common building materials used in Nigeria

Building materials used in Nigeria – the most popular

In Nigeria, common building materials used are both natural and artificial. We use them for the construction, development, and maintenance of a building or structure throughout its lifespan. The construction industry has seen enormous strides in its building materials and an increase in its durability over time. In the past, building materials that were commonly used consisted of branches, leaves, and animal hides which had the tendency to rot. With the search for buildings and structures with longer lifespans, long-lasting natural building materials such as wood, stone, and clay came into the mix. Humans then began to research how these building materials behaved, so as to take advantage of them. This gave rise to the production and predominance of artificial building materials such as concrete, bricks, and metals.

Building materials used in Nigeria

Some of the building materials extensively utilized in Nigeria include:

  1. Water
  2. Sand
  3. Cement
  4. Granite
  5. Concrete
  6. Metal
  7. Wood
  8. POP (Plaster of Paris)
  9. Glass
  10. Paint
  11. Plumbing materials

Uses of different building materials in the construction industry

1. Water

From the first day you open a bag of cement on a construction site, you will require water, lots and lots of water. As a building material, the importance of water cannot be overstated. The very strength of a structure depends on the quality and quantity of water going into the construction of this structure. Various uses of water on our construction sites include:

  • As an essential element in the mixture of concrete
  • For soakaway pit testing
  • For subduing dust
  • More recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hand washing facilities and general hygiene on our construction sites have become more critical than ever. A priority for us is ensuring good and continually abided wash practices onsite. This will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

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2. Sand

Artificial sand, Coarse sand, and River sand are some of the diverse forms of sand we use as building materials in Nigeria. Here are various uses of sand in the construction industry:

  • As a binding substance in concrete
  • We use it for plastering
  • Also used as an abrasive to clean structural elements in the process of sandblasting
  • It gives strength, and balance to other materials such as concrete, cement, and asphalt.
Sand used as a building material in the construction industry

3. Cement

Cement is a fine, powdery-kind substance that adheres to other building materials to hold them together. On our construction sites, cement is mixed with water, and used to hold sand and gravel into a solid substance referred to as concrete. There are various types of cement available in Nigeria, but the most commonly available type is Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC). It is suitable for all widespread construction. Specific manufacturers of cement in Nigeria include:

  • Ibeto cement
  • Dangote cement
  • Ashaka cement
  • Eagle cement
  • Lafarge cement Wapco Nigeria
  • Elephant cement and more. Read more on their pricing information 

4. Granite

Granite is an igneous rock made up of components such as mica, quartz, amphiboles, and more. Due to its extremely good durability and often amazing beauty, we use it as a building material. We use it in the construction of kitchen countertops, the pavements you pass on your way to work, a number of the homes you enter, and even some of the most famous sources of art and architecture in the world. Granites are found in all the states in Nigeria however, they occur in larger quantities in; Ekiti, Abuja, and Cross River state.


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5. Concrete

Concrete is a composite material made from a mixture of water, aggregates (granite, sand, or gravel), and cement. We use concretes extensively in the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, and other various structures. Different types of concretes used as building materials include:

  • Hollow concrete blocks
  • Aerated autoclaved concrete block (AAC)
  • Concrete bricks
  • Solid concrete blocks similar to concrete bricks
  • Lintel blocks
  • Paving blocks (Interlocking stones)
  • Concrete stretcher block



6. Metal

In very simple terms, metals are solid materials that are hard and shiny. Ways in which metal is utilized in the construction industry:

  • Aluminum: Aluminum is very popular in the construction industry. Due to its ductility, durability, and design flexibility aluminum can be shaped into a number of shapes for roofing, windows, cladding, doors, etc.
  • Steel: Steel has immense energy which makes it an ideal desire for constructing buildings. Metal fabricators in Nigeria prefer the usage of structural steel for the construction of high-rise buildings, business sheds, bridges, garages for cars, and more.
  • Zinc: Zinc has an impressive potential to keep away corrosion that’s why it is usually used for roofing. Most importantly zinc is completely recyclable, as it can be produced from recycled materials.
  • Iron Reinforcement rods

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7. Wood

One of the most important blessings of using wood as a building material is that it is a natural resource. It is readily available and economically attainable. Here are some advantages of using wood as a building material:

  • The tensile strength of wood allows it to bend beneath stress without breaking.
  • Its thermal properties make it resistant to excessive temperatures which allows it to be used for ceilings.
  • Wood incorporates in-demand acoustic properties allowing it to absorb sound and echoes which is why it is a material of preference for the construction of structures like event and performance halls.

8. POP (Plaster of Paris)

POP is produced in powdered form and used as a slurry paste by mixing the dry powder with water. The hardened result is used for coating ceilings in most modern-day houses in Nigeria. We mold it into various shapes for creating architectural designs. Composed of Gypsum as its main component, POP is used to improve the aesthetics of buildings. The gypsum content provides smoothness and shine.

9. Glass

Glass is transparent, translucent, sparkling, delicate, illustrative, and brittle. It is a very interesting and useful material with varying applications in the construction industry. The various types of glass used in the construction industry include:

  • Clear glass
  • Shatterproof glass
  • Laminated glass
  • Toughened glass
  • Chromatic glass etc.

10. Paint

Paint is a liquid-colored substance, that is spread over a surface to color, protect, and provide texture. When it dries it leaves a decorative and sometimes protective coating. Painting a structure is necessary to protect the surface from the adverse impact of atmospheric action, keep the surface clean and safe, and give it an attractive appearance. Different types of paints used in Nigeria include:

  • Oil paints
  • Enamel paints
  • Emulsion paints
  • Aluminum paints
  • Cement paints etc.

Different brands that produce paints used in the construction industry in Nigeria:

11. Plumbing materials

In any building, the plumbing system comprises the entire system of pipe fittings and appliances designed for water supply and drainage. They supply water to every part of the building, dispose of rainwater above the ground, drain wastewater into septic tanks or sewers, and dispose of water from water closets and washbasins. The types of pipes that are available in the Nigerian building material market are:

  • Asbestos cement pipes
  • Cast iron pipes
  • Concrete pipes
  • Galvanized iron pipes
  • PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)pipes
  • Stoneware pipes etc.

Combining these materials to complete the construction

At Dutum Construction Company, we believe in using different quality building materials and products to enhance and strengthen the job.

Go through our portfolio to see how we are combining the benefits of various building materials to achieve fantastic results.

Further reading:

All You Need to Know About the Construction Process from Start to Finish

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Roles and responsibilities of construction site personnel

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