Monday, July 16th, 2018

Our Philippine House Building Project House Construction Expense Report – Sept. 25, 2010 Granite installed For those of you…

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…

We’re building a house in the Philippines. Ai??We try building own own door casings. We bought air dried local “mahogany” – 2X6″ and 2X8″. This is quite a bit cheaper than buying pre-made casings, plus we can have thicker casings, a full two inches. It’s a little bit of a mystery as to what this wood really is. So much wood in the Philippines is called mahogany. What we bought is cheaper than Lauan “Philippine mahogany” (Shorea Negrosensis) and has a local reputation for warping. Rough-cut Mahogany 2″x6″ from local saw mill Wood shop – door casings It might be one of the other similar Shorea woods such as Almon or Bagtican (white lauan) or Bagras which is called “southernAi??mahogany” which is really a Eucalyptus. Or, it could really be mahogany. The prized central American mahogany “ Swietenia macrophylla ” is widely planted in the Philippines and grows like crazy. The wood we bought has three or four growth rings in two …

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…

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

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

Perspective Drawing for our Tigbauan…

Prolapse of Orbital Fat – Iloilo City, Philippines. We share this medical tidbit to help expats considering life in the Philippines, but who are concerned about the quality of Philippine medical care. This is not a conclusion but rather an anecdote given for whatever help it may be to others. My wife’s sister returned from work in Kuwait with a scary looking growth in one of her eyes.Ai?? We were very afraid it was a tumor.Ai?? We took her to one Iloilo ophthalmologist who recommended a biopsy which could be done at a lab in the same building. We wanted a second opinion so we took her to ophthalmologist, Dr. Karen Francia who had been highly recommended to us by other Iloilo expats. It was a good recommendation. Dr. Francia felt that the problem was a prolapse of the orbital fat in her eye. …

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of doctors in Iloilo. For the newcomer it’s a challenge to find the best ones. We’re making progress, but our comments are those of newcomers who likely still have lots to learn. Here’s an example of the need for caution. I had an eye exam at a well known ophthalmologist in Cebu City. He diagnosed me with cataracts and said the sooner I had surgery the better. When I went back to New York, my long-time ophthalmologist said my cataracts were not serious and I would not need surgery for ten years or more. Usually you do not make an appointment with a Philippine doctor or dentist.Ai?? They maintain “clinic” hours at their office(s).Ai?? You just show up during the clinic hours and wait your turn.Ai?? If you call in advance to make an appointment you …