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Building types in construction
There are various building types in construction and this helps to differentiate between various thoughts that come to the mind. It has become necessary to classify these buildings into types for straightforward planning. The built environment is so extensive that they sometimes combine these building types to achieve more sophisticated building types. They term these structures, mixed-use structures. Before we talk about the building types in construction, you need to know that we categorize buildings into two separate types.

Commercial Buildings

The commercial buildings are buildings related to public space. Buildings that are accessible by many people daily. This is to carry out both public and private functions within the building. Buildings such as hospitals, churches, government establishments, hotels, parks, schools, hospitals, can be termed commercial buildings. For this category of buildings, there are no types. We build them to render services and will take whatever form and shape necessary to accommodate the needs we build it for. These buildings could be termed under the following categories below:
  • Hospitality – Hotels, Leisure parks, etc
  • Healthcare – Hospitals
  • Retail – Shops, Markets
  • Restaurants – Eateries
  • Warehouse / Industrial – Factories
  • Self Storage

Residential Buildings

Erected buildings in residential buildings are buildings that are erected for private purposes. This building category can be further classified into various building types, which is the basis of this article. Without further ado, let us jump straight to knowing the various building types in construction, around the residential category.

Building Types in Construction

This term “Building Types” refers to the buildings within the residential category. Let us take them one after the other, as they apply within the Nigerian setting. Some of these building types also possess the same features within the international setting.


This is a common building within the Nigerian built environment. It comprises a single floor and is expected to house members of a nuclear family. It is completely detached and has services specific to the design as required by the client. This building type is quick and easy to construct. Mostly, a bungalow comprises bedrooms, a living and dining area, kitchen (with or without a pantry) and a box room. The cost of building this largely depends on the design and quality of finishing. However, it is the least expensive building type in construction.


This is also a common building type popular across the globe. However, it seems to have different definitions from the way we perceive it here in Nigeria. For the Nigerian environment, a duplex usually comprises two (2) floors, with one stacked above the other and housing usually a single-family unit. For the international scene, a duplex is a building housing two separate households, with each having their separate entrances. It further shows that we could stack the floors one on top of the other or placed side by side. Apartments are complete and do not share resources.

Terrace Building

We know terrace building to be a complete apartment that stands side by side with another complete apartment sharing a common wall. Besides sharing a common wall, they share the same design and arrangement, finishing inclusive. The key feature that makes a terrace building is the common wall differentiating one apartment from the other, in a set of over two (2) apartments. Some people go as far as building “terrace duplexes”, which is a duplex that has three (3) or more floors stacked on each other.

Semi-detached Buildings

Semi-detached buildings are very similar to terrace buildings. The only difference is that it comprises two (2) apartments sharing a common wall. This differs from the terrace building which must involve three (3) or more buildings. In layman terms, a semi-detached building is a mirror image of a single apartment. In such settings, it only entitles each apartment owner to half the plot on which the property sits. A dwarf wall, a fence, or green areas is what usually demarcates this.

Factors That Affect Cost of Buildings

Now we know the types of buildings as regards residential and commercial buildings, I am certain the idea of costing would come in. Some clients may have a cost estimate prepared for their structures but then find out that a close acquaintance had the same type of property constructed for less. This is not uncommon as there are factors that affect the cost of construction in Nigeria. Take a look below at some of these factors and how they affect costing.

Location of The Land

Location plays an important role in costing estimation. People wonder why it could cost #5,000,000 to build a bungalow in rural areas in the east but cost around #15,000,000 to build the same in urban areas like Lagos in the west. It is in the same vein that renting the same type of houses cost differently across various locations. This happens because of the “economic factor” of the location. If the location is perceived to be a commercial area, then the cost estimate is bound to be affected.

Cost of Building Materials

The cost of building materials also play an important role in cost of buildings. Building materials tend to cost less if the point of sale is closer to the point of manufacture. Furthermore, this is so because there are less specifics put into logistics, hence retailers can afford to sell cheaper and still have a decent profit margin. For instance, if Dangote cement factory is somewhere in Lagos, the cost of cement in Lagos would be far cheaper than the cost of cement in Kano. This is so because they reseller would have to purchase from Lagos, transport to Kano while paying duties along the line. In the end, his retail price would be higher as he would have added overhead and profit margins.

Quality of Building Materials

The quality of building materials up for sale also affects the cost of buildings. Spanish tiles are way expensive than china tiles. Wall hung toilets are more expensive that the regular water closet systems. When you factor in all the materials needed to finish the building, you would find out that the estimate generated would be on a high side.   Do you know some other building types in construction that are listed here, let us know through the comment section. Please share this article if you like it.

Post Author: Meeben

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