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New House Build in Valencia

Discussion in 'Property Development' started by barryrio, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. barryrio

    barryrio DI Member

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    Having read and heard the usual horror stories about house builds in the Philippines, I thought I would try and offset them with an account of what has been an extremely stress-free and enjoyable experience.

    I would add that until the recent birth of my daughter, I had always stood firmly in the rent, don’t build camp. However, her arrival brought about a change in perspective, and this build is my way of ensuring that both mother and daughter have a solid base to call their own long after my demise! After 10 years here, I went into this with eyes wide open and in full knowledge of the possible downsides and outcome.

    We live in Valencia, just up the road from Dumaguete. The land purchased is literally across the road from our present home and consists of two 400+ square meter sections. The intention was to build on one and use the other as a garden /dog run for the present. Possibly further down the line it could be developed or sold, as needs be.

    I initially did a rough sketch of the basic outline of what I wanted – 135 square meter 3 bed house with en-suite cr in master bedroom along with the overall area of the property’s footprint. I then took the advice of a very good Filipino friend who lives close by and contacted one of the municipal architects who drew up the blueprints and helped us expedite both fencing and building permit. Once these were completed, we were faced with the most important decision of all, who to go with as a contractor. Our intention was to do a turn-key operation, as I still work and did not relish trying to manage a building site, something with which I have zero knowledge! We obtained several quotes, including one from a very nice American guy who does some building up this way. Again, after canvassing local opinion and talking to both locals and expats in the area, we settled on a contractor called Isidro (Dhing) Santos, who is based within a km or two of Valencia Plaza. His quote was not the cheapest by any means, but our due diligence and instincts told us to go with him. And that was the luckiest, and best decision I have made in a long time. Suffice to say that, from start to finish, Mr Santos has been the consummate professional. He has been reliable, helpful, ethical and capable of thinking outside the box. Whenever I asked him to make any slight change or do any additional work in addition to that specified in the contract, the end result always far exceeded my expectations.

    The day after we signed the contract, Mr Santos accompanied my wife to the local hardware outlets in Dumaguete and purchased all the tiles, doors, kitchen worktops, windows etc. neede to complete the build and stored them in his warehouse. He also had his brother Toto Santos begin work on fabricating the roofing trusses immediately. From the get go he inspired confidence, more so as he was onsite each and every day throughout construction. His crew, who mostly come from Bindoy, a small place some 80 kms north of here, lived on-site and were the nicest, most hard-working bunch of guys you could hope to meet. They normally worked Monday thru till Saturday midday, but some weekends they worked straight through. The average number on-site each day was 10, though this was often increased to 12 or 13 whenever hitches appeared, such as the need to dig out and remove some huge volcanic boulders, all of which was done by manpower alone!

    The result of this approach was that the roof was on the property by around the 45th working day and the whole build topped out at 3 months 10 days, just three days over the estimated completion date given when the contract was signed.

    Throughout this period, all the work was done to a high standard under Mr Santos’ ever-watchful scrutiny, and the result, as usual, was everything we had hoped for and more. What started out at 135 sq meters panned out at around 180, as we ended up adding on an enclosed carport that runs the full length of the house and will effectively be a combined carport, storeroom and dirty kitchen!

    My wife, not having had many dealing s with officialdom up to that point, was understandably apprehensive as the build neared completion about navigating officialdom to get all the necessary inspections, signatures and clearances from City Hall to get an electricity connection. Having told Mr Santos of her concerns, he kindly did most of the legwork involved, arranged for the fire protection and electrical engineer’s inspection and had all the paperwork prepared for her so all she had to do was submit it to our local energy cooperative.

    I am not sure whether I am allowed to give Mr Santos’ contact details here, but if not, I would be happy to PM them to anyone who might wish to use his services. I am one very satisfied customer and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone contemplating taking the plunge and building their own place!

    I have included some pics of the build from day 01 to the present day (December23). All that remains to be done is some of the fitting out inside and the last licks of paint. This will be completed next week. I would add that we owe an immense debt of gratitude to several Filipino friends here in Valencia, without whose advice and assistance I would never have contemplated such a project, much less completed it in such a stress-free manner. We could not have done it without them.
     

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  2. mokum

    mokum DI Senior Member

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    Proficiat!! Good to read a positive experience. I'm wondering or Mr Santos stayed within the contracted price?
     
  3. hawk263

    hawk263 DI Forum Adept Blood Donor Veteran Army

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    Thanks for a very useful post. I would like to contact Mr Santos, if you could PM me his details.
     
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    barryrio

    barryrio DI Member

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    mokum: Yes, absolutely. Didn't ask a penny more and as stated in the text, often did more than specified in the contract. Can't find any faults!
     
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    barryrio

    barryrio DI Member

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    Just a few interior pics to conclude.

    The place has 10 ft ceilings which, when combined with double-sided roof insulation and very large jalousie plus windows with mirrored one-way bronze glass completely preclude the need for aircon up here in Valencia.

    Bedrooms were kept to a modest size to allow for more living space and both en-suite cr and walk-through closet.

    LED lighting throughout. Bit of a one-off expense that will hopefully pay for itself over time.

    Last pic of self with Mr Santos.
     
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  6. maykoppa

    maykoppa DI Junior Member Veteran Army

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    Really enjoyed your post . I have some property in Tanjay that I am looking to build on. If you don't mind me asking What was the cost of your project ? Trying to get an idea for my budget . Please PM your builders info so I can see if he would be interested in working in Tanjay Thanks for the info
     
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    barryrio

    barryrio DI Member

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    Last stage - landscaping. just about done!
     

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    barryrio

    barryrio DI Member

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    Just an update. Project complete and have now moved in. All good - no glitches. Delighted with the outcome!
     

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  9. hawk263

    hawk263 DI Forum Adept Blood Donor Veteran Army

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    Great pictures - looks like a really nice place.
     
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  10. Crystalhead

    Crystalhead ADMIN Admin ★ Forum Moderator ★ ★ Global Mod ★ ★ Moderator ★ ★★ Forum Sponsor ★★ ★ No Ads ★ Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Army

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    Looks like a nice pad for some DIF GTG'S :o o:
     
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