Author Topic: Using Contractors  (Read 3844 times)

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Using Contractors
« on: January 18, 2011, 07:16:13 PM »
And finally, is it worth buying now, are prices coming down, going up? I have little knowledge of the housing scene.

We are in Angeles City.

I went to a good real estate person to buy land in Lakeshore, Mexico. She was very professional and I would highly recommend her. She also recommended a builder, who I used. He and his family were also very professional and trustworthy. They completed by home to my specifications and ON TIME... I would also recommend them. As far as financing is concerned, my wife got the financing but we are still living and working in the US. The mortgage was for 5 years, and we put 50% down. Interest rates are high, but paying early helps to reduce that. If you are interested I will give you the real estate and builder\'s information.
We\'ve bought the land now, in Timog, but I\'d appreciate the name of the builder you recommend. We have one guy sort of in mind, but nothing decided yet, and it would be nice to have alternatives to look into.

Offline rdjlazo@yahoo.com

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Using Contractors
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 08:14:30 AM »
Folks also check the cost of materials you are using
and best is get your drawings done including the materials
cost estimate. Go to materials suppliers such as
plumbing, electrical, hollow blocks, sand cement, roofing, flooring etc,
Once you get familiar with material cost then you can have an idea
what it will cost you to build. I will only hire contractors on labor  and
administration only
and will get suggestions where to buy. Check the  prices of diff suppliers.
Next is the labor cost. A good engineer
or architect can give you all that but if the architect will
be the contractor then you you will be in the dark as
to real cost. Lastly handle the cash disbursements on purchases
even the payroll of your workers so you don\'t stay in the dark
as the progress of construction go on. If the contractor insist
on handling the money I will look for another contractor.
I will not settle for per Sq meter cost estimate. I want
actual estimate with bill of materials attached. You can also get an idea
on labor cost by pricing the amount of time each laborer on each step
of the construction. I know enough but not much.
It\'s your money and make it clear to everyone.
Good luck and good housing,

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Using Contractors
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 08:42:45 AM »
Folks also check the cost of materials you are using......


While I love the idea of overseeing the construction personally, I feel like it would drive me to a nervous breakdown. I find it hard to get my head around the oddball logic that drives much of the \'system\' in the Philippines, and organising a whole house build, hands-on, would see me in a straight jacket.

I\'ve had lots of work done in the Philippines before, from machining steel hot rod parts, to woodwork, plumbing, building etc, and I have rarely found anybody who seems to be able to grasp the concept that when I ask for something to be done a certain way, then I want it done that way.

I don\'t want their version, and I most certainly and specifically do not want to hear \"but I thought....\"

To tell a Filipino artisan that they are doing something the wrong way, or incorrectly, is forbidden for a kano, so that leaves me stuck between a rock and hard place: I\'m in charge, it is my project, I know what I want, I am paying for everything, but I am not allowed to tell people what I want doing.

Nope, I will engage somebody to build a turnkey package, and my wife will be the liaison, and I will merely tell her when I see something that I do not like.

Maybe after the first house is done, and I have seen exactly how it is done, then I will start a project of my own.  ;D

Offline rdjlazo@yahoo.com

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Using Contractors
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 09:39:31 AM »
At least watch your money very very closely if that is your desire.
Just a suggestion because I saw a lot of problems.
Not too contractor/builder will do turn key unless you give them substantial
amount of deposit and down payment. Then you hope and pray that
he is legit, that he only have one house hold he is supporting and
hope that he will spend and finish the project before your money run out.
My only concern is to watch you money closely how it is being
spent and that we don\'t get over charged.
My 2 cents

  • Guest
Using Contractors
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 11:21:51 AM »

QUOTE: \"While I love the idea of overseeing the construction personally, I feel like it would drive me to a nervous breakdown.\"

Well if you DON\'T, you\'ll have one after the fact with repairs, making right and NOT knowing what has been covered up................that you can count on at every twist and turn!!!

That is ~~UNLESS~~ you can except Pinoy style workmen ship???  Your call!, your money!

I\'ll NEVER use a Pinoy Contractor again!!!  We did on the two story apartment building back in 06. I spec\'d the building as a 3 story and only built 2, knowing the workmen ship available. That sure didn\'t mean no HASSLES DAILY in getting the building I was paying for!!!  GRRRRRR!

I have forgotten how many Pinoys I sent down the road kicking rock with remodeling houses because, they COULDN\'T do what they said they could and contractors HIRE THEM on the cheap!

NEVER............... EVER..............let a contract on time and material ~~OR~~ they will tell you the cost from one phase to the next............PERIOD!! Heard about this split quote in Bohol from an expat that seem to be common there.

BTW, If a person DOESN\'T know anything about what it takes with building a house..................WHY in the $&%*$&%^ would they want to build one now in the Philippines, so late in life?

OIC, build their dream house and end up with a so-so called dream house costing more, at least in value, then where they came from??????

I realize that many expats has no idea as to value, let alone what it takes to obtain, but has the funds to spend. I STILL just shake my head and wonder??
B-Ray

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Using Contractors
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 12:00:02 PM »
Well, after reading those last two posts I\'m wondering if it might be easier to live in a tent than build a house.  ;D

You need to keep a close eye on everything that happens, but you can\'t criticise, admonish, or otherwise tell the workers they have f***ed up, or they will \'tampo\' on you. And then you are going nowhere.

I look at Colins build, and how positive he felt at the start, and now it is well over a year later and still not finished, and I can see myself in Colins shoes. And I don\'t think I would be anywhere near as calm and collected as he appears to be.

In the UK I built my own 30sq metre garage, did the research, dug the footings, and apart from the 12 cubes of concrete for the base, I did everything myself, including the tiled roof, trusses, doors, wiring, etc etc. I really would like to do a whole house, a long term project, but the sheer volume of work would overwhelm me.

Offline fred

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Using Contractors
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 01:04:01 PM »
Completed a couple of construction projects here,one large(ish) other just a domestic 4 bed  house..Both went as smooth as silk..No dramas and nothing to declare!

Offline suzukig1

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Using Contractors
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 04:01:13 PM »

...I have forgotten how many Pinoys I sent down the road kicking rock with remodeling houses because, they COULDN\'T do what they said they could and contractors HIRE THEM on the cheap!...
B-Ray

That\'s a big problem with contractors that just hire anyone that they can pay the local wage.  You get a house built like you would expect to be built by farm workers.

We hired the contractor that built our town mayor\'s house.  We paid up to 14X the local farm wage for certain skilled laborers; electricians, concrete workers, etc.  These were people that the contractor used previously.  We spent about P2M for a 200 sq. m single story house on a 500 sq. m lot.  It only has one western style CR (in the master bedroom.  Everyone else uses the outdoor toilet and \"shower\".) and does not have a western style kitchen.  So that made it cheaper.

We just bought a house from a developer (Vista Land) in a gated community and the cost was P3.4M for a 98 sq. m two story house on a 150 sq. m lot.  So building a house can be much, much cheaper than buying from a developer even when paying higher wages for skilled labor.

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Using Contractors
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 04:08:31 PM »
I look at Colins build, and how positive he felt at the start, and now it is well over a year later and still not finished, and I can see myself in Colins shoes. And I don\'t think I would be anywhere near as calm and collected as he appears to be.

\'Calm and collected\'  ::) a better description would be resigned. We now have a foreman correcting the problems created by the previous contractor. Only yesterday we discovered that one of the front arches was wider than the others  :( Like with a lot of things in the Philippines, a lot of patience is required.

Colin

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Using Contractors
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 07:19:22 PM »
\'Calm and collected\'  ::) a better description would be resigned. We now have a foreman correcting the problems created by the previous contractor. Only yesterday we discovered that one of the front arches was wider than the others  :( Like with a lot of things in the Philippines, a lot of patience is required.

Colin

I think I am bipolar when it comes to his sort of thing. I can be so laid back and relaxed about it, but then a certain time, a certain thing and I seem to lose the plot entirely, go ballistic.

Laziness and lack of skill are simple and explainable issues. I can live with those. But some things you encounter here just seem to go so much against logic and common sense and rationality that you find it hard to believe what you are witnessing. That is the sort of thing that really does my head in.

Offline fred

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Using Contractors
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 07:46:05 PM »

...I have forgotten how many Pinoys I sent down the road kicking rock with remodeling houses because, they COULDN\'T do what they said they could and contractors HIRE THEM on the cheap!...
B-Ray

That\'s a big problem with contractors that just hire anyone that they can pay the local wage.  You get a house built like you would expect to be built by farm workers.

We hired the contractor that built our town mayor\'s house.  We paid up to 14X the local farm wage for certain skilled laborers; electricians, concrete workers, etc.  These were people that the contractor used previously.  We spent about P2M for a 200 sq. m single story house on a 500 sq. m lot.  It only has one western style CR (in the master bedroom.  Everyone else uses the outdoor toilet and \"shower\".) and does not have a western style kitchen.  So that made it cheaper.
( I have made my living in the building game my whole life...so far!)

We just bought a house from a developer (Vista Land) in a gated community and the cost was P3.4M for a 98 sq. m two story house on a 150 sq. m lot.  So building a house can be much, much cheaper than buying from a developer even when paying higher wages for skilled labor.

Good post.. Pretty much sums up why things went easier for us.. However..Pay peanuts, get monkeys!!
We had a really good engineer with lots of work experience abroad..He had a TOP working foreman that managed all the trades beneath him..When he said jump,they jumped!! I was very impressed with the whole operation. When they were finished we were getting a lot of requests for contact details for house extensions etc from Filipino`s within the sub division..
We have one of the original masons working for us now..not cheap but TOP CLASS!!

Offline dutch expat

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Re: Using Contractors
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 10:14:58 PM »
Guys, which kind of contract do you have with the contractor/engineer ? Is it on basis of progress billing? Is it possible to publish it here?

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Re: Using Contractors
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 07:00:33 AM »
Guys, which kind of contract do you have with the contractor/engineer ? Is it on basis of progress billing? Is it possible to publish it here?

We got involved with trying to organize a complicated contract with our first contractor, but he quit before we finalized it. After that we did not bother with a legal contract, just a written agreement on costing. Things need to be flexible here because of style of building and the attitude of builders. It makes it easy to make adjustments as you go along, builders do that often without asking anyway  ;D  It would be impossible to get money out of most builders here, unless they are a very large company so the whole thing becomes a waste of time and money.

Colin

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Re: Using Contractors
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 09:43:07 AM »

We got involved with trying to organize a complicated contract with our first contractor, but he quit before we finalized it. After that we did not bother with a legal contract, just a written agreement on costing. Things need to be flexible here because of style of building and the attitude of builders. It makes it easy to make adjustments as you go along, builders do that often without asking anyway  ;D  It would be impossible to get money out of most builders here, unless they are a very large company so the whole thing becomes a waste of time and money.

Colin
My sentiments exactly Colin. I don\'t see any point in a binding legal contract, as a \'kano\' is never going to see success going through the courts seeking recompense or justice if it all turns into chaos.

The \'contract\' we have on the garage project (same as the one on the wall was) is merely a list of work schedule, materials, total price and what we have to pay at each predetermined stage of construction. It is signed by both parties, but worth no more than a gentleman\'s handshake in the end.

We will do the same with the house. Lots more money involved, but we basically have to take a chance on everything going as well as expected. 

I\'d like to be there for the whole build, watch each stage, but that isn\'t possible all the time. My wife will be in there with the camera as much as possible, relaying details to me when I\'m offshore.

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Re: Using Contractors
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 12:11:32 PM »

Quote: \"It is signed by both parties, but worth no more than a gentleman\'s handshake in the end.\"

I disagree!!  

It depends on how the contract is written up and what\'s included in the contract, written by your Attorney!!!

When we put out for bid the two story apartment building back in 2006. I asked the winning contractor how much time to build, she stated 119 days.  I question that asking if more time needed? Nope!

Therefore, the 119 days will be in the contract and if not finished, you will be charged 1/2 of 1% of the total bid per day there after! The contract was excepted.

To make that work, you best figure on being on location as long as they are working. In other words, you working an 8 hour day also to keep them from doing the standard ~~that\'s good enough and short cuts~~ Grrrrrr to get what your paying for.

Without a total contract, the contractor can pull off at any time for a better job and return whenever to complete!! Such a warning I was given about a few contractor in the area.

Anyway to look at it.............................it\'s your money, no skin off my ~~you know what~~ what you do!!! I\'m just passing on what I ~~think~~ I know with a bit of knowledge in the RP building field.  ;D
B-Ray
  



 



We got involved with trying to organize a complicated contract with our first contractor, but he quit before we finalized it. After that we did not bother with a legal contract, just a written agreement on costing. Things need to be flexible here because of style of building and the attitude of builders. It makes it easy to make adjustments as you go along, builders do that often without asking anyway  ;D  It would be impossible to get money out of most builders here, unless they are a very large company so the whole thing becomes a waste of time and money.

Colin
My sentiments exactly Colin. I don\'t see any point in a binding legal contract, as a \'kano\' is never going to see success going through the courts seeking recompense or justice if it all turns into chaos.

The \'contract\' we have on the garage project (same as the one on the wall was) is merely a list of work schedule, materials, total price and what we have to pay at each predetermined stage of construction. It is signed by both parties, but worth no more than a gentleman\'s handshake in the end.

We will do the same with the house. Lots more money involved, but we basically have to take a chance on everything going as well as expected.  

I\'d like to be there for the whole build, watch each stage, but that isn\'t possible all the time. My wife will be in there with the camera as much as possible, relaying details to me when I\'m offshore.

 


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