When Muriithi Wachira ventured into making materials for the construction industry two years ago in Nyeri, his intentions were to give potential homeowners a variety of outdoor fittings that met their tastes and colour.
Away from the conventional techniques used for both indoor and outdoor spacing, Mr Muriithi is offering home builders more than 30 patterns and designs.
“I seek to bring better building technology to people by concentrating on affordable housing materials and designs away from the traditional methods,” he said.
At Brazama Holdings in Mweiga, Muriithi uses quarry dust, cement and colouring agent not only to meet the needs of his clients but also to meet the growing demand for diversity in styling and décor in the country.
The motivation to make the coloured blocks was spurred through thorough thinking and exploration in developed markets outside the country.
The molds he is using to make the blocks are imported from India. He hopes to grow the business to use more than 220 designs in the next two years.
“They are durable and pocket-friendly. We fix the coloured ones for our clients (indoor and outdoor) at Sh200 per square metre,” he said.
Mr Muriithi, an accountant by profession, stated that the distinctive look achieved through elegant fittings is no longer a preserve for high-end home owners living in urban centres but is affordable by even those living in the rural areas.
A majority of home owners have previously relied on blocks used to construct road pavements, markets and public places and were all in the same shape, colour and design.
He says that his type of coloured paving blocks have a therapeutic effect since they are beautiful to look at and give people the aura of relaxation and rest.
Since setting up of his Sh4 million industry, he states that he had witnessed the growth of the construction industry in Nyeri, Laikipia, Murang’a, Marsabit and Nyandarua at relatively high speed than he had anticipated going by the rate they are selling their products.
"The demand is so high that I am actually having a problem meeting all the clients orders. This is proof that people are embracing modernity even in the rural areas," he added.
He says his building materials cut the cost of construction by a significant margin compared to many other methods of building.
He makes interlocking blocks, waffles that used for roofing slabs and which cut cost by a third, paving blocks and the coloured blocks.
The advantage of the blocks is that they maintain warmth in a house and they are not slippery hence reducing chances of damage, he says adding that only the damaged block needs to be replaced in case of destruction.
“We are constructing different categories of products for our clientele. Even the low income earners can afford them and they are environmently friendly,” he says.
The colored paving blocks sell at Sh1,400 per square metre, coloured tiles at Sh1,200 per square metre, ordinary paving blocks Sh900 per metre square, fencing posts at Sh1,500 and hollow blocks at Sh70 for six inches and Sh80 for eight inch.
All his products have been approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).