Guide: How do I fence my property and how much will it cost?

If you have just purchased a plot (or plots) of land, and you are thinking of what your next steps are, congratulations on your purchase! 2018 will be your best year for investments so far, if you can just plan adequately to secure assets (things that gain value over time, and put more money in your pocket) rather than liabilities (things that lose value over time, and remove money from your pocket).  For example, your plot of land that you have just purchased (or are about to purchase) is an asset. Your vehicle is a liability. For a deeper understanding of what assets and liabilities are, I would suggest that you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.  You can get it from a bookstore near you, or on Amazon.

Back to property. So you have just purchased your first land asset and are wondering what your next steps are in order to:

  • secure your property from trespassers
  • not throw away money needlessly

These steps would guide you on all that you need to fence and gate your property, including paper work and materials. This should serve as a guide so that when your contractor gives you an estimate, you can make an informed decision.

In this case, all materials and dimensions used will consider a plot of land measuring 18m x 36m (60 feet x 120feet).

Below are the processes and their estimated costs;

1. Site clearing:


Before you start doing any work, you will need to cut and remove any bushes or shrubs from the property. This is the first operation to be carried out after the beacons of the plot have been set by the land surveyor, and it prepares the site for excavation and other site activities. How much the workers charge you depends on the size of the plot, the people performing it and the equipment they will need to use. You should expect to pay anything from N30,000 naira and above for a full plot.

2. Excavation:

Excavation involves digging the soil where the foundation of the fence/building will be built. The cost depends on the size of the plot, the depth to be excavated, the equipment to be used and the people performing it. We will calculate the cost of excavating a plot of land 18m x36m (60 x 120ft).

Depth of excavation = 600mm = 0.6m
Width of excavation = 675mm = 0.675m (i.e 3 x 225mm (9inches block))
Length of the plot = 18m +18m +36m +36m = 108metres
If we are fixing a gate, we will deduct 3.6m (12feet) for the gate
Length of plot =108m -3.6m = 104.4m
Quantity of materials to be excavated = 104.4mx0.6m x0.675m = 43cubic metres
The rate of excavation ranges from 750naira per cubic metres to 900naira per cubic metres.
Cost of Excavation = 43 cubic metres x 750 = about N32,250

3. Blinding

Blinding involves thoroughly mixing a layer of sand, granite and cement to form concrete, which is then poured on the ground after the excavation to provide a level surface for the fence/foundation to sit on. We are going to calculate the materials needed for blinding such as the cement, sand and granite, so that you are not misled by your contractor.

Most times, cement, sand and granite are used in the ratio 1 : 2 : 4.  This means 2 headpans of cement to four headpans of sand and eight headpans of granite. You get 2 headpans of cement per bag, so that’s one bag of cement to 4 headpans of sand and eight headpans of granite. Going by this knowledge, it is easy for us to do a calculation of materials needed for blinding a plot of land 18m x36m (60 x120ft).

To do this calculation add the sum of the ratio 1+2+4= 7.
The total length of the plot is 104.4m

Normal thickness for blinding ranges from 50mm (0.05m) -100mm (0.1m) on level ground but may vary on a sloppy land, the width of the excavation is 675mm= 0.675m

Therefore total volume of concrete required for blinding = 104.4m x0.1m x0.675m = 7.1 cubic metres
Now divide 7.1cubic metres by the sum ratio which is 7, 7.1/7= 1.01
Taking a constant, the volume of a bag of cement is 0.035 cubic metres ,
Divide 1.01/ 0.035 = 29 bags of cement is needed for blinding a plot of land.
One bag of cement is N2,700
Cost of cement is N2,700 x 29 = N78,300 .
For the sand required multiply 1.01 by 2 to know the volume since the ratio is 1:2:4
Therefore volume of sand required is = 1.01 x 2 = 2.02 cubic metres.
If we take the volume of a tipper as 3.8cubic metres then 2.02/3.8 = 1/2trip of 5tonnes tipper of sand, if one trip of sharp sand cost N15,000 then 1/2trip is N7,500.
For the granite use the same ratio of 1 bag of cement to 4 headpans of sand to 8headpans of granite.
Granite required is: multiply 1.01 by 4 = 4.04 cubic metres , to know the volume since it is in the ratio of 1:2:4
Volume of granite required = 4.04 / 3.8 = 1.07
That is one and half trips(11/2) of granite of 5tonnes tipper.
If one trip of 5tonnes of granite cost 30,000 naira then one and half trips will cost 45,000naira.
The labour cost for blinding varies but majorly it is 800naira per bag of cement and we have 29bags of cement, labour cost is = 800 x29= N23,200.
Total cost for blinding is 78,300+ 7,500 + 45,000 + 23,200 = 154,000 naira only.

4. Block Laying

The next step after the blinding process is the laying of blocks. One of the most popular questions I get from potential property owners is “how many blocks do I need, to get my fence or building completed”?

To answer this, I want to guide you through calculating the number of blocks that we are going to use to fence our 1 plot of land, after the clearing, excavation and blinding have been completed.

Remember the size of the plot: 18 x 36m (60 x120ft).
Some figures to bear in mind. Please write this down, as it will help you with your building calculations in the future.
i) The length of a block is  450mm / 18inches long
ii) The width of thickness varies – 150mm or 6inches and 225mm or 9inches which are commonly used.
iii) In general, the blocks laid from the foundation of a fence to the top is 12coaches / courses. (2 coaches will be buried in the foundation, while 10coaches will be visible)

Now that we have these parameters, let’s calculate the number of blocks needed for our plot of land.

Recall our total plot perimeter to be 104.4metres
Divide the total perimeter by 0.45m (length of a block) to know the numbers of blocks are needed for one coach/level/course of block.
104.4m x 0.45m = 232 blocks
Therefore 232 blocks are needed for one coach/level/course.

Remember we have 12 coaches of blocks for a fence, then multiply the number of blocks for each coach above by 12 = 232 x12 = 2784blocks.
We will also need some blocks for the columns (pillars), the spacing for the columns will be at 2700mm = 2.7metres
We will divide the total length (104.4m) by the column spacing (2.7m)to get the number of columns
104.4/2.7 = 39columns
There are 39 columns in a plot of 18m x36m, each column will take 1 block x 12coaches =
12 blocks for one column
Number of blocks for 39columns is 39 x12 = 468blocks.
Total number of blocks needed to fence a plot = 2784 +468= 3,252blocks +325(10% waste )
= 3577 blocks
A block sells for an average of N200
Cost of blocks is 3577 blocks x N200= N715,400
Cement needed is 3577 blocks divided by 50
3577/50 = 72 bags of cement @ N2,700 naira each = N194,400
Cost of 72 bags of cement is N194,400
For the sand required, 1 ton of sand will lay 120blocks, 3577blocks will need 30tonnes of sharp sand
1tonne of sharp sand is N3,000
30 tonnes will cost = N90,000  only
Labour cost for laying a block is N60 per block.
Cost of laying 3577blocks is 3577×60= N214,620
Total cost for block work =715,400 + 194,400 + 90,000 + 214,620= N1,214,420 naira.

5. Gate

Get a gate to protect your property, cost of gate ranges from N100,000 – N1,000,000 naira only.
We also need to do the columns (two of them) that would hold the gate.
We need reinforcements, about 6 lengths will do and they cost N3,000 each = N18,000
We need 10 nos of wood (1×12) and they cost N900 naira each = N9,000
We need 4 bags of cement for the concrete of the columns = N2,700 x 4 = N10,800
Labour for reinforcements is N15,000 and labour for carpentry is N15,000
Labour for pouring the concrete is N3,000
Total cost for gate is N100,000 + N18,000 + N9,000 + N10,800 + N15,000 + N15,000 + N3,000 = N170,800.

The Total cost for Fencing a standard plot of 18m x36m (60ft x120ft) is = Cost of Site clearing +Cost of Excavation + Cost of Blinding + Cost of Blocklaying + Cost of Gate and columns[pillars]
= N30,000 + N32,250 + N154,000 + N1,214,420  + N170,800
= N1,601,470 .

The Total cost for Fencing a standard plot of land 18m x36m (60 x 120ft) on a dry land with 12coaches/courses is N1,601,470 naira.

This cost is applicable assuming that the land is dry. If however the land is on a slope, swampy or waterlogged, the cost will differ as there might be additional costs involved in filling the land.

I hope that this give you a place to start from in terms of building your fence, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section.


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