Building Contractor Secrets: 2020

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Tutorial: Cost of Roofing 3 Bedroom Flat In Nigeria

cost of roofing 3 bedroom flat

So today i am talk about roofing sheets and the possible cost of roofing a 3 bedroom flat here in Nigeria. Before we start, i would like to first make a few things known to us all, and so i urge you to follow me as i unveil a possible roofing estimate slowly below
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Friday, 3 April 2020

How to Make Cheap Calls To Nigeria From Abroad

cheap calls to nigeria

As a Nigerian in Diaspora, one of the many issues i had is communication with my siblings, parents and friends back home - how to Make cheap Calls to Nigeria. This troubled me for quite a number of months for several reasons. Among the reasons were the fact that my income was very small which means I had to spend less, else I won’t be able to pay up my debt as well as extend a little help to my mum and siblings!
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These 5 Tips will keep your Septic System Eco friendly

Eco-friendly Septic tank

By Eco-friendly, I mean you'll never have to worry about seepage of septic wastewater to the ground water or foul smell. But then, let's not forget the septic system is one great way to treat wastewater efficiently. The septic tank system installed in our homes helps keep digest solid and liquid wastes by having micro organisms feed on these thereby ensuring there is a separation of Ground water from waste water. It also ensures there is not interference between ground and waste water. This implies when our septic tank system works effectively, we're guaranteed of a safe and friendly environment which is why we're going to be studying 5 tips that will help our septic tanks remain eco-friendly.
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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

COMPLETE GUIDE: Sand Filling Calculation For 3 Bedroom Flat

what is dpc level in building

Sand Filling is a stage of building construction arrived once the building has reached the DPC Level. In Nigeria, the most common type of DPC is that which takes off after the first 4 blocks are laid on site. It is at this level the construction team starts sourcing for filling sand.

The picture above shows a building at DPC Level

Filling sand is bought from sand beaches, it is conveyed to your site by trucks, dumpers or tippers as they're commonly called. It is however very important that you as a builder, a contractor or client knows the exact volume of filling sand to buy for a project and that is why this is a very important article for you.

I am going to be using a 3 bedroom flat as a case study and i expect you to have gained an accurate knowledge on how to correctly carry out Filling sand calculation.

How to Carry Out Filling Sand Calculation

While a lot of estimators would use software and other means to estimate for filling sand, i love to do it manually because it helps me manage things properly, also, i have a lot of African Audience who may not have these software handy

Floor plan design online
Floor Plan 3 Bedroom 2 Bath 

So we have our floor plan uploaded.

Requirements for sand filling calculation

In order to carry out sand filling calculation, an estimator must have; 

1. The floor plan of the building in question as this would help know the dimensions.

2. Sectional View of the building under Consideration

Recommended: Cost Of Fencing a Plot Of Land

Knowing the dimensions will enable a sand filling estimator work out the areas and volumes necessary to give you a better estimates

Having the Sectional View makes it possible to know the prescribed or specified height of DPC

In order to carry out sand filling calculation properly, I've taken the time out to pick out the dimensions of the various sections of the building under review

Let's not forget the height of the wall for this project is 36 inches or 3ft or 914mm which is obtained by multiplying the height of block (9 inches) by 4 (Number of coaches)

Thus, 9 inch x 4 coaches of block = 36 inches

Next is to convert 36 inches to mm which is done by multiplying 36 by 25.4

Thus, 36 x 25.4 = 914.4mm

Now we know the depth of our sand fill as 914mm or 0.914 meters

Let's proceed to calculate the total area that will receive the fill

Recommended: Septic Tank Estimation

How To Estimate Area For Sand Filling Calculation

Below is a table i have carefully created by picking out the dimensions of the various sections of the project under consideration

Dimension (m)
Area (m2)
Volume (Area x 0.914) (m3)
Masters Bedroom
6.450 x 2.775
2.400 x 3.350
2.500 x 1.200
2.150 x 2.500
Sitting Room
3.675 x 4.150
0.900 x 4.150
Room 1
3.600 x 3.125
Room 2
3.600 x 3.125
1.400 x 2.000
0.825 x 3.600

Table 1 Showing multiplication of Length and breadth to obtain the area, multiplication of area with height of wall and Thus the total Volume (74.54m³)

From table 1 above, it could be seen that the length of Masters bedroom was multiplied with its width or breadth to obtain the area of the room after which the area was multiplied by 0.914m ( Height of wall) to give us the Volume of sand required to fill up our master's bedroom.

This approach was repeated for other sections!

After all Analysis, a total of 74.54m³ (Cubic Meters) were obtained.

What this means is that there is need for 75 cubic meter for sand filling of the building to DPC Level.

Well, we are not stopping there!

The aim of Sand Filling Calculation is to help a contractor, student, Client understand the number of trips of sand to buy for the project.

From what we already know about tippers or dumpers, it is a fact that the smallest trip of sand has about 3.81m³ of sand. You can see my article on Quantity of sand For filling a Room

So we are going to divide the total volume of material as we've calculated in Table 1 above by the volume of a trip of sand

Total Volume of Material = 74.54m³
Volume of trip of sand = 3.82m³

Thus, 74.54/3.82 = 19.5 TRIPS of sand

Since we can never buy half a trip of sand, we call it 20 Trips of sand

Note: If you are using any of the ACTROS Trucks which carry 10 or 20 tonnes, then you are to request for 10 trips only

Things You Must Know

The Estimate above was obtained by considering the dimensions of each section of the building - rooms, sitting room, kitchen. You may have a building with different dimensions which means the volume of sand required will surely be different from what i have here.

Thus, if you need a sand filling calculation done for your project, be sure to send a copy of your building plan in order to help the estimator estimate properly!

DPC level differs and depends on the terrain. For this project i chose 0.914m or 4 blocks high dpc. I Might decide to use 6 blocks high on another site.

DPC is usually specified after considering a lot of factors such as the topography and location of building


If you are looking for a way to carryout sand filling calculation, the content on this page will definitely help you achieve this. But if the dimensions of your building matches that used above, then feel free to buy as much trips of sand as estimated above as i am confident it'll cover the entire project with no excesses.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

How Does a Septic Tank Work?

how does septic tank work

Today on i am going to be talking a lot about septic tanks. I will be discussing what this word means because i have seen a lot of people design septic tanks in the name of soak away, i have also seen people design these wrongly without considering several factors.
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Amazing Things About Precast Concrete Septic Tanks

When i write about septic tanks, i totally wrote with the average African home in mind but then i realized what we have back here in Africa does not always apply to other parts of the world and this is why i am going to share amazing things or facts about Precast Septic tanks
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COMPLETE GUIDE: Soakaway Septic Tank Estimation For Nigerians

image of septic tank soakway

Today i will be teaching us how to Estimate for soakaway pit. I know i have done something on this topic before now but i just want to give a more detailed estimate for students that may want to know how to do this and other professionals too! 

So for this project, i will be giving estimates for a soakaway pit measuring 4268mm by 3048 (14 by 10 ft) and the estimate will provide for materials such as steel, cement, granite, wood (Boards and 3 by 4), blocks, binding wire, stirrups, sand, etc

Septic Tank Dimension
Figure 1 Showing the dimensions of a soakaway pit

From Figure 1 above, we have seen the dimensions of the soakaway pit to be designed. It is now time to start the estimation.

1. Excavation: You have to get 2 or 3 able bodied men on site to be able to completely excavate the pit and this could cost you N10,000 depending on your location.

Lets ask a very important question here 

How many Blocks Do i need to construct a soakaway Pit?

For the septic tank under review, we have its length as 4268mm or 14 ft while the width is 3048mm or 10 ft and it also has a depth of 3048mm. Now lets estimate for the number of blocks required to carry out this project

From previous experience along with some basic mathematics, we have that the length of block is about 450mm

We also know that the height of a block is about 228mm and so we are going to try to get the number of blocks for every course as well as the number of blocks for each side of the pit

Lets not forget that the pit is 3048mm high and to get the number of coaches for soakaway pit, we have to divide the total height (3048mm) by the height of one block (228mm)

Thus, (3048/228) = 13.3 blocks high. Lets just assume its is 13 blocks high since we will be using Mortar for bonding

Having obtained the total number of courses as 13, let us estimate for the total number of blocks...

soakaway septic tank

For Side A measuring 4268mm, we are going to divide this 4268 with the length of a block "450mm"

Thus, (4268/450) = 9.4 blocks

But we have 13 courses

Therefore, the total number of blocks for side A Would be 9.4 x 13 courses = 123 blocks

We are going to multiply this 123 blocks by 2 because we also have side "C-D"

123 X 2 = 246 Blocks

Next, we estimate for the number of blocks to over side "B-D"

Dimension for sides B-D = 3048mm, we also understand the length of block is 450mm and there will be 13 courses

Therefore, let us divide 3048mm by 450mm

3048/450 = 6.7 blocks

6.7 x 13 courses = 87 blocks

We have 87 blocks for side B-D, So we multiply by 2 in order to provide for sides A-C since they both have the same dimensions

87 x 2 = 174

So the total number of blocks required for this septic tank project will be 174 + 246 = 420 blocks but we will add 42 for breakages

So the total number of blocks required would be 462 Blocks

How many Bags of cement would be required For a Soakaway Pit?

462/60 = 8 bags of cement (From experience, we need a bag of cement to lay 60 blocks)

How Much Binding wire is required for soakaway Septic tank Construction

For the Project under review, make available N1500 for Binding wire

How much Reinforcements for soakaway Septic tank 

This totally depends on the size of the soakaway pit and the bar spacing

For this project, i chose 175mm spacing

4268/175 = 24 lengths of rod. 

But the length of a reinforcement rod is 10,058mm and the span to be covered is 3048mm.

Therefore, we would need 10,058/3058 = 3.2 cuts from each length of rod

Now we have 24 slots along face A-B, So 24/3.2 = 8 Rods

Lets get the number of steel required for side B-D

we have 3048mm running to a length of 4268mm

so, 3048/175 = 17.4 lengths of rod

Where the length of rod = 10058mm, we have 10058/4268 = 2.3 cuts

so we have 17.4 slots for rods

But we can make 2.3 cuts from one length of rod

so 17.4/2.3 = 8 Lengths of reinforcement rods

Reinforcement for Columns or Pillars

So the height of the septic tank is 3048mm but the reinforcement would need additional 15mm 

But a length of rod measures 10058mm and we are cutting 3063mm

it therefore means we can obtain 3 cuts from every length of rod.

We will need some 8 lengths of rod for the columns

In Total, we need 24 Lengths of 12mm rods for the job

Casting Of Top Slab

Top casting is 4268 x 3048 x 127 or 4.2 x 3 x 0.101 = 1.27m3 of concrete which means we are casting a cubic metre of concrete

So You need about 6 bags of cement for the top casting
A Trip of sand for all the work
A Trip of Granite if you didn't have any on site before

Boards for top casting

16 pieces of 1 by 12 hard boards (2 will be used as inclined plane to send the blocks into the pit)

Provide 6 pound weight of nail

3 by 4 Wood for bracing
Provide 20 pieces

Bushwood or Bamboo for Support of formwork

Provide 30 lengths of bamboo ( a length is usually cut into 2)

Materials Needed for Building Septic Tank Soakaway

Blocks = 462
Rods = 24 lengths
Binding Wire = N1500
Cement For Block work = 8 Bags
Cement for top Casting = 6 bags
Cement for Bottom Casting = 6 Bags
Nail = 6 Pound weight
Boards for Top Casting= 16 pieces
3 by 4 wood = 20 pieces
Bushwood = 30 length

Total ========= N

Please i am not going to write anything as total amount, do your own market survey to find the total cost. However, the price of building materials in Nigeria is written here

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Saturday, 21 March 2020

What Is Digital Engineering?

Explain Digital Engineering

Today i'm going to deliberate on Digital Engineering and Modular Engineering and the truth remains I chose this topic cos I know and I feel it's going to be the future of engineering. After this lecture, you and I are gonna be well abreast with the meaning of Digital engineering, we're going to understand the various game changers of Digital engineering and lastly, we would be looking at the necessary tips every Digital Engineer must keep at the tip of his or her fingers
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Sunday, 15 March 2020

Coronavirus Disease - A Global Pandemic

What Is CoronaVirus Disease

CoronaVirus Disease has become a pandemic according to World Health Organization and as at the time of compiling this article, a lot of countries are taking one desperate measure or the other just to ensure citizens aren't exposed too much.

Let's not forget there has been a lot of events put to a stop especially sporting events like the English Premier league which i think is one of the most popular football leagues in the world
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Sunday, 23 February 2020

Trending: Total International Masters Degree Scholarship 2020/2021

Annually, Total, in partnership with NNPC and its corporate partners, select and sponsor young Nigerian scholars for Masters Degree programs in Management Sciences, Engineering and Geosciences (Oil & Gas related), Finance and Law in top universities in France. The award is full board
Total welcomes applications from suitably qualified young Nigerians for the 2019/2020 NNPC/TOTAL INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME. 
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Thursday, 6 February 2020

3 Signs that Shows You Need Septic Tank Pumping

Septic tank pumping

Perhaps you are wondering if there are signs that shows you are due for septic tank pumping. Well, worry no more cos on this post, i am going to share 3 signs that shows you need septic tank pumping.
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Monday, 27 January 2020

What Is The Best Mix Ratio For Bonding Sandcrete Blocks?

What Is The Best Mix Ratio For Bonding Sandcrete Blocks?

Having worked on several Construction sites in Nigeria, i think another challenger faced by most newbie foremen is what to call the best mix ratio to be used especially during bricklaying or do i say erection of walls. I have faced this also, specially when everything is highlighted in the specification,meaning you cannot just use anything from anywhere. For this reason, i am going to talk about the best mix ratio for bonding sancrete blocks
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Sunday, 5 January 2020

Dubai Expo 2020: All The Details You'll Need

Dubai expo 2020 logo

The world will gather to celebrate the warm hospitality of the United Arab Emirates during its greatest event "Dubai Expo 2020". Dubai expo 2020 is an event that will bring the world together, open a lot of opportunities as well as earn more money for Dubai's Tourism board. 
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