A lot of us are in that phase of our life where we feel we are running a late on future plans. You know, kids, marriage, building a house, taking your boss’ job, etc. Or maybe you feel you’re a bit of a late bloomer and have finally decided to make those big decisions. You may also be starting out as a young worker and want to make long term -investments for your future.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, The Growing House.
It is not a new concept, but it is one I have found that is not really in practice in Nigeria. A lot of people in a bid to save money, ask a bricklayer to come up with a design that you can easily build with what money you have.
An Architect is trained to create the best of options, they study you, your dreams, plans and the ultimate goal of your design. This also includes study of the site environment, soil type, neighbours, aesthetics, etc and I am not just saying that because I am an architect (or because we spend 4-6 years slaving away in school). Plus it is best to integrate proper planning in your design so that it works FOR you at every stage of your life.
On the average, the cost of building a 3 bedroom house, ensuite on relatively stable soil can cost anything within the 6-10m Naira range. Of course this depends on finishing and other personal preferences and assuming you have an architect friend that can help supervise direct labor on your site in exchange for 2 white eggs and a chicken.
This is a sizable investment and perhaps at the point in your life you may have acquired a plot of land over time and wish to begin the build but you do not have all the money to finish in one stretch – This post is for you.
For the purpose of this design, my client is a young man/woman who sees themselves married with kids in the next few years.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette Pad
At this stage in life, my client may be in a steady relationship, most likely lives alone but likes to cook as well
This first part includes a Living room that works well for entertaining friends – a nice L-shape sofa and window seat in the recess. There’s also a nicely sized Kitchen which will work well even when this buiding expnads to take more occupants. The Bathroom is separated from the Bedroom to allow guest access as well.
This design works well also as the home to a new married couple.
The Family Home
Perhaps the plan is to have a kid in say 2, 3 years, this extension creates more space for the kids and the roaming around that comes with it. Or perhaps host mother/mother-in-law during ‘Omugwo’ (in Igbo – period when the mother goes to look after the daughter’s child after its birth).
This extension sees the previous bedroom converted to a dining room space by opening sections of the bounding walls. Two identical bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and built in cupboards are added and the drawing shows possible furniture arrangements for the spaces. The old bathroom is maintained as a guest bathroom.
The ‘Kids-are-getting-too-noisy’ home
Perhaps my clients kids are a cross between a banshee or a siren, or maybe feuding siblings Zeus and Hera (perhaps not considering they got married later). Or perhaps they’ve decided that they have a little more money to splurge on a better room for themselves and perhaps the older girl needs a separate room from her baby brothers.
A large ‘hotel room’ kind of space has been included as the final installment. This includes a walk-in closet and a dual sink bathroom vanity. It is the ‘escape’ space for parents and a more private unit.
I have included the ideal site layout for one-plot showing areas around the house where gardening projects, clothes lines or outdoor seating can be included. The parking created for 4 cars, is grass interspersed with slabs. This allows grass grow in between creating a beautiful look
An Architect is always the best person to create a design like this for your needs. All the expansions in this design see minimal intrusion to the existing design. As a result, There is no need to vacate the site while expansion goes on. Even if you intend to supervise directly, you can always get pointers from the architect. They (architects) will usually know good structural and Mechanical/Electrical engineers who will give the best design for your house.
At the end of the day, there’s no amount of money worth more than the peace of mind you get.
Until later, Peace, Love and Scale rules!