I’m loving this post, spent the last 30 mins reading carefully. I happen to want to start fencing a plot in a water logged area, I knew the area was waterlogged right from the very start as that the nature of the terrain (Lekki).
My question is that whilst I’m not a millionaire that can afford to give a blank cheque to a contractor etc, what I want to do is supply materials to a builder, he builds it alongside my architect, he will build shell initially, I take a rest and gather more cash to complete the finishing 6-9 months later. My question is that whats the best way to deal with a situation where I want to supply materials, the reason why I want to do this is that there are some things that you rightly mentioned I dont want to compromise on, I want to but good quality materials irrespective of the costs and just want to pay for labour (someone to do the actual work).
I have someone who is a very good architect, he will do the supervision and drawing etc. Lastly when attempting to build in lagos state schemes, how do you know whether you are allowed to build what you intend to build without making so many trips to the approval people back n forth.
@OP, You can save money 🤑 , time ⏲️ or quality 🏚️ , but you can’t save all three. You have to decide on your approach and accept that you will have to invest something.
In response to your question, I can see that the build-route you want to use is ‘Self-Managed’ which means you’ll be responsible for physically building the house from scratch. I can also see that you’ve tried to make it easier by engaging an architect to handle tasks that you won’t be able to carry out yourself. If that’s the only reason you’re engaging him, then he’s irrelevant in the project. He should have the same power as yourself and even more to take decision without waiting for your approval.
(But make we talk true, water-logged site construction pass Architect’s supervision o!)
You’ve also gone a step further to define roles and responsibilities such as interpretation of design drawings, ordering of materials and building inspection, taking deliveries and organising the day-to-day running of the site.
(Who will inspect the building - perform quality check?). The Architect - will double as the referee and the skipper.
This approach is very good in theory but is it practicable and economical? Read on:
Real life example: I just finished a fence project for a client few weeks ago in a water-logged area. My budget for the project is N2.5m but we ended up spending over N3m to do the same job using ‘Self-Managed’ approach (ie. the owner supply the materials). We also ended up spending extra 4 weeks waiting for the gates to be delivered. Between the time we’re waiting for the gates and when it was delivered, a 5 bedroom duplex project in the same area was started and finished to roofing stage using ‘Contractor-managed’ approach. Where did the extra fund went? Why did the work took so long? Why did we end up spending more while trying to save cost?
Cost and Cash-flow Implications: this approach is a sure way to build houses with very little budget. Cash-flow are much easier to manage using this approach than with the other routes, as the only outgoings are actual cost of materials, for which you are responsible.
However, you’ll need to factor into the equation, the losses you made when you order wrong items, incomplete materials or when delayed delivery of materials is holding up the build process.
If you must follow this route, you’ll need to ensure the following (especially when building water-logged sites):
- You must be available at all time to provide and take deliveries of materials as needed.
- You must know more than just the basics to determine when you’re overspending or under-budgeting on a particular stage. You will need to know material requirements — not just the quality you want but, more importantly, the quantity.
- You’ll need an in-depth knowledge of the building project schedule (i.e. what trades come after each other and which work are dependent on other)
- Research your roles very well before starting out, because your life will no longer be your own till the end of the project. (Managing suppliers, artisans, subcontractors when you have no knowledge of the subject matter may well leave you open to exploitation by unscrupulous men).
- You will need to know how to juggle/manage the conflicting needs of your builder, architect, suppliers, subcontractors, and so on.
I encourage first time homeowners and self builders to always find the right balance between quantity and quality as this will help them determine what they want and where they want it.
Your home projects deserves the best!
Next post: I’m ready to work with a builder/engineer, how can I manage him so that he will not kill me before my time.