architects Philippines

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Building Contractors in the Philippines

'you get what you pay for'

It is YOU who have to select the house contractor who offers the best VALUE for your money.

Some contractors in the Philippines will do anything to get your project like giving a big discount and certainly bid lower than the price offered by their competitor. And every week we see the emails of those whining ignorant home owners who fell in the trap with open eyes...

Note that in many cases it is actually the home owners themselves who create problems by thinking that the Philippines is 'a country of bargaining' and subsequently squeeze the contract-price up to the last Peso or selecting one of those 'cheap home builders'...You have to understand that every time you ask for a discount to your home-builder, you limit his freedom to serve you better... which is NOT in your advantage nor in his advantage.

If a Philippine contractor gives you discount do not expect that it means that they just lower their own profit; it might be that they will 'cut corners' like using less cement in building your house or use smaller diameter reinforcement steel bars or thinner steel roof. Who's laughing?

Worse case scenario is when the construction company suddenly notice (when your home is half finished) that they can not make a profit anymore; they estimated the cost to build your house too low. And gone they are; 'fly by night' contractors. Who's crying?

How to select a Philippine home builder?
- Go to the office of your contractor and ask neighbors how long did they occupy that same office.
- Let the contractor show you his permits and ask to show a sample-contract.
- Let your contractor show you an ongoing project; let him show you how they work.
- Ask your home builder some questions about legal matters; can he answer them?
- Visit another contractor for a 'second opinion'.
- Can your home builder communicate by E-mail? Can he start the design process while you are abroad and does he send you pictures weekly of the progress while building your home?
- Test your Philippine contractor and ask what he knows about 'Value Engineering'.

A 'good' contractor will keep up 'a certain level of quality' and refuse to help you if you ask them to 'build a cheap home' to avoid losing their good name and license.
The reason is simple; when you force a contractor to build a home in the cheapest way possible and with the cheapest materials then you definitely will experience problems within 1 year after building. And then the contractor is to blame while the home-owner got exactly what he paid for...

Most problems occur because people select the cheapest services without thinking long-term.
It is possible to have Quality, Service and Durability but it will cost a little more...

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