A few days ago, a picture went viral on twitter where the person that twitted it claimed Five Million 5M would complete a contemporary building of such, the building was actually a 3-bedroom apartment against his claim of 2-bedroom apartment. It generated a whole lot of argument among professionals and some laymen equally agreed that considering the inflation in the cost of building materials daily, it obvious such amount of money cannot be sufficient.
As a Civil Engineer, people engaged me on this and sought for my professional expertise on how much it could really cost to build such apartment, some expected me to give them a direct and accurate figure but I understand getting an accurate cost to complete a building requires Six Professionals, then I realized the need to write this piece for education and enlightenment. While you are making efforts to build your dream house, it is important you meet with professionals in built environment so you don’t end up wasting your sweet and scarce resources. I am aware most actually run away from professionals because of service charge, which one will you consider between Safety and cost? Below are the professionals that you need to build your dream house.
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1- ARCHITECT: This is the first professional you share your dreams with, a dream of how amazing you wants your house to be, how spacious you want your master bedroom to be, your living room, madam’s office (kitchen) and other luxuries. An architect uses his skills and knowledge to put your brief into a beautiful plan, designs, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Once architect gives you the results of your brief especially in 3D model, you would want to empty your account and start the construction, then begin to imagine living in that apartment earnestly. Laughs!
2- STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: They are the most important professional you cannot afford to mess up with. Why? The safety, rigidity, and stability of your dream home rest on their shoulder. They design the components of your structures to be able to withstand the imposed loads, pressures, and stresses. Imagine the amazing tallest building in the world, 160+ floor (storey) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the building was built on loose soil and salty groundwater with a depth of 45m, equivalent height of 12storey building buried below the ground level, that is how wonderful Structural Engineers are.
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3- MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Most times people do not even know Mechanical Engineer is part of those that makes their home habitable. Once you enter your bathroom to take your shower, press that water closet to flush, open tap in your kitchen to wash, running water in your laundry, dinning and so on, remember that a mechanical engineer actually made it possible. They equally design all sort of machines, air-conditioning, refrigerator, escalators, elevators e.t.c. Never equate Plumber to Mechanical Engineer, the former is an artisan while the latter is an expert with touch of technology.
4- ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Genesis chapter 1 vs 3, God says Let there be light, and there was light. This is an indication electrical engineering has been in existence for centuries, to illuminate the world, a stable and eye pleasing aesthetic structures without light is never a complete home. Electrical Engineer designs, develops, tests and supervises the manufacture of electrical equipment and home appliances. Each time your air-conditioning, refrigerator, smart television, and other home appliances works perfectly, know that electrical engineers make it happen. In fact, we now have Smart Homes courtesy of Electrical Engineers. A smart home allows you to control your appliances, thermostats, lights, and other devices remotely using a smartphone or tablet through an internet connection even up to the gate of your house. Electrician is a technician, while Electrical Engineer is a professional.
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5- BUILDER: This is a trained professional that builds, with a vast knowledge on how to translate building designs, plan, working drawings among others. Builder work along with a Structural or Civil Engineer with necessary guidance and interpretation of drawings. Builder is a professional while bricklayer/mason is an artisan.
6- QUANTITY SURVEYOR: Some people even get confused when you mentioned QS on site, they are blank about their duties and why they are needed on site. QS is a professional that harness all other professionals’ job, make it a single unit and give the client a clear amount of the project cost. Hence, Quantity Surveyor blends Economics, Engineering and Construction with expert knowledge on construction costs and contracts. Except for inflation, once they tell you what your project cost is, do not argue, those guys are versatile with the current price of construction materials and has topnotch information about construction.
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The cost of hiring quacks is as doubled as the cost of hiring professionals, but because your building project is very small, not critical, you do not have a challenging soil, so you try to cut corners, you tend to place and compare artisans to professionals. Both do a different role, when you do not want your millions of naira project to be a waste and cause you a serious nightmare, you are advised to engage the service of competent professionals so as to build your dream home to taste with flexibility, manage your scarce resources with best practices and excellent results.
I am Engr. Muslihudeen Olayinka, I Build, I Train, I Speak, I Teach, I Volunteer