Monday, October 16th, 2017

Ceiling Support System Our ceilings will be about 30cm (1′) below the top of our walls and 3.1m (10′) above the finished floors.  We wanted high ceilings because we hope that the hot air will rise above us but also because it makes our modest rooms feel more spacious.  Changing lightbulbs will be a challenge! Generally Philippine ceilings are marine plywood or one of the cement board products such as Hardiflex.  The price is about the same.  There are plusses and minuses for both.  Termites and rot don’t attack cement board but the cement board is more affected by roof leaks.  Originally we were going to use Hardiflex but we decided to use plywood instead.  Like gypsum board, cement board is a totally uniform material.  Plywood has some texture, some hint of once being a natural product.  We just like the look of plywood ceiling better. Ceilings can be supported by wooden joists or one of many suspended ceiling systems.  We decided to use 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ 2.5mm steel angle bar …

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…

Wiring your Philippine house.  Philippine electrical wiring.   As part of our project to build our Philippine house, we had to learn about Philippine residential electrical systems. Here’s what we’ve learned. Electrical conduit Above: before pouring a tie beam at the top of the wall above the location for the panel box, the workers place eight pieces of electrical conduit through the form for the beam.  This will provide a path from the panel box for the circuits in the ceiling, mainly light fixtures and ceiling fans. We’re building house in the Philippines.  I’m my own general contractor, so I’ve had to learn about how Philippine electrical wiring systems work so I can be sure we end up with safe and convenient wiring in our new house…

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