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Material List and Costs

Title: Building a Sturdy Shack in South Africa: Essential Materials for an IBR or Corrugated Steel Roof Sheeting


In South Africa, shacks serve as crucial shelter for millions of people in informal settlements. Constructing a reliable and cost-effective shack requires careful consideration of the building materials used. One popular and durable choice for roofing is either IBR (Inverted Box Rib) or corrugated steel sheeting. In this article, we will explore the essential building materials needed to construct a shack with steel roof sheeting measuring 6m x 0.7m. The shack dimensions will be 10m long x 5m wide x 4m high, catering to the specific needs and challenges faced by residents in these communities.

1. Foundation Materials

Before starting the construction, you will need the following foundation materials to provide a stable base for the shack:

a) Cement: 50 bags of cement (approximately ZAR70 per bag) will be required to create a strong concrete foundation.

b) Sand: About 10 cubic meters of sand (ZAR350 per cubic meter) to mix with the cement for the foundation.

c) Stone Aggregate: Around 20 cubic meters of stone aggregate (ZAR400 per cubic meter) to add strength and stability to the foundation.

2. Structural Framework

For the structural framework of the shack, you will need the following materials:

a) Galvanized Steel Poles: Approximately 20 poles (6m long each) to serve as the vertical supports and frame of the shack. These cost around ZAR200 per pole.

b) Steel Bracing: 10 steel bracing bars (2m long) to reinforce the structure and prevent any instability. They are priced at ZAR80 per bar.

c) Nails and Fasteners: Purchase a large pack of nails and fasteners (approximately ZAR200) to connect the various components securely.

3. Walling Materials

For the walls of the shack, you can use a combination of cost-effective materials:

a) Wooden Planks: Around 100 wooden planks (2m x 10cm x 2cm) at an estimated cost of ZAR30 per plank will provide the main framework for the walls.

b) Corrugated Iron Sheets: Alternatively, you can also use corrugated iron sheets for the walls. Estimate 50 sheets (6m x 0.7m) at ZAR348 per sheet.

c) Plastic Sheeting: To add an extra layer of protection from the elements, use 30 rolls of plastic sheeting (ZAR50 per roll) as an inner lining for the walls.

4. Roofing Materials

For the roof, you have two options: IBR or corrugated steel roof sheeting.

a) IBR Roof Sheeting: For a roof made of IBR steel sheets, you will require around 30 sheets (6m x 0.7m) at ZAR348 per sheet.

b) Corrugated Steel Roof Sheeting: If you opt for corrugated steel sheets, you will also need 30 sheets (6m x 0.7m) at the same price.

c) Roofing Screws: Purchase around 5 boxes of roofing screws (ZAR250 per box) to secure the roof sheets in place.

5. Door and Window Materials

To provide access and ventilation, you’ll need the following materials:

a) Wooden Door: Invest in a sturdy wooden door (approximately ZAR800) to serve as the main entry point.

b) Window Frames: Purchase four window frames (ZAR250 each) for proper ventilation inside the shack.

c) Plastic Sheets: Cover the window frames with plastic sheets (ZAR50 per roll) for protection against wind and rain.


Constructing a shack in South Africa using either IBR or corrugated steel roof sheeting requires careful planning and budgeting. By utilizing the above-mentioned building materials, you can create a durable and weather-resistant structure that provides essential shelter for those living in informal settlements. Remember that costs may vary based on location and supplier, so it is essential to conduct thorough research and seek the best deals. Building a shack not only offers a roof over people’s heads but also fosters a sense of security and stability in communities that need it the most.

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