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How Nigerians Abroad can build a house in Nigeria without losing their money (being scammed)

How Nigerians Abroad can build a house in Nigeria without losing their money (being scammed)

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Are you a Nigerian living outside the country? Do you wish to start a building project here in Nigeria without being scammed or billed extra costs while constructing your building project?

In this post, I have explained in detail how you can avoid losing your hard earn money to greedy relatives, family members, friends, or engineers when building a house in Nigeria.

Many times, when Nigerians in diaspora wish to invest in a building project here in Nigeria and decide to engage family members or a close trusted friend for the job.

The so-trusted individuals seize to use the opportunity to make money by adding extra cost either on the purchase of materials or labor cost which lead to an increase in the actual cost of the project.

For example, a building project that is supposed to be finished at the cost of 15 to 16 million Naira, the owner ends up spending 17 to 18 million Naira without knowing that he/she has been rubbed, because the money was requested bit by bit till it gets to the finishing of the project.

Currently, here in Nigeria, this is one of the dubious ways many family members/close friends are using to extort money from their people in the diaspora.

Check out >>> how to build a house on a small budget in Nigeria

Ways you can carry out your building project in Nigeria if you are out of the country

Cheap 3 bedroom bungalow for sale at Ikorodu Lagos

If you are not in Nigeria and wishes carry out your building project, there are a couple of ways to go about it.

  1. By engaging service of Construction Company.
  2. By engaging a family member or a trusted friend.
  3. By engaging the services of professionals.

Each of the above ways has its own advantage and disadvantage but some are better recommended than others.

Check out >>> Architect cost for house plan

Engaging the services of professionals

Services of Quantity Surveyor

Experienced Professionals with proven completed projects are the perfect people to engage for your building project in terms of cost-effective and quality job, that is, If you wish not to engage the services of a good Construction Company for your building project.

Examples of recommended professionals to engage for your project are: architects, builders, quantity surveyors, project managers, and structural engineers.

Often times people tend to neglect the idea of using professionals on their building projects all because they want to cut costs, at the same time as a result of a lack of understanding of the use and importance of the presence of professionals on a building project.

Having a trained and experienced professional on your building project helps to mitigate the correction of errors that will result in extra cost/expenses, also ensures that the right foundation and solid structure are enforced during the construction which will not put life at risk after a long period of time.

In Nigeria these days, there have been a lot of recent collapses of buildings and loss of lives, this is a result of not engaging the right professional on the job.

Looking forward to engaging the service of trained and experienced professionals such as architects, Builders, Engineers, and Quantity surveyors? Connect with us today.

Having said that, engaging the services of professionals has its own disadvantages.

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Disadvantage of engaging the services of professionals

  1. Cost: cost of paying a well-trained and experienced professional are relatively high, as such most time people tend to shy aware of their services because of the cost.
  2. Negligent:  one of the things often complained about these professionals is negligent and absence on-site and this happens because most times they tend to have two or more different sites/projects to manage at the same time, by so doing they will not have ample time to oversees some works in a well-detailed form. So the remedy for this is to have a well-detailed documented agreement on how he/she visits and intends to manage your project before engaging them for a job.
  3. Adding extra charges: many times it has been noticed that when an owner request for a cost of some things to be paid for on-site while the project is ongoing, the site manager tend to add an extra amount to it.

Check out >>> how to invest smartly in real estate properties in Nigeria and make a huge profit

Services of Construction Company

Using a construction company for your building project is one of the best ways to avoid losing money. Although, it has some disadvantages.

By engaging the service of a Construction Company you don’t need to bother about the increase in the cost of material, the cost of labor, whether you are paying engineers/laborers high or not, and so on.

All you need is to come up with the type of building you wish to construct, and discuss with them the cost of executing the project for you, the time of execution, and finally sign & pay for the project execution.

Advice: whenever you wish to start your own building project in Nigeria, ensure you engage an external professional (Architect and structural engineer) to do your drawings for you, thereafter you can then give them to the Construction Company for use.

The reason is that the cost of doing a building/house plan drawing with a Construction Company is very expensive, so save yourself some money.

Disadvantage of using a construction company for your project

  1. Using of inferior materials:  many times it has been reported how several construction company uses inferior materials to construct a house here in Nigeria in other to save money, by so doing reducing the life span of the house, increasing the future cost of maintenance of the house and causing a big risk on the building.
  2. Not delivering on the time frame: the majority of construction companies in Nigeria are highly financial unbalance, so they end up disappointing. They often fail to deliver the project as agreed rather they give excuses for not delivering the project.
  3. Project abandonment: it has been noted many times, that there is a high tendency for them to abandon the project after some amount is paid. The reason is that they tend to have some other construction project, thereby spending their resources, time, and manpower more on the ones they have the most priority.
  4. Charging a high amount for caring out the project: the cost of them executing a project is relatively high.

Although irrespective of all these, there are good and trusted reliable construction companies in Nigeria that have proven to be different in their past work to date.

Advice: if you are to go for the services of a construction company, please in the area of payment ensure you make the payment to the company account, don’t make the mistake of paying through your lawyer a trusted family member/friend.

However, is advisable for you to involve your lawyer and any trusted individual you know during the transaction process and carry them along.

They will serve as your witness and representative here in Nigeria as far as that business deal is concerned.

Secondly, during the execution of the project at each stage of work, have someone you will always request a live video of what is going on on your site.

By so doing you will be actually following the progress of work, and you will be sure they are actually executing the project as agreed.

Looking to engage a trusted construction company here in Nigeria that can deliver to your test, reach out to us we have good numbers of them we partner with.

Engaging a family member or trusted friend

Using a trusted friend/ family member is another way you can use to execute your building project here in Nigeria. But in terms of professionalism and because of recent complaints we don’t recommend this method. 

Many times when some of our Nigerian brothers and sisters in diaspora wish to start a building project here in Nigeria, they have a habit of contracting the job to a trusted friend or a family member either to execute the project or to oversee the entire project.

Executing your project in this manner has more of disadvantages than advantages.

Advantages of engaging the services of family members or trusted friends

One of the advantages of this method is that this person is someone you already know, that is, you know how and where to get access to the person. You know what he/she can do. However, people can change over time, at the same time money can make people change

Secondly, some of these people can actually be trusted with money and can execute the project very well especially if they have prime knowledge about constructing a building.

The disadvantage of engaging the services of family members or trusted friend

This set of individuals/people has a high tendency of putting the building at high risk.

That is, either the building collapses within a short period of time, or experiences other building defects such as correction of errors, cracking of walls, lack of prevention of error in case of heavy rainfall, and choosing the right foundation.

Furthermore, by engaging them you can equally lose your money thinking you are saving it, because these “trusted people” will see it as an opportunity, and will like to use it to make money.

So in other, for them to achieve their aim, they will look for a way to strike a balance where they do the work to please you and at the same time make a huge profit when doing it.

They end up achieving this by

  • Buying inferior materials,
  • Adding more items to be purchased into the list even though they don’t need it
  • Influencing the cost of materials and labor in other to make money.

There were even some cases where a family member squander the money sent to him by his brother for a building project and did nothing on the project.

Check out >>> buying/building a duplex or flats of apartments in Nigeria which one is the best investment

How you can prevent your project manager, construction company, or family/friends from extorting extra money from you (losing your money) in your building project in Nigeria

Many times here in Nigeria, we hear stories of I have been sending money for my building project yet there is little or no work done so far.

One of the best ways to mitigate this type of problem is by engaging a QS (Quantity surveyor) for preparing a BoQ (Bill of Quantity) before you wish to start the project.

 BoQ (Bill of Quantity)

With that, you can have a detailed understanding of how much the project is going to cost you because the cost of laborers and materials at each stage of work will be stated on the BoQ also the total amount you will spend at each phase of the project execution.

An advantage of this is that, if you desire to use the services of a construction company, or a professional, or family members/friends it will help to guild you on how much you are to spend for the entire project also how much it will cost you to execute each stage of work.

This will at the same time help you to negotiate better if you are to involve the services of Construction Company.

Having your BoQ before starting your building project is highly recommended in other to guild your financial expenses.

Meanwhile, it is advisable for you to start the execution of the project as soon as the BoQ is prepared.

The reason is that if you wait for some time after you must have done the BoQ the cost of material may have gone up thereby altering what is in the BoQ.

However, if you don’t want this type of issue to affect your financial budget you can buy materials down, but you will need adequate security as to where you will keep those materials.

Note, if you are someone that wants to start a building project and do the project bit by bit, which may take you up to 2 to 3 years because of your financial status, the idea of having BoQ may not suit well for you because of the constant increase of building material in Nigeria.

Looking to engage the services of a QS (Quantity Surveyor) for your building project? We have in-house professionals that are ready to work on your project cost, connect with us for a business chat.

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How you can control excess expenditure (extra charges) if you are to engage a friend/family or even the service of a professional in your building project.

  • Payment method:

The ideal way to make payments when building a house is to send the money bit by bit and don’t send it in bulk.

Thereafter you request the details of how the money is been used on the project. Ensure the explanation on how the money is used you are well satisfied with it. Possibly request a live video not a recorded video to see what is been done.

The major reason why you should send the money bit by bit is to control frauds, excess spending, how things are done, and for you to be sure that the project is going according to your desire.

  • Buying materials in bulk:

Buying building materials in bulk will go a long way to control excess spending especially now that the price of building materials are constantly increasing in in Nigeria market.

Also, it helps to remove those hidden extra charge that are normally inflicted during purchase of material.

Nevertheless, when you have a good project manager that knows how to negotiate very well when buying materials in large quantity, he will help to control excess expenditure.

Advice: pay your project manager/consultant well for him/her to deliver good job and also to avoid adding extra charges to cost of materials and labor.

Frequently asked question

How do I go about starting my building project in Nigeria?

First, you will have to decide which type of service you want to go for, that is, either to use a Construction Company, a professional, or a trusted family/friend.

After that, you get a registered professional such as an architect to do your house plan before diving into the construction phase.

How much will it cost me to do my house plan in Nigeria?

It doesn’t have a fixed price, and it depends on the type of building and the location of the property.

However, you can budget between 250,000 to 500,000 for a duplex or story building which includes both the architectural drawing, structural drawing, and M&E.

Where will I get a genuine and trusted engineer to work on my building project in Nigeria?

If you are looking forward to getting genuine and experienced professionals like project managers, Architects, Structural engineers, and builders to work on your project in Nigeria contact us at Planet Ville we are here to serve you.

How do i get an Architect that will do my house plan at affordable price?

We have a team of registered and experienced Architects that deliver neat jobs at affordable cost. Our building plan drawings are standard and error-free check it out while you connect with us at +234 (0)818 1522 231 for a business chat.

I hope you find this post useful, if you have any questions, contributions, requests, addition, or corrections please feel free to drop your comment in the comment box below.

To find out how to get a property that suits your needs and budget contact us.

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