Building a House in Gambia
• Architectural Drawings
The first procedure for building a house in Gambia is
to get a property plan drawn up by an architect. You
can of course get an architect outside the Gambia to
do this for you.
However, you must remember that there are special techniques,
regulations & specifications for a tropical climate
and the construction materials may also differ.
• Building Permits
second step is to get your house plan approved by Physical
Planning Dept. in Banjul which should includes the area
of your land. You should take at least 3 copies of your
plans when submitting your application form. There is
a fee payable based on the number of square metres of
your house. The law requires that you get a permit as
well for your fence and 'Boys Quarters' (accommodation
for maid and watchman).
• Build Your Fence
third step is to build your fence around your land.
This is necessary for security and establishes your
physical boundaries according to your plans. You don't
want to start your bungalow and find out half-way through
that you are partly erecting it on someone else's property.
Please note that you should build your fence exactly
according to your plans and that there is a minimum
distance allowed where a road separates two different
plots. You can find this out the minimum legal distance
from the Lands Office in Banjul.
If you are building your own home then make sure that
the 'Boys Quarters' is build first. This allows you
to have several rooms in which to store your supplies
and tools for security. You could of course buy a container
and keep your materials there. This is perhaps the best
option and you can always sell the container when you
have finished building. Containers can be purchased
from the Gambia Shipping Agency.
Do take care to photocopy the watchman's ID card and
make sure you know where he lives and that he is residing
in The Gambia. Only employ a watchman who has been recommended
to you. Don't give him access to any of the rooms and
make sure to count items left outside such as steel
re-enforcement rods at the start and end of the
day which you should confirm with him.
• Bill of Quantities
Try to get the house plans quantified by a quantity
surveyor. This will give you a rough idea as to the
quantity of materials you need to buy to build the structure
of your house. It should give you a rough idea of the
cost of constructing but it doesn't usually include
finishing like fans and bathroom fittings. This you
can easily do yourself by visiting several building
materials suppliers and shops.
Prices of materials are always rising in The Gambia's
construction industry so try to buy in bulk. You don't
always have to take bulky the items, such as cement,
with you the same day. Just make sure you keep you receipt
and you can collect what you need when you need it.
CAUTION: Please note that you should only buy from large
reputable companies who may perhaps give you this facility.
Also note that the company may also go bankrupt and
you could lose your money.
If you don't intend to employ the services of a 'labour
& materials' contractor who buys and provides all
the necessary aggregates and tools then builds the house
for you, then you might want to consider employing a
'labour only' contractor. Whatever you do make sure
you get a contract drawn up by a solicitor and signed
by both parties.
Do make sure that you employ the services of a store
keeper who records all materials coming in and all building
supplies coming out on a daily basis. Make sure that
all deliveries are signed for.
(Labour & Materials)
If you wish to employ a full turn-key contractor then
get a contract drawn up by conveyance solicitor in Gambia.
This is vital for your own protection and make sure
that you tender the contract out to a number of interested
Be aware that Gambian builders will often try to load
most of the costs of the construction at the early stage
of the agreement's Bill of Quantities. Avoid this if
you can as the finishing phase tends to be the most
expensive and should he or she fail mid-way through
you can minimize your potential losses.
|• Note: Please
read the disclaimer.
The owner of accessgambia.com does not accept any responsibility
for any damage, misunderstandings or losses of any kind
arising out of anyone following or not following any
of the information above. Get legal advice first before
inspecting any property or making any real estate decisions.
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