Advice on building along the coast

Hi there!
I'm looking to invest in Kenya and I'm starting to look at costs of constructing a holiday villa somewhere along the coast.

Are there any builders, surveyors or even someone who's done a development of their own who could give me a list of things to look out for and a possible estimate of total costs ( minus land costs). I know so many things factor into it and could be difficult for an estimation; if anyone can point me in the right direction I'd be really greatful :)

Hallo, you need to have a budget and work backwards to build along the coast. Key factors to watch are transport costs, govrnment requirements eg NEMA impact assesment reports. watch out for good access roads. social amenities like hospitals. use a good reputable contractor. do not use flammable material for roofing.
I have 2 samples of already built villas that can give u a cost guide or opt to buy rather than build

Thanks Patrick,
Really appreciate the advice, i would really love to have a look at your already built villas as a cost guide. Buying would be easier but I'd really want to have my own input and experience but if all fails that will be the only way.

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Hi Bellan,

I am an Architect in Kenya, in Nairobi currently working on the Garden City Mall residences along Thika Road, having just opened the mall recently(at my day job) I have done a few buildings in and around Mombasa privately(about 3) and will be able to give quite an accurate view of the best locations, costs, legal matters as well as anticipated future growth nodes at the coast( planned as per Kenya's Vision 2030.)

I shall give you professional advice on how to go about your project including all the necessary legal documentation you may need, choice of building contractors, materials, sustainability as well as an accurate estimation of how much you need in order to construct and run the facility.

On my design table currently is a similar development, working with some Kenyans living abroad looking to do  holiday villas. We have named it: Jabali Havillas, Kikambala. Kikambala is just outside Mombasa.

Please inbox me or get in touch with me for more.

Best of Luck and Karibu Kenya.
Stephen Lutta

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We recently build a house on the coast and used a great contactor.

Things to look for is a relyable contractor who will also do the permits for you.
building of a medium quality building will be around 40,000 KES / Sqm
This will change when the standard will go up.



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Try Kanz * Up and coming chap with good ideas and quite aware of how things get done at the coast.

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Hi Bellan,

I'm an architect from Italy, I've been working around the world for the last 10 years and recently moved in Kenya right on the coast, in the beautiful town of Kilifi (which by the way is a perfect place to invest in as it's going to be the next expanding place out of the now exploited other coastal towns).

I've recently open a Design and Build company and I'm partnering with one of the best contractor on the coast who build a lot of luxury houses on Lamu island and Vipingo Ridge. We're specialized in High Quality finish building at affordable prices and we offer a product "Keys in Hands" meaning that you don't have the stress of dealing with different companies nor to run around to find the right contractors, reliable and able to do the job at the right level of quality.

We're also specialized in Eco Sustainable developments and we're currently realizing a private villa with a garden roof which is greatly reducing the heath load on the bedrooms block.

Also my business partner has more than 20 years of experience and he can greatly help you to find the right place for your investment.

Giving you a estimate budget is really hard without proper specifications and we always advice our clients to have a brief discussion about their vision, dreams and expectations; most of the time this are the factors that really determine the final costs, as with a combination of good architecture and appropriate building techniques we're usually able to meet the client needs on a reasonable budget.


Best of luck anyway,


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Kenya is full of bureaucracy. I would suggest you look at Tanzania instead.

I am not aware of the bureaucracy being a particular barrier to land purchase and building, in fact the whole process is a whole lot more straight forward than in the UK, for example.  I wasn't aware that it was particularly easy to acquire land in Tanzania.

In my opinion, the huge drop in tourism at the coast, would leave me wondering whether building a holiday villa there would be a good investment, when there are numerous hotels and holiday cottages standing empty, of grossly under occupied.

Building costs in Kenya are high, particularly the cost of finishing.  Timber is very expensive, as is cement, as is the transport of heavy materials, such as stones.  We recently built a 2 bedroom all en-suite extension, with living room and kitchen at our house in Thika.  We used cement free interlocking blocks, even so we have spent around 7.5 million to do it to a good standard (you don't want medium quality for your project).  That included some outside work, drainage etc.

We used an architect to draw up the plans, but we had a strong idea of what we wanted.  We then project managed the whole scheme ourselves. 

Please be aware that there are lots of architects and designers willing to offer their services.  However, you will be charged top dollar prices.  Granted, the work is often of good quality, but it is the fundi's (workmen) who do it and if you can hire them directly it is better for you.

We previously gutted and renovated a property and approached a designer to assist.  We were charged an arm and a leg for everything, including items which were made by local fundi's and cheap chinese made accessories.  We had to dismiss the designer partway through the project as we were clearly being grossly overcharged.   The advantage of using a designer is that he/she will already have a list of contacts for good quality workmen. 

If you are new to property development in Kenya, then tread carefully, talk to people and do your homework, to avoid throwing money away.

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