How Much It Cost To Build A House In Uganda

How Much It Cost To Build A House In Uganda

Building a house might seem like a far-fetched dream for some people in Uganda. Most Ugandans regard property construction as a costly investment that only large property developers or high-income earners can afford. However, this is a myth. Even an average earner can build a beautiful and suitable house, according to Bruce Nuwagaba, a construction engineer.

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In his analysis, Mr. Nuwagaba shows that a person earning between Shs700,000 and Shs1 million can afford to build his or her own home. Below is a breakdown of how much it costs to build a two-bedroom home for the average family, depending on your choice of materials. 

Construction of a two-bedroom house will cost on average between Shs70 million and Shs90 million, assuming you do not purchase luxury materials and fittings. This does not include general exterior works (compound paving, septic tanks, drains, boundary walls and landscaping) or VAT.

When you begin construction work, you must have licensed plans by a professional planner and municipal authority to continue with site clearance.

Cost of Building a Two-Bedroom House Broken Down

The Foundation

When constructing a standard two-bedroom home, you needed a proper foundation. A strip foundation is usually sufficient. Strip foundations (or strip footings) are a type of shallow foundation that provides a continuous, level (or sometimes stepped) strip of support to a structure such as a wall. The cost of excavating such a foundation may be as low as Shs7,000 per cubic meter (labour inclusive).

Strip foundations can be used for most subsoils, but are most suitable for soil which is of relatively good bearing capacity. However, if your location is waterlogged, you may need hardcore, which costs around Shs65,000 per cubic meter.

If the excavated soils from the foundation are not appropriate for backfill, as determined by your engineer, a good backfill content, such as well-graded murram, will be needed. Murram per cubic meter in Wakiso could cost between Shs25,000, and Shs30,000 if driven to the site.

The Walls

Price is a considerable factor when deciding to use concrete blocks or bricks for your walls. Well-burnt clay bricks are considerably cheaper, costing about Shs380. Whereas concrete blocks can cost as much as Shs3,300 (including transport).

A bag of cement (Pozzolana Tororo Cement CEM IV) costs about Shs26,000, depending on where you buy it.

Ordinary Portland cement can cost up to Shs41,000 for the strongest among other Portland cements. This cement can be used both on brick work, plastering and concrete works.

The price of sand is around Shs70,000 per cubic meter.

The Roof

For roofing, you will need 42″ timber pieces for purlins and rafters. The cost of each piece of timber is about Shs7000 (for Kalitunsi/eucalyptus) and Shs8,000 (for pine). The cost of roofing galvanized iron sheets (versatile) is around Shs65,000 for 26 gauge.


Finishes include paint, tiles, doors and windows, wc pans, showers. 

The price of premium grade emulsion paint with a chic silky finish that is incredibly durable and washable ranges from Shs20,000 to Shs58,000 based on the number of litres purchased.

A square meter of floor tiles costs around Shs23,000, while wall tiles cost up to Shs22,000.

A wash-hand basin costs around Shs100,000, and a toilet costs around Shs250,000.