Documents that you must have before Building houses in Kenya | requirements for building a house in kenya | requirements for building a house in kenya | things to know before constructing a house

Documents that you must have before Building houses in Kenya

Owning a plot in Kenya feels suitable for everyone, but building a home where you can settle is more satisfactory. However, some procedures must be followed before building a house. Also, you must have several documents to be legally permitted to proceed with your construction project. In this article, we shall discuss some documents that one must have to construct a house in Kenya.

Let’s get started.

Documents that one must have to construct a house in Kenya.

1. Architectural Plan Approval

Also known as the building plan approval, the architectural plan approval is the number one document you must have in your construction process. As a developer, you are supposed to submit your proposed architectural scheme designs to the planning department of your county government. Here is where the drawings are accessed for compliance with Kenya’s Physical Planning Act and Building Code. And the local zoning regulations and building by-laws.

Several other departments, including Fire, energy, public health, water and Sanitation, and Public Works, also review the building plans.

Once all these departments assent to your architectural proposal, you will be given official approval to proceed with your project.

Here are some of the documents required for architectural Plan Approval / Requirements for building a house in Kenya


  • Land ownership proof

  • Land rates clearance certificate

  • Official Survey map of the location from the Survey of Kenya.

  • A copy of the architect’s practicing license.

2. Structural Plan Approval

The next step is getting your structural plan approved. Your structural drawings must first be reviewed before being approved. The reason for this process is to ensure that your proposed development is sound. Therefore, you are supposed to make a separate application to the county government for the civil and structural engineering department for review and approval.

At this stage, you are required to submit your architectural drawings simultaneously with your structural drawings. The cost of structural plan approval in Kenya varies from county to county, mainly depending on the proposed project’s type, size, and location.

For instance, in Kiambu County, the structural approval fee ranges from Shs.1,728 to Shs.46,930, depending on the project size.

You will be required to submit the following documents for this approval.

  • A copy of your structural engineer’s practicing license

  • A copy of the approved architectural plans

  • A copy of the manuscript showing the calculations of the structural design

  • A disclaimer/indemnity form duly signed by the project architect, developer, and structural engineer.

3. NEMA Construction Approval/EIA License

You need more than the above two permits; you need NEMA(National Environment Management Authority) approval. This body regulates and supervises all matters related to the natural environment.

Therefore, any activity, product, or development that impacts the environment must be reviewed thoroughly by NEMA before, during, and after its implementation. In construction projects, NEMA issues EIA/NEMA licenses once they have thoroughly investigated the possible effects of your building project on the environment. Usually, the NEMA approval fee is 0.1% of the whole construction project.

4. NCA Project Registration

NCA (National Construction Authority) is a statutory body that oversees and regulates the construction industry in Kenya. This body ensures that each construction site is in line with the quality standards in the construction industry in Kenya. Therefore, besides seeking construction approval from the county government, you must register your project with NCA. The body checks to ensure you have qualified contractors and adhere to the health and safety regulations using KEBS-certified materials.

You can register your project with NCA by logging in to their website and creating an account for the project registration. The NCA registration fee is 0.5% of the total construction cost.

We have explored only four essential construction approvals in this blog. However, it doesn’t end there. Depending on where it is, you must make many follow-up applications during and after the construction project. For instance, if your project is in Nairobi, you must apply for site inspection after every mile of the project.

Construction is not a walk in the park. However, you must comply with the government by getting the above approvals to ensure quality assurance, cost control, and proper compliance management.

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