How much does it cost to build a 3 bedroom bungalow in Nigeria?

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For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? – Luke 14: 28 – 30

 

 

You’ve come a long way as a tenant and it’s time to build your house. You’ve started searching for designs, calculating how much you need for the project. Look no further, this post is for you.

I will try as much as possible to demystify the cost of building a house in Nigeria. It was a bit difficult getting accurate information from builders as no one will want to reveal his ‘trade secrets’. However, to help us in arriving at a good enough estimate, I sampled three cases of 3-bedroom houses built in 3 locations: Nasarawa, Lagos and Kwara. The building process will be broken into stages and the amount spent will be included.

A list of price of building materials will also be added. This is to help in cost estimates particularly since tastes are different. At the end of the post is included some additional web resources to help you in planning. But first, let us see what is involved when getting a land in Nigeria.

Buying a land

For Lagos residents, Omonilelawyer specifies some things to watch out for when buying a land. These are;

  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Gazette
  • Deed of conveyance
  • Survey plan of land

The above list is so you don’t fall into the hands of land scammers. These same requirements apply all through Nigeria and it is advisable to include a lawyer in the buying process.

Land price is dependent on location. It is not out of place to see various plots of land within the same state having steep price differences. Locations on the outskirts of the city are cheaper than those in central city areas. High-brow residential areas have jaw-dropping prices while waterlogged and conflict prone areas could be cheaper. A half plot of land is enough to accommodate a 3 bedroom flat as can be seen in this project. However, we will be going with a plot of land for this post.

One plot can go for as low as ₦350,000 to as high as ₦10 million or even higher depending on the area.




Drafting your building plan

Work closely with good professionals to get this done relaying your designs for implementation. For a standard 3-bedroom house plan, design cost can range from ₦40,000 to ₦300,000.

What you need at this stage is an architect.

Price list of building materials in Nigeria

Price vary depending on location and closeness to materials. Recent increase in exchange rates has seen some prices increase over 100% of what was obtainable years ago. For materials such as cement, price is near-uniform nationwide. Below is the current price of some materials;

Items Qty Price (₦)
Sharp sand 30 tons 35,000
3/8 sand 15 tons 28,000
Plastering sand 15 tons 28,000
3” granite 30 tons 220,000
9” block (hand mould, vibrated) 1 140, 150
6” block (hand mould, vibrated) 1 120, 130
5” block (solid) 1 140
4” block 1 130
Cement 1 1650
Hardwood
2 x 2 1 270
2 x 3 1 370
2 x 4 1 470
2 x 6 1 700
3 x 4 1 700
1 x 12 1 1500


 

For a more comprehensive list, see this 2013 price list for Lagos. Worker’s wages (AKA workmanship), varies with location and goes a long way in determining the difference in building costs. The price of labour in Abuja will be different from what is obtainable in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state. In one of the projects sampled in this post, masons charged ₦50 per block laid. In another project, the charge was ₦40. Other workers such as carpenters, painters, labourers will have varying wages. For a guess on worker’s wages in your area, it is important to contact people around who have built recently.

Case studies

I sampled three real life cases for study. All projects are 3 bedroom apartments in three different locations in Nigeria. We will use actual figures (where given) from these cases to show how much was spent in each stage of the building process.

Case 1 summary

Location: Mararaba, Nasarawa State (close to Abuja)

Year: 2015

Building cost: ₦5,116,350 (80% completed). See Full breakdown

Case 2 summary

Location: Ajah, Lagos state

Year: 2015

Cost of land: ₦2.5 million for a plot. Exclusive of other fees.

Building cost: About ₦7 million (95% completed)

Case 3 Summary

Location: Kwara state

Year: 2011-2013

Cost of land: ₦200,000 for 2.5 plots bought in 2009

Cost: About ₦8 million (Completed, main house only)

Building the house proper

For ease of explanation, I will split the process into 4 major stages;

  1. Foundation to flooring + soakaways
  2. Block work to roofing
  3. Noggin/roofing
  4. Finishing (plastering, electrical, plumbing, windows, doors others etc)

At the end of each stage, I included money spent in each case study at that point.

  • Foundation to flooring + soakaway

Some people advice that a soil test be done to determine the type of foundation required. This is because soils generally exhibit complex properties. For a small scale project, most engineers can estimate the best foundation to suit a soil without the need for a comprehensive soil test. More especially, if there are other houses in the area.

This first stage of the project will involve digging the foundation, laying some blocks up to floor level, and flooring. German flooring is a very popular flooring choice among Nigerian builders.




Case 1: ₦1,276,650 (foundation, German floor, soakaway)

Case 2: ₦1.5 million (foundation, German floor)

Case 3: ₦1 million (foundation, German floor)

  • Block work + lintel

After the flooring, the main block work begins. It is at the stage that the different rooms start to take shape. In my experience co-managing a block industry, I’d estimate a total of about 7,000 blocks for a 3 bedroom (house + soakaway + fence) on a plot of land. Could be slightly more or less. Smaller room sizes will need lesser than this figure.

Case 1: ₦1,239,450 (block work, labour, sand, cement, lintel casting, iron, wood)

Case 3: ₦2 million (block work, plastering, labour, sand, cement)

  • Noggin/roffing

Roofing and finishing is what takes larger chunk of the total cost of building a house.  There are a few roofing alternatives and they come with their pros and cons. Asbestos was well used decades ago but is fading now due to health concerns. Aluminium roof are much more popular these days. Also there are concrete fascias and parapets added to roofing to give it a modern look.

Case 1: ₦1,506,250 (concrete fascia, wood work, aluminium roofing)

Case 3: ₦950,000 (Wood work, aluminium roofing)

  • Finishing

This is the final stage of the project involving plumbing, electrical, plastering, tiling, windows, doors and so on. The amount of money spent on finishing depends majorly on your taste. Someone putting metal doors and imported tiles in his house will spend more than another considering cheaper alternatives.

Case1: ₦705,000 (windows, doors, plastering, electrical, plumbing, POP)

Case 3: ₦1.565 million. (Sanitary wares, plumbing, tiles, POP, electrical, painting)

Other costs

Apart from the major stages outlined above, there are stages that are equally important. Among these are fencing, clearing/leveling of land, erecting of gates, omonile/drink-for-community-chief, water supply, development levies etc.

Cost saving tips

Sadly, it is near impossible to 100% avoid being fleeced when building a house. Some site engineers might be dishonest in their price quotes and actions. A few have gone as far as selling building materials meant for the project. There is also the danger of buying sub-standard materials at standard price.

However, and I must add, there are honest site engineers and workers in Nigeria too. Not all are bad eggs.

From research and personal experience, here are some cost saving tips;

  • Get 2 or 3 quotes before spending money on any part of the project. You’ll be amazed how much can be saved.
  • As much as possible, have a trusted family member on site ALWAYS or at least most of the time.
  • Visit the market to have an idea of how much materials are sold.
  • If you can, be present when materials are bought
  • Do proper stock-taking

Conclusion

From the three cases, we can estimate a total of ₦8 million will go a long way in erecting a decent 3 bedroom bungalow if well managed. This is exclusive of furniture and exquisite finishing. Factoring in land cost of ₦2 million, this brings the total to ₦10 million.

Does this mean you must have ₦10 million before building your house? Absolutely not. Building a house doesn’t have to be a sprint. The most important thing is starting and gradually building up. In one of the cases sampled, the owner started building with ₦500,000 about a year after buying the land. Start that project today and you could be a proud house owner before you know it.

 

 

Kindly, note that these figures are not cast in stone but are to serve as a guide of what to expect. With careful planning, it is possible to spend a 7th of the total given.

 

I hope you found this useful, don’t forget to comment and share with your friends.

 

 

 

Additional resources

Estimating and budgeting worksheet – A downloadable worksheet for building project budgeting designed for the US but can be used in Nigeria

Costtobuild Calculator – A handy calculator that can be used to estimate building costs room by room.


Comments

  • Great job. Can’t thank you enough for this free live saving info. Keep up the good job.

    Anthony Abdul February 16, 2017 10:13 am
    • I’m glad you found it useful, Anthony! Even if it helps just 1 person, I’m happy 🙂

      Ethan Okoli February 17, 2017 2:02 am
  • Thank you very much for this such insightful

    kolawole March 2, 2017 9:56 am
  • Niceone Ethan, well done and thanks.

    Amaka March 8, 2017 7:34 am
    • Thanks, Amaka! I appreciate getting feedback on these

      Ethan Okoli March 11, 2017 12:50 pm
  • This is the most detailed one i’ve seen yet. thanks for your research.i hope i can find one on reliable contractors too

    Marian March 8, 2017 2:20 pm
  • This is Amazing,im on a project right now and sincerely your breakdown is very helpful. Thanks

    Fred March 15, 2017 9:22 pm
    • I’m so happy you found this useful. Please let me know how the project goes.

      Ethan Okoli March 16, 2017 11:32 pm
  • infact I appreciate this facts.Thank u

    wale March 26, 2017 4:15 pm
  • Nice one! I really appreciate. I am in my village now trying to erect a 4 bedroom bungalow, but I have 350k-400k to fly with. What do you think?

    Chris March 30, 2017 12:31 pm
    • Hi Chris,

      Every N1 you put into the property (especially at this time) doubles in value. I would say start fencing/gating first with what you have. Secure the property before you start your foundation. All the best

      Ethan Okoli March 31, 2017 12:31 am
  • This is a good and informative piece of article…this has enlighten me om steps to take to build. But will it cost me less if I’m to build a bungalow on a half plot?

    CHINEDU OZULUMBA March 31, 2017 3:46 pm
  • very insightful considering I’m a about to embark on a building project

    tope March 31, 2017 8:16 pm
  • How can you not put your contact details?

    Jerry April 1, 2017 1:48 pm
  • Nice one. Thanks.

    fred April 8, 2017 1:40 pm
    • You’re welcome, Fred

      Ethan Okoli April 14, 2017 3:01 pm
  • Wonderful, well detailed, will be setting up funds for the project, with God grace. Thanks

    Joseph Ugwu April 10, 2017 10:56 am
    • I’m happy this helped you!

      Ethan Okoli April 14, 2017 1:14 pm
  • Thanks for the information and insight for us new starter . Please advise if it’s important to do the fence and gate first before starting the foundation

    Biola Alesh April 14, 2017 9:49 pm
    • Hi Biola,

      Absolutely! Once you have bought a piece of land for a building, your main priority should be to secure your land from fraudulent resellers, squatters, medicine people who might not be happy with your new purchase etc. You should fence the property and put a gate before you begin the foundation. Depending on whether the land is dry or swampy, the foundation tends to cost a lot more than you expect. For less than the cost of the foundation, you can get your land fenced and gated, so whatever you then choose to build is up to you. All the best with your project!

      Ethan Okoli April 16, 2017 7:13 am
  • thanks for a good job but need an update to meet the present market prices, in any case it was a good insight

    daemola williams April 18, 2017 10:43 am
  • thanks for a good job but need an update to meet the present market prices, in any case it was a good insight

    ademola williams April 18, 2017 10:44 am
    • Hi Ade,

      Thanks for your feedback. Market prices change so quickly that I cannot keep up (this site is just a hobby). If some of my readers can update me on prices, I would be happy to update this post.

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

      Ethan Okoli April 19, 2017 1:35 am
  • Thank you so much for this insightful information

    Sade Adare April 30, 2017 5:00 pm
    • Thanks, Sade. I appreciate your feedback

      Ethan Okoli May 4, 2017 5:00 am
  • This is very helpful.Thanks for taking the time and effort to provide this detailed information .

    Ed May 1, 2017 9:56 pm
    • Thanks, Ed. I appreciate your feedback

      Ethan Okoli May 4, 2017 4:57 am
  • thanks alot I really appriciate, well done.

    john smith May 4, 2017 11:00 am
    • Thanks for your encouragement, John.

      Ethan Okoli May 8, 2017 4:30 pm
  • Thanks alot for this informative piece. Would be glad if you could do same for a flat with the current prices. Also Can I have your contact. Pls

    Favour May 6, 2017 3:46 am
  • Thanks

    Favour May 6, 2017 3:48 am
    • You’re welcome. hope it helped you.

      Ethan Okoli May 8, 2017 4:23 pm
  • Thanks very much for this educative insight. You’ve made things easy for everyone.

    JJ May 13, 2017 9:20 pm
  • Thanks very much for this educative insight. You’ve made things really easy for everyone building

    JJ May 13, 2017 9:22 pm
  • Thank you so much Dear Ethan, I am encouraged to start something. And for shearing your knowledge, God bless and increase you.

    michael abiodun May 17, 2017 2:13 pm
    • Amen, Michael – thanks for the appreciation!

      Ethan Okoli May 19, 2017 5:42 am
  • Thanks so much sir, this is absolute insightful.

    Tola May 18, 2017 1:28 pm
    • I’m so glad it helped you, Tola

      Ethan Okoli May 19, 2017 5:42 am
  • THANKS,GOOD INFORMATION NO DOUBT

    T MOGAJI May 19, 2017 5:05 pm
    • Thanks, Mogaji. Hope you find it a helpful guide

      Ethan Okoli May 20, 2017 7:09 pm
  • For your building project contact builder Hakeem Adekunle phone number 07061147257

    Hakeem May 20, 2017 10:39 am
  • Contact me for your building project Email holushinahakeem@gmail.com phone number 07061147257 we build for the nation for better convenience

    Hakeem May 20, 2017 10:44 am
  • Great job!!!
    I just stumbled on this and i must say, it came in really handy and got me thinking of building.

    The only “but” i have is that there ar numerous sites that advertise land sale and i am always afraid of falling a victim to fraudulent land sellers and resellers because i know a close relative it happened to; plus am female, i dont really know how to go about getting this without being cheated.

    Please advice. Will it be better to look out for lands within an estate or go for independent land owners.

    Nkoyo May 22, 2017 4:13 pm
    • Hi Nkoyo,

      I’m glad you found this helpful. To be honest, with land issues, it is better to deal face-to-face with agents, and your being female should not be a problem as long as you have your wits about you. You can purchase land any where you like, as long as you are able to do your due diligence. I know a lady in her 60’s who has purchased over 30 properties in Lagos, buying and reselling and she doesn’t even speak Yoruba! If you want, I can put you in contact with her and she can guide you through the process and also connect you with verified, trusted agents she has used. If this interests you, e-mail me at ctrl@mrpepe.com

      Ethan Okoli May 23, 2017 12:09 am
  • Wow! this just tallies with my estimates. I estimated N8,640,000 for a 3 bedroom bungalow and found your cost so close. Thank you for this initiative.

    adewunmi okupe June 3, 2017 12:22 am
  • Very wise counsel.
    I’m glad a stumble to this article.

    Jackime June 16, 2017 11:59 pm
  • Very wise counsel.
    I’m glad I stumble to this article.
    A good guide to developing my land.

    Jackime June 17, 2017 12:01 am
  • very fantastic, ur pieces of advice wake me up on my project,is it possible to build 2 3 bedroom flat on 30 by 120

    idee June 21, 2017 1:51 am
  • good job

    obe adebayo June 26, 2017 10:18 am
    • Thanks so much

      Ethan June 27, 2017 5:32 am
  • thanks a lot.

    very helpful…..

    devo June 27, 2017 8:09 am
  • Great Job. Very useful piece.

    giddy June 28, 2017 5:32 am
  • hi just got a quote for woodwork alone for a 3 bedroom bungalow for 618,000 and .55mm stone coated roofing for 1.5 Million…..not sure if i am not been fleeced…Need advice

    Dr Andrew July 10, 2017 8:34 pm
  • can I complete a 2bedroom with 3 million? I hv a land already

    happyChrisjune July 10, 2017 9:56 pm
  • please I need direction.Thank you

    happyChrisjune July 10, 2017 10:02 pm
  • This is absolutely awesome,thank you so much. Please can I have your phone number please?

    Pst Quincy July 11, 2017 10:04 pm
  • How much will it take to build 8 blocks of flat?

    Akabike July 15, 2017 8:29 am
  • It will be unfair if I don’t comment how touch I am reading this..blieve me you gat me to buckled up..and don’t just put money in the bank to rise before I start something.

    Bukola July 18, 2017 6:15 pm
  • Nice Article, but of all the request-comments of ur phone contact u didnt oblige..
    Not cool!

    Mark July 25, 2017 2:22 pm
    • Hey Mac, I’d rather actually be contacted by email ctrl@mrpepe.com as I’m always on the move

      Ethan July 27, 2017 7:00 pm
  • For a starter from scratch,I find this very informative and very insightful! Can you pls drop your contact?Will like a one on one guidance from you.

    Zain July 25, 2017 9:27 pm
    • Hi Zain, I’m sorry I didn’t leave my personal contact. I’m quite happy to answer your questions by email: ctrl@mrpepe.com

      Ethan July 27, 2017 6:57 pm
  • This is brilliant! Thanks so much for saving a life with this amazing article. Thanks a lot. I am currently looking into starting something (4 bedroom appartment) *bungalow*. This has really help.

    Nakky July 26, 2017 4:58 pm
    • Hi Nakky,

      I’m really glad this was helpful to you. If there’s any additional information that would help you, let me know.

      Ethan July 27, 2017 6:55 pm
  • This is really helpful. Based on your evaluation, there are lots of factors to consider. I am wondering if a 4-5 Bedroom Bungalow can fit into half a plot of land? Is this possible depending on the plan, or is it not advisable. You views are highly appreciated. Thanks…

    Godwin Ndubuisi July 31, 2017 5:24 pm
  • Thank you for this very helpful piece, it’s the best i have seen so far.
    I acquired a plot through an estate developer thinking of starting work there in October, this will surely allow me to work out a better budget. Thanks again.

    Ms. Eyo August 4, 2017 2:06 pm
    • I’m glad this helped you!

      Ethan August 10, 2017 12:22 am
  • I am def starting something!wow got me going with your insight.

    Bigzee August 5, 2017 12:21 am
    • Thanks so much. I’m glad to have been of inspiration

      Ethan August 10, 2017 12:22 am
  • this is an informative piece. Thanks for sharing. I have spent a total of 2.1million on a four bedroom flat and that took me only to German flooring. Will you say that amount is too much. How much do you think will be appropriate to pay my builder for supervision from Dpc to lintel

    Xnt August 8, 2017 6:13 am
  • Nice article sir. I have started a 3bedroom bungalow project and currently on German flooring. My budget is 10m to finish with all rooms ensuit, pop, tiles, parapet, stone coated roofing,and other modern features. Hope the Monet would be enough?

    John August 13, 2017 7:20 pm
    • Hi John,

      I won’t be able to tell you whether or not the amount you have will be enough, as this depends on the materials you are purchasing. I will recommend doing a costing with the person managing the building asking him/her to estimate quantities of each items to give you a rough idea of how much you could be expected to spend. With building projects, it is very very easy to overspend your budget without planning.

      Ethan August 15, 2017 1:37 pm
  • This is very insightful sir, am presently building in an estate in Abuja, i will find this very helpful coupled with the system i adopted from my Father-in law in building process. ( Minimize cost and Builder/Labour from Benin Republic) This guys are very honest and professional on their workings. They will erect a duplex at a least unexpected cost when compared to what is obtainable else where. They will drive you to building and give you the motivation to believe you can in their honesty.
    NB:Am not a builder,i represent them now in Abuja. For Further details- 08060006094.
    Thanks Sir.

    Oyewole August 17, 2017 11:24 am
    • Thanks, Oyewole. I have actually heard that getting labour from Republic of Benin is great for reducing costs. There’s also another massive cost saving measure I am researching at the moment. It basically is a method to reduce the cost of cement by up to 30%. I’ll post it on the blog once I’m done with the research!

      Ethan August 17, 2017 9:54 pm
  • Such a wonderful post. I’ve nearly lost hope of starting up a building project in my village with 250k after viewing the above 3case studies,until I saw someone who began with 500k. Absofreakinglutely inspiring & reassuring!

    Agozie August 18, 2017 9:17 am
    • Agozie, thanks for the feedback. You should never ever give up because whatever you put in your property will double. If the price of cement has almost doubled in the last 18 months, this shows how fast the property market is growing. I would advice putting any spare money you have into your building project, starting with fencing and securing it. All the best, and Godspeed!

      Ethan August 18, 2017 1:14 pm
  • Thank you very much for this encouraging piece

    Gracebella August 19, 2017 4:16 pm
    • You’re welcome, Grace. All the best with your project

      Ethan August 20, 2017 10:48 pm
  • This is good. I felt cheated by the quotation l got from my contractor but with this information, my mind-set has changed. I am so happy to see the figure for a three bedroom flat in Lagos. Thank you.

    fidelia August 20, 2017 8:12 am
    • Hi Fidelia,
      Thanks for the feedback, but I would suggest always cross checking with 2 or 3 suppliers. Even if you get an item N200 cheaper, because you’re likely to be a repeat buyer, this will translate to a lot of savings in the long run.

      Also, prices keep changing so even the prices quoted here are a guide and might be out of date. All the best with your project!

      Ethan August 20, 2017 10:47 pm
  • Amazing job Mr Pepe!! This provided a lot of clarity. This is the best and most detailed building quotation or estimation I have seen for Nigeria, at least thus far.
    Great Job. Please do more writing about properties and real estate investments 🙂

    Deola September 5, 2017 7:26 pm
  • Great Job. Really appreciate the time taken to get this done. More grease to your elbow.

    Tunji September 5, 2017 11:26 pm
  • WOW! What a great relief, with these lots of information that are genuine and true: GOD BLESS you and your home in JESUS Nsme”””

    Kevin September 6, 2017 11:02 am
    • I’m glad you found this helpful Kevin. All the best with your project!

      Ethan September 18, 2017 2:04 pm
  • I must confess that this is just a superb information.

    I was able to get a plot of land around FUTA area in Ondo state for little less than 1million naira (late last year) and ever since I’ve scared of starting something on the land. With the information and encouragement I’ve seen here, I’m definitely driving to the site next week to start with the little I have.

    Thank you, thank you and thank you once more for sharing this.

    Olu September 11, 2017 11:03 pm
    • Hi Olu,

      I’m glad that this inspired you. I will strongly encourage you to start something – even if it means securing the plot with a fence and gate and building in your own stride. Godspeed!

      Ethan September 18, 2017 1:12 pm
  • Thank soon much,Just stumbled on this info.I know it is going to make my day.May God Bless u

    Mary September 14, 2017 5:46 am
  • Thank you soo..much,Just stumbled on this info.I know it is going to make my day.May God Bless u!

    Mary September 14, 2017 5:48 am
    • Thanks Mary, I’m glad you found this useful

      Ethan September 18, 2017 1:08 pm
  • HELLO

    I do have 2 plots of Land together in Amuwo Odofin Lagos. I wish to develop immediately 1 plot with ..

    Solid 4Bedroom Bungalow
    2living room
    Each room ensuite
    kitchen Store dinning

    I will appreciate if you give me a full break down of the estimate cost to have it complete. And can you handle the project ?

    I shall await your responds and possibly sent me your phone number for better conversation upon your email back to me with the required and break down.

    Thank you

    CHIBUEZE September 15, 2017 2:56 pm
  • Thanks For this useful info… Its a real eye opener .

    Terdoo J September 18, 2017 7:48 am
    • Hi Terdoo,

      I’m glad that you found this helpful.

      Ethan September 18, 2017 12:28 pm
  • THIS INFO. IS VERY HELPFULL. I ALREADY HAVE A LAND THAT WHY IS MORE EASIER FOR ME…… I RAISED IT UP REMAINING THE ROOFING LEVEL……

    EMEKA BRIGHT October 4, 2017 11:21 am

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