Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats
Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats

Author Topic: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??  (Read 33719 times)

Offline c_a_p_t_a_i_n_r_o_n

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 11:26:35 PM »
I can go on and on about all the mistakes my workers made, but here was MY biggest mistake. †Everything you read about concrete warns you that too much water is the enemy of strong concrete. †But, this rule must be modified in the heat of the Philippine building season. †Some of the defects in my own house are due to my insisting on a conventional mix and ending up with sections of \"bony\" concrete. †By the way we used a 1-2-3 mix throughout (1 cement, 2 sand, 3 stone).

Bob

Same here, the mistakes were uncountable, but the one that sticks out most is the guys had no concept of how concrete works, or what the ratio is meant to be.

They mixed it by eye, on the ground, shovelled in whatever they felt it needed, thus producing batches of concrete that varied immensely in strength and hardness.

When they laid flooring it was left to dry in the sun, and racked all over.

When they formed beams or pillars they made them as rough as guts, and skimmed them to look pretty afterwards, rather than make accurate form-work to start with and be done in one hit.

I did some research myself and soon knew far more than they did about the whole process.

I should have realised something was wrong when they laid the footings using nothing but a cement and water mix, not concrete, but they insisted that was how it was done and my wife told me to keep my nose out, for once, and let them do their job, as they knew all about it......

If ever I build another place I will have a meeting with the builders, right at the start, and we will all understand that they do what I say, that I am in charge, that I am paying them to follow my orders, not to do whatever they feel like.



Yes, and we all know exactly what\'ll happen then........... †:D :D :D


ps. Has anybody ever seen a concrete mixer in the PI, one of the small ones??? †???

Thus:
[ Photo Link Deleted due to pop-up ~ Billy ]

In the UK you can rent one for about £15 a week, or buy for £250.

Yes friend in Danao has bought one, we\'ve agreed on sale †when he\'s finished (around September)

I had the guys build my concrete + limestone boundary fence first so I\'d be able to see what needed changing/stopping in their practices

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2010, 10:36:29 AM »
The statement of, the concrete should be wetter then standard because of the heat is a mis-understanding with how the work should be done.

Pinoy want the concrete very wet because it\'s less work almost self flowing and they do not keep the concrete surface damp during drying that is normally done in hot weather.

Make sub-standard weak concrete and that\'s what you will live with from then on!!

BTW, if you get on their case, they KNOW how things should be!!!† ;D
B-Ray

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2010, 08:28:30 PM »

BTW, if you get on their case, they KNOW how things should be!!!† ;D
B-Ray

I wouldn\'t put money on that.† :D :D :D

Offline pgobeem

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2010, 10:33:58 AM »
this is a little different but addresses a lot of the same problems and very helpful as just a general guide book is \"How to buy Land and Build a house in Thailand. †discuses the same problems and materials run into.
Lots of stuff in Thai but the pictures and drawings as well as book is in English, can be easily uased as a great reference. †I got it on Amazon prior to my eivorce from my thai asawa.
Hope this can be some help.
Patrick

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2010, 03:34:57 PM »
Well Sir Guest Tom,

Your way out in left field with your gotta have 35 to a sack!!

Sucks, Pinoy built block houses are standing without problems for some 20 odd years that we have bought. Remodeling the 4 wasn\'t about the hollow blocks, but just paint mostly!!
B-Ray

 

Well the first mistake you are going to make is to make 55 cement blocks from a bag of cement you need to get around 35 blocks per bag 55 per bag your blocks will fall apart while you are trying to lay them

Tom



Offline PenthouseLife

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 05:12:06 AM »
i never thought I\'d wish a place were smaller, but i\'m wishing I had a smaller house because this 650 watt aircon unit would economically cool the whole place if it was a lot smaller. ; ) That\'s one thought in regards to things to think about when building. Another thought, i find a lot of kitchen counters to be too low vs. counters in the states which gives me a sore back when I feel like chopping veges or contributing toward meals prep. Don\'t leave kitchen counter height up to the locals in my opinion.

Being born in North Dakota and from Wyoming and Montana, I am an aircon fanatic even though I only run a single 650 watt unit, I am battling about 30 windows that do not seal up. It\'s great for fresh air and ventilation, but it\'s terrible found sound traveling in and OUT (i shiver and thinking of what the neighbors have heard, am a newly wed! ;) ), i prefer windows that could seal up better than these \"slat\" or \"overlapping blinds\" type windows. I don\'t know the proper name for them. Also they are weak and a security risk, my arm will fit between to of the glass slats when open. I\'ve seen another style of slat windows that have security bars in between each slat, I wish this rental house were outfitted with the more secure type.

I\'ve had several homes (more previously in manila in 03\' 04\') that leaked water through the bathroom floor dripping into the lower level. It seems like using chemical sealants to finalize a tile job may be uncommon here, although could have saved a lot of trouble for my landlord.

It seems like some of the robberies and murders of foreigners take place within their own homes (ALTHOUGH VERY VERY RARE OCCURANCES BY STATISTIC) but my point is, security is very important when building, in addition to my comment about security windows, don\'t put windows too close to any door knobs, especially an arms reach from any door knobs. I suggest not making the outside of the place too fancy or \'rich person looking\' in appearance, and if you can, secure your wall/fence/gates as well as possible. Everything from drunken men who are in despair and desperation, to ex boyfriends (of gf?), to ex girlfriends can quickly become enemies. One time the NICEST girl turned 180 degrees by surprise and became a blackmailer attempting to manipulate me into replying to txt messages that insinuated falsities with attempts at me confirming the falsities, it was a reminder that even very nice and kind people can become enemies when desperately poor and in need, although most poor folk would never turn to criminality, a very very small % i\'m sure. Let\'s put it this way, hopefully without sounding too paranoid, my obviously martial law era rental house in Paranaque had a steel door along the vehicle gate with a gun turret! and by golly, i slept better cause of it even though I didn\'t own a gun.

Another building mistake i see a lot, is in the states we\'re using a lot of motion sensor lights that save on electricity cause they turn off auto if you accidentily leave them on, don\'t see anyone using them here. i don\'t see much insect screen being used either, which depends if you\'re in a mosquito area or not, but there\'s times I wish I had screen doors and screens on all the windows. Here\'s another thing, cool air stays low, some regret having their bedroom on the upper level of a house. This rental house I\'m in has an upper level, but the master bedroom in on the main floor and being concrete and tile stays nice and cool at night especially. I hate single bowl sinks, don\'t see enough side by side kitchen sinks. Faucets never seem to extend out far enough over the sink to my taste. Always have a nice stainless goose neck faucet in the states. If you\'re going to use a tankless hot water heater, pre-plumb it for the sink if you like to shave with hot water.

Some random thoughts for ya.

Cheers!

Offline dylanaz

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2010, 08:03:49 AM »
...It seems like some of the robberies and murders of foreigners take place within their own homes ...

Because it is people they already know....
I have seen so much conflict while in the Philippines - amazingly 99% of it was merely online computer experiences :D

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2010, 09:16:02 AM »

Here are some addition comments to those of PenthouseLife

Quote
I am battling about 30 windows that do not seal up. It\'s great for fresh air and ventilation, but it\'s terrible found sound traveling in and OUT (i shiver and thinking of what the neighbors have heard, am a newly wed! ;) ), i prefer windows that could seal up better than these \"slat\" or \"overlapping blinds\" type windows. I don\'t know the proper name for them. Also they are weak and a security risk, my arm will fit between to of the glass slats when open.
That style of window is known as jalousies, and should not be used in a house with aircon for obvious reasons. I saw a neighbour recently who had unlocked the security gate onto the porch but lost the key for the front door. They just lifted out the glass panels and put a small girl through to open the door.

Quote
I\'ve had several homes (more previously in manila in 03\' 04\') that leaked water through the bathroom floor dripping into the lower level. It seems like using chemical sealants to finalize a tile job may be uncommon here, although could have saved a lot of trouble for my landlord.
The concrete floor should be sealed before the tiles are laid, and should have a reasonable slope to a drain. Filipinos love throwing water around in their bathrooms† ;D

Quote
It seems like some of the robberies and murders of foreigners take place within their own homes (ALTHOUGH VERY VERY RARE OCCURANCES BY STATISTIC) but my point is, security is very important when building, in addition to my comment about security windows, don\'t put windows too close to any door knobs, especially an arms reach from any door knobs.
It is essential to put security bars at the windows of foreigner houses, it does not matter how plain you make the house look, people know when there is a foreigner living there. Metal external gates with padlocks are also a good idea. We are planning to combine the security gate with the screen door.

Quote
Another building mistake i see a lot, is in the states we\'re using a lot of motion sensor lights that save on electricity cause they turn off auto if you accidentily leave them on, don\'t see anyone using them here.
Motion sensor lights are a good idea if you are far enough away from the road. Unfortunately, most Philippine houses are built on small lots very close to the road.

Quote
I don\'t see much insect screen being used either, which depends if you\'re in a mosquito area or not, but there\'s times I wish I had screen doors and screens on all the windows.
I have lived in Manila with no screening and no problems, but you could not live without it in most places in the Philippines. Here on Palawan we don\'t leave screen doors open any longer than it takes to walk through them, and we have an utra violet insect killer on at night.

Quote
Here\'s another thing, cool air stays low, some regret having their bedroom on the upper level of a house. This rental house I\'m in has an upper level, but the master bedroom in on the main floor and being concrete and tile stays nice and cool at night especially.
The answer is to insulate the bedroom ceilings, something that is not done or even understood here. Our builders are surprised at the amount of insulation I am putting in our house.

Quote
I If you\'re going to use a tankless hot water heater, pre-plumb it for the sink if you like to shave with hot water.
Having hot water is also something that is not understood in the Philippines. The builders were surprised when I told them to run the hot water to every sink and shower in the house. I was told that the maids don\'t use hot water in the kitchen........tough, they are going to have to learn† ;D

Colin

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2010, 04:25:58 PM »
Having hot water is also something that is not understood in the Philippines. The builders were surprised when I told them to run the hot water to every sink and shower in the house. I was told that the maids don\'t use hot water in the kitchen........tough, they are going to have to learn† Grin

So, are you saying you have a control hot water system and piped everywhere you want it?

If so, doesn\'t that mean the water in the tank has to be kept hot when wanted? How much water has to be run through the pipes to gain hot water where you want it?

Just wondering??

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2010, 04:32:39 PM »
What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??

Oh, using a Pinoy contractor and no nothing laborers!!† Oh they can talk a good games until it time to work!!

Just be there DAILY and rework whatever all day in getting what your paying for. Otherwise, things will show up big time later, that you can count on!
B-Ray

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2010, 04:47:06 PM »
So, are you saying you have a control hot water system and piped everywhere you want it?
Yes

Quote
If so, doesn\'t that mean the water in the tank has to be kept hot when wanted?
Yes, but it is very well insulated and similar to a system I have used in the UK.

Quote
How much water has to be run through the pipes to gain hot water where you want it?
Not very much, the hot water cylinder is in the kitchen and immediately below the master bathroom. The two other bathrooms are a little further away, but they will not be used very often, and mainly by Filipinos who generally prefer their water cold. I have also made provision for the hot water cylinder to be fed by a solar water heater which will be installed at a later date. I may also consider sinking a well to get free water, but that will be sometime in the future.

Colin

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2010, 09:43:54 PM »
Not very much, the hot water cylinder is in the kitchen and immediately below the master bathroom. The two other bathrooms are a little further away, but they will not be used very often, and mainly by Filipinos who generally prefer their water cold. I have also made provision for the hot water cylinder to be fed by a solar water heater which will be installed at a later date. I may also consider sinking a well to get free water, but that will be sometime in the future.

Colin
My tentative plans for our house has the two bathrooms, utility room and kitchen all within a fifteen foot radius, upstairs and down, so toilet plumbing, hot water runs etc are kept to a minimum. We too shall have some sort of solar heating system for the hot water. maybe even something as simple as a flat black water tank outside.

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2010, 09:52:28 PM »
We too shall have some sort of solar heating system for the hot water. maybe even something as simple as a flat black water tank outside.

I am thinking on the lines of a sheet of corrugated iron with metal pipes wired into the troughs and all painted black. If it needs a boost I will put a sheet of glass over it.

Colin

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Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2010, 12:45:10 PM »
There things to play with for solar type water heating depending how creative you are.

Radiant heat works great without the direct sun rays to heat water. Secondary heating means like flex tubing could be used. Down hole well tubing comes to mind. Using hot water, maybe the tubing can be made into \"U\" shape using a hand made form and save the fittings??
B-Ray



We too shall have some sort of solar heating system for the hot water. maybe even something as simple as a flat black water tank outside.

I am thinking on the lines of a sheet of corrugated iron with metal pipes wired into the troughs and all painted black. If it needs a boost I will put a sheet of glass over it.

Colin

  • Guest
Re: What Building Mistakes/Issues to look out for??
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2010, 09:38:23 PM »
There things to play with for solar type water heating depending how creative you are.

Radiant heat works great without the direct sun rays to heat water. Secondary heating means like flex tubing could be used. Down hole well tubing comes to mind. Using hot water, maybe the tubing can be made into \"U\" shape using a hand made form and save the fittings??
B-Ray



We too shall have some sort of solar heating system for the hot water. maybe even something as simple as a flat black water tank outside.

I am thinking on the lines of a sheet of corrugated iron with metal pipes wired into the troughs and all painted black. If it needs a boost I will put a sheet of glass over it.

Colin


There are some good info links from another thread elsewhere on this forum. One problem people noted was sometimes they worked too efficiently, and water got too hot to be safe. I reckon it will be another interesting project to add to my \'bucket list\'.†  ;D