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Today, the aircon installer completed the installation of the ground floor guest room air con unit. Wow! It gets cold very quickly. We are pleased. He was also happy that we are pleased. Apparently he lives not far from the home and we think is work is good and fairly priced so he will definitely be our go-to guy for maintenance or repairs.

The sparky is working - directly for us, not the contractor - on installing the gate opener. He was routing some cables and chipping cement, digging a ditch for cables and really setting up for the job. He is another sub we will keep on hand for any future electrical work that might be beyond my ability. I can do electrical work, but I am really not familiar with the "Philippine Way," on many things done here. He also knows what is available to buy and where to get it at the best prices.

The contractor brought in another team of workers to assist the lone painter guy. They were removing the wood steps to clean off the nasty stain, sand them smooth and finish them properly with just varnish, no stain. I reinforced with them that they need to use construction adhesive on the screws and on the L steel that supports the steps. Some of the steel still needs to be "adjusted" to make the steps level in all directions. The steps are all close to being right now.

They boys also started to clean up the property of unwanted trees - like the durian - and also removing branches from mango trees on adjacent properties to minimize over-the-fence incursions...

We can see that we are on the home stretch. We bought some mirrors for over the vanities in the CR's and also a lamp for over the staircase at the roof.

Some of the boys were working on completing the main car gate.

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There are now simple stainless bolts with cap nuts for decoration. L found this sort of design online and it looks cool - sort of industrial but neat. They are painting the gate black and it looks nice to us too.

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The sparky is setting up the cabling for the gate opener motor.

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This step is the first one to be "properly" finished with varnish. L and I love the natural colour and wood grain of this yakul hardwood. It looks so much better than the painter's original heavy handed staining. He is pleased that we are pleased. This was what I was really for in a finish - natural!

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Inside the house is a real mess with stuff everywhere and lots of mostly wood and stain and varnish dust. They are working to clean it up and the master bedroom was relatively clean. We're getting there.

We did take a sojourn in the library with the aircon running and I sipped some Tanduay with Coke while L stuck with just Coke. (She can get drunk on one or two glasses of wine so she abstains on-site for now).

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The first durian tree went down where planned - whew! Unfortunately, tree removal will make the property get a bit warmer during the days due to less shade. But we have tree starts and ideas to return shade from new trees.

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Hmmmm.... one year of Tanduay evidence that the boys like to relax after work! S**t!

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Well... the construction, thankfully, continues. The contractors are reaching a bit to keep the boys busy since materials are either not currently available, or are difficult to obtain. So there is a

Nighttime at home. The sparky is about done with the outside lighting and is still working on the electric gate and lots of little projects. The new hanging lamp. The light is actuall

It's been almost four weeks since construction began. I visited the site again yesterday and things are moving right along... The main ground beams have been poured and finished. The vertical col

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13 hours ago, Tommy T. said:

The first durian tree went down where planned

The house is looking great Tommy!

But what are you going to do for snacks now the Durian tree is gone?  :whistling:

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What date is house warming Tommy, need to get tested for flight........

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S**t!!!

We are on page 76... the dreaded page that Jake warned me about. Well... There is still work being performed on site. I will be there tomorrow to check progress while L remains bogged down in endless DepEd paperwork. By the way, 5 teachers in her department were in close contact with a school nurse who had recently been in close contact with someone infected in another school... So they are all at home under 14 day quarantine...

On 10/18/2020 at 10:37 AM, GeoffH said:

The house is looking great Tommy!

But what are you going to do for snacks now the Durian tree is gone?  :whistling:

Thanks for the compliment, Geoff. I guess I don't have to wear a clothespin on my nose any more when visiting our home?:laugh:

6 hours ago, RBM said:

What date is house warming Tommy, need to get tested for flight........

Hmmm... don't rush yet RBM... We still need to furnish the place a bit. In fact, today we were at Mandaue Foam (again!) and ordered up several items to start to fill the place up. We are doing our bit to improve the local economy now!

But, trust me, you will be one of the first to know!

Cheers!

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Well... it keeps on going...

Yesterday was very depressing. I opened up a door to the guest bedroom and it reeked of cigarette. I became unglued and yelled at the foreman. There was also a cigarette butt on the floor in the entryway. No no no!!! This is not a toilet!

I think he got my point. I apologized later to him because I know it is not really his fault. He is so busy trying to complete the build that he has little time to do what he should be doing - supervising. We (L and I) see this as the fault of the contractor - expecting the foreman to do everything all at the same time... enough...

Some of the stairsteps have been installed and they looked like a 5 year old had put them in place - they were not aligned not even close and so looked very haphazardly set. Both L and I yelled at the foreman about this too... 

L and I retired to the library where I sipped some Tanduay and she drank orange juice. The aircon helped settle us both down and the Tanduay helped settle me down. And, trust me, L was also royally pissed!!!

Meanwhile, there is other progress. The main sliding car gate is done and the sparky is mostly done with the installation of the opener. He has also moved some "pin" lights to be better located than his original installation.

Today, several chests and my office chair and desk are being delivered to the home. We spent some time at Citi Hardware and bought treated outdoor wood and roofing for the living room lanai - to be built solely on our nickel by the foreman and maybe one other after completion of the main house.

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The car and human gates, complete with the decorative stainless bolt/nuts.

No other photos because nothing else new to really show... unless you want to see 1/2 inch deep sawdust and dirt from the stair completion. We finally figured out that these guys have little to no experience with wood working. They love and do fairly well with cement, but that's about it. So mainly I have been guiding and advising them about how to deal with the wood. After 20+ years living aboard and working with teak wood on a yacht, I have a bit of experience to share with them. They seem to appreciate the advice as I praise them for their efforts. When they are all gone and done with the build, I may need to spend some time to finish the wood the way I want it... I guess it will give me something to do other than write long posts here.

The window company was at it again, trying to fix the misaligned opening windows and installing the fly screens. At least there is a guy we deal with who is reacting to our comments and criticisms...

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28 minutes ago, Tommy T. said:

They seem to appreciate the advice as I praise them for their efforts. When they are all gone and done with the build, I may need to spend some time to finish the wood they way I want it... I guess it will give me something to do other than write long posts here.

Tommy, I am sure you know know when owning a home it is never done.  Also, many know if you want something done correctly you must do it yourself.  I would grade my woodworkers here maybe  85%.  I think they could do better with better tools.  Finish was really good including the stair treads.  However, the movers placed a few small scratches and our dogs nails added many more while excited and trying to fly up or down when she was younger.  The finish was sprayed and was nice.  I plan clean the scratches and lay few coats with a brush soon.  You too will keep busy fixing and upgrading after you get settled and relaxed.  I know you will enjoy having your own place where you can be relaxed and not rushed.

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41 minutes ago, intrepid said:

Tommy, I am sure you know know when owning a home it is never done.  Also, many know if you want something done correctly you must do it yourself.  I would grade my woodworkers here maybe  85%.  I think they could do better with better tools.  Finish was really good including the stair treads.  However, the movers placed a few small scratches and our dogs nails added many more while excited and trying to fly up or down when she was younger.  The finish was sprayed and was nice.  I plan clean the scratches and lay few coats with a brush soon.  You too will keep busy fixing and upgrading after you get settled and relaxed.  I know you will enjoy having your own place where you can be relaxed and not rushed.

Very true - I've been in my place 5 years and I still spend a couple of hours every weekend on routine maintenance/touch-ups.  

That said, I sometimes wonder why I bother - We have some tile panels in our garden and one of them has bled some acid (i think) from the mortar below leaving an unsightly stain.  Simple solution (after trying to clean and failing) was to move a plant and cover the area - I did that last night.  Worked a treat.  Today, I noticed my wife has trimmed the plant and now the stain is visible again. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh!

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On 9/27/2019 at 11:03 AM, Tommy T. said:

Here is about how it should look when complete.

I say "about" because it will have partial roof deck and partial sloped roof. It will not have any cement "awnings" but rather plastic or metal. I know they won't last as long, but the cement versions just look ugly to us - heavy handed - even though that is standard in the Philippines. If they break or wear out, then we'll replace them. Master's bedroom upstairs on the right - I already envision us enjoying our morning coffee on the small veranda there...

So it isn't really fancy or pretty, but rather functional and contemporary. My architect neighbour (who didn't have anything to do with it, but I showed it to him for his opinion) liked the design and simplicity of it.

House Rendering.jpg

I've not got around to reading all of your posts but I'd be careful with the flat roof and bedroom upstairs.  I lived in a similar property for just over one year and the heat from the roof makes the bedroom cook, you need your air con on. Any time there was a brown out you could feel the temperature rising instantly.  Within ten minutes it was too hot to sleep.  I convinced the landlord to build a sloping roof with a 6 inch gap around it to allow air flow and the temperature difference was amazing.  I never needed air con. 

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8 hours ago, Snowy79 said:

I've not got around to reading all of your posts but I'd be careful with the flat roof and bedroom upstairs.  I lived in a similar property for just over one year and the heat from the roof makes the bedroom cook, you need your air con on. Any time there was a brown out you could feel the temperature rising instantly.  Within ten minutes it was too hot to sleep.  I convinced the landlord to build a sloping roof with a 6 inch gap around it to allow air flow and the temperature difference was amazing.  I never needed air con. 

I appreciate your thoughts, Snowy.

So far, when visiting the home, the upstairs master bedroom has been cool. There are nice breezes usually and the early shade seems to keep that area cool. The aircon for that room works very well so that is good too. You did miss some earlier postings from me about the site, but that's okay. The home is sited in a fruit orchard so it is shaded in the early morning by mango trees to the east. It is exposed during mid-day to full sun, but then is shaded from about 3 pm and later by more mango trees to the west.

Whenever we visit, the home is cooler inside than the ambient outside temperature and that is the best for us! The apartment, here, just bakes in the hot afternoon sun making this building super hot - the walls are hot to the touch here - yuck!

If the roof does get hot at the new home, we have another plan too... The foreman is installing hooks to enable us to put up awnings over the roof deck.

So, one way or another, we should be able to make some shade and keep the roof deck cool and also our bedroom... updates soon, I hope!

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I almost can't f*****g believe it. One year and over two months and our home is livable! It is not quite done, but so very close that we are going to "move in" tomorrow, at least for a couple of days. The unending stairs project keeps trundling along, but is getting there. There are a lot of little things that need to get finished.

Yesterday, we brought in some friends of L to start to clean the place. It was so nice to not have to wade through 1/2" of sawdust and dirt when wandering through the house. The foreman started installing the curtain rod holders. L is having a field day shopping for curtains and other things to furnish the place and make it homey.

The foreman hooked up the propane gas and I gave the range a quick test - success! There is a lot of blue plastic wrap to remove from the stove and refrigerator. I wish I had bought stock years ago in the companies that supply that stuff!

And...ha ha ha... I went where no man has gone before and tried the ground floor toilet. Worked great! But I think I drove all the workers out of the home for a while... sorry...

So, tomorrow, I will spend my day removing all that plastic and the blue tape that the refrigerator is also full of (I wonder why all this stuff is blue?) so we can run the appliances full time.

Oh... and we turned on the aircon in the master bedroom and guest bedroom to test them for a while... Goodness! We can use those rooms for stand-by refrigerators! I set the master bedroom to 16C and after one hour, it was cold cold cold!!! We are both very pleased with the aircon units.

Unfortunately, the sparky has some sort of infection that is keeping him away for at least a few days...

Today. Mandaue Foam will deliver and assemble two chests of drawers (sort of cheap, but we needed something to store stuff) and another wardrobe. They will also deliver the king size bed mattress, but the frame itself - constructed by another company - will not be there for a couple more weeks. So, I guess we will "bless" our home using the double bed in the guest room. Use your imagination, Jake and the rest of you!

There is also an office desk and chair for me to assemble. It is all stuff made in China with varying qualities of manufacture. But we need to have some things to make it our home for now. We can always introduce new products in the future. We shopped at some second hand shops here and most of the stuff was overpriced or simply rubbish - in our opinion.. Some items looked okay, but were better suited to a large home with lots of space - big cabinets, wardrobes and the like... Or they were cutesy designs and not our style...

We have both checked out some products in the local SM Home store and the prices there are ridiculous. Their stock is paltry and prices are super high..

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My stairs... They are almost done after so much fussing and hours of talk talk talk with the boys to get them right.

Sadly, the workers damaged some glass globes on the hanging light that L had picked out. So the company will buy another new set. We hope it is still available. Sometimes the boys seem a bit clumsy or reckless with some of the things - like light fixtures - that we provide.

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This is looking at the inside of the car gate with the opener track installed along the bottom. You might also see the pad and wiring set up for the opener motor in the lower left.

The painters are not the best around - lots of overspray and not the neatest coverage. I think the contractor is using their second or third string or maybe just don't have good painters?

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I know this photo does not really show it, but this window is open with the insect screen set in place. It is virtually invisible. It has been a real hassle dealing with the window company - Philips Glass, but the quality of their products is quite good. We both feel that they are having some sort of financial or personnel issues that are causing problems.

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My wet bar on the second floor. The refrigerator will live below the counter on the right side and be mounted on some sort of platform with drawers or shelves beneath.

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We will complete move-in within maybe a week or so.

I guess the worst part of this new home is that it is out of the range of Food Panda!!! There is only a Jollibee, but even that is 5 km away... There is a new G-Mall about 4 km away but we haven't checked it out yet. I guess that is the one drawback from living more out in the country... But I can live with it, and so can L.

I honestly forget if I mentioned this before... it's been a long time with this build...

But the wet bar is situated so that, in the future, when I am long gone, a future owner, should they wish, can put in another CR using space allotted in the "library" and the wet bar. The plumbing rough-ins are already in place. There are already shower and toilet drains in place, There is a power point for water heater, so they would have to tear up some of the wood flooring and then have a small bedroom with ensuite CR.

Edited by Tommy T.
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