Author Topic: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice  (Read 2688 times)

Offline dance621

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Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« on: March 26, 2009, 05:53:51 PM »
Hi, I am looking to build a coastal villa in coron on a steep hillside (views are fantastic). I have a very specific idea in mind and want a 2 bed one storey villa with pool. The structure should be a traditional philippino style with modern twist. I want lots of glass at fron for the view. Problem is I have no experience building in coron or philippines for that matter. Specific problems I seem to have would be should I use local architect? Coron is very small town. Would a local architect be able to handle such a small but specific project. I always had the idea of finding a final year architecture student and giving him/her the job. seems a cheap way of doing it but maybe this would be ill advised also. The pool is also a problem. I need an infinity pool which i havnt seen in coron before.

The other problem I have is that I dont live full time in philippines. Who is the best person to put in charge? Architect?

And finally, I have found absolutely no links to building wood houses in philippines? all links seem to be to standard concrete villas. All very nice but not what i am loking for. I am looking for a fusion between concrete and wood.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 02:01:44 AM »
Dance621,

You won\'t see a lot of wood structures in the RP due to the voracious termites.† All the wood I\'ve seen used in houses was for interior trim, not for any exterior portion of the structure.† The only houses I\'ve seen made of wood were owned by very poor people and these were in one of several stages of rot or being eaten by the treacherous bok-bok.†

As far as having someone oversee the construction of your house, I suggest you read some of the other posts in this section of the forum.† You\'ll soon see why it\'s not advised to leave it up to someone you barely know.†
Louisville, KY USA - Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, PH

Offline grizzi

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 03:21:35 AM »
Dance621,

I fully agree with Gray Wolf on this issue. I work abroad and had the Mrs. watch over the construction of our house in Leyte, and when I finally returned to see it, there were many things I would have changed on how they did the construction.

Luckily for me, she was a brave soul and questioned the important things (like the masons trying to use 8mm rebar instead of 12mm for reinforcing), and she was on the email or the phone to me asking questions and dropping me pictures as much as possible.

Still, the next house we build, I WILL be on the ground and making sure no shortcuts are taken.

Just a bit of advice from someone who\'s been there.

Enjoy... 8)
Greg & Almira† ;-)

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 09:51:57 AM »
Hi Dance621,

You may have seen from other posts here that I live near Puerto Princesa Palawan and will start to have a house built here soon.

The way you proceed with building a house here depends on how much you are prepared to spend. If you are not living here, the easiest, but most expensive, way is to hire a contractor. They will take everything from a sketch right up to the finished house. The problem with them is that their charges are a percentage of the material costs, sometimes as high as 50%. They also tend to use the most expensive materials to bump up their profit. You need to be very very careful if you go that route and only select highly recommended people.

Building a house on a steep hill is a lot different to building one on the flat and I doubt if many builders here have had experience in doing that. In my opinion, you are going to need a good experienced architect who will also recommend a builder and supervise the construction. Again you need some very good recommendations for this.

One of the problems here in the Philippines is that everyone becomes an expert at anything if they think it can earn them some money, and this particularly applies to the building trade. When it became known that we were going to build a house, everyone knew at least two or three people who wanted the job. Also be careful of accepting the lowest bid, it is not unknown for a builder to undercut other, run out of money and walk away from a half built house.

Anyone can dig a hole in the ground, throw in some cement and tiles and call it a swimming pool, but you really need an experienced swimming pool contractor to do the job properly. I would love to have an infinity pool, but definitely a job for an expert. I know someone in Pangasinan who has had problems with leaks, and wished he had not had the pool built. I am not trying to put you off, because I am also planning to have a pool built later.

On Palawan, and I assume Coron will be the same, there is a particularly nasty form of termite, and for this reason my house will have the minimum of wood. If you do want wood, then make sure it is one of the very hard varieties. We had termites invade our bookcase, eat a lot of the books and some of the ply backing but did not touch the frame that is made of Narra. The other point is to make sure the wood is well clear of the ground and that the ground is thoroughly poisoned before construction and topped up annually after that. We had a house built for the family seven years ago, had the ground poisoned, but did not know about the annual top up. Last year we had to replace every internal wooden wall. The house we are renting at the moment is slowly being eaten by termites, but that is a problem for the owner.

I hope I have not painted too black a picture, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck with your project.

Colin

Offline dutch expat

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 11:44:32 AM »
Wise words Colin.† I have also the intention to build a simple house in future. I am very interested in experiences of other forum members, because I have little to no knowledge about house construction and that makes me scary

I know that in The Philippines they often use a \"pakyaw contract\". That will say that you are the principal to the contract , while the agent is a \"pakyaw team\", represented by a leader. A pakyaw contract engages the team to provide labor for the completion of a specific task, within a specific time period, for a stipulated amount. The principal provides all equipment and tools. As the principal recognizes no employer-employee relation the project is still undertaken under force account. It transfers the burden to avoiding minimum wage to the pakyaw leaders. Unskilled labour are usually obtained from the barangay, semi-skilled labour from the municipality and skilled labour from the province. The pakyaw system lightens also the recruitment and supervision.

Offline Lee2

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2009, 12:48:33 PM »
First let me start out by saying good luck to anyone who wants to try this.

I am no expert on building but I have found that any type of construction work in the Philippines can be very frustrating, anyone who plans work should make sure they have the temperament for it and also have someone who they can trust who can speak the language to the workers. While I have found that the contractor will speak good English, the workers who are actually doing the work usually do not speak much English and I have also found that it is very important to be able to talk to them as the work is being done wrong and nip it before it goes too far.

My Filipina wife and I had our condos upgraded, sliding glass doors, cabinets, bathroom doors reversed, tile, shower doors, wood moldings, patio enlarged, tiled, dropped ceiling with lights, outlets and of course railings, split a/c\'s installed etc, etc and even my wife ended up crying and I had to stand up to two of the contractors and actually raise my voice to tell them I meant business and unless they did it as we had agreed, I would not be paying them the balance of the costs. All I can advise is to be sure to divide the money due into a bunch of segments and only pay as the work get done or you have nothing to hold over their heads.

One of my American neighbors wanted to have the work done cheaper and hired labor workers to do it and he supervised, bad idea because he does not speak the language and they left the A/C electric outlet right in the middle of the sliding doorway and he asked me why and I had my wife ask them, the answer was \"we are not electrician, so we do not do that type of work\" they were going to have the sliding glass door installed anyway and it would then have then been very difficult to move the outlet, had my wife not talked to them and told them to wait until the electrician we had could move it. Communication is very important and most of the work we had done would never have been done correctly had it not been for my wife translating what we expected to the workmen.

Again, good luck.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 01:55:18 PM »
I have built a 2 story apartment building in 2006 using a contractor. NEVER AGAIN!!† We did use a 5th year grad student to draw up the plans, (my specs as a 3 story, built 2), with a material list. That was a god sent since I had never before built anything in the Philippines. BUT, saw how things were done, reason for the 3 story plans.

I have remodeled three Pinoy built houses and built a bamboo cabin (studio apartment), using just TWO PINOYS and a 3rd on call, to do the work. Yep, it takes some leg work to get the material needed at the best price. Case in point, save P200 per gal of the same paint and paint number just by doing the LEG WORK in the same City, Dumagete!

After seeing how Pinoys work on a job, (just look around), you will be sending the MASS MAJORITY down the road kicking rocks, COUNT ON IT!!!!!!

Having something built and you being afar..............most likely the worse idea you could possible come up with, from my POV!!!!

If you have a good college near by that teaches an architect course using the latest CAD software, go for a 5th year student. It\'s a win-win situation. He/she get a grade and you get your plans.

\"near by\", meaning......... so you can go over the plans at different stages from time to time. In my case, he came to our house a number of times.

Back in late 2005, the plans cost me P500 per blue print page times 6 or P3,000. The contractor wanted P12,000 for the plans and using HER material list. Ya RIGHT, no way!!!
B-Ray

Offline dance621

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2009, 09:34:13 AM »
Thanks for all the comments. I think I might delay the build intil I can spend maybe a moth on site, although probaboy make my wife project manager.

As for the wood...were all the beutiful traditional spanish houses build in wood mainly? how are they still standing? I am not fixed on wood as a component but though it would all a certain locakl phill feel to the build. As there no termite fee or treated wood?

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2009, 02:28:39 PM »
Thanks for all the comments. I think I might delay the build intil I can spend maybe a moth on site, although probaboy make my wife project manager.

As for the wood...were all the beutiful traditional spanish houses build in wood mainly? how are they still standing? I am not fixed on wood as a component but though it would all a certain locakl phill feel to the build. As there no termite fee or treated wood?

The old spanish houses would have used hardwood and the ones I have seen look old but could have been partially rebuilt.
My brother-in-law works for the Bureau of Prisons, and the staff houses are all wood construction and at least 50 years old. The wood used for culumns and beams are as hard as concrete, but you have to be careful where you walk because the floorboard are not too good, and these heve been patched up and replaced. The walls and ceilings are sawali (woven bamboo),very cheap and easily replaced.

Sofrwoods can be treated, but you have to be careful if you cut them because the termites can then get into the cut ends. I am not sure if you can easily paint treated wood.

Colin

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2009, 05:00:40 PM »
\" I am not sure if you can easily paint treated wood.\"

I have with a water base and oil base paint. Figure on two coats once the treatment is dry.
B-Ray


Thanks for all the comments. I think I might delay the build intil I can spend maybe a moth on site, although probaboy make my wife project manager.

As for the wood...were all the beutiful traditional spanish houses build in wood mainly? how are they still standing? I am not fixed on wood as a component but though it would all a certain locakl phill feel to the build. As there no termite fee or treated wood?

The old spanish houses would have used hardwood and the ones I have seen look old but could have been partially rebuilt.
My brother-in-law works for the Bureau of Prisons, and the staff houses are all wood construction and at least 50 years old. The wood used for culumns and beams are as hard as concrete, but you have to be careful where you walk because the floorboard are not too good, and these heve been patched up and replaced. The walls and ceilings are sawali (woven bamboo),very cheap and easily replaced.

Sofrwoods can be treated, but you have to be careful if you cut them because the termites can then get into the cut ends. I am not sure if you can easily paint treated wood.

Colin

Offline Gray Wolf

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Re: Wood and concrete structure in coron...need some advice
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 03:39:52 AM »
A quick glance at any of the older Spanish homes still standing will quickly show a solid stone or brick base with wooden upper structure only.† Look at the finest example of Spanish architecture still around, in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, and you\'ll see houses with brick or stone outer structures and wood used only for the upper floors, interior trim and flooring.† I can\'t remember ever seeing any older \"traditional\" Spanish homes still standing that are strictly wooden structures.
Louisville, KY USA - Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, PH