The Real Cost of Building a House in the Philippines

Archian Design Architect Studio Bacolod City

The Real Cost of Building a House in the Philippines

It is common practice in the Philippines to find a connection, a friend of a friend, a “compare” who would give us a “friendly” fee. In some way, people have a distrust of professionals – from salesmen to doctors, others would even go to the extreme of finding someone with less credibility to give their body an assessment.

Problems with Construction Contractor in the Philippines

Problems with Construction Contractor in the Philippines

We all know of a friend or two who brag about their good fortune of getting a deal at half a price. And we glorify those stories. We hear of a colleague who bought shirts and pants on sale at 40%. Not to be undone, we want to find one at 45%.

Beautiful Bacolod House Construction

Beautiful Bacolod House Construction

Some reflections on Building a House.

1. It is easier to buy clothes and gadgets than build a house or building.

In buying clothes, you can offset any wrong decision in a month. For a major expenditure like a house, entrusting it to a foreman or a carpenter you know, or engineer will not be enough. Engineers can design the structure but have no experience in melding the spaces together.

2. It is a common regret of homeowners about the problems they face because they got the services of a “Contractor” or “Engineer”, where they were offered very low prices – from people that happened to be a relative or a friend, – without a contract.

The results are:

a) The finishes look nice when built but plumbing leaks and cracks show up because the contractor used cheap materials.

b) The Contractors Leave when the house is half finished.

c) The contractors keep pressing for more budget until you finally pay a few times over the budget.

3. In this field, contractors will offer impossible prices to phase out the competition and put their hand on the first downpayment. Then you might find that you will then be obligated to finish and maximize what you paid with the contractor even at a loss.

A couple in Pavia looked at two contractors, and one was unusually low. When they selected him, they didn’t check his credentials and he just started

There was a client from Bacolod who showed us their home. The contractor, a foreman, disappeared because the price he offered turned out to be impossible. When we checked the walls, it didn’t have lines for plumbing and electricals correctly.

4. Take time to look into the details of the materials. When you prescribe granite or marble, be sure that your contractor’s quote is somewhere near the price of granite. It takes a few due dilligence to learn the price from outside.

5. Be prepared to put in time in supervising the work. Don’t leave your own construction to chance. As a non-technical home owner, you may have too high or different expectations on how things would look in actual. An off-white ceramic tile would look darker than the one you expected.

There was an OFW in Iloilo who entrusted his savings to a Contractor, only to find out he was shortchanged while he paid full price for a home. It turned out his floor tiles were simply ceramic.

Iloilo Building Construction

Iloilo Building Construction

Do not cut corners when you build your own house. You can’t change it like a shirt when it doesn’t fit you perfectly. The way you prepare for it should reflect the way it works: It should last for generations and generations.

Work with a Professional.

Archian Designs Architect Studios is a Collaboration of Architects, Urban Planners, Interior Designers, Landscape Designers and Engineers in the Philippines. To see the contact information, email to, call 0907 7240452 or contact us.




About Archian
An Architect, Blogger and Strategic Thinker

3 Responses to The Real Cost of Building a House in the Philippines

  1. bibi says:

    this is so true…

    In europe, an construction insurance revealed 70% houses had problems, non waterporrf basement then water infiltrates walls by capillarity, roofing, etc…

    but in philippines?
    it s like the first time u land at terminal one,
    -everything is nonsense…like the pick up area at lower floor and far from exit, etc…they dont think about convenience nor put themselves in customers shoes.

    -then u see a woman calling you holding a pannel, “taxi meter” when u get ur foot into the taxi, she said 1000 pesos, u lured me with taxi meter and give me 15 times overprice?
    As u mentioned, it s the same for construction, they lure you with low price and u end up exploding ur budget.

    Filipino are also very proud people:

    -they hardly accept negative comments on their work, when they sealed iron bars every meters when raising the walls with hollowblocks, i told them it s supposed to be every 40cm or it would endanger the structure during earthquakes…he got mad and said he knows his job.

    -when they dont understand what you re saying, accent or because they dont know this technic, they will say yes to everything, and u never get what u wanted.

    for our family house i hired an architecte, for several reason, as a foreigners, prices for material exponentially raise, the architecte dealed with them and got a normal price and could even bargain for bit lower, i got a 10 years warranty, and he was young then not so expensive and it was a give and take, he added a house to his book too; he had a more modern design and technics, etc etc….

  2. Francis V says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

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