Living In The Philippines Forum

Itís Your Money => Building in the Philippines => Topic started by: FastWalk on September 14, 2017, 04:50:38 AM

Title: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on September 14, 2017, 04:50:38 AM
We just bought an older fixer up (but livable as is) house in an older section but near the middle of the closest large city.  Walking distance to a new Robinson Mall and hospital.  Wanted to be closer to services for the family than our beach house that is about 30-45 minutes away and then sometimes spend the weekends at the beach.

It was an ok price (that is the reason to get a fixer up,  (less expensive than land and build).  Now for the fixing... :)  It is about 400m on a 1000m lot with a nice fence already.  Did I say,  a lot of fixing...

I have done a fixer up,  before and it worked out well for us.

Anyone else doing a fixer up ?
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: JoeLP on September 14, 2017, 10:39:19 AM
Kudos to you man.  In the Phils I don't think I'd want to get into that.  I grew up with parents that worked together very well on doing that. 

My dad had his own construction company, and on top of all the houses/barns/commercial buildings that he built during the day, he'd come home and be working on out house.  Parents always had at least 2 houses and each had their personal address at different houses.  Tax reasons behind that.  But, I moved at least once a year growing up.  Often I wouldn't leave the school district/town we were in, but always moving and moving into half remoded homes that I was the free labor at around age 10 to help remod houses we lived in...sometimes the one owned but not lived in. 

I can remod just about any house in the US now. Hated doing it as a kid, but now I never need to hire anyone to do anything on any of my houses, including additions.  So NOW i'm happy I was raised the way I was....but what I live in here and see here are nothing like what I worked on growing up. From the electrical, to plumbing to building material and setup.  Hell, my first official job was building log homes...I worked a summer before that under the table on the "styrofoam" with column based homes(pretty interesting really, but rarely done, at least in Michigan).  So I have a wide experience...but stuff here is crazy off. 

So best of luck to you.  Be it in form of getting the supplies you need or the people to help you do it.  I just shake my head at the crazy electrical systems I see here. I think it would take a month alone just to take an existing house and rewire it to the code that would make me comfortable when it comes to the circuits and being grounded and proper breakers and all. 

Took me a week to do our home after I showed up and I was lucky I caught the electrician still working on it an stopped him.  Breakers off of breakers off of breakers?  What kind of madness is this?  Then after you rip it all out and redo it you still need to get out the concrete mix and recover the wires.....

I just don't think I have the patience to go through a full remod of a house here in the Phils that was a complete build by local construction norms.  At least not a remod to the level I am comfortable living in.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on September 14, 2017, 09:47:48 PM
Kudos to you man.  In the Phils I don't think I'd want to get into that.  I grew up with parents that worked together very well on doing that. 

My dad had his own construction company, and on top of all the houses/barns/commercial buildings that he built during the day, he'd come home and be working on out house.  Parents always had at least 2 houses and each had their personal address at different houses.  Tax reasons behind that.  But, I moved at least once a year growing up.  Often I wouldn't leave the school district/town we were in, but always moving and moving into half remoded homes that I was the free labor at around age 10 to help remod houses we lived in...sometimes the one owned but not lived in. 

I can remod just about any house in the US now. Hated doing it as a kid, but now I never need to hire anyone to do anything on any of my houses, including additions.  So NOW i'm happy I was raised the way I was....but what I live in here and see here are nothing like what I worked on growing up. From the electrical, to plumbing to building material and setup.  Hell, my first official job was building log homes...I worked a summer before that under the table on the "styrofoam" with column based homes(pretty interesting really, but rarely done, at least in Michigan).  So I have a wide experience...but stuff here is crazy off. 

So best of luck to you.  Be it in form of getting the supplies you need or the people to help you do it.  I just shake my head at the crazy electrical systems I see here. I think it would take a month alone just to take an existing house and rewire it to the code that would make me comfortable when it comes to the circuits and being grounded and proper breakers and all. 

Took me a week to do our home after I showed up and I was lucky I caught the electrician still working on it an stopped him.  Breakers off of breakers off of breakers?  What kind of madness is this?  Then after you rip it all out and redo it you still need to get out the concrete mix and recover the wires.....

I just don't think I have the patience to go through a full remod of a house here in the Phils that was a complete build by local construction norms.  At least not a remod to the level I am comfortable living in.

thanks.   we are excited about it.

In the past I finished the construction on the  beach house that my MIL lived in until she passed,   so I have some (but not a lot) of experience with construction in the area.  Then after Yolanda we put a flat roof on instead of the broken attic (my avatar picture is from it). 

This new one was a western build about 12 years ago by Japanese ppl.  The lower levels are all good,  but in need of lots of sanding, scraping and refinish.  Will need a complete rewire in the attic.   It is likely we will post some silly construction type questions in the forum as we move along,  some you likely will all get some chuckles out of :)    And of course there is the expected stuff like that the previous owners care taker somehow lost all of the interior door handles.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: Gray Wolf on September 29, 2017, 04:40:49 AM
the previous owners care taker somehow lost all of the interior door handles.

Check his house and I bet you'll find them all   :D
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on November 09, 2017, 12:17:39 AM
What do you guys think about wiring for only local 220 vs also 110.   

I am thinking just go with local standard 220 and use the appropriate electronics.  The little bit of savings I might get by using 110 also for equipment cost can evaporate by just one wrong plugin to the wrong power.

I don't think there is any machine/electronics that can not get a 220 version of ?



Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: BudM on November 09, 2017, 12:34:35 AM
Personally, I would not waste my time, energy, or pesos to have 110.  Anything I shipped was multi-voltage except for two small items that were only 110.  I got one of those little converters for those and I still fried one of the items.  The other still works but when it gives out, I will be glad to see it go.  I am tempted to throw it in the garbage anyway just so I can feel good about not seeing it.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: lost_in_samoa on November 09, 2017, 04:12:26 AM

Local power coop providing a neutral with your 2 220 lines?
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: Frosty on November 11, 2017, 07:05:04 AM
My sister in law had her house wired for both.
the 110 now is not used all.
everything they own now is 220.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on November 19, 2017, 01:51:09 AM
Thanks for the feedback.   We are proceeding with only 220.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: BudM on November 19, 2017, 08:10:19 AM
It might be ok for someone constantly going back and forth to somewhere with 110 but if you are based here and only go maybe a couple of weeks once in a while, then 110 is a pain.  Almost anything you buy anymore that you would need for travel is multi.  Just like the last Remington electric shaver I got about 6 years ago.  Side by side at Walmart in the US was the same model with the only difference was one was strictly 110 and the other multi.  A few bucks more for the multi but still cheap and I got it since I am a cheap type of guy.  Still works great but the razor and foil cost more through Lazada then you can get them for at Walmart.  Almost any laptop you buy in the US is multi to my knowledge.  I'm not traveling with a laptop, unless I was moving, so it doesn't matter to me.

If someone is moving here and has 110 appliances, then if you are like me, trash the appliances and get new ones here.  I buy cheap and the stuff still lasts in most cases so if I trashed it, I still got my moneys worth.  I got a cheap microwave when I first came here and it is still going fine.  I bought a total of 5 cheap microwaves since the first one I purchased (that one was second hand) in 1981 or 82.   So, for me, worry about 110 is a waste.  Of course, it might not be for someone else but I am not going to deal with it.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: lost_in_samoa on November 19, 2017, 08:57:30 AM
I guess I am odd in that I have a lot of power tools.

I inherited a complete 70's construction/furniture shop from my family.  After using them, I've developed a taste for older tools. 

Stuff from the era when gears were forged from steel.  Remember back when items were designed to last?  American made meant something?

I've had a few of the motors re-wrapped for 220.  But it never worked out well.  Tools burnt up.  Didn't run right.

I've smoked so many step-down transformers that I finally had to install a unit large enough to support my entire site.

But what I do is not for everyone.  Good Luck.

Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on December 17, 2017, 04:56:04 AM
The roof on this house is a high slope,  with enough space in the attic to be another house...    I don't initially want to tear the roof off and put a flat concrete as it seems like it would be a waist of money.  If I had built from scratch I would have done flat concrete.   

Has anyone ever tried to weld the metal roofing together on a house, at the seems.   The reason would be to be more wind resistant in case of really bad typhoon.

thanks.

Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: lost_in_samoa on December 17, 2017, 08:47:16 AM
Has anyone ever tried to weld the metal roofing together on a house, at the seems.   The reason would be to be more wind resistant in case of really bad typhoon.

After Heta, I tried this on an instrument shed in Samoa.  Storm destroyed a gas chromatograph.  The roofing metal turned out to be too thin and the welder ended up blowing holes in the metal.

Might have been the skill level of my welder.  They were in short supply on island.  No real choice.  Might have been that the metal was just too thin for commonly used arc welders.

Our final solution was to increase the overlap with side panels,  use two rows of screws in an alternating pattern to hold down each side instead of one.  Kind of "double stitch" the roofing panel down.

Use hurricane screws, which are the normal roofing metal screws with a thick rubber like washer to seal the screw penetrations.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on December 17, 2017, 09:19:13 AM

Hope this helps.

It does help,   thank you.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on March 26, 2018, 10:12:50 PM
If you added insulation how did you do it and with what ?   

In the US in the area I am from it is typical that we add insulation on top of the top floor ceiling.  Can I instead just attache to the underside of the roof,   Styrofoam maybe ?  The attic in this house is large enough to be useful,  and would be nicer to be included in the insulated area for cooling.

How did others do insolation ?

Thanks for any ideas.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: Gray Wolf on March 27, 2018, 01:08:07 AM
If you added insulation how did you do it and with what ?   

In the US in the area I am from it is typical that we add insulation on top of the top floor ceiling.  Can I instead just attache to the underside of the roof,   Styrofoam maybe ?  The attic in this house is large enough to be useful,  and would be nicer to be included in the insulated area for cooling.

How did others do insolation ?

Thanks for any ideas.


A foil laminate insulation is commonly used in our area. It's placed under the roofing steel. I believe there are at least 2, maybe 3 grades of thickness. I've also seen metal roofing panels with the insulation attached by the manufacturer. When we put a new roof on the open area covering our rooftop we added insulation under the roofing panels. We did the same with the new roof on our bahay kubo recently. It makes a difference in keeping much of the heat from the roof from passing down. If done over an attic it's important to make sure there are eve vents to reduce heat buildup. A few friends have also added power vents with thermostats. When it reaches a certain level the vent fan kicks on removing the excess heat.

This pic shows the insulation installed underneath the steel roofing panels on our rooftop terrace. The same process was used on the bahay kubo and can be utilized on an enclosed roof over an attic.

(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g63/graywolf101/Novaliches%20Project/th_NovalichesNewRoof7.jpg) (http://s53.photobucket.com/user/graywolf101/media/Novaliches%20Project/NovalichesNewRoof7.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on March 27, 2018, 01:34:06 AM
A foil laminate insulation is commonly used in our area.

([url]http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g63/graywolf101/Novaliches%20Project/th_NovalichesNewRoof7.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s53.photobucket.com/user/graywolf101/media/Novaliches%20Project/NovalichesNewRoof7.jpg.html[/url])


Thanks,  I am glad I asked,   what you show makes sense.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: JoeLP on March 27, 2018, 09:02:35 AM
I guess I am odd in that I have a lot of power tools.

I inherited a complete 70's construction/furniture shop from my family.  After using them, I've developed a taste for older tools. 

Stuff from the era when gears were forged from steel.  Remember back when items were designed to last?  American made meant something?

I've had a few of the motors re-wrapped for 220.  But it never worked out well.  Tools burnt up.  Didn't run right.

I've smoked so many step-down transformers that I finally had to install a unit large enough to support my entire site.

But what I do is not for everyone.  Good Luck.
My dad still has some of his Milwaukee and Craftsman made tools from the 60's and 70's when his building company was going very strong.  Heck, he gave one of this Craftsman table saws(old school with the engine that sat outside the saw box with a belt running into the saw box) to my sister's husband.  This was one of the 2 he bought back in the mid 60's.  Damn thing still runs as nice as I ever remember seeing it run.  We say the joke is on him because he "traded" it in for a new DeWalt heavy duty table saw with hydraulics and all that fancy "jazz" with everything inside a solid box.  Thing gives him more trouble than anything he owns.  It works.  but when it comes to doing different things with it like he could with the Craftsman, issues come up.  He still has that DeWalt...but moved it to the side of his workshop and setup the 2nd Craftsman table saw he got with that one he gave my brother--in-law and uses that still.
The Milwaukee powerdrill(big heavy monstor of a drill) will still outwork almost every drill my dad ever bought.  He got that in the late 60's. 
I know what you speak of.  It's not just power tools either.  If I had a dollar for every time my dad used a wrench as a hammer or pliers as prybars I could have retired real young.  But most of those things, 50 years later are still doing their jobs.  Try doing that with most currently sold tools and problems would come.  All tools, American made, from that era meant something. 
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: JoeLP on March 27, 2018, 09:20:55 AM
Thanks,  I am glad I asked,   what you show makes sense.
That looks more practical for buildings in the Philippines.  My first construction job outside working for my father was building log homes.  My best friend's dad owned the company and at one time he tasked his son and I with building the 30' x 30' red pine home for what was his family's nanny.  Anyway, we, along with a couple other workers from Windy Hill Log Homes, did the recon, and when we did the roofing system, used styrofoam "blocks" for the first time ever in my life.  My dad usually did what you discussed on modern style builds, and would use blown or figerglass in the houses that we remodeled from previous eras where the upstairs levels are build to the roof.  But using styrofoam was something that was cool with me.  The "ceiling board" with the styrofoam blocks on top of that sitting between the trusses what left about 2" of space above the styrofoam where an aluminum "tray" was put to allow for airflow between the ridge vent and the vents at the eaves. 
My dad was there to watch us build it and started to add those "trays" to his remodel jobs oh older homes and would add them above the insulation he either blew in or the fiberglass rolls he'd roll in.
That is probably all overkill in the phils as you are really only trying to retain cooler air in the house and keep the hot out 99% of the time and are not going through all 4 seasons in all their glory like those of us who lived in the northern US and Canada areas. 
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: Leinster Lad on March 28, 2018, 01:35:19 PM
Thanks for the feedback.   We are proceeding with only 220.

For safety reasons, you should opt for a fully earthed MEN system. ( Main Earth Neutral ) with separate RCD protected lighting and power circuits.
I would also only ever use the 3 pin (earthed)  type wall sockets, that way the active conductor will always be in the correct position relative to the plug, which should avoid those "tingles" when touching metal appliances.

The 220V power from the street comes into the house via 2 wires. An active and a neutral.
If you look carefully at those cables, one will be insulated ( the active) and the other is normally bare ( neutral)
The neutral is also normally "earthed" at either the meter or up on the pole.

It is a REALLY good idea to follow this wiring convention in your house.

With the "MEN" system, the house earth ( sockets and metal roof frames etc ) are connected to the Neutral at the fuse/breaker box by a single connection.
So all the earth wires from all over the house arrive at the breaker box and are terminated in one of the multi-terminal brass bars.
All of the neutral wires from all of the sockets etc also terminate in one of those brass multi-terminal bars.
Those two terminal bars are connected together with ONE piece of wire. Normally 6mm or 10mm cross sectional area.

All active cables are connected to their relevantly rated breakers or fuses.

REMEMBER, the fuse or breaker is there to protect THE CABLE, nothing else.

Cable sizes are rated to carry a defined maximum current.
So normally, a 2.5mm cable feeding a POWER circuit will be protected with a 20 amp breaker.
If the breaker keeps tripping, you need to run a new circuit !

A LIGHTING circuit will normally be run in 1.5mm cable and be protected with a 10 amp breaker.  ( 10 amps at 220 volts = 2200watts of lighting !!, which = HEAPS )

You can even get breakers now that have built in RCD ( earth leakage protection )
Running multiple circuits ( and therefore multiple breakers ) has the advantage of redundancy.
If one of your lighting circuits gets shorted by a mouse chewing the cable, you only lose that one lot of lights, not ALL your lights !

Some appliances have "normal" amounts of earth leakage that will cause nuisance trips of RCD's.
Typically these are electric ovens / hot plates.
These can be run on a separate NON-RCD circuit if required.
That way, if it does trip while you are away, at least the fridge will still be on.

I've attached a couple of circuit diagrams which should help.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: David690 on March 28, 2018, 07:20:59 PM
For safety reasons, you should opt for a fully earthed MEN system. ( Main Earth Neutral ) with separate RCD protected lighting and power circuits.
I would also only ever use the 3 pin (earthed)  type wall sockets, that way the active conductor will always be in the correct position relative to the plug, which should avoid those "tingles" when touching metal appliances.

The 220V power from the street comes into the house via 2 wires. An active and a neutral.
If you look carefully at those cables, one will be insulated ( the active) and the other is normally bare ( neutral)
The neutral is also normally "earthed" at either the meter or up on the pole.

It is a REALLY good idea to follow this wiring convention in your house.

With the "MEN" system, the house earth ( sockets and metal roof frames etc ) are connected to the Neutral at the fuse/breaker box by a single connection.
So all the earth wires from all over the house arrive at the breaker box and are terminated in one of the multi-terminal brass bars.
All of the neutral wires from all of the sockets etc also terminate in one of those brass multi-terminal bars.
Those two terminal bars are connected together with ONE piece of wire. Normally 6mm or 10mm cross sectional area.

All active cables are connected to their relevantly rated breakers or fuses.

REMEMBER, the fuse or breaker is there to protect THE CABLE, nothing else.

Cable sizes are rated to carry a defined maximum current.
So normally, a 2.5mm cable feeding a POWER circuit will be protected with a 20 amp breaker.
If the breaker keeps tripping, you need to run a new circuit !

A LIGHTING circuit will normally be run in 1.5mm cable and be protected with a 10 amp breaker.  ( 10 amps at 220 volts = 2200watts of lighting !!, which = HEAPS )

You can even get breakers now that have built in RCD ( earth leakage protection )
Running multiple circuits ( and therefore multiple breakers ) has the advantage of redundancy.
If one of your lighting circuits gets shorted by a mouse chewing the cable, you only lose that one lot of lights, not ALL your lights !

Some appliances have "normal" amounts of earth leakage that will cause nuisance trips of RCD's.
Typically these are electric ovens / hot plates.
These can be run on a separate NON-RCD circuit if required.
That way, if it does trip while you are away, at least the fridge will still be on.

I've attached a couple of circuit diagrams which should help.

That is spot on Leinster Lad.  I would also point out that if you opt for RCD's, (which you should) rather than ELCB's, it is imperative that for each bank of circuits running from an RCD, you must ensure that the neutrals for those circuits run back to the Neutral bar associated with that RCD, ie they are segragated.  They operate by detecting the difference in current between the live and the neutral and trip off if the difference exceeds the tripping value of the RCD, typically 30mA for lighting wall sockets etc, and 100mA for washing machine, AC's etc.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on March 28, 2018, 09:41:47 PM

I've attached a couple of circuit diagrams which should help.

Thanks for the great details.
Title: Re: Fixer Up
Post by: FastWalk on March 28, 2018, 09:46:14 PM
That is spot on Leinster Lad.  I would also point out that if you opt for RCD's, (which you should) rather than ELCB's, it is imperative that for each bank of circuits running from an RCD, you must ensure that the neutrals for those circuits run back to the Neutral bar associated with that RCD, ie they are segragated.  They operate by detecting the difference in current between the live and the neutral and trip off if the difference exceeds the tripping value of the RCD, typically 30mA for lighting wall sockets etc, and 100mA for washing machine, AC's etc.

Thanks for the additional point.   I can say that one thing I have found different in the phills is that I need to review and know what I am doing with construction things.  From US I could somewhat depend on the inspection cycle to ensure it was ok.