By Umar Nsubuga
Living by a water body can be idyllic with gorgeous views and plentiful recreational and leisure opportunities on and in the water. For many, it is a dream to own a house on a lake shore or river bank. However, there are special issues to consider,
before you build one.
David Kireli, an architect and civil engineer at the Ministry of Education, says it is important to ensure the proposed development meets environmental requirements. “This particularly applies to sites within or near wetlands, lakes and rivers,” he says. Because of the effects of water, it is always better to build the foundation with stones.
The stones provide better water resistance than bricks and concrete. “After the foundation slab, any other building element or material can be used to raise walls,” says Kireli.
The water proofing should be used at all levels of construction, Kireli advises. “This can be in terms of special water resistant cement and many other products on the market.
Special water proofing powder or any other equivalent materials should be mixed with the mortar and the concrete, advises Kireli. When building near water bodies, it is important that the foundation is not made water tight. Water flow channels or pipes can be provided within the foundation to allow constant and smooth flow of excess water through and out of the building.
In this case, depending on the level of the water table, plastic septic tanks are ideal, although reinforced concrete septic tanks, which are costly, can also be constructed. “However, the challenge comes in with the soak pit. because of the prevalence of water, a pit filled with stones alone would not be ideal,” says Kireli. In this case, several drain pipes from the septic tank are provided to drain out in different directions.
Filling and raising
The ground level with soil is also a common practice. this helps raise the water table, creating a firmer and dry area.
How important is it to choose the right builder?
You will need to find a builder who has the time, experience and skills to do a good job. Your new home is going to be one of the most important investments you will ever make both financially and emotionally. You want to get the design and construction right so that it suits both your present and future needs and lifestyle.
There are a lot of builders out there prepared to build you a house but which one is the right one? Building a house also means you have the chance to make decisions with the benefit of expert advice.
One of the biggest advantages of building a house is the amount of creative control the homeowner can take over the process. Many construction methods have been developed to address sites in or near water bodies. Begin now to think about how much you can afford to spend and how much building your new home is likely to cost.