Points to consider in making maximum return on Investment on a 50 by 100 feet plot: A comparison between Bungalow and Maisonette types for sale.

Developers are busy putting up bungalow type houses for sale in the 1/8th 50 by 100 feet plots in towns such as Kitengela and Ongata Rongai in Nairobi, Kenya..
These houses are going for between 3.5 million to 5 million each, depending on several factors such as the floor area of the house and quality of finishes and workmanship.
Most of these houses are 3 bedroomed with an average floor area of 100 m2.


Bungalows are single dwelling residential houses that have only 1 level-ground floor. Maisonettes are single dwelling residential houses that have two levels-ground floor and 1st floor.


Savings on Land.

In the construction of a bungalow in the 50 by 100 plot, the floor area is spread laterally on the ground. For example, a 100m2 house will have all the floor area on the ground floor level. This means that I the 50×100 plot, there will be less out-door space since the house covers a large space.

Maisonette in Nairobi
Maisonette in Nairobi

In the maisonette type design, the house floor area is spread vertically. If the total floor area is say 100m2, 50m2[living room, kitchen, dining room] will be on the ground floor and the rest of the 50m2[bedrooms] will be on the 1st floor.
This means that there will be more ground floor space in this design. This saving of space can be utilized to either give the unit more garden space or to construct a similar unit. If the house is for an individual for his own use, he can use the extra saved ground for garden space or for future development. If the house is being constructed by a developer for sale, the developer can construct a similar sized house and sell it. This way, he will have reaped more benefits since in the single 50×100 plot, he has developed 2 units as opposed to the bungalow style which can only accommodate 1 unit.



The foundation for a maisonette is cheaper since the area is reduced by half. For example, for a 100m2 floor area maisonette, the foundation area will be 50m2. For a 100m2 bungalow, the foundation floor area will be 100m2.


In a 100m2 floor area bungalow, the room surface area will be approximately 150m2. In a 100m2 floor area maisonette, the roof surface area will be half the bungalow roof area-around 75m2. This means that there will be savings in terms of roof material, ceiling and timber roof trusses.
Cost of construction.

The cost of construction of a bungalow of 100m2 floor area will be the same for construction of a similar sized maisonette


In the maisonette design, there will be extra costs incurred due to the first floor suspended reinforced concrete slab. This extra cost is cancelled out by the savings incurred due to use of less roof material, less foundation floor area, and the saving of ground floor space to cater for an additional house within the same plot.
Maisonettes also give a sense of more security than the bungalows since the bedrooms are located upstairs which is inaccessible by burglars. Most burglars use the soft spots of a building to gain access such as the roof and windows. Since the roof and windows are over 5 meters above the ground, this deters criminals from choosing maisonettes.
Maisonettes look more imposing than bungalows hence a definition of class.
Therefore, maisonettes will give a better return on investment since they still leave more space for further development in the same 50 by 100 feet plot size as opposed to bungalows which use up a lot more ground space, more aesthetically appealing and are less prone to burglary attacks.

Frank Gichuhi.
+254 721 410684

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


  11 comments for “Points to consider in making maximum return on Investment on a 50 by 100 feet plot: A comparison between Bungalow and Maisonette types for sale.

  1. Wallace Njoroge
    January 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Sound advice, makes perfect sense. I should be calling you soon for construction advice and jobs.

    • admin
      January 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks alot Wallace. Feel free to call me on 254 721 410684 any time.

  2. Robert
    November 18, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Great advise. Would be grateful to discuss with you more as i look forward to putting up my own house.

  3. eliud muriithi
    March 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I like this enlightning article. My querry is: for familes that would like more privacy for instance between parents and children, which architectural designs confer more privacy? The bungallow or the maisonettes. By privacy here is meant when more than one family are living ni the same house like ageing parents and a younger nuclear family.

  4. Ruoro
    July 9, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Thanks Frank,

    The article is enlightening.

    • frank
      August 8, 2011 at 5:16 am


  5. frank
    August 8, 2011 at 6:31 am

    @ Muriithi. Bungalows have a higher level of privacy than maisonettes since the doors to outside can be easily customized to cater for this.

  6. August 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    http://www.ticketgenie.com/Arizona-Cardinals Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂

    • frank
      August 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm


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  8. Hong Pei Qi
    October 24, 2014 at 1:13 am

    1. What is the maximum and minimum foundation of a bungalow?
    2. How deep is the foundation of a 2nd storey bungalow house?

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