Life Style
How builders cheat us
Publish Date: Feb 18, 2014
How builders cheat us
Experts recommend close monitoring of workers to avoid theft
  • mail
  • img

By Deo Tumusiime K
Aradio jingle runs thus: “Omanyi ba bbosi bafala. bw’omusaba obusawo bwasementi makumi ataano nawereza, gwe n’ogula asatu.” (Bosses are unwise. You ask them for 50 bags of cement, they send the money and you buy 30, instead).
Building is an expensive venture.
Very few Ugandans are able to build their dream homes to completion off their salary. For this reason, the process is usually split into phases, which makes it more expensive and because of the   insincerity of many builders, the work goes on and on.
This is one of the reasons some people opt to reside in incomplete structures with the hope of doing final touches with time. 
Aware that people are often scared of the excessive expenses involved in construction, some builders have devised tactics to conveniently cheat people. First, they refer to homeowners as ‘boss’, or Omugagga in Luganda.
The Luganda connotation is even heavier because it refers to you as a ‘rich man /woman’, no matter how much money you are committing.
When you ask for budget estimates, the builders make them as low as possible, which gets you excited as you empty your account to achieve your dream. A few weeks later, with a few walls up, the builder says the materials were inadequate.
In the end, you are left too broke to pay rent, yet you cannot live in an incomplete structure. So, the next option is securing a bank loan, which must be repaid in a stipulated time. 
There is a slight twist today. They are aware that not many ‘bosses’ will count the number of bricks or personally supervise the mixtures to be used. 
Many builders, especially those who have not studied that much, but have the technical knowledge, are unable to construct their dream homes, but handle millions of other people’s money, rushing to put up all types of houses! 
You may have gone  to school, but cannot easily comprehend the technical language of construction materials. 
So, how do we get out of this web of daylight robbery? According to engineers, the cost of a builder’s labour charge should be 10% of the total cost of materials. 
Of course, this may vary, especially when working with individuals, but at least it provides a starting ground for bargaining. Secondly, one must visit the construction site regularly. 
Involvement could mean studying the market prices of materials. 
Also, soliciting various quotations from builders might give one an idea of the average price of materials.
You could make use of the Internet to acquaint yourself with the meaning of words used in construction.
Related stories

Accounts of bad builders Publish Date: Feb 18, 2014
Visit and Like our Homes and Construction face book page for more inspiring articles 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Gashumba represents Ugandan at Miss Grand International 2015
Lilian Gashumba, represents Uganda at the Miss Grand international 2015 peagent, happening in Huamark, Bangkok Thailand....
Penelope Cruz to direct documentary on childhood leukaemia
Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz, who plays a woman fighting breast cancer in her latest film "Ma Ma", said Thursday that she will direct a documentary on childhood leukaemia....
Gayaza high school to host patriotism cultural gala
As Uganda celebrates her 53rd independence anniversary on October this year, Gayaza High school (GHS) will host the students, parents, old girls and friends to a patriotism cultural gala....
Over 500 elderly women treated to a sumptuous meal
Over 500 grandmothers across the country have been treated to a sumptuous meal courtesy of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in conjunction with partners....
Children throng MTN Arena for national prayer festival
Thousands of children thronged MTN Arena in the first ever national prayer festival....
Sudhir treats his staff to a party at his house
Too much banking without partying, makes Cranes Bank staff dull bankers said Sudhir Ruparelia when he hosted his staff to an end of year party at his $3m worth plush residence in Kololo....
Should Makerere University fees policy be reviewed?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter