Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Our Philippine House building project.  The accidental bodega and laundry.  First of all, in the Philippines a “bodega” refers to a warehouse or storage area.  We built our carport using …

We’re painting the interior walls of our new Philippine house now. Here are the steps we’re following: 1. The finished concrete walls need to cure from two weeks to a month before painting. The setting of concrete is a much longer chemical process than it seems. 2. The walls are treated with a neuralizer to reduce the alkaninity of the concrete. We used Boysen #44 Masonry Neutralizer. This is diluted 16/1. Be careful with these neutralizers. They seem to be pretty strong acids. We applied the dilute neuralizer with an ordinary paint roller and pan. When the neuralizer is dry the wall can be washed down with water or sanded to remove any effloresece caused by the reaction between the concrete and the neuralizer. Applying concrete neutralizer 3. Next we primed the walls. We used Boysen B701 “Permatex” flat latex paint applied with a roller. 4. At this point, there…

Earthquakes When we hired the engineer to design our house we were aware that the Philippines was included in the “ring of fire” earthquake zone and that our part of Panay Island had experienced a magnitude 8.2 earthquake in 1948.  In 1948 the island was much less developed.  Doubtless all or almost all the hollow block buildings on the island were built after 1948.  The 1948 quake damaged or destroyed. …

The finishing (plastering, stuccoing) of  the pretty crude hollow block concrete walls is the process which covers up a multitude of construction sins and starts to convert the project into a finished home.  Finishing uses a mixture of cement and screened sand to create a smooth, paint able wall. Finishing Workers begin by laying out a network of guide strings to ensure that the finished wall will be flat.  During the process, about 3/4″ of finishing will be applied, first rough courses to level the wall and then increasingly smooth final coats.  Lots time and cement are consumed. Finishing – more It’s this process of finishing which makes me really appreciate the Filipino method of construction.  My workers are quite skilled at their finishing work.  I worked at restoring old houses in the U.S.  We always tried to use plaster rather than sheet rock when we could afford it.  Plastering, especially over wood lath, creates wall surfaces and interiors with character and visual interest whereas sheet rock is…

We’re building our house in the Philippines.  We build a carport as part of our Philippine house building project. A carport was a part of our original plans and permits, but we only decided to really commit to building it when our small crew started to run out of work while waiting for the house roof to be finished.  After the house roof is done, then there’s the floor to pour and finishing of the interior and exterior walls. In the meantime we could use our crew to build the carport.  Also we had over- ordered 16mm rebar …

Our biggest Philippine house building blunders. В We don’t want to present our project as a paragon of perfection, so here we show what went wrong during our Philippine house construction project and why, in the hope that others can learn from our mistakes. Most of these photos also appear in other sections of the site. No room for concrete in this column This photo shows the top of a 15…

Splicing error in roof beam rebar Our Philippine house building project: concrete roof beams.  This photo shows the 16mm rebar framework for the concrete roof beam which is supported by the columns and in turn will carry the considerable weight of the roof structure. For that see http://goiloilo.com/our-house-project-welding/ . A visit by our engineer confirmed a problem with the arrangement of the rebar in the beam.  Rebar comes in six meter lengths.  As shown in the photo, the workers spiced all the rebar in the center of the span.  The engineer directed that splices be staggered with no splices at mid-span in the bottom rebar and no splices at the support columns in the top of the beam. Everything you see above will have to be taken down and redone.  Our plans lacked a rebar splicing plan.  This has caused endless required corrections…

Building our house in the Philippines. Buying our construction equipment in Iloilo.  Delivered, premixed concrete is rarely used in residential construction in the Philippine provinces.  In fact, many houses are built without even a cement mixer.  The concrete is mixed on the ground by workers with shovels. When we were considering a two story house, we were certain a gas powered mixer would be a good investment in the quality of the concrete and the safety of our house and ourselves.  This is…

Building our house in the Philippines. January 15, 2010.  After months of planning and many changes we …

We build a “bahay kubo” bamboo guest house.  We’re planning on building our conventional concrete house in early 2010.  The plans are just about complete.  More on that later. We decided we’d build one of the pretty native houses, a “bahay kubo”  as a first step.  We selected the above photo of a Panay…