As the economy bites harder, the urge to cut costs still lingers in 2023, as individuals are still putting on their thinking caps to see areas where cheap lifestyles can fit in.
As everyone struggles to cut costs, so also companies follow the trends in the lifestyle of consumers by producing their products in affordable portions and new models.
An interesting aspect where individuals now cut costs is the use of aluminium parapets to protect the edges of the roofs of buildings, instead of concrete.
A parapet is a kind of barrier that is used as an extension of a wall that sits on the edge of a roof.
One will wonder if the poor can afford to build a house, not to talk of roofing it, but the key fact here is that the rich in today’s Nigerian economy also cry.
In Nigeria, buildings and roofings come in different designs and as civilisation and innovations unveil, so also these building models transform with it.
For the well-to-do, when roofing a house, the sides of the roof are covered with brick parapets, which are constructed with wood, iron, gravel, and a mixture of sand and cement, which cost about N2 million, depending on the size of the house.
However, a parapet done with the use of aluminium sheets only requires a few wood, screws and sheets.
Mr. Ayomide Folorunsho, a wood seller at dry wood market in Volks, Lagos said that the wood for constructing a parapet varies in quality. This criterion decides the cost.
“The wood for constructing a parapet on a building differs in quality. The quality decides the price and also the cost of buying and processing the wood including fuel cost all these tells on what the price of wood will be when it comes out finished.
“We have Afara, softwood, hardwood and obeche. The Afara wood three-quarter inch is N6,500 while the softwood 1 by 2 by 12 inches is N1,100. The 3 by 4 inches hardwood is N650 while the three-quarter inch is N5,200.”
Alowonle Segun, a carpenter who nogs wood for the construction of parapets, explained how it works saying: “The cost of wood for concrete parapets on a two- or three-bedroom flats costs over N700,000, while the workmanship costs over N60,000. But for the aluminium parapet, you will need less workmanship fee of at least N30, 000 and woods of not less than N400,000.”
Mr. Christopher Balogun whose house is under construction lamented the increased cost of building materials saying that most of his friends, who acquire lands and build their properties to window level, are selling them to interested buyers, as they don’t have such huge amount for roofing a house, while struggling to cater for their family needs that is also on the rise due to inflation.
“The cost of building materials has increased over the years. In the beginning of the year, when I roofed my house, I spent over N2 million for parapet.
“I bought 45 bags of cement and N700,000 worth of wood. The cost of iron for sitting was N600, 000 to N700,000. I bought two to three trips of sand and a small tipper of gravel that cost N150, 000. I paid N130,000 to the carpenter that nogged the wood for the parapet and paid N60,000 for bricklayers and helpers for the concrete finishing.
“A friend of mine that used the aluminium parapet said he spent nothing less than N900, 000 on the parapet. He said an aluminium parapet is N12, 000 per square meter.
“If he had told me earlier I would have opted for it because at the time I finished the roofing and parapet of my building, I had nothing left in my bank account.”
According to Balogun who is also a construction engineer, the expenses on both concrete and aluminum parapets are determined by the height of the wall, its thickness, and level of the building whether bungalow, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd floor, among other things.
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