Semi-permanent house upgrade is not a modern technique in the construction industry. The technique dates back to centuries ago. This is a simplified way of modernizing your house within a small budget.
The client is able enjoy the amenities and the hygiene e of a modern house done a small budget margin. Kareps has been on the forefront in improving the housing standards of the rural folks through this construction method.
First, to begin with, lets make it clear that Semi-permanent house construction is not a new technique in the construction industry especially in rural areas of Western Kenya. This is a technique that has been there for a very long time. Our parents and grandparents who were slightly able started this technique of house modification long time ago.
What we can say is that with modernity, the techniques is also undergoing facelift and the “Fundis” are also improving on their skills and techniques on this everyday. This type of house is a better solution if you are planning for a simple temporary house for your family as you look forward to build a permanent house five to ten years later. This house can last more than ten years if well done with a specialized fundi.
Some of the major questions or concerns most people were asking include; the lifetime of this type of structure, the cracking of the plastered walls or the eating of the internal poles by the termites.
Lets give you some simple factors to consider or to look out to in case you are planning a replica of a similar unit in your rural.
1. You must start the structure from ground with an aim of modifying it into a semi-permanent house. This means that you have to source for strong materials, especially the walling poles. Consider mature hardwood poles for this and thoroughly treat them with ant-termite pesticides before use.
2. Ensure the height of the house is approximate enough and get a really good “fundi” to do for you the roofing. Roofing must be done with timber.
3. Use the nails when making the house in stage one of cross poles. Some people usually use strings or sisal ropes to tie the small poles across the house, avoid that.
4. After all is done, put the first layer of well baked mud in between the horizontally made poles. Ensure they are strong enough to hold the well baked mud. Allow the first stage mud completely dry as you keep leveling the walls. For good drying, do this in dry season.
5. After the first wall is dry, prepare second lay of well baked mud and paste on the house walls all round. Use professionals who are expertise in this job, not the family gatherings or Chama people. Then allow it to fully dry again both outside and inside. Averagely a week.
6. Now start the plastering phase. Follow all procedures of a normal permanent house. First layer of plastering should be leveling of wall and floors the rest of the finishings will be done systematically.
A good two bedroom house will take you averagely Ksh. 350,000 while a good 3 bedroom house will take averagely Ksh 400k-600k. Attached are pictorials of our ongoing project in Malava Western.