‘Is it cheaper to build a bungalow compare to a maisonette?’ This is a very common question that we get from clients all over. The answer depends on a number of factors that we will consider in this article.

Now a bungalow is residential house occupying one floor while a maisonette is a residential house that occupies 2 floors, levels or storeys. A bungalow spread horizontally while a maisonette spreads vertically. The common assumption is that building a maisonette is more expensive than building a bungalow.

Factors to Consider when Making a Choice between a Bungalow and a Maisonette

House Plans in Kenya

Maisonette House Plan

Construction Cost Comparison

Most people assume that a maisonette will be much more expensive to build. This is because a slab is needed for the upper floor. While that is true, there are other cost saves associated with a maisonette. The savings made brings the costs of bother relatively close.

·         Foundation

As pointed out above, the maisonette extends vertically and not horizontally. A maisonette will therefore require half the foundation that a bungalow will require. This leads to a significant cost save.

·         Roofing

Same as the foundation, a maisonette will require approximately half the roof size of a bungalow, leading to some more savings.

Plot Size

This is by far the biggest factor that will affect your decision. In Kenya, especially in urban areas and towns, plot sizes are getting smaller and smaller. Many people can only afford to buy an eighth of an acre (50*100). In fact, most plots being sold as eighths (50*100) are a little smaller in dimension. They are commonly referred to a small eighth.

It is prudent and necessary when you are purchasing a piece of land for you to actually measure is out. Do not make an assumption based on the title deed or the sale agreement that the piece of land is a particular size. Most sellers will attribute the size difference in size to sub-division.

Each county government has its own rules and regulations affecting plot surrender and setbacks. This will have a direct impact on how much of your plot you can build on. This will thus affect the kind of design you go for. You can read more on county regulations here.


When you consider the issue of security, maisonette tend to be safer than bungalows.  Security breaches usually happen through points of weakness such as doors, windows and roofs. The windows and roofs of bungalows and much more accessible, therefore providing points of weakness.

It is also possible to provide more security to the upper level of the home when it comes to maisonettes. Many people opt to put security doors, separating the top level and the lower level. In case of a security breach, the upper level can provide a safe haven for the owner.

Land Use

When you have a small piece of land, the best option for you is to build a maisonette. This type of house spreads vertically and not horizontally, helping you use less land. The land remaining can be used for other things like parking, building an SQ or gardening around the house.

It is also good to note that depending on the location and zoning, you can build as many levels as allowed, therefore building a much bigger house on a small part of your land.

House Plans in Kenya

Bungalow House Plan

A bungalow on the other hand will occupy a lot of land, leaving you very little land to play around with. This is a big problem especially if you want to build a servant’s quarters for your own use or for rental. You are limited in terms of house size by your plot size.


This is a matter of personal preference, but generally, a maisonette is viewed and classier than a bungalow. From a design perspective, you can do more on the elevations of a maisonette compared to a bungalow.


A maisonette helps to separate private spaces and public spaces better. The upper level is used for private spaces and makes it much easier to maintain this privacy even when entertaining guests.

House Plans in Kenya – The Final Decision

Having taken the points stated above into consideration, you can now make an informed decision on what type of house plan to build. These guiding factors will enable you make a more informed decision and help you build your home to fit within your budget and your needs.

Keep in mind that the final decision is not only a financial one but combination of many factors. You actually may end up spending more on maisonette but the other advantages make it worth every extra penny you pay.