Building in The Gambia: Five Smart Ways to Save Money

cost of building in the gambia

The cost of building in The Gambia is increasing for a variety of reasons. Primarily, the person who owns 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

  1. Trust but verify the information
  2. Get a qualified quantity surveyor to estimate the bill of quantities
  3. Use high-quality building materials
  4. Buy at the right time
  5. Do not underspend on labour 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, labour 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 on the Cost of Labor

Most people make the mistake of trying to save on labour instead on the costs reviewed in this post. Being too cheap on labour 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 labour 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. You can also learn additional ways to save money here. Feel free to share your own tips in the comment box below.

Author bio

owner of lumoh in the Gambia

Azan Jallow is a construction enthusiast, entrepreneur, programmer, and business strategist. He is co-founder at, Lumoh Trading is a wholesaler and online retailer of quality American goods in West Africa. Follow Azan on Facebook.

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  1. It’s true that cost of construction is rapidly increasing in The Gambia. In my own views the reason for this is because of the unavailability of the factories for building construction materials. Let’s look at how Senegal is fast growing with regards to infrastructure, this is because they are doing all they can to bring Senegalese owned factories in Senegal to produce materials needed for building from foundation to the last element in the top extending to interior design needs. This is what Gambia needs to prosper in terms of construction.
    Modou M Njie
    Architectural Drafter and construction researcher.

  2. It’s because there is no control over the businesses … everyone is free to do whatever he likes .
    and also the middle men are another burden …

  3. Building matefials are getting expensive everyday d government is doing notting to reduce it dats y we don’t have many storey buildings in d Gambia.

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