Building a Concrete Block House – part 2

Building a concrete block house in the Philippines- part 2

We are now into the third week of building this modest concrete block house out in the mountains in Leyte.

Progress is steadily clicking along especially considering everything is being done by hand, including mixing the concrete. The block wall perimeter is taking shape and I am now in the process of trying to get the lumber lined up for the roof. We will likely use coco wood from the local coconut trees.

concrete block wallIn town the longest 2×6 they can handle is a 14 footer but I was hoping to use8 – 18 footers so maybe we will cut down a few trees and rip our own with a chainsaw.

That is my project this week while the crew completes tying the perimeter wall together.

We have been having clear mornings but heavy rain in the afternoon has slowed us down a bit.

I took this picture this morning Oct 5, 2010.

Building with concrete blockWe are now in the third week of construction. You learn not to try to get things done quickly and just to take one day at a time.

concrete block houseJose is the lead man and is willing to work cheap because he is helping out his sister. He seems to have a pretty good knack at working with concrete.

We are not trying for perfection, but just building a simple block house in the mountains with no frills.

I really didn’t want to go this high with the walls but they insisted that the extra room in the attic will make it worth the extra cost.

concrete block constructionI am trying to get these guys to understand what a budget is and had to trim back on a few extravagant add-ons that they were trying to slip into the program – like 4 dormers on the roof complete with windows to let in more light.

concrete block house in the mountainsIt was a great idea so I suggested that they do that when they save up the money but for now we will have a simple 5/12 pitch corrugated metal roof without any fancy stuff.

The labor is quite inexpensive here, but there are hidden costs that are creeping up on me. I go to the market every morning and buy 3 kilos of fish so that everyone is fed and strong and willing to put in a good days work.

I have also carried two bags of premium rice (1570 pesos for a 50 kilo sack) up there on the back of my motorcycle. They burn through that rice pretty quickly because it seems like everyone shows up when it’s time to eat but the crowd diminishes rapidly when it’s time to work!

red multicabI brought the block and sand up there on a different truck but this little red multi-cab is bringing up 4 bags of cement a day for us. It is surprising how well this vehicle handles the rocky road up in the mountain.

kid on motorcyclePita gets a charge out of motorcycles. They are the main form of transport in the bukid – or mountain.

Cost analysis: Building a house in the Philippines

So far my costs have been around 100,000 pesos – or a bit over 2,200 USD.

We am hoping to save a bit by using rafters cut from local coconut trees.

I bought enough lumber for one roof truss today to use as a sample, so we are all on the same page when we start cutting down trees.

buildning a house in the philippinesThis place is slowly taking shape!

building a concrete house in the PhilippinesColas delivers 4 more bags of Portland cement.

building with concrete blockBuilding inspectors.

building inspectors

Gecko catches dragonfly in my kitchen – kinda cool !



Building a concrete block house in the Philippines part 2

Oct 4, 2010

5 responses to “Building a Concrete Block House – part 2”

  1. Did he manage to get the dragonfly down?

  2. you did it again, another great read. i think im getting addicted to your website.haha. can you tell us where this house is located? i am thinking about moving away from sea level to a higher altidude. easier on the arthritis. if you ever get through here stop in and see me. always a cold one in the fridge and i would sure enjoy meating you. thanks again for all your work. william in muslog, leyte

  3. Hey DP, Cool post! It’s neat to see the development step-by-step. Who is going to be living in this house? Are these friends of yours?

    – Meg

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