Homes in Nigeria come in various styles, forms and shapes — from mansions to bungalows to terraces. These different types of houses all have something unique about them. The whole profession of architecture is dedicated to the designing and construction of such buildings — with particular attention paid to aesthetic values.
Over the years, some housing styles have gone in and out of fashion. However, the core concept of a home remains — a place where one can seek shelter. With the advent of smart home tech and improvements in construction technology — the houses of today are arguably as comfortable and stylish as they have ever been.
Just like it is the American dream, owning your own home is also a dream for many Nigerians. Choosing the perfect home involves figuring out the ideal style for your family and making sure it fits your daily needs — so the number of beds, baths, size, location etc, are all things to consider.
This article will shed light on some of the most popular types of houses being built in Nigeria today (pictures included). This will help you find a suitable residential property — be it in Lagos, Abuja or anywhere else across the country.
A mansion is a very big luxury home, often upwards of 5,000 square feet in size. However, what actually qualifies as a mansion depends on opinion and location. Calling a home a mansion indicates a level of grandeur, style and quality — far above the normal in a given area. This correlates with the housing patterns of the rich and wealthy.
The size of a property as well as the number of rooms and bathrooms all play a part in defining what a mansion is — but there are further defining features, such as entertainment facilities, leisure space and luxury finishing. So things like grand staircases, crystal chandeliers, big open foyers, massive gardens, swimming pools, tennis courts, home automation and various other high-end amenities.
Mansions can be found scattered across Nigeria: with some of the most impressive being sited in Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
A bungalow is typically a one-storey home, cottage or cabin. It can either be detached or semi-detached. Bungalows originated in South Asia, with the name deriving from the Bengal region of India.
Bungalows are generally small in size: when it comes to square meters. Having said this, these days you can find bungalows that are very large — which combine both technology and splendid architecture, to cater for the more urban lifestyles most live today.
Given their relatively small size: bungalows are inexpensive to build and easy to maintain. As a result, they provide an affordable home option for the working class across Nigeria.
Apartments or flats
Apartments or flats are among the most popular forms of housing in the world today. An apartment building is a combination of many separate homes stacked on top and next to each other. Each apartment acts as its own dwelling or living space.
As each apartment forms just a section of the overall building: it offers less privacy than alternative types of housing. By owning a flat, a person has access to common areas such as, green space, playgrounds, rooftops and gyms.
The popularity of flats has increased in Nigeria, as the population has become more urban in nature. Because of the space saving advantages of building vertically, flats are frequently much cheaper to buy than other home types.
A penthouse apartment is a unit on the topmost floor of a multistorey apartment building or hotel. What differentiates a penthouse from other apartments, is its luxury features or elements.
Penthouses are often the most expensive forms of housing in a given market. These types of houses are the largest, the most exclusive and offer the best views in a given apartment building. As such, penthouses are synonymous with a luxury lifestyle. You will often find them in Nigeria’s biggest cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
A terrace, terrace house, townhouse or row house: is a single-family home that is usually set over two or three floors. A terrace house sits side-by-side with other terraces (joined together) — forming a tight row down a road or block or the inside of a gated estate.
Terraces usually have identical fronts and identical heights — thus are mirror images of each other. They are designed to accommodate as much people as possible in densely populated cities. The last house in a row of terraces is known as the “end of terrace”.
Terraces are generally more affordable than detached and semi-detached homes and thus have become more desirable in certain places – particularly in Abuja and parts of Lagos.
A semi-detached house (sometimes called a “semi”) is a single family home that shares a single wall with the next house. This style differentiates it from terraced houses (with shared walls on both sides), and detached houses (with no shared walls). You can find single storey semidetached homes (bungalows) and semis that are spread over two floors.
Building costs are typically lower than that of a fully detached house, thus you tend to get extra space for your money (or the same thing for less). Thanks to modern architecture, some of the semi-detached homes being built in Nigeria today: are very pleasing on the eye.
Another popular type of house in Nigeria is the detached house. These can be found in the affluent parts of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and other major cities in Nigeria.
Detached houses are associated with the rich and famous, and feature some pretty impressive architecture. Although not as large as mansions, they are often just as luxurious — depending of course on tastes and how they are finished/furnished. They are usually spread over two or more floors and feature their own private gates: leading onto a private compound.
Detached houses are great for people that like their privacy and for those with larger families.
In the Nigerian context, a duplex can be thought of as a house where two different units (on two different floors) are stacked on one another like apartments. In essence a duplex is like having two different houses in the same home.
As a rule of thumb: duplexes have at least two floors and you can find functioning apartments on each floor — thus this type of home is perfect for bigger families. Similar structures with three or four housing units or floors, are called triplex or fourplex.
When one mentions a duplex in Nigeria: this can also be called either a detached, semi-detached or terraced house — depending on how the duplex is designed/arranged.
Traditional houses in Nigeria are generally found in the more rural parts of the country. These houses reflect the traditional house building techniques and styles of the various ethnic groups of Nigeria. The primary building materials used in constructing traditional houses include wood, straw, stones and mud.
Although they are far cheaper to build: these homes are often outdated and are far less convenient for modern life. Consequently, they are continuously being replaced (especially in areas close to cities) by more modern homes in the form of apartments, bungalows, duplexes and mansions.
Whether you are looking to build your own home or acquire one that is being built (or has already been built): it is important to know which type of home will fit your requirements. With this article, we have gone over some of the most popular types of houses in Nigeria today. From flats to bungalows to mansions — you are sure to find something that suits your taste and budget.
Regardless of what kind of property you are looking for, Villa Afrika can help. Contact us for all your real estate needs in Abuja: +234 708 500 8039.
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