A newly built 3 bedroom house by Valuable Homes Ltd

The cost of building a 3 bedroom house in Kenya varies based on a few factors. A factor like the region of building the house determine the costs of materials. Generally, it is easier to get better prices in urban areas when compared to rural or peri-urban areas. However, those in rural areas have the advantage of readily available and cheaper timber, ballast and sand for their building needs.

In this article, we review the major factors affecting the cost of building a 3 bedroom house in Kenya. We also look at the the percentage cost estimates and attach a table of rough estimates for those seeking to build systematically.

Factors affecting cost of building a 3 bedroom house

  • Location: As expected, the location of the building is a major factor. An interior location with difficult access roads drives up transportation costs. It is therefore recommended to pick a location that is easily accessible and preferably with red soils or murram. Usually, locations with cotton soils pose the problem of extracting it during the foundation setting to reach the rock layer. More ballast and murram is therefore bought.
  • Design of the house: Simple modern house designs are way cheaper when compared to the traditional ones. The design would also depend on the materials to be used. Materials differ on prices due to different quality and sophistication used. Based on this, it is advised to use locally available materials to save on transport and general cost of building the 3 bedroom house.
  • Interior fittings: High quality fittings such as wardrobes, mirrors, cabinets and lights are expensive. This would push the cost of building the 3 bedroom house beyond the budget. Therefore, if the aim is to keep the costs manageable, you should instead buy good quality and durable fittings within your budget.
  • Size of the house: An ideal 3 bedroom house in Kenya measures 8Meters by 10Meters or (26ft by 32ft). Ideally, going beyond these sizes would definitely increase the cost of building a 3 bedroom house in Kenya. The other consideration is the height from the floor to the ceiling. It is obvious that houses with higher floor to ceiling heights have more layers hence more blocks and cement required.

Cost breakdown of building a 3 bedroom house

With these factors in mind, let us breakdown the cost percentage estimates of the 3 bedroom house. Based on estimations from the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK), the average costs vary from around Ksh. 1.5M for a good quality house to Ksh. 2.4M.

For the basis of these article, we will work with an average of Ksh. 2M. However, we highly recommend working with a professional quantity surveyor on your project.

1. Foundation or substructure ……….15%

The foundation comprises of the foundation stones and the slab itself. As per our estimates, it should not be more than 15% of the working budget. This accounts for around Ksh. 300,000.

2. Superstructure ……….14%

The superstructure is made of the mainframe and the total walls of the 3 bedroom house. Contrary to the popular beliefs, this level of construction only takes an average of 14% of the budget. For our estimation, this would cost Ksh. 280,000 on the maximum for building a 3 bedroom house.

Saving hint: You can save maximumly if you can source building bricks, blocks or building stones closer to the site as possible. Additionally,the choice of using either bricks, blocks or stones determines alot on the costs as well.

3. Roofing ………..21%

The roofing comprises of the trusses ( either timber or steel is used), iron sheets (mabati) and gutters. This also includes other materials like nails and labour and takes a huge chunk of the budget at 21%.

Usually, the type of roofing ironsheets determine the cost of building a 3 bedroom house in Kenya due to the wide ranges available. Interestingly, the roofing stage is where most houses get stuck because of the investment required. Based on our estimates, this would take Ksh. 420,000.

Saving hint: You can save maximumly if you have or can acquire mature trees cheaply and only spend on the preparation of the timber by saw millers. Doing so is way cheaper than buying ready made timber.

4. Doors and windows ……..10%

Given an ideal 3 bedroom house is built for a family, the security cost is a must. As such, you are advised not to compromise on the quality of doors, windows among other security features. Working with our estimates, this would account for 10% of our budget coming to around Ksh. 200,000 on higher side.

5. Finishing ………..25%

The finishing part in building a 3 bedroom house is another huge cost. Majorly, finishing aspects ranges from the plastering of walls, tiling as well as painting. Normally, finishing costs account for 25% of the total budget taking around Ksh. 500,000.

Saving hint: Fortunately, the homeowner is in control of the costs based on the quality of tiling used. In some cases, you can forego tiling initially and just plaster the floors. This would save you around 250,000 in costs.

6. Interior fittings ………4%

The fittings mainly comprise of the bedroom closets, cabinets, kitchens among others. They account for around 4% of the budget being Ksh. 80,000 of a Ksh. 2M cost of building a bedroom house.

7. Plumbing fixings ………5%

The fixings involves the water taps, flushing toilets, sinks, showers together with the labour. Plumbing is estimated at 5% cost of building a 3 bedroom house in Kenya. The plumbing would hence come to Ksh. 100,000.

8. Electrical installations ……..6%

Lastly, the electrical installations comprises of the sockets, switches, wiring and the connection of the meter boxes to the mains electricity. The total installations costs and labour are capped at 6% of the total cost of building the 3 bedroom house. On our budget of Ksh. 2M, this would be at a maximum of Ksh. 120,000.


Based on the above breakdown, we advise you to seek professional guidance to ensure you maintain within your projected budget. However, this guideline can help you make informed decisions concerning the cost of building your 3 bedroom house.

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Read also: Buying Land in Kenya and Building Rental Properties in Kenya here.