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Maxheadspace

High Cost of Construction, or Taken to the Cleaners?

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My wife and I bought a small duplex for her kids in Cavite, near Manila.  It's new construction, so there's still things to be finished, even after moving in.  They need a metal railing fence around the front yard and roof/overhang for the dirty kitchen in back.  We were quoted 230,000 pesos ($5,000US) for both projects.  After choking, I explained that was probably more than what the cost would be here in the US.  She's adamant that construction costs like that are expensive in the Philippines.  I suspect that's not the case, but maybe I'm wrong.  Does that sound like the going rate for this kind of project in the Philippines?  We're handling this remotely from here in the States, so I'm suspicious that this is simply taking advantage of our supposed deep pockets. 

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I would be very suspicious. 

Get more estimates. Have them calculate and show the cost of material and what kind of material. How many workers involved? How long will it take?  Use these estimates when you compare other contractors. 

This is what I do. 

After we agree on the cost, I just pay for material in advance. I give small payment for labor on a daily basis.

If you give all the money at once, you may not see them again or maybe not as often as you expected.

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Seems very high to me.  Consider that we had a new roof installed on our two bedroom house.  This included stripping off the existing metal roof, installing all new steel truss/rafters, insulation, then new pre-painted roofing.  All new eves, and also masonry work to equalize the height of walls on opposite sides of the house.  Total cost for all labor and materials was 190K peso with excellent workmanship.  We live here and were present each day of construction.  Costs of some materials here is similar to the USA (steel, cement, paint, etc) but lower for others (dimension lumber,  cement block, local tile, etc).  Labor cost for construction are VERY LOW here compared to the USA e.g. skilled masons or carpenters for 300-500 peso per day or even less in the province.  I would not be surprised if the number quoted to you was 3 or more times what it should be.  I also suspect that additional "estimates" would not be of much help unless you and your wife can actually be present see the job, get estimates, and keep an eye on the work being done.  As the previous poster mentioned, never a good idea to pay the entire fee up front.  Where possible you should buy the materials yourself and pay labor on a daily or weekly basis.

The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that someone is trying to rip you off.  No disrespect intended to either your wife or her children and I hope I have not offended you.  

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Way too high.  

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Seems terribly high. We bought our own materials but the total labor cost to build the 8-to-10 foot, hollow block wall around our 768sqm lot was P600,000 in 2015. That those two small projects would cost you a third of our huge, months-long project seems fishy.

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On 7/17/2017 at 9:24 AM, Maxheadspace said:

They need a metal railing fence around the front yard and roof/overhang for the dirty kitchen in back.

Its hard to know the cost without knowing all the specs but, for example, a concrete hollow block wall around the front yard would cost (if my memory is correct) at least 3,000 pesos a meter and a quality metal fence does not seem to be much cheaper.  So a 100 meter fence could cost 300,000 pesos all by itself.  How much fence and overhang are we talking about?

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Get more estimates, get drawings of the plans,if possible buy the materials yourself or in your case get the kids to buy the materials never let the builders buy the materials if possible use a builders merchant that delivers some dont, and always pay the workmen daily at the end of the day.

The estimate seems a bit high compared to the cost of some of the things we have had done.

If you have to let the builders buy the materials make sure you get reciepts as you could end up buying 

New tools  and materials etc for their next job yes it happens.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, expatuk2014 said:

Get more estimates, get drawings of the plans,if possible buy the materials yourself or in your case get the kids to buy the materials never let the builders buy the materials if possible use a builders merchant that delivers some dont, and always pay the workmen daily at the end of the day.

The estimate seems a bit high compared to the cost of some of the things we have had done.

If you have to let the builders buy the materials make sure you get reciepts as you could end up buying 

New tools  and materials etc for their next job yes it happens.

 

 

 

 

Good advice.

I might add that the quality of the material is also important in estimates. Hollow blocks are an example. Some cheap ones are very brittle and crumble and/or crack easily. 

Another thing if comparing cost is that contractors usually get a discount on the same material that a non contractor would not. This is standard procedure even in the states. 

Make them clean up their mess every day after they finish. If you notice the workers doing shabby work then tell the contractor about it before it is too late.  You have a right to complain. 

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3 hours ago, Gratefuled said:

Good advice.

I might add that the quality of the material is also important in estimates. Hollow blocks are an example. Some cheap ones are very brittle and crumble and/or crack easily. 

Another thing if comparing cost is that contractors usually get a discount on the same material that a non contractor would not. This is standard procedure even in the states. 

Make them clean up their mess every day after they finish. If you notice the workers doing shabby work then tell the contractor about it before it is too late.  You have a right to complain. 

I agree but how do you accomplish this when the contractors finish at 5pm Philippine time which is 4am for the OP East Coast time? I am not sure how to know what you are getting from so far away.

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29 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

I am not sure how to know what you are getting from so far away.

Scratching Head.jpg PROBLEMS!

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