Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Most Common Building Materials for Building Homes in Ghana

Ghana House Plan - Berma Design

Homes that are built in Ghana are constructed with certain materials that are divided into two different categories: conventional and unconventional. In the formal construction sector, more conventional materials will be used, such as concrete, slate and asbestos. Unconventional materials may consist of substances such as mud, mud bricks, palm leaves, bamboo and wood and may be used in areas that are more rural. Unconventional materials are used primarily because more conventional materials are either too expensive or are not easy to come by in certain areas.

In the bigger cities of Ghana and the areas that are more modernized and have larger populations, building materials are much more accessible. Materials used on these homes are similar to those used in places such as Arizona and Florida for construction of homes and buildings.

Here are the most Common building materials in Ghana for Conventional Construction

  • Walls
    • Bricks
    • Masonry Blocks
    • Concrete Blocks
    • Gypsum Boards (plasterboard or drywall)
    • Wood
  • Floor
    • Concrete Slab
  • Roof
    • Concrete Tiles
    • Brick Tiles
    • Shingles
    • Long Span Aluminum Roofing Sheets
    • Onduline Roofing Sheets
  • Windows
    • Aluminum Framed Glass Windows
    • Aluminum-Clad Wood Framed Glass Windows
    • Wood Framed Glass Windows
    • Wood Paneled Windows
    • UPVC Framed Glass Windows
    • Wood Jalousie
  • Doors
    • Wood Paneled
    • Aluminum Framed Glass Doors
    • UPVC Framed Glass Doors
    • Steel Doors
  • Floor Finish
    • Porcelain Tiles
    • Ceramic Tiles
    • Marble Tiles, Linoleum
    • Terrazzo
    • Cement/Sand Screed
    • Carpet
  • Ceiling
    • Wood T&G
    • Plastic T&G
    • Acoustic Ceiling Tiles
    • Plasterboard Ceilings

Outside Walls

When building the outside of a home, there is little distinction between conventional and unconventional. Most construction involves the use of bricks and earth as a traditional building tool. Cement blocks and concrete are also used in areas where they are available for the outside of a home. Although wood is exported from Ghana, it is not used as widely or as popularly as the previously listed materials.

Roofing Materials

Conventional materials used in Ghana for roofing include corrugated metal sheets and slate or asbestos roofing. Unconventional materials that are used in more rural areas include thatch or palm leaves or raffia. These materials are the second most common used in the roofing of homes in Ghana, second only to metal sheets.

Floor Materials

The most common materials used for construction in Ghana in the form of floors are cement or concrete. While earth or mud brick flooring is still often used, it is quickly being replaced by the convenience, stability and durability of cement flooring in the areas where it is available. In situations where cost is not an issue, homebuilders may also use terrazzo, vinyl tiles and ceramic tiles.
The materials used for construction on a home in Ghana are often chosen based on the location of the home being built and cost.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

5 Simple Steps To Getting A Mortgage In Ghana

1 - Determine What Kind of Mortgage You Need

As a prospective borrower in Ghana, you have a few options that you must consider to decide which type of loan is the best for you and your situation. The primary loan options you have are:
  • First-time home buyer loan
  • Investment loan for property renting
  • Existing home-owner loan, using your home as collateral

2 - Process Overview - Taking Your First Steps

The first step to accessing a mortgage in Ghana is to submit a completed application form. Depending on the bank you can do this on-line, or download, print, then scan and e-mail a completed form. Alternately, you may prefer to submit an application in person in a bank office. You will also need to decide whether you want to file an application by yourself, or jointly with two or more people with the proper relationships.

3 - Required Documents

When applying for a mortgage in Ghana, most organizations require the following documentation from each person applying during the lending process:
  • Two proof-of-address forms
  • Proof of income
  • Two forms of personal identification
  • Recent banking statements
  • Credit reports
  • Offer letter
  • Letter of intent
  • Facility letter
  • Professional appraisal
  • -Final mortgage agreement, signed and witnessed (may be done through Power of Attorney)

4 - Mortgage Terms and Conditions

Before signing anything, be sure that you have read through the entire mortgage agreement and are familiar with all the outlined terms and conditions. Items of particular importance may include:
  • The loan amount
  • Required down payment amount
  • The loan term (this is typically about 15 -20 years for a mortgage in Ghana)
  • The installment amountThe repayment schedule
  • The payment dates
  • What constitutes a shortfall
  • Insurance requirements
  • What constitutes a default
  • Transaction fees
You can expect to pay about 20% to 25% down payment for most home loans in Ghana.

5 - Finding a Good Bank and Interest Rate

Lending rates in Ghana are extremely high at the moment, even when doing business with the best banking institutions. Current rates are ranging, on average, from about 13.5%-30% depending your credit history. In a recent study, the top rated and recommended baking institutions - to get the most for your money - were the following, in order:
  1. Ecobank Ghana
  2. SG-SSB
  3. CAL Bank
  4. HFC Bank Ghana
  5. Ecobank Transnational
Adhering to this information should greatly ease the burden of obtaining a good mortgage in Ghana.

Monday, October 1, 2012

7 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Home Construction Project in Ghana

If you are considering a home construction project in Ghana, you are probably very excited about the design of the building and are anticipating the time when you will be able to move in. However, it is important to realize that there are a number of factors that can cause problems with your project. Following you will find 7 factors that could impact your home construction project in Ghana.

  1. Wrong permits - if you get the wrong permits for your project, you could wind up paying extra fees or even being required to stop construction. It is very important that you do your due diligence and verify that you have all the right permits.
  2. Land ownership - clear title to the land where you will be building is not always as easy to come by as it seems. It is important to be aware of scams that sell land in Ghana and utilize the services of a lawyer experienced in these matters to verify your land ownership before you begin the project.
  3. Land legal issues - there may be other legal issues that affect your land, and having your lawyer go over everything with a fine-tooth comb is the best way to avoid these types of problems.
  4. Constant material cost increases - when you plan a project, you must be aware that material costs may increase over the course of the building project.  If you are aware of this, you can build this into your plans for construction.
  5. Labor cost - this cost will vary depending on the crews you use, but don't sacrifice quality of the work for cheap labor.
  6. Time overruns - Such things as weather damage, utility issues, and so forth can impact the length of time it takes to complete a construction, and this can increase the cost.
  7. Cash flow problems - it is important to work with a contractor that has adequate planning for cash flow so that you don't run into problems.

As you can see, these are some of the things that can negatively impact your construction project, but with careful planning, many of them can also be avoided.

What's your construction story? Share below.


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