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Welcome to Sharp Edge Design Ltd…

Kindly refer to our website (www.sharpedgedesignltd.com) to know what we are about.

In previous posts, we have talked about how POOR DESIGN and BAD WORKMANSHIP can negatively affect the cost of a project, today we will be looking at another major bane of low cost housing in Nigeria and that is:


In construction, supervision is key to the success of any project.

The importance of a very good site architect or engineer cannot be overemphasized because if you get it wrong, you are sure to have major problems on the project.

From experience, we have discovered that even the best of artisans CANNOT produce excellent workmanship without supervision.

Sometimes I am amazed at how bereft of innovative solutions an artisan can be.

The supervising architect or engineer is responsible for managing the artisans and making sure they work at their optimum level.

This he does in several ways which I would not want to go into on this platform.

He also ensures that time and materials are prudently managed for optimum results.

Obviously if you are going to remain within your budget, then you have to manage your materials very well and there are several ways to achieve this…

He ensures that there is little or no waste of materials.

A good project supervisor is wired to detect construction flaws even with a glance, when he walks into a space.

Equally important is Time management because in construction, every additional day on site increases the project cost; so the earlier the project is handed over, the better for all concerned hence the importance of time management.

Crashing” is one of the many ways of managing time on a project…

Years ago, we did a design for a client (which as expected he loved), it was a grandiose 5 bdr bungalow that was to be built somewhere in Lagos.

We pleaded with the client to let us handle the project or at least supervise it but he refused saying that he had a mason that had over 17 years experience and that he would prefer for the mason to handle the project.

The client did not call us until they did the casting of the ground floor slab; when we got to the site, we discovered that the floor slab was slanted to about 7 degrees.

The client said he felt there was something wrong with the work that was why he called us.

Of course there was something wrong with it!!!

When we confronted the mason, he gave us the funniest possible excuse for his error; “the slab is slanted because the Land is also slanted”. Can you imagine?

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Welcome to Sharp Edge Design Ltd…

Kindly refer to our website (www.sharpedgedesignltd.com) to know what we are about.

We are well aware of the accommodation challenges that most people face in Nigeria and we have resolved to provide a practical solution, taking Lagos as our starting point.

As a firm, we have spent the last one year researching on how to achieve low cost housing with modest finish.

On this website, we will be sharing some of our findings with you, but understand that this will be done with caution for obvious reasons.

We will be looking at a wide range of topics from factors that affect low cost housing, to causes of building collapse, to the integrity of the contractor, to different architectural styles, to grandiose architecture, etc.

Today, we will start a series on the factors that affect low cost housing in Nigeria and they are:


Most times, the client spends a lot more money when the design is done without taking the client’s “pocket or budget” into consideration.

We have been practicing for years now (please refer to our company profile on this website) and we have had to work with a lot of designs and I can boldly say that well over 70% of the designs we have had to work with are unnecessarily extravagant and mostly not functional.

Some design mistakes that increase construction costs are:

  • Unnecessary use of Corridors/Lobbies: This in most cases is a pointer to the fact that the designer/architect does not have a flair for design and is obviously not savvy in space management; the consequence being extra spending on corridors that are not necessary.
  • Complex designs: We have found over time that there is beauty in simplicity and that complexity in most cases breeds extravagance and lack desired aesthetics.
  • Unnecessary walls: Sometimes you don’t have to wall up every space; there is such a thing as an open design and it will still be very functional.
  • Dysfunctional spaces: If a space for instance is not well lighted or ventilated, it then becomes compulsory for the client to artificially light and ventilate it and this will consequently increase the cost of the project.
  • Poor circulation: If a major space for instance is unavoidably used for circulation, then it makes it compulsory to get extra furniture to control movement and this will consequently drive up the project cost.

It is very important for the client to know that in design, one single line can translate to millions of naira during construction.

The architect has the responsibility of carrying out a spatial analysis before a design is done especially when economy is a major consideration.

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Presentation Pictures of 5 Bdr Duplex at Ikota

Over time, we have come to discover that most clients even though they have an idea of what they want, they don’t know precisely what they need hence they come up with briefs that are mostly extravagant and unrealistic. With this in view, a company like ours has become indispensable because we are in a vantage position to help our clients organize their thoughts with special regards to Economy, Functionality, Durability and Timing.

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