw the new architectural plans for approval. Of course, you will also need the civil engineer to construct the structure and complete it.
Paul Tiboti, a registered civil engineer, tells Daily Monitor that it is necessary to have a structural assessment; the building may be too old and affected by rain that causes cracks and weak walls. The rain may also compromise the strength of the cement, making the structure look strong when it is weak.
Besides that, Amos Egesa, an engineer at Construction Design Africa (CDA), says one of the other crucial considerations is verifying the ownership of the land on which the structure sits.
Verifying the names under which the land title lies at the lands department of the local council can go a long way in saving you the trouble and penalties you may accidentally encounter after purchase.
Rules and Regulations
Eng. Tiboti explains that if the unfinished building has been in place for over two years, you need to go back to the local authorities for approval before construction begins.
If there has been remodelling, make new architectural plans for re-approval, even if the original plans were approved.
When to Demolish
According to Eng. Amos Egesa, if a structure is old, with wrecked beams and columns, demolish it. Likewise, if the design does not meet the building requirements as required by the local council, it calls for demolition.
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