Monday, December 18th, 2017

We’re building a house in the Philippines.  This will show how we’ve constructed our floors; filling, compacting, reinforcing bars, pouring concrete and tiling. The height of the fill contained within the perimeter walls of the house is adjustable based on local conditions.  Our house is located on level agricultural land on Panay Island.  We want the have our finished floors about one meter above the surrounding terrain because we wanted to avoid any possibility of storm water entering the finished house.  We already…

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…

Plumbing in the Philippines. We build our Philippine house. Interior plumbing We will only have “cold” water plumbing so our water supply plumbing is quite simple.  We are trying to avoid running pipes in tiled walls or tiled floors to avoid having to tear out tiling to make repairs.  In this photo the blue pipes are supply lines to a bathroom on the opposite side of the wall.  That way, if there’s a leak, we can make repairs from the untiled wall in this bedroom. Plumbing outside This photo shows three elements of the plumbing system.  The horizontal blue pipe is a 1″ water supply line which encircles the building outside.  Repairs and changes to these outside pipes will be simple. The vertical blue pipes are 1/2&#…

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…

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…

We sent out after lunch at the South Park Grill to explore Tubungan, Iloilo. We took the road…

Shopping for cement blocks (called hollow block) in the Philippines is …

If you’re looking for an quiet, nature-oriented island get-away on Panay Island, something totally the opposite of Boracay, it’s hard to beat the island resort of Marbuena in Iloilo Province in the Philippines.  The resort owns the entire island.  Logging and hunting are not allowed and, of course, there are no vehicles of any kind. A beautiful ocean-front hiking trail circles the island. We catch the pump boat to Marbuena at Mangorocoro, Ajuy, Iloilo Province The family we rent our Iloilo City apartment from often include us in their family outings. This time the trip was to the Marbuena Island resort near Ajuy, Iloilo, about a two hour drive north from Iloilo City. As you head north from Barotac Viejo, pass by Culasi port (Culasi, Iloilo…