architects Philippines

Thursday, May 19, 2011

General Info (FAQ)

General info:

Can your local contractor show you a contract?
Does he has an office; for how many years did he stay in that same office?
Does he include soil stabilization procedures, supported by independend laboratory tests so you are assured that your house rests on a firm foundation? We do.

When we build your house it will cost only a little more than when your local contractor build it; but the difference is that we build with the latest technology (solid concrete walls, 10X stronger, 2X faster) while your local contractor still use the old style hollow blocks...

Our clients are 90% non-Filipinos ('foreigners' from Europe and USA) and we have built anywhere in the Philippines (Surigao City, Cebu, Antique, Iloilo, Negros, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Pampanga, Metro Manila, Tagaytay, etc.) for them because they know we finish any project according to contract and on time, plus we do NOT use the old system anymore (hollow blocks); we build with the USA-construction method or ‘solid concrete walls’.

Our walls are smooth and straight, unlike hollow block walls that need to be plastered; plaster will crack and let the rain reach the steel bars to form rust in your wall. And we build 2X faster, at the same cost…

While our office is in Makati, we still build anywhere in the Philippines; we use workers from your local place whether in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao (but a few of our skilled workers and experienced engineers will supervise of course) and we buy many building-materials in Manila which is cheaper than anywhere else.

The homes we build are unique; never the same, we do not offer 'model houses' but make a UNIQUE house-design for you that will fit your LOT, WISHES and BUDGET.

We offer a total package from design to construction.
If you definitely want to hire your local contractor; then let us at least make a better foundation and walls with ‘solid concrete’ instead of those old redundant hollow blocks; your local contractor can do the finishing like tiles, paint etc.

We can also build insulated walls:
or we use more steel or wood.

Depending on your location we sometimes can inspect your lot free of charge, but we ask a downpayment (deductable from the blueprints only) before we make a house-design.

In general we do this:
a. verify location and orientation of your house- and window positioning/alignment with the sun, shadow plus wind (this effects design)
b. verify soil-topology and neighbor-buildings (this effects design)
c. verify local government or subdivision's regulations/restrictions ('they all have their own different rules')
d. verify logistics/accessibility
e. verify availability of building-materials and manpower
f. verify source of electricity/water
g. make pictures
h. make a short report of our findings
i. make a computerized floorplan and 3D design of your house (not yet ‘the blueprints’) which is banpaper-size (finished in 10 to 15 days); We make for you a UNIQUE house-design that will fit your LOT, WISHES and BUDGET: just tell us what it is you want to change about our design and we revise it until perfect.
After this we can give you a good estimate of how much the cost to build will be, and you have the choice to continue to let us make the blueprints and construct the house.
Blueprints cost is negotiable (completed in 21 to 30 days).

Ofcourse we can also give a FREE quote/bid (exact cost to build); just show us your blueprints signed by a Philippine architect.
We do not provide 'free design'; only companies who have problems to get clients do that. But here is a good website for getting ideas;

While other contractors probably give you 'a cost per square meter', we itemize all work items of your project and price it accordingly. That's fair for both you and us; we do not like 'guesswork'.

The construction of a house in the Philippines is a process involving more than a dozen trades, hundreds of products, and thousands of steps that must be scheduled, coordinated, and performed quickly and correctly; to give a cost for that WITHOUT knowing the following details would be GUESSWORK which is not in your advantage, nor in ours.

The cost to build your house or commercial building depends on the exact location (city or province or island?), total floor area (make the house 2x bigger and the price will become 2x higher), the logistics/accessibility (is it possible to use a truck to bring the materials or do they have to be carried?), regulations/restrictions of the local government or subdivision ('they all have their own different rules'), soil-type, site preparation (maybe backfill or retaining-wall?) neighbor-buildings (fire-wall?), availability of local skilled labor, source of electricity/water etc. plus you have to select what construction methods have to be used (hollow blocks or solid concrete etc.) and we need to know exact which brand, quality and colour tiles you want or what kind of windows, doors, kitchen etc. etc.

About 90% of our clients are from USA or Europe (with strict requirements) resulting in 'a little higher than average construction cost' because they demand- and select better quality materials.
For example we use a paint for the outside walls which is higher in cost than ordinary paint but as a result the houses we built are still looking good.
If you are looking for 'cheap' we can not - and will not - help you; you would run into problems lateron...

To give some guidance to check if your budget is sufficient:
According to our latest statistics (90% of our clients are from USA or Europe with strict requirements) a 100 square meter (1,111 square feet) one-level middle-class house will cost maybe between Php 1.8M and Php 2M to construct (not including lot).
Including in the cost is mostly: the architect's work (blueprints etc.), building-materials (doors, windows, roof, kitchen-cabinets and counter-top, paint, tiles etc.), labor, electrical/plumbing, equipment, tools, professional fees (management, supervision etc.), mobilization, demobilization, temporary facilities, transportation, waste-disposal, bonds, insurances and other incidentals to complete the work.
Not including (this is mostly separately priced-) are for example furniture, fixtures (chandelier, bathtub etc.), appliances (aircon, refrigerator etc.), landscaping, fence/gate, pool.
Your blueprints and construction-contract will contain all final details.

Make the floor-area 2x bigger and the price will be very roughly 2x higher.
You want solar panels? Vaulted ceilings? Insulated (two sheets glass-) windows? Ceramic Roof Tiles? Decorative stones on outside walls? Higher quality kichen and bathroom? Then you pay more.

Expect for a middle-class home maybe Php 19,000 per sq mt
Expect for 'high-end first class homes' maybe Php 20,000 up to Php 28,000 per sq mt
Expect for a good quality (but still middle-class) 'INSULATED walls house' minimum Php 25,000 per sq mt
Expect for 'non-concrete' homes (native, wood etc.) a starting price of maybe Php 14,000 per sq mt

Complete construction (including finishings) takes on average 4 to 6 months but before that we need about 6 weeks for blueprints and building permit.

We build the ‘bare structure’ (only foundation and walls) 2X faster and more durable than your local contractor who still builds with the old hollow blocks.

Just visit our office and take a look at our previous houses which we built for so many people from different countries; America, the Netherlands, Japan etc.
One of our engineers can also meet with you anywhere you like (your hotel or location of your lot) and show you a computer presentation/explanation about the advantages of building your house-foundation plus walls with the American construction method (solid concrete instead of those brittle hollow blocks).
The next step would be the inspection of your lot and making a preliminary house-design.

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