Cost of Labour in Construction:How to Calculate Labor Cost

Cost of Labour in Construction:How to Calculate Labor Cost

Cost of Labour in Construction:How to Calculate Labor Cost

Cost of Labour in Construction. What is the % cost of Labour?

The labour cost components of a construction cost in percentage for small and medium size projects should be in ranges from 25% – 35% of the total overall cost. In some conditions it can goes as high as 60% from total some conditions, it can goes as high as 60% from total costs.
Hence, it is a vital component of  construction cost.
Building Material in Kenya

Estimating construction labor costs can be a daunting task simply because the rates vary with the set of skills of the workers as well as location and can be extremely difficult.

Labours (workers) are classified classified into 3 established labour classifications with different payment rate. They are:
– General workers  also unskilled/casual workers(Mtu wa Mkono)
– Skilled Skilled labour- Also referred to as Fundi
– Supervisor Supervisor  also called a Foreman

Cost of Labour in Construction

Construction Labor Cost Percentage

Pricing labour is one of the most difficult difficult components of cost estimate as it includes many more variables.In most projects, labour costs approximately 25 to 35% of the total project costs, with materials taking the rest.

In interior design projects, the labour required is intensive and the tasks take longer and have to be carried out by highly skilled workmen e.g wood works requiring carpentry and joinery, art work, electrical/mechanical works.
Such works usually have a 50% ratio between labour and materials.

Cost of Labour in Construction

An average residential house construction will tend to have the usual 30% labour versus 70% material costs. Within the construction, some tasks will have more % of labour than others.

For example, foundation works are mainly labour based during excavation and backfilling. Walling, windows, doors, plaster will have less % of labour compared to materials, approximately 20% labour.Cost of Labour in Construction

How to Get Started with House Construction (Step by Step Guide)

Roofing, fittings, fascia board, paint, electrical works, plumbing works will mainly have more % of labour compared to materials, approximately 40 to 50%.

The total works will bring the average to 30% for labour and 70% for materials.


Calculating the cost of labor will vary from project to project. While the construction labor cost percentage is more consistent, the actual numbers will change for every project.

In Kenya the average individual range of daily wages for 3 categories of workers are:

  • Mtu wa Mkono – Ksh. 500-800 per day
  • Fundi –           Ksh.900-2000 per day
  • Foreman –      Ksh.2000-3000 per day

Also Check:>> Average Cost of Building a 3 Bedroom House

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