House designs are powerful symbols that you can use to create a statement to the world on who you are. Buildings have a long lifespan and will continue communicating your statement to the world long after your departure. House designs are also a mark of self-actualization.
The initial step to realize your dream house plan is to contact an Architect. Explain to your architect how you want your house to look. You can search on the internet for similar house images and floor plans. This will inspire you to be able o explain to your architect exactly how you want to design your house.
You can also explain to your architect on what statement or symbol you may wish your house to communicate through design. At this stage, your budget will be important in that it will dictate the size of the house you will have. Mortgage finance is available from Housing Finance, KCB Savings and Loan, Barclays, Equity Bank, Standard Chartered, Stanbic or any other financial institution in Kenya.
The architect will incorporate the design and symbols into a form and will work out functionality from here. Functionality involves how spaces relate to each other e.g. the kitchen should be near the dining room, the bedrooms should be located privately away from the living room, the construction of the structure should be structurally sound and in conformity to the Building Code and all laws governing construction of houses.
Through use of 3 dimensional graphic design software such as ArchiCAD, your architect should be able to present to you the house in 3 D graphic view for you to make your recommendations and changes. This process will continue till you are satisfied with the house design.
Your architect will print the house plan in A1 size format and make 4 copies of blueprint. He will submit the drawings to the relevant local Authority in Kenya, in Nairobi, the City Council.
The Council will go through the drawings to confirm if it conforms to the Kenya Building Code and thus habitable.
Once approvals are granted, usually after a few weeks, you can now move on to the next stage: Construction.
In this stage, you can have your Quantity Surveyor come up with Bills of Quantities, i.e. a breakdown of all the materials and quantities to be used in the house and an estimated cost of construction per item. With this blank document[without the price component], you can invite several building contractors to quote for the construction of the house.with the help of your architect and quantity surveyor, you can select the best in terms of past experience on similar construction and pricing.
After the selection, you then get into contract with the contractor and your architect supervises the contractors work to ensure that he conforms to the design and the agreed quality and workmanship.
Construction contracts in Kenya are available at the Architectural Association Of Kenya offices, Professional center, Nairobi, Kenya.
Once the contractor is through with construction as per the drawings, you can then move in to your dream house and live comfortably ever after.