Living In The Philippines Forum

It’s Your Money => Building in the Philippines => Topic started by: Colin on June 12, 2009, 09:31:47 PM

Title: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Colin on June 12, 2009, 09:31:47 PM
Building our House in the Philippines

Part 1

When I decided that we should move permanently to the Philippines in 2004, I was not sure if there would be any problems, or maybe after a while I would decide that it was not for me, so in 2005 I chose to let our bungalow, and use the rent money to rent a better place in the Philippines. I did not expect any problems because we had spent a number of 4-6 months periods here in the past, and I used to describe the Philippines as my second home. We rented for a year in Ayala Alabang, one of the top gated villages in Manila, and the plan was to travel around and see where we would like to settle permanently, but this did not happen and we decided just to move to Palawan where most of Bings family live. This was also one of the places we stayed during our long vacations, the other being Lingayen Pangasinan. When we stayed on Palawan it was at Inagawan, one of the prison farms 1 hour south of Puerto Princesa. This was a bit remote and it was often difficult to get a shuttle bus into Puerto. So in 2000 we built a house for the family just outside the main centre of Puerto Princesa, the original idea was for it to be used also for us to stay on our trips here. A 600 sq mtr lot cost P200,000 and a smallish 3 bedroom house a similar amount.

When we moved here, we could not move into that because it would have meant moving everybody else out to make room for all the stuff/junk we had brought over with us. Also it was very crowded, and we wanted a place of our own. The house is used by Bings 82 year old mother, her brother, wife and three children plus various nephews from Inagawan that we are paying to study here. We rented a place in the town centre and have lived here for 3 years.

In 2007 we decided to build here and spent a long time looking for a suitable lot. We saw some interesting places, but eventually settled on a lot in the district (barangay) of San Jose which is about a 10-15 minute drive north of the city. The 1500 sq mtr lot was a foreclosed bank property, we took this route on the advice of the vice mayor, a childhood friend of the family. It was a very good price, and the Bank did all the paperwork for us and we avoided any problems over ownership, title etc.

My original plan was to borrow P5M on my UK home repayable over 10 years, but because of my age, the time period could only be 5 year so I reduced the loan to P3M. The lot cost P900,000, and after paying for clearing and basic fencing, we had P2M left for the house. While this was going on we found extensive termite damage to the family house so had to have all the internal wood walls stripped out and replaced. The family stayed with us while this was happening.

Continued in part 2.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 12, 2009, 09:42:05 PM
nice timing, there were 0 views 0 replies, but i am proud to say i am the first to commend you on your house.Good luck!

The  \"Murf\"

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 12, 2009, 10:21:38 PM
Colin,

Wow, I thought the Mrs. and I were the only ones that are really picky about the lot we want to build our retirement house on.  The one we have is very small, maybe 200 sq meters in size. The one we are \"waiting on\" will be 1-2 hectacers in size (room for a nice house, store, and my required garage and garden space...lol.  So far, we haven\'t met found just the right one...but came close.

Can\'t wait to hear more about your adventure also!

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 12, 2009, 11:19:44 PM
nice timing, there were 0 views 0 replies, but i am proud to say i am the first to commend you on your house.Good luck!

The  \"Murf\"



Thank you for your good wishes

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 12, 2009, 11:24:23 PM
Our engineer took a look at our site today, 2 lots totaling 3000 Sq Metres. and said that a good high wall around it would cost around P1M, so that will have to wait. I hate to think what it would cost to enclose 2 hectares  ;D

Colin

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 13, 2009, 12:01:11 PM
Yeah...I think I might have to pare down the high walls to only the house compound with garden area and chicken coop/piggery (have to keep those WELL AWAY from the house...lol. :D  The only other way is to extend my retirement plans for another 2 or 3 years.... :o

That\'s not going to happen... 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 13, 2009, 12:26:25 PM
Part 2

The lot we chose was on a concrete road just off the main northern highway and the same road where the governor, Joel Reyes lives. He makes sure the road is kept clean and tidy and regularly gets the grass verges cut. Also in the same road there is a housing estate for government workers with a regular multicab service going past out front. We are 5 minutes from a new market, and the proposed sight of SM with rumours of Robinsons opening there also. We are 10 minutes north from the main hospital and the same south from the quay at Honda Bay.

The lot is 100 metres deep but only 15 metres wide which made it difficult to design the type of house I wanted. I produce a rough design and showed it to a builder we thought we could trust. I told him my budget was P2M and asked him for an estimate.  We had to wait many weeks for an answer, and in the mean time got him to clear and fence the property. He then produced a drawing, which I had not asked him to do, and an estimate of P3.5M. We told him we had only got P2M, so he said he could build half the property, enough for us to live in, but without insulation and plumbing. It was then we discovered that he described himself as a contractor. To me that just meant someone who agreed to fulfill a contract, but it has a different meaning here. Here a building contractor is someone who charges a fee as a percentage of the material cost. This encourages them to use expensive materials to boost their income. It does not involve any more work to lay an expensive tile as opposed to a cheap one. We now are very cautious about the builders we select. We then abandoned the idea of building for a while.

In December 2007 the tenants in our house decided to leave, leaving it in a hell of a mess and owing us money, so I then decided that I would sell the house and use the money to build the house here that we really wanted. The early part of 2007 was taken up trying to recover the money that was owed to us then we put the house on the market. It was sold in December 2008.
 
During a visit to our lot, we met our new neighbours opposite who had just completed a 300 square metre bungalow on a 4000 square metre lot. A very nice and helpful retired Filipino couple who had just returned from living in the U.S.  We were invited to a Christmas party where we discovered that, because of the party, the Barangay Captain had arranged for the installation of a street light on the electricity pole that happened to be just inside our property.
 
We told the neighbours that we like to buy one of the lots adjacent to our, they said they knew the owner and would make some enquireries. Not long after we were asked to meet the Barangay Captain at their house. She had negotiated with the owner of one of the lots for P700 per sq mtr. This was very reasonable being not much higher than our foreclosed property; other lots in the area were asking P1000-P2000 per sq mtr. We agreed to the price, but a few days later the Barangay Captain visited us and told us that now the owner had discovered that there was a foreigner involved the price had gone up to P1000 per sq mtr. I said no, I did not like dealing with someone that did that, but were prepared to continue at the agreed price. A few days later the price dropped to P800 ‘to help pay for a relative in hospital’ but again I said no. We eventually ended up back at the original price. The Barangay Captain then did all the paperwork and running around which was very quick because she knew everybody in the City Hall. It cost us nothing because she was paid her commission by the seller.

We now own a double lot, 100 metres by 30 metres, a much more useful size.

Continued in part 3
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 13, 2009, 06:33:46 PM
Wow...now I know what to look forward to when we buy our property...\"kano\" tax...lol.  Great write up...waiting for the next installment.

Between you and Murf...I\'m gaining more insight than when we did our house... 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: aerosick on June 13, 2009, 07:18:27 PM
Part 2

Quote
The lot is 100 metres deep but only 15 metres wide which made it difficult to design the type of house I wanted. I produce a rough design and showed it to a builder we thought we could trust. I told him my budget was P2M and asked him for an estimate.  We had to wait many weeks for an answer, and in the mean time got him to clear and fence the property.

Did the fence get built? If so what kind of fence is it and does it now divide your double lots?

Quote
During a visit to our lot, we met our new neighbours opposite who had just completed a 300 square metre bungalow on a 4000 square metre lot. A very nice and helpful retired Filipino couple who had just returned from living in the U.S.  We were invited to a Christmas party where we discovered that, because of the party, the Barangay Captain had arranged for the installation of a street light on the electricity pole that happened to be just inside our property.

Have you looked into getting the electric pole relocated to the closest corner of your double lots or do you need to do this?
 
Quote
We now own a double lot, 100 metres by 30 metres, a much more useful size.

Do both lots touch the road? (I\'m just trying to picture their shapes and location)

Continued in part 3


Billy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 13, 2009, 09:25:26 PM
Good luck Col

Yes I was surprised at the boundary wall costs of our place.......build on hold at the moment waiting for title processing to be completed

240 metres of 2m high exterior wall and 60m of 1m high interior wall

We only bought rebar 10mm, sand, gravel and cement as there was enough anapog boulders on the lot to provide raw material to create rugged, rustic wall

so about P65,000 for labour, P60,000 for sand, P90,000 for gravel and P270,000 for cement (approx) and about P25,000 for rebar
TOTAL  P410,000
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 13, 2009, 09:33:54 PM
Hi Billy,

The first lot had a concrete post plus barbed wire all around it followed by a 7 foot (?) bamboo fence. The second lot had a concrete and wire fence on the far side belonging to the neighbour, so we removed part of the dividing posts and wire to close off the front and back. Th remaining bamboo was not very good so we burnt it. We left the remaining central post temporarily in the ground to prevent them being stolen.

We don\'t need to move the electricity pole, it is just behind the front fence and to one side of the centre, so it is not a problem.

The two lots are side by side and on the road. You be able to get a better idea from the photos on my website http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Our+future+home

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: aerosick on June 13, 2009, 10:07:00 PM
Wow! (mahal, but...) Wow!

Billy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 14, 2009, 08:10:38 AM
Maybe I will be saying Wow when I get the estimates for the building cost  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: aerosick on June 14, 2009, 11:25:31 AM
Maybe I will be saying Wow when I get the estimates for the building cost  ;D

Colin

Colin,

Have you starting getting estimates yet?

Billy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 14, 2009, 03:57:39 PM
Maybe I will be saying Wow when I get the estimates for the building cost  ;D

Colin

Colin,

Have you starting getting estimates yet?

Billy

Not any positive estimates,but I have got a good idea of what they could be from a previous design and costs from other peoples projects. I expect to have to make a few compromises and maybe not complete all the interior finishes immediately. I will put more information in part 3 of my posts.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 14, 2009, 10:50:04 PM
Colin,

Thanks for all the useful (and enjoyable to read) info on your house \"adventure.\"  Hope you are able to keep your web site updated as you go along. 

Over the last 20 years I\'ve had 3 homes built here in the US, last one just finished about 2 years ago... but it\'s going to take a lot of Red Horse to get up the nerve to attempt building in the RP. 

Keeping up with you... and the building exploits of a few other brave souls... gives me some moral support (which I\'m surely in need of). 

Continued good luck on the project.

Tom
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 15, 2009, 12:24:34 PM
Part 3

Now having a 30 metre wide lot, has enabled me to make a better design and have been working on various ideas over the last 6 months. The lot stretches in a N-S direction which has allowed me to have a house across the lot with little sun on either the front or back, and this has allowed me to put ample windows on these side and keep those on the left and right to a minimum. In order to keep the house cool, I need to use aircon at times, but because electricity is expensive here I have tried to produce a design that will keep its use to a minimum. This involves having good insulation for when the aircon is on and good airflow when it is not.

Most Philippine houses have metal roofs with, at the most, a thin foil backed foam layer beneath it. This allows the attic to get unnecessarily hot; the heat then passes through the thin plywood ceilings to the rooms below. If you question this, you are told to make the ceilings high so the heat stays above head height. Surely it is better to prevent the heat from entering the room in the first place and have a lower ceiling to give less air for the aircon to cool. I would like to use Clay or concrete tiles as they are more effective than metal sheets, but are heavier and more expensive. This may be a compromise I will have to make. I also want ridge vents or some other form of top vent plus eve vents to allow a cooling airflow beneath the hot roof. I also feel that it is necessary for a layer of insulation to be placed on top of the ceiling.

For airflow, I have tried to design a house that is only one room deep with windows on opposite sides to allow unrestricted flow through all parts of the house. This led originally to a basic ‘U’ shaped design. For design ideas I looked at Spanish and Mexican houses and particularly liked some of the features found in the Mission style houses found in the southern US. I have included an ‘Arcade’ (covered patio) a feature often found on these designs. The shallow pitch roof, arched doors and windows are also typical of these designs. I have included a tower from some of the Spanish designs, which acts as a hot air vent for most of the rooms that surround it. This tower contains the stairs, which are a feature in the entrance hall/family/TV room. I have placed a ‘Crow’s nest’ on top of the tower to catch the high level breezes. This will also house the main cold water tank. I am considering the idea of placing a solar water panel on the adjacent roof to gravity feed a hot water cylinder there, but it does depend on the overall total cost.
Here are some pictures  of the proposed design, more to follow.

Front view
 
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design153Dfrontview.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design153Dfrontview.jpg)

Rear view

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design153Drearview2.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design153Drearview2.jpg)

Some people have described this as a mansion, but it looks big because it is stretched out to follow my \'one room deep\' idea. It has a total area of 318 square metres

Continued in part 4
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 15, 2009, 01:44:41 PM
Colin,

I posted a while back about the finding good quality fiber insulation at the Citi Hardware in Ormoc City, Leyte.  Now, if my memory is correct, they have a Citi Hardware there in Palawan also, and that 200mm thick fiber insulation would really help out if you put it above the plywood ceilings.  I used the aluminum barrier with the foam insulation in our current house, and it helps somewhat (even with a painted galvanized roof in place), but I know that keeping our ceilings a good distance from the roofing panels and adding that 200mm fiber insulation, along with venting the attic space should keep temps reasonable in the house.  We have also added ceiling fans to most of the rooms, and when I was there in February/March of this year, we never used the Air Conditioner in the bedroom...only the ceiling fan and one or two times a floor fan.

Building in the Philippines is always an adventure!  ;D

Awaiting your next installment.

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 15, 2009, 02:16:44 PM
Col,

Just wondering why so much living space when primarily it\'s just you and Bing. Do you really need 300+ sqm of living space? That\'ll need building and maintaining.

My last apartment in Switzerland was 105 sqm, 3 bedroomm with 2 baths (one full bath, 1 shower & wc), \'twas waay more than enough for me and ex g/f

I\'d have thought a 120-150sqm home would have been about right, maybe adding a guest cottage away from main house if really needed.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 15, 2009, 04:11:49 PM
Grizzi,

Murf here, i ops I have insisted on fiberglass installation  on the marine plywood above the ceilings, but where does this fiber board stuff go? I have also order from a Chicken farm a huge reverse fan like they use in the long rows of san miguel chicken farms, dont ask me why san miguel has chicken farms but they do? so i can suck some of that hot air out of the ceiling. I have including a ceiling fan in each room well except the bathrooms but i can\'t find ones like i had in the usa with the 3 lights and run by remote control, i guess i want too much...

what is the R factor i need for my house you think as far as how thick my fiberglass should be>>?

Thanks

The Murf
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 15, 2009, 05:51:28 PM
Murf,

The R-factor varies accordingly to the type of insulation.  There were 5 or 6 different types of fiber insulation.  Some of it was encased in reflective barrier material (that shiny aluminum foil looking stuff), which would making the installation very clean.  When we build our next house, I will be using 150mm or thicker. Should be more than enough for the PI temps, and I swear that I saw some that was 220mm thick also, but don\'t hold me to that (look at my March 14, 2009 report in the Insulation thread).

Now, are you talking fiber board, particle board, or the fiber board that looks like compacted cardboard and its about 1/8\" thick? I\'ve used fiber board (actually it was a type of concrete/fiber/styrofoam board) in the US for bathroom applications since its perfect for attaching tile to and fairly impervious to moisture, but I dont remember seeing that in the Philippines, and besides, they use concrete which serves the same purpose (haven\'t seen any green board use..lol).  Particle board (some call it chip board), if you ask me is only good for building lightweight forms for concrete work. Quite a bit is used for interior and exterior walls in the US as long as its installed with a barrier of some type (tyvek usually).  The other fiber board is only good for desk/dresser drawer bottoms or for forming concrete (bends nicely for pillars and such when moistened).  Hope they aren\'t using that for your ceiling...one leak and its a mess!  Glad to hear you\'re going to use an attic exhaust fan. We used sofit vents (custom made by our carpenter...lol) on our house, and the difference of temps in the house was very noticeable.  The new house will have an exhaust vent in it though! ;D

Hope all goes well with your build up also.  Its great to see others on this forum living the tropical dream!

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 15, 2009, 06:04:15 PM
Col,

Just wondering why so much living space when primarily it\'s just you and Bing. Do you really need 300+ sqm of living space? That\'ll need building and maintaining.

My last apartment in Switzerland was 105 sqm, 3 bedroomm with 2 baths (one full bath, 1 shower & wc), \'twas waay more than enough for me and ex g/f

I\'d have thought a 120-150sqm home would have been about right, maybe adding a guest cottage away from main house if really needed.

Bings mother will be living with us and she will have the downstairs bedroom. The family room will be for visitors and tagalog TV, these will not be allowed in the main lounge. The main lounge will be for music and videos. It will have a large flat screen TV with  a theater sound system, our present electronic organ and later an electronic piano. Then there is the dining room, a large, well equipped kitchen and my study and workshop. The last three are essential for me. Upstairs there is just the master suite and two smallish spare bedrooms. I have found that when we have visitors they take over all the comfortable seats and the TV so everything becomes tagalog and soaps. I want to avoid that by having our own private space. The study is my own private retreat for computers etc, and the workshop is so that I can pick up my old hobby of RC model aircraft.

So the answer to your question is yes I could live in a smaller space, but no I don\'t want to .  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 15, 2009, 06:57:25 PM
Colin,

I posted a while back about the finding good quality fiber insulation at the Citi Hardware in Ormoc City, Leyte.  Now, if my memory is correct, they have a Citi Hardware there in Palawan also, and that 200mm thick fiber insulation would really help out if you put it above the plywood ceilings.  I used the aluminum barrier with the foam insulation in our current house, and it helps somewhat (even with a painted galvanized roof in place), but I know that keeping our ceilings a good distance from the roofing panels and adding that 200mm fiber insulation, along with venting the attic space should keep temps reasonable in the house.  We have also added ceiling fans to most of the rooms, and when I was there in February/March of this year, we never used the Air Conditioner in the bedroom...only the ceiling fan and one or two times a floor fan.

Building in the Philippines is always an adventure!  ;D

Awaiting your next installment.

Greg

I am not aware of a Citi Hardware in Puerto, but our engineer is the son of the owner of the largest hardware store here, and if they haven\'t got anything we want they can get it from Manila. The other advantage is that we will get a discount on the materials we use from the store. I am not too sure about using ceiling fans, I would like to keep the room heights low which could make the ceilings fans dangerous  ;D We also find that the nighttime temperature here, even in an uninsulated house, are low enough to only occasionally need a fan.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 15, 2009, 07:45:52 PM
Colin,

I\'m not sure, but I saw a map that had one on it.

http://www.citihardware.com/ (http://www.citihardware.com/)

I tried to visit the site, but its blocked here in Afghanistan for some reason. Oh well, at least they do have a web site... 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 15, 2009, 08:28:53 PM
Colin,

I\'m not sure, but I saw a map that had one on it.

[url]http://www.citihardware.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.citihardware.com/[/url])

I tried to visit the site, but its blocked here in Afghanistan for some reason. Oh well, at least they do have a web site... 8)


Strange, I got a virus warning when I clicked on your link :o I do believe that Avast is a little over sensitive and I have to turn it off at times. I will try to find Citi Hardware via google

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 15, 2009, 09:34:18 PM
Puerto Princesa is Green Flag......soon to open
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 15, 2009, 09:48:43 PM
Puerto Princesa is Green Flag......soon to open

Thanks Dave, I did find it via google. Avast can be a problem at times, I am sure it finds viruses where non exist. It must be this heuristic method, and it certainly slows things down at times

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 16, 2009, 12:57:35 AM
Within a few weeks of the CitiHardware opened in Ormoc...hell...they knew me by name! The nice thing about shopping there is it like a little home depot that serves ice cold tea to his patrons...lol.  Plus, they have almost everything I needed for the house at pretty competitive prices.  Even had the decorative glass blocks in multiple textures and colors, which really add a nice appearance to construction.. 

I know you will enjoy...I do every trip... 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on June 16, 2009, 04:16:09 AM
Strange, I got a virus warning when I clicked on your link :o I do believe that Avast is a little over sensitive and I have to turn it off at times. I will try to find Citi Hardware via google

Colin

Did the same to me.  I had my speakers turned up a little too loud and it scared the crap outta me!   ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on June 16, 2009, 05:29:20 AM
Too much Red Horse, Jack....

Wayne   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on June 16, 2009, 06:26:58 AM
Ain\'t never heard of such a thing as \"too much\" Red Horse.   ::)     ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 16, 2009, 03:59:35 PM
Quote
Too much Red Horse, Jack....

Thats like saying you have too much money or Imelda Marcos has too many shoes!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on June 16, 2009, 05:05:40 PM
Now there is a good topic to get the Pinay talking... \"Shoes, and how many can a Province Filipina buy now that she has a rich kano husband to make up for all the ones she could not afford as a kid growing up\" we would like to here from all of the wives of the members about just how many pairs they now own, compared to say when they were 18?

Wayne  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 16, 2009, 05:15:48 PM
Hey you guys, you are hijacking my thread with your Red Horse and shoes, go and start your own.  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 16, 2009, 05:32:03 PM
Awww...come on Colin, we are just waiting for your next installment.... ;D

But he\'s right..someone start a different thread on the number of pairs of shoes our significant others have aquired since tying the knot...and another one on how many bottles of Red Horse it takes to keep from scaring the crap out of Jack! ;D

Ok Colin, back to your house building....

 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 16, 2009, 05:35:28 PM
Murf,

The R-factor varies accordingly to the type of insulation.  There were 5 or 6 different types of fiber insulation.  Some of it was encased in reflective barrier material (that shiny aluminum foil looking stuff), which would making the installation very clean.  When we build our next house, I will be using 150mm or thicker. Should be more than enough for the PI temps, and I swear that I saw some that was 220mm thick also, but don\'t hold me to that (look at my March 14, 2009 report in the Insulation thread).

Now, are you talking fiber board, particle board, or the fiber board that looks like compacted cardboard and its about 1/8\" thick? I\'ve used fiber board (actually it was a type of concrete/fiber/styrofoam board) in the US for bathroom applications since its perfect for attaching tile to and fairly impervious to moisture, but I dont remember seeing that in the Philippines, and besides, they use concrete which serves the same purpose (haven\'t seen any green board use..lol).  Particle board (some call it chip board), if you ask me is only good for building lightweight forms for concrete work. Quite a bit is used for interior and exterior walls in the US as long as its installed with a barrier of some type (tyvek usually).  The other fiber board is only good for desk/dresser drawer bottoms or for forming concrete (bends nicely for pillars and such when moistened).  Hope they aren\'t using that for your ceiling...one leak and its a mess!  Glad to hear you\'re going to use an attic exhaust fan. We used sofit vents (custom made by our carpenter...lol) on our house, and the difference of temps in the house was very noticeable.  The new house will have an exhaust vent in it though! ;D

Hope all goes well with your build up also.  Its great to see others on this forum living the tropical dream!

Greg

my mistake Greg i thought you meant there was to be some type of fiber in the attic along with the installation. i misread your report to colin and from colin. I want to thank you personally for both of your treatment of me in the past. Don\'t know how much longer I will be here for even when I simply reply to a young ladies request about the meaning of semper  fi, i get chastised, butthey will have to banish me for i will not go quietly in the night. I know how hard their jobs are, but when a person a young innocent person ask me a question, i try to be  a good neighbor and answer them, if it got posted three times it wasn\'t me, the whole world can\'t be black or white , there are always shades of grey, and I am not the first one who used that phrase that has the whole form in a teasy...god i wish we could all just get along...right rodney> lol   Murf
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 16, 2009, 07:13:31 PM
Murf, it will blow over in no time.  Just brush it off and remember that tomorrow is always a new day!

Enjoy! 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 16, 2009, 07:27:37 PM
Colin,

Back to your post... :D

You talk about solar water heating. I remember driving through Cebu and seeing some smaller solar water heaters on some roofs there, so I think its a pretty good bet they are available for single dwellings, and with the cost of electric in the Philippines, it would be a really good idea.  I also toyed with the idea of rain water collection for use in the garden and flowerbeds.  Trying to be a little green when I do my construction also.  I like the flow through design also...really helps during those hot and humid periods when you are waiting for the rain... 8).
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 16, 2009, 09:50:31 PM
Colin,

Back to your post... :D

You talk about solar water heating. I remember driving through Cebu and seeing some smaller solar water heaters on some roofs there, so I think its a pretty good bet they are available for single dwellings, and with the cost of electric in the Philippines, it would be a really good idea.  I also toyed with the idea of rain water collection for use in the garden and flowerbeds.  Trying to be a little green when I do my construction also.  I like the flow through design also...really helps during those hot and humid periods when you are waiting for the rain... 8).

The hardware store here had a very good solar water heater for sale for about P65,000. It had evacuated tubes, a stainless steel tank that was also fitted with an immersion heater for cooler days. It was mounted on a stand at around 45 degrees, which suggested to me that it was designed for a more northerly latitude. The immersion heater would also not be necessary in the Philippines. Someone on another forum has shown pictures of a very similar one installed on his house, and he said it was very effective and they always had hot water. It is possible to build them very cheaply, ther are design ideas on the internet. Just a length of garden hose full of water and laid out in the sun generates a surprising amount of heat. When we were living in a relatives house in Pangasinan there was a long exposed pipe run from the road to the bathroom, it used to give a very comfortable warm shower.

I will also be collecting rainwater, which should not be a problem if we keep getting the amount of rain we have been getting recently. When we were out today, the main road turned into a river and my wife had to use a tricycle just to cross it  ;D

The next installment on the house, hopefully, will be tomorrow, have been a too busy today.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 16, 2009, 10:34:09 PM
Passive solar heating

I used flat aluminium tanks(paint black on topside) on my last two boats, based on the Chesapeake Lat 38N

Plenty hot enough from April to end of October at that high latitude.....should be no problem in Philippines

Enough hot water for 2 people showering about 2 hours after sunsrise......also plenty of hot water throughout the day
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 17, 2009, 12:43:32 AM
Hi Colin,

In your earlier post you mentioned wanting \"ridge vents or some other form of top vent plus eve vents to allow a cooling airflow beneath the hot roof\" and also designing the house \"only one room deep with windows on opposite sides to allow unrestricted flow.\"

Have you considered an attic fan?  They were very common here in Texas before air conditioning (sort of 1950s and before). 

For those not familiar, it is a very large fan, usually 3 to 5 foot blade diameter, usually mounted horizontally in the attic above the central area of the house, with the opening in the ceiling covered by some type of grate, often decorative metal or lattice work. When turned on, the fan pulls air from the living area below, through the attic, and out through vents, usually eve vents.  This creates a constant breeze through the house, and the area of the breeze can be controlled by which windows are open. (there are several variations, but this is the most common) 

About 20 years ago I remodeled and lived for several years in a home that had been built in 1928.  It had steam furnace heating and no air conditioning.  It was a large 2 story with a 5 foot fan mounted in the attic above the central staircase.  When I first moved in, it had Zero insulation in either the attic or the walls.  The exterior of the house was entirely 10 inch white Austin Stone and the roof was 1 inch thick dark-red half-barrel Mexican tile... so this provided some \"insulation\" from the exterior heat. 

It was about 8 months before retrofitted central heat and air was working, so I went through one Texas summer with only a window unit I mounted in the master bedroom.  Much to my surprise, most of the time the rest of the house was quite pleasant with the brisk breeze provided by the attic fan. 

I have regretted not having an attic fan in every house I have since lived in.  If I build in the RP, do you know any reason one would not be practical?

Tom

 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on June 17, 2009, 02:11:16 AM
Tom(& anyone else interested)
The fans you are referring to are still very much available and in use.
They are called whole house fans and can be purchased at any major hardware store in the US( we stock them at Lowe\'s).
I would believe they would be available thru hardware stores in the Philippines as well. If not, I am sure they could order one.
Here in the US, they start at about $200
They are an inexpensive alternative to cool an entire house by forcing hot air out of the attic through the vents from the house below and drawing cooler air in from outside.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: jryals on June 17, 2009, 04:54:48 AM
Colin,
A question, with the typhoons that come through the RP are ridge vents a good choice or should a differnt type of vent be used. I have been trying to think of ways to keep all that heat out of the attic but I dont want to make a easy way for the wind to take a roof off eather. Just a thought I had reading this verry good thread. 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2009, 06:58:30 AM
Hi Tom,

I recall having seen references to ceiling fans but this was on older houses and assumed they had been superseded by other means. They seem like a good idea for the Philippines, if they are available. I am using the Spanish tower idea to create a natural airflow, it is quite common here, in the larger houses, to have the main living area extent up two floors with high level windows to allow the hot air to rise and escape.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2009, 07:05:19 AM
Colin,
A question, with the typhoons that come through the RP are ridge vents a good choice or should a differnt type of vent be used. I have been trying to think of ways to keep all that heat out of the attic but I dont want to make a easy way for the wind to take a roof off eather. Just a thought I had reading this verry good thread. 

Hi Jyrals,

Fortunately we do not get typhoons here on Palawan, they tend to go more across the northern part of Luzon. This could be the reason why builders here do not seem familiar with them. If they were to be used in a typhoon area they would have to be made very strong.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 17, 2009, 07:18:48 AM
Thanks Rufus,

I took a look on Lowes site... saw 24\" and 36\" units and looks like good prices at around $200.  These would probably be sufficient for a 2,500 sq/ft house in the RP. 

Geeeeeezzz... every time I Google something I\'m amazed at the number of sites on arcane items... I looked at some on wholehousefan.com... some high rpm units that run up to $1,500.

The one I had was a 60\" monster that looked like it was stolen off a P-51  ;D.  I sometimes had the feeling it was going to suck my pets and children up into the attic along with all the loose paper it captured.

Maybe Colin or Murf will install one and report back.

Tom
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 17, 2009, 07:44:30 AM
I am using the Spanish tower idea to create a natural airflow,...
...main living area extend up two floors with high level windows to allow the hot air to rise and escape.
Colin

I love the Spanish tower idea, Colin.  Both for appearance and utility.  Have you thought about screening it in? That is very commonly done in Florida (porches, not towers), and I assume other places, to keep mesquitos and other flying menaces out.  It would make a great place for an afternoon nap... or an evening Red Horse Martini  ;D.

The open tower with high windows for ventilation is a good idea... sort of like the attic fan concept, but without the fan.  Might combine the concepts with a fan in the floor of the tower.  This might have the added benefit of a constant exiting breeze through the tower \"windows\" and keep a few bugs out even without screening... sort of a Rube Goldberg mesquito barrier.  ;)

Tom
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2009, 09:32:38 AM
I am using the Spanish tower idea to create a natural airflow,...
...main living area extend up two floors with high level windows to allow the hot air to rise and escape.
Colin

I love the Spanish tower idea, Colin.  Both for appearance and utility.  Have you thought about screening it in? That is very commonly done in Florida (porches, not towers), and I assume other places, to keep mesquitos and other flying menaces out.  It would make a great place for an afternoon nap... or an evening Red Horse Martini  ;D.

The open tower with high windows for ventilation is a good idea... sort of like the attic fan concept, but without the fan.  Might combine the concepts with a fan in the floor of the tower.  This might have the added benefit of a constant exiting breeze through the tower \"windows\" and keep a few bugs out even without screening... sort of a Rube Goldberg mesquito barrier.  ;)

Tom
Hi Tom,

An earlier plan had the second floor stairs continuing up to the third floor, until I realized that it could let in the rain and burglars, so moved it to the outside; I don\'t want to fit security bars up there. I will put screened vents in the upper corners of the second floor. I am not too sure about screening the \'Crows Nest\' and first floor \'Arcade\'. I don\'t think there will be a problem during the day, and at night the mosquitoes don\'t seem to like the lighting that attracts all the other insects. Ultraviolet insect killers will be essential.

I had also thought of fitting small extractor fans in the ends of the three roof sections that butt up to the walls, but I thought that could turn that area into a sauna and defeat the whole object.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 17, 2009, 02:11:21 PM
An earlier plan had the second floor stairs continuing up to the third floor, until I realized that it could let in the rain and burglars, so moved it to the outside...

Colin, if you wanted the stairs to continue inside to the third floor for aesthetic reasons, you could have the stairs terminate in an enclosed vestibule in the crow\'s nest, with an exit door out to the crow\'s nest.  That would resolve the rain problem, and the door could be secured in whatever manner you are intending for the door on the second floor balcony.

Just a thought.

Tom
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 17, 2009, 02:22:52 PM
Quote
Have you considered an attic fan?  They were very common here in Texas before air conditioning (sort of 1950s and before). 

For those not familiar, it is a very large fan, usually 3 to 5 foot blade diameter, usually mounted horizontally in the attic above the central area of the house, with the opening in the ceiling covered by some type of grate, often decorative metal or lattice work. When turned on, the fan pulls air from the living area below, through the attic, and out through vents, usually eve vents.  This creates a constant breeze through the house, and the area of the breeze can be controlled by which windows are open. (there are several variations, but this is the most common)

Tom,

It sounds like a good idea, but from personal experience, I would think that working on unrestricted airflow through the house by natural means would be more advantageous, especially when you factor in the cost of electricity and the number of brown outs that seem to be coming more frequent, especially in the province.  I did think about using an electric vent fan in the sofit of the house and put it on a timer to draw the hot air out of the attic in the late evening to make the house cooler for sleeping.

I will be looking into solar water heating though..the less electric I use at the house, the less dependant on the electrical grid in the event of a failure...which is something you have to put up with...or buy a nice gen.... 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2009, 02:53:25 PM
Part 4

More detail needs to be added to the doors, windows and columns to give the house a more Spanish Mission look.

The whole approach to the design of the property was to make it a place where Family and visitors would be welcomed at any time, but at the same time keeping private areas for ourselves. The TV room, Arcade and everything in front of them will be considered public area for the entertainment of guests. The pool is partly for my daily exercise, but also to entertain the kids. Our neighbour opposite has promised to bring over a bottle of champagne when it is finished; I think that is return for a season ticket. When we took the family on an overnight visit to a Beach resort, they all enjoyed playing billiards, so I hope one day to include a Snooker Table, but will start off with just darts and Mah Jong.

The plan below shows the first floor and includes the entrance hall/family/TV room, bedroom, study, workshop, the main lounge, dining room and kitchen.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design151stFloorPlan.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design151stFloorPlan.jpg)


And here is a 3D view

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design153D1stfloor.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design153D1stfloor.jpg)

The downstairs bedroom will be used by Bings Mother and the Hall/Family/TV Room if for Tagalog Soaps that most Filipinos can’t seem to live without. They will be banned from the main lounge.

The room height was left at the programme default height of 109” which I assume is a US standard, but may be less than is normal for the Philippines. The stairs were given a very shallow run of 12” tread width with 5.2” riser. This is to make an easy ascent for us older people. It is intended to make the stairs a feature when first entering the house.

Second floor plan. This has the master suite and two guest bedrooms

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design152ndFloorPlan.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design152ndFloorPlan.jpg)

Second floor 3D view

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design153D2ndfloor.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design153D2ndfloor.jpg)

The following is a plan of the lot, and as well as the main house, also includes the Maids Room/Laundry/Dirty Kitchen on the top right, the pool and Games Room/Toilet/Gardener-Handyman Room. These will not all be built at once, but included to avoid having to repeat the approval and permit stage. The boundary wall and pool, at a possible P1M each, will definitely be added later, and the games room, while only be native construction, is not too important and can be delayed.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design15Location.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design15Location.jpg)

The house will be constructed with the standard columns and beams, but instead of infilling with hollow block, will use Styrofoam sandwiched between heavy wire mesh. I will give more details on the next part and will photograph a sample that I have.

Continued in part 5
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 18, 2009, 12:20:25 AM
...hope one day to include a Snooker Table...

...will use Styrofoam sandwiched between heavy wire mesh.

Looks like a very \"livable\" design.

If you\'re a serious Snooker player... make sure you build that area at least 25\'x30\' so you will have room for furniture and people without intruding on the necessary 15\'x20\' clear space.  You might find you have a whole new group of \"new relatives\" when word gets out that you have Snooker table.

I assume the Styrofoam/wire mesh is designed for stucco application -- Are you going to finish both exterior and interior in stucco? 

On the lot plan... is the long rectangle a lap pool?  If so, what length are you planning?

Tom

 

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 18, 2009, 08:23:22 AM
...hope one day to include a Snooker Table...

...will use Styrofoam sandwiched between heavy wire mesh.

Looks like a very \"livable\" design.

If you\'re a serious Snooker player... make sure you build that area at least 25\'x30\' so you will have room for furniture and people without intruding on the necessary 15\'x20\' clear space.  You might find you have a whole new group of \"new relatives\" when word gets out that you have Snooker table.

I assume the Styrofoam/wire mesh is designed for stucco application -- Are you going to finish both exterior and interior in stucco? 

On the lot plan... is the long rectangle a lap pool?  If so, what length are you planning?

Tom

 

Hi Tom,

I would not describe myself as a serious Snooker player, it used to be a Sunday pastime with a group of friends when I was in my early 20\'s. I also played around with motorbikes and cars and later moved on to Ballroom dancing, then got hitched and all those activities stopped  ;D I prefer the full size Snooker table to the smaller Pool tables, and I don\'t understand the rules of Pool as well. The new friends would be welcomed.

All walls in the Philippines have cement based Stucco applied to them both inside and out, it is the standard form of finish here. I would prefer gypsum plaster for the inside, but I have not seen that available. Maybe it is not suitable for the humid climate, perhaps others members here may have more information on that.

The long section of the pool is for my exercise, maybe around 30-40 metres long 4\' deep and 10\' wide, enough for the kids to race each other. The square at the house end is an 8\' deep diving pit, and the other end is shallow for the younger kids. I may streamline the shape a little later but I just need something now to put on the plan for approval.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on June 18, 2009, 02:45:15 PM
Colin..
Pretty sure no gypsum deposit here in P.I and thats the reason its not used as plaster..
Once the walls are rendered they will apply a powerful neutralizer to the dried cement and then face fill the walls with a filler (patching compound) mixed with a water based emulsion..The whole lot is rubbed down smooth and painted with 2 coats of paint..
Gypsum plaster board is available here (imported I guess) which is ready for painting after the seams have been taped and jointed so that may be another choice worth considering..Problem may be finding local labour that know how to fix the stuff to the wall.
Fred.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on June 18, 2009, 03:19:34 PM
Quote
Have you considered an attic fan?  They were very common here in Texas before air conditioning (sort of 1950s and before). 

For those not familiar, it is a very large fan, usually 3 to 5 foot blade diameter, usually mounted horizontally in the attic above the central area of the house, with the opening in the ceiling covered by some type of grate, often decorative metal or lattice work. When turned on, the fan pulls air from the living area below, through the attic, and out through vents, usually eve vents.  This creates a constant breeze through the house, and the area of the breeze can be controlled by which windows are open. (there are several variations, but this is the most common)

Tom,

It sounds like a good idea, but from personal experience, I would think that working on unrestricted airflow through the house by natural means would be more advantageous, especially when you factor in the cost of electricity and the number of brown outs that seem to be coming more frequent, especially in the province.  I did think about using an electric vent fan in the sofit of the house and put it on a timer to draw the hot air out of the attic in the late evening to make the house cooler for sleeping.

I will be looking into solar water heating though..the less electric I use at the house, the less dependant on the electrical grid in the event of a failure...which is something you have to put up with...or buy a nice gen.... 8)

Our roof is open at both ends (thai style) so the air just passes through..It really works and I have no need for an A/C here.

Solar heaters are really easy to make your self here..A simple example would be to paint 50 mtrs of hose pipe jet black in a neat coil leading to a metal storage tank also painted black.
The pipe we have from the barangay system provides hot water all day long as it sits above ground in the sun which can get on my nerves as I prefer a cold shower in hot weather.

Fred
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 18, 2009, 04:48:09 PM
We are looking at doing the same thing. Using a primary 450 liter water tank, and a smaller 150 liter or so tank for hot water. Gravity fed by a coiled tubing system.  About the only time we use hot water is for dishes and showering, so the much smaller tank should be enough for our needs.  I\'m agreeable about the \"pass through\" floorplan design and think it would really reduce the amount of heat in a house and dependency on electricity.  There are some good thoughts being posted on this thread.  Hope we keep it going!  8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 18, 2009, 04:57:10 PM

Our roof is open at both ends (thai style) so the air just passes through..It really works and I have no need for an A/C here.

Solar heaters are really easy to make your self here..A simple example would be to paint 50 mtrs of hose pipe jet black in a neat coil leading to a metal storage tank also painted black.
The pipe we have from the barangay system provides hot water all day long as it sits above ground in the sun which can get on my nerves as I prefer a cold shower in hot weather.

Fred

My brother-in-laws house on the Prison farm also had an open ended roof, but the problem was that the ceilings were suwali (woven bamboo). At night the rats used to run across the ceiling and shake the dust down on the bed. We had to put a sheet on top of the mosquito net. On our next visit they had fixed rice sacks to the ceiling.

Another easy water heater is to mount a tank on a stand, take a hose from a bottom connection, wind it around the stand from top to bottom the connect it to the top of the tank. This gives a simple gravity system.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 18, 2009, 05:52:27 PM
Part 5

Here is a photo of a piece of Styrofoam sandwich I rescued from a scrap heap when our engineer was extending his father’s hardware store.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_FoamSandwich.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=FoamSandwich.jpg)

This is the 2” version, the foam being 1.5” thick. I understand that it can be obtained in other thicknesses to order. The 8’x4’ panels are fixed to dowels in the columns and beams then cement rendered on both sides giving a total thickness of approx 6”, the same as a hollow block wall. The panels work out slightly dearer than the equivalent hollow blocks, but are quicker and easier to install so reduce the labour cost. Also being lighter the foundations, columns etc can be reduced in size giving an extra small saving. I have seen these panels used in the hardware store, a ‘penthouse’, above the store, where they are also used for internal walls, and in a large warehouse.

This is a copy of the Fibreglass insulation available from CitiHardware.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_CitiHardwareInsulation.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=CitiHardwareInsulation.jpg)

Continued in part 6
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 18, 2009, 10:08:46 PM
Looks like a very savvy idea you have there Colin and quite an insulation factor without great cost or almost no cost!! Looks like your pulling everything together and starting to really get ready to break ground good for you. I wish you all the good fortune and luck in the efforts you house is certain a lot bigger than mine will every be , but I don\'t have the funds as you my old friend ;D ;D

I better not take away from your post and post some new pictures of my own  as I don\'t want to eat up your post time. Just thought I would drop you a line and say smart idea with the Styrofoam sandwich.

Maybe you ought to patent that baby. :D

the \"Murf\"

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 18, 2009, 10:42:32 PM
Foam sandwich has been in the public domain for 40+ years, so no patent riches for Col I\'m afraid
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 19, 2009, 12:15:50 AM
 I tried to get you a patent Colin but Captain \"Bligh\" turn it down :(... i went up on the roof today, not a pretty site by any means!!

don\'t ask me how the men got me up there? if you remember that movie about them dropping a Thailand Elephant by parachute out of a c-130 well it looked something like that, except a lot worse!




(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse20.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse20.jpg)
The fire wall don\'t ask me why?



 (http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse21.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse21.jpg)

view of the mountain

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse24.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse24.jpg)

I will always remember my \"roots\" the top of my neighbors piggery, right next to our fence but she has a hose and  water and they don\'t say a word except on slaughter day.

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse25.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse25.jpg)

one of the 4 coconut trees I managed to save.

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse27.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse27.jpg)
 
top floor with all the  re-bar bent down so I would fall

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse28.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse28.jpg)

the men tying 20 mm re-bar together.

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse29.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse29.jpg)

the other side of the mountain

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse30.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse30.jpg)

the adjoining empty lot i wanted it for more room but not at 400,000P for 300 sq mfrs.



(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse31.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse31.jpg)

part of my side yard where my orchids are going to go

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse15.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse15.jpg)

bottom right hand backside

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse16.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse16.jpg)

Top of the roof looking east

(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse17.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse17.jpg)

Front Entrance


(http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/th_topofhouse18.jpg) (http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn141/geno555/?action=view¤t=topofhouse18.jpg)

Digging ditch for where right hand firewall is going to go?

will try and get to the Fan I want to put in with a thermostat so it doesn\'t run all the time, had a hard time with explaining to the foreman who in fairness doesn\'t speak English, about how i wanted the roof overhand to come down on aluminum sofit with vents in it, but finally made it in Google Sketch up 7 and he understands.

will try to get more tomorrow and maybe a poem or two.

Murf





Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 19, 2009, 08:07:16 AM
Looks like a very savvy idea you have there Colin and quite an insulation factor without great cost or almost no cost!! Looks like your pulling everything together and starting to really get ready to break ground good for you. I wish you all the good fortune and luck in the efforts you house is certain a lot bigger than mine will every be , but I don\'t have the funds as you my old friend ;D ;D

I better not take away from your post and post some new pictures of my own  as I don\'t want to eat up your post time. Just thought I would drop you a line and say smart idea with the Styrofoam sandwich.

Maybe you ought to patent that baby. :D

the \"Murf\"



My original idea was to use hollow blocks then wrap 2\" Styrofoam and wire around the whole building to include the columns and beams. I was told that it would be expensive and not really justify the cost. I am very aware of the possible high building cost, so this is the first compromise I have decided to make. Another compromise could be the roofing material, metal instead of clay or concrete tiles.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 19, 2009, 08:10:08 AM
I prefer the full size Snooker table to the smaller Pool tables...

Stucco...  is the standard form of finish here. I would prefer gypsum plaster for the inside, but I have not seen that available. Maybe it is not suitable for the humid climate...

The square at the house end is an 8\' deep diving pit...

SNOOKER -- I\'m with you 100% Colin, there\'s nothing like playing on a 12x6 putting green.  I grew up in a one-horse town (pop. 4,000) in West Texas... my Dad was the town drywall/painter contractor (Philippine wages might have been a raise ;D)-- and he and my Mom managed the local bowling alley/pool hall for an out of town owner.  The owner had found 6 Snooker tables at a bargain price somewhere... so that was the only tables in town.  I started shooting Snooker when I was 10, and didn\'t even know any other tables existed until I was about 16.  I love shooting Snooker with a passion to this day.

WALL FINISH -- Virtually every residence or business interior wall in Dallas is gypsum (\"Sheetrock\").  Stucco is only found in really high-end homes.  Even then it is fake stucco, just thick plaster with a rough trowel finish.  If there is not a sheetrock manufacturer in the Philippines, I suspect its weight might make shipping it in cost prohibitive.  Also, you may be right... it might not hold up well in the high humidity.

SWIMMING POOL --  Please do me a favor and make the diving area at least 10 feet deep from water surface.  From 30 years of handling injury cases, I have seen dozens of very serious head and neck injuries (including quadriplegia) from dives into water less than 10 feet.  The risk from too little depth is increased if you install a spring board.

I look forward to some photos as construction gets underway.

Tom     
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 19, 2009, 08:19:46 AM
Murf, I don\'t understand about the firewall, what is it for and why do you need one? Perhaps someone else can explain.

That adjacent lot is certainly expensive, particularly in your area. The prices there should be similar to those here on Palawan and I would say that P200,000 would be the absolute maximum for a lot that size.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 19, 2009, 08:44:57 AM
Murf, I don\'t understand about the firewall, what is it for and why do you need one? Perhaps someone else can explain.

That adjacent lot is certainly expensive, particularly in your area. The prices there should be similar to those here on Palawan and I would say that P200,000 would be the absolute maximum for a lot that size.

Colin

Colin, I after talking  to the guys found out it is just the outside wall but every outside wall for some reason is called a fire wall.

what i forget to mention was that same property in 2004 was 89,000 pesos, i started to buy it then but I had just bought 3 pieces in the government controlled area for my family which they neither one used and are still living with me. oh well. anyway when there was  a rumor that bayugan was going to become a city and the public land with all kind of houses on it on the other side of me was going to be bulldozed down for national highway one to run clear to Davao. well we got turned down, now the man ask me do i want the property for 100,000 but my house I have been in it it is way to big for even me and Jennifer,I don\'t need all that room.  he sons and daughters are really mad at me, but I can\'t help it. I have enough capital flow problems with this one, the gate I want and the ceiling fans are going to set me back more than i planned for.

Glad you are coming allong fine with yours,  I tried for a patent but as you see was shot down

:)

Murf
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 19, 2009, 08:55:13 AM

SNOOKER -- I\'m with you 100% Colin, there\'s nothing like playing on a 12x6 putting green.  I grew up in a one-horse town (pop. 4,000) in West Texas... my Dad was the town drywall/painter contractor (Philippine wages might have been a raise ;D)-- and he and my Mom managed the local bowling alley/pool hall for an out of town owner.  The owner had found 6 Snooker tables at a bargain price somewhere... so that was the only tables in town.  I started shooting Snooker when I was 10, and didn\'t even know any other tables existed until I was about 16.  I love shooting Snooker with a passion to this day.

The Snooker table with definitely be a bonus addon at a later date. I believe a 12x6 is only available in Manila, and the cost and transport costs could be very high, I may have to settle for a smaller pool table.

Quote

WALL FINISH -- Virtually every residence or business interior wall in Dallas is gypsum (\"Sheetrock\").  Stucco is only found in really high-end homes.  Even then it is fake stucco, just thick plaster with a rough trowel finish.  If there is not a sheetrock manufacturer in the Philippines, I suspect its weight might make shipping it in cost prohibitive.  Also, you may be right... it might not hold up well in the high humidity.

I believe sheetrock is available here, but I doubt if many builders are experienced in using it. It is not wise to move too far away from the norm with very inexperienced labour.

Quote

SWIMMING POOL --  Please do me a favor and make the diving area at least 10 feet deep from water surface.  From 30 years of handling injury cases, I have seen dozens of very serious head and neck injuries (including quadriplegia) from dives into water less than 10 feet.  The risk from too little depth is increased if you install a spring board.

Noted, an extra 2\' should not be too much of a problem  ;D A springboard is a nice idea but I have not seen one on any of the pools here. Maybe something that could be added later.
 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 19, 2009, 09:17:17 AM

Colin, I after talking  to the guys found out it is just the outside wall but every outside wall for some reason is called a fire wall.

what i forget to mention was that same property in 2004 was 89,000 pesos, i started to buy it then but I had just bought 3 pieces in the government controlled area for my family which they neither one used and are still living with me. oh well. anyway when there was  a rumor that bayugan was going to become a city and the public land with all kind of houses on it on the other side of me was going to be bulldozed down for national highway one to run clear to Davao. well we got turned down, now the man ask me do i want the property for 100,000 but my house I have been in it it is way to big for even me and Jennifer,I don\'t need all that room.  he sons and daughters are really mad at me, but I can\'t help it. I have enough capital flow problems with this one, the gate I want and the ceiling fans are going to set me back more than i planned for.


Murf

There is no reason for them to be mad at you after they decided to become greedy and bump up the price. I had a similar thing with our second lot, but refused to pay the extra and got it at the original price. We got some funny looks from the owners wife when we met at the attorneys to transfer the title.  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 19, 2009, 01:35:50 PM
Is anyone familiar with I.C.E. block building systems.  It is for constructing exterior walls.  It seems to have many benefits, but does not seem to have caught on here in the U.S.

It is basically a set of interlocking styrofoam blocks that create a form into which rebar is inserted and then concrete is poured.  Google it and there are several sites with illustrations.

The reason it is of interest to me is:

Very high insulation rating - R32
Withstands sustained winds of 160 mph
Termite resistant
Fire resistant     
High soundproof rating - STC48

Seems like some pretty good qualities for the Philippines. 

My concern is, since it is similar in cost to wood or cement block construction -- why isn\'t it more common?  I have only seen one house here in Dallas being built this way, in 2001.

Tom   
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 20, 2009, 05:26:47 PM
Tom,

I looked at this briefly a couple of years ago http://www.iceblock.net/ (http://www.iceblock.net/)

But never took it any further, one because I\'ve seen how polystyrene can degrade and wondered what the integrity would be like 5-10 years down the road.

Now if they were using a closed cell foam rather than open cell polystyrene......I guess I\'d have more confidence
Closed cell foams would push up the price significantly......

I was looking for ease of consruction mostly
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 21, 2009, 05:31:54 PM
Part 6

When we first spoke to our engineer about building the house he asked what our budget was. I said about P5M for the completed house, which I expected to be a little tight. He is now attempting to get the basic structure, foundations, columns, beams and roof, but no windows or finishing, for under P2M. I was expecting that to involve a few compromises, but I wanted to start high then perhaps shave off a few of the less important things. I asked him to check on the price of a high quality tile roof, but this proved to be expensive and we have decided on a good tile effect metal roof. He is uncertain about fitting ridge vents, but I think we can get that sorted.

I originally suggested fitting the cold water tank in the Crows Nest, but he said it would be cheaper and easier to just run the cold water supply direct to all the taps. I also wanted to have a central hot water system, but was told that was not what people do here in the Philippines; just have instant water heaters next to showers etc. My wife tended to agree with him, but I was not convinced, so have given it some more thought. My idea now is to mount a cold water storage tank on a tower near the Kitchen, Dirty Kitchen and Master bathroom, leave space on the platform for a solar hot water tank with the heating pipes zig- zaging down the tower. I can then feed both hot and cold water to the master bathroom and kitchen. I would then just feed a cold supply to the three bedrooms at the other end of the house and fit instant heaters if necessary. There is nothing like a good compromise  ;D

We are now waiting for him to come back with the first estimate for the structure and then we can sort out the details. The plan is to complete the basic structure to see how much money is left for the interior finishing. We could then leave some of the rooms unfinished, if necessary, rather than settle for lower quality products.

It has been agreed that all the power sockets will be 3 pin, to include an earth connection, I don’t want any more of the shocks you get from standard Philippine installations. I would also like to use the UK system of ring mains, but I expect to run up against some arguments against that. I want something better and safer than you get in most houses here in the Philippines.

I am also considering laying in some 12v wiring for emergency lighting to be connected later to a set of 12v batteries. These batteries would initially be charged with a standard 12v charger from the mains supply. This will give the option of eventually connecting solar panels to charge the batteries. Ultimately this could be expanded to allow the connection of inverters to supply TV’s Refrigerators etc.

Continued in part 7
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 21, 2009, 06:35:32 PM
Quote
I am also considering laying in some 12v wiring for emergency lighting to be connected later to a set of 12v batteries. These batteries would initially be charged with a standard 12v charger from the mains supply. This will give the option of eventually connecting solar panels to charge the batteries. Ultimately this could be expanded to allow the connection of inverters to supply TV’s Refrigerators etc.

I thought of the same thing Colin. It would be simple to install 12v lighting in the bedrooms for emergency use, and a good solar \"trickle\" charger would keep the battery charged and ready for use.  I also looked at purchasing a camp refrigerator that can run on electricity or propane.  They come in various sizes, but would be a great back up for those long brown outs.  I\'m not sure of the costs, or if I can even find them in the PI.  Might just be better to buy a back-up 5.5kva Generator and automatic transfer switch for the house.  Good thought also on the electric...I hate those little electrical bites you get from poorly or non-grounded electrical systems in the Philippines... 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: bowlofsopas on June 21, 2009, 06:53:32 PM
I have no experience with this... which, I guess, is why I\'m asking this question: how does styrofoam/polystyrene, as a building material, react in a house fire? No special qualities regarding its fumes?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 21, 2009, 07:57:53 PM
Quote
I am also considering laying in some 12v wiring for emergency lighting to be connected later to a set of 12v batteries. These batteries would initially be charged with a standard 12v charger from the mains supply. This will give the option of eventually connecting solar panels to charge the batteries. Ultimately this could be expanded to allow the connection of inverters to supply TV’s Refrigerators etc.

I thought of the same thing Colin. It would be simple to install 12v lighting in the bedrooms for emergency use, and a good solar \"trickle\" charger would keep the battery charged and ready for use.  I also looked at purchasing a camp refrigerator that can run on electricity or propane.  They come in various sizes, but would be a great back up for those long brown outs.  I\'m not sure of the costs, or if I can even find them in the PI.  Might just be better to buy a back-up 5.5kva Generator and automatic transfer switch for the house.  Good thought also on the electric...I hate those little electrical bites you get from poorly or non-grounded electrical systems in the Philippines... 8)

You can also buy 12v fans designed for use in vehicles, not very powerful but could be useful.

The brownouts here rarely exceed two hours, so we don\'t have much of a problem with the refrigerator providing we refrain from opening the door.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 21, 2009, 08:01:20 PM
I have no experience with this... which, I guess, is why I\'m asking this question: how does styrofoam/polystyrene, as a building material, react in a house fire? No special qualities regarding its fumes?

I believe there can be a problem with Styrofoam in a fire, but in my case it is encased in about 1\" of cement so should be OK.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 21, 2009, 09:34:27 PM
I have no experience with this... which, I guess, is why I\'m asking this question: how does styrofoam/polystyrene, as a building material, react in a house fire? No special qualities regarding its fumes?

from wikipedia

Health and fire hazards

There is concern about the trace presence of polystyrene\'s production chemicals in the final plastic product, most of which are toxic if not removed. For instance benzene, which is used to produce ethylbenzene for styrene, is a known carcinogen. As well, unpolymerized styrene may pose health risks. Nevertheless, the EPA states:

Styrene is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins. Acute (short-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic (long-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in effects on the central nervous system (CNS), such as headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression, CNS dysfunction, hearing loss, and peripheral neuropathy. Human studies are inconclusive on the reproductive and developmental effects of styrene; several studies did not report an increase in developmental effects in women who worked in the plastics industry, while an increased frequency of spontaneous abortions and decreased frequency of births were reported in another study. Several epidemiologic studies suggest there may be an association between styrene exposure and an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma. However, the evidence is inconclusive due to confounding factors. EPA has not given a formal carcinogen classification to styrene. [19]    ”

Polystyrene is classified according to DIN4102 as a \"B3\" product, meaning highly flammable or \"easily ignited.\" Consequently, although it is an efficient insulator at low temperatures, its use is prohibited in any exposed installations in building construction if the material is not flame retardant, e.g., with hexabromocyclododecane. It must be concealed behind drywall, sheet metal or concrete. Foamed polystyrene plastic materials have been accidentally ignited and caused huge fires and losses, for example at the Düsseldorf International Airport, the Channel tunnel (where polystyrene was inside a railcar that caught on fire), and the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant (where fire reached through a fire retardant and reached the foamed plastic underneath, inside a firestop that had not been tested and certified in accordance with the final installation).

In addition to fire hazard, polystyrene can be dissolved by substances that contain acetone (such as most aerosol paint sprays), and by cyanoacrylate glues.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 22, 2009, 12:23:37 PM
Colin,

I have managed construction and renovations for the US Goverment at various overseas locations. We use something called EIFS:
http://homebuying.about.com/cs/syntheticstucco/a/eifs_facts.htm (http://homebuying.about.com/cs/syntheticstucco/a/eifs_facts.htm)

Basically, they attach wire mesh to the outside of a building with wall anchors, then cut 2\"-3\" thick styrofoam panels to the sizes needed and add adhesive to the back of the panels. once they are in place, they tape most of the seams and also add in flex joints to various points. Then its all covered in a stucco like material.  This works great in high and low temperature areas. The only drawback to installation is if sometime after the installation you damage the EIFS. Patching the EIFS and matching the color is something most companies will not guarantee. We have had to do complete sides to buildings in order to have it match the other sides, and then it was still off-shade.  Another problem has to deal with cold weather, moisture seepage, and freezing causing the panels to buckle and crack...but thats something you won\'t have to worry about in the Philippines... ;D

All in all, with multi-pane windows and insulation in the ceilings...we did see an overall utility savings of between 20-30%.  Some of this may be due to better insulating in the attics of the facilities. 

We also constructed \"Mil-van\" offices by connecting 2-4 sea shipping containers together, pop a roof on them, the EIFS, windows and doors, utilities, and dress out the interior in gypsum.  These have a pretty good lifespan and are built at a reasonable cost.

Just thought I would throw that in.. 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 22, 2009, 12:49:07 PM
I don\'t remember if I asked this on this board?

Has anyone used turbine vents in their roof here in the Philippines? I don\'t see them around these parts.
B-Ray
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 22, 2009, 03:01:26 PM
I don\'t remember if I asked this on this board?

Has anyone used turbine vents in their roof here in the Philippines? I don\'t see them around these parts.
B-Ray

I have seen a few here, but they were large and on commercial buildings, they would look out of place on a house.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 22, 2009, 03:23:48 PM
Colin,

I have managed construction and renovations for the US Goverment at various overseas locations. We use something called EIFS:
[url]http://homebuying.about.com/cs/syntheticstucco/a/eifs_facts.htm[/url] ([url]http://homebuying.about.com/cs/syntheticstucco/a/eifs_facts.htm[/url])

Basically, they attach wire mesh to the outside of a building with wall anchors, then cut 2\"-3\" thick styrofoam panels to the sizes needed and add adhesive to the back of the panels. once they are in place, they tape most of the seams and also add in flex joints to various points. Then its all covered in a stucco like material.  This works great in high and low temperature areas. The only drawback to installation is if sometime after the installation you damage the EIFS. Patching the EIFS and matching the color is something most companies will not guarantee. We have had to do complete sides to buildings in order to have it match the other sides, and then it was still off-shade.  Another problem has to deal with cold weather, moisture seepage, and freezing causing the panels to buckle and crack...but thats something you won\'t have to worry about in the Philippines... ;D

All in all, with multi-pane windows and insulation in the ceilings...we did see an overall utility savings of between 20-30%.  Some of this may be due to better insulating in the attics of the facilities. 

We also constructed \"Mil-van\" offices by connecting 2-4 sea shipping containers together, pop a roof on them, the EIFS, windows and doors, utilities, and dress out the interior in gypsum.  These have a pretty good lifespan and are built at a reasonable cost.

Just thought I would throw that in.. 8)


I don’t think the EIFS system is available here in the Philippines.

Here is my original idea for wall insulation.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_WallConstruction.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=WallConstruction.jpg)

My ‘possible’ builder thought it would be too expensive and unnecessary, so I changed to the foam sandwich method he has been using on commercial property.  Later he decided that even that was unnecessary and standard 4” hollow block was good enough and cheaper. He was also unenthusiastic about ridge vents and fibreglass insulation on top of the ceiling. The builders here are way behind the times when it comes to insulating a house.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on June 22, 2009, 03:28:54 PM
Here`s another product now available in the P.I...Basically prefab insulated concrete board.

http://www.fastem.net/business/wallsystem_panel.asp?subcode=0302
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dutch expat on June 22, 2009, 04:01:19 PM
Waauw, thanks for that link.  ;) That prefab insulated concrete board seems a good alternative. Is this readily available in the province already? How about the price?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 22, 2009, 07:36:10 PM
http://www.buysell.ph/-2/posts/7_Services/77_Architecture_Design/74964_construct_your_house_or_building_faster_by_using_this_.html (http://www.buysell.ph/-2/posts/7_Services/77_Architecture_Design/74964_construct_your_house_or_building_faster_by_using_this_.html)

Actually...there is someone that installs it in the Philippines... ;D

Sounds like an interesting company..and the lightweight building blocks sound interesting for construction also.

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on June 23, 2009, 09:18:11 AM
Waauw, thanks for that link.  ;) That prefab insulated concrete board seems a good alternative. Is this readily available in the province already? How about the price?

This is info I found from another PI based forum sometime in 2007.
These are  the prices that the author of that post included in that thread..Im pretty sure he wont mind if I post his research here if it leads to benefit others..So here goes,but bare in mind that these prices are 2 years old now..

Quote
I managed to get a brochure showing there costs:

Just as an example they state these figures

Thickness 50mm, width 600mm any length 851.20 php per m2

Thickness 75mm, width 600mm any length 963.20 php per m2

Thickness 100mm width 600mm any length 1075.20 php per m2


These panels can be cut to size by cutting a line with an angle grinder and snapping the sheet. The same principle as cutting plaster board using a knife blade.  No need to render the panels after installed as the surface provides a smooth finish..Only joints need to be taped and made good so some major savings regards labour and materials re rendering process.



Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 23, 2009, 09:19:13 AM
EIFS - I purchased a house in the late 90s -- to me it\'s exterior looked just like every other stucco Mediterranean style house I had seen. Turns out it was stucco clad using EIFS -- the title company/insurers required about $1,000 worth of testing to make sure there was no mold, wood rot or other problems in the walls before they would issue policies so the deal could close.  I lived there 5 years, then had to repeat all the testing when I sold the house.

Seems there is a potential moisture seepage/trapping problem with EIFS, particularly if the installation is not done to perfection.  This may just be with EIFS applied over wood framing, but I would be wary of it given the rainfall your going to get in the RP, not to mention the probable lack of experience with this product in the RP.

Prefab Insulated Concrete Board - interesting alternative to hollow blocks... on the links these appear to be about 3 or 4 inches thick. Wonder how they are supported? Rebar? Placed between wood supports? The projects on the links seem to be large commercial projects... wonder if any residential houses have been built with these.  We can let Colin be the guinea pig  ;D

I.C.E. block method - this looks ideal for RP (very high heat insulating factor; high noise abatement; fire resistant; 160 mph wind resistant; similar cost as hollow block).  My concerns are that its been around several years and hasn\'t caught on for some reason, and that RP workers likely have never seen it before... of course, we can again let Colin build the \"test\" house  ;D

Colin\'s original idea for wall insulation - Have you now given up on your idea and gone with your builder\'s usual method?

Whew!!! I\'m sure glad Colin is breaking with traditional building methods and not us.  ;D ;D

Tom

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 23, 2009, 12:12:17 PM
Look out of place?
 
And should I give a Rats A** in a small Pinoy subdivision? We have the most up-de-up buildings!  LOL

I just wonder about the benefits, against cost??
B-Ray

I don\'t remember if I asked this on this board?

Has anyone used turbine vents in their roof here in the Philippines? I don\'t see them around these parts.
B-Ray

I have seen a few here, but they were large and on commercial buildings, they would look out of place on a house.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 23, 2009, 12:28:03 PM
Look out of place?
 
And should I give a Rats A** in a small Pinoy subdivision? We have the most up-de-up buildings!  LOL

I just wonder about the benefits, against cost??
B-Ray

I don\'t remember if I asked this on this board?

Has anyone used turbine vents in their roof here in the Philippines? I don\'t see them around these parts.
B-Ray

I have seen a few here, but they were large and on commercial buildings, they would look out of place on a house.

Colin

Yeh, but the ones I have seen would turn a small house into a hovercraft  ;D

I remember seeing some information about them on the internet, worth a search.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 23, 2009, 12:34:14 PM
Part 7

I am not very impressed with the attitude of builders here. A bit like women’s hairdressers, they will only do what they want to do regardless of what you tell them  ;D.

We had an email from the engineer yesterday wanting an advance of P300,000, and we have not agreed to start anything yet. He has also gone to Manila today for 2 days to talk to the suppliers of the sandwich foam and roofing. I had to phone him and tell him that, all we are expecting at the moment is a rough estimate for the basic structure so that we have something to discuss. I also had to tell him that we had a family friend (engineer), in Saudi at the moment, that has contacts here we could use, and our new neighbour opposite our lot has recommended the people that built his bungalow and can offer us a lot of cost saving advice. He wants to use my swimming pool when it is built  ;D.

Whoever I go with, I shall want a complete breakdown of costs, and not just dump fistfuls of money at them when they ask for it. I am setting a ceiling on the house construction costs of P5M even if that means that some of the interior will not be finished. As long as we are able to move in, we can complete the finishing in our own time and using the inexpensive labour that is available all the time here. It will also save us the P15,000 a month rent that we are paying now.

I will not be trying out these insulated panels, and although the blocks look interesting, they will have to be transported from Manila and there is nobody here with any experience with using them.  I have not given up completely with my idea, but I do have to keep a close eye on the money. I can afford to spend a little more, but unlike the UK where medical services are free, I do need to have a reserve for emergencies and unfortunately I am not getting any younger. I would also like to buy myself a newer vehicle.

Continued in part 8
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 23, 2009, 12:54:40 PM

I will not be trying out these insulated panels, and although the blocks look interesting, they will have to be transported from Manila and there is nobody here with any experience with using them.  I have not given up completely with my idea, but I do have to keep a close eye on the money. I can afford to spend a little more, but unlike the UK where medical services are free, I do need to have a reserve for emergencies and unfortunately I am not getting any younger. I would also like to buy myself a newer vehicle.


Dang it, Colin.  Just when giving armchair advice on building your house was getting fun, you start worrying about being practical.

So, here is some practical advice.  Buy one of the large commercial roof turbines, paint it with a red and white pattern so it will spiral like a barber\'s pole when it spins, and mount it on top of the 3rd story lookout.  It will have absolutely no functional utility, but it will make your house the best known house on Palawan and easy to get directions to in case we want to drop in for Red Horse, Snooker and a dip in the pool.

Tom


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 23, 2009, 04:16:51 PM
Colin,

I understand how you feel about having a little \"cushion\" when it comes to available funds for medical needs and other issues.  I\'m having a good time reading your posts and finding out what pitfalls I will run into when we do full out construction on our next house...and so far, I\'m seeing about the same problems I ran into with our current house we fully renovated.  Actually, I\'m about ready to have a new roof put on because the old one is starting to leak and drive the Mrs. crazy...and you know how that is...if mamma isn\'t happy...we won\'t be happy... ;D Awaiting more of your adventure.

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on June 28, 2009, 05:15:56 AM
;D Hi everyone, Greg, Collin, B-ray, Billy CAPTAIN RON,!  All my moderators….come on be nice you know you’re glad I am back   ::)

After a frustrating two weeks with no isp, Philcom.ph was down in all of the Philippines it claimed which I don’t believe, but anyway thanks to that lovely lady Dylanaz  I am using my N-95 as an internet connection  don’t know how much that is going to cost me but I will find out soon.

Have some wonderful new pictures of the house and some amazing construction  techniques I thought and will post them later but we have been up since , well  we did not go to bed for one of our “not so nice nieces” the unwed one , decided to leave go to we don’t know where it is festival week, she seemed bored and mad all week, I knew something was up, I am just to old and sick to adopt a baby and the house is not done and the cost are getting out of hand…oh well other than that things are just dandy.

Glad to be back. Any of you all know where I can purchase those heaters on demand for hot water instead of using a hot water tank?

Thanks in advance

Glad to be back, actually missed you all, well not you Wayne, just teasing! Your too big a boy to mess with and Jack packs a pistol that is bigger than mine…so????

The “Murf”
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on June 28, 2009, 10:38:13 AM
Gene, Glad to see you back my brother. I\'m glad your absence was caused by downed ISP and not your health. God Bless.....
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 28, 2009, 02:51:03 PM
Murf,

Glad to see you are back in action.  For the on-demand type water heaters, check Ace Hardware, Citi Hardware, or any number of building and construction supply stores.  I think we paid about p4,000 for the one we have and its worked flawlessly for the last year or so...and it gets used by EVERYONE in the family...from the Mrs. down to the sister in laws newborn.  Just make sure when they install the electrical outlet for the on-demand water heater, that they mount it ABOVE the heater and away from the shower.  When they first installed ours the outlet was about 10 inches from the showerhead and about 8 inches lower than the showerhead! I made them move the outlet as far as possible from the shower head and well above.  I would have prefered they use a GFCI outlet though.

Good Luck!

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 28, 2009, 03:33:26 PM
welcome back Murf

looking forward to seeing your pix

on demand heaters will probably need to be sourced from BUtuan rather than Bayugan
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 29, 2009, 02:59:12 AM
Are glass blocks available and/or used in construction in the RP? 

Placing a row of 8\"x8\" glass block in select areas will really cut down on the need for lighting during the day in areas where you would not normally have windows.  I \"borrowed\" this idea from a tour home I went through about 20 years ago, and have used in a couple of homes since.  Since it basically creates a sealed 8\" high window slit high in the wall, it is pretty good for security also.

In my present home I had the builder place a row of five 8\" glass blocks near the ceiling in the exterior wall of the kitchen pantry, three closets and the utility room.  I also had the glass blocks set in the exterior kitchen wall between the counter top and upper cabinets (splash guard area).  With both the glass blocks and the normal windows, we seldom turn a light on during the day.

Just a thought.

Tom
Dallas, Texas



Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 29, 2009, 06:38:34 AM
Hi Tom,

Glass blocks are available here, I am thinking of using them in the dividing wall between the shower area and the toilet. Should be a lot easier to clean than a standard shower cabinet and a lot nicer than plastic shower curtains.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on June 29, 2009, 12:39:36 PM
Glass blocks are available. I saw 3 colors at CitiHardware in Ormoc when I was there.  There were also 4 or 5 different designs.  Really good ideas about the divider wall...would look beautiful and add a classy touch to the construction.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 29, 2009, 12:44:27 PM
My buddy did just that Colin.

Also in an apartment we were in and a long wall without windows had  them  6 wide two deep in 3 areas at the upper area of the wall for letting in light. Not a bad idea if you don\'t want the neighbors next door looking in!  ;D
B-Ray
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 01, 2009, 12:13:14 AM

Glad to know the glass blocks are used there. 

Colin - Here in the U.S. you can order them in specified sizes (either by # of blocks, e.g., 8\" blocks, 2 rows x 5; or by dimensions, 2\' x 3\'), and they are delivered pre-mortared in a frame that can just be framed into the wall as you would a window.  Its not really mortar, but some type of epoxy that looks like mortar.  I had a 4\' x 5\' set in about 18\" above the side of the bath tub in the master.  Like B-Ray alluded to, very handy in that the window is always \"open\" for light, but the neighbors can\'t look in.

These finished set of blocks might be very handy if your mason is not familiar with working with them... and you do not need a size too large that makes delivery and handling hassle. 

Like B-Ray & Grizzi, I too like your idea of the blocks as a dividing wall between shower & toilet.  I don\'t know what your shower plans are, but I like putting in an offset entry space with no door or curtain, and also leaving a gap of about 18\" between the most interior wall of the shower and the ceiling.  With this very open design, moisture in the shower can dry out quickly and mold/mildew problems are almost eliminated.

Looking forward to more of your \"installments.\"

Tom
Dallas, Texas
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on July 01, 2009, 01:24:02 PM
Tom in Big D,

Quote
I don\'t know what your shower plans are, but I like putting in an offset entry space with no door or curtain, and also leaving a gap of about 18\" between the most interior wall of the shower and the ceiling.  With this very open design, moisture in the shower can dry out quickly and mold/mildew problems are almost eliminated.

The only thing I would caution is making sure they use a p-trap in the floor drain in your bathroom and its run properly...otherwise you will end up with serious odors in your house.  I found that out the hard way on the first bathroom they finished in the house.  I also added in ventilation fans to each of the bathrooms that turns on with the same switch as the lights. The reason I did that was because we didn\'t put windows in the bathrooms. I won\'t go into specifics, but not a lot of space on the lot we were building on and the view from the bathroom would have been concrete block from the perimeter wall... ;D

The next house will use quite a bit of glass blocks though. I like natural lighting...especially the relaxing blue light coming from a blue tinted glass block. 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on July 01, 2009, 01:44:45 PM
While on the subject of bathrooms, one idea from my apartment in Switzerland that I\'ve never seen anywhere before was the way the bathtub was set up.

Instead of jamming the tub almost flush against the wall, it was about a foot away from the wall and there was a tiled shelf at the top of the tub level.

Similar to this..... (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/twentyfirstcen/bath-tub.jpg)

Simple little thing but I loved the utility of the idea, there was so much space for toiletries, reading material, a cup of tea, coffee or even a beer ,,,,hell you could even sit on the shelf while showering. In addition lots of room to aid in getting up out of tub (mine didn\'t have the handle like in pic)

I\'ve NEVER seen a bathroom/shower with enough space (especially when there\'s I lady in the house - I\'ve got FOUR!!!! hehehe_
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on July 01, 2009, 01:49:52 PM
Now that\'s a good idea...especially when a guy gets older. It would be much better to ease into a bathtub from a ledge than flop in from the floor.  I like the part about space for a beverage and reading materials...why not...its the most quiet place in the house!! :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 01, 2009, 08:42:35 PM
Part 8

We had a meeting with the engineer to discuss the construction costs. He did not present us with any written costs but had calculated the cost of the materials for the basic concrete shell as P1.8M, add to that the cost of roofing at approx. P200,000, labour at P700,000 and his expenses including plans and permit of P300,000 gives us a figure of approx P3M. That would leave us with P2M to finish the interior to fit within our limit of P5M. This could vary enormously but he gave us some examples of items in the showroom that could be used to fit within our budget. If we wanted to use good quality fittings and fixtures we could easily leave some of the rooms unfinished to be completed at a later date. For example we could decide not to fit out two of the bedrooms and associated bathrooms, and just use them as storerooms.

There was still a question of plumbing. He suggested running the mains water supply directly to all the taps, but we noticed that our neighbour has a tower with a tank on it. We know he was very careful with his money, so he must have had a good reason for using it. We need to go to speak to him to find out. This neighbour has also offered to help us with the building, his brother-in-law being the engineer that built his bungalow. They had recommended a smaller builders merchant as being cheaper. We visited it and it did seem to be noticeably cheaper. It would seem that the larger merchant was just letting out display space to suppliers and, I imagine, adding a commission onto all the items.

During the discussion it was suggested that I should try to simplify the design to reduce the costs. My wife asked me if I really needed the Crows Nest, and I said ‘yes it was very important’.  Later having given it some thought I decided to remove it. ;D It did mean that I would lose that nice view of the mountains, but I was never happy with the stairs at the front leading up to it, so there was some compensation. I have now roofed over that area to make it a second floor balcony overlooking the garden. The front entrance has been moved to the arcade and I have changed the windows to a square design. This has been used on some Spanish houses but with a raised surround that I will add later. I am now thinking of putting small ventilation tower above the stairwell area, about 24”-30” square, and fitted with a large extractor fan in the base. I would then make the ceiling below it into a cathedral design so that the fan would draw air from out of the stairwell as well as the four adjoining roof sections. Just ideas at the moment, but the small tower would help to restore the Spanish look as well as serving a useful function.

Here is the revised design; I don’t know yet how to draw the cooling tower on the junction of the roofs. The plain front needs a bit more work on it.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design163DfrontView.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design163DfrontView.jpg)

Here is the way I would like my bathrooms to look with a glass block wall between the shower and toilet.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_BathroomGlassWall.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=BathroomGlassWall.jpg)

Continued in part 9
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: cogon88 on July 01, 2009, 09:10:03 PM
Colin,

Watch out for the glass block a friend of mine used some in what was considered a fire wall the roxas city engineer would not approve his occupancy permit as the glass did not meet the code for a fire wall so my friend just went a head and paid a little extra to have the electric hooked up along with the water with out the permit he has lived there 8 years now he says since he has no occupancy permit he does not have to pay taxes on the house to the city and he is happy I think this will be another story one of these days

Good Luck to you on your home we are going to build a larger home soon as we are out growing the first home we built so taking note of your ideas

Best Regards

Tom
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on July 02, 2009, 04:45:49 AM
Part 8

We had a meeting with the engineer to discuss the construction costs. He did not present us with any written costs but had calculated the cost of the materials for the basic concrete shell as P1.8M, add to that the cost of roofing at approx. P200,000, labour at P700,000 and his expenses including plans and permit of P300,000 gives us a figure of approx P3M. That would leave us with P2M to finish the interior to fit within our limit of P5M. This could vary enormously but he gave us some examples of items in the showroom that could be used to fit within our budget. If we wanted to use good quality fittings and fixtures we could easily leave some of the rooms unfinished to be completed at a later date. For example we could decide not to fit out two of the bedrooms and associated bathrooms, and just use them as storerooms.

There was still a question of plumbing. He suggested running the mains water supply directly to all the taps, but we noticed that our neighbour has a tower with a tank on it. We know he was very careful with his money, so he must have had a good reason for using it. We need to go to speak to him to find out. This neighbour has also offered to help us with the building, his brother-in-law being the engineer that built his bungalow. They had recommended a smaller builders merchant as being cheaper. We visited it and it did seem to be noticeably cheaper. It would seem that the larger merchant was just letting out display space to suppliers and, I imagine, adding a commission onto all the items.

During the discussion it was suggested that I should try to simplify the design to reduce the costs. My wife asked me if I really needed the Crows Nest, and I said ‘yes it was very important’.  Later having given it some thought I decided to remove it. ;D It did mean that I would lose that nice view of the mountains, but I was never happy with the stairs at the front leading up to it, so there was some compensation. I have now roofed over that area to make it a second floor balcony overlooking the garden. The front entrance has been moved to the arcade and I have changed the windows to a square design. This has been used on some Spanish houses but with a raised surround that I will add later. I am now thinking of putting small ventilation tower above the stairwell area, about 24”-30” square, and fitted with a large extractor fan in the base. I would then make the ceiling below it into a cathedral design so that the fan would draw air from out of the stairwell as well as the four adjoining roof sections. Just ideas at the moment, but the small tower would help to restore the Spanish look as well as serving a useful function.

Here is the revised design; I don’t know yet how to draw the cooling tower on the junction of the roofs. The plain front needs a bit more work on it.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Design163DfrontView.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Design163DfrontView.jpg[/url])

Here is the way I would like my bathrooms to look with a glass block wall between the shower and toilet.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_BathroomGlassWall.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=BathroomGlassWall.jpg[/url])

Continued in part 9



Colin love your glass separator for the CR. it can\'t be called plagiarism I guess for I am not writing a book (this time) :)  but hope you don\'t mind if if steal it. looks great!

I must  say you have twice the house I have for the same amount of money , already have my contract for the 3 million for the house, but it will cost me another 2 million plus for to furnish the inside, for there is a lot of expensive appliances to be bought sub`zero side by side stainless steel fridge and freezer, stainless steel stove, jacuzzi , tile the 6 ceilings fans   and the list goes on and on.

But I am happy with the house so far the top floor is so nice and cool and the breeze seems so different from the ground, and the view of the mountains from the veranda is just breath taking.

Your house is beautiful and I congratulate you. Great planning and job. I have new pictures but can\'t get photo bucket to work, is  there another program we can use that will work with the site. thanks

Murf
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 02, 2009, 08:01:28 AM

Colin love your glass separator for the CR. it can\'t be called plagiarism I guess for I am not writing a book (this time) :)  but hope you don\'t mind if if steal it. looks great!

I must  say you have twice the house I have for the same amount of money , already have my contract for the 3 million for the house, but it will cost me another 2 million plus for to furnish the inside, for there is a lot of expensive appliances to be bought sub`zero side by side stainless steel fridge and freezer, stainless steel stove, jacuzzi , tile the 6 ceilings fans   and the list goes on and on.

But I am happy with the house so far the top floor is so nice and cool and the breeze seems so different from the ground, and the view of the mountains from the veranda is just breath taking.

Your house is beautiful and I congratulate you. Great planning and job. I have new pictures but can\'t get photo bucket to work, is  there another program we can use that will work with the site. thanks

Murf

Hi Murf,

The glass separator idea came from the internet, so you are not stealing it from me  ;D

The basic construction cost of P3M does not include windows which was why i decided to simplify them to a square design. I am also using foam sandwich walling for both inside and outside walls which is a lot quicker to install therefore reducing labour costs. The engineer that gave the quotes is very keen to get the job so I am a little wary of his costing but will check everything and get second and third opinions/quotes. I have not done any detailed costing on the interior and also plan to install some expensive kitchen equipment, but the spending stops at P5M, as long as we are able to move in. As well as employing a maid, or perhaps two, we will also employ a handymam/gardener who will be fully occupied doing all the finishing touches. Out neighbour opposite has kept on several of the builders to do odd jobs such as building kennels for his Dobermans.

I am sorry to lose my Crows Nest but it is essential that I trim the costs to allow the place to get built. I never expected to get everything I wanted particularly on move-in day, but completing it will keep me occupied.

Thanks for the compliment, but it has to be built yet. I am still toying with some other design ideas. For me, the pleasure is in the designing, once it is built it will just be a house to live in, and I will move on to other things. Perhaps I can then get back to my Photography, designing a web site, building models in my new workshop, cooking etc etc etc. I think the only time my brain will stop working is when I am horizontal at minus six feet. ;D ;D ;D ;D

I believe it is possible to use other photo sites such as Flickr to  post photos but I don’t think they are as easy to use as Photobucket.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: aerosick on July 02, 2009, 12:43:42 PM

I am sorry to lose my Crows Nest but it is essential that I trim the costs to allow the place to get built.

Colin


Colin,

Are you putting up a water tank? Maybe combine it with your Crow\'s Nest?

Billy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 02, 2009, 01:49:25 PM

I am sorry to lose my Crows Nest but it is essential that I trim the costs to allow the place to get built.

Colin


Colin,

Are you putting up a water tank? Maybe combine it with your Crow\'s Nest?

Billy

I does seem possible that I will need a water tower, I need to check with my neighbour to see why he chose to build one. When my wife asked if I needed the Crows Nest on the house, she also suggested thatI could use the water tower. I saw a house many years ago that had built a watch tower in the garden next to the house. Maybe I will not lose my view of the mountains  ;D ;D ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 07, 2009, 09:07:43 AM
Colin,

You noted in one of your earlier posts the \"one room wide\" concept.  What is the greatest ceiling distance you will be spanning without support columns?  Are prefab ceiling joists or trusses available, or is everything to be built on site?  What is the greatest length of second story floor joist you will be using?

I was toying with a couple of designs, but it occurred to me that I did not know what clear spans could be accomplished with the materials typically available.

Thanks,

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 07, 2009, 10:33:16 AM
Colin,

You noted in one of your earlier posts the \"one room wide\" concept.  What is the greatest ceiling distance you will be spanning without support columns?  Are prefab ceiling joists or trusses available, or is everything to be built on site?  What is the greatest length of second story floor joist you will be using?

I was toying with a couple of designs, but it occurred to me that I did not know what clear spans could be accomplished with the materials typically available.

Thanks,

Tom in Big D

The largest span I have is 24 feet and I am told that this is possible with a one piece beam by joining lengths of rebar. This would mean a deeper beam, and it is possible that I will add a column in the centre to reduce the size. On the latest design variation, all the other beams are 18 feet. Generally it is cheaper to keep the beam length to the length of the rebar, but I can\'t remember what that is  ;D I am not aware of any prefab beams etc. The standard practice is to wire all the rebar into columns and beams in place, then box them in with plywood and fill with concrete.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 07, 2009, 10:36:28 AM
Part 9

We met with a second engineer yesterday and he was highly recommended by people we know. He has two systems to offer. The first is to complete the plans up to getting the building permit, after which he just makes occasional visits to the site to make sure his plans are being followed. For this he charges 5% of material costs. We would need to make separate arrangements to have the house built. This could include hiring a contractor to do everything for a cost of 40-45% of material costs depending on the complexity of the design. The second method, which would cost 10%, would be for him to do all the daily supervision of the building and we would pay the workers on a daily rate. He could provide a good foreman at around P400 a day, labourers at P180 and skilled workers at P200-250 a day. We would buy and arrange delivery of materials. A number of people have told us that this would be the cheapest method as we could buy the materials at the cheapest source. This engineer has taken my design booklet to give us an approximate estimate if costs for building the basic structure plus an idea of costs to finish the interior.

He has an interesting method for building ground floor external walls. They are cast in concrete in one piece laying flat on the ground then hauled up in place and fixed with dowels. He has built a number of houses this way and will take us to see them. He says this is cheaper and less prone to cracking. He uses hollow blocks for the upper floors because the panels are too heavy to haul up.

One thing that puzzles me with both of the engineers we have seen, is their reluctance to insulate the external walls, when you consider that the temperature gradient across the wall is similar to that found in the UK and a lot of the US, although in the opposite direction. In the UK it is not possible to build a new house without insulated walls, and I have seen TV programmes where US wooden houses are fitted with thick fibreglass insulation. It seems to me that the builders here are 50 years behind the times and just want to do things the way they have always been done. I want my house to be always comfortable and that means using aircon part of the time and this requires good insulation.

Continued in part 10
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 07, 2009, 12:00:25 PM
Apparently the Pinoy TILT-UP way of building a concrete wall is not the form that the system was design for.

The re-bar in prefab concrete walls are under tension and released later!! Just laying flat in a form isn\'t true to the design specs!

Is this just another Pinoys BETTER IDEA?
B-Ray

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 07, 2009, 04:24:07 PM
Quote
One thing that puzzles me with both of the engineers we have seen, is their reluctance to insulate the external walls, when you consider that the temperature gradient across the wall is similar to that found in the UK and a lot of the US, although in the opposite direction. In the UK it is not possible to build a new house without insulated walls


Yes,but then all houses in the UK have a cavity to fill .(between the bricks and the breeze blocks).
Here the construction process is completely different.
The bottom line is,if you want them to fit insulation and willing to accept the costs of that then of course they will do it..
Just be very clear about the spec and insulation method you require before you ask him to start the drawing.
Anything is possible here if the money is available.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 07, 2009, 04:46:06 PM
Quote
One thing that puzzles me with both of the engineers we have seen, is their reluctance to insulate the external walls, when you consider that the temperature gradient across the wall is similar to that found in the UK and a lot of the US, although in the opposite direction. In the UK it is not possible to build a new house without insulated walls


Yes,but then all houses in the UK have a cavity to fill .(between the bricks and the breeze blocks).
Here the construction process is completely different.
The bottom line is,if you want them to fit insulation and willing to accept the costs of that then of course they will do it..
Just be very clear about the spec and insulation method you require before you ask him to start the drawing.
Anything is possible here if the money is available.


I agree that anything can be done if you are willing to pay for it. The problem is that two youngish fully qualified engineers are telling me that it is unnecessary, when you can put your hand on a wall and feel the heat coming through.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 07, 2009, 04:57:04 PM
Understood Colin but you are the customer and it will be YOUR house.
If you want insulation in the walls then that\'s as \"necessary\" as it gets..
Dont be disappointed after its too late..Just my view.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on July 07, 2009, 05:11:04 PM
Col,

Remember that most people here are accustomed to the heat and largely unaffected by the changes in temperature, most don\'t have AC and some don\'t have fans. Remember to tell these guys what internal temperature you would like the house to maintain all year round and also spot temps for particular rooms. Ask them how they intend to achieve these temps without insulation and then talk about what types of insulation they have used in external walls, if they have no experience with external wall insulation, maybe time to look elsewhere. What is Maricel\'s opinion here, does she have an opinion about external wall insulation, as she is our resident architect, maybe she has input in this area.

Wayne   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on July 07, 2009, 05:56:51 PM
Col,

You can generally use US guides to help you......mean temp in Puerto Princesa 28C (84F) - Key West is listed as town with highest mean temp 78.1F
Slightly higher humidity in Puerto Princesa 84% (91% mornings, 78% afternoons) to Key West\'s 74% (80% mornings 68% afternoon)

And I was struck by the similarity of Puerto Princesa and Key West from Google satellite images.....surrounded by water, low buildings etc

Key West is in the pink zone at the tip of Florida

You\'ll need to speak to someone whether you need to adjust up/down as this insulation recommendations are for timber framed houses 

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/fig2.html (http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/fig2.html)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 07, 2009, 07:21:05 PM
Thanks Fred, Wayne and Dave for your comments on wall insulation.

I am not planning to completely isolate myself from the outside world, but just be able to have economic control over the inside temperatures. We don\'t have any aircon in our bedroom at the moment, the night time temperatures are most times low enough to manage with just a fan. I expect that I will install an aircon unit in the main bedroom of our house, but it will only be used occasionally so insulation of the second floor is not too important. We have the aircon in the lounge here set to 27C which is fine for just sitting and watching TV or eating, but if I try to become more active I just get too hot. Good excuse for not doing any odd jobs around the house  ;D I would expect to be able to wind the temperature down in the new house lower than that on most of the first floor.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 08, 2009, 06:14:41 AM
Colin,

I\'d second what others have said and continue to insist on your preference until you are satisfied that insulation is for some reason not needed.  You\'ve indicated that you intend to aircon some areas of your home, so I can\'t understand why insulation would not help with both effectiveness and cost.

Like Wayne, I would like to hear Maricel\'s opinions (or someone else with building knowledge or experience in the RP).  What are the insulating properties of hollow blocks or concrete wall like Colin\'s builder is suggesting; do they have R ratings; what wall or ceiling insulations are available, rigid sheet insulation, loose batts, dry blow-in, foam pump-in, etc.; what consideration is given to heat transfer with respect to choice of building materials, windows, doors, etc.   

Help us \"arm chair architects\" out, Maricel  :).

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2009, 11:31:54 AM
I\'m not so sure by giving an architect, temps wanted in a building year around wouldn\'t taxed their ability, know how???

Is such engineering real done in this Country, becomes the question, as with materials available to do it?

The UK double wall can be done with hollow blocks, but you just might be hard pressed getting that value across here, other then being a DUMB foreigner with to much money?

Foiled back thin foam insulation is available without giving a rating, (used it in the studio). Rigid insulation is also available, but costly in this area. Blown in/loose insulation I haven\'t heard about yet, in the RP except maybe, rice hulls or saw dust, depending on the area.

Any time a foreigner comes up with their BETTER IDEAS that\'s not Pinoy normal in given areas, you best know how and where the materials are available.................and be there ALL DAY......PERIOD!!

An  architect might be able to draw up and spec the project with the latest CAD program, but.... maybe ......doesn\'t really know how to put things together as an overseer, REGARDLESS what is said! Same with contractors being in the know, let alone, the Pinoy workers!!
B-Ray

Col,

Remember that most people here are accustomed to the heat and largely unaffected by the changes in temperature, most don\'t have AC and some don\'t have fans. Remember to tell these guys what internal temperature you would like the house to maintain all year round and also spot temps for particular rooms. Ask them how they intend to achieve these temps without insulation and then talk about what types of insulation they have used in external walls, if they have no experience with external wall insulation, maybe time to look elsewhere. What is Maricel\'s opinion here, does she have an opinion about external wall insulation, as she is our resident architect, maybe she has input in this area.

Wayne   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: cogon88 on July 08, 2009, 02:30:03 PM
We met with a second engineer yesterday and he was highly recommended by people we know. He has two systems to offer. The first is to complete the plans up to getting the building permit, after which he just makes occasional visits to the site to make sure his plans are being followed. For this he charges 5% of material costs. We would need to make separate arrangements to have the house built.


Colin just a word of advice make sure you have a detailed description in writing of what he is going to do and a time line signed and notarized by an attorney you trust spell out in detail how the project is to be funded and what the total scope of works will be specify the materials grade most contractors here will try and slip in inferior steel and re-bar

I hired a contractor to build a ware house at my rice mill he was the provincial electrical engineer and he and his son had a contracting business everyone highly recommended him I had my attorney draw up a contract between us by a chance of luck to make a long story short they ran off the job with 40,000 USD that I had advanced to them for the delivery of materials they never paid for materials that they ordered out of Manila one day no workers no one answers there phone Manila supplier flies down to get payment for his materials told him to look up the contractor I had to end up finishing the warehouse myself

Your house is much more complicated then a steel warehouse building so take care and cover your basis and protect your self

I filed fraud charges against them in court he tried to get me deported as I was an American and had no rights in his country my wife was out of town so I signed the contract in here absence my attorney was a retired judge after about 8 months  we all ended up in court  the judge told them to settle up with me or face 16 years in jail each for fraud and perjury before the trial started we settled out of court for 15 hectares of land and the bail bond money they had already spent my money this was all they had

Never trust anyone here when it comes to business dealings make sure you but everything in writing and have it notarized at least that way it is not their word against yours if they will not sign this type of contract chances are they will rip you off the friendlier they are the more you need to watch them

Good Luck

Tom / Roxas City           


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2009, 06:03:52 PM
Tom, thanks for the advice I will make sure that I am legally covered. The second engineer we met is highly recommended, and has built a number of properties for foreigners. While we were discussing my house in the coffee bar, one of his previous clients, an American, came in and told us that he was very happy with his house and had been recommended by other satisfied customers.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2009, 06:07:38 PM
I have found a table of R Values for different materials here:-

http://www.coloradoenergy.org/procorner/stuff/r-values.htm

Using these figures I have calculated very approximately that the R value for a typical Philippine roof, metal plus ¾ “ foil faced foam with a plywood ceiling would be R=6.0. A 4” hollow block wall faced each side with 1” of cement would give about R=1.0

Capt. Ron gave figures for Fort Lauderdale Florida which has a similar climate to the Philippines of Attic R=30-49 and walls R13-15. To bring the Philippine construction up to the minimum of these figures, I estimate you would need 6” of fibreglass above the ceiling, and 3” of Styrofoam on the Walls. These are only very rough figures, but it does give the general idea of what is required.

Using the foam sandwich wall would give a value of around 8.0, which could be an acceptable compromise, and providing the roof had ridge vents to give good airflow under the metal roof then perhaps 2” of fibreglass would also be worth considering if the 6” is very expensive.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on July 08, 2009, 06:20:41 PM
Now thats what I\'m talking about...getting down to the nitty-gritty part of the construction process! :D  I know its more expensive, but wouldn\'t tile roofing give you a better R-value than the metal roof? They would also wouldn\'t be spending as much on the insulation.  Like you also stated...a good flow of air through the attic area would help reduce temps greatly also.

Some really good information coming out of this thread. Lets keep it going so I have some new ideas when I start construction on our next house... 8)

Greg
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on July 08, 2009, 06:54:03 PM
Had you considered \"Earth Tubes**\" .......may not be appropriate for me as I\'m building on solid limestone base and excavation costs might rule it out.

You may have similar problems and water table may be a factor.


Earth Tubes*** Ventilation tubes buried 1-2 metres below surface, for heating/cooling purposes, where ambient temp is 4C+/- than air temp.
They are often a viable and economical alternative to conventional heating, cooling or heat pump systems since there are no compressors, chemicals or burners and only blowers are required to move the air.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-coupled_heat_exchanger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-coupled_heat_exchanger)  ** general info
http://www.thenaturalhome.com/earthtube.htm (http://www.thenaturalhome.com/earthtube.htm)                   ** some specific pros and cons

The only drawback as I see them is that they don\'t dehumidify the air, seperate de humidifier would need to be added.
My plan was to have wind generator drive the fans if the tubes.....if excavation costs don\'t rule it out.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2009, 08:17:02 PM
Now thats what I\'m talking about...getting down to the nitty-gritty part of the construction process! :D  I know its more expensive, but wouldn\'t tile roofing give you a better R-value than the metal roof? They would also wouldn\'t be spending as much on the insulation.  Like you also stated...a good flow of air through the attic area would help reduce temps greatly also.

Some really good information coming out of this thread. Lets keep it going so I have some new ideas when I start construction on our next house... 8)

Greg


I have considered using tiles by CPAC Monier http://www.cpacmonier.com.ph but they are not only a lot more expensive but also heavier meaning that the roof structure needs to be stronger. They would also have to be shipped from Manila and there may not be anyone here with experience in using them. I am not sure if there would be any financial benefit.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on July 08, 2009, 08:22:42 PM
Colin,

Tiled roofs are common in Indonesia, just across the pond so to speak, maybe there is a supplier there and a labor force to install it.

Wayne   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on July 08, 2009, 08:29:45 PM
I seem mto recall that my brothers house in St Vincent had limestone roof tiles, partly to \"clean\" (local term) rainwater and use in a rainwater catchment system.
Others used a limestone whitewash for the same purpose.....and aided cooling (see white roof topic)

As large parts of the Philippines are limestone, I would think getting limestone tiles would be relatively easy......
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2009, 08:35:14 PM
I have seriously thought about using earth tubes and may experiment with them later. One of the problems with using them here is the high humidity could cause condensation in the tubes leading to the growth of mould. There are a number of ways to get around this, one way is to recirculate the drier air from inside the house. It is also possible to feed the output into an aircon unit which would help to remove the moisture while saving on electricity. I have seen a design that uses standard drain pipes with computer cooling fans on the ends powered by a solar panel. When the sun shines the cooler air is blown into the house.

This is one item on the list together with a solar water heater, and perhaps a solar chimney, but I want to get the house built first. ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2009, 08:41:40 PM
Colin,

Tiled roofs are common in Indonesia, just across the pond so to speak, maybe there is a supplier there and a labor force to install it.

Wayne   ;D ;D

That sounds expensive, shipping tiles and a labour force from Indonesia. The CPAC system looks very good, but it could be cheaper and easier to go for a good quality metal roof, tile effect, and a thick layer of fibreglass.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on July 09, 2009, 01:49:40 PM
Well, I learned a new trick here in Afghanistan.  They use corrogated metal roofing panels and a layer of firebricks or clay bricks in their attic, not insulation.  The \"thought\" methodology is that it will be slow to absorb the heat, but will hold that heat once the sun goes down and the evening chill sets in.

Not much good in the tropics where it stays hot most of the day and warm in the nights... ;D

I\'m still placing odds on good attic ventilation and hopefully find a tile roofing vendor in Leyte for the next house.

Thanks for the ideas!

Greg 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 10, 2009, 03:15:00 AM
...Blown in/loose insulation I haven\'t heard about yet, in the RP except maybe, rice hulls or saw dust, depending on the area....

Here in the Dallas area blown-in insulation is almost exclusively used for ceiling insulation. Large box-bed truck pulls up by house, large hose (looks about 10\" diameter) connected to bottom hopper of the truck is pulled up into the attic by workman, sounds like a giant vacuum cleaner starts up, and the workman \"sprays\" the entire attic with very small chunks of fiberglass up to a depth of whatever city code requires, 16 to 18 inches here in Dallas. When finished, looks like the attic is full of pink cotton candy  ;D.

This is very convenient for later repairs, or running electric line, etc., in the attic, because you can just push the insulation aside, do your work, and spread it back.

Probably not available in RP unless some enterprising Pinoy has bought the specialized truck and has access to the shredded fiberglass. Without the equipment, it would probably be easier/cheaper to just use the foil backed batts. 

Tom in Big D   
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 10, 2009, 03:37:09 AM
[url]http://www.coloradoenergy.org/procorner/stuff/r-values.htm[/url]

A 4” hollow block wall faced each side with 1” of cement would give about R=1.0

...perhaps 2” of fibreglass would also be worth considering if the 6” is very expensive.


Great site Colin - the R value of hollow block surprised me... for some reason I thought it would be higher. I don\'t know what \"Foil-faced Polyisocyanurate\" is, but 1 1/2\" of it leave the rest of the sheathing materials in the dust with an R value of 10.8. 

If it is available, and if affordable, and if it can be sandwiched or attached to the hollow block wall (perhaps between a layer of grid wire attached to top & bottom of the wall?) -- it would give you a value of 12.  I know, lots of \"ifs\"...

I never imagined insulating a wall in the RP could be such a challenge -- maybe I need to retire to antartica  ;D ;D -- brrrrrr, wait a minute, that would be even worse.

Tom in Big D 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 10, 2009, 07:48:11 AM
[url]http://www.coloradoenergy.org/procorner/stuff/r-values.htm[/url]

A 4” hollow block wall faced each side with 1” of cement would give about R=1.0

...perhaps 2” of fibreglass would also be worth considering if the 6” is very expensive.


Great site Colin - the R value of hollow block surprised me... for some reason I thought it would be higher. I don\'t know what \"Foil-faced Polyisocyanurate\" is, but 1 1/2\" of it leave the rest of the sheathing materials in the dust with an R value of 10.8. 

If it is available, and if affordable, and if it can be sandwiched or attached to the hollow block wall (perhaps between a layer of grid wire attached to top & bottom of the wall?) -- it would give you a value of 12.  I know, lots of \"ifs\"...

I never imagined insulating a wall in the RP could be such a challenge -- maybe I need to retire to antartica  ;D ;D -- brrrrrr, wait a minute, that would be even worse.

Tom in Big D 



This is just a guess, but it could be that \"Foil-faced Polyisocyanurate\" is the stuff they sell here in large rolls to drape underneath the roof. If it is, then it is generally only available in very thin versions, less than 1/2 inch. maybe thicker is available to order.

To make your idea work I would think you would need to baton and panel the wall, but it could be a way forward for existing houses. I would prefer to have the insulation on the outside so that the mass of concrete would stabilise the inside temperature.

Another problem that has arisen is the amount of overhang of the roof. The engineer here has said that the building code specifies 1.5 metres (5feet) which seems a lot to me. The reason is to prevent rain wetting the walls, although I thought it was to keep the sun off the walls. This then makes you wonder if there could be a problem with damp here. In the UK the outside walls have a ventilated cavity to prevent this. Another thing I have noticed is that they don\'t seem to put a damp proof membrane under the floor, or a damp proof course in the walls.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 10, 2009, 10:43:52 AM
A five foot roof overhang?  Surely he is not correct.  Have you seen any other houses around your area that have that much?  It might have some real advantages, but I can\'t imagine that its required by code.

If five foot is required, might as well make it 10 and build an arcade all the way around the house.

I might reconsider and start looking at Tiki huts.

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 10, 2009, 11:43:07 AM
Tom, I extended the roofing by 2 meters on all our rentals so there is a covered, concreted walkway all around. A whole lot less yard maintenance to do also.

But, this wasn\'t by any \"CODE\"!
B-Ray

A five foot roof overhang?  Surely he is not correct.  Have you seen any other houses around your area that have that much?  It might have some real advantages, but I can\'t imagine that its required by code.

If five foot is required, might as well make it 10 and build an arcade all the way around the house.

I might reconsider and start looking at Tiki huts.

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 10, 2009, 03:53:42 PM
We have a large overhang on our roof to cover the exterior balcony..This has kept the sunlight from the walls altogether..We did insulate the walls with that aluminum backed foam but now I have a feeling it was a waste of time..We have the holes for  A/C`s ready but are now thinking twice about getting them as the rooms maintains a perfectly cool temperature..
Our roof has a great airflow from one end to the other and I\'m really pleased that I designed it that way..
Shade and ventilation are key here IMO.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 11, 2009, 09:27:46 AM
...We did insulate the walls with that aluminum backed foam but now I have a feeling it was a waste of time..We have the holes for  A/C`s ready but are now thinking twice about getting them as the rooms maintains a perfectly cool temperature...

Fred,

If rooms maintain cool temperature, why do you feel the insulation was a waste?

Sounds like you did a good job with the design... proof is in the pudding.

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 11, 2009, 03:15:56 PM
...We did insulate the walls with that aluminum backed foam but now I have a feeling it was a waste of time..We have the holes for  A/C`s ready but are now thinking twice about getting them as the rooms maintains a perfectly cool temperature...

Fred,

If rooms maintain cool temperature, why do you feel the insulation was a waste?

Sounds like you did a good job with the design... proof is in the pudding.

Tom in Big D


Fred,

just out of interest, what is the actual temperature that you describe as cool? I find 27°C-29°C, with a fan, to be cool enough for sitting providing the humidity is not too high, if the humidity is high or I want to be more active then this is too hot.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 18, 2009, 01:42:45 PM
Here is a useful group for anyone planning to build in the Philippines. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/achouseproject/ (cleared with Jack  ;) ;D ). The files section has a lot of useful information on costs although the materials have increased e.g. Cement from P175 up to P220 locally. Labour costs seem a  little cheaper here in Puerto, although we do always pay above average to get good service.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 21, 2009, 08:21:06 AM
Here is a useful group for anyone planning to build in the Philippines. [url]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/achouseproject/[/url] (cleared with Jack  ;) ;D ). The files section has a lot of useful information on costs although the materials have increased e.g. Cement from P175 up to P220 locally. Labour costs seem a  little cheaper here in Puerto, although we do always pay above average to get good service.

Colin


What really annoys me is that cement sand and gravel prices went sky high because of the huge oil prices last year...When oil prices crashed through lack of demand however the prices of these building products stayed high. Thats what I call being scammed!!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Lee2 on July 21, 2009, 08:40:49 AM
Maybe this is part of the reason?

Remittances seen to continue to fund housing
MANILA, Philippines — Even with the global economic crisis, remittances from migrant Filipino workers will continue to fund the construction of residential houses, the Switzerland-based cement company Holcim said in a forum.
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20090720-216385/Remittances-seen-to-continue-to-fund-housing
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 21, 2009, 08:53:39 AM
Yeah I agree but why are the price hikes not regulated or challenged like fuel hikes are here?

Colin.. I think I may have the answer for you regards your insulation issues..
I am nearly finished building a Wood burning pizza oven and have learned a lot about how to keep them insulated..In the UK/US there is a construction grade of perlite which is mixed with cement to make an effective heat barrier. I did a search and have found a producer in the P.I.. Fill you blocks with that mix and render them with same and your troubles are over...If this stuff can insulate a white hot oven then a house wall would be no trouble at all..

http://www.unitedperlite.net/cg.htm
http://www.unitedperlite.net/prodlist.htm
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 21, 2009, 09:05:21 AM
Yeah I agree but why are the price hikes not regulated or challenged like fuel hikes are here?

Colin.. I think I may have the answer for you regards your insulation issues..
I am nearly finished building a Wood burning pizza oven and have learned a lot about how to keep them insulated..In the UK/US there is a construction grade of perlite which is mixed with cement to make an effective heat barrier. I did a search and have found a producer in the P.I.. Fill you blocks with that mix and render them with same and your troubles are over...If this stuff can insulate a white hot oven then a house wall would be no trouble at all..

[url]http://www.unitedperlite.net/cg.htm[/url]
[url]http://www.unitedperlite.net/prodlist.htm[/url]


Dont forget to be sure that your architect knows that  blocks made or filled with this stuff are not load bearing...This should not matter with most construction here as the reinforced posts and beams are doing that job.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on July 21, 2009, 12:32:10 PM
What really annoys me is that cement sand and gravel prices went sky high because of the huge oil prices last year...When oil prices crashed through lack of demand however the prices of these building products stayed high. Thats what I call being scammed!!

Scammed?  Now, now... this is simply what some call \"free market\" and \"healthy capitalism.\"  See, doesn\'t it feel a little more fair to you now?  ;)

Tom in Big D   
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 21, 2009, 03:22:02 PM
Well last Friday I bought 10 sack of river sand at P12 each, (dealers wants P35).

But, that was just knowing where to go, with boots on the ground!!  ;D
B-Ray


Here is a useful group for anyone planning to build in the Philippines. [url]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/achouseproject/[/url] (cleared with Jack  ;) ;D ). The files section has a lot of useful information on costs although the materials have increased e.g. Cement from P175 up to P220 locally. Labour costs seem a  little cheaper here in Puerto, although we do always pay above average to get good service.

Colin


What really annoys me is that cement sand and gravel prices went sky high because of the huge oil prices last year...When oil prices crashed through lack of demand however the prices of these building products stayed high. Thats what I call being scammed!!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 21, 2009, 04:37:19 PM
Where I live \"river sand\" deliveries come complete with sea shells in it. :o
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 21, 2009, 05:26:13 PM

Colin.. I think I may have the answer for you regards your insulation issues..
I am nearly finished building a Wood burning pizza oven and have learned a lot about how to keep them insulated..In the UK/US there is a construction grade of perlite which is mixed with cement to make an effective heat barrier. I did a search and have found a producer in the P.I.. Fill you blocks with that mix and render them with same and your troubles are over...If this stuff can insulate a white hot oven then a house wall would be no trouble at all..

[url]http://www.unitedperlite.net/cg.htm[/url]
[url]http://www.unitedperlite.net/prodlist.htm[/url]


Interesting, but I had to look up \'Air Entraining Agent\', seems to be an additive that creates air bubbles in the concrete.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on July 21, 2009, 05:41:00 PM

Colin.. I think I may have the answer for you regards your insulation issues..
I am nearly finished building a Wood burning pizza oven and have learned a lot about how to keep them insulated..In the UK/US there is a construction grade of perlite which is mixed with cement to make an effective heat barrier. I did a search and have found a producer in the P.I.. Fill you blocks with that mix and render them with same and your troubles are over...If this stuff can insulate a white hot oven then a house wall would be no trouble at all..

[url]http://www.unitedperlite.net/cg.htm[/url]
[url]http://www.unitedperlite.net/prodlist.htm[/url]


Interesting, but I had to look up \'Air Entraining Agent\', seems to be an additive that creates air bubbles in the concrete.

Colin


Yep....air entrained concrete has been in use since the 30s mostly as a preventative measure against freeze-thaw cycles
Portland cement has SOME air entrainment capability
Filipino cement doesn\'t

No inherent weakening in concrete, major difficulty with it is because it needs less water, it becomes very \"tacky\" and can become difficult to get good smooth surface in inexperienced hands.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 21, 2009, 08:35:00 PM
Tom in big D
            that was a quite cynical remark about being \'scammed\' very naughty \"old boy\"  :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 22, 2009, 07:25:25 PM
...We did insulate the walls with that aluminum backed foam but now I have a feeling it was a waste of time..We have the holes for  A/C`s ready but are now thinking twice about getting them as the rooms maintains a perfectly cool temperature...

Fred,

If rooms maintain cool temperature, why do you feel the insulation was a waste?

Sounds like you did a good job with the design... proof is in the pudding.

Tom in Big D




Tom your right of course..Although I put down the temp in the bedroom down to the shade and roof design Im sure that the insulation is also doing its job..


Quote
Fred,

just out of interest, what is the actual temperature that you describe as cool? I find 27°C-29°C, with a fan, to be cool enough for sitting providing the humidity is not too high, if the humidity is high or I want to be more active then this is too hot.

Colin

Not sure Colin..I will look around for a thermometer and check.. Its really comfortable though.


Quote
Yep....air entrained concrete has been in use since the 30s mostly as a preventative measure against freeze-thaw cycles
Portland cement has SOME air entrainment capability
Filipino cement doesn\'t

No inherent weakening in concrete, major difficulty with it is because it needs less water, it becomes very \"tacky\" and can become difficult to get good smooth surface in inexperienced hands.


One of the products on that site are perlite/cement hollow blocks so render as usual over those and that`l do the trick..
The first coat of render is rough anyway so it shouldnt make a difference..With the finish coat just use the usual sand cement mix..
I think this is the answer..
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 22, 2009, 07:56:25 PM

One of the products on that site are perlite/cement hollow blocks so render as usual over those and that`l do the trick..
The first coat of render is rough anyway so it shouldnt make a difference..With the finish coat just use the usual sand cement mix..
I think this is the answer..

Fred,

I had a look at the site and saw the hollow blocks, but I would not think it practical to get them shipped from Manila. I am planning to email the company to get some idea of the cost of bags of perlite and the shipping cost. It should be possible to make the blocks here with the perlite/cement mix.

One of the builders we have spoken to, casts concrete wall sections on the ground and lifts them in place when they are set (first floor only). He claims that termites cannot get through them the way they can with a standard hollow block wall. It should also be possible to make these panels with a perlite mix.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 24, 2009, 11:26:20 AM
Good luck with that Colin..If you find out the prices could you post them here?
Cheers,
Fred.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on July 24, 2009, 11:42:53 AM
Quote
I am planning to email the company to get some idea of the cost of bags of perlite and the shipping cost. It should be possible to make the blocks here with the perlite/cement mix.

Great idea Colin. Keep us up on how this works out.  I still have about 4 years until we build our next and final house in Leyte. I would love to try something like this...especially if it helps keep things cool.  Lots of great ideas from this thread.

Thanks.

Greg 8)

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 07, 2009, 04:06:02 PM
Part 10

It may soon be no longer that just talk  ;D. We have decided on an engineer to draw up the plans and get the permit. Ken is only young, but very helpful and honest. He works with his Uncle who will be the builder. We have seen several houses they have built and they come highly recommended by the owners. We have asked them to build the house, but only complete the finishing to a point that it will be liveable by us. We have set a total spending limit of P5M assuming that it will probably exceed this. We will then spend P50,000+ a month to complete it. We have also asked him to look into the use of Perlite. He knows about it but has never used it. He is now producing new costing figures to see what can be achieved within our budget.

When I took him into my computer room he saw all my model aircraft equipment stacked on top of one of the racks, and told me that he knew someone here that built and flew them. He is keen to introduce me to them.
 
I have made some more changes to the house design mainly to try to reduce the cost. They can be seen here http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Our+future+home . I found that I would need to build a water tower to hold the tank which would have water pumped up to it. I decided it would be better to use that money instead to reinstate my original ‘Crow’s Nest’ and put the water tank in the roof space. The original idea was to leave this floor completely open, but that would allow rain to go down the stairs. After a number of attempts to bring steep or spiral stairs up into the centre, I finally decided to overcome the rain problem by fitting louvered windows. Some of the experiments resulted in fitting the staircase at the back which allowed me to include a second floor sitting area and use the original second floor balcony as a Study. I then shorten and simplified the left rear \'wing\'. I thought I had solved all the problems until I then noticed that the tower area had no windows. I solved this by moving the rear left wing to the left behind the two bedrooms. This allowed me to put windows on the first and second floor stairwell. Another economy change was to remove the bathrooms from the two second floor bedrooms and replace them with a single one between the two bedrooms. This bathroom is at the top of the stairs and available to anyone from downstairs.

Continued in part 11
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on August 08, 2009, 07:02:30 AM
Colin glad to see you getting ready to start, I know you have done much work and extensive planning so I got a good feeling everything will go as planned or i hope it it does for your sake.

You have given all of us lots of good ideas and there are a lot of people waiting for your next installment for with each new installment we seem to leaqrn something new.

Happy and glad for you, the day you finally \"break ground\" is something special about it, can\'t explain it myself, but it was someone exhilarating and profound at the same time, like finally I was taken all my plans, ideas, her over 1000 pictures of things she like cut from magazines in the USA and glued into a poster book. I tried to incorporate some of course of what she had saved, but this stainless steel frost freezer/refrigerator side by side upright with ice maker on the door has proved a tough one, I can find the stainless steel one side by side but not the ice maker yet.

I wish you the best my friend and keep us posted. ;D

The Murf
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 14, 2009, 11:51:15 AM
Part 11

Ken produced several Sketchup variations of my Chief Architect design which allowed us to settle a number of details such as window and door size and location. He also put in some of his own ideas, some of which I liked and others I did not and removed them. We then paid him to produce the plans and complete all the paperwork to obtain the building permit. I was very pleased with the plans; they showed a lot more detail than was required for the permit. The permit was granted and I now have the AutoCAD files of the plans. Here are a few simplified samples from those files.

Front and Rear Views
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_AutocadFrontRear.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=AutocadFrontRear.jpg)

Left Side
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_AutocadLeftSide.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=AutocadLeftSide.jpg)

Right Side
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_AutocadRightSide.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=AutocadRightSide.jpg)

First Floor Plan
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Autocad1stFloor.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Autocad1stFloor.jpg)

Second Floor Plan
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Autocad2ndFloor.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Autocad2ndFloor.jpg)

Third Floor Plan
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_Autocad3rdFloor.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=Autocad3rdFloor.jpg)

The site has been cleared again and arrangements are now being made to raise the level of the house site and also the path leading up to it. This is necessary to bring them up to the level of the road to prevent flooding. The first item to be built will be the front wall and gate.  Ken has produced a nice Sketchup drawing for these.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_gate2.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=gate2.jpg)

The wall has been placed back from the road, partly to place it behind the electricity pole which at the moment is inside our lot. We don’t need a pavement/sidewalk in front of the house because none of the other few houses in the road has it. We will use this space for car parking, so will not need the rather nice parking spaces he has placed inside the gates. There will be a road/pathway leading up to the front of the house and our car will be parked next to the house. The cost of the wall and gates is estimated at P145,470.34. Ken will insist on being exact down to the last peso  ;D

We are still discussing the insulated wall for the house. In order to save money, Ken suggested only insulating the wall that would be struck by the sun. Because wall insulation is not done here, I don’t think he realised the need to insulate all the walls. At the moment he is looking into the costs of the Styrofoam/wire mesh sandwich.

Continued in part 12
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on October 14, 2009, 12:36:34 PM
Wow...things are rolling at Colins side of the Philippines!

One thing that I\'m starting to think about is flooding also. With all the major flooding going on in Luzon, I\'m thinking about splitting my electrical into two seperate panels, one for the first floor, one for the second floor. I can shut down the lower electrical if there is flooding, and connect a double throw switch for back-up power on the second floor. I know its a worst case scenerio, but it would keep things safe, as long as the house is still standing and water doesn\'t rise over 8 feet.  I\'m not an electrician...so I have to do some further reading.  There is probably an easier way to do it...and time is on my side... ;D

Right now, I\'m doing the basic designs of the house using Punch! Pro Home Designer. Once I\'m done with my part, off it goes to an architect also.

Keep us posted. Looks like everything is fitting together! Good Luck.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 14, 2009, 12:49:28 PM
Wow...things are rolling at Colins side of the Philippines!

One thing that I\'m starting to think about is flooding also. With all the major flooding going on in Luzon, I\'m thinking about splitting my electrical into two seperate panels, one for the first floor, one for the second floor. I can shut down the lower electrical if there is flooding, and connect a double throw switch for back-up power on the second floor. I know its a worst case scenerio, but it would keep things safe, as long as the house is still standing and water doesn\'t rise over 8 feet.  I\'m not an electrician...so I have to do some further reading.  There is probably an easier way to do it...and time is on my side... ;D

Right now, I\'m doing the basic designs of the house using Punch! Pro Home Designer. Once I\'m done with my part, off it goes to an architect also.

Keep us posted. Looks like everything is fitting together! Good Luck.

If you are worried about flooding, then I would suggest you put the main power box upstairs and run a separate fused supply for all the downstairs wiring.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 14, 2009, 09:28:28 PM
Septic Tank Design

There are a lot of poorly designed and constructed septic tanks in the Philippines. Here is a good three chamber design.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/AutocadSepticTankDesign.jpg)

The first main chamber should only be connected to the toilets and NOT be fed with grey/waste water from the sinks and showers. The soap and chemicals could destroy the necessary bacteria. The second chamber is a settlement tank, and the third a soak away for water. Grey water could be fed into the third chamber, but it may be better to have an alternative way of disposing of that.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: grizzi on October 15, 2009, 03:26:30 PM
Quote
If you are worried about flooding, then I would suggest you put the main power box upstairs and run a separate fused supply for all the downstairs wiring

I was thinking the same thing. My only issue is that I have some heavy use electrical requirements on the lower floors (welder and compressor in the garage, recording equipment, amplifiers, etc in the studio).  It still might work though. Thanks!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on October 16, 2009, 07:16:17 AM
Your only limitation is the gauge of the wire used to move it around from the pole.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: trevor on October 16, 2009, 08:35:01 PM
Wish you all the best Colin. Hope everything goes smoothly. I have a question for you though. With your septic system. From time to time  while traveling around here in the Ph. i sometimes detect a awfull stench emitting from septic tanks here. Even our little house here sometimes i can smell that bad feces scent. I notice that there is no outlet pipe where the gases can escape from. In the U.S. there is a 4\"\' diameter cast iron pipe sticking out of the roof for this purpose. Will you have this type of set up like What we have in the U.S. or is your system design differently? Just curious. 

Trevor
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 16, 2009, 08:57:52 PM
Wish you all the best Colin. Hope everything goes smoothly. I have a question for you though. With your septic system. From time to time  while traveling around here in the Ph. i sometimes detect a awfull stench emitting from septic tanks here. Even our little house here sometimes i can smell that bad feces scent. I notice that there is no outlet pipe where the gases can escape from. In the U.S. there is a 4\"\' diameter cast iron pipe sticking out of the roof for this purpose. Will you have this type of set up like What we have in the U.S. or is your system design differently? Just curious. 

Trevor

That\'s an interesting question, and I don\'t know the answer. Some of the houses I have lived in in the UK had the vent pipe you describe but they were on main drainage. A bungalow I lived in did not have the vent pipe but had a non return air valve to prevent the departing waste from sucking all the water from the toilet. I don\'t know if it is any different with septic tanks, I will have to ask our engineer.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 16, 2009, 09:52:27 PM
Wish you all the best Colin. Hope everything goes smoothly. I have a question for you though. With your septic system. From time to time  while traveling around here in the Ph. i sometimes detect a awfull stench emitting from septic tanks here. Even our little house here sometimes i can smell that bad feces scent. I notice that there is no outlet pipe where the gases can escape from. In the U.S. there is a 4\"\' diameter cast iron pipe sticking out of the roof for this purpose. Will you have this type of set up like What we have in the U.S. or is your system design differently? Just curious. 

Trevor

That\'s an interesting question, and I don\'t know the answer. Some of the houses I have lived in in the UK had the vent pipe you describe but they were on main drainage. A bungalow I lived in did not have the vent pipe but had a non return air valve to prevent the departing waste from sucking all the water from the toilet. I don\'t know if it is any different with septic tanks, I will have to ask our engineer.

Colin

Trevor, I have been giving your question some further thought and decided that a properly designed Septic tank may not need a vent. The bacteria that is naturally in the first (digester) chamber should break down the solids and, I would guess, not cause any smell. The big problem here is that a lot of septic tanks only have two chambers, everything, including grey water from the sink etc. is fed into the first and there is a simple overflow into the second which is a soak away. These fill up very quickly and need emptying very often. If you are getting a smell from yours, this could be the problem. I would suggest that you get yours checked and emptied if necessary, and re route the grey water away from it.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on October 17, 2009, 04:20:34 AM
Colin,

In Taytay we have a 4 inch vent pipe on our septic and it has not been emptied in years, nor currently does it require it, but it does occasionally smell.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 17, 2009, 07:13:38 AM
When the family house was built 8 years ago it only had the simple 2 chamber tank. I only saw it too late to change it but made the builder divert the sink and shower water to a separate soak away. We were not living near at the time and then discovered that he built a dirty kitchen that we did not ask for, over the septic tank. After we returned to the UK we sent money for more improvements. The family fully enclosed the dirty kitchen and added an extension across the back of the house with a second toilet at the end. This was done because there were a number of addition students living there to be near their college. There are no vents and no smells, but I don\'t know how the original tank will be emptied when the time comes. :-\\

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: trevor on October 17, 2009, 03:25:51 PM
Well as far as i know the gray water is dispense through seperate outlet and is not mixed with the septic. But occasionally it does smell. The house is 8 yrs. old. I will speak to the plumber who did the job, maybe he can explain why it smells. I will post his answer here.

Trevor
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 25, 2009, 05:56:59 PM
Part 12

At last things have started to happen. It seems strange after all the years of first planning different houses on different possible lots then producing and gradually modifying the present design, to see workers on the lot turning ideas into reality. Almost frightening, have I done everything right, will I be happy with the final results. Can I afford what I have started?

I visited the site a week ago and the front wall and gate had been started. The old posts that separated the two lots have been removed and some trees removed to clear a space for the path up to the house.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1659reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1659reduced.jpg)
The two ponds are the location for the gate posts


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1647reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1647reduced.jpg)
You can see why the path and house has to be raised.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1655reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1655reduced.jpg)
This is a view from the back of the lot with the house going just this side of the row of 4 coconut trees.


The next photos were taken yesterday (24th October) after the delivery of 5 lorry loads of infill from a local quarry. This is to raise the height of the front section and start on the path. The materials for the house cannot be delivered until this is done because the ground is too soft. The house will also need to be raised by 1.2 metres.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1675reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1675reduced.jpg)
The infill will be levelled up to the top of the concrete sections of the wall posts, the right hand side will be the outside parking area for visitors.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1676reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1676reduced.jpg)
These are two of the workers that have to move all that stone.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1677reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1677reduced.jpg)
Three more workers making the rebar/wire form for the gate posts.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1679reduced.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1679reduced.jpg)
This is the old nippa hut that we had built 2 years ago when we only had the right hand lot. A friend of our engineer is living in it now to protect the materials.

Continued in part 13
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on October 25, 2009, 11:04:03 PM
Colin is FISHING!!!

From the phrase ....There\'s a time fish and a time to cut bait

Good luck
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: geno555 on October 26, 2009, 07:23:00 AM
Part 12

At last things have started to happen. It seems strange after all the years of first planning different houses on different possible lots then producing and gradually modifying the present design, to see workers on the lot turning ideas into reality. Almost frightening, have I done everything right, will I be happy with the final results. Can I afford what I have started?

I visited the site a week ago and the front wall and gate had been started. The old posts that separated the two lots have been removed and some trees removed to clear a space for the path up to the house.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1659reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1659reduced.jpg[/url])
The two ponds are the location for the gate posts


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1647reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1647reduced.jpg[/url])
You can see why the path and house has to be raised.


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1655reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1655reduced.jpg[/url])
This is a view from the back of the lot with the house going just this side of the row of 4 coconut trees.

The next photos were taken yesterday (24th October) after the delivery of 5 lorry loads of infill from a local quarry. This is to raise the height of the front section and start on the path. The materials for the house cannot be delivered until this is done because the ground is too soft. The house will also need to be raised by 1.2 metres.


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1675reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1675reduced.jpg[/url])
The infill will be levelled up to the top of the concrete sections of the wall posts, the right hand side will be the outside parking area for visitors.


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1676reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1676reduced.jpg[/url])
These are two of the workers that have to move all that stone.


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1677reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1677reduced.jpg[/url])
Three more workers making the rebar/wire form for the gate posts.


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1679reduced.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1679reduced.jpg[/url])
This is the old nippa hut that we had built 2 years ago when we only had the right hand lot. A friend of our engineer is living in it now to protect the materials.

Continued in part 13



Congratulations my older friend. Nice to see all your hard work and well thought out planning turn into reality. Love the pictures and they are arranged so one can get a clear idea of what is happening. I wish you all the luck in the world and none of the set backs I have had, but that is part of life here in the RP, never expect anything to happen on time.

CAPTAIN RON  IS RIGHT!  You are no longer cutting bait my friend but fishing! Good Luck in all that you do!

The Murf
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 07, 2009, 12:28:24 PM
Part  13

We visited the site last week and found that they had started digging the foundations, even although we had not agreed any of the building costs and had no contract. We had also only paid for the front wall, gate and infill for the path, none of which had been completed. It is very difficult to keep things under control here. Here are a few photos that I took.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1692small.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1692small.jpg)
This is the left side foundations being dug. The horizontal bar is the height of the fill under the house

 (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1693small.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1693small.jpg)
Would you smile if you were standing in a Septic tank  ;D

 (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1700small.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1700small.jpg)
This shows part of the front parking area. The fence next to my car needs to be moved back.

We stopped all the additional work until we agreed the final costing. These arrived a few days ago and amounted to close to P7M. I have never expected to get the house built for our target of P5M, but needed to aim low to prevent the costs getting out of hand. We originally were going to spend P5M and complete later, but decided instead to remove the third floor Crows Nest. When we saw the height that the house needed to be raised, we decided that there would still be a good view from the second floor with a good airflow. Allowing for the money we have already spent, we should be closer to P5.5M. I also expect this to be exceeded, but can accommodate that. I am trying all the time to be conservative with the spending, knowing that there will be a lot of additional expenses even after we move in. We are now waiting for Ken to come back with the reduced costs, and then we need to agree a contract.

We will now have our insulated walls using the Styrofoam sandwich with an R value of around 11, and custom made windows on site; these will be sliding aluminium with built in screens. As well as being non standard sizes, they are cheaper than store bought equivalents. We are making a small compromise with the roof insulation. Because we will be using the 10mm foil backed foam under the metal roof panels, and also ridge vents, we have decided on the 50mm foil enclosed fibreglass for the ceiling insulation instead of the 150mm. If this proves to be insufficient, we can add more later.

Continued in part 14
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on November 07, 2009, 02:51:56 PM
Time to be on-site daily for the duration of the day, get a project plan from the builder, make him stick to it, verify when stuff is ordered and when delivered, where it is stored and ensure no pilferage. This guy wants the big bucks house underway before the low value wall and drive way.

Wayne   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 07, 2009, 02:56:31 PM
Colin,

I too am curious of what type of a septic or sewage system you are proposing to install. Do you have a main community sewage type system in your area to tap in to? Or will you have a private closed system within your own property? What do you do with the excess water over flow? What material will your septic be made of? Cement or pre-fabricated other than cement?
Your floor plan is pretty expansive, let alone expensive when all is finished! You must have a large family! 

Art
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 07, 2009, 03:02:30 PM
Septic Tank Design

There are a lot of poorly designed and constructed septic tanks in the Philippines. Here is a good three chamber design.
([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/AutocadSepticTankDesign.jpg[/url])

The first main chamber should only be connected to the toilets and NOT be fed with grey/waste water from the sinks and showers. The soap and chemicals could destroy the necessary bacteria. The second chamber is a settlement tank, and the third a soak away for water. Grey water could be fed into the third chamber, but it may be better to have an alternative way of disposing of that.

Colin


These pics just answered my initial post earlier. Now I see what you mean. But where will your excess water over flow go? What would happen during a flood? Is there a solution for when it floods?

Art
 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 07, 2009, 04:20:50 PM
Art, the house may be larger than average for the Philippines, but not by foreign standards. Apart from the master bedroom suite, there are only three smallish other bedrooms. One is for my wife\'s mother, leaving just two for guests. The house has been designed for occasional visitors with normally only the three of us living there and two maids living in external accommodation. In the Philippines it is normal to have visitors dropping in, and I want to keep our own areas private from them. This is the reason for the family/entrance hall that will have a TV specifically for Tagalog channels. The external patio is where the men can sit and drink their beer and others play their Mah-Jong or Tong-it. My wife wants to see her family, but after living in the UK for 17 years also values her privacy. I also have my own personal private spaces in the form of the Study and workshop. I need to be doing things all the time and pursuing my hobbies. An hour or so a day is more than enough TV for me, even if the programmes were good, which they are most certainly not here. There will be a good TV in the lounge, but I expect to be able to use that room to relax in and either listen to or play music.

I don\'t consider my house to be expensive, I would be lucky to find a one bedroom flat for that sort of price in the UK. I would also imagine that your smaller house in Manila would cost more than I am spending here.

The ground can get wet after very heavy rain, but it does not really flood. The reason for raising the house is to bring it up level with the road which is standard procedure here. If we find the garden gets too wet, then we have the option of raising it with truckloads of soil, but our neighbour opposite does not have any problems. The septic tanks will be at the higher house level, and the overflows from them will be to a lower cesspool. We are too far back from the road to easily use the drainage channel there, although it may be possible to do that. We are fortunate here on Palawan to have a lot milder weather than can be experienced elsewhere in the Philippines. When Luzon gets a Tornado, it may get a little cloudy here with perhaps a light breeze.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 12, 2009, 01:05:11 AM
Colin,

     From what I\'ve seen on your website, you\'ll end up with a beautiful home and in a nice area to boot! I prefer to be centrally located close to everything in the suburbs of Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Close to Manila, the U.S. Embassy, the airport, hospitals and malls!
     In 2000, there were only 4 homes in the subdivision we bought in to. We only paid P2.5 million for our 2 story shell of a house consisting only of outside exterior pre-fab walls and Spanish style tile roofing on a 187 square meter lot, it took an additional P800,000 to finish the interior and exterior and an added 2 car garage and room extension I now use as my TV room. But in the end, all turned out fine! We now live in a subdivision with about 500 track homes with similar designs, others went out of their way with different designs but kept within the Mediterranean theme as to not look out of place, but there are homes built in our subdivision that are in the P15 to P25 million price range! They must have liked the location huh! Yeah, we like where we live! It\'s centrally located to everything and it\'s safe, clean and quiet!

Art   
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 12, 2009, 07:24:46 AM
Colin,

     From what I\'ve seen on your website, you\'ll end up with a beautiful home and in a nice area to boot! I prefer to be centrally located close to everything in the suburbs of Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Close to Manila, the U.S. Embassy, the airport, hospitals and malls!
     In 2000, there were only 4 homes in the subdivision we bought in to. We only paid P2.5 million for our 2 story shell of a house consisting only of outside exterior pre-fab walls and Spanish style tile roofing on a 187 square meter lot, it took an additional P800,000 to finish the interior and exterior and an added 2 car garage and room extension I now use as my TV room. But in the end, all turned out fine! We now live in a subdivision with about 500 track homes with similar designs, others went out of their way with different designs but kept within the Mediterranean theme as to not look out of place, but there are homes built in our subdivision that are in the P15 to P25 million price range! They must have liked the location huh! Yeah, we like where we live! It\'s centrally located to everything and it\'s safe, clean and quiet!

Art   

We rented in Ayala Alabang for one year with Alabang town centre just outside the gate and all the other malls that you use a few minutes drive away. We lived at the very back and it took us longer to drive to the gate. ;D We had every thing that you have and a lot closer. It was OK and I used to drive around locally and to the airport, but I tried to avoid the express way and would not drive into Manila.
We can get everything for daily living and more than 90% of everything else here in Puerto Princesa. Anything else can be ordered and delivered from Manila. Manila is only a 55 minute flight away and Puerto airport is in the city centre. A visit to Manila once or twice a year for a short break of around 1 week is enough for us; there is no need to live any closer. We have an excellent hospital and other medical facilities, but the specialist doctor I use for my colitis only visits for one week a month, just a minor inconvenience, but I understand that there is now another full time one here now. Manila does have better restaurants than here, but with my new kitchen, and growing all our own vegetables, we will rarely want to eat out.

Everyone has their own preferences on where to live, but for me Puerto Princesa is hard to beat.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 08, 2010, 02:23:04 PM
Part 14

We are having a few problems with our building contractor at the moment. It is a bit complicated, but briefly we paid him to build the front wall and gate while he was preparing the contract. This took a while, and before he completed it he asked for more money to order the fill material to raise the level of the front of the property and the driveway up to the house, plus enough to raise the house the required 1.2 metres. (We have only now just learned that the house only needs to be raised by less than 0.4 metre saving us a lot of fill material). On a visit we found that he had not completed the front wall and was digging the foundations for the house. We told him that the wall and gate had priority, but he wanted to dig a septic tank so that the workers could have a temporary toilet and asked for more money for that. We reluctantly paid but reminded him that we were still waiting for material receipts and workers payments.  He came back for more money, but we told him to stop until we sorted out the contract and payment details. He then provided a draft contract that we did not like. We then went to see the Vice Mayor, a very powerful figure here, and a close family friend. He called in the assistant City Engineer and they both said the contract was not acceptable and advised us to employ an independent supervisor and our own armed guard. We are now employing another city engineer Jojo who, by coincidence, happens to be a friend of Bings youngest brother. We now have a revised contract which we passed onto Jojo together with the other paperwork we had.

I can get involved with design ideas, but the actual construction has to be supervised by someone knowledgeable in the ways of the Philippine contractors.

Jojo asked for a detailed materials list, the one we had was only an outline. The detailed list should be provided for the building permit, but it seems to be common practice here to submit a lower fictitious list to reduce the charges. We also needed Ken to account for the money we had advanced. We have been asking for this for a long time, but now we have stopped construction he has had to produce it. He included receipt and labour costs, but could not account for P141,000. Part of this would have been the contractor profit but that should have been no more that around P60,000. He has offered to deduct the P141,000 from the contractor profit on the new contract.

We have taken advice from Jojo on the way to proceed. He has been to check the work that has been done and has asked Ken to supply the full details of the materials used and the amount of labour for each individual part. In the new contract, Ken will only be supervising the workers, and he in turn will be closely supervised by Jojo. Jojo will be asking for a daily report of materials used, work completed and the labour involved. We will be buying all the materials when requested and they will be checked in by the guard to be stored in an on-site locked store. They will only be released to the builders as required. Hopefully we should get the contract approved and signed very soon so that we can resume the building.

Continued in part 15
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: maricel on January 09, 2010, 02:23:16 AM
Part 14

We are having a few problems with our building contractor at the moment. It is a bit complicated, but briefly we paid him to build the front wall and gate while he was preparing the contract. This took a while, and before he completed it he asked for more money to order the fill material to raise the level of the front of the property

Hi Colin,

I\'m amazed you let the contractor start your project without contract signing. That is very important. You could have avoided hidden charges and can monitor easily other additional works which you might impose as you go along the way. The contractor should submit their detailed costing for the projects prior to commissioning his services, sort of a bid and for your architect\'s approval.  Of course you should not let them see what the architect has prepared in your bill of materials as that will be your cost basis. It\'s good to have more than one contractor to quote your project in that way you can choose well. Not to brag about our profession but architects not only draw your plans, we also serve as your project manager.  All the cost billing demanded by your contractor will be subject for our approval according to their accomplishment and of course must pass the workmanship and specifications specified by the architect.  Well I do hope your project will go on smoothly as you have hired some supervisors now as you overseer.  Good luck in your house construction.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 09, 2010, 09:57:42 AM
Part 14

We are having a few problems with our building contractor at the moment. It is a bit complicated, but briefly we paid him to build the front wall and gate while he was preparing the contract. This took a while, and before he completed it he asked for more money to order the fill material to raise the level of the front of the property

Hi Colin,

I\'m amazed you let the contractor start your project without contract signing. That is very important. You could have avoided hidden charges and can monitor easily other additional works which you might impose as you go along the way. The contractor should submit their detailed costing for the projects prior to commissioning his services, sort of a bid and for your architect\'s approval.  Of course you should not let them see what the architect has prepared in your bill of materials as that will be your cost basis. It\'s good to have more than one contractor to quote your project in that way you can choose well. Not to brag about our profession but architects not only draw your plans, we also serve as your project manager.  All the cost billing demanded by your contractor will be subject for our approval according to their accomplishment and of course must pass the workmanship and specifications specified by the architect.  Well I do hope your project will go on smoothly as you have hired some supervisors now as you overseer.  Good luck in your house construction.

Hi Maricel,

I agree in what you say, but it was a little more complicated in my case. I did not need an architect to design my house; I did all the basic design myself using a programme called Chief Architect. I have always wanted to design my own house and have made many designs over the years. Unfortunately it was too expensive to be able to build them in the UK. One of the reasons for moving to the Philippines was so that I could do that. To be honest, an unfortunate trait of mine ;D, I do not like Philippine designs. They are over ornate with too many unnecessary heavy moldings and strange over complicated roofs. I even had to cut back on some of Kens ideas when he tried to Filipinise my house  ;D.

Because I am not familiar with Philippine building practices, I needed an engineer to fill out the design. We went to several engineers for estimates and chose Ken to draw up the plans and get the building permit. Ken is young and this is his first large project, but he works with other family members who are contractors and architects, and they share their knowledge and workers. We saw other houses built for foreigners, by the family, and spoke to one of the owners and he was very happy with the results. The work that has been done so far is very good, but it would seem that his project management skills are a little lacking. :( His plans are very good and highly detailed, and he came up with some good ideas and suggestions during the final design stages. This included the design in Google Sketchup with allowed various ideas to be tried out. I think he will learn from this experience, particularly as will now be guided by a City engineer.

While he was getting the contract prepared we asked him to build the front wall and gate. This was intended to be entirely separate from the house contract, and a trial to check the quality of the work. Because the land is slightly lower than the road and laid back from the road it did require some fill material. While that was being delivered we paid for the whole amount for the site. I guess that was our first mistake. We then discovered that the foundations had been dug, and not expecting any problems with the contract, agreed to pay for the septic tanks to be completed for use by the workers, that was mistake number two. I think we have now got things under control, and I have no problems with Ken continuing with the build, but now we are keeping tight control of both the work and the money. No harm has been done except to cause some delays.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BC Boy on January 18, 2010, 09:42:19 PM
Holy Hanna thats going to be a nice mansion, bet you are getting exited seeing some action happening.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 19, 2010, 07:42:44 AM
Holy Hanna thats going to be a nice mansion, bet you are getting exited seeing some action happening.

Bing has a 15year old niece named Hanna, her favourite ;D

The house has been described as a Mansion, Chateau and Hotel, but it only looks big because it is spread out one room deep for maximum ventilation.

We are delaying signing the contract for the house, Bing is taking her mother to Manila today for a biopsy to see what type of cancer she has. She will be there at least five days, but hopefully if it is the type that will respond to radiation she then may stay a further seventeen days for the treatment. The contract will just have to wait.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: aerosick on January 27, 2010, 09:19:27 PM


We are delaying signing the contract for the house, Bing is taking her mother to Manila today for a biopsy to see what type of cancer she has. She will be there at least five days, but hopefully if it is the type that will respond to radiation she then may stay a further seventeen days for the treatment.

Colin


[ Off Topic ]

Colin,

Any update on Bing\'s mother?

Billy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 27, 2010, 09:49:40 PM


We are delaying signing the contract for the house, Bing is taking her mother to Manila today for a biopsy to see what type of cancer she has. She will be there at least five days, but hopefully if it is the type that will respond to radiation she then may stay a further seventeen days for the treatment.

Colin


[ Off Topic ]

Colin,

Any update on Bing\'s mother?

Billy

Bing took her mother to Manila about 10 days ago and she can be treated. She is still having tests at the moment, but it seems she has three treatment options, the most expensive costing P1m+. Apparently they are all effective but some are more suitable for older people than others. The treatments could take several months, so Bing with her sister and niece are going out tomorrow to look for an apartment. I am now living a bachelor life, well not exactly  ;D, and we have put the house building on hold until Bing returns to sign the contract.

Thanks for asking.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 14, 2010, 02:34:04 PM
Part 15

A long delay has occurred since my last report. Bing had to spend three months in Manila so that her mother could have treatment for cancer. She would need to sign the contract, so that had to wait until she returned. We spent approaching P1M total on the cancer treatment, and the exchange rate for the £ has dropped, so we had to take measures to reduce the building cost. We decided to take the plumber, electrician and roofing contractor out of the contract on the advice of Jojo, our building supervisor. Ken was not happy with this and decided to drop out. Jojo has now found us another builder, Charlie, who, like himself, was a classmate of Bings youngest brother. It is always good to use family and family friends. Charlie is an experienced and very quick builder, and has built a very nice medium sized hotel near us.

The house will be built in separate stages, the first being the main concrete structure, the foundations, columns beams and floors. He gave us a very detailed material list for us to buy as required, his commission being 5% plus the cost of labour provided on a weekly basis. His original total estimated cost was P2.1M, but this has now been reduced to P1.9M, I assume because some work had been started by Ken. In practice, the materials are being ordered by Jojo from the cheapest places, with Bing following him around with the cheque book. ;D I keep out of the way to avoid the foreigner prices. Bing was pleased when Jojo got a discount on cement, from the usual P217-220 a bag down to P215. Not large but when added to all the other reductions on things like rebar, sand, gravel etc it does add up. Work started on Wednesday, and they expect to start pouring concrete either tomorrow or Monday. We have already got a very detailed report on the work done, materials used etc. Jojo will be emailing the report to me so that I can publish it here. I have taken a few photos, and will be taking more on Monday to post in the next episode.

Continued in part 16
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: paulgee on May 14, 2010, 10:38:08 PM
Nice to see things are moving again Colin. I hope the build goes well without too many snags. I will be interested to see what the build cost of  around P2.0M will give you for that money. It is a few years yet until I will be in that position, but am learning all the time here on the forum.

Paul
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on May 15, 2010, 06:18:59 PM
I am also pleased that your home is back in progress. I\'m sorry Ken left you but you didn\'t force him to leave. That was his choice alone. Keep moving forward. Good to see Bing back home. God Bless......
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 15, 2010, 08:02:55 PM
Nice to see things are moving again Colin. I hope the build goes well without too many snags. I will be interested to see what the build cost of  around P2.0M will give you for that money. It is a few years yet until I will be in that position, but am learning all the time here on the forum.

Paul

The P1.9M is for the basic concrete structure, i.e. the foundations, column, beams, ground floor, second floor and stairs. This is in line with other quotations we have received. We will get the costs for the other stages later, but expect the total to be around P5.5M. If it exceeds this, or the exchange rate drops further we will move in and do some of the finishing later.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 15, 2010, 08:14:08 PM
I am also pleased that your home is back in progress. I\'m sorry Ken left you but you didn\'t force him to leave. That was his choice alone. Keep moving forward. Good to see Bing back home. God Bless......

We are not sorry that Ken has left, he has caused us problems and delays. He left still owing us P80,000 as part of the money we advanced him because we trusted him. He suggested that we write this off against some extra changes he made to the design. This was removing the third floor, certainly not worth that amount of money. However, we are not likely to get it back from him so we will write it off to experience. Jojo works for the city engineering department, so Ken has now got himself a bad reputation. We have also heard that he was a friend of the son of the vice mayor, and they won\'t speak to him now.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: paulgee on May 15, 2010, 08:47:05 PM
Nice to see things are moving again Colin. I hope the build goes well without too many snags. I will be interested to see what the build cost of  around P2.0M will give you for that money. It is a few years yet until I will be in that position, but am learning all the time here on the forum.

Paul

The P1.9M is for the basic concrete structure, i.e. the foundations, column, beams, ground floor, second floor and stairs. This is in line with other quotations we have received. We will get the costs for the other stages later, but expect the total to be around P5.5M. If it exceeds this, or the exchange rate drops further we will move in and do some of the finishing later.

Colin


OK, I will see what you get for a build cost of P5.5M !!  I hope for your sake, and mine of course , that the £ starts to rise when the new government here gets to grips with things. It is not too good at the moment.

I am glad the situation with your mother-in-law has improved enough for you to continue.

Paul
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 18, 2010, 01:14:52 PM
Part 16

We went to the site yesterday and took the following photos. The men had been working over the weekend making the ironwork and getting organised to start the concrete pouring. They rigged up lighting so that they could continue pouring concrete through the night. The large areas have to be completed in one go. The water was extended to a drum next to the cement mixer. Several lorry loads of gravel and sand had been delivered.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1940.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1940.jpg)
These are the rebar sections for the ground floor columns.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1945.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1945.jpg)
A metal grid is placed in the base of the foundation hole and a column fixed to it.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1936.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1936.jpg)
Here the workers are cutting rebar and making the plywood forms for the columns.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1947.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1947.jpg)
They have a tradition here of dripping chicken blood into all of the foundation holes before starting to pour.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1949.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1949.jpg)
Mixing was started at 5 pm when it is cooler and continued well into the evening.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1951.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1951.jpg)
The foundations are being filled using buckets made out of cut down plastic containers.

Continued in part 17
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Knowdafish on May 18, 2010, 02:13:43 PM
Cool pics! Chicken blood???  ???   :o
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 18, 2010, 02:56:22 PM
Last photo, naturely there not going to fill that hole up with concrete!  ;D

Are they going to put boulders around the columns before back filling? We did after the forms were removed, back fill with watering in and compacting.
B-Ray

Part 16

We went to the site yesterday and took the following photos. The men had been working over the weekend making the ironwork and getting organised to start the concrete pouring. They rigged up lighting so that they could continue pouring concrete through the night. The large areas have to be completed in one go. The water was extended to a drum next to the cement mixer. Several lorry loads of gravel and sand had been delivered.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1940.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1940.jpg[/url])
These are the rebar sections for the ground floor columns.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1945.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1945.jpg[/url])
A metal grid is placed in the base of the foundation hole and a column fixed to it.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1936.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1936.jpg[/url])
Here the workers are cutting rebar and making the plywood forms for the columns.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1947.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1947.jpg[/url])
They have a tradition here of dripping chicken blood into all of the foundation holes before starting to pour.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1949.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1949.jpg[/url])
Mixing was started at 5 pm when it is cooler and continued well into the evening.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1951.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1951.jpg[/url])
The foundations are being filled using buckets made out of cut down plastic containers.

Continued in part 17

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 18, 2010, 04:07:02 PM
Last photo, naturely there not going to fill that hole up with concrete!  ;D

Are they going to put boulders around the columns before back filling? We did after the forms were removed, back fill with watering in and compacting.
B-Ray

They were only putting down 12 inches of concrete before boxing and filling the columns. I don\'t know what they will do next, I expect I will find out tomorrow.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 18, 2010, 04:10:56 PM
Part 16

We went to the site yesterday and took the following photos. The men had been working over the weekend making the ironwork and getting organised to start the concrete pouring. They rigged up lighting so that they could continue pouring concrete through the night. The large areas have to be completed in one go. The water was extended to a drum next to the cement mixer. Several lorry loads of gravel and sand had been delivered.


([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1947.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1947.jpg[/url])

They have a tradition here of dripping chicken blood into all of the foundation holes before starting to pour.

Continued in part 17



Cool pics! Chicken blood???  ???   :o


Filipinos have a lot of superstitions, I am not sure what is behind this one, maybe they just wanted a couple of chickens to eat  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on May 18, 2010, 11:48:45 PM
Gotta love it that these guys are doing the work in flipflops...lol
OSHA would descend on this jobsite like locusts in the US :D :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 19, 2010, 02:59:30 AM
Gotta love it that these guys are doing the work in flipflops...lol
OSHA would descend on this jobsite like locusts in the US :D :D

Hahahaha!  I was just thinking the same thing!  Yep, no flip flops, and they\'d all have to be wearing hard hats, no shorts and shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulders.  Don\'t ask me why.  I worked construction for many, many years and we always had to have shirts with short sleeves at least.   ???

OSHA!  Ya gotta love \'em!  No, really, you have to, they require it.   ;D


Colin, it looks like you\'re off to a good start!  I look forward to the continuing story!  I hope everything goes smoothly for you and Bing.   :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on May 19, 2010, 04:29:25 AM
Gotta love it that these guys are doing the work in flipflops...lol
OSHA would descend on this jobsite like locusts in the US :D :D

Hahahaha!  I was just thinking the same thing!  Yep, no flip flops, and they\'d all have to be wearing hard hats, no shorts and shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulders.  Don\'t ask me why.  I worked construction for many, many years and we always had to have shirts with short sleeves at least.   ???

Thats because here you DO find those \"JOB SAFETY\" signs posted... its not about wearing protective gear - Safety here means  - Every once in awhile just take a glance around - to make sure everything is still \'ok\'  ;D  :D  ;)  :D  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on May 19, 2010, 08:54:35 AM
They have OSHA in the Philippines, but it is a little different...
Osha Santos who walks up to the jobsite to sell peanuts and bottled water ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 21, 2010, 05:13:52 PM
Part 17

I have just received some rare photos of ME............

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_DSC00368.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=DSC00368.jpg)
........setting up my camera.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_DSC00370.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=DSC00370.jpg)
....standing in the lounge. I never look in a mirror, now I know why my trousers are getting tight  ;D


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_DSC00376.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=DSC00376.jpg)
....with Bing watching concrete being poured into the foundation of the first column.

More to come in part 18.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on May 22, 2010, 03:27:02 PM
Colin,

Maybe a helpful hint. The plastic buckets/pails will wear out/break/split super quick. I was told a trick, go to where people make the rubber tyre pots for shrubs etc., and have them make you several larger ones with rubber loops going from one side to the other.

I had 3 made and have used them many times, cheap at P50 each. Happy construction matey,

Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 22, 2010, 05:45:00 PM
Colin,

Maybe a helpful hint. The plastic buckets/pails will wear out/break/split super quick. I was told a trick, go to where people make the rubber tyre pots for shrubs etc., and have them make you several larger ones with rubber loops going from one side to the other.

I had 3 made and have used them many times, cheap at P50 each. Happy construction matey,

Graham


Thanks for the tip Graham. I have just checked, and we paid P1800 for 10 large empty containers that had the tops cut off and fitted with handles. I don\'t know how well they will last, but that does seem expensive. It is all these small expensive that mount up. Although we have a locked store for the cement and tools, it would be very easy for some of these things to go missing.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: JerryA on May 29, 2010, 08:41:59 PM
A great site, very interesting building projects here.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on May 30, 2010, 01:11:35 AM
Jerry
Welcome to the forum...
Go to the \"Meet your neighbors\" section and tell us a little about yourself.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on June 01, 2010, 02:29:59 PM
Colin,




Thanks for the tip Graham. I have just checked, and we paid P1800 for 10 large empty containers that had the tops cut off and fitted with handles. I don\'t know how well they will last, but that does seem expensive. It is all these small expensive that mount up. Although we have a locked store for the cement and tools, it would be very easy for some of these things to go missing.

Colin

Colin,

I would think that someones taking advantage. My wife instigated a procedure that I was embarrassed about at first. To stop my tools from disappearing she made the guys leave their bags in a place where she could see them. Then of a nightime when they were leaving she made them open the bags for inspection before they received their days pay.

I lost no tools due to this. The only incident was when the guys did a overnight cement pour. I wasn\'t there and gave the lead guy all the pay for the 7 guys. He was promised a bonus when all the work was finished completely. I had a guy from next door who offered to help that night. He was to receive P200 for his help. Subsequently I found out that he was not paid the P200. The lead guy, because of his greed lost the P1,000 bonus that I was going to give him, along with an open letter of recommendation! 


Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 02, 2010, 08:58:44 AM
When the crew was pouring the 2nd floor back in 06, they used a gang of 5 gallon water/gas containers cut in half and rebar, (10mm), for handles. There must have been 20 halves going up a rope and thrown down until the job was done. BTW, we didn\'t pay for the containers, a contracted project. 

After completed, those buckets were all over the place. What else could be expected right, with Pinoys?

I have my Pinoy worker gather, removed the rebar and my wife sold the plastic buckets to the junk man. the rebar was used in other concrete projects.  ;D
B-Ray   

Colin,

Maybe a helpful hint. The plastic buckets/pails will wear out/break/split super quick. I was told a trick, go to where people make the rubber tyre pots for shrubs etc., and have them make you several larger ones with rubber loops going from one side to the other.

I had 3 made and have used them many times, cheap at P50 each. Happy construction matey,

Graham

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 05, 2010, 02:09:18 PM
Part 18

Here are a few of the recent photos.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1965.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1965.jpg)
Working on the tie bars in my hobby room. You can see the view I will get of the mountains, and the floor level will be several feet higher. There will be an even better view from the bedroom above.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1968.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1968.jpg)
Carrying concrete to fill the column bases.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1982.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1982.jpg)
Spraying the columns and tie beams against termites. The whole area will be sprayed again when filled up to floor level.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1972.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1972.jpg)
A view from the front of the house, it is beginning to take shape. The house entrance is just to the left, so I am thinking of placing a fountain where the bags are, and make the drive go around it.

There are more photos on my site at http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Where+we+live plus a lot more detail.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tennesseevolunteer on June 06, 2010, 01:11:35 AM
Colon, that is a nice and way to share your home building experiences. I would like to do the same when we get started. Our timetable has been pushed back a some what but God has His plan and we may have ours. Everything works for the best. This just gives us more time to make the building design as perfect as possible and hopefully reduce changes during construction
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 06, 2010, 05:25:32 AM
Colin,

Maybe a helpful hint. The plastic buckets/pails will wear out/break/split super quick. I was told a trick, go to where people make the rubber tyre pots for shrubs etc., and have them make you several larger ones with rubber loops going from one side to the other.

I had 3 made and have used them many times, cheap at P50 each. Happy construction matey,

Graham


Thanks for the tip Graham. I have just checked, and we paid P1800 for 10 large empty containers that had the tops cut off and fitted with handles. I don\'t know how well they will last, but that does seem expensive. It is all these small expensive that mount up. Although we have a locked store for the cement and tools, it would be very easy for some of these things to go missing.

Colin
If I\'d known buckets were hard to get in the PI I\'d have thrown a stack of 20 B&Q plastic cheapies in our container. They only cost a quid each. ($1.50)  ;D

Mind you, at work we use 5 gallon flexible plastic oil containers, with the top ends cut out, and they are tough.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 06, 2010, 08:01:57 AM
If I\'d known buckets were hard to get in the PI I\'d have thrown a stack of 20 B&Q plastic cheapies in our container. They only cost a quid each. ($1.50)  ;D

Mind you, at work we use 5 gallon flexible plastic oil containers, with the top ends cut out, and they are tough.

Plastic buckets are cheap and plentiful here, and I imagine they come from the same sources as B&Q. I would guess they are not used because they are considered not strong enough.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 06, 2010, 08:16:15 AM
Colon, that is a nice and way to share your home building experiences. I would like to do the same when we get started. Our timetable has been pushed back a some what but God has His plan and we may have ours. Everything works for the best. This just gives us more time to make the building design as perfect as possible and hopefully reduce changes during construction

I don\'t think it is possible to get it exactly right. I have gone through many different ideas and changes and even now, looking at the base, I am beginning to wish I had made a couple of the rooms a little larger. I was trying to get what I wanted in the design, but concerned about the cost. I did reduce some room sized down to what I considered to be a minimum. It is bit of a tense time, seeing the money flowing out and wondering if I can get to the end before it runs out. Whatever happens, we will move in and at least save P15,000 a month rent.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 06, 2010, 10:30:09 AM
Ah yes Collin, we learn as we go.

I don\'t know when the 2 story plans were drawn up that here, one can build to the property line. If I did, the kitchen, CR and 2nd bedroom could have been 2 meters wider with the cost of a few more H/Bs and roofing. GRRRRRR

You won\'t have a problem enjoying your house with that P15k monthly savings!  ;D
B-Ray

Colon, that is a nice and way to share your home building experiences. I would like to do the same when we get started. Our timetable has been pushed back a some what but God has His plan and we may have ours. Everything works for the best. This just gives us more time to make the building design as perfect as possible and hopefully reduce changes during construction

I don\'t think it is possible to get it exactly right. I have gone through many different ideas and changes and even now, looking at the base, I am beginning to wish I had made a couple of the rooms a little larger. I was trying to get what I wanted in the design, but concerned about the cost. I did reduce some room sized down to what I considered to be a minimum. It is bit of a tense time, seeing the money flowing out and wondering if I can get to the end before it runs out. Whatever happens, we will move in and at least save P15,000 a month rent.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 06, 2010, 11:39:34 AM
Ah yes Collin, we learn as we go.

I don\'t know when the 2 story plans were drawn up that here, one can build to the property line. If I did, the kitchen, CR and 2nd bedroom could have been 2 meters wider with the cost of a few more H/Bs and roofing. GRRRRRR

You won\'t have a problem enjoying your house with that P15k monthly savings!  ;D
B-Ray



We were shown a house by a builder that was on a very narrow lot. He said that the regulations did not allow him  to build within two metres (?) of the boundaries on the first (ground) floor but he extended way out on the upper floors. I have also been told that you can build on the boundaries, but it must be a firewall, i.e. have no openings such as windows etc. A small block of apartments was started on the lot next to our rented home and they built on our boundary, actually on our dividing wall, and it had large windows openings. Our owners attorney wrote to the owner and told him to block them up. This would have made the rooms unfit to let. As it happens, they ran out of money, so it is now just a concrete shell.

Non of this effects me, but if anyone is considering building close to a boundary they should check carefully first.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 06, 2010, 09:37:46 PM
A small block of apartments was started on the lot next to our rented home and they built on our boundary, actually on our dividing wall, and it had large windows openings. Our owners attorney wrote to the owner and told him to block them up. This would have made the rooms unfit to let. As it happens, they ran out of money, so it is now just a concrete shell.

Non of this effects me, but if anyone is considering building close to a boundary they should check carefully first.

Colin
Can you imagine buying a house next door, where your only view from the window was directly into someone else\'s window.  :o

Might be okay if you had a suitable neighbour, of the correct vintage and gender.........  :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on June 07, 2010, 10:11:35 AM
On our project we used ready mix for large pours..Might be worth checking the ready mix prices against your men doing all large mixes on site..
An Aussie here in Bohol has just ordered some here and says he has done the math which suggests the prices are about the same.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 07, 2010, 11:37:55 AM
A bit of understand of the Pinoy ~~WAYS~~ might be considered when building? Location, location is a factor!!!!

The ~~LAW~~ is the law, but how often are they followed, where 80%, (as reported),  isn\'t across the Country ~~UNTIL~~ some local power wants too?

In other words, your dealing with local conditions..................PERIOD!!!

Yep, the ~~LOCAL~~ Government Pinoys mentality/logic ~~PREVAILS~~!!!!!  ;D

Case in point after the fact locally, if I had double piain windows in such a ~~fire-wall~~ at the property line would be APPROVED back in 06!!  How in the hell would that be today is unknown?????

~~IF~~ (most likely is), the setback from the property line is 2 meters, (3 meters road front), that gives 4 meters, or 6\'+, from each lot and ~~WHAT VIEW~~ do you have King, in every subdivision I\'ve seen in the Philippines?

BTW, since doing our thingie with rentals over the years, there is now a 5 cubby hole ~~SMALL~~ Pinoy 1BR/1CR apartments side-by-side in a line in this subdivision along with 4 other Pinoy rentals.

This situation is NOTHING new with Pinoys, regardless of the business you want to do!!

Pinoys are GREAT at copy-cating with their understanding of the business your doing! They will spend the money and from my POV, and just hope!! and

In this case with our rental housing, they offer NOTHING we do and therefore, none of their rentals are rented, even by foreigners that apparently is where the HOPE is??

My wife has been offered a persentage monthly to rent them. But conditions are not in line too offer tor foreigners, in her opinion............PERIOD!!  ;D

After 6 years, I ~~NOW~~ understand my efforts to set things up for my Pinay............. for when I\'m gone from this life will not be a problem!!!!   ;D ;D ;D     
B-Ray
 

A small block of apartments was started on the lot next to our rented home and they built on our boundary, actually on our dividing wall, and it had large windows openings. Our owners attorney wrote to the owner and told him to block them up. This would have made the rooms unfit to let. As it happens, they ran out of money, so it is now just a concrete shell.

Non of this effects me, but if anyone is considering building close to a boundary they should check carefully first.

Colin
Can you imagine buying a house next door, where your only view from the window was directly into someone else\'s window.  :o

Might be okay if you had a suitable neighbour, of the correct vintage and gender.........  :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 07, 2010, 08:42:29 PM

~~IF~~ (most likely is), the setback from the property line is 2 meters, (3 meters road front), that gives 4 meters, or 6\'+, from each lot and ~~WHAT VIEW~~ do you have King, in every subdivision I\'ve seen in the Philippines?
What view do I have?   ???

Not sure what you\'re asking.

Mind you, if you had to have 2m setback from all property lines, when building walls, then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 09, 2010, 03:58:52 PM
QUOTE: \"then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.\"

Something to be AWARE of.....right?

In other words, what\'s ~~for sale~~ doesn\'t mean it\'s build able................PERIOD, even by foreigners that were UN-AWARE before the fact!!!

Don\'t get tied up King with what you know or think you know from where you came from.......might as well forget about that KNOW-HOW!!! IT\'S A DIFFERENT BALL GAME OVER HERE as we have learned with buying 5 properties over the last 6 years and still dealing with two, one for two years now!!! Our 2nd/3rd buy took two years for a title. That doesn\'t mean it\'s a common fact across the board though!!

Therefore, TWEEK your logic to Pinoy reality!!!  ;D
B-Ray 




~~IF~~ (most likely is), the setback from the property line is 2 meters, (3 meters road front), that gives 4 meters, or 6\'+, from each lot and ~~WHAT VIEW~~ do you have King, in every subdivision I\'ve seen in the Philippines?
What view do I have?   ???

Not sure what you\'re asking.

Mind you, if you had to have 2m setback from all property lines, when building walls, then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on June 10, 2010, 08:16:45 AM

~~IF~~ (most likely is), the setback from the property line is 2 meters, (3 meters road front), that gives 4 meters, or 6\'+, from each lot and ~~WHAT VIEW~~ do you have King, in every subdivision I\'ve seen in the Philippines?
What view do I have?   ???

Not sure what you\'re asking.

Mind you, if you had to have 2m setback from all property lines, when building walls, then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.  ;D


The firewall on our property in Manila is bang on the boundary line and from memory there\'s a meter on the other side..
Nice if a member here could show us the regs from the Philippine building code.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 10, 2010, 09:06:35 AM
Now I\'m totally confused about  what you\'re on about.  ???



QUOTE: \"then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.\"

Something to be AWARE of.....right?

In other words, what\'s ~~for sale~~ doesn\'t mean it\'s build able................PERIOD, even by foreigners that were UN-AWARE before the fact!!!

Don\'t get tied up King with what you know or think you know from where you came from.......might as well forget about that KNOW-HOW!!! IT\'S A DIFFERENT BALL GAME OVER HERE as we have learned with buying 5 properties over the last 6 years and still dealing with two, one for two years now!!! Our 2nd/3rd buy took two years for a title. That doesn\'t mean it\'s a common fact across the board though!!

Therefore, TWEEK your logic to Pinoy reality!!!  ;D
B-Ray 




~~IF~~ (most likely is), the setback from the property line is 2 meters, (3 meters road front), that gives 4 meters, or 6\'+, from each lot and ~~WHAT VIEW~~ do you have King, in every subdivision I\'ve seen in the Philippines?
What view do I have?   ???

Not sure what you\'re asking.

Mind you, if you had to have 2m setback from all property lines, when building walls, then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on June 10, 2010, 11:40:42 AM
I thought this forum was supposed to be in English. ???

Writing jabberwocky cockamamie posts disguised as the English language is forbidden.

I\'m gonna have another few Coronas and then again peruse the last few posts... maybe I\'ll have a eureka moment... or a D\'oh moment.
 ;D ;D
Tom in Big D


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 12, 2010, 01:25:03 AM
Fred, building code is by the Office writing the building permit. Which varies across the Nation!

Oh it\'s been said, RP building codes are copied after the USA.................YA RIGHT!!!  ;D

In this area there\'s no inspection of any kind during building and then a walk through once completed with, hummmm looks good and an evaluation for property taxes.

Now the big cities one might find a totally different story???
B-Ray


~~IF~~ (most likely is), the setback from the property line is 2 meters, (3 meters road front), that gives 4 meters, or 6\'+, from each lot and ~~WHAT VIEW~~ do you have King, in every subdivision I\'ve seen in the Philippines?
What view do I have?   ???

Not sure what you\'re asking.

Mind you, if you had to have 2m setback from all property lines, when building walls, then some lots I\'ve seen would have to be empty.  ;D


The firewall on our property in Manila is bang on the boundary line and from memory there\'s a meter on the other side..
Nice if a member here could show us the regs from the Philippine building code.

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 12, 2010, 07:02:14 AM
Fred, building code is by the Office writing the building permit. Which varies across the Nation!

Oh it\'s been said, RP building codes are copied after the USA.................YA RIGHT!!!  ;D

In this area there\'s no inspection of any kind during building and then a walk through once completed with, hummmm looks good and an evaluation for property taxes.

Now the big cities one might find a totally different story???
B-Ray

Our personal contract manager works for the City Engineering Department, as well as being a family friend, and a signature on the plans submitted for building permit approval. He makes sure the house is being built properly so I doubt if we will even have a walk through  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2010, 12:30:29 PM
Part 19

We are at the beginning of the rainy season, so the builders will be installing the second floor slab first to give them protection for completing the ground floor.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1997.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1997.jpg)
Here you can see a worker walking on the support beam for the second floor slab. A lot of Coco lumber is used for the scaffolding and we had to wait for our supply because there is a shortage due to the large amount of new building projects here in Puerto Princesa. Maybe there is a business idea here to rent out metal scaffolding.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2000.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2000.jpg)
The Kitchen area is still being filled. The ground floor will be raised by 1.2 metres to bring it level with the road surface. This area is inclined to flood in heavy rain, but it does subside very quickly. There is no drainage in this area maybe that will come later. We have the option of raising the whole garden area, something we may consider after we have lived there for a while.
Bing is the yellow dot in the background.

Continued in part 20
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2010, 12:52:07 PM
Maybe to late to raise the ground floor ~~ABOVE~~ the road level by at least a foot?

With our 2 story apartment building was raise inches about the street and still, after 4 years now have a ground water problem!!  Nothing coming into the apartments, but is a problem with the covered concrete walk-a- round.  IE: the green stuff on the concrete.
B-Ray   

Part 19

We are at the beginning of the rainy season, so the builders will be installing the second floor slab first to give them protection for completing the ground floor.
([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1997.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1997.jpg[/url])
Here you can see a worker walking on the support beam for the second floor slab. A lot of Coco lumber is used for the scaffolding and we had to wait for our supply because there is a shortage due to the large amount of new building projects here in Puerto Princesa. Maybe there is a business idea here to rent out metal scaffolding.

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2000.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2000.jpg[/url])
The Kitchen area is still being filled. The ground floor will be raised by 1.2 metres to bring it level with the road surface. This area is inclined to flood in heavy rain, but it does subside very quickly. There is no drainage in this area maybe that will come later. We have the option of raising the whole garden area, something we may consider after we have lived there for a while.
Bing is the yellow dot in the background.

Continued in part 20

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 17, 2010, 02:03:55 PM
Maybe to late to raise the ground floor ~~ABOVE~~ the road level by at least a foot?

With our 2 story apartment building was raise inches about the street and still, after 4 years now have a ground water problem!!  Nothing coming into the apartments, but is a problem with the covered concrete walk-a- round.  IE: the green stuff on the concrete.
B-Ray   

The house is more than 60 metres back from the road, so I don\'t expect any problems from that. I also believe, not sure, the 1.2 metres was to the level of the main north highway which is about 1/4 mile away, and slightly higher that the road outside. Until they improve the roadside drainage, it may mean that our front garden will get a little wet.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 27, 2010, 08:21:58 AM
Part 20

Preparations are now being made to pour the second floor slab.

(click on the thumbnails to enlarge)

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2025.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2025.jpg)
I am standing in my study.
You can see the stair opening on the right leading to the landing area with the two bedrooms beyond and the bathroom in between.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2028.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2028.jpg)
The view I will get from my study window.
A little landscaping will be needed.
The drive will be reduced in width, more fruit trees planted and lots of orchids.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2031.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2031.jpg)
A view from the bedroom balcony looking across the top of the single story kitchen.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2029.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2029.jpg)
A rear view from the balcony with the location of the rear second floor bedroom on the left.
This section of the garden will be for vegetables.

There are more photographs on http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Construction. This we be updated approximately weekly as the building progresses with a selection of the photos posted here.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: rdjlazo@yahoo.com on June 27, 2010, 11:25:13 AM
Colin,

Yiu must be very very excited now with whats going on wiith
your construction.
If I were you I will probably be there 3 or 4 times a day.
Not for inspection but the exciitement and anticipation of
how soon can I move in.
So when do you think you can move in?
Rudy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 27, 2010, 11:53:19 AM
Colin,

Yiu must be very very excited now with whats going on wiith
your construction.
If I were you I will probably be there 3 or 4 times a day.
Not for inspection but the exciitement and anticipation of
how soon can I move in.
So when do you think you can move in?
Rudy

I can\'t say that I am too excited, we had problems with the previous contractor that cost us money and caused delays, then Bings mothers illness that cost more money and caused more delays. The exchange rate was very bad when we recommenced, but seems to be recovering slowly now. We have now decided now that we can afford to complete the basic house and hoping that we can put all the finishing touches and more importantly build 230 meters of perimeter wall plus the maids quarters. So altogether it is more of a relief that things are progressing now, than any sense of excitement.
We have a very good contract manager who is a great help in buying materials at the best price. At the moment it is the main concrete structure, which only changes slowly so we only go about once a week to take photos. Later when we get into the details we will go more often. Our contractor is the main builder for the vice mayors projects, and both of them are family friends, so every effort is being made to get it finished quickly. I would guess it will take another 3-4 months.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on June 27, 2010, 08:47:44 PM
Thats soem quality construction there - way above anything I have observed locally.

Quote
Spraying the columns and tie beams with anti-termite solution.

I had been thinking about that for ages - and since the bricks are built from local land I always wondered about treating the sand as well with a pesticide!

Any takes on pesticide use in the mix?


Nice stuff I see in those photos !
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on June 27, 2010, 08:57:01 PM
Wow Colin,

You have actual mesh for the concrete pour, lucky you. Couldn\'t find it here, had to make do with re-bar and wiring it together. The outlook from your 2nd storey is great.

Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on June 27, 2010, 09:26:52 PM
Wow Colin,

You have actual mesh for the concrete pour, lucky you. Couldn\'t find it here, had to make do with re-bar and wiring it together. The outlook from your 2nd storey is great.

Graham

It looks like mesh but its actually rebar... thats the quality construction I was talking about.... true lines... everything square ! its NICE !

I made cabinets for my workroom here and after spending a day building them straight and using squares, circular saw, meters and levelers - found out my walls are not flat... such a pain...

But Colin wont be having that problem !
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on June 27, 2010, 09:38:03 PM
Colin
I bet it will be great sipping your morning cup of fluids from your balcony.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 27, 2010, 10:13:09 PM
Quote
Any takes on pesticide use in the mix?
I don\'t know, but will ask when the company returns for the next session.

Quote
You have actual mesh for the concrete pour, lucky you. Couldn\'t find it here, had to make do with re-bar and wiring it together
It is rebar, and a very long job wiring it together and it is done very neatly. I believe they used the non-standard size rebar which is cheaper.

Quote
I bet it will be great sipping your morning cup of fluids from your balcony.
I only hope they don\'t build at the back, but I don\'t think that will happen for many years. There was talk of SM buying the whole area including our lot, but they now have earmarked a location nearer the city centre. There is so much empty land around here that there is no reason to build there. There is a lot of building going on here now particularly up the northern highway, but we are several miles out and it will take a long time to get anywhere near us.
We were very pleased on our last visit to see how well it was being built. The workers are a nice crowd, and we always take them coffee and snacks when we go. When they start the second floor concrete pour, they will work continuously for two days and nights so we will be providing them with all their food and drink for that.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 27, 2010, 10:45:21 PM
Do I spy water in the distance Col? in pic 4?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 28, 2010, 10:37:05 AM
Do I spy water in the distance Col? in pic 4?

No, that photo was taken facing the NW and is part of the mountain range that runs down the centre of Palawan.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on June 28, 2010, 03:52:51 PM
Do I spy water in the distance Col? in pic 4?

No, that photo was taken facing the NW and is part of the mountain range that runs down the centre of Palawan.

Colin

I thought the 3 lighter/brighter areas (outlined) before the mountains might be connected body of water....



[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 28, 2010, 08:09:22 PM

I thought the 3 lighter/brighter areas (outlined) before the mountains might be connected body of water....


Shiny corrugated iron squatters roofs?  ;)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 28, 2010, 08:56:40 PM
Do I spy water in the distance Col? in pic 4?

No, that photo was taken facing the NW and is part of the mountain range that runs down the centre of Palawan.

Colin

I thought the 3 lighter/brighter areas (outlined) before the mountains might be connected body of water....


I have just looked at the original non compressed version in photoshop, and in google maps, it looks like either a church or a slightly ornate warehouse/factory building plus the roof of another building.The photos were taken in the late afternoon with a low sun.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: paulgee on June 29, 2010, 03:54:39 AM
Looking good Colin, I hope you continue (relatively) problem-free. I am sure it would help if the exchange rate continues to improve, though with the Bank of England base rate at 0.5% I think the outlook will not improve very quickly.

Will the rainy season impact much on things there?

Paul
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on June 29, 2010, 07:22:54 AM
Will the rainy season impact much on things there?

The rainy season has started around now although it is not usually much of a problem here in Puerto as we seem to be sheltered by the mountains. The only problem we may have is if it rains during the concrete pouring for the second floor slab which is due to start on Thursday and must be continuous for around two days and two nights. We did but a plastic cover after it rained in the plywood floor forms :(. The ground floor slab will be protected by the completed second floor. The roof will go on next so all work will then be covered.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 05, 2010, 04:57:47 PM
Part 21

The plywood floor forms were painted in a mixture of old engine oil and diesel fuel to prevent the concrete from sticking, and to allow us to use all that wood to build the maid’s quarters.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2038.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2038.jpg)
The electrical conduit was laid and a second layer of rebar was added.

The workers started pouring the concrete at 3pm, worked through the night and finished at 10am the next day.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2053.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2053.jpg)
Here is the finished result of the pour.

Continued in part 22
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 06, 2010, 12:37:05 PM
OIC Colin, old engine oil ect. Not a bad idea there guy!!!

Now reusing that plywood, what side will be facing outside? I sure hope you will treat the other side of the plywood for that \"maids quarters\" and DON\'T plan on using water based paint on the oil side!!!

I WONDER, is your floor now ~~TILE ready~~???  ;D

So far, I haven\'t found Pinoy works that can make a block building square or a concrete floor level...........PERIOD!!! Setting tile tells that story!
B-Ray 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on July 06, 2010, 04:17:32 PM
Col,

Are your guys mixing the cement for the slabs on site or trucking it in from builders merchants?

cost v time ?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on July 06, 2010, 04:34:18 PM
OIC Colin, old engine oil ect. Not a bad idea there guy!!!

Now reusing that plywood, what side will be facing outside? I sure hope you will treat the other side of the plywood for that \"maids quarters\" and DON\'T plan on using water based paint on the oil side!!!

I WONDER, is your floor now ~~TILE ready~~???  ;D

 

Thats a big problem here..No paint blocks the used oil as far as I know..I have tried every oil based paint including oil based varnish on the local market and still the oil bleeds through it all..
In the UK we have many products that will block just about anything..
Here? Zilch!

Quote
So far, I haven\'t found Pinoy works that can make a block building square or a concrete floor level...........PERIOD!!! Setting tile tells that story!
B-Ray

They set tile  on 2/3 inches of adhesive here so they make it level!!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 06, 2010, 08:59:17 PM
Quote
So far, I haven\'t found Pinoy works that can make a block building square or a concrete floor level...........PERIOD!!! Setting tile tells that story!
Parts of the floor do not look too smooth. I am expecting them to float over it later.

Quote
Are your guys mixing the cement for the slabs on site or trucking it in from builders merchants?
The cement is mixed on site, I have seen a mixer lorry here but our builder says the quality is suspect.

Quote
Thats a big problem here..No paint blocks the used oil as far as I know..I have tried every oil based paint including oil based varnish on the local market and still the oil bleeds through it all.
I have been told that it can be painted, we will have to wait and see. Using the plywood for the maids quarters is only meant as a temporary measure, perhaps for a couple of years, so that we can get other things done around the house.

Colin


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 07, 2010, 10:05:33 AM
QUOTE: \"Parts of the floor do not look too smooth. I am expecting them to float over it later.\"

To get a bond with new to old, (float later), you need an agent applied before. Creek Bond or Ready Fix are two I\'ve used. The Creek Bond will make concrete stronger..........so it says.  ;D

I\'ve used Ready Fit to repair plywood that came apart using clamps.

As to leveling the floor, you might expect that to be done when tile is set using a mixture of powered tile glue, cement and screened sand and not a bad idea to add the above agent also, as the tiles are set with string lines as their guide.

I don\'t know about your area, but here in Dumaguete, tile spacers are now available, (wasn\'t a few years ago). A GOTTA HAVE if you want your grout lines straight and tile points to match!!   Just look around the stores and see what is standard tiled floors.  ;D 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on July 07, 2010, 09:59:55 PM
Col,

No matter what happens, irregardless of the straightness of the walls, the level of the floors, whether you do it this way, or that way, you will have a great experience. Many, tho\' the frustrations will be. As long as you don\'t let them get to you, and you maintain equanamity, you will get thru\' this with pride in the \"job-well-done\" I applaud you, and more power to you mate.

Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 08, 2010, 08:50:18 AM
Col,

No matter what happens, irregardless of the straightness of the walls, the level of the floors, whether you do it this way, or that way, you will have a great experience. Many, tho\' the frustrations will be. As long as you don\'t let them get to you, and you maintain equanamity, you will get thru\' this with pride in the \"job-well-done\" I applaud you, and more power to you mate.

Graham

Thanks Graham,

It is a real learning experience. At the moment I am digging deeper into Google Sketchup designing columns and arches for the front \'arcade\' area. I have also downloaded Kerkythea, a free renderer to produce some nice scenes. Lots more ideas and I am keen to get into my new study with the new computer I am now researching. I need lots more power for this texture rendering.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on July 08, 2010, 01:38:48 PM
Make sure they put in a good Ufer ground for you...
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Knowdafish on July 22, 2010, 02:54:04 PM
Any updates?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 23, 2010, 06:54:47 AM
Any updates?

Work has slowed while waiting for the second floor slab to cure. There are only five workers on site completing the second floor columns and roof beams so no interesting photos at the moment. The ground floor 1.2 metre base needs half a row of hollow blocks to complete it then, when all the slab supports have been removed, the back fill will be completed and the ground floor slab will be poured. We are still researching costs for the roofing and 3D (Styrofoam sandwich) walls.

I am spending a lot of time with Sketchup, building an accurate model of the house. One advantage here is that you can make changes from the approved plan as you go along. I have reduced the roof overhang to allow for the gutters, and also had to reduce the pitch of the lower front roof to prevent the bedroom windows from being placed too high. I have also designed the front columns and am now experimenting with the detail on the house front.

Sketchup seems simple for small objects, but can get very complicated on a fully detailed house with multiple layers. Every morning I have to go through and correct all the mistakes I made the previous evening while I was tired  ::)

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: kiwiruss on July 23, 2010, 10:51:01 AM
Hi Colin have you tried a programme called punch home design as4000? You can get it free at pirate bay, works well on XP ,I find it much easier and faster to use then sketchup for house design. Can simply draw in plan view and it converts all to 3D walk around at the push of the button. (newer versions a bit glitchy, dosnt like windows 7)
russ
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 23, 2010, 12:46:11 PM
Hi Colin have you tried a programme called punch home design as4000? You can get it free at pirate bay, works well on XP ,I find it much easier and faster to use then sketchup for house design. Can simply draw in plan view and it converts all to 3D walk around at the push of the button. (newer versions a bit glitchy, dosnt like windows 7)
russ

Hi Russ,

I designed the house using Chief Architect, but the original contractor here was not familiar with it, so converted an earlier version to Sketchup to sort out the details, then to AutoCad for the permit. Sketchup is a lot simpler than Chief Architect and can be rotated and zoomed very quickly, my computer is a bit too slow to do that with Chief Architect. Since changing contractors, I decided to do my own version with the latest variations to show the new contractor the details I wanted. I also want to experiment with rendering later.

I have seen Punch and several other similar programmes, and would also recommend them to anyone wanting to present ideas to an architect. Sketchup is a very good general 3D programme, ideal for simple things such as furniture etc. but gets difficult with something  like a complicated house.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on July 23, 2010, 12:55:39 PM
What??????

You want everybody to do your leg work?  ;D ;D
B-Ray just a mess\'n

Any updates?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on July 23, 2010, 01:44:26 PM
You can get it free at pirate bay . . .


Locals would reply...

(http://files.myopera.com/offspring/albums/30527/day0501.jpg)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on July 23, 2010, 04:16:40 PM
I see the locals added a fourth evil...
Smell no evil... lol
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 08, 2010, 03:24:43 PM
Part 22

These are the 3D panels to be used for the exterior walling.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_IMG_4288.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=IMG_4288.jpg)
Three inch polystyrene with wire mesh each side making a total width of four inches. One inch cement render will be added to each side giving the same width as a hollow block wall but with good thermal insulation.


The garden is lower than the road and gets very wet during heavy rain. It will need to be raised later.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2076.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2076.jpg)
The raised drive has been churned up by the heavy lorries delivering back fill for house base.


Alterations and mistakes in the plans have caused problems with the headroom on the stairs. A portion of the beam will have to be cut away and strengthened above.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2079.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2079.jpg)
Jojo standing there is 5\' 10\".

We need to make a decision for  the windows on the stairwell. All fixed glass would be nice but I would like to have openings for cross ventilation within the house.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2082.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2082.jpg)

Continued in part 23
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Knowdafish on August 08, 2010, 06:01:40 PM
Part 22

These are the 3D panels to be used for the exterior walling.
([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_IMG_4288.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=IMG_4288.jpg[/url])
Three inch polystyrene with wire mesh each side making a total width of four inches. One inch cement render will be added to each side giving the same width as a hollow block wall but with good thermal insulation.





Where did you get the 3D panels may I ask?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on August 08, 2010, 06:16:00 PM
here\'s a generic filipino source

http://www.homebuildingphilippines.com/eastern_wire/02_evg_3d_panel_system.html (http://www.homebuildingphilippines.com/eastern_wire/02_evg_3d_panel_system.html)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dutch expat on August 08, 2010, 07:15:05 PM
May I ask what the price is of the 3D panels?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Tall_man on August 09, 2010, 01:42:50 PM
OIC Colin, old engine oil ect. Not a bad idea there guy!!!

Now reusing that plywood, what side will be facing outside? I sure hope you will treat the other side of the plywood for that \"maids quarters\" and DON\'T plan on using water based paint on the oil side!!!

I like the \"recycling\" of the plywood; waste not want not.

About painting, etc., have you considered putting some clapboard siding over the oil stained side of the plywood? Attaching the extra siding could be done as time and budget permits   ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 09, 2010, 03:56:51 PM
We ordered our 3D panels from a local builders merchant who had previously used them in enlarging their premises. He charged P370,000 for 115 2.8 metre x 4 foot wide panels. Excuse the mixed dimensions, but panels here are sold in imperial sizes while most other things including houses use metric.

Bing checked the prices with a supplier in Manila and was quoted P210,650 for 110 3 metre x 4 foot panels excluding delivery. Even allowing for say P60,000 for shipping, this still would have worked out a lot cheaper than we are now paying. The builders merchant is obviously making a very big profit. A quick calculation shows that we are paying P1149 per metre length compared to a direct cost (excluding shipping) of P638.

We don’t have the leaflet for the Manila supplier at the moment, but I will try to get another copy.

Using the ply panels for the maids quarters is only intended to be a temporary measure until we can stabilize our finances. We know there will be a lot of incidental spending which will almost certainly empty the pot. Walling around the lot, housing for the Generator and water pump system as well as all the interior fittings etc etc. We would hope to build a more permanent place for the maids in perhaps 2-3 years time.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 09, 2010, 08:31:27 PM
We ordered our 3D panels from a local builders merchant who had previously used them in enlarging their premises. He charged P370,000 for 115 2.8 metre x 4 foot wide panels. Excuse the mixed dimensions, but panels here are sold in imperial sizes while most other things including houses use metric.


Ooer, that\'s nigh on £50 per panel  :o

I\'m not clued up on building technology so maybe they really are worth their weight in gold. I do hope they work for you, but aren\'t they basically just a sheet of polystyrene?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 09, 2010, 10:00:37 PM
We ordered our 3D panels from a local builders merchant who had previously used them in enlarging their premises. He charged P370,000 for 115 2.8 metre x 4 foot wide panels. Excuse the mixed dimensions, but panels here are sold in imperial sizes while most other things including houses use metric.


Ooer, that\'s nigh on £50 per panel  :o

I\'m not clued up on building technology so maybe they really are worth their weight in gold. I do hope they work for you, but aren\'t they basically just a sheet of polystyrene?

At the present exchange rate that is £45, and yes expensive but sheets of polystyrene that size can be expensive here. You also need to deduct the cost of a conventional wall from that and also allow for the small reduction in labour cost and time.

The biggest saving will be in electricity for running aircons. With a total  R value of around 14 compared to a conventional hollow block wall of 1, that should be quite noticeable. The biggest advantage will be the comfort inside the house. Some people like to sweat it out in normal Philippine temperatures and humidity, but that is not for me. I can take the climate providing I have a comfortable house to retreat to when necessary. What value do you put on comfort?

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on August 09, 2010, 11:58:58 PM
What value do you put on comfort?

I\'m with you, Colin.

Figure out the cost by weight of the injection of Lidocaine the dentist gives you, or the Tylenol tablet you take for a headache, or even the cost for your sunglasses.  These are are not true necessities, but we gladly pay their cost to sustain our comfort.  If you take notice, a fair percentage of your daily expenditures will be for comfort items, versus necessities.

Sit back and enjoy the cool, Colin 8).  I believe your panels were a bargain.

Tom in Big D

 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 10, 2010, 01:57:44 AM

At the present exchange rate that is £45, and yes expensive but sheets of polystyrene that size can be expensive here. You also need to deduct the cost of a conventional wall from that and also allow for the small reduction in labour cost and time.

The biggest saving will be in electricity for running aircons. With a total  R value of around 14 compared to a conventional hollow block wall of 1, that should be quite noticeable. The biggest advantage will be the comfort inside the house. Some people like to sweat it out in normal Philippine temperatures and humidity, but that is not for me. I can take the climate providing I have a comfortable house to retreat to when necessary. What value do you put on comfort?

Colin
Do they ever use anything like a cavity wall, or stud walls with insulation in, in the PI. Can\'t say I have ever seen it myself, just \'hollow\' blocks that they throw roughly in place, fill with concrete, then smother with a thick layer of cement.

I suppose £45 for a 9\' x 4 area of well insulated wall is not really a bad price, considering how many hollow blocks, and cement, and labour they\'d use for a similar area.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on August 10, 2010, 06:43:03 AM
These are the 3D panels to be used for the exterior walling.


Nice !

Makes me want to build as well Colin !

Ooh - I see that 5\'10\" guy going up the stairs... what was your thought on modifying the staircase instead of the beams?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 10, 2010, 07:21:38 AM

At the present exchange rate that is £45, and yes expensive but sheets of polystyrene that size can be expensive here. You also need to deduct the cost of a conventional wall from that and also allow for the small reduction in labour cost and time.

The biggest saving will be in electricity for running aircons. With a total  R value of around 14 compared to a conventional hollow block wall of 1, that should be quite noticeable. The biggest advantage will be the comfort inside the house. Some people like to sweat it out in normal Philippine temperatures and humidity, but that is not for me. I can take the climate providing I have a comfortable house to retreat to when necessary. What value do you put on comfort?

Colin
Do they ever use anything like a cavity wall, or stud walls with insulation in, in the PI. Can\'t say I have ever seen it myself, just \'hollow\' blocks that they throw roughly in place, fill with concrete, then smother with a thick layer of cement.

I suppose £45 for a 9\' x 4 area of well insulated wall is not really a bad price, considering how many hollow blocks, and cement, and labour they\'d use for a similar area.


I did see a cavity wall being built many years ago and that was by a foreigner. He used a double hollow block wall with sheets of polystyrene in between. A stud wall is also possible, you can but foil wrapped fiibreglass in rolls and bats from Citi hardware. We will be using it for ceiling insulation. You would really need to use metal batons for a stud wall because of the problem with termites here. I have seen Gypsum board again at Citi hardware, but it is rarely used, maybe because of the high humidity.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 10, 2010, 07:40:10 AM
These are the 3D panels to be used for the exterior walling.


Nice !

Makes me want to build as well Colin !

Ooh - I see that 5\'10\" guy going up the stairs... what was your thought on modifying the staircase instead of the beams?

The problem was caused by the beams being put in slightly the wrong place plus a widening of the lower flight. My original design had two flights of seven stairs, but we now have a higher landing with nine on the lower flight. Modifying the stairs now would make them a lot steeper which for us senior citizens would not be acceptable ;D It is not too difficult to modify the beam as there is only the upper floor railings above it. We will turn it into a feature by putting an arch there.

The bigger problem is that it has reduced the opening between the lounge and family room. It was meant to be 2.5 metres with double sliding doors to be able to make the two rooms flow into each other for parties etc. I need to sort that out now, perhaps doors folding back beyond the lower step.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on August 10, 2010, 08:47:18 PM
I need to sort that out now, perhaps doors folding back beyond the lower step.

Colin

I think no one can say you are not a busy man !  :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 10, 2010, 09:09:17 PM

I did see a cavity wall being built many years ago and that was by a foreigner. He used a double hollow block wall with sheets of polystyrene in between. A stud wall is also possible, you can but foil wrapped fiibreglass in rolls and bats from Citi hardware. We will be using it for ceiling insulation. You would really need to use metal batons for a stud wall because of the problem with termites here. I have seen Gypsum board again at Citi hardware, but it is rarely used, maybe because of the high humidity.

Colin
They seem to use thin plywood instead of plasterboard/drywall. The ceilings in all the houses I have lived in in the PI have been 1/4\" plywood, or thinner. It appears the roof is built, the wiring is done, then it is all sealed in place with the plywood, as there is nothing up there substantial enough to stand or walk on, should you need to go up there afterwards.

Our current rental house has maybe 1\" x 2\" \'joists\' holding the ceilings up. I need to go up and re-route some telephone cables, so I have to work out some way of doing it without ending up on my back on the floor below, covered in dust and splintered wood.  ;D :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Knowdafish on August 11, 2010, 12:23:22 AM
We ordered our 3D panels from a local builders merchant who had previously used them in enlarging their premises. He charged P370,000 for 115 2.8 metre x 4 foot wide panels. Excuse the mixed dimensions, but panels here are sold in imperial sizes while most other things including houses use metric.

Bing checked the prices with a supplier in Manila and was quoted P210,650 for 110 3 metre x 4 foot panels excluding delivery. Even allowing for say P60,000 for shipping, this still would have worked out a lot cheaper than we are now paying. The builders merchant is obviously making a very big profit. A quick calculation shows that we are paying P1149 per metre length compared to a direct cost (excluding shipping) of P638.

We don’t have the leaflet for the Manila supplier at the moment, but I will try to get another copy.

Using the ply panels for the maids quarters is only intended to be a temporary measure until we can stabilize our finances. We know there will be a lot of incidental spending which will almost certainly empty the pot. Walling around the lot, housing for the Generator and water pump system as well as all the interior fittings etc etc. We would hope to build a more permanent place for the maids in perhaps 2-3 years time.

Colin


Please do!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 11, 2010, 12:34:21 PM
One thing to keep in mind King and others is, Piony ~~that\'s good enough~~  has stood for generations!

How many Pinoy houses have been seen falling down once completed over time? Or, how many that did...WOULDN\'T HAVE if properly maintained?

It\'s us foreigners that feels/believe it CAN NOT last...............no way, no how!!!

After remodeling, (to most foreign standards), 4 Pinoy built house some 20 years old and can a test to the fact they can hold up. These houses were just not to my LIKENING!!!!!! Therefore, much work was done, all electrical and plumbing was changed out to my STANDARDS since foreign renters was my target! IE: business plan. 

What \"I\" find is, 1\'X2\' framing for 1/4\"/ 1/8\" plywood ceiling is not normal. 2X2 or 2X3 coco wood, (or mix thereof), is normal frame work for the ceiling with Pinoy housing.

When such conditions is found later, I would think, logically, the rest of the house would have shown what might be expected for the price? But, that\'s just my POV!!

Many ~~MANY~~ times, rental excepted by foreigners in the Philippines WOULDN\'T even be considered by a ~~pass by~~ where they came from.

QUOTE:\" plasterboard/drywall\"

It is being used here in the Philippines by some. ~~BUT~~ to hold up with the humidity found in the tropics and not found elsewhere where normally used, what\'s that effect?

In the USA at least, drywall used in damped areas is call \"Blue Board........ drywall\" and I haven\'t found any so far in the Philippines.

I can see when using STANDARD ~~drywall~~ with a number of oil based coats of paint on ~~BOTH~~ sides of the board would be somewhat effective against the common humidity found in the tropics???

It may take some YEARS to see the effect of ~~humidity~~ on the standard drywall offered in the Philippines???  Personally, I have chosen Hardiflex instead. BTW, with my BETTER IDEAS, it too MUST to be painted as found out with an overhang, humidity the factor causing bucking/wavy condition of the product!!!!!   
B-Ray       



I did see a cavity wall being built many years ago and that was by a foreigner. He used a double hollow block wall with sheets of polystyrene in between. A stud wall is also possible, you can but foil wrapped fiibreglass in rolls and bats from Citi hardware. We will be using it for ceiling insulation. You would really need to use metal batons for a stud wall because of the problem with termites here. I have seen Gypsum board again at Citi hardware, but it is rarely used, maybe because of the high humidity.

Colin
[/quote]
They seem to use thin plywood instead of plasterboard/drywall. The ceilings in all the houses I have lived in in the PI have been 1/4\" plywood, or thinner. It appears the roof is built, the wiring is done, then it is all sealed in place with the plywood, as there is nothing up there substantial enough to stand or walk on, should you need to go up there afterwards.

Our current rental house has maybe 1\" x 2\" \'joists\' holding the ceilings up. I need to go up and re-route some telephone cables, so I have to work out some way of doing it without ending up on my back on the floor below, covered in dust and splintered wood.  ;D :D
[/quote]
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 11, 2010, 05:32:53 PM
We ordered our 3D panels from a local builders merchant who had previously used them in enlarging their premises. He charged P370,000 for 115 2.8 metre x 4 foot wide panels. Excuse the mixed dimensions, but panels here are sold in imperial sizes while most other things including houses use metric.

Bing checked the prices with a supplier in Manila and was quoted P210,650 for 110 3 metre x 4 foot panels excluding delivery. Even allowing for say P60,000 for shipping, this still would have worked out a lot cheaper than we are now paying. The builders merchant is obviously making a very big profit. A quick calculation shows that we are paying P1149 per metre length compared to a direct cost (excluding shipping) of P638.

We don’t have the leaflet for the Manila supplier at the moment, but I will try to get another copy.

Using the ply panels for the maids quarters is only intended to be a temporary measure until we can stabilize our finances. We know there will be a lot of incidental spending which will almost certainly empty the pot. Walling around the lot, housing for the Generator and water pump system as well as all the interior fittings etc etc. We would hope to build a more permanent place for the maids in perhaps 2-3 years time.

Colin


Please do!

I will  ;)

Our engineer has the leaflet but he won\'t be back from Manila until Sunday.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 11, 2010, 08:53:01 PM
Part 24

Not directly connected with the building, but it would seem that we have fruit bats around the lot, and the workers shot six of them last night with an air rifle.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2087-1.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2087-1.jpg)
This one was still alive but with a broken wing.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_IMG_4288-1.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=IMG_4288-1.jpg)
Sad, but destined to join the others in the pot for palutan.

Colin

Continued in Part 25
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 11, 2010, 09:01:34 PM
One thing to keep in mind King and others is, Piony ~~that\'s good enough~~  has stood for generations!

How many Pinoy houses have been seen falling down once completed over time? Or, how many that did...WOULDN\'T HAVE if properly maintained?

As with everything else in the PI, houses are built down to a price, rather than up to a quality. And maintenance is something that is done when something finally stops working. There is no such thing as \'preventative maintenance\' in the Philippines.

Once you find a nice place, you need to personally monitor any maintenance that is done on it, if local guys are put in charge of it.

Our rental house was filthy when we moved in. My wife had done a bunch of cleaning, got rid of most of the grunge, by the time I finally arrived a few weeks later, but the state of the house was terrible. I find it hard to beleive the owner had even looked around it before we moved in,  though she swore she had checked it all out.

There were lights that didn\'t work, taps that dripped, a toilet was blocked, toilet roll holders were both broken off, a towel rail was missing, the shower heads were blocked solid and merely dribbled water out. Every piece of plumbing in the house, including around the sinks, was sealed with that resin compound usually reserved for emergency repairs. It would appear that the proper 5 peso  rubber seals were far too expensive to use.

The gutters were blocked with blackened clumps of soggy leaves. And the final straw, the outside rain drains were totally blocked and needed digging up last few days I was at home. I told the agent that no more rent would be paid until they were fixed, which seemed to galvanise the owner into spending a few pesos on the place.

I have told the owner that if this place had been properly cleaned and maintained she could have asked for 25%+ more rent, and that is one sure way to a Filipinos heart: through the wallet.  :D

These houses were originally built for military accommodation, so I beleive they were built to a better standard than most, but you still need to continually spend time and money on a house, or it all goes down the drain.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 26, 2010, 02:31:06 AM
Hi Colin,
I have just finished reading all 19 pages of your thread here and some of your website.
I am mightily impressed. I hope your wife\'s Nanay is feeling much better.

I think I told you on another thread that I am a qualified carpenter, and spent most of my life at construction in both the UK and Ireland. This included foreman in contracing in the Science museum and V&A in London as well as one off house building in Ireland.

If I may; I would like to give you a few tips. Firstly the septic tank and the sewage system. Installing this system without vent pipes is a real \'no no\' in any application. Each chamber of the tank should be vented. Without vented, as the built up of methane gas could create a dangerous situation. In The UK and Ireland as well as venting of septic tank every WC pipe coming from a building to an armstrong junction has to be vented also. If you think this vent pipe might cause an unwanted odour from the tank, just extend it vertically along a wall. Take care not to have the top of it close to a window.

On the subject of insulation, personally I would not put too much emphasis on the outside walls of the house. Sure they do retain heat from the outside, but unless a wall is in direct sun for most of the day it should not be too hot. It is different in western Europe in that we are trying to keep the heat in, but the difference in outside temperature is far more. IE in the winter we like to keep our house between 18C & 22C, whilst outside the temperature sometimes goes below 0C. This is a vast difference.
The 1 metre plus cantilever soffit overhangs on Filipino houses are there for a very good reason, whereas in Europe the soffit is often 300mm
In the Philippines, The ambient temperature in the shade seldom goes over 33C, and we try to keep our house around 25C This is not a vast difference.

The application of Insulation in homes (everywhere) is governed by economics and the \'payback\' time. IMO the best cooling for your buck can be achieved in the roof.

Still on the subject of insulation; the Filipino roof. This a total different matter. No matter what material you use there will be a huge build up of heat in your attic space due to the midday sun shining directly on it\'s surface. The passive cooling of this attic space together with insulation of the ceiling and/or roof will make a huge difference to the overall cooling of the house. Ventilation of this attic space whether totally passive (louver vents on the to of apex) or together with a expelling fan. I do believe that there are such fans that are solar powered.

More later, if I don\'t get shot down. :-[
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 26, 2010, 08:17:31 AM
Hi Expatio,

Thanks for the compliment, and Bings mother is doing very well. There was a possibility of her having an operation to remove the final small tumor, but that seems to have disapeared now.

I have considered about venting the septic tanks, but my last house in the UK was not vented. It only had an air valve to prevent the water being dragged out of the toilet pan.

I understand what you are saying about wall insulation, but although the extreme differences are a lot greater in the UK, the average difference is not all that much greater than here. In the UK we would only use heating for around four months of the year, set to 21C, and have windows open for a similar time. Here in the Philippines there can be a daytime temperature difference for the whole of the year. It does depend on just how comfortable you want the house to be. At the moment we set the aircon in our very leaky rented house to 27C and that is a little on the warm side for me, but electricity is expensive here. One of the objectives in the house design was to get a good airflow to minimize the use of aircon, but when it is switched on I do not want it wasted. I agree that the most important part of insulation is in the roof. The best design is completely open gable end, I made changes to my original design from sloping to gables ends and will fit large louvered openings in them.

The larger roof overhang here is designed more to protect the walls from rain. On a two story house it will only shade the upper walls for a lot of the time. Houses here are not built with damp proof courses and only single thickness walls. There is no cavity to protect the damp from penetrating and give air circulation to dry the outer wall. Our house is built in a long E-W direction so most of the walls are not exposed to the sun most of the time but do need protection from rain.

Keep the comments coming; you will not get shot down  ;) ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on August 26, 2010, 10:29:13 AM
You wanna keep the roof cool...
Here ya go...
(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/rufusoffroad/th_89131759PQIouC_ph.jpg) (http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/rufusoffroad/89131759PQIouC_ph.jpg)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 26, 2010, 06:56:21 PM
East/West aspect is indeed more important in the PI s we are only about 10C North of the equator. Having said that the midday sun is very high in the sky all year round and the walls of a house are seldom exposed to this.

In western Europe we try to take advantage of the sun. Active heating is now common in modern buildings, with lots of glass on the southerly side. We also design our houses to have the breakfast area with a more easterly aspect because we want the sun. In the PI we should try to apply this in the opposite direction.

IMO open plan houses work very well in the PI. I say this because they are easy to ventilate with windowson both sides of the room.
Argueably we spend the most time in our bedrooms, and in a two story house with upstairs bedrooms, cooling of this space become critical. Earlier in the yea I spent two months in a pension house. The first room I had was on the top floor. I had the aircon on all night. When I later moved to the ground floor the difference in temperature as so significant I only put the aircon on for an hour before I went to sleep.

Colin, we can agree to differ on the venting of your sewage system, but the building regulations are made for a good reason. The venting of the main pipe going into the tank also acts as an anti-syphoning (like your valve in the UK). In all the years I have been building I have never installed myself or others a non-vented system. The gas will build up and have to go somewhere, so it will leak out rather than been given  preferred passage up a vent pipe. If the tank is 100% sealed, the gases will work their way back up the pipe to the manhole beside your house. If this is also 100% sealed the gases will push their way up to your WC and bubble through the water in the \'P\'/\'S\' trap. The chances of it being 100% sealed are low so the gases will leak somewhere.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 26, 2010, 07:06:36 PM
Good sustainable development will use as much local materials as possible.

Here is a tip (if not already mentioned).

Paint your plywood concrete forms with coconut oil before each use as a form release agent. It is available in most coconut co-ops for less than 20 pesos a litre. Do not use waste engine oil, for obvious reasons.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 26, 2010, 07:16:39 PM
Colin, we can agree to differ on the venting of your sewage system, but the building regulations are made for a good reason.

I only discovered today when I asked our engineer why they were using hollow blocks on the outside wall of the downstairs toilet, that it was to enable a vent pipe to be fitted inside the wall. This pipe will also be connected to the toilet above then continue up to roof level. We have a second Septic Tank at the other end of the house that will use the same system.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 27, 2010, 03:01:33 AM
Great stuff Colin. If the septic tanks are reasonabley near the house, those vents should do the trick.

My building are spread out over a big distance and the tank (5Mx2.2M) is some distance from the last WC. The sewer pipes will have to be very precise in level. The fact that I am the site agent everything will be supervised by me.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 27, 2010, 11:26:57 AM
Part 25

The 3D panels are being installed on the ground floor.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2112.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2112.jpg)
These are on the front of the lounge and dining room. They now need to have the openings cut into them for the doors and windows before being rendered with cement.


The panels are fixed to dowels in the columns with \'U\' shaped pieces of rebar. A similar method is used to connect to the beams.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2107.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2107.jpg)


Angle bar being cut for the roofing.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2099.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2099.jpg)
Not too much attention is paid to safety. One of the roofing workers had a angle beam fall on his head and had to be taken to hospital, fortunately it was not serious. We paid the P1300 fee, but I would be interested to know views on what our liability is in the case of accidents on the site.


Parts of the house are beginning to take shape.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_IMG_4307.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=IMG_4307.jpg)
This is the partially completed arcade section at the front of the house.

Colin

Continued in part 26
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on August 27, 2010, 02:43:44 PM
Good sustainable development will use as much local materials as possible.

Here is a tip (if not already mentioned).

Paint your plywood concrete forms with coconut oil before each use as a form release agent. It is available in most coconut co-ops for less than 20 pesos a litre. Do not use waste engine oil, for obvious reasons.


Sorry for being a bit thick expatio.. What obvious reasons?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 27, 2010, 06:37:30 PM
The harm it causes to the environment, Fred.
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 27, 2010, 08:17:33 PM
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel

And?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on August 27, 2010, 09:52:54 PM
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel

And?

Its OBVIOUS this is an issue of Fossil abuse and dinosaur rights... Hopefully the ACLU will comment on this publicly soon.

hahah jk

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 27, 2010, 11:41:24 PM
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel

And?
it is non-toxic, and biodegradable
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on August 28, 2010, 12:07:49 AM
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel

And?
it is non-toxic, and biodegradable
It\'s also yummy!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 28, 2010, 01:21:53 AM
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel

And?

Its OBVIOUS this is an issue of Fossil abuse and dinosaur rights... Hopefully the ACLU will comment on this publicly soon.

hahah jk



The tree-hugging, lentil-weaving greenies are amongst us, run for your very lives.....  :D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 28, 2010, 06:22:18 AM
0
Coconut oil is not a fossil fuel

And?

Its OBVIOUS this is an issue of Fossil abuse and dinosaur rights... Hopefully the ACLU will comment on this publicly soon.

hahah jk



The tree-hugging, lentil-weaving greenies are amongst us, run for your very lives.....  :D
Look KH, you use your spent engine oil for form release (even though it is banned in the west), and you can save yourself a few hundred pesos for a less effective product. BTW I am so far from being a tree hugger. I am sorry for giving you guys a good (what I consider good) tip for building in The Philippines.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on August 28, 2010, 10:21:11 AM
I am sorry for giving you guys a good (what I consider good) tip for building in The Philippines.

All in jest

Note: Read my signature
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on August 28, 2010, 11:22:26 AM
I am sorry for giving you guys a good (what I consider good) tip for building in The Philippines.

All in jest

Note: Read my signature
With coconut oil it should read... in-gest  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 28, 2010, 06:48:37 PM
I am sorry for giving you guys a good (what I consider good) tip for building in The Philippines.

All in jest

Note: Read my signature
It was not aimed at you. Your comment; which I knew was a joke happened to be within the string.
Coconut oil is not only environmentally friendly; it is also a very good form release and leaves no residue on the finished concrete. It protects the plywood and enable the forms to be used over and over. Commercial form release agents are themselves made up mainly vegetable oils.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 28, 2010, 09:07:57 PM
Look KH, you use your spent engine oil for form release (even though it is banned in the west), and you can save yourself a few hundred pesos for a less effective product. BTW I am so far from being a tree hugger. I am sorry for giving you guys a good (what I consider good) tip for building in The Philippines.

Well, when asked \'why\' coconut oil was better you didn\'t say anything about the above, but mentioned tree-huggery things, so I assumed the very, very worst: lentil weaver.  :o

 ;D :D ;D :D ;D

So, point taken, advice accepted graciously, drama over, back to Colins house build.  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 28, 2010, 09:48:54 PM

Well, when asked \'why\' coconut oil was better you didn\'t say anything about the above, but mentioned tree-huggery things, so I assumed the very, very worst: lentil weaver.  :o

 ;D :D ;D :D ;D

So, point taken, advice accepted graciously, drama over, back to Colins house build.  ;D
I was merely giving a tip to the users here of a good product to use for form release. I would not give this tip unless I knew it was good. I don\'t recall being asked why coconut oil was better.

I was asked why not to use waste engine oil. You yourself, coming from the UK must surely be aware of the hazards or waste engine oil on the environment.
The reason I said you should not use waste oil, is because it is bad for the environment. It is carcinogenic and hazardous to the water table and I do want to put any avoidable due risk on my family or families around me. How you can associate this with tree huggery is beyond me.

Colin
Sorry for being part responsible for your thread going off-track.

I will restate (with omissions)  my tip: Coconut oil is a good replacement for commercial form release oil.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on August 29, 2010, 06:17:19 AM
Expatio..

I have 5 large oil drums full of used engine oil (inherited from bro in law who left it here before we bought land)..We used a whole drum of it to treat  mahogany timber against termites and which has worked great.. Not sure how the oil used on timber can damage the environment unless I burn it afterwards?
How should I dispose of all this oil?
The drums are already starting to corrode and once it gets in the soil nothing will grow.. If I pay the locals to take it away,God knows what they will do with it!!


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: expatio on August 29, 2010, 07:18:05 AM
Don\'t know Fred.
I know in Ireland that garages have it taken away by special companies. I know that it can be recycled.
In the PI, I do not know, but I presume the big garages there have such a system too.

I am pretty sure that burning would do a little bit of harm to the environment, just like any fossil fuel.
That is not what I was referring to.

It is a hazardous liquid, and several studies have linked it (and creosote) to cancer through contact with the skin. Creosote is banned in he EU except for licenced users. You probably notice that mechanics in most garages now wear safety gloves instead of barrier cream.

I am not an expert on this, but I know the disposal of it is controlled throughout the world. I would not want the soil around my house contaminated with it, as I have a water well.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 29, 2010, 08:13:53 AM
Colin
Sorry for being part responsible for your thread going off-track.

I will restate (with omissions)  my tip: Coconut oil is a good replacement for commercial form release oil.

Going off track is a normal occurrence in this forum, and in my view better for it. Maybe the mods could find a more appropriate place for the environmental aspects of oil pollution.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on August 31, 2010, 10:33:58 AM
Several people have asked me for a supplier of the 3D (polystyrene) wall panels I am using on my house. Sorry for the delay, but I have only just received the information from the contractor.

Eastern Wire Mfg. Inc.
116 Hoover Street
San Juan
Metro Manila
Tel. 722 2279/2118/3850
email easternwireinc@philconstruct.com

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on August 31, 2010, 07:54:49 PM
Several people have asked me for a supplier of the 3D (polystyrene) wall panels I am using on my house. Sorry for the delay, but I have only just received the information from the contractor.

Eastern Wire Mfg. Inc.
116 Hoover Street
San Juan
Metro Manila
Tel. 722 2279/2118/3850
email easternwireinc@philconstruct.com

Colin

Thanks !
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 02, 2010, 08:44:02 PM
Part 26

All of the ground floor outer walls have been fitted with 3D panels and work has started on the second floor. The lounge and dining room walls have been plastered.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2107-1.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2107-1.jpg)
The exposed 3D panelling will be cut away to fit the windows.


This is about half of the kitchen area. This is a lot larger than most kitchens here, but is important to be able to prepare the food I like. In most Philippine houses, the kitchen area is more of an afterthought, just a space for a refrigerator a sink and a rice cooker.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2132.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2132.jpg)
The rear wall has been partly plastered and you can see the additional rebar that has been added.


This is the master bedroom and dressing room.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2135.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2135.jpg)
The slope of the arcade roof had to be reduced to allow a good view from the windows that will be mounted above.


A view across the kitchen roof from the master bathroom.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2137.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2137.jpg)
There will be a high window here so this view will be seen from the bedroom balcony.

Colin

Continued in part 27
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on September 03, 2010, 12:11:15 AM
Nice...
It\'s coming along.
How much longer till you can move in?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on September 03, 2010, 06:36:13 AM
Looking good, Colin.  It appears that you\'re going to complete a very nice and well built home in spite of all the excellent advice you have received from us arm-chair construction experts.  ;D

Looking forward to seeing some photos when some of the finish-out work begins.

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 03, 2010, 09:08:58 AM
I could be another two month before we are ready to move in. We have some delays at the moment with the roof panels.

We want to use the roofing from Puyat Steel which is based in Manila http://www.puyatsteel.com. This is available from local suppliers but seems to be inferior copies. We went direct to Puyat and had to wait over two weeks for their estimate, but they are giving us 57% discount. It is also 0.6mm thick, which is not available here on Palawan. The panel thickness here seems to be 0.4mm or less. The colour is also oven baked with a 10 year warranty. Not like the rusty stuff you see on buildings here. We were also told that the colour fades quickly on the cheap stuff.

The metalwork for the roof is almost complete and we are waiting for the builder to check the dimensions. I measured the roof dimensions on my Sketchup model which should be accurate, and the roofing contractor used them to construct the framing, but I need to double check as Puyat will be cutting the panels to size.

We now need to arrange delivery with a cargo forwarding company. I am about to try the one that moved us from Manila to Palawan, but if anyone has any other recommendation it could be useful.

If anyone is planning to build here in the future, I would thoroughly recommend that they become familiar with Google Sketchup (free) just google ;D It has proved invaluable for placing windows and doors etc, and for calculating materials such as roofing, tiles etc.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 04, 2010, 11:53:08 AM
Colin, what color roof are you using?  I haven\'t followed all that\'s been said on your project.

If red, orange, blue or green, have you factored in the attic venting needed to over come the heat gained with those colors using metal roofing?

A 10 year warranty is a drawing card for sure! But, a Pinoy standard GI silver roofing will last that long also before needing attention of some kind.

Have you found what the process is to repair a BAKED ON product involves with time?  The 10 year warranty tells me, at some point in time, maintenance of the roof has to be dealt with!!! No difference then any other roof.

Just questions guy!  ;D   
B-Ray
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 04, 2010, 02:18:54 PM
Colin, what color roof are you using?  I haven\'t followed all that\'s been said on your project.

If red, orange, blue or green, have you factored in the attic venting needed to over come the heat gained with those colors using metal roofing?

I understand that a light coloured roof is better for reflecting heat, but appearance is also important. I was thinking originally of a light orange, but have now changed to terracotta to suit the Spanish theme. The original design had sloping roof ends, but I changed those to gable ends with all louvres to allow free air flow through the roof space. This will be as close as I can get to the ideal of completely open ends. I will also be laying thick insulation on top of the ceilings to prevent any heat getting into the rooms below.

Quote
A 10 year warranty is a drawing card for sure! But, a Pinoy standard GI silver roofing will last that long also before needing attention of some kind.

The 10 year warranty is just a bonus, the main draw was the 0.6mm thickness. It would seem that that thickness is not available here.

Quote
Have you found what the process is to repair a BAKED ON product involves with time?  The 10 year warranty tells me, at some point in time, maintenance of the roof has to be dealt with!!! No difference then any other roof.

The \'baked on\' paint should be harder and more durable than sprayed or brushed, but I doubt if any repairs become necessary that it would be any different to other methods.

Quote
Just questions guy!  ;D 

No problems with questions, that is what we are here for  ;)
 
Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on September 04, 2010, 05:13:05 PM
Colin,

I looked around in RP for a while and did not notice anything similar to Pink Batts, thick woven glass insulation available in Australia. I comes in a variety of R factors the higher the number the better the insulation. We used the white foam with aluminium foil backing when our roof was done recently, it might as well have not been there for all the good it did.

If you are interested I could ship them in Balikbayan boxes to Palawan, certainly better than the white foam that comes in rolls available there.

What are the centers for the steel supports for your roofing, pink batts are typically laid in the ceiling after it is installed, they are done from above and keep the attic heat in the attic and not down below.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 04, 2010, 08:25:35 PM
Colin,

I looked around in RP for a while and did not notice anything similar to Pink Batts, thick woven glass insulation available in Australia. I comes in a variety of R factors the higher the number the better the insulation. We used the white foam with aluminium foil backing when our roof was done recently, it might as well have not been there for all the good it did.

If you are interested I could ship them in Balikbayan boxes to Palawan, certainly better than the white foam that comes in rolls available there.

What are the centers for the steel supports for your roofing, pink batts are typically laid in the ceiling after it is installed, they are done from above and keep the attic heat in the attic and not down below.

Thanks for the offer Wayne. I was planning to use the 150mm foil wrapped Fiberglass blankets from Citi Hardware, but their website no longer lists them :( Maybe they still sell them but do not list everything on the website, I believe I still saw them on a recent visit but will go along tomorrow to check.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on September 04, 2010, 09:02:29 PM
Col,

You might want to take a butcher\'s at alibaba.com.........if you\'re buying in quantity (ie by the pallet load or greater) that\'s the place to lok
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 05, 2010, 07:28:07 AM
Col,

You might want to take a butcher\'s at alibaba.com.........if you\'re buying in quantity (ie by the pallet load or greater) that\'s the place to lok


Excellent suggestion, I have just found this

http://www.alibaba.com/product/ph103301190-109698703-0/CSR_GLASSWOOL_AND_ROCKWOOL_INSULATION.html

I have emailed the company for details.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: chuwachi on September 05, 2010, 04:16:15 PM
It\'s looking pretty sweet Col, I\'m especially impressed with the step ladder in pic No. 3...!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 08, 2010, 01:24:43 PM
Apparently we are talking about two ways to insulate the attic. Colins way above the ceiling, I take using batting insulation and Waynes way between the rafters against the roofing.

Waynes way takes more effort needing a strip of something longer then the raft spacing so when installed it\'s in a upper U shape to hold, (pressure), the insulation in place.

The 3rd way is to install the insulation on top of the rafters and then the roofing.  Like an Alaskan \"A\" frame house.  ::).

If a person really wants to get fancy, glue the insulation to the roofing material before installing and be done with it.  ;D

In our studio apartment I used that foam foil back insulation but doubled in the ceiling, since only 3\" from the GI roofing and then installed the Pinoy sleeping mat for a ceiling, treated and varnished.  Very effective with the bamboo walls also treated and varnished with one layer of that insulation.
B-Ray   

Colin,

I looked around in RP for a while and did not notice anything similar to Pink Batts, thick woven glass insulation available in Australia. I comes in a variety of R factors the higher the number the better the insulation. We used the white foam with aluminium foil backing when our roof was done recently, it might as well have not been there for all the good it did.

If you are interested I could ship them in Balikbayan boxes to Palawan, certainly better than the white foam that comes in rolls available there.

What are the centers for the steel supports for your roofing, pink batts are typically laid in the ceiling after it is installed, they are done from above and keep the attic heat in the attic and not down below.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on September 08, 2010, 01:33:08 PM
In Australia the \"Pink Batts\" as they are known, are a push fit into the spacing between the ceiling joists and can be installed DIY. These products are available from any home handy man centre and come in various thickness\'s upto and including 250mm. They hold themselves in place and are designed for joist spacing widths of 480mm and 530mm I believe.

No upside down U is required to affix them and they can be simply removed if needed and reused in another location if you modify the ceiling in any way. Also as there is no conductive foil anywhere in sight, there are no problems with short circuits from shoddy wiring from light fixtures.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on September 08, 2010, 09:56:57 PM
In the UK in the 70`we  poured loose perlite above the ceiling inside of loft spaces 4\" thick for insulation purposes..
I know we can get perlite here in the P.I as I bought 90Kilo which was mined here..
Im pretty sure its good insulation material as it is recommended for insulating brick pizza ovens too.
The problem is shipping.. To ship from Manila,most shipping companirs require a DENR certification to show its not Shabu or some other illegal drug before they will accept it.
Been there,done that..Still have 90Kilo still sitting in Manila!!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 09, 2010, 01:41:58 PM
Many years ago in the States a loose insulation above the ceiling was called Rock Wool. The problem was, as it settles, it looses insulation value.

I think it was 6\" of rock wool would equal 2\" of fiberglass in a couple of years. But still better then nothing.
B-Ray 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: abrahamvllera on September 17, 2010, 01:31:20 PM
A brand of fiberglass insulation is manufactured in Calamba, Laguna by ACI Fibreglas (Phil) Inc, only hat I\'m not sure who the distributor is now.  I know.  I sed to work there.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on September 17, 2010, 06:30:36 PM
Building materials are coming more available across the Philippines.

Supply and demand moves the market and always has.
B-Ray

A brand of fiberglass insulation is manufactured in Calamba, Laguna by ACI Fibreglas (Phil) Inc, only hat I\'m not sure who the distributor is now.  I know.  I sed to work there.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 08, 2010, 08:35:25 AM
Part 27

There have been a few more problems since I last posted.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2135-1.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2135-1.jpg)
Our adviser told the workers to use hollow blocks on our bathroom wall. We had to have this knocked down and replaced with the correct 3D panels. The similar thing happened with the front porch which had 3D panels installed instead of hollow blocks; it did not need insulating. The 3D panels were also incorrectly fitted to the roof gable ends again which did not need insulating.

Our adviser recommended that we buy the 3D panels from a local hardware merchant because of the difficulty of getting them shipped from Manila. Bing had already researched the price, and it was almost half the local cost. We went ahead and asked him to order the panels, but he ordered 115 and we later calculated that we only needed around 80 for the external walls. We are now using them unnecessarily for internal walls that do not need insulating.
After that we decided we would order the roof panels direct from the manufacturer and we found that we could get them shipped by a local Cargo Forwarding Company. We don’t know the cost of shipping yet, but it has to be a lot less than the 57% discount that Puyat Steel are giving us. Also we know that we are getting genuine good quality panels something you cannot get locally. It seems that there are a lot of poor quality copies here and we have heard that the colour fades quickly on even the expensive ones. Unfortunately Puyat Steel are proving to be very slow and causing delays in the construction.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_IMG_4328.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=IMG_4328.jpg)
One of the workers measuring the roof to get the exact size for the panels.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th_IMG_4353.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=IMG_4353.jpg)
We are also waiting for the delivery of the larger ground floor windows from Citi Hardware. They are getting them shipped from Davao but are now overdue. The second floor windows will be fitted after we have the roof panels installed.
This photo also shows an improved arch shape that will be applied to all arches.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2165.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2165.jpg)
Here is a window opening in the master bedroom with a view of the front garden

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2172.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2172.jpg)
This is the first window to be installed with a sample of decorative molding.

We are also having problems with the plumbing. The contractor had given the job to the foreman who is not trained as a plumber and he was about to connect the gray water to the sewage pipes to feed into the digester chamber of the septic tank. When I complained about this and other problems with the venting, they decided to create a proper plan for my approval; I am still waiting for that.
I will be using a central hot water cylinder to feed all the hot water outlets rather than separate instant water heaters. Part of the reason for this is to be able to pre-heat the water to it with a solar water heater; this will be added later

I think that both our adviser and the contractor are a little unhappy that Bing is checking every detail of the spending, and that we are now doing all the buying and even finding cheaper places. I think they are losing out on their ‘commission’. A good example of this was that they were buying back fill at P6000 per truckload, and we later found a supplier at P4000.

Colin

Continued in part 28 (this is proving a marathon task  :()
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: barili boy on October 08, 2010, 09:04:41 AM
Colin What are the decorative moulding around the windows made of, how are they attached and roughly what do they cost. My house in Cebu is about to be rendered and I hadn\'t considered using them as in Oz they are usually made of styrene foam and the old federation house are made of precast blocks.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 08, 2010, 10:47:39 AM
I would think the window moldings are pre-cast cement and glued in place,  rubbed down and painted?

At least that is what was done on a buddies house some 4 years ago and the forms were made and casting done on location.
B-Ray

Colin What are the decorative moulding around the windows made of, how are they attached and roughly what do they cost. My house in Cebu is about to be rendered and I hadn\'t considered using them as in Oz they are usually made of styrene foam and the old federation house are made of precast blocks.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: aerosick on October 08, 2010, 10:49:21 AM
I would think the window moldings are pre-cast cement and glued in place,  rubbed down and painted?

At least that is what was done on a buddies house some 4 years ago and the forms were made and casting done on location.
B-Ray

Colin What are the decorative moulding around the windows made of, how are they attached and roughly what do they cost. My house in Cebu is about to be rendered and I hadn\'t considered using them as in Oz they are usually made of styrene foam and the old federation house are made of precast blocks.

Same with a neighbor house in Carcar, Cebu.

Billy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 08, 2010, 11:04:04 AM
Colin What are the decorative moulding around the windows made of, how are they attached and roughly what do they cost. My house in Cebu is about to be rendered and I hadn\'t considered using them as in Oz they are usually made of styrene foam and the old federation house are made of precast blocks.

I did not see them being made but it was still wet cement when we looked at them. I believe the surround was roughened and they were either cast in place or more likely molded with a shaped former.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on October 12, 2010, 04:50:42 AM

I did not see them being made but it was still wet cement when we looked at them. I believe the surround was roughened and they were either cast in place or more likely molded with a shaped former.

Colin

Well, having worked with concrete in a past life I\'m sincerely impressed with the apparent quality of the molding, however it\'s being done.  I need to ask my bro in law to see about adding some decorative moldings to the windows and doors of our house before they paint it.   :)

Colin, I\'m gaining a lot of knowledge through your experiences.  It is more apparent to me, and should be to others as well, how important it is that anyone building a house in the Philippines be onsite often, if not every day, to assure themselves of what they\'re getting, versus paying for.   ;) 

\"It\'s how we do it here\" isn\'t going to fly for me.  I have enough general construction knowledge to know when I\'m being suckered.   >:(  I think I\'ve mentioned before that I intend to build a small \"construction office\" to live in temporarily while my house is underway.  I\'m going to end up sending a lot of guys kicking rocks down the road, but my house will be built correctly, by someone willing to do it my way.  After all, I\'m the one who\'s going to be footing the bills!   :o  :)  :)

Thank you for your excellent observations, photos, notes of interest and day to day details that you share with all of us!   :)  :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 12, 2010, 06:01:40 AM
I watched the repairmen laying a plastic drain in our garden, laid the tube directly onto concrete rubble, then laid more concrete rubble and rocks on top, then tossed some soil and debris on, then poured concrete directly onto that, maybe an inch or two thick, with no attempt to tamp it down at all first. This is the pathway around the house, walked on all the time, yet the loosely tossed down concrete repair is no thicker than 2\" in any place.

I know I will definitly be watching every inch of progress if ever we have our own place built here.



I\'m no building expert, but I know enough about it all to know what is good and what is bad practise.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 12, 2010, 09:45:02 AM
Well, having worked with concrete in a past life I\'m sincerely impressed with the apparent quality of the molding, however it\'s being done.  I need to ask my bro in law to see about adding some decorative moldings to the windows and doors of our house before they paint it.   :)


They used what is described here as ‘fine sand’ with a high cement content, I am not sure, but I believe about a 4:1 mix

Quote
Colin, I\'m gaining a lot of knowledge through your experiences.  It is more apparent to me, and should be to others as well, how important it is that anyone building a house in the Philippines be onsite often, if not every day, to assure themselves of what they\'re getting, versus paying for.   ;) 

\"It\'s how we do it here\" isn\'t going to fly for me.  I have enough general construction knowledge to know when I\'m being suckered.   >:(  I think I\'ve mentioned before that I intend to build a small \"construction office\" to live in temporarily while my house is underway.  I\'m going to end up sending a lot of guys kicking rocks down the road, but my house will be built correctly, by someone willing to do it my way.  After all, I\'m the one who\'s going to be footing the bills!   :o  :)  :)


I would strongly recommend that people live on the site if at all possible. It would have been difficult for us because we have so much [strike]stuff[/strike] junk  ;D. If I had to do it again, I would find a way around it.

Our new neighbour opposite build a nice nippa hut for around P50,000 and lived in it during the construction. They still use the kitchen for cooking smelly fish instead of their internal open plan kitchen.

We were invited to house warming party of an Englishman we met here and he built this in the garden.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1801.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1801.jpg)

They lived there during the construction. The second floor is a bedroom and the ground floor a BBQ/Dirty kitchen. There is a toilet on the far side.

This is the house he built
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_1815.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_1815.jpg)
He still had problems with the roofing contractor and was taking him to court to recover money that was owed.

Quote
Thank you for your excellent observations, photos, notes of interest and day to day details that you share with all of us!   :)  :)


I do it to hope that people can learn by our mistakes. Trying to control a build here is not easy and can be quite stressful at times; everyone becomes an expert if they think they can make money. Fortunately we have a very good foreman and electrician. The foreman is not always on site but the electrician keeps an eye on things for us.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on October 12, 2010, 11:04:11 AM
Quote
A good example of this was that they were buying back fill at P6000 per truckload, and we later found a supplier at P4000.

Where we are a truck load of local anapog (lime rock) is also 4k.. The truck carries 14 cubic meters.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 13, 2010, 12:14:14 PM
WOW 14 cu/meters..........that\'s a mighty big dump truck!!  That must be at least an 18 wheeler???

A 6 wheeled dump truck around here carries 4 cu/meters to bed hight.
B-Ray



Where we are a truck load of local anapog (lime rock) is also 4k.. The truck carries 14 cubic meters.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on October 13, 2010, 04:11:23 PM
Quote
WOW 14 cu/meters..........that\'s a mighty big dump truck!!  That must be at least an 18 wheeler???

Yeah..Weve had 6 deliveries so far and its a monster..Next time he comes I`ll count the wheels!!
Looks like something you might see in a mining operation..
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on October 14, 2010, 12:11:42 PM
Colin What are the decorative moulding around the windows made of, how are they attached and roughly what do they cost. My house in Cebu is about to be rendered and I hadn\'t considered using them as in Oz they are usually made of styrene foam and the old federation house are made of precast blocks.

When the guy did the decorative mouldings on my window openings he drilled holes in the walls
and proceeded to use 10mm rod for the forming. He then used a drier mix and went to work.
No problems with it detaching or cracking at this time.

I also watched workers doing decorative moulding on a 2 storey house just near me and they used the same method.
The guy doing the moulding was still attending a course in school that taught how to do this moulding professionaly.

Graham 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on October 14, 2010, 12:24:34 PM
Colin,

Didn\'t want to sift thru\' all you have written. Are the windows your using PVC??

I used them in my house because of being close to the water. Aluminium would pit eventually
even tho\' I could have gotten them cheaper as Janet\'s sister has an aluminium n glass factory
I found that the glass frames do not seal completely against the support frames (bottom n top)
allowing the wind to make a whistling noise when it blows hard.
Also because there is a gap between the window and the runners on the bottom and the top it allows
Ghekko\'s to come and go at will.   >:(

Graham


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 14, 2010, 12:43:36 PM
Colin What are the decorative moulding around the windows made of, how are they attached and roughly what do they cost. My house in Cebu is about to be rendered and I hadn\'t considered using them as in Oz they are usually made of styrene foam and the old federation house are made of precast blocks.


When the guy did the decorative mouldings on my window openings he drilled holes in the walls
and proceeded to use 10mm rod for the forming. He then used a drier mix and went to work.
No problems with it detaching or cracking at this time.

I also watched workers doing decorative moulding on a 2 storey house just near me and they used the same method.
The guy doing the moulding was still attending a course in school that taught how to do this moulding professionaly.

Graham 


Here is the completed window moulding
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2181.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2181.jpg)

The shape was created with a metal template
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/th__MG_2182.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/?action=view¤t=_MG_2182.jpg)

Colin

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 14, 2010, 12:50:22 PM
Colin,

Didn\'t want to sift thru\' all you have written. Are the windows your using PVC??

I used them in my house because of being close to the water. Aluminium would pit eventually
even tho\' I could have gotten them cheaper as Janet\'s sister has an aluminium n glass factory
I found that the glass frames do not seal completely against the support frames (bottom n top)
allowing the wind to make a whistling noise when it blows hard.
Also because there is a gap between the window and the runners on the bottom and the top it allows
Ghekko\'s to come and go at will.   >:(

Graham


We had the choice of either PVC or Aluminium in the same design, but preferred the PVC even although it was more expensive. The Aluminium were powder coated in white or brown so should be weather proof.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on October 14, 2010, 01:21:16 PM
Colin,

I thought that I recognised the protective stripping stuck to the outside of the PVC.
Your windows are the same as mine. I have the ones that have just 2 sliders and 2 small
fixed glass panels above. 110W x 150H tinted green.

My cost was Php5K each

Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on October 14, 2010, 01:31:11 PM
Colin,

Must be weak from hunger, brain not operating at full speed. Just thought of something.
I purchased a 110 x 110 to put into the kitchen. Couldn\'t work out, the first time it rained,
why the channels filled up with water and didn\'t drain away. Upon inspection I found out that
the window had been put in upside down, with the drain holes on top. Had to drill and cut
new holes in the bottom channel.

just thought I would warn you of this, can save you a bit of time fooling around.

Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 14, 2010, 03:42:26 PM
Colin,

Must be weak from hunger, brain not operating at full speed. Just thought of something.
I purchased a 110 x 110 to put into the kitchen. Couldn\'t work out, the first time it rained,
why the channels filled up with water and didn\'t drain away. Upon inspection I found out that
the window had been put in upside down, with the drain holes on top. Had to drill and cut
new holes in the bottom channel.

just thought I would warn you of this, can save you a bit of time fooling around.

Graham

Thanks for the warning. We have only had 5 out of a total of 23 installed so far so I will check.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on October 16, 2010, 06:57:50 AM
...I intend to build a small \"construction office\" to live in temporarily while my house is underway...

Thank you [Colin] for your excellent observations, photos, notes of interest and day to day details that you share with all of us!   :)  :)

Ditto on the compliment to Colin.  :)

Now Jack... about that \"temporary construction office\"... I would make sure that you have a clear understanding up front with Glo that once the main house is finished, you get to move into the main house along with her and the rest of the family.  ;D

Tom in Big D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on October 23, 2010, 02:38:00 AM
Now Jack... about that \"temporary construction office\"... I would make sure that you have a clear understanding up front with Glo that once the main house is finished, you get to move into the main house along with her and the rest of the family.  ;D

Tom in Big D

Oh, but you don\'t understand!  I fully intend to keep that bahay kubo just for me and my buddies to hang out!  The Empress doesn\'t allow me to \"work\" on anything inside the house, even in the utility room.  If I need to sharpen a knife, or cut a piece of wood, or do anything that involves \"smelly\" stuff like oils, solvents, etc. she goes ballistic.  I have many unfinished projects I would dearly love to work on, so I\'ll need that little house to do my \"guy stuff\".  Know what I mean?  Of course you do!   This will give me a place to have my nephews, bro in laws, father in law and others over for a few cold ones, watch a game or boxing match on TV or to just hang out and talk \"man talk\".  Can\'t do any of that stuff inside the Empress\'s Palace.   ;)   ;D   ;D 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on October 23, 2010, 02:44:04 AM
Thanks for the additional info, Colin!  I\'m sure our builder knows about this, but it helps for me to know as well.   ;)

That\'s a very nice design for your neighbor\'s bahay kubo!  Looks perfect for my construction office. 
His home is also very nice! 

I\'m inspired!  Thanks buddy!



They used what is described here as ‘fine sand’ with a high cement content, I am not sure, but I believe about a 4:1 mix


I would strongly recommend that people live on the site if at all possible. It would have been difficult for us because we have so much [strike]stuff[/strike] junk  ;D. If I had to do it again, I would find a way around it.

Our new neighbour opposite build a nice nippa hut for around P50,000 and lived in it during the construction. They still use the kitchen for cooking smelly fish instead of their internal open plan kitchen.

We were invited to house warming party of an Englishman we met here and he built this in the garden.

They lived there during the construction. The second floor is a bedroom and the ground floor a BBQ/Dirty kitchen. There is a toilet on the far side.

This is the house he built

I do it to hope that people can learn by our mistakes. Trying to control a build here is not easy and can be quite stressful at times; everyone becomes an expert if they think they can make money. Fortunately we have a very good foreman and electrician. The foreman is not always on site but the electrician keeps an eye on things for us.

Colin

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 24, 2010, 02:52:08 PM
We are being charged by the linear metre for the window mouldings. The lower sill section P190 for the ground floor and P220 for the second floor. The sides and top at P175 and P210 respectively. They do look good, and they have also started on the arches and tops of the columns.

We have been told that our roof panel are ready for collection in Manila but have been waiting a week for the details that the cargo forwarders will need. I guess it is that mañana problem again  ::)

We have been waiting for some large windows from Citi Hardware, they had to be ordered and we were told it would take 3 weeks. One month later we heard they were out of stock in Davao but will be shipping them soon.

There was also some confusion with the plumbing, partly because there was not a complete installation plan included with the original plans. We are still trying to sort that one out. It is preventing the completion of the rendering in the three bathrooms.

We had a text from the neighbour opposite to say that he had seen one of the workers leaving with some rebar.  We have also had our suspicions that cement was being stolen. We have told the contractor to dismiss all the present workers and get some new ones. All the workers at the time must have known what was going on, even if they were not directly involved. A tricycle was driven in and loaded with the rebar. What makes it worse was the fact that we treated them very well, giving them coffee and snacks every time we went there. We have now employed two uniformed and armed guard to cover the place over 24 hours. They have taken a complete inventory of the stores and check everything in and out and will not let anyone in without a pass. It costs us P25,000 a month, but worth it to get things back under control.

While discussing the problems with the contractor, we learned that the city engineering department had an arrangement with the quarry to buy back-fill at P3500. Our adviser, who works there and is supposed to help us save money, was charging us P6300   ??? We now buy everything ourselves and have found cheaper places for a number or items.

It gets so frustrating when you have difficulty finding someone to trust.

Colin

Continued in part 30
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 24, 2010, 09:13:49 PM
....What makes it worse was the fact that we treated them very well, giving them coffee and snacks every time we went there. ........

It gets so frustrating when you have difficulty finding someone to trust.

Colin


Understanding their mindset is the hardest part of the puzzle, I found. You\'d think that looking after your employees, treating them well, respecting them etc, would  gain you some respect from them, in return, some trust, some sort of responsible action.

But no, it simply doesn\'t work that way.  :(



And yet again it brings to mind my post \"Why is the Philippines so poor\".
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on October 25, 2010, 07:40:55 AM
The stolen gear has nothing to do with them being Filipino... Building sites in the UK are just the same.. I once walked onto a job very near completion to find 25 brand new installed boilers that had been ripped out over the weekend.. We all knew it was the site plumber that nicked them for another job..This type of pilferage happened all the time unless there were 24 hour security guards..
A lot of Brit builders would even stoop to stealing their fellow tradesmen\'s tools..You cant get much lower then that..
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on October 25, 2010, 08:39:52 PM
The stolen gear has nothing to do with them being Filipino... Building sites in the UK are just the same.. I once walked onto a job very near completion to find 25 brand new installed boilers that had been ripped out over the weekend.. We all knew it was the site plumber that nicked them for another job..This type of pilferage happened all the time unless there were 24 hour security guards..
A lot of Brit builders would even stoop to stealing their fellow tradesmen\'s tools..You cant get much lower then that..


I\'m not talking about stealing Colin.

Attitude, contrariness, vindictiveness, disrespect, even outright contempt , I\'ve seen it all from locals when you think you have been nice enough to get them \'on your side\'.

I\'m also talking about everywhere from building sites to machine shops, tattoo shops to shipping companies. Simply working for a foreigner seems to be enough to arouse this attitude amongst a certain percentage of people.

But there are also the ones who do a great job, for what works out to be peanuts a day. We try to cultivate those, but it is not always successful, as they are usually in high demand elsewhere, for obvious reasons.

And finally my wife has realised what I used to feel all those years ago, now that she is the foreigner and I am almost a local.  ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: rdjlazo@yahoo.com on November 02, 2010, 05:43:48 AM
Folks,
Construction site is just like a retail store. If people can still they will.
It is not because they are Filipinos. They are mostly poor Filipinos.
It is not because it is in the Philippines it happens world wide .
Good merchants watch their stores.
Don\'t tempt them to still and the way to do that is being there.
If you pay them by the hour  they will also still time too when you are not there.
That\'shuman nature not just Filipino nature. It bothers me so much when some people
here comments that it happens because they are Filipinos and that\'s why
 Filipinos are poor.
In retail stores it is either the customer, the worker or the suppliers who will still.
My point is when you are not present at the site people  will get tempted.
Good employers put security cameras,  a relative or close reliable person as
their  eyes and ears on site.
Tempt them and they will  get tempted. Not all but many. That\'s why
there are successful workers and merchants and there are
 those that don\'t  last and fade away.
In construction site you have to figure out how they can still
time and materials from you and best way to prevent it  is being there.
Security guards are human beings too and can get tempted.
Let\'s not be naive.
It bothers me so much when I read comments that that happens
because they are Filipinos. LET\'S WAKE UP IT HAPPENS ALL OVER.
Stilling is world wide, done by real bad people or very poor people
forced by necessity,
Just my 2 cents. and don\'t mean to offend anyone.
Rudy
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 02, 2010, 10:54:51 AM
The stolen gear has nothing to do with them being Filipino... Building sites in the UK are just the same.. I once walked onto a job very near completion to find 25 brand new installed boilers that had been ripped out over the weekend.. We all knew it was the site plumber that nicked them for another job..This type of pilferage happened all the time unless there were 24 hour security guards..
A lot of Brit builders would even stoop to stealing their fellow tradesmen\'s tools..You cant get much lower then that..


I\'m not talking about stealing Fred. (Oops, I Put Colin first time)

Attitude, contrariness, vindictiveness, disrespect, even outright contempt , I\'ve seen it all from locals when you think you have been nice enough to get them \'on your side\'.

I\'m also talking about everywhere from building sites to machine shops, tattoo shops to shipping companies. Simply working for a foreigner seems to be enough to arouse this attitude amongst a certain percentage of people.

But there are also the ones who do a great job, for what works out to be peanuts a day. We try to cultivate those, but it is not always successful, as they are usually in high demand elsewhere, for obvious reasons.

And finally my wife has realised what I used to feel all those years ago, now that she is the foreigner and I am almost a local.  ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: coutts00 on November 03, 2010, 05:47:45 AM
I think a little less put down for the Pinoy people on this thread is needed, after all we are married to Pinay. Lets get back on topic about building in the Philippines please.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: barongoy on November 07, 2010, 04:47:23 PM
Sorry to hear that some of your crew took advantage of you. I am a pinoy and I am embarassed. It is not OK for people to steal from others especially from honest, hardworking people....at all. I hope that person does not have a job now.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 07, 2010, 07:53:07 PM
Sorry to hear that some of your crew took advantage of you. I am a pinoy and I am embarassed. It is not OK for people to steal from others especially from honest, hardworking people....at all. I hope that person does not have a job now.

We told the contractor to get rid of all the workers that were on the site. They all must have known what was going on, particularly as the one that stole the rebar drove a tricycle onto the  site  to remove it. Unfortunately the contractor has not yet suplied replacements, so we are at a standstill.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: barongoy on November 08, 2010, 02:00:30 AM
I just do not get it. You gave them a job, be nice to them, you sometimes bought them food and this was what you get in return. Anyway, I hope its all going to work out for you. BTW, how many people were working on your house?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 08, 2010, 05:44:11 AM
I just do not get it. You gave them a job, be nice to them, you sometimes bought them food and this was what you get in return. Anyway, I hope its all going to work out for you. BTW, how many people were working on your house?

There were around 15 when the concrete pouring was being done, but other times as few as 2. This has been one of our problems with this contractor and made the build very slow. They also seem to using the delay in getting the roofing panels shipped as an excuse to do very little even although there are many things that could be done. We are just waiting now for the roof to arrive and be installed, then we will get rid of our adviser and contractor and find our own workers.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 21, 2010, 02:18:36 PM
Part 30 of the continuing saga  ;D

The roof panels have finally arrived after very long and frustrating delays.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4359.jpg)

After getting an initial estimate from Puyat Steel using my Sketchup design, they wanted accurate measurements from the actual roof struts. We had to wait for that to be completed then the measurements were not very accurate because the roofing welder only had a two metre ruler. I had to lend them my long builders tape measure, and got someone else to double check it. This was necessary because Puyat were going to cut the panels to size. They also wanted the signature of the roofing contractor to agree they were correct. We then waited quite a while only to find the shipment had been ready but the engineer had not got around to telling us. The Cargo forwarder agreed to collect the shipment so we canceled Puyat delivery charges. After more delays the Cargo forwarder decided they had not got a big enough vehicle to collect it. So we had to then rearrange the delivery. None of this happened without us continually chasing them. The delivery charge by the Cargo forwarder then increased from P9000 to P28,000 because they  discovered it weighed around 2.5 tons and was difficult to move. This was still a lot cheaper than buying the local inferior products.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4364.jpg)

While all this was going on, there was no work being done on the house. Bings mother was getting steadily weaker and had two visits to the hospital and died the second time. There was then the wake and funeral to deal with, so we just forgot about the house for a while. There were a lot of things that could have been done, but we decided to wait until the roof was on. We are now arranging a meeting with our ‘useless’ adviser and the ‘slow and casual’ contractor to get things moving again. We are now thinking of breaking up what is left to do into small chunks and either chasing them to do them or hand them out to someone else.

©olin

Continued in part 31
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 21, 2010, 06:40:03 PM
I\'ve recently been browsing the older pages of the building section of the forum, and todays part of your build seems a far cry from a year ago, when there was so much confidence and contentment with the predicted four month build. It is amazing how easily things can stall and falter, with myriad problems and challenges being thrown at you all the time.

We too are now looking into building a house, if and when we buy the land, and it is indeed a daunting prospect. I\'ve had some ten years of living in the Philippines, so I know exactly what can happen, so I hope we are prepared for it. all told
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: GregW on November 22, 2010, 05:44:36 AM
Colin, I am sorry to hear of Bing\'s mother passing.  My condolences to Bing, you and the rest of your family.  My own mother passed just this past May so I can relate.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on November 22, 2010, 06:44:23 AM
Colin, I am sorry to hear of Bing\'s mother passing.  My condolences to Bing, you and the rest of your family.  My own mother passed just this past May so I can relate.
Colin, same here except it was my Dad on Mother\'s Day. Please accept our condolences.....God Bless....
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 22, 2010, 07:25:25 AM
Thanks Greg, Steve and Myrlita for the condolences.

©olin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dutch expat on November 22, 2010, 10:42:34 AM
Colin, in the journey of life some people leave a mark so deep that it becomes hard to forget them. May Bing and you find peace and love in the memories you cherish. With heartfelt condolences.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 22, 2010, 08:27:22 PM
Colin, in the journey of life some people leave a mark so deep that it becomes hard to forget them. May Bing and you find peace and love in the memories you cherish. With heartfelt condolences.

Thanks Dutch, your thoughts are appreciated.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: jonnyivy on November 22, 2010, 09:20:28 PM
Here too Colin,... best wishes my friend,.. you know how the cancer affected my life terribly too !!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on November 23, 2010, 08:11:24 AM
Here too Colin,... best wishes my friend,.. you know how the cancer affected my life terribly too !!

Thanks Johnny, at least Bings mother had no pain, and we made sure all her family were around her.

I saw my father take nine months to die of pancreatic cancer and it was the increasingly strong painkillers that finally ended his life. We were told to return the remainder to the chemist because they were too dangerous to leave lying around.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: jonnyivy on November 24, 2010, 06:31:38 PM
..\"Thanks Johnny, at least Bings mother had no pain, and we made sure all her family were around her.\"

... and with those two things , you will feel for years that you did all you could for her in her final moments,... and that will give you both some of the comfort you need,..... (from experience)

Jonny
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 09, 2011, 10:49:14 AM
Part 31

We have got past Xmas and the New Year and have now dismissed our second contractor. We have checked out two different foremen, the first one came very highly recommended and we have seen several of the houses he has built. He quoted a fixed price to complete the house, we pay weekly wages and any balance will be his profit. The price was perhaps a little on the high side, but not too much considering the quality of his work and the guarantee that it would not exceed that price. The second one, again recommended, most of his prices were good except for the painting which took it higher than the first foreman\'s quote. He quoted P350,000 for painting, we thought it was a clerical error but he said it was correct. I did a rough calculation and estimated that at a reasonable wage, it would pay for five men working for almost a year. That can’t be right; you can paint the Forth bridge in that time ::) so we are going for the first foreman.

We were talking to one of our doctors (surgeon) who had a house built a number of years ago. He went through several contractors and told us that there is no such thing as a good honest one. One of the plumbers used electrical conduit for the water which later leaked and caused a lot of damage. He will now only employ foremen or individual workers and he will supervise. We told this story to the electrician we are keeping, he laughed and said that every job he has been on the contractors got dismissed but he was always asked to completed his work.

Colin

Continued in part 32
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 09, 2011, 11:08:35 AM
350,000 for painting a house  :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

Over £5000  ???

I\'ll have a pint of whatever he\'s been drinking.  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 22, 2011, 05:50:45 PM
Part 32

We are now about two weeks into using the new foreman, and it is nice to see all the activity when we visit. Unfortunately a lot of it is correcting problems caused by the previous contractor. A lot of work is being done to improve the finish on the walls while the windows are being installed. They are mixing the cement correctly on boards rather than directly on the concrete floor. I did point this out at the time to our then adviser, but he said it was ok and not a problem. All the concrete floors have now got to be cleaned up before we can lay tiles

We are using granite tiles on the ground floor and have learned that you must use the extra strong tile cement for them. If you don’t, they pop up after about a year. This had happened at Chow King and one of the smaller shopping malls. They have to now keep repairing them.

The roof flashing was just stuck against the wall, this has now been cut down, the top folded over and inserted in a slot in the wall. We are now going to just use just a thin tile sill on the three windows above the incorrectly placed front arcade roof instead of the five inch molding used on other windows; this is to avoid the need to raise those windows too high.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2290.jpg)

The paneling on one of the kitchen walls was installed out of line, so the sill molding will have to be removed and the rendering adjusted to correct it.

The molding at the tops of the front columns and over the arches has been nicely completed, and will look good when painted

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2293.jpg)

However, when standing back to look at it I noticed that one of the arches is wider than the others. I don’t think most people will notice it, but I will see it every time I drive up to the house. :( I am thinking of putting a fountain at the end of the drive and perhaps a circular drive around it that will conceal the arch.

It is good that Citi hardware is here now, a lot of their things are cheaper than elsewhere and they also have some good kitchen appliances. I was expecting to have to go to Manila to get a good oven, but they have a very nice large Bompani eye level oven that looks ideal for baking bread, also an extractor fan duct unit to fit over the hob on the island unit. The only thing I can’t get is an induction hob, so I will settle for a four ring infra red type unit and perhaps add one or two single induction rings.

Colin

 Continued in part 33
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on January 23, 2011, 08:23:18 AM
350,000 for painting a house  :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

Over £5000  ???

I\'ll have a pint of whatever he\'s been drinking.  ;D

Im not so sure about that King..
There`s a lot of work involved here to provide a quality finish as everything is usually cement render..The preparation required is horrendous with lots of time consuming stages..
Decorating and finishing work practices here are completely different to the UK and can be frustratingly slow. This is mainly due to the the Philippines not having Gypsum plaster or tradesmen to apply it.. Plaster walls only need a mist coat plus two full coats using a standard contractor paint such as Dulux trade..Just cant do that on cement render here!
Here,the cement render needs to be neutralised,rubbed down and every sqr inch completely face filled with filler (patching compound) which is mixed with latex paint and not water..They do this here with a small 4 \" stainless filling blade!! lol..
I have shown painters here how to do this much faster with a large rendering trowel  but they think Im mad and continue with a 4\" blade!!
They then have to rub every sqr inch down so the walls are perfectly smooth and ready for painting.. Which leads me to the next huge problem..Decent Paint and decent tools which are not available here..
They also waste lots of time with masking tape for skirting boards and other trim which we wouldn\'t dream of doing in the UK..
The other issues here are what materials have been for ceilings and trims kitchen,bedroom cabinets etc..Plywood has to be primed and completely face filled (Sometimes twice to lose the grain) before painting..Before this the joints covered with self adhesive reinforcement mesh.. The list goes on and on and on..and on..
Fred.


Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on January 23, 2011, 09:40:57 AM
Part 32

However, when standing back to look at it I noticed that one of the arches is wider than the others. I don’t think most people will notice it, but I will see it every time I drive up to the house. :( I am thinking of putting a fountain at the end of the drive and perhaps a circular drive around it that will conceal the arch.

Colin


Colin,

Just a suggestion....how about a gate in the arch that\'s wider....it\'ll distract the eye away from the different widths.....might be a whole lot cheaper than fountain and drive

Use your sketching software to try out a few designs.....
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 23, 2011, 09:46:54 AM
I\'ve seen a lot of places here where they splosh paint directly onto fairly fresh concrete skimming. Sometimes just days after it has been applied. I assume that would soon look pretty sad.

I was recently watching some workers  plying their trade on a huge Norwegian owned monstrosity being built down the road. One guy was painting all the soffits and fascias..........with a 1\" paint brush.  ::)

This house has every trick known to architecture built on it, more hips and valleys, gutters and terraces, balconies and minarets, dormers, gables, textures, stone cladding, mouldings, glass block windows, bay windows, etc etc than you can imagine
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on January 23, 2011, 10:18:34 AM
I\'ve seen a lot of places here where they splosh paint directly onto fairly fresh concrete skimming. Sometimes just days after it has been applied. I assume that would soon look pretty sad.


Its weird because with exterior grade water based paints in the UK we can do the same on outside cement rendered walls (after a watered down mist coat)and they look absolutely fine..
Do the same here with local paint and you find hundreds of hair lined cracks appear within days??
Not sure if its the paint or chemicals used in the cement here that effects it?  
No idea.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 23, 2011, 01:10:35 PM
Part 32

However, when standing back to look at it I noticed that one of the arches is wider than the others. I don’t think most people will notice it, but I will see it every time I drive up to the house. :( I am thinking of putting a fountain at the end of the drive and perhaps a circular drive around it that will conceal the arch.

Colin


Colin,

Just a suggestion....how about a gate in the arch that\'s wider....it\'ll distract the eye away from the different widths.....might be a whole lot cheaper than fountain and drive

Use your sketching software to try out a few designs.....

It is only slightly wider and only became obvious after they put the molding on. There are five arches, the centre one being an opening, the others have a low wall and seat. The wider one is next to the centre opening. I need to put some form of turn around at the end of the driveway, I don\'t want to have to reverse back around 60 metres. I was thinking of a fountain anyway to give the Spanish garden look.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on January 23, 2011, 06:07:30 PM
The only thing I can?t get is an induction hob, so I will settle for a four ring infra red type unit and perhaps add one or two single induction rings.


Dont give up your dream of an Induction hob ! That has always been a dream of mine as well... Your cooling bill will be much nicer also without those elements heating up your cooking area too much :P

Unfortunately I only found dual induction hobs when I looked around and took photos that I forgot to upload here during the holidays... no quads in any of the malls....  :(
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 23, 2011, 08:33:34 PM
The only thing I can’t get is an induction hob, so I will settle for a four ring infra red type unit and perhaps add one or two single induction rings.


Dont give up your dream of an Induction hob ! That has always been a dream of mine as well... Your cooling bill will be much nicer also without those elements heating up your cooking area too much :P

Unfortunately I only found dual induction hobs when I looked around and took photos that I forgot to upload here during the holidays... no quads in any of the malls....  :(

We bought a single induction ring in the local mall, it was cheap but works very well. I will mount a four ring Infra-Red unit in the island unit and leave space alongside for two Induction rings. This single unit may not last too long, so I can then replace it with a better built in double unit later. We can then still use our existing \'non-magnetic\' pots and only buy new ones for the induction rings.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 23, 2011, 09:18:11 PM
We bought a single induction ring in the local mall, it was cheap but works very well. I will mount a four ring Infra-Red unit in the island unit and leave space alongside for two Induction rings. This single unit may not last too long, so I can then replace it with a better built in double unit later. We can then still use our existing \'non-magnetic\' pots and only buy new ones for the induction rings.

Colin

How about getting one sent over Balikbayan from the UK Colin?
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: richardsinger on January 23, 2011, 10:56:00 PM
I\'ve never used an induction hob. Is it better/cheaper than a gas ring?

Richard
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dylanaz on January 23, 2011, 11:19:54 PM
I\'ve never used an induction hob. Is it better/cheaper than a gas ring?

Richard

Induction is FREAKY !!!

Glass top cooker... You can turn it on .. and put your HAND ON IT !!! Cool to the touch ...

Put a THIN - made for induction metal pot on it and water will boil in about 10 seconds !

Freking amazing!

Does not get along with cast iron... I think cast iron probably breaks induction cookers (i was too afraid to try it on mine)..
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on January 24, 2011, 02:38:16 AM
Try using Mind induction cooking  :D
(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/rufusoffroad/th_Mindinductioncooking.jpg) (http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/rufusoffroad/Mindinductioncooking.jpg)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 24, 2011, 07:07:39 AM
We bought a single induction ring in the local mall, it was cheap but works very well. I will mount a four ring Infra-Red unit in the island unit and leave space alongside for two Induction rings. This single unit may not last too long, so I can then replace it with a better built in double unit later. We can then still use our existing \'non-magnetic\' pots and only buy new ones for the induction rings.

Colin


How about getting one sent over Balikbayan from the UK Colin?


I could get a very good one shipped from the US using http://www.pobox.ph/ but they are complicated beasts and I would have a problem if it went wrong.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 24, 2011, 07:20:54 AM
I\'ve never used an induction hob. Is it better/cheaper than a gas ring?

Richard

Induction is FREAKY !!!

Glass top cooker... You can turn it on .. and put your HAND ON IT !!! Cool to the touch ...

Put a THIN - made for induction metal pot on it and water will boil in about 10 seconds !

Freking amazing!

Does not get along with cast iron... I think cast iron probably breaks induction cookers (i was too afraid to try it on mine)..

Another advantage that I noticed, even with our cheap one, is that it will hold food, milk, water etc at a preset temperature. A disadvantage is that you may have to buy all new cookware, it has to be magnetic, i.e contain iron. Some stainless steel will not work, maybe because they do not contain enough iron. Fortunately such pot are readily available even here.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on January 24, 2011, 10:34:57 AM
Try using Mind induction cooking  :D
([url]http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/rufusoffroad/th_Mindinductioncooking.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii269/rufusoffroad/Mindinductioncooking.jpg[/url])


RUFUS.......... think right, (Mind induction)...............therefore everything cooks as wanted.

Good-GOLLY........................... I now see the ills of my ways!!  ;D
B-Ray
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 04, 2011, 03:57:10 PM
Part 33

We have now got 16 workers with a good foreman, but mistakes are being made. We had some of the ceiling insulation delivered a few days ago, it is fibreglass mat enclosed in foil coated paper. The workers did not understand it and removed the covering, just laying the bare fibreglass. We have told them to take it back down and put it back inside the covering. Fortunately we only had 14 of the 72 delivered.

I wanted all six inch thickness, but Citi Hardware have stopped selling the foil wrapped type but managed to find enough rolls from other stores, some six inch but mostly two inch.

I had a Filipino tell me that I don’t need any insulation because it is hot in the Philippines, not cold outside. ::) People here accept the discomfort because they do not know any different, but I cannot work for more than ten minutes without breaking into a sweat.
 
The work the new builders are doing is very good, but there sometimes seems to be a lack of understanding even when I emphasize something and they say they understand. Two examples; they are now building a low hollow block retaining wall for a one metre perimeter path around the outside of the house. I told them several times that I want the path and the back patio area at the same level as the septic tank, it is higher. Not critical but a waste of materials.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4384.jpg)
We are now waiting for the final anti-termite spray before filling in the trench.

I told both the foreman and the guard that I wanted two large rocks placed by the side of the road to prevent lorries driving over our frontage and churning it up. The road is concrete, but only has two narrow lanes. They took the rocks out but broke them up to fill the holes.

The work is getting along much faster now and apart from spending a lot of time correcting mistakes made by the previous workers, they have made some nice changes. Here is an improvement to the window moldings:-
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4390.jpg)
The opening on the right is for a Samsung 0.5hp aircon.This is a very compact unit and will only project a few inches. We only needed the smallest size because of the high level of insulation.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4391.jpg)

This is the new molding design being created for the windows. The pin lights are being installed in the eves, these extend right around the house and apart from making the house look good they will also help with the security.

Colin

Continued in part 34
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on February 04, 2011, 07:22:01 PM
Will the pinlights be connected to motion detection sensors.......lights burning constantly might attract mosquitos from far afield......
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 04, 2011, 08:22:11 PM
Will the pinlights be connected to motion detection sensors.......lights burning constantly might attract mosquitos from far afield......

We have decided against motion sensors, they can be triggered by animals and I don\'t think they are really necessary. When we lived in an open house in the provinces, we found that malaria mosquitoes, the type that feed at night, do not like the light. We used to switch on the bedroom light before it got dark to prevent then coming in. It did attract other creatures such as wasps that got stunned and fell on the floor. It was not wise to walk around with bare feet.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 06, 2011, 11:50:55 AM
Tell them and they, (Pinoys), say they understand.

It takes time to figure what mental picture the Pinoys have with your words to describe the work to be done!! Adding SHOW and then tell what you want might work better.......sometimes!  ;D

A lot of times, having someone that uses your language daily to explain is a BIG plus too!!

Using Pinoy works over time, they will learn what YOU WILL NOT put up with And a lot of times, don\'t know anything about what you are including in the project
B-Ray
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 06, 2011, 01:18:50 PM
Tell them and they, (Pinoys), say they understand.

It takes time to figure what mental picture the Pinoys have with your words to describe the work to be done!! Adding SHOW and then tell what you want might work better.......sometimes!  ;D

A lot of times, having someone that uses your language daily to explain is a BIG plus too!!

Using Pinoy works over time, they will learn what YOU WILL NOT put up with And a lot of times, don\'t know anything about what you are including in the project
B-Ray

My wife is doing an excellent job with the finances and ordering materials, but does not understand anything about building and exactly what it is that I want. She does get a little impatient when I try to explain, and will often just leave me to it.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 07, 2011, 04:51:22 PM
Hopefully Colin that, \" just leave me to it\" doesn\'t lead to a Tempo mood!  ;D

I guess I\'m just lucky, my wife wants to know everything including the ends and outs. Early on that was a problem using English!!! So, I understand your situation. ;D
B=Ray


Tell them and they, (Pinoys), say they understand.

It takes time to figure what mental picture the Pinoys have with your words to describe the work to be done!! Adding SHOW and then tell what you want might work better.......sometimes!  ;D

A lot of times, having someone that uses your language daily to explain is a BIG plus too!!

Using Pinoy works over time, they will learn what YOU WILL NOT put up with And a lot of times, don\'t know anything about what you are including in the project
B-Ray

My wife is doing an excellent job with the finances and ordering materials, but does not understand anything about building and exactly what it is that I want. She does get a little impatient when I try to explain, and will often just leave me to it.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 07, 2011, 05:27:36 PM
Hopefully Colin that, \" just leave me to it\" doesn\'t lead to a Tempo mood!  ;D

I guess I\'m just lucky, my wife wants to know everything including the ends and outs. Early on that was a problem using English!!! So, I understand your situation. ;D
B=Ray


Tell them and they, (Pinoys), say they understand.

It takes time to figure what mental picture the Pinoys have with your words to describe the work to be done!! Adding SHOW and then tell what you want might work better.......sometimes!  ;D

A lot of times, having someone that uses your language daily to explain is a BIG plus too!!

Using Pinoy works over time, they will learn what YOU WILL NOT put up with And a lot of times, don\'t know anything about what you are including in the project
B-Ray

My wife is doing an excellent job with the finances and ordering materials, but does not understand anything about building and exactly what it is that I want. She does get a little impatient when I try to explain, and will often just leave me to it.

Colin

We have very few problems with moods, we left that behind 20 years ago.

Just a few hours ago I wanted to explain something to the plumber who does not speak any English. I started to explain to her and she said \'its no good telling me I don\'t understand\'. It was important so she translated my explanation one sentence at a time and he seem to understand. I will find out if he did later  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 07, 2011, 05:34:57 PM
I guess I am fairly lucky, as my wife has a really good command of English, and is fairly smart when it comes to mechanical stuff too. She is also the one deciding exactly what our house will look like, so there will probably be no misunderstandings about what \'we\' want the builders to do.  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on February 28, 2011, 09:25:19 PM
Part 34

I have not posted for a few weeks, although there is a lot of work being done, a lot of it is correcting errors made by the previous contractor and improving the finish. One of the problems was a beam being put in the wrong place giving insufficient headroom over the stairs. The concrete was cut away, the rebar cut through and bent up to be tied in with a new beam above.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2399.jpg)
The new beam was extended around the stairwell to make it look right. The openings at the back are for two large windows to give plenty of light to the ground floor family room and upper sitting area. We are hoping to drop a very long chandelier through the stair well as a design feature.


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2396.jpg)
Louvered vents have been added to the four gable ends to give a good air flow through the roof space.


A lot more cement and fine sand has had be bought to correct ‘out of line’ walls and to give the whole house a better finish. Also more was used when installing the door jambs and windows. We have also bought most of the tiles and paint plus an expensive oven, hob, water heater, aircons etc...... The result is that we are now getting close to the end of our money. Bing is doing all of the accounting and, being a worrier, is losing sleep over it. We do have enough to complete the house to be able to move in but we will have to be careful, there is a lot more that we can spend money on. Fortunately I do have two pensions and Bing also has a part UK state pension, so we will be able to complete everything we want over the following months and years. One of the initials savings will be not to complete the outhouses which included the maid’s quarters; instead we will build temporary accommodation out of the enormous pile of coco lumber and plywood.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2400.jpg)
We will build in the far corner and later use it for garden equipment and general storage. You can see only a small part of the surplus wood, there is a lot more in the front garden.

Continued in part 35
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on March 03, 2011, 03:51:37 PM
Col,

Funny you should mention building external quarters for your maid.
Janet wants to have a maid,so far I\'ve resisted because of accommodation
restrictions inside the house. It\'s just not feasible to have a live-in maid. We
have tried stay-out, but it never works out,

I suggested to Janet that we build small quarters in the yard for a maid.
Under no circumstances would she agree to that. her reasoning is that once
we are in bed and asleep, the maid will be somewhere else in bed.

Obviously she doesn\'t have a whole lot of trust in her fellow countrywomen.
I pointed out that the dogs would let us know if she leaves and comes back.
She countered with that,saying the dogs would get used to her.
Oh well, I still help with the washing, and the washing up, as well as A few other
small household chores.

Another thing out of context. have you read a book by Edward Rutherfurd
called Sarum??

Graham 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 03, 2011, 08:19:45 PM
All the maids we have had have been problems in one way or another, so we don\'t have one at the moment. We want the maid to live outside the main house so that we can lock it up when we go out, we would not be happy with the fact that they could let friends and relatives in. Personally I can\'t see any problem with them sleeping in someone elses bed, if they get themselves pregnant then they are out of a job. We always treat our maids well, so if they want to keep the job they have to be sensible.

I don\'t know Edward Rutherford but Sarum looks a though it could be interesting.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 03, 2011, 10:09:22 PM
My wife has hinted at having a maid on and off over the years, but my current argument is that there are four women living in the house: wife, Mum in law, niece and daughter, and if they can\'t manage to do the housework between themselves then they are getting something seriously wrong.

Maids are a bit of a status symbol in the PI to many people. My wife has a [strike]friend [/strike] \'acquaintance\' with two maids, even though there are only three people living in the house! And she never fails to mention the two maids whenever possible: \"Oh, and one of my maids is at market today\"  ::)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 04, 2011, 08:30:09 AM
My wife has hinted at having a maid on and off over the years, but my current argument is that there are four women living in the house: wife, Mum in law, niece and daughter, and if they can\'t manage to do the housework between themselves then they are getting something seriously wrong.

Maids are a bit of a status symbol in the PI to many people. My wife has a [strike]friend [/strike] \'acquaintance\' with two maids, even though there are only three people living in the house! And she never fails to mention the two maids whenever possible: \"Oh, and one of my maids is at market today\"  ::)

One of the reasons for moving to the Philippines was so that we could employ \'helpers\' to do the thing we no longer wanted to do. We are both \'senior citizens\', developing arthritis etc and do need this help particularly to run our new chateau/castle/hotel sized house  ;) ;D. In the UK I used to do everything and would never pay anyone to do something I could do, car repairs, decorating, gardening etc. I still enjoy all these things but now only as a supervisor. I like to use my time doing things I want to do rather than have to do. I enjoy cooking and Bing learned to be a very good cook while she lived in the UK but you can\'t do much in a basic Philippine kitchen. A maid will be able to cook all the basics, and even do the preparation and clearing up for the specials. Washing clothes and ironing is something that nobody likes doing, that is a job for a maid.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 04, 2011, 08:51:20 AM
Back to the main topic.

When we visited our house yesterday, we were told that both guards had been approached by people asking to buy cement. They wanted to speak to the foreman of our previous contractor, he was selling cement to them. \"We buy our cement here\" they said  ::) We knew that the cement was going fast but had no evidence that anything was being stolen until a neighbour saw rebar being removed on a tricycle. We immediately dismissed all those workers and the contractor and started to employ armed guards. We can trust our new foreman but limit the amount of cement delivered at a time, and keep other items locked in one of the completed rooms.

Even although the guards are from an agency, we are not sure if we can 100% trust them, so we asked the foreman to check the bags of cement when they leave in the evening and again when they arrive in the morning. The temptation is there for people that earn little money. We arrived unexpected one Sunday a few weeks ago and found the guard asleep, he was suspended.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: cogon88 on March 04, 2011, 11:49:30 AM
Hi Colin

Do not trust your guards to much most are as bad as the workers

I have 2 guards on duty at the rice mill 24 hours a day and I could write a book about security guards

Yesterday we noticed that 1 kilo of rice was missing from a couple hundred bags of rice that had just finished milling around 11 PM  only the 2 guards on duty had access to the warehouse from 11PM to 6 AM so only the guards or the Dwarfs could have been the culprits

I guess the guards figured no one would notice a kilo missing from the bags only problem is the little holes they made to get the rice out of the bag did not reseal very well and the warehouse manger saw the bags leaking rice while they were loading the truck .

One guard had been with us for 3 years but a newer guard talked him into the deal

I have been putting off installing surveillance system but guess it is time for it at least I can then have a video of the shenanigans they pull

Good luck on the house your experiences mirror my own with contractors, suppliers and laborers, I know now it is better to run the build your self then hire  some one to do it for you

Best Regards

Tom / Roxas City
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 04, 2011, 12:17:39 PM
Hi Colin

Do not trust your guards to much most are as bad as the workers

I have 2 guards on duty at the rice mill 24 hours a day and I could write a book about security guards

Yesterday we noticed that 1 kilo of rice was missing from a couple hundred bags of rice that had just finished milling around 11 PM  only the 2 guards on duty had access to the warehouse from 11PM to 6 AM so only the guards or the Dwarfs could have been the culprits

I guess the guards figured no one would notice a kilo missing from the bags only problem is the little holes they made to get the rice out of the bag did not reseal very well and the warehouse manger saw the bags leaking rice while they were loading the truck .

One guard had been with us for 3 years but a newer guard talked him into the deal

I have been putting off installing surveillance system but guess it is time for it at least I can then have a video of the shenanigans they pull

Good luck on the house your experiences mirror my own with contractors, suppliers and laborers, I know now it is better to run the build your self then hire  some one to do it for you

Best Regards

Tom / Roxas City

It is very frustrating here knowing who you can trust. Unfortunately you have to put your trust in people at times or you would never get anything done. Our guards are now hinting that we are paying too much for them through the agency and we could pay less for private security. We don\'t want a guard just standing around when we live there, we want a handyman, initially two, to work around the house and garden and also be our security. I shall also consider a basic security system such as motion sensors and perhaps solar lights around the perimeter. The problem with those it that someone might steal them  ::)

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: cogon88 on March 04, 2011, 03:20:01 PM
Yes Collin it is hard to know who to trust

I do know that it is not strictly an ex-pat thing most Filipinos experience the same problems with their guards, contractors and laborers I guess it is a cultural thing some how they justify that they have the right to help themselves if the opportunity presents it self

I have a handful of employees that have been with me over 10 years now that I trust but I have learned to be not as trusting as I once was as most people here see this as a weakness

Your Home looks great soon the frustrations will be over and you can look back on it I see Bob has moved into his home in Iloilo I may get over your way one day and pay you a visit

Best Regards

Tom /Roxas City
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 05, 2011, 08:20:43 AM
Yes Collin it is hard to know who to trust

I do know that it is not strictly an ex-pat thing most Filipinos experience the same problems with their guards, contractors and laborers I guess it is a cultural thing some how they justify that they have the right to help themselves if the opportunity presents it self

I have a handful of employees that have been with me over 10 years now that I trust but I have learned to be not as trusting as I once was as most people here see this as a weakness

Your Home looks great soon the frustrations will be over and you can look back on it I see Bob has moved into his home in Iloilo I may get over your way one day and pay you a visit

Best Regards

Tom /Roxas City

It is a sad reflection on Filipinos; I know this also happens in other countries, but not to the same degree. I guess it is the poverty that \'encourages\' people to behave this way, but it also seems to apply to people that have jobs and are not all that desperate. Are Filipinos lacking the conscience gene? I know I could not behave the same way that some of these people do. Equally, most Filipinos are also the opposite and very helpful and friendly. A complex society that takes a long time, if ever, to understand. I find it difficult to not trust people but that is how relationships have to start here; guilty until proved innocent ???

The house is progressing fairly quickly now, but the bank balance is reducing more rapidly  :( The latest problem is that someone has knocked down the temporary power connection from our transformer and the guard had to be in darkness all night. More expense?

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 23, 2011, 09:05:57 AM
Part 35

The main reason for all these posts is to pass on all the mistakes and problems and hope others will learn by them.

When the upper cement floor was laid by the previous contractor we noticed that the floor moved slightly when a lot of people walked across it, we were told that that was normal.  We have now learned that it was only 10cm thick and should have been 12.5cm. We have had to add several more centimetres, even inches, to all the floors to get them level, and this, plus the tiles, has solved the problem. The previous workers also mixed the cement directly on the floor instead of on boards. I was told that that would not be a problem. Our present foreman had to have two men spend a long time chipping off all the lumps.

The two kitchen windows were fitted too low in the wall and would have been below the worktop height, these had to be removed and moved up higher. When the ground floor was laid, no provision was made for the plumbing to the kitchen sink.

It no longer comes as a surprise when the foreman brings a new problem to us.

Our guards told us that they had spoken to several people who were asking to buy cement because it was cheaper than anywhere else ::). One tricycle driver was asked to deliver five bags of cement to the estate where our ‘adviser’ lives; it seems that instead of helping us he was helping himself. We have not tackled these people directly but our electrician knows them and is passing on all we have learned.

Another problem, not related to the builders this time concerns the ceiling heights. I designed the house originally using a program called Chief Architect and used all the default settings which I assume are standard in the US, and would be the same here. I can’t remember what the ceiling heights were, but they were higher than I was used to in the UK. The builders here always make the second floor 3 metres above the first. I took a long time arranging the stairs to have long shallow run for us seniors. The increased height ruined this and I now have steeper stairs. Another Brit that designed his own house had exactly the same problem and he had to reposition his stairs because they would have partially blocked a doorway. Even now they are rather steep. He is also having problems with sliding windows jumping out of the runners. He also dismissed two sets of contractors, including the roofing supplier that he later tried to sue for non delivery. His house took five years to complete, but that was partly because he works in China.

To get things done properly you really need to be on the site every day, at least at the beginning. You need to know if you have employed builders or cowboys.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 23, 2011, 08:18:52 PM
Colin, I for one appreciate your detailed posts, forewarned is forearmed, as they say.  ;)

One thing I mentioned to our \'first\' architect/builder was that I would not tolerate having cement/concrete mixed in the road outside the house. I have noticed every other street in the Philippines has numerous patches of the mess ranging from a thin white stain, to several inches of dried stuff outside every house. It is too late though, as the neighbour on the opposite side of the road has already fouled it up.  ::) He doesn\'t care, I dare say, as it is outside of his property so doesn\'t matter.

Our current builder has a mixing board made up, an 8 x 4 sheet of thick ply with a ledge round, and it is used just like a huge mixing bowl. I will repeat on a regular basis that cement is NOT mixed in concrete floors.

And I will keep an eye on the floor/ceiling heights too. We specified 3metres ceiling height downstairs, and 2.5 upstairs, as we want ceiling fans only in the downstairs rooms. Plus they need .4 meters for the floor and beams, from what I see on the preliminary drawings.

I\'ll also pay attention to those stair runs and the window heights, as I know I have the upstairs windows too low on my Sketchup model. They\'ll only be about .7 metres from the floor, yet the tops will be at eye level. A bit wierd when inside the room.

I have been toying with the idea of ordering double glazed UPVC windows in the UK and having them shipped over in Balikbayan boxes, but I need to check out the quality/proice of local made aluminium windows first. I\'ve seen some real rubbish, but I also have a lead on a supposedly very good place nearby us.

I spent many years in machine and fabrication workshops in the UK, so I hope I still have an eye for reading blueprints. But more to the point, it is more a case of whether the builders do...

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 23, 2011, 08:59:19 PM
I have been toying with the idea of ordering double glazed UPVC windows in the UK and having them shipped over in Balikbayan boxes, but I need to check out the quality/proice of local made aluminium windows first. I\'ve seen some real rubbish, but I also have a lead on a supposedly very good place nearby us.

I have heard that double glazed window units are available in Manila but I don\'t know where. I did originally give them some thought, but decided against them. I felt that I needed to draw the line somewhere and it was at insulated walls, ceilings and lots of attic ventilation. I am hoping that with the good through ventilation in the house I can leave the windows open most of the time. We have aircon in most rooms for those times we cannot.

Just a thought, if you are not having aircon on the ground floor then the inside temperature will be almost the same as the outside, so double glazing will not be all that useful. At nighttime the outside temperature is lower so you will not benefit very much by having double glazing in the bedrooms. Personally I would reverse your arrangement, and have aircon in the downstairs rooms that are used during the hotter daytime, and none in the bedrooms, just a fan.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 23, 2011, 10:48:46 PM
I was thinking about double glazing as much to keep noise out Colin, than specifically heat/cold, in the bedrooms anyway. I really am a light sleeper, slightest noise wakes me up, which is not a very clever way to be in the eternally noisy Philippines.  ::)

The air-con is often on more to drown out small noises than to cool the bedroom. During February it was positively chilly in the wee small hours, so the air-con was just blowing air, not chilling. It is only set to 4 on the 0-12 scale.

Plus, the general build quality and security aspect of proper UPVC windows, with nice appearance, toughened heat- reflective glass, quality locks etc,  etc, will be far more beneficial that any of the sloppy slappy rattly aluminium windows I\'ve seen thus far in the PI.

I don\'t mind the heat downstairs during the day, big concrete house, high ceilings, should never really get that hot during the day, I hope...

I need to check out what is available before any decisions are made.

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 24, 2011, 06:34:18 AM
I was thinking about double glazing as much to keep noise out Colin, than specifically heat/cold, in the bedrooms anyway. I really am a light sleeper, slightest noise wakes me up, which is not a very clever way to be in the eternally noisy Philippines.  ::)

The air-con is often on more to drown out small noises than to cool the bedroom. During February it was positively chilly in the wee small hours, so the air-con was just blowing air, not chilling. It is only set to 4 on the 0-12 scale.

Plus, the general build quality and security aspect of proper UPVC windows, with nice appearance, toughened heat- reflective glass, quality locks etc,  etc, will be far more beneficial that any of the sloppy slappy rattly aluminium windows I\'ve seen thus far in the PI.

I don\'t mind the heat downstairs during the day, big concrete house, high ceilings, should never really get that hot during the day, I hope...

I need to check out what is available before any decisions are made.



You need a larger spacing between the glass panels for noise reduction than is normal with sealed double glazing. A gap of maybe 2 or 3 inches and use different glass thicknesses for the two panes. You could do that here by adding a second sliding unit inside the main window. In colder countries, triple glazing is used for noise reduction. I imagine you could specify thicker glass, maybe even toughened.

Big concrete houses absorb heat during the day and re-radiate it back at night, making evenings hotter than they should be. This is where a wooden house scores because it does not absorb the heat. One of my original ideas was to line the complete outside of the house with polystyrene, including the columns, cool the concrete interior mass with aircon during the day which would keep the interior cool throughout the evening and night. All the windows would be opened when the outside temperature dropped. I have compromised by using the 3D polystyrene panels in place of hollow blocks. You can also add the car type window film to help reduce the radiation.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 24, 2011, 10:02:26 AM
Hmmm, I\'ve always pictured big, high roofed concrete houses being cool all day round. I guess painting the outside in a bright light paint will make a difference.

You\'ve got me thinking now, our planned \'roof garden\' will expose half the upper storey ceiling to direct suns rays, all afternoon, probably making the bedrooms underneath hotter than hell.  :-[

Good job the master bedroom is in the front of the house......  ;D

Mind you, on the second story wind should pass through the house quite well, to ease the temps in the evening. We shall probably use the same mirror finished window film we used on our car, makes a great mirror, keeps the sun out totally, but you can still see out no problem even at night.


I\'m quite looking forward to evenings up on the roof garden, sun setting in the distance, somewhere over Pinatubo, warm air drifting by, the sound of insects buzzing, crickets cricketing, a few quiet drinks at the end of the day.   8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: suzukig1 on March 24, 2011, 11:15:44 AM

...I don\'t mind the heat downstairs during the day, big concrete house, high ceilings, should never really get that hot during the day, I hope...



I lived in a 300 sq. m, two story house with no 2nd floor above the living room and dining room area.  When the house was closed up it still got hot.  But no afternoon sun on that side of the house so leaving the windows open kept the temperature tolerable most of the year.  Not during the \"summer\" months though.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 24, 2011, 11:36:12 AM
You\'ve got me thinking now, our planned \'roof garden\' will expose half the upper storey ceiling to direct suns rays, all afternoon, probably making the bedrooms underneath hotter than hell.  :-[

You can solve that problem either by adding lots of insulation above the ceiling panels, or laying some 3D type polystyrene panels above the roof before laying the finishing layer, tiles etc.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 24, 2011, 12:22:33 PM
Part 36

Update for 23-03-2011

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2426.jpg)

The security grills are now being added. We designed these to be decorative and light to avoid the prison bar look.



(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2443.jpg)

The new large windows have been fitted and cost a total of P24k. We had quotes of P36k and P39k but we chose these from a reputable dealer and are very pleased with the result; they were installed two days after we ordered them. They give very good air flow through the family room downstairs and the landing area and study on the upper floor. I can now put a comfortable arm chair on the landing/upper sitting area and relax with a good book, well away from the TV that Filipinos can’t seem to live without  ;D



(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2447.jpg)

The latest front view, looking a lot better with the scaffolding removed.
More decorative work is needed, lighting on the columns, hanging baskets etc. Some form of front paved area and a parking space is needed, but that will be for after we move in.

Colin

Continued in part 37
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n on March 24, 2011, 12:58:10 PM
Wow, impressed. Looks far better (to me) in the flesh than in the Sketchup drawings.......congrats

Looks bigger in real-life too

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 24, 2011, 01:20:20 PM
Wow, impressed. Looks far better (to me) in the flesh than in the Sketchup drawings.......congrats

Looks bigger in real-life too


Thanks, it has been a long hard slog and nearing the point of moving in. I hope others are learning from all our mistakes and problems.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 30, 2011, 04:19:00 PM
Wow, impressed. Looks far better (to me) in the flesh than in the Sketchup drawings.......congrats

Looks bigger in real-life too


Thanks, it has been a long hard slog and nearing the point of moving in. I hope others are learning from all our mistakes and problems.

Colin

Looks great Colin. I bet you\'re so relived it is coming to the end.

Your story/thread has scared the bejesus out of me, but I\'m going into our build a fair bit wiser than I was.  ;)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 30, 2011, 09:17:16 PM


I have learned a lot about the building industry here. My attitude has always been to trust someone until they prove they cannot be trusted, that does not work here. Trust nobody in the building industry until they have proved themselves, and be ready to work through several builders before finding one you are happy with. Everyone we speak to that has been involved with building a house has had the same experiences.

I may dabble a bit with a few more designs, but it will be a long time before I get involved with building again. I moved here to relax and building is far from being relaxing.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 30, 2011, 09:29:07 PM
Looks great Colin. I bet you\'re so relived it is coming to the end.

Your story/thread has scared the bejesus out of me, but I\'m going into our build a fair bit wiser than I was.  ;)

We haven\'t got there yet, our builder is very good and I am happy with his work, but he does seem to have slowed down in the last few weeks. I have a feeling it is because he employs his relatives and friends and does not want to bring outsiders in. Yesterday he only had two people tiling, two painting and two working on the surrounding path. We have not seen the plumber for a while and there is quite a bit of work needed there.

If I had read my posts, I would have doubts about even starting ;) ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on March 31, 2011, 11:26:10 AM
Colin, we do spend our ~~foreigners Dues~~ don\'t we? IE: learn after the fact!

But mostly it\'s our ~~demands~~ where locals will put up with ~~That\'s Good Enough Workmen Ship~~ and they pay regardless.

If you have Pinoy tile setters that can make straight grout lines, (all the same), and tile points to lineup, you will have great floor areas!

In my dealing with Pinoys, ran off 4 so called tile setters!!! Also returned many boxes of tile not the same size by 1/8\". Must have been made in a different mold in China?

I pickup on those fact using Pinoy tile setters by looking at tiled floors in public building. GRRRRRR
B-Ray
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: rdjlazo@yahoo.com on April 02, 2011, 06:45:44 AM
Colin,
I am very impressed.
Congrats and I pray that you and family  enjoy your life there.

Have a good life.
Best regards,
Rudy


 
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: graham on April 02, 2011, 07:12:45 PM
Colin,
I am very impressed.
Congrats and I pray that you and family  enjoy your life there.

Have a good life.
Best regards,
Rudy


 

I echo these thoughts Colin, you are building a lovely home.
It will be well worthwhile the effort

Graham
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 02, 2011, 08:41:33 PM
Colin,
I am very impressed.
Congrats and I pray that you and family  enjoy your life there.

Have a good life.
Best regards,
Rudy


I echo these thoughts Colin, you are building a lovely home.
It will be well worthwhile the effort

Graham


Thanks guys, it is looking better every time we go there.

We had another problem today, we had to order some more tiles to complete the ground floor but Citi Hardware had more delivered from their supplier but it was a different batch and slightly lighter in colour. However I think we can get away with it by putting them under the kitchen units and on the patio/arcade.
We had originally planned to use different tiles in porch and patio, but the tiler had already started laying them in the porch, so we decided to keep them all the same.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Ricky A on April 05, 2011, 01:08:57 PM
Part 36

Update for 23-03-2011

([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2426.jpg[/url])

The security grills are now being added. We designed these to be decorative and light to avoid the prison bar look.



([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2443.jpg[/url])

The new large windows have been fitted and cost a total of P24k. We had quotes of P36k and P39k but we chose these from a reputable dealer and are very pleased with the result; they were installed two days after we ordered them. They give very good air flow through the family room downstairs and the landing area and study on the upper floor. I can now put a comfortable arm chair on the landing/upper sitting area and relax with a good book, well away from the TV that Filipinos can’t seem to live without  ;D



([url]http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2447.jpg[/url])

The latest front view, looking a lot better with the scaffolding removed.
More decorative work is needed, lighting on the columns, hanging baskets etc. Some form of front paved area and a parking space is needed, but that will be for after we move in.

Colin

Continued in part 37



spectacular colin! 

ra
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Ricky A on April 05, 2011, 01:28:45 PM
Hi Colin

Do not trust your guards to much most are as bad as the workers

I have 2 guards on duty at the rice mill 24 hours a day and I could write a book about security guards


Tom / Roxas City


tom.

the problem could be contextual.  the pinoy guard who is suspicious of a stranger loitering around is also the same guard who turns a blind eye to someone milling about.

just a thought.   ;)

ra
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: cogon88 on April 06, 2011, 08:25:40 AM
the problem could be contextual

I do not think the problem is Contextual the problem seems to be the culture

If there is an opportunity available for quick gain then most people here will take advantage of the situation most live in the moment with out any thought to the future or future ramifications from there actions if caught stealing from you or over charging for services when confronted they will either deny they were at fault, blame some one else or in rare occasion say there sorry and expect you to forget about it they will always act as if they are the victim this attitude does not just apply to security guards you need to look long and hard to find someone you can trust here in the islands of paradise

Tom / Roxas City
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 06, 2011, 10:03:10 AM
the problem could be contextual

I do not think the problem is Contextual the problem seems to be the culture

If there is an opportunity available for quick gain then most people here will take advantage of the situation most live in the moment with out any thought to the future or future ramifications from there actions if caught stealing from you or over charging for services when confronted they will either deny they were at fault, blame some one else or in rare occasion say there sorry and expect you to forget about it they will always act as if they are the victim this attitude does not just apply to security guards you need to look long and hard to find someone you can trust here in the islands of paradise

Tom / Roxas City

I agree 100%. There are some people that you have to trust but you need to check them out very carefully first. You can\'t even trust relatives, we have had the wife of a nephew steal from us. At parties we put away all the good cutlery and just put out cheap stuff. We had a laundry woman that ruined a good set of cutlery by taking some of the spoons. This makes it a real problem when taking on a maid.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 06, 2011, 10:22:26 AM
Colin, how do you secure your security grills to the house? We have heavy duty ones on our current rental house, but they are held to wood frames by about six wood screws.  ???

I could probably rip them off with my bare hands if I really applied myself.

With the new house I like to think they could be fastened rock solid into the concrete structure.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 06, 2011, 10:31:04 AM
the problem could be contextual

I do not think the problem is Contextual the problem seems to be the culture

If there is an opportunity available for quick gain then most people here will take advantage of the situation....

I have suggested this before, a few months ago, and was immediately batted down and told that builders and labourers are the same all over the world.  ???

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 06, 2011, 02:12:06 PM
Colin, how do you secure your security grills to the house? We have heavy duty ones on our current rental house, but they are held to wood frames by about six wood screws.  ???

I could probably rip them off with my bare hands if I really applied myself.

With the new house I like to think they could be fastened rock solid into the concrete structure.

They are fitted horizontally and vertically into the concrete surrounding the window opening with long bolts. The heads are then welded to the frame to prevent them being removed.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Ricky A on April 07, 2011, 01:40:20 AM
the problem could be contextual

I do not think the problem is Contextual the problem seems to be the culture

If there is an opportunity available for quick gain then most people here will take advantage of the situation most live in the moment with out any thought to the future or future ramifications from there actions if caught stealing from you or over charging for services when confronted they will either deny they were at fault, blame some one else or in rare occasion say there sorry and expect you to forget about it they will always act as if they are the victim this attitude does not just apply to security guards you need to look long and hard to find someone you can trust here in the islands of paradise

Tom / Roxas City

I agree 100%. There are some people that you have to trust but you need to check them out very carefully first. You can\'t even trust relatives, we have had the wife of a nephew steal from us. At parties we put away all the good cutlery and just put out cheap stuff. We had a laundry woman that ruined a good set of cutlery by taking some of the spoons. This makes it a real problem when taking on a maid.

Colin

Colin

first time i went to the republic a few yrs back i dropped my then 6 six yr old son off to his grade one class..
they had already started with their morning nursery rhymes.  imagine my surprise when i hear 12 kids in unison saying

hey diddle diddle
pinoy in the middle
pare jumped over the moon
manny pacquio laughed
to see such sport
and the maid ran away with the spoon..

 ;D

ra
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 07, 2011, 07:53:37 AM
They are fitted horizontally and vertically into the concrete surrounding the window opening with long bolts. The heads are then welded to the frame to prevent them being removed.

Colin

Cheers Colin. That is more along the lines of what I was thinking.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on April 11, 2011, 07:02:00 AM
Those bars always looked like a fire hazard to me.. At the very least I hope you are designing a way to open them from the inside..
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 11, 2011, 07:13:58 AM
Those bars always looked like a fire hazard to me.. At the very least I hope you are designing a way to open them from the inside..

That aspect is a bit of a worry.

I\'ve thought about several ways they might be made to open easily, from just the inside. We\'re having all concrete walls, floor, ceilings, but it is surprising the heat and smoke that will come of normal furniture, curtains, etc.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 11, 2011, 11:16:21 AM
Those bars always looked like a fire hazard to me.. At the very least I hope you are designing a way to open them from the inside..

That aspect is a bit of a worry.

I\'ve thought about several ways they might be made to open easily, from just the inside. We\'re having all concrete walls, floor, ceilings, but it is surprising the heat and smoke that will come of normal furniture, curtains, etc.

It is now a requirement of the occupancy permit that you have fire escapes. We are having a sliding ladder from our bedroom balcony and another exit on the other side of the house, but I have a feeling that that one has been overlooked  :(

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 11, 2011, 10:24:48 PM

It is now a requirement of the occupancy permit that you have fire escapes. We are having a sliding ladder from our bedroom balcony and another exit on the other side of the house, but I have a feeling that that one has been overlooked  :(

Colin

I shall have to look into this more seriously then. We will have a central landing on the second floor that would have a great escape point at the rear window, some sort of rope ladder could be tossed out, once the grill is opened.

The roof garden might prove a little more difficult, as even I would be wary of a rope ladder that high.  :o

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 12, 2011, 08:27:17 AM

It is now a requirement of the occupancy permit that you have fire escapes. We are having a sliding ladder from our bedroom balcony and another exit on the other side of the house, but I have a feeling that that one has been overlooked  :(

Colin

I shall have to look into this more seriously then. We will have a central landing on the second floor that would have a great escape point at the rear window, some sort of rope ladder could be tossed out, once the grill is opened.

The roof garden might prove a little more difficult, as even I would be wary of a rope ladder that high.  :o


I don\'t know the details, we were told by the man doing all our metalwork, window grills etc. It may be different in your area, or maybe they don\'t even bother anywhere. This is the Philippines.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 15, 2011, 09:32:49 AM
Part 38

I have just completed a first pass at tidying my website construction page http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Construction . I have given it a more colourful ‘comic book’ look  ;D there is a lot more work I can do on it including adding many more photographs. My goal is to use this as a basis for producing a Blurb book http://www.blurb.com. After all the money and heartache, I wish to preserve it for posterity ;D.

I shall also form a photo gallery for a wall somewhere inside the house.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 20, 2011, 02:37:26 PM
Part 39

We decided to start again.........
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2511.jpg)

After the tsunami :(
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2507.jpg)

Seriously! The workers sorted through the surplus coco lumber for material for the temporary maids quarters. The maid will need to live in the nippa hut for perhaps a year while we get together the money and build the fencing. This could cost in the region of P500,000. Then we will extend the pump house to include a dirty kitchen, laundry and the permanent maid’s quarters. The nippa hut will then either be used as a garden shed, or perhaps house a handyman/gardener. If we do that then I suppose we will need to build a better place for him perhaps out near the front gate. Who said living in the Philippines was cheap...........me!

The Pump House. We are using a pump and pressure tank instead of the more usual tower and tank. This will also house the backup generator.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2503.jpg)


The front doors and porch lighting have been installed.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2515.jpg)
A drive will be placed in the front here with a covered parking space to the left.

The porch and arcade are almost finished; more tiles are needed for the arcade.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/_MG_2517.jpg)

The molding colour turned out to be darker than expected, and may be changed later to be slightly off whitish colour. The window moldings were designed by the workers, and on reflection, are perhaps a little too fussy for the original concept of a Spanish design, maybe further into the future these will be simplified. We will be adding hanging baskets, and an ornate Spanish fountain in the front, so I will judge the effect then.

Colin

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: RUFUS on April 20, 2011, 11:05:46 PM
I think the molding looks good with the house.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: jonnyivy on April 21, 2011, 01:44:50 AM
Colin,.. I\'ve never been on the forum as much as usual,.. its absolutely brilliant what you have managed to get done recently.
I\'d like to just say congratulations to all your family and hope you have many many years of happy living in it,...
Well done bud !

Jonny
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: GregW on April 21, 2011, 04:27:35 AM
Yes, that is a beautiful house.  My asawa would especially love the entrance with the double doors.

Colin, without going back over the entire thread what did you estimate the cost at the beginning and how much has it come to so far.  If you don\'t mind my nosiness that is.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Braddo on April 21, 2011, 06:41:44 AM
Very well done Colin, I think the colour and the trim looks really good if you go a lighter colour then maybe it would look bland and sickly my opinion only

Hope you get years of enjoyment living there

Cheers Braddo  ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 21, 2011, 09:54:22 AM
Yes, that is a beautiful house.  My asawa would especially love the entrance with the double doors.

Colin, without going back over the entire thread what did you estimate the cost at the beginning and how much has it come to so far.  If you don\'t mind my nosiness that is.

I may change the molding around the front doors to something more striking and fit in with the carvings on the door. The doors are from New Zealand and cost P13,500 each.

It is difficult to come up with original estimated costs as we are now on the third set of builders, each with their own ideas, but it would be in the region of P5M. Bing has spent a long time compiling all the expenses and I will publish them when the present builder has finished. It is difficult to come up with a true costing because of all the loss of materials and bad workmanship that has had to be corrected. A rough guess at the moment would be about P6M.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 21, 2011, 09:59:13 AM
Thanks everyone for your nice comments ;D

We are very pleased with the way it is turning out, but there is still a long way to go, and a lot more expense :(, to get the place exactly as we want it.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on April 21, 2011, 08:50:14 PM
Very well done Colin, I think the colour and the trim looks really good if you go a lighter colour then maybe it would look bland and sickly my opinion only

Hope you get years of enjoyment living there

Cheers Braddo  ;D

I agree with Braddo,Colin..
Change the colour but not  the tone too much as you may lose clarity/definition/contrast etc..
In Spain they would probably just paint everything white which would work just as well and automatically simplify things...IMO lang..
Having said that,its you that has to look at it everyday..Not us!
Cheers,
Fred.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 27, 2011, 09:36:58 PM
We are in the process of getting an occupancy permit. This has to be signed by a qualified civil engineer to say that the house conforms to the approved plans. In theory they should visit the house with the plans, but in practice it seems that they do not bother. We are being asked for P5000 for a signature, this seems excessive, does anyone else have any experience of this? It has been suggested that P1000 would be a more realistic figure.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on April 27, 2011, 10:01:16 PM
IMO Colin it depends  on how well you have adhered to the original plans.. If everything is as it should be then I would ask where the 5K figure comes from!
Sounds far too much of an even and high figure to me!! Often the case here.

I cant remember what we paid as its been a few years now.. Im sure it will be listed on an RP government website somewhere.. The problem is that if you tell them you know what the correct price is they will often put your application at the bottom of a huge pile for being a clever dick..

Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on April 28, 2011, 12:08:15 AM
IMO Colin it depends  on how well you have adhered to the original plans.. If everything is as it should be then I would ask where the 5K figure comes from!
Sounds far too much of an even and high figure to me!! Often the case here.

I cant remember what we paid as its been a few years now.. Im sure it will be listed on an RP government website somewhere.. The problem is that if you tell them you know what the correct price is they will often put your application at the bottom of a huge pile for being a clever dick..
From what I have learned here so far, it\'s best to let your wife handle all of the transactions and keep your foreigner face out of sight. As soon as they see it, the price doubles or even triples. God Bless....
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 28, 2011, 07:54:36 AM
IMO Colin it depends  on how well you have adhered to the original plans.. If everything is as it should be then I would ask where the 5K figure comes from!
Sounds far too much of an even and high figure to me!! Often the case here.

I cant remember what we paid as its been a few years now.. Im sure it will be listed on an RP government website somewhere.. The problem is that if you tell them you know what the correct price is they will often put your application at the bottom of a huge pile for being a clever dick..



I took a look at http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno6541.htm, this details the Philippine building codes which should be covered if you have been issued a building permit. This is all I can find about the occupancy permit, no reference to the amount of the fees, I guess that is up to the individual engineer.

Certificates of Occupancy. The proper Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued to the applicant within seven (7) days from completion of the requirements for inspection and occupancy and payment of any and all fees therefor, unless the building Official or his Deputy issuing the Certificate shall show cause in writing why the Certificate should not be issued and shall indicate thereon the particular provisions of the Code violated or the particular requirements not complied with. Within fifteen (15) days from receipt by the applicant of the advice from Building Official or his Deputy authorized to issue the certificate why the certificate should not be issued, or why the certificate is suspended or revoked, the applicant may appeal the non-issuance, suspension, or revocation thereof, to the Mayor of the chartered city or municipality, or the Governor of the province where the building for which the certificate is being applied for is located. Said appeal shall be decided within fifteen (15) days from receipts thereof, otherwise, the applicant may bring the matter to the proper Court of Justice for final disposition. The building may be occupied only upon issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.


Here is a section that I found amusing after you look at all the advertising signs displayed everywhere.

No signs or signboards shall be erected in such a manner as to confuse or obstruct the view or interpretation of any official traffic sign signal or device.
No signboards shall be constructed as to unduly obstruct the natural view of the landscape, distract or obstruct the view of the public as to constitute a traffic hazard, or otherwise defile, debase, or offend the aesthetic and cultural values and traditions of the Filipino people.


Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 28, 2011, 08:21:51 AM
From what I have learned here so far, it\'s best to let your wife handle all of the transactions and keep your foreigner face out of sight. As soon as they see it, the price doubles or even triples. God Bless....

Bing handles all the transactions with officials, and all the financial transactions and buying for the builder. She is using our barangay captain to obtain the occupancy permit.

You have to produce photographs of the front, back and two sides of the house when applying for the occupancy permit. This shows an expensive house and encourages inflated financial requests (greed)  :(.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: cogon88 on April 28, 2011, 01:55:25 PM
Collin you hit the nail on the head they see a mansion and are going to charge you what the market will bear (Kano Tax) however if you rock the boat to much the 5,000 may seem like a small amount to pay as they will always have the upper hand in issuing your occupancy permit

Tom / Roxas City
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 28, 2011, 07:02:38 PM
Collin you hit the nail on the head they see a mansion and are going to charge you what the market will bear (Kano Tax) however if you rock the boat to much the 5,000 may seem like a small amount to pay as they will always have the upper hand in issuing your occupancy permit

Tom / Roxas City

The baragay captain has now managed two reductions, the first to P4000 and the second to P2000. We have decided to not push it any further and have gone for the P2000. We still have to get the fire approval and maybe one or two others, but we have been told that they are fairly nominal. The only thing we are not sure of at the moment is if we are going to have to pay inflated prices for their emergency lights and fire extinguishers.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: fred on April 28, 2011, 07:49:02 PM
2k sounds like a nice compromise considering the original fee ... Well done Colin! Let that be a lesson for all of us!!
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 28, 2011, 11:21:22 PM
2k sounds like a nice compromise considering the original fee ... Well done Colin! Let that be a lesson for all of us!!

Never pay the first offer, the base rule of haggling anywhere in the world.

We are having our architect do all the applications and suchforth for our build, and it is all in my wifes name. The [strike]bribes [/strike] application costs come directly from his fee; 3% of the build costs. Hopefully that will trim the \'Kano Tax\' down as much as possible.

I know that if I were to go into City hall myself and start remonstrating with them how they should be ashamed and embarrassed for being so openly greedy and blatantly illegal I would be wasting my breath, and costing myself more money.   ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 29, 2011, 07:01:47 AM
2k sounds like a nice compromise considering the original fee ... Well done Colin! Let that be a lesson for all of us!!

Never pay the first offer, the base rule of haggling anywhere in the world.

We are having our architect do all the applications and suchforth for our build, and it is all in my wifes name. The [strike]bribes [/strike] application costs come directly from his fee; 3% of the build costs. Hopefully that will trim the \'Kano Tax\' down as much as possible.

I know that if I were to go into City hall myself and start remonstrating with them how they should be ashamed and embarrassed for being so openly greedy and blatantly illegal I would be wasting my breath, and costing myself more money.   ;D

We didn\'t actually haggle, just asked different structural engineers until we found one without a gold plated signature  ;D

I believe that, in theory, city engineers are not allowed to sign the occupancy permits, they are also not supposed to have private building projects on the side either, but this is the Philippines  ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 14, 2011, 02:34:23 PM
Part 40

We are getting closer to moving in. The master bathroom is finished but we are waiting for the permanent connection to the city supply. Here are a couple of photos.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4415a.jpg)

The Bath Tub


(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4416a.jpg)

Our take on a shower curtain  ;D


All the woodwork has now been varnished, including the stairs which are now complete. We used Ipil for the stairs, handrail and all the doors.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk126/colbing/IMG_4417a.jpg)


Our electician is now buying all the materials to give us a permanent electrical connection, but we will then need to get our temporary electricity meter changed for a permanent one.


Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: jonnyivy on May 20, 2011, 04:30:16 AM
Wow ,.. Colin,.. looks amazing ,... hats off to you and your wife,.. good taste and I hope its all worth the wait !!

Soooooo jealous

Great encouragement to others thinking of a self - build.

Jonny
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 20, 2011, 04:07:50 PM
Wow ,.. Colin,.. looks amazing ,... hats off to you and your wife,.. good taste and I hope its all worth the wait !!

Soooooo jealous

Great encouragement to others thinking of a self - build.

Jonny

Thanks Jonny  ;D.

It has taken a lot of money heartache and sleepless nights to get this far. In the past I have recommended that people live on the site, supervise everything and buy all the materials. I would now like to modify that by saying ‘think twice or more before deciding to build here’. We have learned a lot and are trying to pass this on, but you will still have people taking advantage of you as a foreigner. We are very happy with our house now but it really has been stressful. We have gone through three contractors and an adviser, and although out present contractor is very good, he is now dragging his heels a bit. He spends a lot of time on all the nice finishing touches, but not on essentials like connecting up the water and electricity. Bing had a go at him this morning and when we went there lunch time there were at least six men working on the water pressure system. Bing has just gone out to buy the parts needed by the water company to move the meter and connect it up to the house.

I will post some more later about the problems we are having with the occupancy permit.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on December 21, 2011, 10:58:01 AM
Part 41

There has been a large gap in my house posts, but all the missing information is in the section of my website here:  http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/page/Our+future+home . It contains all the photos that have been removed from my earlier posts plus a lot more.

We lost a lot of money due to devious builders and had to cut into our medical savings to get the house finished to a point where we could move in and save paying rent. We then had the dirty kitchen built so that the maids and any workers could cook and eat outside the main house; this now allows us to lock up the house when we go out.

All building work will now be on hold while we both try to rebuild our medical savings and very slowly make improvements to the interior. The large eye level oven and cooker hood for the nonexistent island unit are still in their boxes as are most of our belongings. We are just shuffling them around to get them in the right room for when we get some storage cupboards built. It is also important to get a security wall built around the property with wrought Iron gates etc, but the approximately 260 metres could cost us around P0.5M and will have to be done in stages.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: clbattles on December 21, 2011, 11:13:56 AM
Colin thanks for the update...sorry to hear of your building problems
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on December 22, 2011, 10:04:40 AM
Part 42

I was asked by a member of another forum about the benefits I found from using the 3D panels. I thought this could be of interest on this forum. This is my much modified reply to him.


We used the 3” for the walls with 6” (with some 2”) foil enclosed glass fibre for the second floor ceiling. Also a lot of attic ventilation.

There are certainly benefits in using the 3D panels, but they are difficult to quantify. As well as the insulation, the house was designed to be largely one room deep, in an open location and with a partial ‘U’ shape to help funnel any moving air. The house is reasonably cool, and goes from 26°C during the night up to around 28°C by midday and this is with all the windows open (this compares to over 30°C in our rented property). It does climb up to over 28° later in the afternoon. In theory, I should close the windows as the temperature rises outside but would then lose any outside air movement. The house is very cool at night and we often don’t even need to use a fan.

We use very little aircon, only occasionally a .5hp in my study which is the only room with windows in one south facing wall. I am getting some problems with the sun shining through these windows during the ‘winter’ months so I need to fit blinds here. I also use a 19” CRT monitor which throws out a lot of heat. We have not lived here for the hottest part of the year so may need to use more aircon then.

It is important to remember that often the biggest discomfort comes from high humidity and not high temperatures but an aircon will help to reduce that.

Our rented place was a conventional uninsulated bungalow surrounded by other property. We used the aircon there as little as possible but our electricity bill was around P7000 a month. Our house here is twice the size and a lot more comfortable and our electricity bill is only P3500.

There is a bungalow opposite us, about the same total floor area, built with hollow blocks and I imagine no roof insulation. It is very hot and uncomfortable inside.

If the sun strikes a hollow block wall it does get warm on the inside whereas ours remain cold.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: dutch expat on December 22, 2011, 11:40:28 AM
Thank you for the additional info Colin. May I ask you how you hang up heavy things on the wall. Do you use special plugs or..  ??
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on December 22, 2011, 05:42:16 PM
If you are thinking of the 3D panels, they have thick wire mesh spaced about 1/2 inch from each side then at least 1 inch of rendering. The aircon people hung heavy units on them without any problem, I believe they used standard rawbolts.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on January 28, 2012, 12:11:56 PM
Part 43

I post details of my house build on here with the hope that others can learn from my mistakes. Here is a problem we encountered while applying for a residential permit.

While our house was being built, our ‘adviser’ arranged for a 37kwh transformer to be installed. He said it would be necessary for the roof welding. Not knowing much about the way things work here, I did not realise that this was far too large (and expensive). When the house was completed and we arranged for the electrical inspection, we discovered that this transformer had never been used and the supply was from the original temporary meter on a pole further down the road (with wires running across several empty lots). Our electrician had run the drop wires down the garden ready to be connected, but we were told that they were too small for use with the larger transformer, even although they would have been adequate for our normal needs, and a lot larger than the ones used for all the welding. We also had to buy a digital meter rather than use our existing standard meter; this also had to be installed inside a metal case.

It is standard here to pay a deposit of the average of three months bills, but we had to pay a deposit of P35,000  until we could show the first three months bills. These averaged at just under P4000 so we finally got a rebate of P30,000. Also our ‘commercial’ meter has a multiplication factor of 40, so initial they were only going to charge us for 10 units instead of 400. We were also paying a few pesos for the temporary meter that had been disconnected.

Colin
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: trevor on January 29, 2012, 01:36:42 PM
Colin, so you are stuck with a transformer which you do not need. We also had to buy a transformer which was needed because they were using more than one welder at the same time. Cost us P65000. for a used transformer. Without the transformer the incoming voltage would fluctuate from about 175vac to about 200vac depending on the load usage by other users. With the transformer the supply remain steady at 220vac.
What i notice the welders were doing was using the welder to burn through and cut the steel by turning the current very high. This cost us a lot of welding rods. I was not too happy with that. They did not have a acetylene torch to cut the steel. Well i guess that is the way they do it here.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on January 30, 2012, 02:22:44 AM
My take on it is they probably ask themselves, why have another piece of equipment (heavy, awkward oxy/acetelyne tanks and torch) when we can just use the \"that\'s the way it\'s done here--good enoug--it hasn\'t killed me yet\" method stereo-typical of Pinoy thinking.   ;D

  
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on April 30, 2012, 05:04:09 PM
Part 44

I have just made some changes to my website http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/ , mainly cosmetic, the photos look a lot better with a black background. If anyone has been reading through the previous posts in this series, you will notice that all the photos are missing; these can be found on my web site.

We are only making minor changes to the house until we have rebuilt our emergency medical savings and can pay for some more work to be done. It doesn’t help that all the school fees for the children of family members are due soon, and we have now had to put that aside.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on April 30, 2012, 09:52:03 PM
Hey Colin. Any chance you could employ a de-humidifier to control some of the humidity or would it be a frugal effort? I would imagine though that the house would have to be fairly tight to help control humidity then.  ???
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on May 01, 2012, 07:25:15 AM
A dehumidifier works the same as an aircon but returns the hot air into the room; not what you want in the Philippines. I use an aircon more to reduce the humidity than just for cooling. I often put the aircon on in my study, it will only reduce the temperature by about 2°C but the room is a lot more comfortable. You can see the effectiveness of the dehumidifying by the amount of water that dripped by the unit. Some of the larger cabinet type aircons do have a humidity control as well as for temperature.

You need to seal and insulate a room very well if you want to avoid large electricity bills; a single hollow block wall and plywood ceiling is not enough.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Lee2 on May 01, 2012, 12:48:20 PM
Using a dehumidifier with a vent added to its exhaust, to put the hot air outside the house does work well, and does not fight against itself. I have not been able to find a dehumidifier here in Cebu but I have not worked too hard trying to find one since I would have no easy way of venting the heat out but there is way too much humidity here and I often find myself sweating even with the aircon on or have to freeze to not sweat. Next trip I am going to look for a dehumidifier and possibly vent it out in the CR ceiling or somehow out the sliding glass door if at all possible. That will be my next project.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on May 01, 2012, 04:39:46 PM
I don’t understand how venting the output from a dehumidifier could work. Most dehumidifiers have one input and one output. The input air from the room is passed over the cold expansion coils to take it down below the dew point to extract the water. The cold air is then passed through the hot compressor coils that take it to just above the input temperature. If you pass this air outside the house, you are passing the dry air with it. If you separate the cold dry air from the output hot air, then you have made yourself an air conditioner.

The aircon units that can control the humidity are a lot more complicated, they will take the air down to the required humidity which may then be very cold, then feed a controlled amount heat to it from the compressor coils to bring it up to the required temperature. This is just my simplified interpretation on the way they must work.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Lee2 on May 01, 2012, 07:10:59 PM
Thanks Colin for the explanation, maybe my idea does not work as well as I thought.  ??? I have one in Florida in our home but use it with our aircon on.

When I use our dehumidifier in Florida, I am able to set the aircon temp 2 degrees higher and we are just as comfortable, so humidity seems to be the problem and venting out the heat does not make the aircon work as hard but maybe it is not working as great as I think it is.  
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 01, 2012, 09:10:24 PM
I remember my father always used one in Illinois during the summer and he always said that it saved on A/C costs.  ???  :-\\ :-\\ :-\\
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BudM on May 01, 2012, 11:56:28 PM
Thanks Colin for the explanation, maybe my idea does not work as well as I thought.  ??? I have one in Florida in our home but use it with our aircon on.

When I use our dehumidifier in Florida, I am able to set the aircon temp 2 degrees higher and we are just as comfortable, so humidity seems to be the problem and venting out the heat does not make the aircon work as hard but maybe it is not working as great as I think it is.  

I don\'t use a dehumidifier in Florida.  I have been in an apartment the last 12 years and the aircon has been sick for the last two.  I sure wish I had a dehumidifier during that time.  Anyway, after calling maintenance almost a dozen times over the past two years, they finally changed out what they say was a 20 plus year unit with a new one.  I will tell you what.  That new one hardly ever turns on and it sure is kicking butt.  It is so good that it looks like I will miss it next year.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 02, 2012, 06:12:57 AM
We keep our aircon set between 80-85F (25-29C) We don\'t like it cold.  With the reduction in humidity it\'s perfect for us.  Using fans to circulate the air helps tremendously.  But like Colin says, you must have good insulation and a good weather seal on the doors and windows.   
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on May 02, 2012, 08:21:56 AM
We keep our aircon set between 80-85F (25-29C) We don\'t like it cold.  With the reduction in humidity it\'s perfect for us.  Using fans to circulate the air helps tremendously.  But like Colin says, you must have good insulation and a good weather seal on the doors and windows.   

We have been in our house since last June and the temperature has never gone much above 29°C that can be OK a lot of the time, but does get very uncomfortable if the humidity gets high. We have never used our old cabinet split aircon that is now installed in the lounge, or the new high level split unit in the kitchen, we may need that when we get the oven and hob installed. I do use the 0.5hp unit in my study at times, it only seems to knock the temperature down to around 27° but it is a lot more comfortable with the obvious reduction in humidity.

It is not a good idea to have the aircon set to a very low temperature otherwise the heat really hits you when you leave the room. It is better to let your body try to adjust naturally with just a little help.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: richardsinger on May 02, 2012, 08:40:20 AM
I remember my father always used one in Illinois during the summer and he always said that it saved on A/C costs.  ???  :-\\ :-\\ :-\\

Dry air has much less mass than wet air, so it takes much less energy to cool it with an aircon. I\'m not sure how much energy the dehumidifier needs though, and it is unlikely that you can get something for nothing.

Richard
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on May 02, 2012, 05:55:20 PM
This thread is beginning to make we wonder if we are all looking at this comfort thing the wrong way. The discomfort is mainly due to the high humidity, and not the high temperature. It is possible to be comfortable in temperature higher than we get in the Philippines providing the humidity is low. Homo sapiens evolved in North Africa with sweat glands to deal with the heat. These do not work very well in a higher humidity climate. Perhaps it would be better to concentrate on reducing the humidity rather than the temperature. We would only need a small amount of aircon to prevent the inside temperature from exceeding that on the outside. Wall insulation would not be important, and there would be less movement of air through any gaps because there would not be a temperature gradient. Perhaps even fans would be needed less because the natural sweat evaporation would keep us cooler. Just my vague thought, perhaps other would care to comment on this ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 03, 2012, 07:16:16 AM

Colin, looks like we\'re right back where we started with this topic.  :-\\ Would a de-humidifier be worthwhile  ??? 8)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: OldManBill on May 03, 2012, 10:08:22 AM
Low humidity makes sweat evaporate faster and cools the body more. I live in the South where we get high humidity and high heat. During July and August I can literally sweat through a shirt in minutes. When I worked in construction I would take jugs of Gatorade to the site with me and my clothes would be soaked through by the end of the day. My central heat and air has a built in dehumidifier. There is no way I would live anywhere without one, especially somewhere like the South or RP.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 03, 2012, 08:22:38 PM
Low humidity makes sweat evaporate faster and cools the body more. I live in the South where we get high humidity and high heat. During July and August I can literally sweat through a shirt in minutes. When I worked in construction I would take jugs of Gatorade to the site with me and my clothes would be soaked through by the end of the day. My central heat and air has a built in dehumidifier. There is no way I would live anywhere without one, especially somewhere like the South or RP.
OMBill, I can attest to living in the southern climate. Not altogether much different than RP! Hot, humid, and simply sultry! There is only one good thing about the weather in the south...it doesn\'t last 24/7/365!  :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Giorgio on May 03, 2012, 09:11:55 PM
Just fired my 1st crew of 5 workers.....for being lazy....and not working until they see me or boss coming.....3rd time this week.

They just been on the job 3 weeks.

It looks like we have to stay on site..watching all the time...sure wish I could trust some of these guys....I would treat very well for good honest workers.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: brett4gam on May 06, 2012, 04:55:54 PM
Part 44

I have just made some changes to my website [url]http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/[/url] , mainly cosmetic, the photos look a lot better with a black background. If anyone has been reading through the previous posts in this series, you will notice that all the photos are missing; these can be found on my web site.



Colin, I must say that you have been through the ups and downs whilst going through the process of building the house, but the end result is very impressive, congratulations on what you and Bing have achieved!  I had a look at your website and it looks fantastic.

Brett.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on May 06, 2012, 07:51:36 PM
Part 44

I have just made some changes to my website [url]http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com/[/url] , mainly cosmetic, the photos look a lot better with a black background. If anyone has been reading through the previous posts in this series, you will notice that all the photos are missing; these can be found on my web site.



Colin, I must say that you have been through the ups and downs whilst going through the process of building the house, but the end result is very impressive, congratulations on what you and Bing have achieved!  I had a look at your website and it looks fantastic.

Brett.


Thanks Brett, we are happy with the results even although there is more work to do. The problems seem to be never ending, the latest one was when the assessors for the property tax tried to take us for P25k but we managed to sidestep that one. If you are a foreigner here you are a target for many corrupt practices, you learn to expect it in the end and try to work around it. Be suspicious of everyone if there is money involved.

I am now working on an independent web site that will contain a lot more than my wetpaint one. It will be some time before it is ready to publish but that is not the important part, it is the learning exercise to create it that is interesting. It will not contain a forum, so I will check with Jack to see if he will allow me to advertise it here. No problem if he doesn\'t ;)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 07, 2012, 12:55:36 AM
I am now working on an independent web site that will contain a lot more than my wetpaint one. It will be some time before it is ready to publish but that is not the important part, it is the learning exercise to create it that is interesting. It will not contain a forum, so I will check with Jack to see if he will allow me to advertise it here. No problem if he doesn\'t ;)

Colin,

I see no problem with you creating a revised website.  I\'m assuming it will be dedicated to your home construction and the accompanying trials and errors.  When you get close to publishing it, if you don\'t mind, allow me to peruse the content and if it\'s what I think it will be, I have no problem allowing you to post a link to it here.   :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: on May 07, 2012, 02:55:40 AM
Would post a pic of our house but don\'t understand the post image function here. Help anyone  ??? ??? ??? :-\\
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on May 07, 2012, 08:22:45 AM
I am now working on an independent web site that will contain a lot more than my wetpaint one. It will be some time before it is ready to publish but that is not the important part, it is the learning exercise to create it that is interesting. It will not contain a forum, so I will check with Jack to see if he will allow me to advertise it here. No problem if he doesn\'t ;)


Colin,

I see no problem with you creating a revised website.  I\'m assuming it will be dedicated to your home construction and the accompanying trials and errors.  When you get close to publishing it, if you don\'t mind, allow me to peruse the content and if it\'s what I think it will be, I have no problem allowing you to post a link to it here.   :)


It will contain ALL my experiences of the Philippines, a sort of Philippine biography. I am including everything in my wetpaint site but hopefully with effects such as fades and scrolling text. I have also just found a free program called jAlbum http://jalbum.net/en/ that can be included to give a versatile photo album. This will allow a slide show which could be useful.

I have always liked the idea of publishing a book, but this is a lot easier.

Jack, when it eventually (?) gets published I will give you the link and won’t put it on the forum without your permission.

Don’t hold your breath, it could be a while yet ;D It is one of many projects and just the current one.

Gotta keep the brain active even if the body is slowing down ;D
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 07, 2012, 08:59:13 AM
Would post a pic of our house but don\'t understand the post image function here. Help anyone  ??? ??? ??? :-\\


Try this link:
http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php/topic,206.msg2581.html#msg2581 (http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php/topic,206.msg2581.html#msg2581)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on May 07, 2012, 09:01:25 AM
Jack, when it eventually (?) gets published I will give you the link and won’t put it on the forum without your permission.

Don’t hold your breath, it could be a while yet ;D It is one of many projects and just the current one.

Gotta keep the brain active even if the body is slowing down ;D


Yes!  Keep the brain function at a high level!   ;D

From the way you\'ve described it (and I trust you) I think we will have no problem posting it when you\'re ready my friend.   :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on November 08, 2012, 02:46:33 PM
Jack, when it eventually (?) gets published I will give you the link and won’t put it on the forum without your permission.

Don’t hold your breath, it could be a while yet ;D It is one of many projects and just the current one.

Gotta keep the brain active even if the body is slowing down ;D



Yes!  Keep the brain function at a high level!   ;D

From the way you\'ve described it (and I trust you) I think we will have no problem posting it when you\'re ready my friend.   :)


It seems that my posts are no longer welcome by the current membership so I will not be adding to this very long thread about my house build. My current web site http://thephilippinejournal.wetpaint.com has all the information and will have a link to my new web site if/when I get around to finishing it.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on November 08, 2012, 11:55:33 PM
Colin,

I have no idea why you would quote my post in your rant on sarcasm.  I've not been sarcastic with you.  Indeed, in my off forum emails with you I've explained what I'm going through personally so you would better understand why I don't give you extended, verbose replies on the forum.

No one has given you any reason to take away your rugby ball and go home.  Forgive me, but I simply don't understand.  But be that as it may, you can stay or leave, as always, it's up to you.  No one told you to do anything, no one was sarcastic towards you and no one called you any names.  I believe this is all a huge misunderstanding on your part.  But that's just my personal opinion.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on November 09, 2012, 12:07:03 PM
Colin,

I have no idea why you would quote my post in your rant on sarcasm.  I've not been sarcastic with you.  Indeed, in my off forum emails with you I've explained what I'm going through personally so you would better understand why I don't give you extended, verbose replies on the forum.

No one has given you any reason to take away your rugby ball and go home.  Forgive me, but I simply don't understand.  But be that as it may, you can stay or leave, as always, it's up to you.  No one told you to do anything, no one was sarcastic towards you and no one called you any names.  I believe this is all a huge misunderstanding on your part.  But that's just my personal opinion.  YMMV.

Jack, I don't really understand this post. I don't recall quoting any of your posts nor ranting about sarcasm. Tom made a comment that I took as sarcastic and I agree that nobody called me names, but the word 'negative' was used several times to describe my posts. I have explained my attitude and reasons for my posts in an email to you.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on November 10, 2012, 12:18:25 AM
To All Members:

Perhaps we all should sit back, take a deep breath and start over.  Let's not bring up past posts and try to restate improperly worded posts or attempt to dissuade others of our intentions.

I for one am going to ignore the previous posts concerning attitudes and misunderstandings and move on with today.  I suggest we all do the same.  Let's let bygones be bygones and start with a clean slate.  Okay?

Thanks!   :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on November 10, 2012, 02:35:52 AM
Since I'm in the right topic of home building (not just with hollow blocks), I found this site below and hope it may help others to decide in how and where to build their home and the costs involved!
In our situation while our new home was being built in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, my wife and I stayed with her sister-in-law in her roomy 1 bedroom townhouse in San Pedro, Laguna only a 20 minute drive to where our home was being built which took approximately 6 months to complete just the basic floor plan which only consisted of 3 bdrms 2 bath, kitchen and living room without a garage or any other added on construction and none of the finishing was yet done, but was in live-in condition while the finishing continued for another 6 month after we moved in and so that we could monitor the contractor's finishing work.
All turned out well and we've been living in our home for 12 years now!
BTW, we used the developer's contractor to build our home since the floor plan was already included in the purchase price of the home and lot. Customizing the build was allowed during and after the home build, but it cost extra!     
Good luck with your future home build! 

http://www.manila-construction.com/affordable_houses_philippines.htm
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on November 10, 2012, 06:28:37 AM
To All Members:

Perhaps we all should sit back, take a deep breath and start over.  Let's not bring up past posts and try to restate improperly worded posts or attempt to dissuade others of our intentions.

I for one am going to ignore the previous posts concerning attitudes and misunderstandings and move on with today.  I suggest we all do the same.  Let's let bygones be bygones and start with a clean slate.  Okay?

Thanks!   :)

OK :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: meylou on November 10, 2012, 03:09:08 PM
OK, sounds good to me.[/b]  :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: tom.inbigdtexas on November 11, 2012, 02:45:40 AM
To All Members:

Perhaps we all should sit back, take a deep breath and start over.  Let's not bring up past posts and try to restate improperly worded posts or attempt to dissuade others of our intentions.

I for one am going to ignore the previous posts concerning attitudes and misunderstandings and move on with today.  I suggest we all do the same.  Let's let bygones be bygones and start with a clean slate.  Okay?

Thanks!   :)

 :) Okay :)
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on February 15, 2013, 10:21:26 AM
If anyone is thinking of designing a house, or anything else, using Sketchup, here is an excellent set of videos http://www.aidanchopra.com/web-content (http://www.aidanchopra.com/web-content) . They are the accompaniment for the book ‘Google Sketchup 8 for Dummies’ which you don’t actually need but could be useful.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: meylou on February 15, 2013, 03:09:01 PM
Thanks for the link, Colin.  This will come in handy.  My husband bought a software 7 years ago that creates a 2D rendition which he used to draw the footprints of our home now. It was helpful for me because I am very visual.
I will study Sketchup and let my husband know how this software is.  I sure would like to own a software that will do a 3D rendition.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: BingColin on February 15, 2013, 03:59:10 PM
Sketchup is very versatile, here are some examples http://www.google.com/search?q=sketchup+example&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7-cdUf73JoL_rAff74Ao&ved=0CDoQsAQ&biw=1376&bih=641 (http://www.google.com/search?q=sketchup+example&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7-cdUf73JoL_rAff74Ao&ved=0CDoQsAQ&biw=1376&bih=641)
These are all in 3D and you can move around and zoom in and out of these sort of creations. Anyone can create these, the tools are fairly simple but you do need to take your time and practice. Draw a garden shed before you attempt a palace with all the trimmings. Check every time you make a change to make sure you have not screwed up something else.
Title: Re: Building our house in the Philippines
Post by: Palawan Aussie on February 15, 2013, 10:56:56 PM
Colin shares,

Here is an excellent set of videos [url]http://www.aidanchopra.com/web-content[/url] ([url]http://www.aidanchopra.com/web-content[/url])


Colin, an excellent SketchUp v8 resource, as also are the Google examples. Have just spent all afternoon and evening there. Thanks fella.

Cheers,
Stephen
.