The cost of building in The Gambia is increasing for variety of reasons. Primarily, the person who own the building does not have complete control over the cost of construction. In this article, Azan Jallow our Guest writer described five ways to save money on building in The Gambia.
Building in the Gambia – 5 Ways to Save Money
- Trust but verify the information
- Get a qualified quantity surveyor to estimate the bill of quantities
- Use high quality building materials
- Buy at the right time
- Do not under spend on labor cost
1. Trust but Verify
The best way to save money in the Gambia’s hectic construction industry is the “trust but verify” approach. Always verify all prices you are given in the construction industry. Do not trust receipts or the word of one person. Call up some shops and verify prices. Ask friends and relatives who do not know your contractor or the person in charge of your construction to get current prices for you. Nonetheless, you should remember that the material prices for building in The Gambia are in constant fluctuation. So please make sure you know the most recent prices before accusing people of swindling you.
2. Get a Quantity Surveyor
The new way of swindling people out of their money is to overestimate the quantity of materials needed for the project because most conning contractors know that it is easy for you to go to Jimpex and verify the cost of materials. Paying for a qualified quantity surveyor will save you lots of money by ensuring that you do not buy more than you need or get swindled by scheming contractors. A quantity surveyor will also ensure that you are not getting substandard materials.
3. Buy High Quality Materials
Buying cheap materials will cost you a lot in the long run. For example, there is nothing more painful than replacing a roof during the rainy season when you are not expecting to endure such a large expense. Likewise, it is not uncommon to see substandard 10mm steel rods that can be bend by hand. Buying substandard materials is also not safe for you and your family.
4. Know When to Buy Items
Knowing the right time to buy building materials is essential to keeping costs down. Roofing materials, sand, labor and cement are usually very expensive during the beginning of the rainy season because many people are often rushing complete their houses or make their homes safer for their families. So planning ahead and avoiding purchasing these items during the beginning of the rains can save you a great deal of money.
5. Don’t Put Too Much Emphasis of the Cost of Labor
Most people make the mistake of trying to save on labor instead on the costs reviewed in this post. Being too cheap on labor could end up costing you much more. A poor worker will not only waste a lot of your material, they will generally leave you with a tacky job that is unsightly and even a poorly constructed building that begins to fail in a few years. For example, it is unwise to save only an extra D500 on labor after spending D50,000 on buying tiles, just and end up with an uneven floor. It is also wise to ask for a worker’s reference; let them show you their previous work and then talk to the person they for whom they worked.
These are few tips on savings on the cost of building in the Gambia. Feel free to share your own tips in the comment box below.
Azan Jallow is a construction enthusiast, entrepreneur, programmer, and business strategist. He is co-founder at lumoh.com, Lumoh Trading is a wholesaler and online retailer of quality American goods in West Africa. Follow Azan on Facebook.