Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow expat community. Me and my wife are at the point to where we are starting to look at property, specifically in Palawan. She is dual citizen and can buy land. Even though we are years away from retirement, we are going to purchase our retirement land now. We are doing our research and I wanted to ask the community if anyone has any information for a list of reliable, good and honest (or as close to) a home builder/contractor in Palawan or has personally had a good experience with one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,131 Posts
You need to look around at previous work, 99% of builders in the Philippines are cowboy builders at best. You need to be there on site the whole time they are working. The vast majority of filipinos wouldn't know good workmanship if it bit them on the rear so any recommendations will just be their mate down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
In which part of Palawan?
(I have ordered a simple house for the workers, but that's not built yet. I know some reliable people but they are used to build just simple and their good references are from other work than building, and I guess you want a harder to build house than a hut :) But I know a foreigner, who perhaps know by he is involved in organicing of different projects at Palawan, but I believe he is in quarantaine now by a local "suprise" change of rules when he was in "wrong" place, I haven't heared from him in a week and a planned meeting between him and my business partner got postponed.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
@Gary D - that's what I was afraid of. I wouldn't let anyone build without us being on site, I've read on various places that they'll try to hit you with "wrong materials that what was ordered or they need overtime" to complete a project. Looks like I'll just have to make my own plans and build myself with some hired help maybe.

@Lunkan - we haven't settled on a location yet but I want to be within a 2 hours drive from Puerto Princesa and would like at least 5 hectares of land.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
@Lunkan - we haven't settled on a location yet but I want to be within a 2 hours drive from Puerto Princesa and would like at least 5 hectares of land.
If you don't know
/South cost less, but you would need to look up so not becoming downstreams a mine. Some rivers have got serious polluted from mines.
/Except it seem Aborlan have decided to not have any mines anymore (?)
/North cost more, some parts a lot much more, going for tourism instead of mines.

LOOK UP! When paying taxes and fees at the transfer oof real estate, then it's NOT counted at the PAID price if the "zonal value" is higher than the paid price. In some places as e g Taytay the "zonal valuing" is ridicilous at some parts 10 times higher than owmers have probem to sell at!!! While in the south parts I checked the valuing is relevant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Yeah best if you do not build until you come here to stay. Likewise do not buy land based on pictures, you need to see for yourself and be here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,349 Posts
Search for 'Good Building and Design in the Philippines'. put out by International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. I have it downloaded on my computer. Gives good building info since there really seems to be no building codes here(or nobody complies if they do exist).

You might also search for Bob Hammerslag's blog. He built a house in Tigbaouan about 8 or 10 years ago and documented his experience quite well.

Fred
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
@Zep - I don't ever plan on purchasing or doing anything without either myself actively being there or my wife. That I know for sure!

@fmartin_gila - Thank you for Bob's blog information. I'll definitely be looking into his postings to get better information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Hello fellow expat community. Me and my wife are at the point to where we are starting to look at property, specifically in Palawan. She is dual citizen and can buy land. Even though we are years away from retirement, we are going to purchase our retirement land now. We are doing our research and I wanted to ask the community if anyone has any information for a list of reliable, good and honest (or as close to) a home builder/contractor in Palawan or has personally had a good experience with one?
Hello there..... having been to the Philippines a number I need to agree with my fellow members commenting on this....craftsmanship is somewhat questionable. That said, we are in the same position, just now waiting for the end of lockdowns before we also move to palawan....what we will do is ship a container home, as segments, to the Philippines. These are well built, insulated and fitted out to the owner's specs.... besides NOT being affected by mold (always a problem in that climate) are insect/critter proof and will NOT be eaten by termites....🤭....we will use a home built from shipping containers, just some food for thought.....all the best
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Hello fellow expat community. Me and my wife are at the point to where we are starting to look at property, specifically in Palawan. She is dual citizen and can buy land. Even though we are years away from retirement, we are going to purchase our retirement land now. We are doing our research and I wanted to ask the community if anyone has any information for a list of reliable, good and honest (or as close to) a home builder/contractor in Palawan or has personally had a good experience with one?
I don't live in Palawan, but I just wanted to share some very general information about building a home over here.

There are good quality builders over here, but, as you can imagine, the construction industry here is a little bit different from what you'd see elsewhere.

A few years ago my sister-in-law (dual citizen) built her home over here, and in her case she was able to hook up with a pretty good construction outfit by going through her architect. Her home isn't a mansion, I think that it would be equivalent to a three bedroom 1,500 square foot home back in the states, and it is probably one of the closest to western construction standards I've seen over here. On the downside, I think that the expense of building her home was in the neighborhood of $65,000 - $70,000 (USD) when you convert the Pesos, and the stress associated with dealing with the various issues which kept cropping up was so great that it caused her husband to have a heart attack, which eventually killed him. So dealing with construction people over here is completely different from dealing with them back home. Also, she did have to have some remedial work done over the years, (mainly electrical stuff) but she doesn't have any cracks in her walls, and her floors are all level.

No in my case, here is a complete rundown on some of the mistakes my wife and I made while building our house in 2012.

We relied upon my wife's relatives to find a construction crew for us.

The foreman hired by my wife's other sister didn't know how to read an architect's drawing.

Too many workers were hired, the foreman didn't know how to supervise or keep track of hours.

The foreman didn't know how to order supplies in advance, so sometimes he would come to us and say he was out of cement, and then the crew would sit around being paid while we waited for another truckload to be delivered.

A lot of our construction people were shabu (Breaking Bad crystal meth) addicts, and as a result, they were not able to work without their fix. Right now there is a bit of a crackdown going on in regards to shabu addicts, so if you're a foreigner, you probably don't want to be associated with such people, and probably best to keep them at arm's length.

Theft was a huge huge problem during the construction of our home, and I would estimate that probably 15% - 20% of the materials purchased to build our home were stolen by our construction workers.

Ready mix concrete isn't available over here, so when a house, a sidewalk, or a wall needs to be built, the locals mix their own concrete by mixing cement, sand, and gravel. There are at least two problems with this. Number one, most of the locals I've dealt with don't know or care about properly mixing concrete, and they almost always do not use the right proportions of cement, sand, and gravel to make your concrete, and they typically use way too much water, which causes cracks when drying. Also, the sand and gravel we ordered was contaminated with soil, which is a typical problem over here. The problem with soil is that it will dissolve and will flow out of the concrete when it gets wet in the rain. This will cause whatever has been built out of the soil contaminated concrete to literally melt and dissolve within a few short years.

Here is what I should have done:

I should not have relied upon some dingbat housewife to find us a good construction crew. There was an old carpenter who lives in our barangay, but my mother-in-law didn't want us to use that guy because she was worried that her own daughter would be offended, if we didn't go with the people she recommended to us. So family politics caused us to make a poor decision which cost us a lot of money.

When you first meet the foreman, make it clear to him that you are still in the planning stages, and that you haven't actually made a decision on when you're going to start building. In our case, we had a casual conversation with the foreman recommended by the second sister-in-law, and somehow a miscommunication occurred in which he thought that we had agreed to hire him, and he showed up the following Monday morning with his crew, even though as that time we didn't even have our blue prints ready.

If possible, find a good carpenter, and have him make you a good set of molds to make your own concrete hollow blocks. Most of the hollow blocks for sell over here are complete garbage, and in some cases, about fifty percent of the hollow blocks we received from supplier would fall apart in our hands when we tried to pick them up. Also, this gets back to making sure that you have someone who really knows how to mix concrete.

All in all, I think that our construction cost was just below $40,000 USD, and in the last few years I've spent a lot of money fixing mistakes here and there. But as our house sits today, I'm pretty much happy with it. Also, if you go with a simpler design, it will keep remedial repair costs down in the future.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I don't live in Palawan, but I just wanted to share some very general information about building a home over here.

There are good quality builders over here, but, as you can imagine, the construction industry here is a little bit different from what you'd see elsewhere.

A few years ago my sister-in-law (dual citizen) built her home over here, and in her case she was able to hook up with a pretty good construction outfit by going through her architect. Her home isn't a mansion, I think that it would be equivalent to a three bedroom 1,500 square foot home back in the states, and it is probably one of the closest to western construction standards I've seen over here. On the downside, I think that the expense of building her home was in the neighborhood of $65,000 - $70,000 (USD) when you convert the Pesos, and the stress associated with dealing with the various issues which kept cropping up was so great that it caused her husband to have a heart attack, which eventually killed him. So dealing with construction people over here is completely different from dealing with them back home. Also, she did have to have some remedial work done over the years, (mainly electrical stuff) but she doesn't have any cracks in her walls, and her floors are all level.

No in my case, here is a complete rundown on some of the mistakes my wife and I made while building our house in 2012.

We relied upon my wife's relatives to find a construction crew for us.

The foreman hired by my wife's other sister didn't know how to read an architect's drawing.

Too many workers were hired, the foreman didn't know how to supervise or keep track of hours.

The foreman didn't know how to order supplies in advance, so sometimes he would come to us and say he was out of cement, and then the crew would sit around being paid while we waited for another truckload to be delivered.

A lot of our construction people were shabu (Breaking Bad crystal meth) addicts, and as a result, they were not able to work without their fix. Right now there is a bit of a crackdown going on in regards to shabu addicts, so if you're a foreigner, you probably don't want to be associated with such people, and probably best to keep them at arm's length.

Theft was a huge huge problem during the construction of our home, and I would estimate that probably 15% - 20% of the materials purchased to build our home were stolen by our construction workers.

Ready mix concrete isn't available over here, so when a house, a sidewalk, or a wall needs to be built, the locals mix their own concrete by mixing cement, sand, and gravel. There are at least two problems with this. Number one, most of the locals I've dealt with don't know or care about properly mixing concrete, and they almost always do not use the right proportions of cement, sand, and gravel to make your concrete, and they typically use way too much water, which causes cracks when drying. Also, the sand and gravel we ordered was contaminated with soil, which is a typical problem over here. The problem with soil is that it will dissolve and will flow out of the concrete when it gets wet in the rain. This will cause whatever has been built out of the soil contaminated concrete to literally melt and dissolve within a few short years.

Here is what I should have done:

I should not have relied upon some dingbat housewife to find us a good construction crew. There was an old carpenter who lives in our barangay, but my mother-in-law didn't want us to use that guy because she was worried that her own daughter would be offended, if we didn't go with the people she recommended to us. So family politics caused us to make a poor decision which cost us a lot of money.

When you first meet the foreman, make it clear to him that you are still in the planning stages, and that you haven't actually made a decision on when you're going to start building. In our case, we had a casual conversation with the foreman recommended by the second sister-in-law, and somehow a miscommunication occurred in which he thought that we had agreed to hire him, and he showed up the following Monday morning with his crew, even though as that time we didn't even have our blue prints ready.

If possible, find a good carpenter, and have him make you a good set of molds to make your own concrete hollow blocks. Most of the hollow blocks for sell over here are complete garbage, and in some cases, about fifty percent of the hollow blocks we received from supplier would fall apart in our hands when we tried to pick them up. Also, this gets back to making sure that you have someone who really knows how to mix concrete.

All in all, I think that our construction cost was just below $40,000 USD, and in the last few years I've spent a lot of money fixing mistakes here and there. But as our house sits today, I'm pretty much happy with it. Also, if you go with a simpler design, it will keep remedial repair costs down in the future.
Yes....this is a newly build concrete block wall, we had done on Bohol.....NOT confidence inspiring...🤭🤭🤭
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Yes....this is a newly build concrete block wall, we had done on Bohol.....NOT confidence inspiring...🤭🤭🤭
That's not actually too bad, compared to some other stuff I've seen around here. Just so long as they do a good job on making the upright support columns, then you should probably be okay. I'm guessing that someone is going to come along later and put a one inch layer of finishing cement on it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
I don't live in Palawan, but I just wanted to share some very general information about building a home over here.

There are good quality builders over here, but, as you can imagine, the construction industry here is a little bit different from what you'd see elsewhere.

A few years ago my sister-in-law (dual citizen) built her home over here, and in her case she was able to hook up with a pretty good construction outfit by going through her architect. Her home isn't a mansion, I think that it would be equivalent to a three bedroom 1,500 square foot home back in the states, and it is probably one of the closest to western construction standards I've seen over here. On the downside, I think that the expense of building her home was in the neighborhood of $65,000 - $70,000 (USD) when you convert the Pesos, and the stress associated with dealing with the various issues which kept cropping up was so great that it caused her husband to have a heart attack, which eventually killed him. So dealing with construction people over here is completely different from dealing with them back home. Also, she did have to have some remedial work done over the years, (mainly electrical stuff) but she doesn't have any cracks in her walls, and her floors are all level.

No in my case, here is a complete rundown on some of the mistakes my wife and I made while building our house in 2012.

We relied upon my wife's relatives to find a construction crew for us.

The foreman hired by my wife's other sister didn't know how to read an architect's drawing.

Too many workers were hired, the foreman didn't know how to supervise or keep track of hours.

The foreman didn't know how to order supplies in advance, so sometimes he would come to us and say he was out of cement, and then the crew would sit around being paid while we waited for another truckload to be delivered.

A lot of our construction people were shabu (Breaking Bad crystal meth) addicts, and as a result, they were not able to work without their fix. Right now there is a bit of a crackdown going on in regards to shabu addicts, so if you're a foreigner, you probably don't want to be associated with such people, and probably best to keep them at arm's length.

Theft was a huge huge problem during the construction of our home, and I would estimate that probably 15% - 20% of the materials purchased to build our home were stolen by our construction workers.

Ready mix concrete isn't available over here, so when a house, a sidewalk, or a wall needs to be built, the locals mix their own concrete by mixing cement, sand, and gravel. There are at least two problems with this. Number one, most of the locals I've dealt with don't know or care about properly mixing concrete, and they almost always do not use the right proportions of cement, sand, and gravel to make your concrete, and they typically use way too much water, which causes cracks when drying. Also, the sand and gravel we ordered was contaminated with soil, which is a typical problem over here. The problem with soil is that it will dissolve and will flow out of the concrete when it gets wet in the rain. This will cause whatever has been built out of the soil contaminated concrete to literally melt and dissolve within a few short years.

Here is what I should have done:

I should not have relied upon some dingbat housewife to find us a good construction crew. There was an old carpenter who lives in our barangay, but my mother-in-law didn't want us to use that guy because she was worried that her own daughter would be offended, if we didn't go with the people she recommended to us. So family politics caused us to make a poor decision which cost us a lot of money.

When you first meet the foreman, make it clear to him that you are still in the planning stages, and that you haven't actually made a decision on when you're going to start building. In our case, we had a casual conversation with the foreman recommended by the second sister-in-law, and somehow a miscommunication occurred in which he thought that we had agreed to hire him, and he showed up the following Monday morning with his crew, even though as that time we didn't even have our blue prints ready.

If possible, find a good carpenter, and have him make you a good set of molds to make your own concrete hollow blocks. Most of the hollow blocks for sell over here are complete garbage, and in some cases, about fifty percent of the hollow blocks we received from supplier would fall apart in our hands when we tried to pick them up. Also, this gets back to making sure that you have someone who really knows how to mix concrete.

All in all, I think that our construction cost was just below $40,000 USD, and in the last few years I've spent a lot of money fixing mistakes here and there. But as our house sits today, I'm pretty much happy with it. Also, if you go with a simpler design, it will keep remedial repair costs down in the future.
Hi Maxx, A great post telling us of your experiences, lots to learn and my fears of employing family members for our renovations and extensions, "the big picture and ramifications" I have tried to hammer the problems home to my partner for a long time, don't think he believed me until he read yours and some other posts on problems and fall out employing family. Well done getting your home built through trials and tribulations.

Cheers, Steve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
Yes....this is a newly build concrete block wall, we had done on Bohol.....NOT confidence inspiring...🤭🤭🤭
Welcome to the forum Bmmmz, enjoy.
Aside from the shoddy masonry work (vomit) the plumbing is well and truly up the Khyber Pass and the installers must be still in Kindy. 6 or 12 months and the toilet, tiles and slab will be jackhammered out to remedy the faulty plumbing, blockages just to save 2 pvc fittings and a half decent job. What for less than 200 pesos creating a major disaster. Onsite every day to coach the inexperienced along and to watch the more experienced, slap.

I'm still learning here and I'm a tradie from Oz.

Stay safe.

Cheers, Steve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Welcome to the forum Bmmmz, enjoy.
Aside from the shoddy masonry work (vomit) the plumbing is well and truly up the Khyber Pass and the installers must be still in Kindy. 6 or 12 months and the toilet, tiles and slab will be jackhammered out to remedy the faulty plumbing, blockages just to save 2 pvc fittings and a half decent job. What for less than 200 pesos creating a major disaster. Onsite every day to coach the inexperienced along and to watch the more experienced, slap.

I'm still learning here and I'm a tradie from Oz.

Stay safe.

Cheers, Steve.
Yes... totally agree with you....and they definitely also had NO intention to fill the gap around the pipe.... imagine the late night visitors....haha.....we will be moving to palawan this year and my house will absolutely be a container home. Can't imagine anything better suited to the Philippines....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I really do appreciate everyone sharing their experiences and words of wisdom. I kind of knew it's going to be an uphill battle with building a house there. I do like the container home idea and will have to look into that. Does anyone have any input to ICF homes (Homes built like lego's and then poured concrete in the form known as Fox Blocks, I was looking at this and was considering shipping the materials there and building myself. There are companies that will give you 100% complete blueprints that have everything (IE electrical, plumbing,......I plan on going with solar and wind for electricity). I'm doing tons of research on all of these

Again thank you. I am soaking up all the information you guys throw at me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I really do appreciate everyone sharing their experiences and words of wisdom. I kind of knew it's going to be an uphill battle with building a house there. I do like the container home idea and will have to look into that. Does anyone have any input to ICF homes (Homes built like lego's and then poured concrete in the form known as Fox Blocks, I was looking at this and was considering shipping the materials there and building myself. There are companies that will give you 100% complete blueprints that have everything (IE electrical, plumbing,......I plan on going with solar and wind for electricity). I'm doing tons of research on all of these

Again thank you. I am soaking up all the information you guys throw at me.
Check these out......can be ANY size.... earthquake proof, hurricane proof, insect proof.....👍👍👍
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top