Living In The Philippines Forum

It’s Your Money => Building in the Philippines => Topic started by: dutch expat on December 27, 2011, 08:48:36 PM

Title: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: dutch expat on December 27, 2011, 08:48:36 PM
Dear forum members,

Soon I want to start building a house and have no knowledge at all about house building

I found a architect and his fee is P 25000 for designing the plans needed for the building permit, supervision during the building and the application for the occupancy permit.
Is that reasonable?

A contractor offered his services on costs plus basis. He charges on materials plus 10% and on labor 20%. The advantage is that you can decide  what kind of materials will be used in contrary to a pacqiao contract (lump sum) where they can cut corners as much as they like.
How do you think about that?

Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: richardsinger on December 28, 2011, 07:58:13 AM
Materials plus 10% sounds funny to me. Any jobs I\'ve had done I paid for the materials at cost. I don\'t see why the contractor\'s fee should be related to the material price And I would want to settle the labor charges in pesos/day up front, otherwise you could be paying higher than mareket rates.

I also have no idea about architect fees, so I would try to get a second and third quotation if possible. If not possible, you could try negotiating a lower fee. Tell him your budget is limited, maybe offer him 15K pesos and see what his reaction is.

Richard
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: oneiloilokano on December 28, 2011, 09:15:00 AM
P250, 000 plus 10% on materials and 20% on labor ? Your getting the rich foreigner special price.
I think you should find someone else.
Just so you know using top grade materials finshed it should cost you roughly P15,000 per square meter of living space. Materials included.
You should also be aware that a cival case takes a minimum of six years to get to court. That is provided the contractor just does not up and move away.
Be very careful and get a recommendation from a foreigner living in your area that had a home built there.

Paul in Iloilo
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: BingColin on December 28, 2011, 09:48:39 AM
Hi DE,

A complicated subject for which I do have a little knowledge having just had a house built ;D. If you have not seen it already, there are details on http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Our+future+home .

I can’t comment on the Architect fees because we did not use one. If you have some idea of what you want, then use one of the house design programmes, Google Sketchup is very good and free, then get a draughtsman to draw up the plans to include all the structure. We had our first engineer do that for around P25,000, but learned later that it could have been done directly by a recognized draughtsman for around P5000. These people have contacts in the City Engineering department and can organize the permit within that fee. All the different departments in the City engineering section have to approve the plan so there is no risk in not using an architect.

Be very careful with contractors, we worked through three of them before we found a good foreman with his own workers. I have never heard of a pacqiao contract, but an agreed charge for labour is, in my opinion, the best way to go. There is a big disadvantage with the system you are being offered, you have no control over the cost or quantity of materials, your contractor can over order on materials and charge higher prices so that his 10% gets larger. The 20% on labour is also very suspect, how do you know how much he is paying, how hard they work and how good is their work. I guarantee that some of them will be relatives without experience that need the work. It is very easy to cover up bad workmanship with a layer of cement.

You do need several quotes from recommended builders/foremen whose work you can see. Do NOT go for a contract that charges a percentage of materials (usually between 35% and 45%) for labour. Unless you have a bottomless pocket, it is essential that you buy all the material as required. You should also double or treble check the quantities requested.  On one occasion we had a request for 100 bags of cement then three days later another 100 bags, and in that time there were only a few workers who could not have got through more than about 10 bags. A neighbour saw rebar being taken off the site so we then had to employ security guards. They later told us that people were coming up to them and asking to buy cement ‘because it is cheaper here’  :(

It is always your decision to decide on the kind of materials and if you buy them yourself you can find the cheapest source and even negotiate discounts. My wife did all the buying and found it very easy, and I was around to give any advice when needed. We found that all the builders merchants were good and honest and those that were less than helpful were not used again. You should also consider buying direct from Manila; it is not difficult and worked out both cheaper and better quality for the roofing.

Whatever way you go, you need to allow a percentage ‘fiddle’ fee  ;D, but you should make an effort to minimise it.

Colin
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Kerry1123 on January 03, 2012, 06:27:54 AM
Colin, I agree with everything you said.   Man building a house is essentially a crap shoot.   Sometimes you have great relatives who oversee and do a good job, sometimes they take you to the cleaners.   Other times, it\'s a \"builder\" or architect, that is hired, and costs become unmanageable.  Everyone\'s story is different.   For me, I had a trusted person on site each day taking pictures and I evaluated each receipt, (all of this from the US).   What I ended up with,  is a half built casita that needs me to be there to finish.  This means, me taking a pinoy with me as I buy the materials, and me working daily hand-in-hand so everything that goes wrong is my fault, and not someone else\'s.   Well, I\'m off to PI (sorry, RP) Jan 9 to personally work with the manual laborers as we muddle through finishing the casita.  BTW.... the casita was only meant as a place for my wife and I to live while I personally managed the building of a larger home, further back in the property.   
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Lunkan on January 03, 2012, 03:04:22 PM
I haven\'t build anything myself yet (except in Sweden) but I know some, who have in South East Asia. The cost differences have been huge. The best \"investment\" is a clever and tuff wife   :)   Them I know, who have built cheapest compared to what they got, have had such wifes or her in-laws, supervising the work very much.
E g one 150 sq meters 2 floor house, with much detail jobs making it needed much more time to build, costed around 22 000 US dollars compleete. (Thailand inland.) Owner\'s wife did some painting and such, and he did some electric installations himself. They fired the first team of builders.
Others have got several times higher costs.
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: rdjlazo@yahoo.com on January 04, 2012, 06:21:51 AM
I spent almost twice as much in Puerto Princesa, Palawan but I will do better next time.
Probably close to how
much you spent in Thailand. I will watch my spending very very closely.
I will watch my plumbing and
electric installation as They do them so I don\'t have to redo faulty details
 and leaking plumbing systems.
I will do good $ wise with my first project, I just feel I can do way better
next time since I will be there almost all the time to watch everything.
Good luck to all and Happy happy new year,
RDJ LAZO

Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Metz on January 04, 2012, 08:21:27 AM
I heartily agree.  Your best investment is your wife.  In the Philippines you are only as smart as your wife.

I am baffled as to why Westerners come to Asia and think they can get away with things they would not get away with in their home country.  
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Lunkan on January 04, 2012, 08:40:20 PM
I heartily agree.  Your best investment is your wife.  In the Philippines you are only as smart as your wife.

I am baffled as to why Westerners come to Asia and think they can get away with things they would not get away with in their home country.  
Yes. Concerning having own company: I don\'t know if it\'s same in Phili., but in Thailand there are many, who believe they can become successful bar owners just because they have been long time customers   ;D
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: OldManBill on January 05, 2012, 06:05:03 AM
I heartily agree.  Your best investment is your wife.  In the Philippines you are only as smart as your wife.

I am baffled as to why Westerners come to Asia and think they can get away with things they would not get away with in their home country.  
Yes. Concerning having own company: I don\'t know if it\'s same in Phili., but in Thailand there are many, who believe they can become successful bar owners just because they have been long time customers   ;D

Thats a bit like thinking youre a neuro-surgeon because you once had a tooth pulled. :D

Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Metz on January 06, 2012, 07:43:40 PM
I\'m married to a dentist who also has nursing degree.  I leave the messy stuff up to her... Lol
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: on March 03, 2012, 08:38:27 AM
Dear forum members,

Soon I want to start building a house and have no knowledge at all about house building

I found a architect and his fee is P 25000 for designing the plans needed for the building permit, supervision during the building and the application for the occupancy permit.
Is that reasonable?

A contractor offered his services on costs plus basis. He charges on materials plus 10% and on labor 20%. The advantage is that you can decide  what kind of materials will be used in contrary to a pacqiao contract (lump sum) where they can cut corners as much as they like.
How do you think about that?


Well, you have your work and sleepless nights cut out for you. There is no getting around that. In the U.S., some contractors will build on a cost plus basis and it can vary anywhere from 15% to 25% (that covers the builders profit after expenses such as labor).  At least in the U.S. the builder can be held much more accountable.  If you don\'t understand the construction process or know little about differences in material quality, you can\'t go wrong with a reputable architect, and a reputable contractor. The fee that the Architect is charging sounds reasonable to me as long as he is hands on with supervision and QC. Heck, I\'ve spent more than that just for a set of house plans. A few extra peso\'s and he could be the one that holds the builder accountable.

Next, make sure you hire a contractor based on verified references and your own personal inspections of completed projects.  I would also spend the extra money on an attorney to review your contract with the builder. Remember, you can have all the safeguards in place, but without your own due diligence, you can still get burned. You just never know if you will wind up with first, second or third degree burns. Good luck and also remember...you get what you pay for, especially when your not looking!
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Ricky A on March 03, 2012, 10:07:44 AM

\"Well, you have your work and sleepless nights cut out for you. There is no getting around that.\"

I got around it....completely, by utilizing the principle of economy of effort...or do less and accomplish more.  Ultimately you want to come to the state where you do nothing and accomplish everything.  This means that there is just a faint idea, and then the manifestation of the idea comes about effortlessly.  It\'s quite miraculous actually.  Just put up the money and let someone take care of everything...ezpz.  I don\'t let anything bother my sleep.

Ricky  8)
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: wfox11 on March 03, 2012, 10:36:45 AM
Next time I visit the Philippines I will look at some projects done by http://sibonga.com/construction-blog/?page%20id=73 (http://sibonga.com/construction-blog/?page%20id=73). I\'ve heard nothing bad about them and I have heard some good. Sounds like they offer complete construction services at a fixed, guaranteed price. You should investigate them for me and tell me what you find.
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: on March 03, 2012, 10:43:52 PM

\"Well, you have your work and sleepless nights cut out for you. There is no getting around that.\"

I got around it....completely, by utilizing the principle of economy of effort...or do less and accomplish more.  Ultimately you want to come to the state where you do nothing and accomplish everything.  This means that there is just a faint idea, and then the manifestation of the idea comes about effortlessly.  It\'s quite miraculous actually.  Just put up the money and let someone take care of everything...ezpz.  I don\'t let anything bother my sleep.

Ricky  8)
It\'s your money Ricky A!
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Metz on March 21, 2012, 08:40:45 PM
I just hired a crew here.  Going rate is 400 day for carpenter, 600 day for supervisor  and 600 for electrician.  We are at day 3 and have footings dug, most concrete forms built, and could pour Friday except for some reason the ready mix guy wants to see the site before he sends a truck.  I\'m going with ready mix cause I want to do the pour in 2 shots, not endless mixing resulting possible substandard concrete beams. 

We should have forms removed by next Friday, and roughed out with metal stud walls with cement board.  Bought a concrete stucco sprayer, not screwing with hand throw stucco like last time.  We can do it in one shot in one day. 

The crew will go down to 2 guys after next week and I get the shop set up before holy week.
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Gray Wolf on March 21, 2012, 11:09:39 PM
I just hired a crew here.  Going rate is 400 day for carpenter, 600 day for supervisor  and 600 for electrician.  We are at day 3 and have footings dug, most concrete forms built, and could pour Friday except for some reason the ready mix guy wants to see the site before he sends a truck.  I\'m going with ready mix cause I want to do the pour in 2 shots, not endless mixing resulting possible substandard concrete beams. 

We should have forms removed by next Friday, and roughed out with metal stud walls with cement board.  Bought a concrete stucco sprayer, not screwing with hand throw stucco like last time.  We can do it in one shot in one day. 

The crew will go down to 2 guys after next week and I get the shop set up before holy week.

Awesome!  Any chance of discreet photos being shared with everyone? 
Title: Re: Costs of architect and contractor
Post by: Metz on March 22, 2012, 06:48:32 AM
They are up on my blog at metz-industries.com