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smokey

That was because I chose a buildable lot in the first place. If your lot is fairly flat, you don't need an elevator. If you build on the side of a cliff, then you might...

come on its the challenge of the thing we are looking to remodel ourselves and I really hoping to find a used escalator to give it that finishing touch

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come on its the challenge of the thing we are looking to remodel ourselves and I really hoping to find a used escalator to give it that finishing touch

 

If I had a five story house, I would have an elevator too.

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Somebody asked me how we came up with the 265 square meters and are the walls really concrete, so I will answer it here so others will know as well.

 

I will address the size issue first. The first floor is 1723 square feet (that includes the main house, the garage, a storeroom under the balcony stairs and one in the back of the house, and the CR in the back). All are connected and covered by roof. Even though garages aren't included in area in the US, they are here in the Philippines. The second floor is 1126 square feet. That is a total of 2849 square feet for the house. Now, you can question these numbers, but it was my architectural design program (Home Designer Architectural by Chief Architect) that calculated the areas. Using a conversion program ( http://www.metric-co...uare-meters.htm ), it gave me 264.68 square meters. Now, I will admit that I rounded that to 265 square meters, but I see nothing wrong with that.

 

On the walls, there are only two places in the exterior walls where CHB was used. What is now the entry was originally a half-garage. The second owners built it in using CHB creating the entry. The second place was that for some reason, there were two courses of CHB on top of the poured exterior walls. They carried no load, and I believe they did that because they changed the height of the ceiling in the front of the house. I know the rest of the walls are poured because the second owner had holes cut for AC units, and the cuts were through solid concrete (with a concrete saw). That was what I saw when we were first looking at the house that drew me to it. We also changed the locations on a couple of windows, and we had to cut through solid steel reinforced concrete (nowhere near a column).

 

The interior walls...well that's a different story. They are steel reinforced and concrete filled CHB all the way to the top. That was the main reason we used the steel I-beams. They tie the center columns together with the exterior columns and walls. It was either that or pour steel-reinforced beams across the tops of all interior walls. I don't see that as a waste. It ties everything together, and causes the house to act as a single unit. During the earthquake, we didn't even have a single crack in our walls...not even cosmetic. The reports said that 30,000 homes went down or were badly damaged during that earthquake. They were pretty much all CHB-built buildings. CHB here tends to be made with too much sand and aggregate and not nearly enough cement. You can break (shatter) most CHB here just by dropping it from waist-high on a hard surface.

 

We live in an active earthquake zone, and there is nothing that says we won't have an even bigger earthquake in one of the faults that run under the straits, in the mountains or under the city itself. There is no such thing as overbuilding when you live in an active earthquake zone. But then, that's just me. I'm fairly conservative when it comes to building standards. I worked for 15 years as a standards engineer for PacifiCorp in the US, and then worked another 12 years as a quality manager. I designed the house remodel myself, and specified what we used where. I also paid two structural engineers to check the plans and ensure the design was adequate. I like to put new eyes on a project because you sometimes look past things when you are too familiar with the project.

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ShawnM

Somebody asked me how we came up with the 265 square meters and are the walls really concrete, so I will answer it here so others will know as well.

 

I will address the size issue first. The first floor is 1723 square feet (that includes the main house, the garage, a storeroom under the balcony stairs and one in the back of the house, and the CR in the back). All are connected and covered by roof. Even though garages aren't included in area in the US, they are here in the Philippines. The second floor is 1126 square feet. That is a total of 2849 square feet for the house. Now, you can question these numbers, but it was my architectural design program (Home Designer Architectural by Chief Architect) that calculated the areas. Using a conversion program ( http://www.metric-co...uare-meters.htm ), it gave me 264.68 square meters. Now, I will admit that I rounded that to 265 square meters, but I see nothing wrong with that.

 

On the walls, there are only two places in the exterior walls where CHB was used. What is now the entry was originally a half-garage. The second owners built it in using CHB creating the entry. The second place was that for some reason, there were two courses of CHB on top of the poured exterior walls. They carried no load, and I believe they did that because they changed the height of the ceiling in the front of the house. I know the rest of the walls are poured because the second owner had holes cut for AC units, and the cuts were through solid concrete (with a concrete saw). That was what I saw when we were first looking at the house that drew me to it. We also changed the locations on a couple of windows, and we had to cut through solid steel reinforced concrete (nowhere near a column).

 

The interior walls...well that's a different story. They are steel reinforced and concrete filled CHB all the way to the top. That was the main reason we used the steel I-beams. They tie the center columns together with the exterior columns and walls. It was either that or pour steel-reinforced beams across the tops of all interior walls. I don't see that as a waste. It ties everything together, and causes the house to act as a single unit. During the earthquake, we didn't even have a single crack in our walls...not even cosmetic. The reports said that 30,000 homes went down or were badly damaged during that earthquake. They were pretty much all CHB-built buildings. CHB here tends to be made with too much sand and aggregate and not nearly enough cement. You can break (shatter) most CHB here just by dropping it from waist-high on a hard surface.

 

We live in an active earthquake zone, and there is nothing that says we won't have an even bigger earthquake in one of the faults the run under the straits, in the mountains or under the city itself. There is no such thing as overbuilding when you live in an active earthquake zone. But then, that's just me. I'm fairly conservative when it comes to building standards. I worked for 15 years as a standards engineer for PacifiCorp in the US, and then worked another 12 years as a quality manager. I designed the house remodel myself, and specified what we used where. I also paid two structural engineers to check the plans and ensure the design was adequate. I like to put new eyes on a project because you sometimes look past things when you are too familiar with the project.

Great Job Sir, looks like a very nice place and have to concur with previous posts about the flooring, absolutely beautiful.

 

Shawn

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Jess Bartone

...There is no such thing as overbuilding...

 

Absolutely. Looking at the photos, I see no reason you couldn't add another floor. Your house will survive four or five generations, maybe more.

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Kuting

Great opinion on "overbuilding", better to be on the side of caution. Even if it'll cost you a few more bucks, it securing your home and safety of the family is worth every penny. Will keep this thought in mind if and when we are ready to do ours up.

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Hamm

I was asked in a PM who did the work in my house. My contractor is Ben Simbajon of BS Simbajon Construction, Inc. You can find his contact information here...

 

http://www.livingincebuforums.com/topic/59668-building-contractor/#entry748434

 

All of the craftsmen (carpenters, masons, tile layers, painters, electricians, plumbers, etc.) were people who work for him. To the comment that it looks like they know what they're doing...yes, they do, but that doesn't mean you don't still have to watch them if you want anything special or outside of their normal construction methods. Most problems we had along the way were due to breakdowns in communication. It is amazing how many times things need to be redone because they couldn't understand why I wanted things a certain way. They would nod in understanding, and then try to do things the way they were used to. Then that would get torn out, and things would be done the way I wanted. In the end, they understood why we had done things the way we did. The quality is apparent in the final product.

 

 

Shouldn't communication with your subs be your contractor's responsibility?

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SkyMan

Shouldn't communication with your subs be your contractor's responsibility?

Even if you communicate directly with workers, they will screw things up.  How much more so if you talk to the contractor and he has to take your instructions to the worker.  You need to have a hands on approach to building here even if you have a contractor. 

 

 

 

In the end, they understood why we had done things the way we did.
I do that frequently with my caretaker, I'll have him do some work that appears to make little or no sense, then some other work.  It's kind of cool when you see his lights come on and he figures out what's going on and why he was doing those seemingly odd things.
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smokey

If I had a five story house, I would have an elevator too.

as a side business I was thinking of letting people come over and climb the steps as a work out each trip up will cost 10 peso and the person that can climb the steps bottom to top 30 times in one day will be dork of the year//// your house looks nice ....

Edited by smokey
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My contractor and I have a good relationship. I was on the jobsite for at least some time almost every day during the project, and if I saw something that was wrong. I contacted him, and I also told the workers to either stop or I gave them instructions as to how I wanted a thing done. Luckily the site foreman understood English fairly well, so we discovered and corrected most problems before they became serious. Most of the problems came about because somebody guessed how I wanted things rather than asking. Their guesses were almost always wrong. Having a contractor means you have somebody to organize the work and ensure that workers and materials are on-site when they are needed. If you totally let a contractor make all of the decisions (even in the US) things will NOT turn out as you envisioned. A hand's on approach is the only way you will see the project result match your intent. Even if you explained every little detail in the beginning, some details would still be forgotten or modified. It's just human nature.

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The Garage and Balcony

 

Since the garage and balcony were such big parts of this project, I thought I would include how things progressed from start to finish.

 

First, they laid out the footings for the columns and dug the holes.

post-6379-0-15289400-1396069991_thumb.jpg

 

Then, they poured the footings. This one was still being poured, so the rebar in the footing is in the concrete.

post-6379-0-13247100-1396070005_thumb.jpg

 

Once the columns were poured, it was time to form up the steel-reinforced beams.

post-6379-0-63446800-1396070016_thumb.jpg

 

Here the beams are forms and the formed steel decking has been laid awaiting steel reinforcing and concrete.

post-6379-0-03989200-1396070027_thumb.jpg

 

Here, the balcony slab and beams have been poured (single pour for additional strength.

post-6379-0-86921600-1396070037_thumb.jpg

 

Formed for the garage arches

post-6379-0-40758000-1396070564_thumb.jpg

 

Concrete structural work completed

post-6379-0-91321500-1396070574_thumb.jpg

 

Lightweight steel framing for garage ceiling

post-6379-0-10220300-1396070585_thumb.jpg

 

Ballisters for balcony and garage

post-6379-0-76188900-1396070591_thumb.jpg

 

Ballisters being installed around balcony

post-6379-0-61245500-1396070598_thumb.jpg

Edited by Headshot
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The Garage and Balcony (continued)

 

Since the garage and balcony were such big parts of this project, I thought I would include how things progressed from start to finish.

 

Finishing the railings

post-6379-0-26770500-1396071293_thumb.jpg

 

Ballisters and railings complete around balcony and garage

post-6379-0-44409300-1396071300_thumb.jpg

 

Handcrafting the railings for the stairs

post-6379-0-13178000-1396071308_thumb.jpg

 

Cement capitol moldings applied to columns and walls

post-6379-0-90443600-1396071316_thumb.jpg

 

The finished garage with the gate

post-6379-0-72339200-1396071324_thumb.jpg

 

Taken from the neighbor's balcony (across the street)

post-6379-0-96244900-1396071332_thumb.jpg

 

The balcony from the family room door. Along with the family room, this is our party place.

post-6379-0-54074300-1396071339_thumb.jpg

 

The balcony looking toward the back of the house (that is a motocross track in the background, but it is seldom dry enough to use)

post-6379-0-03750800-1396071346_thumb.jpg

 

The balcony and garage taken from the back balcony (under the water tower). This shows the stairs before the storage room was built under the stairs.

post-6379-0-54916800-1396071353_thumb.jpg

 

The balcony and garage (along with the side of the house) taken from the back corner of the yard. This shows the wall of the storage room under the stairs, but it wasn't yet painted. The door into the room is on the house side.

post-6379-0-50779200-1396071360_thumb.jpg

Edited by Headshot
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smokey

NICE GARAGE but looks kind of sad the only customer is an old truck.... oh I know new chevy trailblazer in red for him and Kia Soul for her to get that grocery shopping done and lots of room for them trips to S/R

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Enuff

beautiful work HeadShot, simply beautiful.

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Headshot

NICE GARAGE but looks kind of sad the only customer is an old truck.... oh I know new chevy trailblazer in red for him and Kia Soul for her to get that grocery shopping done and lots of room for them trips to S/R

 

I know, but a new vehicle just isn't in the cards right now (unless we win the lottery). Actually, my wife has been bugging me to get a new (or newer) SUV because the truck has been having some "issues" lately. I was originally planning to get a rib boat (for diving) and park it in the garage (on a trailer) along with the truck, but it doesn't look like that will happen. However, you can see that even with two full-sized vehicles, it would still be roomy.

Edited by Headshot

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