Plans for Our New House in the Philippines Are Forging Ahead

rice fields guimaras

The plans for our new house in the Philippines are forging ahead.  Yesterday, my asawa and I met with Boy, a local contractor from Guimaras. Boy comes highly recommended and has built several residences for foreigners on our mango province. Our brother-in-law, Joery, along with a crew of three men, will begin work on our father-in-law’s nipa hut first. The nipa hut will be the location where our initial electrical service will be provided. It’s best to start applying for new service early. There are several utility poles already located near our property so hopefully our electrical service will be provided before our new house is built, which could take five to six months.

rice field on our guimaras propertyRice field on our property

Boy wants to charge P4,500, 100 US Dollars, a square meter for labor.  We plan to build a 240 square meter home, 2500 square feet. At today’s exchange rates the cost for labor would be 1,080,000 pesos, 24,000 USD. Again, that’s only the labor cost. Boy will submit a plan to his architect who will quote us a package deal.

Frankly, I think we can do the job cheaper. We are only exploring other options as our brother-in-law, Joery, has been quite busy, and may not be able to focus entirely as the foreman for our new home, as was our original plan. At this time, we do, however, plan to go ahead and have Joery and his crew start building our new home after the nipa hut is done.

Nipa hut waiting area for preschool in Guimaras

Previous nipa hut Joery has built


Boy has stated that he would be able to construct the steel trusses and build a new roof for us. We’ve seen some of Boy’s roofs and he does an exceptional plan. Since Joery does not have the necessary skill sets to build a roof, we will probably contract out Boy and contract out an experienced electrician to do our wiring.

Joery is very adept at construction and will be able to build a solid foundation and construct the exterior and interior walls. We will be using hollow blocks reinforced with rebar. Joery is good at plumbing along with his carpentry skills and will be a key player in the building of our new house in the Philippines.

With the lease at “The Farm” extended for another year, we will have plenty of time for the construction of your new home without feeling pressured to move out. I’ll leave you with a general floor plan for our one story home. With over 7,000 square meters to build on my asawa and I felt it would be safer, in light of the propensity for earthquakes in our area, to build a one story structure, plus it will help to keep the construction costs down. Our new home will have four bedrooms and three Comfort Room, CR’s inside.

house plans





Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

8 thoughts on “Plans for Our New House in the Philippines Are Forging Ahead

  1. Well Dave, you thought life in the Phil has been fun so far? Well you are about to enter a whole new level hee hee. I know you have been here longer than I have, but having built a house already, I strongly advise that you and your lovely bride handle the payroll yourselves and pay each laborer individually. I found that different skill levels get paid different amounts. This will insure that your workers actually get paid. Probably my best Filipino friend runs a building supply place here, and he has told me that some “bosses” skim from the laborers wages for the privilege to work for him. Our contractor who did a great job for us, went to work for the neighbors and skipped town with the payroll. Its a pain in the butt to do but……….as always, I am ready to give any advice (worth exactly what you pay for it 😉 )since your advice and book were of great help to me before we made the move………..GOOD LUCK 🙂

    1. Thanks for the advice, Scott H. Melinda is going to handle the payroll. We, too, are aware of the practice of some foremen who skim the wages of the workers. That will not be tolerated. Sorry to hear about the contractor that took off with the payroll.

      You’re absolutely correct about the different skill levels being paid different amounts. On the top of our wage scale will be the carpenters. Laborers will earn less, but still a fair wage for this area. Right now, we are looking to pay carpenters 400 pesos (9 USD) a day and laborers, 300 (6.70 USD). They will be provided with a merienda, snack, twice a day, and water, but will have to provide their own lunch.

      Glad my book has helped you out. It’s selling very well in paperback form on Amazon and is available for digital download on this website. Proceeds from book sales go to my father-in-law’s upkeep and trying to keep his dementia, now at Stage 6, at bay.

  2. Have been anxiously awaiting your upcoming house construction posts, as I am sure you have been anxiously awaiting getting it started also. Is the picture of the clearing you published of your property?

    Just was wandering, are the dimensions on your drawing maybe in ft. instead of meters. Otherwise thats going to be one huge house of 197’x 131′, thats going to take some awful big trusses to span that, lol, but the rooms will be nice and spacey. I like that your doing the American style closets, rather than wardrobe cabinets I have seen in so many homes there. Isnt that a fireplace in the livingroom???

    1. Yep, Bill S., that’s a picture of a small rice field that sits on our property. We will be building the house about 300 meters away, out of sight from our private road. The spot we are building the house on has a great view of a nearby mountain.

      Yep, the measurements are off, Bill S. We want a big house but not that big, about 2500 square feet. Absolutely will have closets since I hate those wardrobes that many people here seem to use. Fireplace? We don’t plan to have one, that was probably something I didn’t get erased from the plan I took a screen shot of from the Internet. The plan I posted is very general. We are going to get together with a relative/architect who will draw up a master plan blueprint. We sure don’t need a fireplace in these parts, but we are going to opt for hot water in the Master CR ever since I got spoiled from my recent trip to Vegas.

  3. I thought maybe they were drawings you drew up possibly, and maybe wanted a fireplace for ambiance or Christmas time since it lasts so long, there.

    I look at drawings day in and day out, so I notice things I guess. I thought I remembered reading awhile back you said you were planning a house a little over 5,000sf. which seems to be kinda on the larger size of houses there.

    There are many websites that you can look at and find thousands of different house designs and floorplans, which I guess is maybe what you did. If you find a floorplan you like or a specific design, it can easily be engineered by an architect or engineer there, so no need to purchase the plans from the websites which can be somewhat expensive depending on the design and size. Thoses kind of plans always have to be engineered once a person buys the house plans, just to pass building codes in different states and counties here, there how stringent is it?

    1. Bill S, to be honest, I thought that fireplace (which I have since erased from the plan) was an entertainment center. Melinda and I have looked at quite a few plans from online sources and think the one displayed on the post will suit our needs the most.

      Yes, you are correct. We originally were thinking of building a 5,000 square ft. home but in order to have our pool installed (which I promised my asawa years ago) I thought we could cut back on the size of the new home. Our house back in the States had about 1,400 square footage so adding 1,000 or more sq. footage on the new place should work out fine. Plus, Lolo will have his own digs and we are also building a dirty kitchen which is not on the plans.We also plan to have a covered terrace on the roof of the garage which will give us some additional space.

      The plans are all fluid. Nothing is written in stone. As far as the building codes go, we have a foreign friend who built alongside a public road in our province, and our same municipality. He has completed his house months ago and has just taken care of all the necessary permits. I have been told that since we are on a private road we do not need permits. This was told to me by another foreigner friend who is located just down the road from us on the same private road. He has built extensive new dwellings on his property and has not been approached by anyone regarding permits. If you build with native materials in our area you do not need a permit, thus the nipa hut should not be a problem. However, my asawa, who wants to err on the side of caution, wants our relative architect to also apply for permits for us on the main structure we will have built.

  4. Dave,

    I really like the design of the house. Like yours, our house will only be one story too. No worry of floods here. Hopefully you won’t have problems with the building. Our friends here from Illinois that are having there home built up in Tarlac are having problems with there contractor. Not much work has been done since late August. Hasn’t heard from the contractor since August. He refuses to return calls. So they have hired a lawyer and will take him to court if necessary. The lawyer sent him a letter and gave him until end of November to complete the house, if not they will be going to court. The contractor is from here and not the Tarlac area. It was going good until August. He believes the contractor is having financial problems as he is building several houses at the same time. What a mess. When we build we want complete control of everything to avoid that.

    1. I agree, Papa Duck, having complete control is essential to avoid any problems such as your friends from Illinois had. Good luck with his court case. It can takes years to get anything resolved here but since it is a civil case maybe the courts will move faster. A lawsuit in the Philippines does not hold the same weight as a lawsuit back in the States, at least in my opinion.

Leave a Reply