- This is what to consider when building a double storeyed house
By Umar Nsubuga
A storeyed house can save space if it is done in right way. It is no surprise many people aspire to build storeyed houses. Some people have managed to build them, but others have given up hope for a lack of finances.
Mzee Patrick Walusimbi gave his son Ivan Walusimbi a 30x40ft plot, Ivan thought there was nothing useful he could do with this piece of land. He decided to sell it off at a giveaway price.
Two years later, what appeared like a small and useless plot of land was occupied by a four storeyed building. With a ground parking on the ground floor, sitting and dining on the second fl oor and four bedrooms on the third floor. The fourth floor is incomplete because the owner is yet to do the whole finishing.
Abdu Wahab Nyanzi, an architect at JR Consultants says, there is a lot of mystery surrounding storeyed houses. “But all this comes from the fact that people do not have enough knowledge on such houses. Knowing why you need a double storeyed house is a significant step towards achieving it,” he says.
Designing team and the materials you need
Nyanzi says the first and most important thing you need to do is to get an architect. By hiring an architect, you will ensure your dream unfolds correctly. “Being a professional, the architect will help you scope the project to its fi ne details.
In the beginning architects will help you work on the schedule of accommodations (identify the spaces that you need), number of levels to go up, placement of basements and more”, Nyanzi says.
The architect will also recommend to the client other professionals like structural engineers and electrical engineers that have to be brought to the team, he adds.
With materials Nyanzi says the owner can decide depending on what he or she wants but you have to use quality materials such that the building does not collapse within a short time.
Nyanzi says storeyed buildings require a site with firm grounds. “If the site is not firm, the architect shall advise you on how to achieve it. In the circles of architects is known that every design deserves a site and every site deserves a design. A double storey building achieves better views of the surroundings. If the site has a lake view, it would be nice to ensure that the design exploits it”.
Storeyed houses are sometimes meant to solve space problems, for prestige, or to get views that would otherwise be difficult to get with bungalows. “Working with your architect, it is important to ensure that you have a strong case for the storeyed house. Ensure that what you set out to achieve is clearly spelt-out with the architect’s thinking.
Nyanzi says it is very important to discuss the details of the house with the architect until you are satisfi ed. And this captures the owner’s needs. “Ensure that decisions of location of rooms are made at the beginning of the construction. Identify the functions that will be upstairs and those that shall be on the ground floor to avoid mix-up of ideas,” he advises.
The costs involved in construction of storeyed houses have always been thought to be high. This is the issue that discourages many people from pursuing their dream of having a storeyed house. Nyanzi says the truth is that the cost for the same area of house built as a bungalow can be higher than if a double storey house was built in the same place. However, there are a number of innovative ways of reducing these costs to manageable levels if you work with your design team.
Part of the architect’s deliverables is to have the project delivered within the clients’ means. He, therefore, should take a leading role in guiding the rest of the design team to deliver an affordable project. Selection of materials, construction methods, and projects size are some of the few areas that can be looked at.
Advantages of building a storeyed house
You do not need a huge piece of land to construct a house. With good land use, a small area can be have a sizable building. You can construct a triple storeyed building in a small plot. Such buildings reserve parking space, if you utilise the ground floor.