Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Being your own contractor in the Philippines. Ai??Our Philippine house building project is almost Ai??complete. Ai??After our unhappy experiences with hiring an architect to build our perimeter fence (see _____) Ai??we decided to hire our own crew to build our house. Ai??We hired an architect to do the plans and to come for site visits on an as-needed basis. Ai??We shopped for our own materials and supervised the work with help from a foreman. Was this a success? Ai??It looks like it’s going to cost us about 2.5 million pesos for our 150 square meter house or about P16,500 per square meter. Ai??Houses can be built for that amount or less, but we tried to use top quality materials, so we feel as though we have gotten a…

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. Ai??In 1948 the island was much less developed. Ai??Doubtless all or almost all the hollow block buildings on the island were built after 1948. Ai??The 1948 quake damaged or destroyed. …

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

Our Philippine House Project: Ai??new construction cost report as of April 21, 2010 Project after 70 work days 4-19-10 House Construction Expense 1/1/2010 through 4/21/2010 (in U.S. Dollars) House Construction Expense – YTD:2 1/1/2010 through 4/22/2010 (in U.S. Dollars) Category Description 1/1/2010- 4/22/2010 House Construction 31,080.37 Equipment 2,484.79 Labor 5,866.73 Materials 21,756.69 Soft Costs 972.16 OVERALL TOTAL 31,080.37 Equipment 2,484.79 Labor 5,866.73 Materials 21,756.69 Soft Costs 972.16 OVERALL TOTAL $31,080.37 Number of workers: 8 Cost per square meter P9,324 so far. Cost figures include a P200,000 ($4,500)

Our biggest Philippine house building blunders. ?i??Ai??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…

How much does it cost to build a house in the Philippines? Ai??Here’s our experience, month by month. February 20, 2010. Construction costAi??report for our Philippine House Project.Ai??Ai??Ai??Thirty work days so far. Here’s what the house looks like after thirty days of work: After thirty work days… House Construction Expense – YTD:2 1/1/2010 through 2/21/2010 (in U.S. Dollars) Category Description 1/1/2010- 2/21/2010 House Construction 15,788.01 Equipment 2,345.72 Labor 2,489.01 Materials 10,104.24 Soft Costs 849.04 OVERALL TOTAL 15,788.01 H ouse Construction Expense Summary 1/1/2010 through 2/21/2010 (in U.S. Dollars) Equipment 2,345.72 Labor 2,489.01 Materials 10,104.24 Soft Costs (architecture, permits) 849.04 OVERALL TOTAL SO FAR: $15,788.01 Number of workers: 16 Current cost of cement: P212 ———————————————————————————————————————— March 12, 2010 construction expense report . Covers 45 work days sinceAi??beginningAi??of construction on January 18, 2010. House Construction Expense ai??i?? YTD:2 1/1/2010 through 3/12/2010 (in U.S. Dollars) Category Description 1/1/2010- 3/12/2010 House Construction 22,843.05 Equipment 2,350.47 Labor 3,658.36 Materials 15,908.79 Soft Costs 925.43 OVERALL TOTAL 22,843.05 House after 45 days of work and about one million pesos. March 12, 2010 Total House Construction Expense to date Ai??(in U.S. Dollars) Equipment 2,350.47 (10.29% of total) Labor…

Our Philippine House project – septic system and drainage. Septic tank excavation One of our workers has been assigned the job of digging the pitAi??in which the septic tank will be built. Ai??The three chamber septic tank will measure 3.1 meters (10 feet) Ai??by 1.9 meters (6 feet) Ai??and will be 2.1 meters deep (almost 7 feet). The tank will have a concrete…

Building our house in the Philippines. Ai??We decided to set up our own “welding shop” on-site. Ai??The roof framing is all steel; trusses (15.5 meters long), center beam, purlins, and cornice framing. Ai??All will be constructed on-site by our crew, two of…

We are building a house on Panay Island in the Philippines. Ai??We’ve documented our project with photos, text and building cost reports. Ai??Here’s the index to our posts: A forest of bamboo scaffolding 3-10-2010 An index to posts about our Philippine house building project. A few of the links are not yet “live” but will become so as the project progresses. Our Philippine house:Ai?? Buying our lot Our Philippine house:Ai?? Building a perimeter fence Our Philippine house:Ai?? Filling the lot Our Philippine house:Ai?? House Design Our Philippine house:Ai?? Architects and builders Our Philippine house:Ai?? Digging a water well Our Philippine house:Ai?? Building a bamboo house – a “bahay kubo” Our Philippine house:Ai?? Buying construction equipment Our Philippine house:Ai?? Buying hollow block (cement …

Building our house in the Philippines.Ai??January 31, 2010. Ai??We’ve just ended the first two weeks of construction. Ai??We’re generally pleased with the progress. Ai??We have thirteen workers on our crew including two foremen. Ai??I’m on-site most of the time so there are three “bosses”. So far we’ve spent about $8,000 including “soft costs” (architecture, permits), equipment, materials and labor. Ai??We’d like to keep our total cost to about P15,000 per square meter or about $50,000 for the 150 square meter house. Ai??Every day one faces decision which affect the cost. Ai??Should we use 6″ block for a stronger house — it only costs a P30,000 pesos more! Ai??Should the concrete floor be a bit thicker to reduce the chance of cracking? Ai??Should we use 1/4″ thick angle bar in building our roof trusses or the thinner…