How to Manage a House Construction Project.

After you have your architectural design approved by the local authority, the next step is to commence construction work.
Careful selection of your building contractor is crucial. Invite several reputable building contractors to quote on the blank Bills of Quantities and give a specific return date for the quotes.
With the help of your architect, analyze the quotes in terms of previous similar works performance, time period to finish the contract and the pricing.

Construction contracts are available at the architectural association of Kenya offices, professional center, Nairobi .There is a provision for a performance bond to bond the contractor to carry out the works as specified and within a given time frame, failure to which he forfeits a specified amount of money, usually 5 % of the contract sum.

Once the building contractor finishes the contract, the architect inspects the works and if satisfied, he issues a practical completion certificate to certify that the works are practically complete and the owner can move in to the house. This document enables the building contractor to get back his performance bond from the bank.

The construction contract also specifies the amount to be retained from each payment, usually 10% of the contract sum. Once the contractor is through with the contract, half of the retained amount is paid to him and the other half is paid after 6 months-this period is known as the defects liability period. This retention will be used to rectify any damage that might occur after 6 months from taking possession of the house.

If defects occur after 6 months from possession of the house, the costs of repair should be undertaken by the owner of the house.
After the 6 month defects liability period, your architect checks if all the defects have been rectified such as leaking roofs, doors not closing properly e.t.c. If he is satisfied, he issues the contractor with a final certificate so the contractor can now be paid the remainder of the 10% retained amount.

The architect also inspects the construction works on a regular basis, usually every two weeks and holds a site meeting with the client, contractor and other consultants such as the Quantity Surveyor, Interior Designer, structural engineer, electrical engineer and mechanical engineer –building services.
These site meetings and inspections help to track the progress of the construction works from start to completion and are useful tools used to diagnose problems, come up with solutions and resolve disputes within the contract period.

If you are planning to build a house in Kenya, Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, this article will be very useful in giving you an insight as to how to go about in managing your project effectively.

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email info@a4architect.com. Telephone +254721410684


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