It’s Your Money > Building in the Philippines

Building in the Philippines

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I\'ve been asked to bring this post to our forum here. I DON\'T know everything and I\'m not the most picky in what I will except, a Britt buddy runs circles around me LOL, so keep that in mind while reading.
 

Location and within a location \"AND\" ones desires in reguards to
housing will set the price in building.

Php400,000 will build a do-it-yourself, (hire your own labor), 3 BR
2 CR NICE hollow block, GI roof 75 sq. meter PINOY style house with
extras. Then there\'s the price for the fees and lot to build on.
Don\'t want a do-it-yourself? Then add 1.5 ± million pesos.

That is, \"IF\" a person know a bit about building and does some
homework on matterial prices before putting the project out for
bids, a mistake most foreigners don\'t do, (bidding and pricing),
will deturmend the cost of the project!

Case in point, I designed, (rough drawing), a 2 story, (69 sq meter
each), apartment building and spec, (foundation,columms, beams), as
a 3 story. I was quoted for the architecture plans, (not included
with the bidding, mistake to include), Php500 to Php1,500 for each
blue print page that included a material list. We used a graduating
college student and got the same thing using the latest computer
programing for Php300 per page and he got a grade for it too. A win-
win situation! BTW, found out later that the local Government
Enginerrs Office will draw up the plans also. Something to check out
in your area.

Evaluating the bids that came in, found materials listed not needed
like 150 kilos, (spread throughout the material list), of 5
different size nail to be used in a hollow block/steel building.
Paint at Php850 per gal. that I paid Php458 per gal. and quoted 200
gals. more then needed. And the list goes ON though the 6 bids that
came in. The bid excepted took some fine tunning and save Php150,000
and with the after thoughts, still missed a few things.

What some say they paid to have something built and I\'ve seen expat
houses after built and KNOW that someone else would have saved a
bundle and got better quality, (common Pinoy that\'s good enought).
But, as long as their happy, I\'m not one to knock it!!

BTW, spent that last 3 years building and remolding here in the
Philippines and I will not use a contrator again with their basicly
stand around, know nothing and that\'s good enough workers and their
screw the foreigner with a smile!! There\'s never a closed season or
bag limit on, (not just), foreigners ya know!!

Oh yes, almost forgot, you\'ve gotta watch the material suppliers
too. They\'ll ship to the site sub-standard materials and their
workers are not the sharpest tack in the box either!

Building and not being on location daily is your BIGGEST and most
COSTLY mistake! You\'ll understand that better during the 1st few
years of ownership.

Addition: Pride in workmanship isn\'t a strong suit with the majority of Filipino workers, (learned the trade on the job and say their EXPERTS)! Therefore, \"that\'s good enough\" is what to expect or send the majority down the road kicking rocks. I\'ve sent many and they don\'t have the foggest idea why, (doesn\'t comput), therefore, I\'m the F\'n foreigner. What they are GOOD at is covering things up to LOOK spiffy!

In the last year I have learned to lighten up with the firing or dealing with Pinoy workers. Finely, the \"save face\" and \"lying\" has computed in my head as part of the culture and will not change! Being hard nose and  point blank, (my trates), expecting a Pinoy \"expert\" to know,  isn\'t in your favor with the local workers that you will be living around! 
B-Ray

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I would not disagree with most of your comments about building, but I feel that your figure of ± P1.5M is on the high side. This works out around P25,000 per sq mtr when I have been quoted P15,000 by a contractor (expensive way of doing it) for a house that is a lot better than a basic Pinoy design.

We had a basic Pinoy house built for the family 6 years ago for the sort of figure you quote but I do not find it comfortable and I don\'t think most foreigners would either. We recently had to spend on replacing all the inner wooden walls that were damaged by termites.

We have put our house building on hold until I raise more money by selling my house in the UK. I would expect to spend between P10,000 and P15,000 per sq mtr for a good quality 250-300 sq mtr house. This would be using workers recommended by the architect but payed directly by us.

Colin

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Hi B-Ray,

Nicely written. You have for sure, captured the skill & attitude of the average contractor here. We bought a house & lot package (right choice for us) and have had work done over the past year by a variety of \'craftsmen\'. Lessons learnt:

1.   Check all quotes for work. There will be numerous errors & over costs.

2.   Buy materials yourself if you can.

3.   Pay a daily rate rather than a contracted price. Contracted will lead to rushed & shoddy work. Daily rate does mean watching them as they will try to make the job last. Example. We just had the exterior of the house painted. 2 x painters at Php350 an hour. Took 7 days plus paint/materials at Php50k. Total inc bonus (worth paying to keep on target) just over Php11k. A contractor quoted inc materials Php35k.

4.   Let them know, that you know a few things about building & painting etc & are watching them. The \'good enough\' attitude is common.

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Excellent information here Ray.  I wish I had that information when I started! 

My building experience in the RP started late in the 80\'s and this information would have been nearly on target then.  Since, I\'ve had a variety of building experiences, good and bad.  I think your prices are a bit highball, and prices do vary a good deal throughout the archipelago, but they are a good reference for the newbie.  Over the years I have found some good construction men who I still hire from time to time, even moving them temporarily to other provinces when the need arises.   When you find a good worker you want to keep him!  I have an architect and contractor who has been of help from time to time, but picking one cold is like playing Russian roulette.

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Wooden walls, good point to bring up! In this area inside walls are mostly hollow block. But in some houses 1/8th plywood can be found on a 2x2 coco wood frame. You can see that if the walls are the same thickness as the doors and if the walls are wavy, then you know rough cut, (chain saw), lumber was used and most likely coco wood and thin plywood. 

Metal studs are available now and a product call \"hardi-flex\" a cement board product that I use a lot. The trick is finding workers that know how to build with the metal studs since it\'s so new, at least in this area. I used the hardi-flex for the ceiling of the 2nd floor and the deck/walkways overhang using self tap screws to a 1x1x1/8 welded angle bar frame with round bar welded to the metal truess. I think if I do that again, I would make the metal frame work and drop the hardi-flex in like a drop ceiling. Not only would it be easier, (hardi-flex boards are heavy), and faster to install, but if needing to get above the ceiling, any planel can be removed to get too a given area. BTW, make sure you have a welder that KNOWS how to weld! Not bubble gum globs GRRRR  >:(

Does anyone want to talk about concrete or install tiles?
B-Ray


--- Quote from: Colin on December 23, 2007, 02:12:40 PM ---I would not disagree with most of your comments about building, but I feel that your figure of ± P1.5M is on the high side. This works out around P25,000 per sq mtr when I have been quoted P15,000 by a contractor (expensive way of doing it) for a house that is a lot better than a basic Pinoy design.

We had a basic Pinoy house built for the family 6 years ago for the sort of figure you quote but I do not find it comfortable and I don\'t think most foreigners would either. We recently had to spend on replacing all the inner wooden walls that were damaged by termites.

We have put our house building on hold until I raise more money by selling my house in the UK. I would expect to spend between P10,000 and P15,000 per sq mtr for a good quality 250-300 sq mtr house. This would be using workers recommended by the architect but payed directly by us.

Colin



--- End quote ---

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