Friday, September 21st, 2018

Isabela House (Construction Log 4) Lot Marking Pt. 2 & Backfill Preparation


At 6.30 am this morning our door bell sounded and it was the senior engineer from our contractor together with the project foreman he has appointed. They just called on their way to our lot where they will spend the day marking out the position of the buildings. So after breakfast we went over to visit them. They had already hired some local workers who were assisting in clearing the rice stalks. Some green tape was already in place showing one side of our house. They will mark the remainder through the rest of the morning and we will inspect after lunch to see if the positioning is right.

Phoned the engineer/surveyor this morning to see which day he wants us to give him a lift to the BIR office in Illagan and surprise surprise when he answers he’s on a bus on his way there today. We hope he picked up the right birth certificates as we had to drop a replacement into his office last week when we realized that the deed of sale was in the mother’s name, not the son’s.

The outline of the buildings is marked out with plastic string between stakes. Then the rice stalks are cut down to ground level with the tabas blade before the top soil is removed to reveal the harder ground beneath. Onto this will be poured load after load of gravel until the site is almost a meter higher than the barangay road. But no concrete will be poured until we have been granted the building permit.

We now have the community tax certificate, the barangay building permit clearance letters and the BIR tax documents. This weekend an engineer is supposed to be traveling up to submit these papers along with the technical drawings to the engineer at City Hall. It takes 7 to 14 days for a building permit to be issued and there is a lot of gravel to be delivered before construction can begin anyway.

The site today was a little waterlogged as a result of the North East monsoon rain we have had the last couple of days. It underlines the importance of raising the level of the site before construction. Work removing the top soil had stopped, but they were practically finished this stage anyway.

The other day we watched as the foreman rejected two lorry loads of “gravel”. The good stuff is redish in color, feels slightly sticky to handle, and also contains small stone chips. You can almost mold it in your hand. With this delivery we could see the foreman holding a handful of what looked like grey material with large stones and telling the delivery guys it was totally unacceptable. Yet another good reason for using a Filipino contractor who knows the tricks suppliers get up to.

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