Frequently Asked Questions
Can you build a house in the Philippines for ANY budget?
Yes we can. In our office in Cebu, Manila, Davao (or wherever you want to meet us) our architects/engineers will show you which house-design and which finishings (tiles, roof-system, doors, C.R. etc.) are within your budget.
Can you show me what my new house will look like?
Yes we can. We will make the sketch/floorplan and (if you prefer) a 3D 'three-dimensional' pesentation (virtual tour or 'walkthrough'). Also we can escort you to some relevant projects we already finished.
Can you build ANY Philippine house?
Yes we can. Just show us some pictures, drawings, directions, explanations and we will design it.
I want to do part of the building-process myself; ok?
Yes thats fine with us. We will put all in writing in the contract.
Why should I hire a contractor to build my house?
Many people think that they
will be able to save money if they manage the construction of their home by
themselves. But here are some matters to consider:
- Do you have the knowledge, training and experience for the task?
- Do you know how to schedule? A delayed project costs more money.
- Do you know the safety issues during construction and during the useful life of the structure?
- Did you know that 80 percent of construction mistakes are due to poor instructions from superiors in the jobsite and only 20 percent are due to the workers themselves?
- Are you capable of managing the order of a hundred materials a week?
- Will you be able to handle the management of different people at the construction site?
- You will have to rent- or buy equipment that you will no longer need after construction.
- Contractor get discounts from suppliers because they buy materials for more than one project.
- Most Philippine homebuilders will also arrange permits and financing. Builders give also quality after-sales service to do repairs.
Their experience in construction and the standardized and systematic approach to their projects will save you money and time.
What is the work of designers?
Philippine designers (Engineers and
architects) have the knowledge, skills and experience to design your house; they
shape your ideas into a plan and translate them to drawings (blueprints) that will be used by
the builders for construction.
Some clients do not want to spend much money in the design thinking that they will just "fix" everything during construction if they want to change anything; this is a costly mistake. Remember that during the planning stage it is easy to change something on paper while later during construction you might have to demolish part of the building.
Included in the designers-team there is an electrical professional, a sanitary engineer (designs the plumbing and drainage systems), an interior designer, a landscape architect, a structural engineer, a geotechnical engineer and other professionals.
Just show them the brochures - and pictures that you have clipped from other sources - so that your home design professional will better understand the design that you want to be incorporated in your home.
Why it is better to have a designer plus builder from the same firm?
(The 'design-build approach' in stead of hiring a designer and a home-builder
from different firms)
The advantage is that there is only one central contact for you. Another advantage is a better communication between the Philippine designer and builder because they belong to the same firm.
If you hire a designer seperate from the builder, the designer tends to constructs his own design and the risk of misunderstanding and misinterpreting by the home-builder is real. Some designers do not have adequate experience in construction so there is a tendency to design something that cannot be built at a reasonable cost. This way, the builder will not have the option of discussing the constructibility of the project with the designer. In the design process, it is better to involve a construction professional because his/her experience can dictate whether a design is feasible or not.
The design-build method gives a fast completion of projects.
Who are part of the Philippine contractor's team?
Quantity surveyors; they calculate the number of all kind materials that have to be used.
Estimators; they calculate the
costs of the project.
Time scheduler; they schedule the construction process.
Purchasers; they try to buy affordable- but quality materials.
Contract advisers; they provide legal advice to protect both the client and contractor.
Subcontractors; it is cheaper to hire specialized people with specialized tools for some jobs.
Project Engineer; responsable for the project.
Foreman; leads the workers at the building-site and coordinates with the Project Engineer.
Lead man; replaces the Foreman at his absence.
Concrete mason; responsable for the plastering, moldings etc.
Carpenter; they take care of the initial layout of the house and install doorjambs, doors, ceilings, cabinets, clay roof-tiles etc.
Steelman; makes the
reinforcing steel-bars construction prior to concrete pouring and can do the
welding of the truss system.
Electrician; for the outlets, lighting etc.
Plumber; to install
water-lines plus closets, bathtubs etc.
Tinsmith; in case of a galvanized roof they are the ones to install.
Landscaper; they follow the plan of the landscape-designer.
Labor support; they help in any way they can; mixing concrete, transport materials and clean the site.
What are the steps in Philippine house construction?
1) Preconstruction activities;
demolishing old structures and cleaning the lot to make it ready for building.
2) Site grading; leveling the lot to make it easy to work on.
3) Excavation; following the lines of the stakes, holes are dug in the ground for the foundation.
4) Foundation; steel bars to reinforce the concrete are shaped into the correct form and placed in the holes, prior to slab concreting.
5) Slab concreting; concrete is poured in the holes with the steel bars.
6) Hollow block laying;
to form walls. Between- and inside the hollowblocks mortar is used.
7) Plastering; the surface of the fresh concrete is rough; to make it smooth, cement plaster is added.
8) Roof truss; the frame for the purlins (horizontal steel) on which the galvanized roof-sheets or clay roofing system is attached. Wood is rarely used because of termites.
9) Roofing and insulation;
galvanized roof-sheets or clay roofing system etc. with insulation to keep the
10) Finishing; the 'bare structure' is done; the next activities are included in 'finishing';
11) Ceiling; most new houses install steel instead of wooden ceiling-frames against termites.
12) Staircase; client deceide what design he/she wants.
13) Wall finishing; wood, plaster, tiles etc.
14) Cabinets; as long as
they are closets and 'built-in cabinets', they are included in the
cost-estimate. Appliances and furnitures are not included.
15) Flooring; wood, ceramic tiles, vinyl, marble etc.
16) Painting; giving color to the house.
17) Glass installation; one of the last activities.
18) Fixtures and interior; unique for every house and depending on budget.
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