Build Or Buy from Housing Developers

So you’ve finally saved enough money that you are now torn from buying a house from house developers or build your own house.

We hope this post will help you weigh your decisions. We will try to keep this as direct to the point as possible but at the same time, educational and informative.

Buying a built house and building a house both have their advantages and disadvantages. And for us to be on the same page, we will compare the pros and cons of buying a house from developers and building it on your own.

For context, we’ve worked with developers from the past and we know for sure that they have huge profit in doing so. But then again, they offer amenities, fenced community with security guards roving around. So, would you rather buy a constructed house or build it yourself?

Advantages of building your own house

Design at Your Preference

Well, this would be the main reason why people opt to build their own homes. They can design it how they want. With the help of the Architect to help put it into plans, you will be able to do make use of every tiny space however you want it.

Even more, the lot that you just purchased may not be a perfect rectangle, thus, the space and dimensions your house requires is different from the common house’s rectangular or square dimensions. The point is, you can design your house at your heart’s content if you choose to build your own house.

Value for Money

Since, you will be overseeing the project from time to time, you are sure that you get what you have paid for. Do not confuse this with saving money, as this would still require you to get a knowledgeable contractor. Don’t be fooled and check this to know how to determine a good contractor.

What we are trying to say is, you have the last say as the client. You can tick some design, say, incorporate energy efficient friendly design like skylights, bigger windows, wall, and ceiling insulations to save electricity. Plant some trees to make outside air cooler.

Can Implement Strict Quality Control

Don’t get us wrong, we do not mean here that developers do not implement quality control and assurance. But, the quality control would always mean different if it is your own house construction we are talking to. House developers, especially the big ones, have complete set of professionals to ensure its construction quality, since it is their brand that is at stake. But then, these professionals are not supervising only one house projects, but tens, fifty’s even sometimes hundreds (for low-cost projects) of them. It would just be truly difficult to strictly implement quality control.

You even have the option to hire a third-party quality assurance inspector just to inspect your builder’s output. This is advisable if you do not have a construction background. You can always go to your site as often as you want to, in contrast to developers where you need to schedule house inspection with their customer representative. Clients are normally off limits on-site in developers without the customer representative to prevent untoward accidents.

Disadvantages of building your own house

Effort and Time Consuming

Prepare yourself to be extra hands-on if you want to build your own home. This would not just require monetary investment but also, personal time investment. You will spend your weekend travelling to your house construction site and see to it that the construction is going on as it needs to be. You need to see that whatever is billed to you by your house contractor can be seen installed and casted on-site.

This would truly require time and effort starting from choosing the architect for designing, to looking for the right contractor. Expect to be extremely busy if you wish to be hands-on. Welcome stress with open arms but also be civil should your hired builder encounter delays because of weather problems. Further, be prepare for unforeseen delays because of not just weather, but also because of material delivery delays because of an electric post fell to the ground and the delivery truck couldn’t pass through.

Looking for ways to reduce the cost of building your own house? CLICK HERE.

No community amenities

Developers, especially the big ones, boasts its built-in amenities and the peaceful and safe community it offers. Some developed townhouses mostly the high-end ones, have parks, clubhouses, swimming pools, basket ball courts, and tennis courts, which can be used by tenants in the subdivision residence.

Other than that, you may have to build your own sewer and drainage system that can be tapped into the public ones. Sad to say, but it is reality, most of public sewer and drainage systems aren’t really efficient.

On the other hand, if you are wealthy enough to build these amenities inside your own lot, then “sana-all”.

(For context, “sana all” is a slang term used in the Philippines as a term to convey a hope to experience the same thing about a topic, normally, in an in-joke and envious manner).

Advantages of buying a built from developers

No hassle, move-in right away

This is the main reason why most people opt to just buy a built house from developers, they are no hassle and they can move in right away (provided the house is already constructed). In addition, most developers offer warranties and they also guarantee their houses. This way, the buyers will have peace of mind. Ask the property developer about the warranty timeline as some gives six months, while others offer one year warranty.

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But there is a caveat. Some developers “pre-sell” their property before the actual land development. By pre-selling, property developers sell the property below the actual contract price to build upfront cost to help finance the subdivision project. Thus, you may wait months, even years, for you to actually move-in. Ask your housing developers about this.

Community amenities

Developed housing subdivision, as stated above, have parks where you can bike and jog. Basketball courts where you or your kids can play, clubhouses for your party locations, running and reserved water tanks, and functional sewer and drainage systems. These amenities may not be available on your house lot location. A systematic and functional drainage and sewer system is really one of the plus points for developed properties.

Furthermore, there is a proper entrance and exits for visitors and property owner in a housing development. Meaning, the people visiting the area is controlled and documented (as some subdivisions have CCTVs). You are safe with robing guards at night and you can sleep peacefully knowing your house is built in a safe and secured community.

Disadvantage of buying a house from developers

More expensive than its actual cost

It really is. Developers will make the most of the cheap lands they bought, develop it into residential lands, put some roads, sewer and drainage lines, few amenities, and then construct tons of houses but with similar designs.

For context (not totally accurate but just to give you an idea), the actual construction costs of the house sold by developers is actually just 30%-50% of the price. Meaning, if you bought a house (from a housing developer) for PhP 1,000,000, the actual construction cost of that house is just around 400,000. Shocked? Don’t be. That is just the construction cost, excluding the price of the lot the house is built on. Just think of it that all the hassle it takes to build a house was shouldered by the housing developer. From the designing, the signing of documents, permits and clearances and do not forget to factor in the days, weeks, and months to do this stuff, including all the stress that was filtered by the developers just to deliver you a house. But then, it is just more expensive compared to constructing your own house.

Restricted customization

Developers tend to restrict customization on high-end subdivision property especially the front elevation for its branding. They want to retain the look of the house with respect to the entire subdivision. Although some developers allow, it would still be limited since all the structural components have been casted and placed. Thus, customizing it would be too expensive if you want to add, say, additional floor level as you would still need to build another footing and foundation to hold it.

We hope you are able to weigh the options and were able to decide which team are you, the construct-your-own-house-team, or the nahh,-I’ll-just-buy-a-house-team. Each of the options has their own pros and cons. We wish you good luck!

How to Choose the Right Contractor Philippines

A frustrated person thinking on how to choose the right contractor

A good contractor is never leaving you guessing. If ever you ask certain question, they answer direct to the point. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories even with known personality apparently getting “scammed” by sadly, professionals. Knowing how to determine the right contractor is a must for a typical Filipinos especially those without any background in the construction. Read this guide to determine how to find the right contractor.

A frustrated person thinking how to choose the right contractor.

1. Check the contractor’s credentials.

Do due diligence and ask around. Good thing about these days is you can check if the contractor is truly licensed via Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) Portal. See to it that their registration is updated yearly as mandated by the law. 

To check if the contractor is registered with PCAB, click down below:

“According to R.A. 4566 as amended by P.D. No. 1746 states that no contractor (including sub-contractor and specialty contractor) shall engage in the business of contracting without first having secured a PCAB license to conduct business. It is an offence to engage in contracting business without a license first being obtained.”

On the other hand, you may ask:

But, what about those people I know with whom I knew is “experienced” enough to construct but is not licensed?

Well, If you truly trust the person and it’s okay for you to hand out your hard-earned cash to someone unlicensed, then it is up to you. But, be very ready to take the risk and own it should something unfortunate happens (we hope everything to be fine, though). Good luck!

2. Inquire for Previous Project Portfolio and Check their Reputation

Always, always inquire for previous project portfolio and if you can reach out to the previous client, do so. That way, you can check their reputation and experience. This will help you understand their quality of work and experience.

On the other hand, there are young and budding builders. Scout for them as they tend to charge lesser so they can build up their portfolio. Please do not close your doors for startups. They basically have all the qualities stated in here except for previous projects.

3. Check How They Communicate

Are they responsive? Do they answer you clearly? Are they easy to communicate with? Check these things before you engage into one. You will be working with your contractor so find the one is easy to communicate with.

Anyhow, please do not bombard your contractor with questions and calls and be civil enough. Understand that they are also people who takes care of a business they have worked hard to put up. If you have several concerns, it is best to ask this all in a proper meeting so it will be jotted down on the Minutes of the Meeting which is a proper document. (Tip: Have the minutes of the meeting signed by both parties.)

4. Evaluate Thoroughly Their Proposals

See to it that all the things you want to be done is there and nothing is left out. Everything is clearly written. For example, if you want to construct a stand-alone garage, see to it that excavation, structural rebars, concrete, painting, electrical conduits, and wirings, testing and commissioning, to tapping in existing line are there up to the hauling of construction debris and garbage. It would be difficult to throw away construction debris so take that problem away from you and give that out to your contractor.

Should there be words that are not familiar with you, ask them about it. This is important so you can compare the proposals with different contractors. You may need a technical person to help you with this. Inquire with a third party licensed professional.

5. Get Everything into Contract

Now that you are confident with that certain builder, put the things that you have agreed in a contract and have it signed by a lawyer. That way, both parties are protected. If the contractor used a different material other than what is in agreed, then that contract is breached which is subjected to deductive (or additive). On the other hand, if you, as the client could not pay according to the agreed billing timetable, then you breached the contract and the contractor may file charges against you. This is important to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings later.

In addition, you will know that you have gotten a good contractor if these four key points are transparently put into contract.

  • What is the exact construction job and breakdown

From the excavation to the disposal of the extra excavated earth, the construction of the temporary facility that will house the delivered materials to housekeeping and security. It should be properly reflected in the bill of quantity and contract. You may need help with technical persons on this one so seek advise and hire third party professional if you have enough spare cash.

  • What are the materials and its specifications to be used

Materials grade and specifications should be clearly specified. Normally, Architects provide architectural specifications for architectural plan so this should in included in the contract as well. Look at structural plans and you should see the grades for reinforcing bars to be used in each structural member. If you could not locate it in the structural plan, ask your contractor and they should be able to point it out. These things should be reflected in the plans and contract.

  • How much would it take to do that job

Now, this is main reason why a contract is needed. Normally, contractor breaks this down into labor cost, materials cost, and equipment cost. Every work in the construction contract should reflect it corresponding cost. Ask your contractor to simplify it should you have words that are not clear with you.

This guide will help you in lowering down your house construction cost.

  • How long would it take to complete it

This is the pros on having a reputable contractor because there is a way for you to determine if the project is ahead or delayed based on the project timetable. In construction, there is what we call project s-curve. It is a graph showing the project’s planned timeline versus the actual progress. S-curves is a curvy line that looks like an “s” (hence, s-curve), and the corresponding weekly actual progress. Ideally, the weekly progress line should follow the planned timeline, if it goes below it, then you have a delayed progress, if it goes above it, then you have a positive progress.  This pocket size planner may help you track down your construction progress, it is good as a gift too!

Since you are building your abode that will house for you most of your life, be sure to build it properly. You need to get a reputable contractor or house builder to do so. Now that you know the things about choosing the right builders for your house, we hope that you get the true worth of your money. Know that you are in good hands if ever you get the right contractor.

How to Reduce Cost when Building a House

So, you have prepared yourself and your wallet because you are finally building your house, right? Check this easy-to-understand tips on how to lower down the cost when constructing your homes, even non-technical person can understand. Save yourself and your hard-earned cash and let us help you in diminishing the cost of building your house.

Wandering how much would it cost on average in building a double-floor house this year? Click here.

A person contemplating on how to reduce construction cost.

1. Choose the Most Affordable Location

For starters, this is the first step if you want to save big time before the construction of your homes. There are trends these days where people deliberately leave the cities and go in the rural areas to fight off rising living costs. Truly, the cost of lots is way lower than the cities.  These may not be for all but in the long run, but trust me, it would be better. The quality of air is better. And you are also subjected to lesser stress as you wouldn’t be able to spend hours of your day just to pass through that carmageddon traffic!

2. Get the Right Professional and Plan Carefully

Get a reputable Architect to plan your homes. The one that has proven track record. We have been saying this and promoting this all these times. Invest in a professional to supervise your house construction and prevent from just hiring “contractors” based on so called “experience” (especially the ones you just met online, tsk!). Draft a contract stating all the works included including the pricing and have it signed by a lawyer. That way, you have legal means to chase erring contractors should the contract is not fulfilled. Getting the right professionals would greatly reduce your house construction cost because you are sure of the outcome. Go get one.

3. Simplify the Design

Simplified design is not always plain and boring. Grandiose and complicated design is not always beautiful. The way you see beauty depends on the homeowner which is why getting an Architect is important. Architects know how to create house with simple design but it both delightful and beautiful. In addition, you can request for a revision.

4. Value Engineering

Consider materials that is locally available and make the most out of it. If there are readily available bamboo in your area, you can use that as a means of scaffolds (with proper techniques) instead of buying good lumber. Your hired professional should be able to answer this one for you, so, ask them with all the questions you have, make the most of that professional fee, boss!

5. Pursue Energy Efficient Homes

Make it a goal to build homes that is energy efficient. Design your house with an outside landscape that helps aid in cooling your homes apart from using air conditioning systems. Plant trees strategically so that ventilation passes through naturally. Invest in wall and ceiling insulation if you can. Though it is not commonly used in the Philippines, insulation helps in retaining cold air inside (for air-conditioned rooms) and prevent hot air from getting inside. We often use just the double-foiled roof insulator here. But should you have extra cash, invest in ceiling and wall insulations. It would help in saving electrical bill in the long run.

6. Build During Off Season

Construction materials prices tend to be less pricey during off-season. This is because contractors are less busy and the demand of the material is low. Although this may affect the project schedule because of frequent rain (even more that we are a tropical country). So, consult your builder if this is feasible.

7. Hire a Reputable Contractor

How do you know if your contractor is reputable? If EVERYTHING is transparent. There are four key points in a building project and if these four questions are clearly laid in the table right before the project inception, then you have gotten yourself a good builder. Here they are.

  1. What is the exact construction job and breakdown
  2. What are the materials and its specifications to be used
  3. How much would it take to do that job, and
  4. How long would it take to complete it

There is a way for you to know if the project is delayed or is ahead, ask your builder about this. Most reputable contractors have previous satisfied clients. On the other hand, please do not close your door for the young buds. There are reputable ones even without proven track record yet. Support these startups if you can find one.

8. Get Your Own QC Professional

Developers use this technique so why don’t we assimilate? The idea is to check in every milestone the output of the contractors to know if what is planned, what is in the materials specs, projects costs and timetable are all followed. This serves as a cross-checking to determine if there is a breach in the contract. It would mean additional cost, yes, but it would help you get a peace of mind knowing that your house is built that will last. Spending a few cash in the present with the possibility of making your home extend its life for a few more decades is a good use of money.

Like how it helped us, this financial planner may just help you, too!

Now, bear with us. We are not going to leave you hanging and give you real tips and tricks to lessen your house construction cost.

Tip No. 1: When you do the masonry plastering works, use the sieved tiny stones for the masonry fillers. That way, it is not going to be put into waste.

Tip No. 2: Let the concrete wall cure for 14 days before you start with the painting works. That way, the concrete has already dried up and cured eliminating the possible bubbles in the painted walls.

Tip No. 3: Be sure to embed the electrical and plumbing lines before the plastering works and recheck it! That way, you would prevent chipping works and additional cement for covering it again.

Tip No. 4: Be sure that the plumbing embedment is of correct location before concrete casting for suspended ceiling. It would be a pain if the hole for the toilet bowl is not on its correct location. If it is not, there would be a gap between the toilet bowl and the wall, or worst, the toilet bowl would be protruding in the wall!

Tip. No. 5: There should be a proper floor layout for the interior walls before doing masonry walls. So you would know if the square area in each rooms are correct. This would reduce demolition costs and crushing walls because of incorrect wall placements.

Tip No. 6: Suspended wet area like comfort rooms should be waterproofed. Check with your local contractor which waterproofing technique is economical but do the job well. It should pass the leak test (the drainage holes are covered and the floor area left with stagnant water for 24 hours. Check the underneath slab for signs of leakage). If it does not, reapply waterproofing in the area and leak test it again until it passes!

Tip No. 7: Do not do any ceiling in ground floor (if you have two story house or more IF the wet areas above have passed the leak test (waterproofing), flow test (sanitary and waste lines), and pressure test (waterlines). Ask your local contractor about these tests.

Tip. No. 8: Ensure that the slab slope in the balcony and/or comfort rooms goes into the drainage. It would be a pain to see water stagnant and not getting into the drainage. Worst, it will become a mold and mosquito breeding ground! 

If you want to get ahead of your contractor by knowing the things to inspect in a completed house, take a look at this punchlist checklist.

These are some of the tips to reduce the cost of house construction that hopefully a typical person would be able to understand right away. If not, comment down your questions and we will try to answer it!

People That Make Up a Construction Site

Manpower is what moves a construction site. It is made up of a lot of people, not just the engineer, architect, foreman and laborer as commonly known by people. It is made up of different people with different expertise on trades and skills.

This post is intended to recognize and acknowledge the people that constitute a construction site. Not just the frontline workers like the architects and engineers but also the hands that is working under the scorching sun. Inside a construction site, everyone is essential no matter the size of the paycheck.

Here is the list of the common construction laborers.

Looking for an updated sample of pricing and breakdown of a 2 story house? Here’s one.

Construction Manager

Responsible for overseeing the entire construction project from inception to project completion. You rarely see them on site, but when they are present, you will know that they are checking some huge construction milestone and their presence is important. They are present from the planning stage, to organizing, and managing all aspects of the project. Why are they important? Because they are the decision-making people. Whatever they decide, with their years of experience and data gathered from site meetings, is for the betterment of the project. Normally, it would take more than five years working on-site to be considered as one.

Site Supervisor

Serves as the “right hand” of the manager. Depending on the organizational chart (provided that asst. managers is not in the chart), he/she oversees the day-to-day construction activities of the construction site. As the name states, he supervises the construction site. He ensures that the materials arrive just in time. He makes sure that the project is on-time, on-quality, and on-budget.

Construction Site Safety Officer

Construction Safety Officers enforces safety protocols for all the people on-site to reduce and prevent the risk of injury or death in a construction site. They are the ones that sets safety standards and regulations that should be always followed, even by the project manager. To become one, he should undergo trainings and get certain licenses. He is equipped with knowledge about the site hazards and is obligated to prevent site accidents. Construction safety officers are responsible for ensuring the safety of all personnel on the site, as well as the safety of the construction itself. They inspect construction site for hazards to prevent the likelihood of falling, electrocution, fire, and others. They also ensure that proper safety equipment is being used and that all personnel are following safety protocols.

Equipment Operators

Equipment Operators are the people that is licensed and experienced to operate heavy machinery such as cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, and other heavy equipment to complete tasks in construction site. Instead of doing the digging manually which would take days even months for huge projects, equipment operators do this thing efficiently and quickly. They play a key role especially during the land development and foundation stage by excavating and grading the land, hauling away debris and moving heavy materials. They also help with the installation of utilities and other structures. With their knowledge of the machinery and their experience with the construction process.


Architects is one of the key professionals needed to realize and complete a project. They are responsible for designing and creation of the plans that the construction crew will use to build the structure. The architect’s design decisions will determine aesthetic and function of the structure. With their expertise and knowledge, must also ensure that the building complies with all relevant codes and regulations, and that sufficient materials and resources are available for the project. Architects also work with the construction crew to identify problems, provide solutions, and make any changes necessary for the project to be completed on time and within budget.

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Construction site comprises of not just single engineer but a lot of them with different trades and expertise. Technically, a construction site should have a civil and structural engineer, sanitary engineer, electrical engineer, and mechanical engineer. They provide technical expertise and knowledge to develop designs, plans, and estimates for these key trades. Engineers are also responsible for making sure that the building meets all legal requirements and is structurally sound. They are the ones that inspects that what is constructed is according to plan. They check that the materials used is according to the required specifications. Without engineers, the construction process would be much less efficient, and the establishment constructed would be of a much lower quality.


Designers (which may also be Consultants), are group for various professional that develops visual representations of the project. There are a lot of designers that comprise a construction projects, structural designers, architectural designers, fire-protection designers, mechanical designers, and sanity designers to name a few. They create the plans and specifications that detail the scope of work that will be done on a construction project. As experts, these plans, of course, follows all applicable building codes and regulations. They are responsible for developing the design solution for a project, including the selection of materials and construction methodologies. Designers also serve as an important source of information and advice for the contractor, helping them to identify potential problems and solutions during the construction process.

Land Surveyors

You can immediately spot these people when they are around. They are the ones that is looking at that telescopic apparatus. Those apparatuses are not actual just mere telescopes. It is called transits and theodolite. It helps get lot angles and distances to determine the boundaries of a projects. Surveyors also inspects that the formworks installed are in correct elevations before concrete casting for multiple floor projects. Without the services of surveyors, construction projects could be delayed or even halted if boundaries are not properly established. Without the expertise of land surveyors, construction projects may be hindered by disputes and legal issues.

Quantity Surveyors

Quantity surveyors ensure that all the needed construction materials, day-to-day supplies, and labor are procured and managed efficiently and in a timely manner. These professionals provide essential financial advice throughout the construction configuration. They serve as the backbone of the site as they see to it that the materials are bought beforehand, arrived on time, and be used up with low to zero wastage.

Quantity surveyors see to it that the project is within budget, always. They understand the complexities of construction and ensures that all parties involved are properly informed and manage their costs efficiently.

Quality Control Officers

Quality control officers see to it that all necessary standards are met. This includes quality of materials used, quality and scaffolding and formworks used, the specifications of the concrete or cement used and all other things. They inspect every tiny detail that site technical personnel may missed as they are tasked solely to inspect the quality of the structure being built. Quality control officers also monitor the workmanship of the workers to make sure the finished product is up to the specifications and standards. They not only inspect the quality of the materials but also the workmanship, such as proper concrete terminations for large concrete casting and all other more.


Foreman serves as the middleman between the technical people (engineers and architects) to the actual laborers. Manages and coordinates the actual day-to-day operations of workers on site. These are highly experience workforce and they know how things work on site. They are equipped with knowledge and understand technical terms. They figure out easily the mandates of the architects and engineers. Foreman is also the one in-charge to assign tasks and providing guidance to the crew.


Electrician is one the skilled personnel in the construction site. They are ones responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems and equipment. This includes wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, conduits to transformers. Electricians must ensure that all electrical systems are working correctly and safely, and that all wiring is correctly installed according to plan. After all the installation and wirings are done, they test and troubleshoot each electrical lines if there are problems.

Here is every electrician tools must haves!


Plumbers, like electricians are also one of the skilled people on site. They install and maintain of the waterline, sanitary and drainage systems of a building. Plumbing systems carries water, expel waste and storm line, in an efficient way so that it is comfortable and safe to the occupants and nearby areas. Plumbers are the manpower that install those pipes, bathroom fixtures, septic tanks, rainwater tanks and everything related to sanitary, water and waste management, ensuring that the building has a safe, reliable source of water and sewage systems.

Security Guards

Security personnel guards the entire construction site. They monitor the ins and outs of people in the construction site and prevent unauthorize persons to enter. They are also responsible for deterring theft, vandalism, and other criminal activity, as well as the safety of workers. Security personnel provide a visible presence to fend off any misbehavior that may harm any personnel, equipment, and the project itself. They patrol the premises and normally the first one to respond to emergencies. Without the presence of security personnel, construction sites would be subject to a greater risk of unlawful activity.

Your construction site logbook is full? We found logbook with the best review online for you!

Skilled Workers

These people have gained through years of experience (or have trained) to become skilled at something. These people may be a painter, mason, plumber, electrician, tile installer, or carpenter. They are the actual hands doing the hard work on-site.

Unskilled Workers

Though they are ‘unskilled’ do not take them for granted as they play important role in the construction site as well. They deliver the tasks that do not associate with any technical skills. These include basic labor duties such as lifting and carrying materials, digging trenches, do simple errands, and cleaning up the site.

All these personnels at the construction site have each role to play. If you are the construction manager, engineer, or architect, you would not complete your project without the help of those lower than you in the organization chart, so respect them like a human being. For skilled workers, no matter how many years of experience you have gained and you could say you are the best in your craft, technically, you are still at the mercy of those people on top of you, so respect them as they are. Afterall, we are all beings that tries to provide for our loved ones. Be kind, respectful and professional on site no matter the position and rest assured, it will always turn out as the best structure like it should be.

Kudos to all construction workers!

Average Construction Cost for Two-Story Residential Unit

Construction materials has been rising like any other commodities. Thus, it would also by correct to say that building a new home would be more expensive than it is compared to the previous years. Constructing a new house is one of the life-goals of every Filipino. A home that is comfortable to go to after a hard day after work and to settle to and build a family with. With this post, we hope you get a grasp with average estimated cost to build a new house.

Want some tips on how to reduce the construction cost of your homes? Click here.

This guide comes with the floorplan including price breakdown. The house design is in the low-mid to mid range house cost. This two-floors house sample has three bedrooms and three toilet rooms with a half garage. The total area to be around 107 square meters considering only the half garage. Material cost, labor cost and equipment cost were all incorporated in the breakdown pricing.

Two-Story House Floor Plan (Ground Floor and Second Floor)
Two-Story Sample Second Floor Plan Blow-Up

Land acquisition is not included in the costing. Only preliminaries is costed including the house’s documents to run through and get approved by the local government. Ask your local builders/contractors the breakdown of the preliminaries section for transparency. You know you’ve hired a good contractor when they explain to you everything to avoid confusions.

This house has a terrace on top of the garage provided a family member would like to “breathe” some air. The garage would only house a portion of the car as seen on the floor plan. One may opt to make it as a full one but it comes with additional expenses.

All three bedrooms is placed in the second floor. The ground floor is to undertake the living, kitchen and dining room. On the second floor, an extra space for mini library, lounge, or be it a mini playground is located. Enough window opening is placed for natural light to come inside the dwelling. Service area is located in the rear portion of the house near the second door on the right.

It is designed that all floors from ground to upper floor to be tiled. All walls (external and internal) is to be constructed with a traditional concrete hollow blocks, all plastered and painted inside and out. Catch basin, area drain, septic tank, and rainwater tank are included in the price computation.

Roof is to be constructed with rib-type long span and the terrace roof to be assembled with polycarbonate roofing. All roofing structures is metal. The stair is to be steel-fabricated with solid wood planks. Railings in the terrace is designed with stainless steel and half masonry. By the way, this house is drafted with a parapet wall. Meaning, there are no roof eaves.

No demolition of existing structure is inserted in this sample house computation. Only simple clearing and grabbing is included. It is assumed that the land area has no existing structures to be demolished. Demolition cost varies per location (as any construction prices are). Thus, it would be best to directly approach local builders to check their fees.

Below is this new house construction cost breakdown of the plan posted above. As stated above, materials, labor and equipment cost were all included.

DescriptionCost Breakdown (PhP)Rel. WTD (%)
I. Preliminaries240,000.007.99%
II. Concreting Works
Formworks (3 usage)130,962.624.36%
Reinforcement Bars315,924.8510.52%
Structural Concrete195,181.486.50%
III. Masonry
Interior, Exterior, Lintel Beams, Stiffener Columns373,493.7612.44%
IV. Metals
Roof, Terrace, Terrace Railings, and Stair356,608.0011.87%
V. Wood
Wood Plank to Stairs29,400.000.98%
VI. Thermal and Moisture Protection
Roofing Shingles, Waterproofing and Dampproofing90,314.403.01%
VI. Openings
Doors, Windows, Hardware and Accessories166,870.005.56%
VI. Finishes
Cement Plastering151,904.035.06%
Ceiling Works66,324.162.21%
Tiling Works82,418.002.74%
Elastomeric Paint Finish99,231.063.30%
Interior Painting105,070.003.50%
Metal Painting69,300.002.31%
VII. Specialties
Toilet, Bath, and Laundry Specialties22,000.000.73%
VIII. Furnishings
Kitchen Cabinets and Countertop55,000.001.83%
IX. Plumbing
Plumbing Lines, Valve and accesories57,120.001.90%
Plumbing Fixtures, and Tanks139,150.004.63%
HVAC Piping Provisions32,719.871.09%
XI. Electrical
Electrical wirings and conduits, raceway and boxes and fixtures 116,470.003.88%
XII. Communications
Voice, Data, Audio-Video Provisions6,800.000.23%
XIII. Electronic Safety and Security
Smoke Detector with Sounder6,800.000.23%
XIV. Earthworks
Gravel Bedding, Clearing and Grubbing, Dewatering94,095.323.13%

Our purpose is to raise awareness as to how much would it cost (on average) to build a new two story house in the Philippines, from scratch. By “average”, it would mean that it construction total price may be higher or lower.

You may also be looking for a standard three-cubicle restroom floor plan with cost breakdown. Check this one.

Understand that this sample new house construction computation is not 100% accurate so please take this guide leniently (yes, gently!). Builders may bid this house with lower prices, other bids may be higher (with up to 1.5 to 2 factors or even way higher for high-cost and luxurious houses) .We wouldn’t want you guys to argue with your local professionals and contractors. They know the local construction market, so they know better. Trust them.

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Stand-Alone Three Toilet Rooms Construction Cost

Your business may be running smoothly and the additional visitors means additional toilet room usage. Keep those repeating customers by building a well-built toilet rooms for them.

This guide shows the construction cost if you want to build stand-alone toilets. This sample has three toilets (Men’s, Women’s, and PWD respectively). Everything is considered in the costing from the excavation to the finishing works.

The septic vault is also included as you just can’t blindly tap new toilet rooms to your existing septic tanks. The volume of the septic tank here is believed to be ample enough for a small to medium scale business. Please consult a professional sanitary engineer when in doubt.

Three Toilets Floorplan |
Three Toilet Elevations |

Work Description% TotalCost (PhP)
I. Earthworks
Excavation and Backfilling (Manual)2.08%6,153.73
II. Structural Works
Gravel Bed0.49%1,463.61
Reinforcing Bars2.91%8,594.17
III. Architectural Works
Masonry Works (including reinforcements)7.67%22,671.90
Plastering Works5.14%15,200.32
Ceiling Works5.68%16,791.08
Painting Works (Concrete and Steel for Roof)6.11%18,077.71
Tiling Works6.32%18,698.32
Roofing Works6.92%20,471.99
Doors and Windows10.87%32,142.83
IV. Plumbing Works
Sanitary Line2.91%8,594.00
Plumbing Fixtures8.46%25,018.50
V. Electrical Works
Lighting 1.24%3,665.20
Raceway and Boxes2.87%8,479.90
VI. Septic Vault
Septic Tank 11.84%35,023.74
Grand Total100.00%295,754.77

You may think that the cost may be too much, but it actually is. Provided it has six columns and complete wall footing for the entire concrete hollow blocks. Complete floor tile. Painted walls for interior and exterior including ceiling made up of fiber cement boards. The accessories included in the estimation were mirrors, water closet with bidet, tissue paper holder, grab bars for PWD. Solid wood doors and aluminum windows were also assumed in the pricing. This is how much it will take to build three toilet rooms (on average, may be higher or lower depending on locations.)

Here is the approximate materials, labor, and equipment cost breakdown.

Materials CostPhP 202,561.29
Labor CostPhP 79,947.23
Equipment CostPhP 13,291.26

It would take around 3-6 weeks to put this up. Of course, it depends on how skilled your hired contractor is. The labor, material, and equipment cost is also on average. Please use this guide with a pinch of salt. We wouldn’t want you guys to argue with your local builders because you assumed that this is 100% correct.

Building a functioning and comfortable comfort rooms is important for your business to thrive. When you are asking as to how much would it take to build a comfort room, this should is price cost you would need (again, on average).

How to choose the right contractor? check this out.

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Top Contractors in the Philippines

Do you know the common factors top contractors have in common? They are into diversity and solution oriented. When we created this post, we could see that along the way, they expanded their business and did not focus in building and construction alone. Some ventured into offering rental shoring and scaffolding equipment. Others added construction management. A few went into procurement.

Image by bridgesward from Pixabay

These are some of the best contractors and builders in the Philippines. They are the benchmark that every small and medium contractors aspires into. These contractors need to be recognized as they help in beautifying the country by building quality infrastructures.

Megawide Construction Corporation

Megawide Construction Corporation’s (MCC) vision would wake up the sleeping patriotism in you. MCC wants the Philippines to be a first-world country. Megawide Construction Corporation in partnership with the Philippine Government constructed the Mactan-Cebu Internal Airport and the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange. One of its recent high impact projects is the construction of the new Carbon Market in Cebu City.

They are not just into construction but also has several business units including precast, ready mixed concrete, logistics and services, and formworks systems. They have successfully built quality residential towers, including commercial and offices nationwide.

  • Website:
  • Main Office Location: #20 N. Domingo St., Brgy. Valencia, Quezon City
  • Contact Number: +63 (2) 8 655 1111

Makati Development Corporation

You can see in NCR its towering crane boasting the ‘MDC’ logo. Makati Development Corporation has been in the construction business for almost 50 years. With its five decades in the market, they have successfully completed billions of projects including leisure, high-rise residential and commercial projects. It is wholly owned subsidiary by the largest property developer in the Philippines, the Ayala Land, Inc.

They took the leap of faith on 2011 by gearing towards not just into construction and engineering, but including procurement, construction management. Thus, the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Construction Management (EPCCM) Company.

  • Website:
  • Head Office Location: Radian Street, Arca South Estate Western Bicutan, Taguig City 1630
  • Trunkline: +63 (2) 7759-0800

D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI)

Please refrain from remembering the former husband of the beauty queen. Kidding aside, D.M. Consunji, Inc. is one of the best construction companies in the Philippines. The company’s name was taken from its founder Engr. David M. Consunji.

They have been in the construction industry for 65 years. And in 65 years in the construction business, they have completed billions of dollars of projects and are known to be “Builder of Landmarks”. They have built landmark projects like cultural centers, theaters, hospitals, roads and expressways, high-end condominium towers and offices.

Engineering Equipment, Incorporated (EEI)

Engineering Equipment, Incorporated (EEI) was established in 1960s but has been in the construction business since 1931 thru its predecessor Engineering Equipment and Supply, Co. (EESCO). Back then, they were just into steel fabrication. Through perseverance and innovations, they were able to expand their business overseas. Right now, (EEI) has several subsidiaries which is involved in manpower recruitment, power, real states, construction scaffolding and others.

Engineering Equipment, Incorporated (EEI) has built several industrial including cement and power plants, refineries, railways, flood control systems, school, roads, and a lot more. You could say they are one of the leading contractors in the Philippines in terms of construction innovations. Right now, they geared towards green engineering by building solar carports and solar powered streetlights.

  • Website:
  • Head Office Location: 12 Manggahan Street, Bagumbayan, Quezon City 1110, Philippines
  • Contact Number: (+632) 8-334-2677 (EEI-CORP) (+632) 8-635-0861
  • Email Address:

Sta. Clara International Corporation

Founded in the 1976 as Sta. Clara Trading and Construction Company, they were originally into rental, equipment trading and minor construction works. Success found Sta. Clara International Corporation through the years as they successfully partake in the construction of the first hydro power with the longest tunnel.

For almost 46 solid years in the construction business, they paved their way to become one of the leading contractors in the Philippines. SCIC has contributed largely to the development of water industry including pumping stations, water treatment and sewage treatment plants, water reservoirs, electrical towers, and lot more.

  • Website:
  • Head Office Location: Sta. Clara International Corporation, Highway 54 Plaza, 986 EDSA Wack-Wack, Mandaluyong City, 1550 Philippines
  • Contact Number: (+632) 8706 5155, (+632) 8706 5156, (+632) 8706 5157
  • Email Address:

DDT Konstract, Inc.

The company name was taken from its founder Engr. Danilo D. Tamayo. He braved to create his own company after he became jobless after the 1997 asian financial crisis. DDT Konstract, Inc. started small by building residential and commercial projects. With the exemplary output handling the small ones, they slowly was given with its breakthrough by partnering with the SM Group. One of its big ticket project is the SM Mall of Asia.

Currently, DDTKI are now one of the trusted contractors of the largest developers in the country including Filinvest Land, Ayala Land, SM and Robinsons Land. DDKTI just proved that when you properly handled tiny blessing with integrity, big ones will eventually follow.

  • Website:
  • Head Office Location: Unit 401 4th Floor, Lancaster Hotel, #622 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, 1500 Philippines
  • Contact Number: (632) 571-8668 to 70

With the engineering sector getting more and more complicated through the years, these companies chose to ride the tide and welcome change. A mentality that every one should be reminded not to become stagnant to prosper.


Top Reasons for Buildings and Houses to Collapse

Shelter is one of the top needs for human to survive. That is why it is best to invest in a well-built one.

You may have seen in the news or in the social media wherein buildings and homes collapse when hit by an average earthquake. To be prevent this from happening, one has to be knowledgeable why it happens.

Here are the top reasons why buildings or residential houses collapse.

  • Not Hiring the Right Professionals

With the boom of DIY’s and all that stuff, people tend to do things their own way. Other things that we are guilty of is getting the wrong persons (normally, non-technical) to do and plan the different trades. Architectural plans must be created, signed, and sealed by Architects. Structural plans by structural / civil engineers. Plumbing plans by sanitary engineers and master plumbers (depending of the type of building). Electrical plans by Professional Electrical Engineers. HVAC by Professional Mechanical Engineers. That is how things should be.

Draftsmen, when they do plot the plans, should be instructed by the right professional. Please don’t be fooled by non-tech people telling you that they can ‘plan’ your homes because they are ‘experienced’. Planning and designing are different from plotting. When a person is not licensed to sign and seal that certain trade, the proper term for them to use is ‘plot’, definitely not ‘design’ or ‘plan’.

Professionals attended schools for several years and passed professional exams for a reason. If they passed the licensure exam, meaning, they are equipped with knowledge to design and plan your homes safe for use. Get the right professionals to design your homes, please.

  • Not Following What is Planned

The most crucial part in building construction is the realization of what is planned according the proper construction techniques and practices. There are proper techniques to cast of foundation, columns, beams, and other main structural components of a buildings. There is a proper way to terminate beams, slabs, columns, and others should concreting halts due to whatever disruptions. Suspended slab (depending on the structural engineer’s notes and plans) should be casted monolithic to a portion of a column. Most DIYers or contractors with no technical experience do not know this.

Contractors that you hire should be knowledgeable on this stuff. There are corner reinforcing bars that should be used in openings. Corner bars used in window and door openings is not the same with the stairs to second floor slab openings. There is a proper technique in laying out reinforcement bars for suspended slab. These things are mostly stated in the structural plans. The contractor that you get should have the experience and knowledge to interpret what is planned, understand what is in the trades’ professional notes for it to be properly built in actual.

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  • Using Substandard Materials

When your home is designed by the right professional, they normally include ‘Materials Specifications’. Material specification is a document which states what material, grade, color, specifications, even identifications number (IDs) are to be used in the project.

In example is the architectural materials specifications which is provided by the Architect. You can see what tile is used, the dimension, color, corresponding ID, sometimes includes which supplier is used for all the tiling works.

Another example is the structural reinforcing bars. If the structural note says minimum grade for 12mm diameter bar and below is G40, while 16mm diameter bar is G60, then follow and procure it as stated. Do not be fooled by some random, cheeky contractor who downgraded materials for additional profit. Please be aware that ‘materials specification’ exists and that is where the contractor should base the stuff to be procured and installed.

  • Improper Usage and Overloading

You may have seen some viral photo online where bridges collapse. Same is true with structures. Always use a building based on its designed intended for use. Bed room in the second floor should be used as bed rooms and not as store rooms / stack rooms. Why? Because engineers use certain algorithm when they designed it. Gymnasiums has different set of ‘algorithms’ (let’s just say it as it is for the sake of non-tech people) compared to residential houses. Although there is enough factor of safety, you may unknowingly exceed it if you put sacks of rice and heavy tools on it.

When you want to convert your upper floor space for a fitness gym, please consult and ask professionals to check the credibility of the structure first before putting heavy weights and fitness equipment on it.

  • Calamity or Natural Disasters

You have attended earthquake drills, fire drills, tsunami drills and other drills, right? This is the initiative of our government to prepare people for unforeseen natural disasters. You may even heard of “The Big One” (an anticipation of a strong and disastrous earthquake that could happen anytime). Our buildings and residential house adhere to certain maximum ‘recorded’ factor of safety for the natural disaster. But since the Big One did not happen yet, there is really no maximum factor for this one. God forbid, we experience “The Big One” in our lifetime.

Record braking typhoons carrying strong winds has been visiting us recently. We have seen photos online of houses destroyed due to flashfloods. Some location in the country did not experienced floods before, yet, they experienced a disastrous one outright. How come? You may ask. Climate change it is. Engineers has been dealing with it by building stronger and more resilient structures. Some even opt to use factor of safety way above the requirement just for their buildings to be stronger.

  • Human-Initiated Demolitions

It is sad to build something just for someone else to tear it down. This includes wars and terrorist’s attack. No matter how strong a building or a structure is, it is no match against bombs and missile attack. Unless, of course if a structure is designed to withstand attacks.

On the other hand, there are some human-induced demolitions which is good. In example trampling down an old building to build something new. Buildings have serviceable lifespan. In addition, if a structure was hit by several natural disasters, its structural credibility will eventually lessen leading to demolition. If this buildings or houses cannot be remediated with retrofitting or others means for it to safe for use once again, then, this needs to be evacuated to prevent any casualties due to building breakdown.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comment section.

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Steel Bolts, Self-drilling Screws, Lag Shield and Drywall Screw Price List

Average steel hex bolts, steel self-drilling screws, steel lag shields and drywall screw price list in the Philippines.

The price listed here are for pick-up prices only. Delivery costs, VAT and other extra charges are excluded.

Note that this price list is just a guide. Prices differ per region. What’s reflected here isn’t true for every locations in the Philippines.

Steel Hex Bolt Price List.

Steel Hex Bolt DescriptionUnitPrice (PhP)
1/4x 1/2pc9.00
1/4x 3/4pc9.00
1/4x 1pc9.00
1/4x 1-1/4pc13.50
1/4x 1-1/2pc16.00
1/4x 1-3/4pc18.10
1/4x 2pc18.10
1/4x 2-1/2pc22.60
1/4x 3pc27.20
5/16x 3/4pc16.10
5/16x 1pc20.90
5/16 1-1/4pc22.70
5/16x 1-1/2pc22.70
5/16x 1-3/4pc27.20
5/16x 2pc36.30
5/16x 2-1/2pc36.30
5/16x 3pc40.80
5/16x 3-1/2pc45.30
3/8x 1pc27.20
3/8x 1-1/4pc31.70
3/8x 1-1/2pc36.30
3/8x 1-3/4pc45.30
3/8x 2pc45.30
3/8x 2-1/2pc59.00
3/8x 3-1/2pc59.00
3/8x 3pc59.00

Steel Lag Shield and Fender Washer Price List.

Fender Washer and Lag Shield DescriptionUnitPrice (PhP)
5/16x 1-1/4 Fender Washerspc18.20
1/2x 4-1/2 Hex Head Lag Screwspc181.20
5/16 Short 1/2 Lag Shieldpc58.90
5/16 Long 1/2 Lag Shieldpc67.00
3/8 Short 5/8 Lag Shieldpc99.70
3/8 Long 5/8 Lag Shieldpc113.30
1/4 Short 1/2 Lag Shieldpc45.30
1/4 Long 1/2 Lag Shieldpc59.00
1/2 Short 1/4 Lag Shieldpc135.90
1/2 Long 3/4 Lag Shieldpc163.10

Self-Drilling Screw Price List.

Self-Drilling Screws DescriptionUnitPrice (PhP)
12-14x 1-1/2 Self-Drilling Screwpc36.30
12-14x 2 Self-Drilling Screwpc45.30
1/4-14x 1-1/2 Self-Drilling Screwpc45.30
1/4-14x 2 Self-Drilling Screwpc59.00
No.6 Nylon Junior Self-Drilling Anchorpc41.00
No.8 Nylon Junior Self-Drilling Anchorpc59.00

Drywall Screw Price List.

Drywall Screws DescriptionUnitPrice (PhP)
6 x 1 Drywall Screwspc4.60
6 x 1-1/4 Drywall Screwspc6.80
6 x 1-5/8 Drywall Screwspc6.80
6 x 2 Drywall Screwspc9.10
8 x 2-1/2 Drywall Screwspc7.25
8 x 3 Drywall Screwspc16.00

All amount in PhP. To see all the material prices we have posted click here.

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How to Keep Your House Safe from Fire Philippines

Fire-prevention month is being celebrated in the Philippines every March. This month is especially selected because this is the time of the year with the highest tallied fire incidents in the country. March is when the country is apparently at its warmest.

Seize the opportunity should the BFP offers fire safety awareness program in your location. They give valuable fire prevention techniques and fire safety protection. The knowledge that they provide is truly worth your time.

Photo by Pixabay:

To help our mighty fire officers from the Bureau of Fire Protection, we decided to create a post about fire prevention and fire safety.

Here is the list of fire preventive measures to keep your house away from disastrous fire.

  • Ensure That Your House Planning and Construction Adheres to Fire Safety Protocols

Main reason why building permit and other building documents are required before construction of building for this reason. A house or commercial establishment should be well-built, sound, and it has to have access in case of fire emergencies. Certain parts of a house are intended for emergency evacuation should there be fire incidents and only professionals can give you advice about where to locate these.

Be sure to approach the right professionals when building and planning your homes.  This is an investment that can never go wrong.

  • Use Quality and Non-substandard Construction Materials

Quality materials [not necessarily the most expensive ones] passed certain tests and have undergone proper manufacturing processes. These quality tests check if the material can withstand the pressure, load, rating, or whatever unit of measurement a material will be subjected into.

On the other hand, substandard material, as the word entails, is substandard. Meaning, it wasn’t subjected to quality tests which proves it is even safe for use. How do you know if one is a quality material and one is sub-standard? Ask the supplier for certificates. If the supplier can show you legitimate certificates for those tests, then, you should be fine. Second obvious sign for substandard material is the price. If the cost of the construction material is too low compared to the average market price, then most likely, that material is an imitation or substandard.

  • Do Not Overload Electric Circuits

Electric outlet has certain electrical load it can carry. High powered appliances that require higher power normally have different type of outlet than the typical duplex outlets you see in walls. In example, air conditioning. In a typical house setting, you wouldn’t want to plug in your air-conditioning system in a typical duplex outlet as it requires certain electrical ratings. It even has its own circuit breaker in the panel.

DO NOT, by any means, carelessly put into habit plugging high-powered appliances like microwave, electric stove, and other similar appliances into a typical wall outlet when you are not sure if it can carry its electrical load. Ask a professional before doing so. Be informed that most wall outlets are in the same circuit line. Plugging two or more high-powered appliances at the same time (commonly called circuit overloading) may cause electrical failure caused by heated wirings or conduits, which would eventually cause fire. These wirings are typically embedded in walls or floors, so, you wouldn’t see any signs of failing electrical wirings except when it already exploded.

  • Keep and Regularly Inspect Fire Suppression and Alarm Tools

One would not know when a fire incident might happen that is why fire prevention equipment and fire alarms are a must-have in every household. Basic tools like a fire extinguisher and fire alarm are important and you should know where it is placed. Normally, fire extinguishers are placed in kitchen where we cook as most residential fire starts in the kitchen.

There should also be regular inspection for these fire suppression and alarm tools. It should be functional and ready in case of emergency. Check the equipment and the fire safety procedures its technician shows when you purchase it. Be informed how often to inspect these fire suppression and alarm equipment.

  • Educate Children and Yourselves About Fire

Children, when briefed at a young age about fire (and not to play with it) is a life saver. It is the responsibility of the adult in the household to educate children about the risk and peril fire can bring when not used properly.

When you can, attend the free seminar the government is providing. Some dos and don’ts, myths and facts, are discussed in there. You can even interactively ask professional firemen about your concerns. Who knows, you might discover things that you thought were beneficial but turns out to be detrimental in managing fire.

Have a scape plan. If you have a two-story house, it is just normal to have a emergency fire exit (retractable stair) ready for use should a fire accident happen. Educate your kids, and elderly parents from time to time.

  • Keep Fire Hazard Materials in a Proper Place

Educating children doesn’t stop in keeping fire incidents from happening, adults should also put fire hazard materials like gasoline, paints, lighters, matches and the like in a proper storage place away from the children. When adults are away, children tend to imitate what they see in the movies and play like cooking. Fire prevention is better than firefighting. A simple diligence in keeping flammable things in order may save your house from fire.

Fire prevention is easy when one is committed to really prevent it. Equip yourselves with fire prevention techniques and educate your household about fire safety. Fire is a tool that should help better our lives by cooking and run our machineries. It should not be a venue for our valuables to be damaged just because of simple mistake or misinformation.
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