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Building a house in the Cebu provinces -- cheaply.


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colemanlee
9 minutes ago, TequilaSunset said:

I want to know why people don't paint their roofs white? I see red etc, but hardly see white. That would help a lot in reflecting the heat. Building a low second roof with open eves would work wonders too. Air flow, and again helping to reduce the heat from the sun. 

Concrete retains heat, so why not a thermal layer inside the home on the walls? I would also have TREES and bushes, as many as I could stand. I am a noob when it comes to the Phils, so feel free to enlighten me if anything I wrote is just not gonna work! Thanks...

I never understood that either.....on our build, the roof will be completely tiled with white tiles and eventually will have a cheap but strong Nipa area constructed on the roof...Im not sure about a thermal layer on the inside to the concrete, I have never seen it anyway....I plan on non-evasive plants (read large roots) all around the house and a twelve foot over hanging roof to shade the windows and such...

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Hi All...I just thought I'd post some of my thoughts and reasons for building my house in the Cebu provinces in the hope to show people(with a relatively small pension) that it is easily possible to b

It's still tipping down with rain outside so I can't really take any decent photos of the outside house at the moment. So here are some pictures of the inside of the house. Here are some pics of

This is the finished master bedroom:

Posted Images

slowsmile
21 minutes ago, TequilaSunset said:

I want to know why people don't paint their roofs white? I see red etc, but hardly see white. That would help a lot in reflecting the heat. Building a low second roof with open eves would work wonders too. Air flow, and again helping to reduce the heat from the sun. 

Concrete retains heat, so why not a thermal layer inside the home on the walls? I would also have TREES and bushes, as many as I could stand. I am a noob when it comes to the Phils, so feel free to enlighten me if anything I wrote is just not gonna work! Thanks...

i agree with you. My roof is a very pale light green. A white or pale colored roof will reflect the heat more and prevent absorption of radiant heat into the living areas of the house. 

I also did something else to the roof area which might surprise you and some others on this forum. I went through alot of hard thinking about insulating the roof of my house.

Question: Why do all houses in UK(and colder countries)  use glass fibre or plastic foam insulation in the roof ? 

Answer: UK has cold, wet and damp weather. So the purpose of house insulation in UK is to KEEP THE HEAT IN THE HOUSE TO SAVE ON FUEL BILLS. The latter outcome is exactly what you do not want when you build a house in the hot tropics -- where you always want to keep the living areas of your house cool !!

Consequently, I used no insulation at all in the roof area of my new house. I am relying on natural air convection from my open windows in the living areas to draw the hot air up and out of the roof. So far this is working well. My new house is always cool as a result of this approach. If it gets hot in the house, I just open some windows. I also saved  a great deal of money -- tens of thousands of pesos --  because I did not put any insulation into the roof area. Furthermore in our open plan living areas  -- kitchen, living room and dining room -- we don't have aircon because it's cool enough. More money saved.

I think that it's perhaps fairer to give a proper judgement of the above house cooling strategy after the hot season this year. At the moment, we just use fans to cool the living areas without any problems. However, we do have aircon in our master bedroom. 

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I noticed the windows were standard cement openings.  What I mean is there is no "framing".  I had the same with a house we built.  Later, we decided to add some security bars and our technique was to simply place the welded metal bars into the cement of the window edges.  Patch over the places,where the bars were placed.  

This worked well, but left an ugly scar along the edge, so we bought some standard 3” wooden molding and framed the windows.

For the price of some molding, a plain window can be transformed into an attractive feature.  Low cost, nice reward in attractiveness. 

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slowsmile
1 hour ago, Jawny said:

I noticed the windows were standard cement openings.  What I mean is there is no "framing".  I had the same with a house we built.  Later, we decided to add some security bars and our technique was to simply place the welded metal bars into the cement of the window edges.  Patch over the places,where the bars were placed.  

This worked well, but left an ugly scar along the edge, so we bought some standard 3” wooden molding and framed the windows.

For the price of some molding, a plain window can be transformed into an attractive feature.  Low cost, nice reward in attractiveness. 

The windows that are in my house(12 of them) are all 1.5m x 1.5m, hand-made to spec and made of metal. They are welded into the rebars in the surrounding concrete frame. Also I think they look way nicer than the more expensive sliding windows. With sliding windows, you can only ever open the window half-way anyway. Each of my windows has 4 separate and independent latch windows which means that I can fully open each window to cool the house if I want. Also, my windows are totally secure. I won't explain this, just have a look at the pics below and you will see this for yourself:

This how the cottage-style windows look when closed:

IMG20170830113127.jpg.9ae544792cd04e27daaf601cc73b3a57.jpg

Nothing unusual in the above photo. Just an attractive cottage-style window.

 

And this is what the window looks look when all four latch windows are opened...

IMG20180216110126.jpg.5659984be8e3d9b38b8efd2ffd80f8f3.jpg

Notice the v and h welded metal security bars in the window structure, which makes the window totally secure and protected against any attempted entry from outside..

I originally saw these secure cottage-style windows in the local hospital and we also had these cottage-style windows in our apartment in Balamban. I love 'em. No-one can break in through these windows because the security bars are completely hidden when you close the windows and they are all fully welded onto the main window frame itself. I really hate living in a house that has those big chunky security bars visibly attached to the inside or outside of the concrete window frame(away from the window) -- they are very noticable and gives the impression that you're living in a damn prison...:huh:

 

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slowsmile
2 hours ago, Jawny said:

I noticed the windows were standard cement openings.  What I mean is there is no "framing".  I had the same with a house we built.  Later, we decided to add some security bars and our technique was to simply place the welded metal bars into the cement of the window edges.  Patch over the places,where the bars were placed.  

This worked well, but left an ugly scar along the edge, so we bought some standard 3” wooden molding and framed the windows.

For the price of some molding, a plain window can be transformed into an attractive feature.  Low cost, nice reward in attractiveness. 

The reason we didn't use wooden window frames is because our windows are all already recessed and I think they looked fine. Also I don't think it's that clever to use wood like softwood or coco-wood structurally or for beauty anywhere in a house in the Philippines. The last house I lived in was riddled with termites(and mould). Our Filipino landlady refused to replace or repair any of the rotten  structural wood in the roof of the house(she expected us to pay for that!!). It's one of the reasons we moved to Cebu. A Dutch friend in Bauang near SF in Luzon built his own house "properly" with specially treated wood etc. He used structural and cosmetic wood up in his roof because he had no ceilings in his living areas. He did this because he said "it looks so nice". He also had an expensive contract with some wood inspectors to inspect his house yearly at 3 monthly intervals. Unfortunately, within three years these wood inspectors reported that his "properly built house" had a serious termite problem in the roof.  

If you're willing to pay the higher price for hardwoods like molave and narra wood then go right ahead and use that in your house. But, like many on this forum, I can't afford that sort of indulgence or expense because I'm only on a pension. So common sense and economy must prevail. The only areas I use wood in my new house are for all internal and external house doors(all mahogany) and my ceilings(marine wood). That's it. So if I get termites or mould then only these items will be affected and, if required,  these items can be replaced relatively easily and affordably. 

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JohnSurrey
On 12/02/2018 at 10:34 PM, slowsmile said:

Thanks shadow, you're right - I'll remember that in future.

Yeah - he's spot on!

I haven't read through all of your thread yet but normally you'll get some comments from the "Cannot be built for less than P20,000 sqm" crew with details of how to contact them for a quote too!

Good luck!

Name gives it away - South of Watford :D

 

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slowsmile
3 hours ago, JohnSurrey said:

Yeah - he's spot on!

I haven't read through all of your thread yet but normally you'll get some comments from the "Cannot be built for less than P20,000 sqm" crew with details of how to contact them for a quote too!

Good luck!

Name gives it away - South of Watford :D

 

Thanks John...I'll remember your warning. All my posts are really about sensible ways of saving money in the Phils. I'm currently compiling a list of ideas/tips for buying land/building/furnishing your house and then some. It covers alot of ground.  Several of the building tips or ideas may surprise some people but I'm hoping that it will help at least some who might be intending to build their own house in Cebu in the same frugal way that I'm building my house. The list I'm compiling is getting a bit big now, so I think I'll probably post it as a separate thread soon.

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oztony
3 hours ago, JohnSurrey said:

Yeah - he's spot on!

I haven't read through all of your thread yet but normally you'll get some comments from the "Cannot be built for less than P20,000 sqm" crew with details of how to contact them for a quote too!

Good luck!

Name gives it away - South of Watford :D

 

Well I must've missed it and I've got over 11,000 posts up , admittedly 20k is accurate if the whole build is contracted out ...but this isn't  the case here ..Slow is controlling the build , so if we are going to compare it may as well be apples for apples ... most construction threads here and input from the members are informative , accurate and helpful ...unlike your comment....

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trthebees

The windows that are in my house(12 of them) are all 1.5m x 1.5m, hand-made to spec and made of metal. They are welded into the rebars in the surrounding concrete frame. Also I think they look way nicer than the more expensive sliding windows. With sliding windows, you can only ever open the window half-way anyway. Each of my windows has 4 separate and independent latch windows which means that I can fully open each window to cool the house if I want. Also, my windows are totally secure. I won't explain this, just have a look at the pics below and you will see this for yourself:

 

I really like your windows and wish we'd gone for them in our new concrete house. We've Al sliding bought and installed locally which are a bit naff, and I'm having to adjust so they roll properly and the catches work. At first they could be tilted out of the catches and opened when locked. Still have to add more secure locking. In our present native house we have hinged wooden cottage windows bought from Pardo which have been excellent for about 15 years. Blims? maybe in Pardo IIRC. their doors were excellent too.

Again, we ordered doors and frames for the new house locally, mahogany, but they've turned out to be mostly from too new wood and distorted a bit. 

Supervising and buying ourselves our 60 sqm house has cost about 700K. My wife kept accurate costs ( including snacks!) which we've yet to finally tot up. My wife already owned the land.

One main open plan living room/ kitchen, good size main bedroom, second rather small bedroom/ prob for computer, piano or storage, a toilet and a shower room. Tiled flooring. Well adequate posts and wall capping beams, window beams etc,  walls 4 inch HB with finishing. Roof beams steel warren combined with raised A frame so internal ceiling slopes from wall beams up then horizontal. Ceiling I oddly support (well, new one for our carpenter!) under the roof framing using purlin sections turned so that the flat faces downwards. St Clara ply ceiling solignumed.

We have some decorative mahogany panelling. Used loads of solignum! Also tanker loads of paint it seemed.

Roof is gable with 35 deg slope. Plenty of trees around, so cos of that and personal preference our roof is a mid-green. Also it's plain corrugated 0.6 cos we like the traditional look. 

We've aircons for the bedrooms, though maybe not going to be used much as they seem coolish, we just made the holes while constructing so got them early on for sizing. Ceiling fan in main room.

Almost finished, just welding up AC brackets, sorting sink drainage etc. Porch later. Prob try living during the next period which is good according to local custom. Then it's nine continuous nights.

Just our experience.

 

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colemanlee
8 hours ago, slowsmile said:

Notice the v and h welded metal security bars in the window structure, which makes the window totally secure and protected against any attempted entry from outside..

Exactly the kind of windows we are using

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SkyMan
8 hours ago, slowsmile said:

Notice the v and h welded metal security bars in the window structure, which makes the window totally secure and protected against any attempted entry from outside..

Every type of window has some pros and some cons.  If there was a type that had no cons, everyone would use them.  As it is, everyone looks at the different types and decides what they like best.  For example, your windows are harder to clean due to the multiple panes, and you have to allow some space outside for the windows to swing out though not as much as casements.  You also appear to have no screens and to have them you'd need to have screens with those stupid little doors to get to the window latches.  That would mean to open one window, as in the picture, you'd have to open the little door, open the window, and close the door, 4 times.  Then repeat to close.  Perhaps a better way to get screens would be to hinge the screen with one latch on the inside.  You'd open the screen inward, then the windows, then close the screen but that would require some room available inside to open the screen.  There just is no best solution.  I don't know if your window has some way to hold the window open so you might want to be wary of high winds.  And don't get too confident your windows are totally secure.  A thief doesn't have to actually enter your house.  They can reach in and take anything near it.  Jewelry, cell phone, laptop.....  If they can reach the cord on your laptop or cell then can pull it over even if the unit isn't actually near the window.  I have a neighbor who lost some jewelry off his dresser on the second floor that way.

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JohnSurrey
5 hours ago, oztony said:

Well I must've missed it and I've got over 11,000 posts up , admittedly 20k is accurate if the whole build is contracted out ...but this isn't  the case here ..Slow is controlling the build , so if we are going to compare it may as well be apples for apples ... most construction threads here and input from the members are informative , accurate and helpful ...unlike your comment....

How do you know 20k is accurate - are you the builder who normally drops it in ?

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oztony
47 minutes ago, JohnSurrey said:

How do you know 20k is accurate - are you the builder who normally drops it in ?

No , but I do know a hell of a lot about building ..both in Aus and the Philippines and 20k give or take depending on location and finish style could be pretty indicative of a square meter rate in the Phils ...a few years back it was 19k , or there abouts depending on finish ,  in Dumaguete. I also have a build thread here on Linc with over 8k views and lots of pics ..... soooo have you got anything valid to add here , or just making stuff up ? ...Show us where , on the forum as you stated before this occurred ....keeping in mind an onsite owner managed build....is a comparison for accuracy ....I am calling BS on it at this stage.......

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smokey
6 hours ago, oztony said:

Well I must've missed it and I've got over 11,000 posts up , admittedly 20k is accurate if the whole build is contracted out ...but this isn't  the case here ..Slow is controlling the build , so if we are going to compare it may as well be apples for apples ... most construction threads here and input from the members are informative , accurate and helpful ...unlike your comment....

Houses are like cars you get a base price and go from there a basic house I think is close to 18.000 a sq meter while a highly upgraded to suite a person's taste could easily be over 100.000 per sq meter . 

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TequilaSunset
4 hours ago, smokey said:

Houses are like cars you get a base price and go from there a basic house I think is close to 18.000 a sq meter while a highly upgraded to suite a person's taste could easily be over 100.000 per sq meter . 

Crap... I really need to study the whole foot to meters stuff, it's like a foreign language to me.

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