Monday, September 30, 2013

Time to Build Green Home in Ghana? Here are 7 New Trends for Building Your Dream Green Home.


building green home in Ghana
Image Source:greencitiesmedia.com
Ghana is one of the countries that easily adapt new trends and technologies to improve systems and aid development. One such occurrence is building a green home which has generated a lot of interests and concern in Ghana’s building industry.

When a home is green, it means the home design has considered protecting the environment and is able to be easily maintained for a long period. This involves every part of the building from the foundation to the roof and all the elements and systems running in between. It also implies water and energy is designed to be used efficiently in the home and materials used for building the home is natural and sustainable.

This trend is important for Ghana considering the regular shortages of water and rationing of electricity. Building green reduces utility costs and saves you a lot of money--you partake in the call for water and energy conservation thus contributing to environmental protection.

Below are 7 ways to make your dream home green in Ghana.

  1. Fix compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diode (LEDs). These are usually referred to in Ghana as ‘energy saving bulbs’ and they reduce energy consumption as compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. The lighting is brighter and safe for working especially reading. They don’t give out much heat and is long-lasting than normal bulbs. Even though the price is higher the eventual savings in energy cost is prudential
  2. Install high-efficiency water conservation toilets. From research about 26% of water used in the home is for flushing the toilet. The amount of water used per flush can be reduced to conserve water. There are different types of toilets on the market classified according to the gallons of water per flush. Some use about 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) which is quite high but other modern ones allow 1.6 gpf. You can even look out for as low as 1.28 gpf toilets. On the other hand, rain water can be stored and used for flushing to preserve tap water and have great savings on water bills.
  3. Use recycled sustainable building materials. Materials such as bamboo, granite, marbles, stones, recycled glass and treated timber can be employed for the flooring, wall partitioning, doors and windows. The kitchen worktop and cabinets must be of a renewable and durable material to keep your home green. Several options are available and Ghana Homes can assist you during the decision making process. Wall cladding or paintings must also be of environmentally friendly products with high sustainability features. Plan to ensure very low wastage during installations and construction.
  4. Build what you need not what you want. Many people dream of living in huge houses but fail to understand its running and maintenance is costly. It is important to analyze your family size, needs and cash flow before building or choosing a House Plan. Unnecessarily large homes tend to have a lot of wasted or dead spaces; one that is of no use. These unusable spaces not only increase construction cost needlessly, but also maintenance cost of the home. If you plan to increase your family or occupants in the future, design the home to be expandable later to save you money now. Ghana Homes is ever ready to discuss your needs and propose suitable House Plans.
  5. Have an effective roof design in place. The roof serves as a protection for the home hence much attention must be given to its design and construction. The roof type must suite tropical climate to create a comfortable indoor environment. Though flat roofs may retain water as compared to sloping roofs, an effective drainage system prevents this. The drainage system and insulation of the roof is critical for the buildings efficiency. The roof design must be eco-friendly and sustainable.
  6. Make the most of natural day lighting and ventilation. Your dream home must be able to support occupancy at all times for a really long period of time. Spatial planning and areas demarcated for openings such as windows and doors must allow adequate natural lighting during the day and free flow of natural air always. Rooms and interior spaces must be well lit during the day. This can reduce your electricity bills on lighting and cooling. Windows must be designed to have cross-ventilation with sizes well calculated to bring in the required natural lighting.
  7. Plant trees and have extensive landscaping. Having trees, plants, flowers and grass around your home freshens and cools the building regularly. You actually spend less in trying to cool the house every day. Indoor plants not only add to the interior beauty but contribute to improving indoor air quality through the release of oxygen. The trees provide shade and prevent contact with the sun’s direct infrared radiation. Landscaping also offers a relaxation and safe play area for kids. Marbles, pebbles, beach sand and water are some eco-friendly materials which can be used.
As you focus on making your home green, you are contributing to protecting the environment and making the world a better place to live in. Maybe it’s time you went green, too.

Do You Have an Uncompleted Building Project in Ghana?

Let Ghana homes complete it for you. Contact us to learn more.


Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Build Your Dream Home in Ghana! 10 Ideas That Really Work



Ghana is enjoying an economic boom as a result of the oil discovery and thus has currently become one of the best places in Africa to own a property. Coupled with the peaceful climate and welcoming friendly populace, this is the time to own a home and enjoy all the associated developing benefits. Here are 10 great ideas to help you fulfill the dream of building your own home in Ghana.
  1. Engage the services of building professionals such as Architects, Engineers (Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers), Contractors and Quantity Surveyors. They have wide professional experience and knowledge about buildings from the design stage through to the construction and can give you the best advice to come out with exactly what you want or dream about. Do not be deceived that taking matters into your own hands would save you money. No! You may end up having to redo everything all over again which will cost you even more than if you had engaged a building professional.
  2. Access several House Plans and choose the one that best suite you and your family needs. The plan must be tropical allowing much natural ventilation and day lighting. There are a number of Ghana House Plans to choose from with customization services available. Ghana Homes can help you select the suitable House Plan.
  3. Be fully involved in the discussions and development of your House Plans. This is for you and it’s your cherished dream so approach it with all seriousness and make sure to understand every step along the way. Do not allow yourself to be dictated to because YOU will live in the house and not the building professional so it must be to your likes and desires. This may be the only house you build and live in most part of your life so take time to make it appropriate.
  4. Find out the location in Ghana you will like to settle. Do you like Accra with all its busy city life and traffic or Takoradi the oil city or you prefer the hinterlands which is quieter and cooler or on a hill such as Akwapim or McCarthy to enjoy beautiful scenery.
  5. Acquire a plot of land in your desired area according to the sizes of your chosen House Plan and get all the necessary documentation done from The Ghana Lands Commission to obtain a site plan or better still a land title certificate. The latter may take several months so a site plan or indenture is ok to start with. This will protect your land from resellers, encroachers or powerful chiefs.
  6. With the land documents and House Plan, obtain the building permit from the district assembly where the land is located. This gives the go ahead to begin construction on the site without any confrontation with the law. Refusing to get a building permit may attract fines or cause construction to be halted.
  7. Develop a budget for the construction of the building. A budget is important to regulate and monitor expenditure. It also guides you to make savings. The Bill of Quantity can aid this as it indicates the construction cost. There should be money allocated for unexpected occurrences and any price changes in the budget.
  8. Compare various contractor quotes and settle on one that is typical. Be careful of quotes that are so low to the average. These may have the tendency to use less quality materials which may eventually cost you. You can hire a contractor to build the entire house at a go or a section at a time.
  9. There are mortgage opportunities in Ghana from several Banks and other financial institutions with different options to choose from according to your situation. If you do not have all the money to build, taking a loan with a payment plan can help you achieve your dream of building your home in Ghana.
  10. Be involved in the construction of your home. Monitor the contractor to ensure adherence to the House Plan and budget. Request for images, videos and feedback periodically if you cannot be present physically and get a trusted person to crosscheck the information you receive.
You will be glad to see your dream home turn out just as you imagined. Ghana Homes can guide you through to realize this dream in Ghana. Take the first step now! Contact us for free consultation.

Do You Have an Uncompleted Building Project in Ghana?

Let Ghana homes complete it for you. Contact us to learn more.


Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

9 Best Places to Live in Accra, Ghana

Top 10 Best Places to Live in Ghana
Accra Central Business District. Image Source: wikipedia.org.

Ghana is a developing West African state with a population of 25 million and a typical warmer climate and a cooler raining season. Ghana is a democratic and politically peaceful country ranking 58th on the Global Peace Index. That said, the thought of relocating or deciding where to live in Accra, Ghana can be daunting when you have no idea how the housing, transportation, and social amenity conditions are. Fortunately for you, this article seeks to inform you about the top nine best places to live in Ghana.

1 - Airport Residential Area, Accra

Airport Residential Area is 5 minutes’ drive west of Kotoka International Airport and the finest place to live in Accra. It is quiet, clean and very secure. Prominent Ghanaians like the former President John Kuffour and foreign nationals reside here. There are many top hotels and serviced apartments to choose from. Public transportation is cheap but not as efficient so most residents travel in their cars. Shopping malls, banking halls and ATMs, schools, hospitals, pharmacies, restaurants, embassies, and airline offices are all located in this area. A section of high-rise buildings called “Airport City” offers this area a promising future. Acquiring property in the Airport Residential area is extremely pricey and the cost of living is expensive to the middle-income class.

2 - Cantonments, Accra

Cantonments is the second finest place to live in Accra. It is located 5km west of Kwame Nkrumah Circle and 15 minutes’ drive southwest of the airport. Same caliber of people above live here. There are many nicely built, 3-4 bedroom gated community estate houses to choose from. You might decide to live in Cantonments with your family because the Ghana International School (GIS) which is located here. You will have to travel 10-15 minutes to nearby Osu when you wish to visit the supermarket, ATM, etc. Be financially robust; the cost of living in Cantonments is not for everyone.

3) Osu, Accra

Osu is not a planned residential area but has service apartments for middle-income class and foreign nationals who enjoy nightlife. Built in the midst of century old buildings, the popular Oxford Street in Osu is noted for its many restaurants, caf├ęs and brisk 24/7 businesses. There is a joint for Chinese, Italian, Thai and Mexican food if you enjoy these. Like Airport Residential, you can find just about anything in Osu.

4) Labone, Accra

Labone is to the south of Cantonments with no clear border in between. It stretches to Labadi on the east and to the coast. Middle class nationals and Lebanese Ghanaians live here with their families. Apart from guesthouses, there are no serviced apartments or top hotels. Housing agents can help you find suitable 3-4 bedroom homes belonging to rich individuals for a minimum rent period of two years. Like Cantonments, you will have to travel 15-20 minutes to Osu to shop, eat, etc.

5) Roman Ridge, Accra

Roman Ridge is the fifth finest place to live in Accra, west of Airport Residential. It has several excellent hotels and serviced apartments for rent. It is a quiet area with few offices here and there. For everything else you will have to travel to neighboring areas.

6) East Legon, Accra

East Legon is approximately 14km northeast of the city center and is home to wealthy Ghanaians who have returned from abroad to live in their extravagant homes. Housing and real estate agents can help you find suitable accommodation in this area. There is a shopping mall that serves the area.

7) West Legon, Accra

West Legon is 13km north from the city center. This residential area is also home to wealthy Ghanaians who have returned from abroad. The serviced apartments and estate housing in this area are suitable for business owners and international students studying at the University of Ghana (Legon).

8) Dzorwulu, Accra

Dzorwulu Residential Area is 30 minutes’ drive southwest of the airport and 6.5km southeast of the city center. There are fewer serviced apartments and estate housing in Dzorwulu. Everything else about this area is similar to Labone.

9) Abelemkpe, Accra

Abelemkpe Residential Area follows Dzorwulu to the west and has fewer serviced homes for rent. Housing agents can be of help here.




Do You Have an Uncompleted Building Project in Ghana?

Let Ghana homes complete it for you. Contact us to learn more.


Do You Need a Builder or a Contractor in Ghana?

Let Ghana Homes build your dreams home at a price you can afford: a custom home that fits your style, on your own land or ours with these three simple steps:
  1. Select and finalize a House Plan here (we can customize as needed)
  2. Work with Ghana Homes to get a bill of quantity (pricing)
  3. Sign a contract to secure price
  4. Make the required down payment (or with a pay as you build plan)
  5. We begin construction
Contact Ghana Homes today for a personal consultation.

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