ACHIEVING 100% WALL SMOOTHNESS

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Because of the fine finish POP (Plaster of Paris) screeding gives to walls, the practice has become very popular in Nigeria.  But in spite of POP screeding, some walls do not look well finished. How does one get the 100% smoothness?

It is important to note that the area itself must be fairly smooth before the application of the POP mix on the walls. No matter how much POP mix is applied, if the wall is not fairly smooth before the application, the final outcome would not be to the standard required. So the quality of cement plastering will affect the final result. It also important that you ensure that all electrical, plumbing and telephone wiring are carried out before the cement plastering. Other areas that you also need to pay particular attention to are the edges of the window and door frames. Ensure that there are no bumps in those areas. . You can ensure that these areas (window and door frames, decking) are sand papered before the application of the POP mix.  And if you are building a storey building, ensure that the surface of the decking is even. This area always poses a lot of problem because of the amount of detailing required to prevent an uneven surface

A POP mix requires just two ingredients; the gypsum powder (POP cement) and the special POP paint. Some builders also add what is known as the top bond gum to reduce the abrasiveness of the POP cement.  It has become a common practice in Nigeria to add water in order to save cost. Only the big time construction companies in Nigeria ensure that water is not added to the mix. But as an individual, if you insist that water should not be added, you have to be ready to pay a higher price. Notwithstanding the addition of water, ensure that there are no coagulants in the mixture, just like you love taking that Ogi (pap) smooth, have the same standard for the POP mix. it is mixed in small portions, because it hardens very quickly. You might also want to ensure that the mixture is not very light. Then ensure that an experienced and patient workman applies the mixture to the walls.

Maintaining a POP screeded wall does not require any special routine. You just have to ensure that furniture is not arranged in a manner that they come into contact with the walls. After 3 or 4 years you can sand paper the walls again and repaint.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO BUILD THAT?

WHAT DOES IT COST TO BUILD AN AVERAGE 4 BEDROOM DETACHED HOUSE?

Unfortunately, to answer this question, one must be like a Nigerian by answering the question with a question. Well, ten questions in fact. This is because several factors, some significant, others less so come into play in determining the construction costs of a building. Costs do add up and so you will have to put in mind the following ten factors

  1. What type of soil is it?

The soil type is important because this determines the physical properties like bearing capacity different soil types have different load they can carry i.e.  Sandy, swampy, clay or solid ground. This affects the cost because each soil type a specific kind of foundation that can be built on it and the foundation types all have different cost implications

  1. Where is the site?

This is also important because of accessibility, the easier you can get to the site the cheaper when it comes to logistics i.e. getting there and transporting materials to the site

  1. What type of house is it?

Is it a bungalow or a storey building or a two storey building?

  1. What is the size?

The larger the foot print the more it would cost, the higher the head, the more the cost goes up

  1. The design

The design of the house affects the cost, because the more complicated the design is, the more you will need to build it, an average 4bedroom has 12 to 14 doors but the less doors you have the cheaper.

  1. Type of contractor affects the cost also; you can get the a top construction company like Julius Berger or Cappa & D’Alberto and other sub-contractors ,or a @Sule and Sons’  or you do self build by calling any bricklayer and other workers .
  2. Quality of materials also affects the cost for example your sand crete blocks could be made of sand and cement which would cost you between 150 to 200 a piece or blocks made from stone dust and cement  the price starts from 300 a piece .
  3. Where are you getting your materials from?

The further away your materials are from your site the more you pay for transportation

  1. What type of finishes and the quality of the finishes?

Good quality tiles from china cost N2100 – N2,600/sq mtr , those from Spain cost between N3,800 to N5000/sq mtr. This means that if you have to use China tiles for a 120m2 floor area, you will spend N252,000 to purchase the tiles but the same area if covered by Spanish tiles will require N600,000 to purchase the tiles.

You. Do you have your financing in place? Mobilizing and demobilizing from site is an expensive business.  Are you prone to making changes as you go along? Changes from the plan costs time and money.

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