To get the estimated cost of construction for flats in Kenya, we will first need to identify the target market.
The target market is divided into 3 classes
1. High income earners
2. Middle income earners
3. Low income earners.

High income earners:

Projects in this range are located in areas such as Hurlingham, Kileleshwa e.t.c
The land location must be in a very prime area, near a tarmac road and in close proximity to CBD.
Construction cost is estimated at a minimum of KES 35,000 per square meter.
The house size is mainly 2 ,3 and 4 bedroomed, with a minimum size of 100 m2.
The two bedroomed unit will cost approximately KES 3.5m to construct.

Middle income earners:

Projects targeting this range are located in areas such as Umoja, Kitengela, Ngong, Kikuyu, Ruiru. Generally, the areas are located around 25 to 40 km from CBD and are in close proximity to tarmac roads.
The house size is mainly 1 and 2 bedroomed with a floor plinth area of approximately 35m2 for the 1 bedroomed and 60m2 for the 2 bedroomed.
The average construction cost per square meter for this type is KES 25,000.
The 2 bedroomed unit will cost approximately KES 1.5m to construct.

Low Income earners:

Projects targeting this category of people are located in Kayole, Ruai, and in most towns at a distance of over 1 km from the main tarmac road.
The house type is mainly single and double rooms, self contained or sharing a communal bathroom facility.
The construction cost is approximately KES 20,000 per square meter.
A double room of 25 m2 will cost KES 500,000 to construct.


The construction cost estimates include labor, materials and professional fees.
The actual cost of construction is derived from the actual agreement that the land owner has with a building contractor. This amount varies from contractor to contractor depending on several factors.


Professional fees are constant and are set by the Kenyan Laws.
Chapter 525 of the laws of Kenya guide Architectural and Quantity Surveying Services.
Chapter 530 of the Laws of Kenya guide Structural, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical services.
Architectural fees are charged at 6% of the total cost of construction.
Quantity Surveying fees are at 3% of the total cost of construction.
Engineering fees vary between 1.5% to 3% depending on the complexity of involvement.


6 units on 0.5 acre plot in Kiambaa, Kiambu county.
The best target for this region is the Middle income earning class.
Therefore, the 6 units will cost 6 units x 60m2 x KES 25,000=KES 9,000,000.00.
The Architectural fees for full service from design until construction supervision to completion will be 6% x KES 9,000,000=KES 540,000.

Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

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



  1. October 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Great insights here. A point of clarification though. I think the minimum cost of construction for a house with basic finishes should be pegged at Kshs. 40,000 per SM. I think of late with the inflation that’s going on, it’s safe to work with that figure rather than the Kshs. 25,000 – Kshs. 35,000 figure.

    • October 27, 2011 at 5:29 am

      Hi Kbaab. Construction cost is determined by the house owner’s choice of the materials to be used. This is classified in 3 categories-low cost, middle and high cost materials.Each category has an average cost per m2. The figure of 25-35,000 per s.m . is for middle to high cost finishes. This ammount will increase in tandem with the inflation.
      Check out more info here

    • Anne
      February 3, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Its wiser to supervise your own house because there is too much corruption involved in the building materials, Better build the house step by step and buy the materials yourself,, be there whenever there is material buying, Never trust nobody with your money,The building estimates benefits just the builders, the owners just cry, Keep sending money and its never enough , the materials bought never corresponds with the money asked , cheap quality materials used, poor drainage systems done, poor indoor work done , , Phone calls never picked to discuss the projects, , i cant advice anybody to go through this, Better build as you observe, it does not matter how long it take, but be there, It costs less and you get what you love, no fights, no quarrels, and one is happy and can only, Dear sir&madam reading this comment, can you please correct me if am wrong

      • Anne
        February 3, 2017 at 7:04 pm

        I want to be challenged because of my reply a few minutes ago,, . i could be convinced to take a risk,, and work with FRANCIS, in my next project, my plots are in Thogoto area,, Once bitten twice shy

        • February 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm

          hi. Best is to use best practice methods that have been used the world over for hundreds of years on how to achieve building quality. There are no shortcuts. You will need to hire a registered architect to manage the project. Also hire a certified contractor through best practice methods of selection. This way you get good quality. Any other way is trying to reinvent the wheel and might not be successful.

          • BERNARD NGESU
            April 21, 2017 at 8:04 am

            True Bwana architect, but still i tried to buy a house the other day in one of the popular middle income areas and i could clearly see evidence of poor quality materials used in the final finishing(sinks, taps, doors, toilets, etc) some were already rusting/peeling off even though the houses were basically new and still on sale- (Maisonettes mark you). so is it that the developers wanted this level of poor quality materials used may be due to cost issues, or the consultant engineers didnt check on the quality? Am an engineer myself and i could easily see these faults. But still professionals are vital. But as an owner , its good to be there with your consultants all the way.

        • Lynne
          March 10, 2017 at 3:52 pm

          Hi Ann, I am with you on that one. If you have the uwezo, be there. I have over time used family and nothing seems to materialise, just fights and heartaches not to mention losing money. They just do their own things and your kiwanja is still there. I would talk to someone who has used profesionals to get their plots built and gather their thoughts. Goodluck

          • moses
            March 21, 2017 at 5:03 am

            lynne very correct on tht my first building used family but 2nd 3rd did it myself by use of professionals in the industry

      • Robert Wandegwa
        April 5, 2017 at 6:11 am

        Please always get 1. Architect 2. QS 3. Engineer 4. contractor for construction. Otherwise you will spread more. Note that human resources management very difficult for beginners.e.g. Brokers all they want is to make money from you

  2. Njuguna
    September 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

    What abt costing a masoniatte arnd Sagana area,per square metre?

    • September 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      construction cost throughout the country is more or less the same.

      • symaocon
        April 30, 2016 at 12:46 pm

        These rates should be calculated and not fixed

  3. October 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    am george a contractor from geoben limited . i have done construction engineering, my quiz is about estimate , i do have a bill to fill and i should be -10% or +10%, the estimate of the QS, ADVICE ME THE CONSTRUCTION IS IN GITHUNGURI COMMERCIAL HOUSE’ GIVE ME THE BEST OUT OF YOU I WHAT TO BE WITHIN THE RANGE

  4. JAmes
    October 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Do the above rates fit for residential units only or can also be applied to commercial properties?

    • December 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      A simple and innelligett point, well made. Thanks!

  5. kandagachi
    October 29, 2014 at 1:14 am

    hi am impressed with your lay out or calculation gat a question am planning to build a house in south b or c what would be an approximate price for a 4 bedroom plix

  6. victor omondi ooko
    February 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    curruently interested in buliding a commercia flats in utawala area near kangudo road, what would be the approximate price of buying a piece of land and building a one storey bedsitter flat in this area

  7. March 26, 2015 at 2:07 am

    hello,i have liked your knowledge, i have bee reading your work and i have become informed. am a student in Technical university of Kenya, i would like to get some attachment as from august this year and have an opportunity to work with you sir. thank you.



  8. Amos
    May 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Hi,I have 60 by 35 pc of land at kahawa west and I wish to develop a flat but only ground floor but am not sure how much I should save for the same.

  9. July 16, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    i have a plot in kamulu and i intend to build 4 stories with 4 units of 1 bedroom ,kitchen toilet and bathroom in each unit the piece of land is unit 30 by 60.
    how much will it cost me to build individual storey and also the whole 4 stories.

  10. John T
    August 28, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I would like to build a 2 bedroom house in Kisumu 1KM from the airport, ground & 1st floor, just a standard but modern house, for family rental. kindly advice on the approximate cost, size is 50 by 100. thnx

  11. Keziah Kariuki
    September 3, 2015 at 6:35 am

    I have a 40X80 plot in Juja farm and would like to build bed sitters in a three story although I would like to start with on ground floor at the moment. Please let me know the estimate so that I can plan as I want to stat soonest possible.

    Thanks and regards

    • Munene
      September 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm


      Contact me Mister. I will give you a very insightful information about the proposed project. I stay in Ruiru and will design for you the project at a very reasonable rate.

  12. lucy
    September 10, 2015 at 8:34 am

    I have a 40X80 plot in Thika near leather company and would like to build bed sitters in a three story although I would like to start with on ground floor at the moment. Please let me know the estimate so that I can plan as I want to stat soonest possible.

    Thanks and regards

  13. Patricia
    September 11, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Hello, I was wondering if the information that you have on your website is upto date or if I were to instruct you, the prices would be different.

    • mwatsuma
      December 5, 2015 at 9:48 am


  14. September 12, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I’m having a three acre land and I want to construct a hotel and Resort, how much do I need to complete it? And how long will it take a contractor to hand over the project?

  15. September 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I’m having a three acre land and I want to construct a hotel and Resort, how much do I need to complete it? And how long will it take a contractor to hand over the project? I’m in Bungoma town, please advise.
    Regards. Maurice Odiko

  16. Moses Ofubo
    November 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    What would be the estimate for constructing a 2 story building measuring 12m by 20m. If ground floor is reserved for a supermaket/shop space. first flow for shops and second flow for residential? I wish to start with only the ground flow, how much do I need?

  17. joseph
    December 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Hello. Please tell me some of the high income projects you have done in Nairobi. Am interested in service on half acre off thika road.

  18. Musa
    December 19, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Halo, are the costs mentioned still relevant now (end of 2015)?

    Could u also advise on getting approvals for the building project

  19. Liz
    January 12, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you the useful information. I have a piece of land in Kinoo and am looking to build flats. Would you be able to advice of where I might get reasonable priced funding for the project?

  20. Andrew Mwai
    January 31, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Hello Architect Francis, your help and answers are greatly appreciated. Now I have a question,
    1. How much would it cost me to put up a six story apartment block 4/5 apts per floor
    2. What are the estimates per unit
    3. Would you charge me for the design if I had my own design (I have something in mind I would like you to put on paper)
    4. Where are your offices located?
    Asante sana Bwana Kamau….

  21. Gladys Ooko
    April 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Hi am looking to put up a three story building to rent out shop space in an uprising gated community just off kitengela town next to an upcoming major road, on an eighth acre piece of land. Please advise me how much it will cost me roughly.
    Thank you.

  22. Jacqueline Amimo
    April 24, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I want to put up high cost apartments in ongata rongai rimpa area. 4 floors 2apartments per floor.
    *how much can this cost from design to finish.
    *is it viable
    *how do I get people to buy these houses. Thanks. Jacqueline

    • Adam mbatia
      September 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      How many bedrooms? Is there an sq?

  23. Alex Cheboi
    May 27, 2016 at 8:39 am

    hello, would like to do single and and double rooms in upcountry how much do i need for a single unit on a 50 by 100 plot

  24. Pauline Cole
    June 6, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I would like to ask some questions in regards to your figures.

  25. samuel
    June 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Kindly i would like to ask the cost of building a single room 30 units with communinal washroom a septic tank as well a perimter fence in mlolongo .its 50*100 plot.

    with thanks

  26. eric
    June 11, 2016 at 6:54 am

    have the rates per m2 changed since 2011 fast forward to 2016
    if yes by how much

  27. Leila Akinyi
    August 2, 2016 at 1:44 am

    Thank you very much for this!!! I really needed the information.
    I just bought land and I was wondering what to do with it.
    When I get enough money to put up rentals, I’ll definitely consult you.
    God bless you.

  28. james
    August 25, 2016 at 8:23 am

    are the 6 units flat or how will they look like please

  29. Nicholas
    September 5, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Want to construct a 3 storey residential in a 50 x 100 in kitui. How much can it cost.

    • Adam mbatia
      September 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      How many bedrooms?

  30. Rose M. O
    September 11, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Very informative. I would like to put up bedsitters in Kangemi. I have an eighth plot ready for development.
    I think I would like to go couple of floors up to the required number without a lift. Kindly advice the cost and likely number of rooms I can get from this plot.

  31. Richard
    October 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I find rather different because what I know,the mode of construction,use and finishes details will sum up the cost of the project.Again,the cost of the project is also determined by other factors including foundation details and architectural details. Therefore cant give an exact figure

  32. Richard
    October 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    architects and contractors are equal to the task in request.

  33. richard
    October 11, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    your solution to architectural design,cost n estimation of your project and interior design is ARCHITECTS AND CONTRACTORS.

  34. Agatha W
    November 19, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I have a 60×100 ft plot in Kahawa Wendani. I would like to construct a block of flats. I am thinking of a mix of good and reasonably sized bedsitters and one bedrooms (equal or varied in no.) to target new employed or young families.

    Please advice on how many units I should be able to put up with four or five levels.

    Thank you.

  35. Martin Ndegawa
    December 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Thanks for the good work.

    I have a 50 * 50 plot in Mwiki kasarani area and i wish to put up a 4 storied residential houses for letting how much will it cost me per floor.


  36. December 8, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Want to put up 2&3 bedroomed apartments just behind masai mall at ongata Rongai. Drawings already done nd submitted for approvals.
    Can you assist in getting financiers and also identifying a good contractor.


    • Eng.Chimoyi
      March 23, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Have you done the project yet.

  37. Wahome T
    December 20, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, I have a 50 by 70 piece of property in Kitengela and would like to put up 2 bedroom flats. how much would it cost? Thanks

  38. Gladys Cheruiyot
    December 26, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Would like to put up a 6 units two bedroomed apartments in the outskirts of Kericho. Please advise on estimated costs.

  39. Gladys Cheruiyot
    December 26, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Would like to put up 6 units, 2 bedroom apartments at the outskirts of Kericho. Please advise on estimated costs.

  40. James Chege
    January 1, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Hi. I have a 40*80 plot in thika,kisii estate. How many 1bedroom units can fit and at what cost.

  41. Jane mwangi
    January 9, 2017 at 7:46 am

    I have a 100/100 in Kamulu, how much would it cost me to put up a 4 bedroom?

  42. KW
    February 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Do you know a developer who can develop my plot – developer to supply capital and expertise and I will provide the land. plot is based in lower kabete, Kiambu country.

  43. Edward
    March 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I have a 50 by 100 piece of land in Kiambu County.The current market is for single rooms and double rooms.However this will change as the demand goes ups.My idea is to do the building as per the current market and do a ground floor with a floor to allow taking care of the future demand.
    My question are
    1.How many units of single rooms i can do that can fit.The plot is around 41 feet across and the rest of the size is on the length.
    2.What is the approximate cost for doing the ground floor that can accommodate the future continuation.

    • June 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

      did you get response to this, i am interested …

  44. mary
    March 15, 2017 at 6:39 am

    good morning can 700,000shs be enough to construct a 3 bedroom house in juja farm

  45. Solomon
    April 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I Need a three bedroom house from one million to one point five.pls advice

  46. Ismail
    April 10, 2017 at 3:13 am

    this article is awesome.👍

  47. mokua
    April 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Hi. I’m Mokua and working at Nakuru. I’m new and I ‘m required to give an estimate per sm of block of 12 rooms size 23×10.8m. Any body with accrue on the construction rate around the place?.

    Thak you.
    Mokua Mosigis Benard

  48. Jackson
    April 27, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Hi, Francis,

    Am looking for a joint venture financing to develop my plot in Clayworks Nairobi only a few meters from Thika super highway. All feasibility are done including architectural drawings, BQs as well as all legal/statutory requirements have been finalized.What am lucking is capital to develop. If this is something you can offer am willing to go for the joint venture agreement.
    I look forward to hear from you to the earliest.


  49. ALVIN
    May 15, 2017 at 9:26 am


  50. Ast. QS Dennis
    May 19, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Good morning. Well this is such a nice and informative forum and thank you Arch. Francis a space where potential developers can be able to get eye opening information and possibly a way forward on how to proceed with their developments. I am in the quantity surveying profession and from what i have gathered from above comments; cost of development is a major concern for most developers. I wish there was a way we could help all these hardworking Kenyans who wish to provide decent housing and on the other have make a sound investment. From a quantity surveyor’s perspective there are a few tricks to enable a potential developer deliver an affordable construction at its best value. Let’s divide this developer into two categories as follows:

    1. A developer who will would like to build for themselves
    2. A developer who would source out the services of a contractor.

    So, how does developer 1 get to put up a development that is affordable and of quality?
    I. You will require properly and complete designs from a registered architect and engineers.
    II. You will also need what we call a material schedule which details the quantities of materials you require during construction for your cost planning purposes.
    III. Another tool is the Bills of quantities which are vital since you can use them to engage a contractor on labour only contracts since the BQ details what needs to be done.

    Developer No.2 – one who sources the services of a contractor.
    For this type of a developer, the following tools are vital in ensuring that you put up a development that is cost effective, affordable and time cautious.

    I. You need complete designs from the architect and engineers to avert future changes in designs that lead to cost variations.

    II. From the above designs you need complete and detailed bills of quantities from a competent quantity surveyor. The quantity surveyor will provide you with accurate estimates for your project and also guide you through the best practices of sourcing for a competent contractor and at the best rates in the market.

    III. You will need to seek supervision services from the same architect, engineers and the QS to ensure that the contractor does not cut corners and delivers as intended.

    Finally, for all those seeking for a close to accurate idea of how much it would cost to put up a development with up to date market rates, it is much possible if you have the architectural designs ready or have a building resembling yours which could be used in a comparative cost estimate.

  51. Abdiaziz
    May 22, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Hy…the KSH1.5M that you have indicated for the case of the middle income earners is it the cost of constructing one two bedroomed house only?

  52. margaret
    June 8, 2017 at 10:20 am


    Good questions asked but has anyone found a trust worthy constructor/company please update us all
    because we seem share the same problems.

  53. Peter
    June 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    i have a plot in kahawa west and i intend to build 4 stories with 4 units of 1 bedroom ,kitchen toilet and bathroom in each unit the piece of land is unit 40 by 80
    how much will it cost me to build individual storey and also the whole 4 stories.

    • G.K.
      September 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      apprx 25M

  54. Jane
    July 31, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Hi thanks for the advise.Please give me an estimated cost of a simple but smart 3 bedroomed house for my family in the rural(nyahururu)

  55. August 27, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Hi,am in need of constructing a modern
    Level two house with roof deck,balcony and car gaurage,how much can it cost me?I.e two story building.

    • G.K.
      September 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm


  56. peter
    September 25, 2017 at 7:37 am

    hey..,am planning to build a 5 story flat with 8 bedsitter per story,approximately how much will it cost me?

  57. Evelyn
    October 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Can you post the latest estimated costs per square meter. The last once you posted were dated 2011.
    Thank you for all the insights.

  58. Peter
    October 5, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I’m looking at building 2 units of 2 bedroom flats in Umoja, the foundation is already laid, how much would these cost please? As I intend to go 3 storeys high how much would the total cost be? The plot measures 76ft by 30. Thank you. Would you be able to help with drawings and approval from the county government?

  59. Rose Mutindi
    November 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

    hello everyone,

    I am looking for someone/company to build me a residential house along Kangundo road Koma hill on a quarter hectre land.

    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *