Construction costs between maisonette types versus bungalow types of the same plinth area are more or less equal.


Assuming the maisonette will have 50m2 of ground floor and 50m2 of first floor plinth area, there will be savings on the foundation costs since the maisonette will have a foundation that is half the size of the bungalow which will have all the 100m2 area on the ground floor.

Foundation costs between 10 to 20 % of the total cost of construction so if the foundation quantities are halved, then the cost of construction is also reduced.


The maisonette will also have half the roof quantities compared to a bungalow type which will have all the 100m2 plinth area to be roofed.
Roofing costs around 15% of the total cost of construction. If this quantity is halved, then the costs are reduced.


A bungalow type of house does not have an extra suspended reinforced concrete slab for the first floor level. This translates to a saving compared to a maisonette type that has the extra cost of the suspended slab.
For a 100m2 maisonette, the suspended slab will cost an average of an additional KES 100,000.


A maisonette will also save on the footprint ground level space in that the house owner can in future utilize the space for additional construction, agriculture or landscaping as opposed to a bungalow type.


Aesthetically speaking, maisonettes due to their elevated shape look more imposing than their bungalow type counterparts.


Maisonettes also offer a better psychological assurance of security since the bedrooms are located on the first floor level which is not easy for burglars to access as opposed to bungalow types.


In terms of class, maisonettes will appear more expensive and classy than the same sized bungalow, hence increasing the house owner’s social status among his /her peers.


Due to the need for construction materials to be transported to the ground floor, there will be a slight increase in the cost of labour for maisonette types as opposed to bungalows.


In areas where an eighth of land costs more than KES 1,000,000, this means the cost per m2 of land is above KES 2,000. The cost of constructing a suspended first floor slab is also a minimum of KES 2,000. Therefore, by building a suspended slab on the first floor, you will have added more surface area to your plot at an equal or lower cost than the cost of your land.

If the land cost is lower than KES 1,000,000 per an eighth, then this means that the cost of land is lower than the cost of the first floor slab so it would be more feasible to build a bungalow that eats up a larger ground floor footprint as opposed to a maisonette which the slab will cost more than the land cost.


Therefore, the choice between a maisonette and a bungalow house type can be guided and advised by the above issues.

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. kairu mungai
    January 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    informative piece. Wanted to kknow the most cost effective no of levels to build when doing flats. eg. compare four levels and five levels.Thaks.

    • January 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Kairu, 5 levels will be more cost-effective considering economies of scale.Your budget will determine whether to build 1,2,3,4,or 5 storeys.

  2. kairu mungai
    January 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Thaks architect

  3. Michael
    June 3, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    What would be the approximate cost of building a 3 and 4 bedroomed maisonette in Kitengela on 1/4 an acre plot. Just a rough estimate.

  4. Belinda
    October 7, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Kindly advise what would be the estimated cost of a 4 bedroom maisonette in Isinya

  5. Felix
    October 18, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Hi please advise how much A five bedroom house on an 1/8th will cost?

  6. Musa Mutwiri
    October 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Hello Architect,
    Thanks for that informative analysis.
    Kindly advise me, I want to build a simple 3 bedroom house measuring 30 by 40 feet.
    According to you, which would be more economical, to put a cement slab or a mabati roof (royal mabati box profile)?

    • October 26, 2016 at 8:39 am

      hi Mutwiri, mabati is cheaper, by like 20 to 40% cheaper than concrete.

      • Musa Mutwiri
        October 27, 2016 at 3:39 pm

        Thanks alot Architect, for the reply. At least now I can make an informed decision.
        One Fundi had previously told me that if you put together the cost of mabati, timber for trusses and then the ceiling, it will be higher than the cost of reinforced cement slab.
        Thanks again.

  7. felicia
    November 5, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Hello architect i hv a 50 by 100 think of putting up a house i want a massionet but my hubby says bungalow are cheaper what is averange cost of a slab would we save much on bungalow

  8. brenda mbithe
    January 11, 2017 at 10:18 am

    hello architect.this was helpful. could you estimate for me the cost of building a 3br bungalow excluding land.
    is it cheaper than a maisonette, in this case?

  9. Faith
    January 30, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Hi architect kindly what are the requirements needed to get an approval by county if I am to construct a 4bedroom maisonette

    • Lydiah
      August 14, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Hi architect How much will a 3 bedroom house cost in Ruiru

    • November 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

      it depends on which county, each county has different set of by laws for specific areas. Eg the bye laws governing maisonettes in Kahawa Sukari are different from Karen which are different for Syokimau etc etc

  10. Franklin
    July 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Great insight, Thank you very much!

  11. Paul Nyokabi
    November 8, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Want a build a 4 bedrooms mansion in kiamumbi kiambu,each bedroom with bathroom and shower,dinning room for 12 sitters sitting room for 3 sets and a big kitchen and a garage for one if the house is 50 square feet, what is the estimation cost .

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