everyday with my son

Small stories of how it all went along

Archive for the tag “house construction”

House update

The house is doing just fine but not as fast as I would wish. Under normal situation the rough finish or structural is the fastest, it is almost like as fast as blinking. It is the finishing the will bore you to a long wait. But our house being constructed by Novillos Construction of Calamba Laguna is painfully slow. We started officially when we got our building permit in the early weeks of May and now is the first week of August, on its 3rd month, while they promised completion in 4 months, we are still waiting for the structure to be complete.

What I will noticed was there were only a few workers there, there are some occasion were workers were borrowed by their other site and that left our construction with a few ones.  They also don’t  have a cement mixer and instead it is just mix the old way, which of course will add to the delay. Initially, I thought it is just a small house and perhaps they will just fast tracked it in a few weeks but it did not happened. I am now starting to get worried.

Walls, columns, footings, windows and now the Roof trusses are up but electrical, plumbing, masonry has not started and also the 1st floor flooring is nothing but a muddy pile as of today, to see it very slow is a bit painful to watch.

Now there is also another issue, that I am not “in the know”, it is the status of our loan which of course will fund everything. It is being handled now by Mum and I am just told that all is OK. I am now worried to rush Novillos Construction when I don’t know when the funds will be coming.  I am trapped between rushing and having no money (yet).

One other concern I have is not having the expertise to know if all are within building standards. I just have to trust the construction company that they are telling me the truth and they are faithful to their oath as builders, and to just trust a contractor in itself is already a  scary thing and enough to make you go bonkers.

I am still hoping all will be well, and all will be done so that we can all start our life in a place that we can call Our Home.

 

 

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Groundbreaking

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Just last week we had an groundbreaking but I was not able to attend because I am sick ( I am still sick). It started with slight fever in the afternoon and a full blast diarrhea 2 days after. I got very, very weak when I got dehydrated, I can hardly stand. Sunday of 2am I was rushed to Asian Hosp. and they put IVF  in me, but 3 days after that I am better but not well and still suffering from diarrhea.

Back to the story, it was the day of our groundbreaking and it officially started the house. We are a bit anxious because we are always dreaming of what our life is going to be at the new place. We are full of nice thoughts on how we are gonna spend parties, get together, weekends etc.. and what new house fixtures and furn to buy. It is all happy times until…

This morning I visited the site and was informed by Ryan our Foreman that the neighborhood has been siege a number of times by house intruders for years. He had talked to the people there and was told about it. This kinda dampened our happy times about the house, now we gotta work around the dangers of the place and might need to add fortress like fence system to protect us. We probably have to consider to buy a gun, alarm system, CCTVs etc. Now the whole paradigm has shifted.

We thought the place was safe but I guess it was not due to the presence of Squatters on the other side of the street (though a neighborhood gate separates us), we thought since it is not far from barangay hall,  and police station it can be safe but I guess it was not.

NO choice but we just have to live around it. No way to back out now, we just gotta prepare and keep vigilant as often as we can.

Haus Construction

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We are in the first couple of weeks in our house construction. And a few of my ideas I wanted to be adopted, it is more of a long term plan and it is more on necessity than style.

Reason why I agreed to buy this house it is because it has a separate lot that I can sell when Kenzo or Liam entered college. It is more of a college fund or investment whose value will increase with inflation and by the time Kenzo or Liam is in college the selling price of the lot is hopefully equal or more than the cost of college fees. I also made the house design with the future option to sell in mind. Like the location of windows, doors, entrance and even the front setback that we can also be converted to a carport should we sell the other lot.

But it turns out not what I expected. Mum is not to keen on selling the other lot, she just let me believe that she likes my idea just to go on with the house construction. Now the house has an overhang that encroach on the other lot. Windows are above the property line, I hoped it has a setback or an allowance so we can still open our windows should we sell the other lot.

I want the house to be in line to a minimalist style where we keep only important stuff inside the house to avoid clutter, accumulation of dust and to make it easy to maintain and clean. I prefer minimalist so that in the future we wont have to be dependent on a househelp. A house where we dont have too much stuff lying around, furniture that can be easily cleaned, open spaces, less house decors (that are just a big magnet for dust). We also need to limit our clothes and stuff that we keep.

One idea that I had recently  was how Jobs and Zuck wear the same style of clothes almost always and I realized that we can do that with our bedsheets and curtains etc. Truth is we dont need a bedsheets, pillow cases that is different every month. We can just keep about 3 sets and just alternate them. Too bad I bought several sets maybe about 10-12 already when I was in the US… well, maybe I just have to sell them perhaps.

It is hard to make someone a minimalist, we have a tendency to keep things and put heavy sentimental values to our things. We like to hoard and make boxes filled with memories that we wont bother to check again,  except only when you are very sick and about to die. We tend to over-appreciate our stuff, no matter how old and useless it is, and will not let go. Problem with this it will accumulate dirt, gather dust and become a nice home for little insects and pests.

I have been trying to make mum towards this but I am hardly making a dent, but I am still pestering her and still trying.  

I dont intend to keep a househelp, I feel it is a form of slavery and I dont really feel good about it… but having a maid is ingrained in our culture and maybe there are only a few of us who wants a home or willing to live without it.

Convincing Mum to  not have a house help is the hardest thing, as I said it is already ingrained in our culture, and it is even quite unheard of to think of not having one. 

I want all the important stuff settled first before thinking of the aesthetics. I prefer to make sure the house will have strong, continuous water before thinking about the nicest shower head, toilets etc. I want the house to be solar powered so we can freely use ACs to fight humidty. I think even with the most expensive exterior paints, interior design etc will mean nothing if the house is uncomfortable and humid. I believe an ugly house with AC trumps a nice house with poor ventilation.

We are just starting with the house and issues and disagreements are coming out, our ideas clashed and a common ground is often hard to reach. Well, goodluck hope will be able to finish this and set out roots in our new house.

 

II

problem with house construction is laymen don’t have the expertise to know what is standard measurement in construction. We cannot make the computations of loads, lateral loads etc on our own. We have to get another opinion of another engineer to determine if our house is within standard.

For example: Using of a 5′ CHB instead of 6′ for external wall, I was told that since it is just a small house a 5′ will do. Now there is now way to know if that is true or the contractor is trying to save cost to increase profits.

Wall spacing of vertical rebar,  I read ,to make house stronger should be 40cm but when I asked about this they said the standard for a 2 storey house is 60cm, then again I have no way to know this.

If anyone is gonna have a house constructed it is better to detailed all the specs you prefer on your house or get a standard quote from the con\tractor and asked it upgrade the materials to make the house stronger. Increase the size of hollow blocks, if they quote that they are gonna use 4′ CHBs upgarde it to 5′. If they told you that they are gonna  use a 10mm rebar, asked them to use 12mm etc…

Contractors incentive is to quote a low price so clients will give them their business, they  then will try to cut corners to increase profit.

It is a tough position to be in especially when you just youtube and google trained kind of a handyman.

Heavy weight

We can feel the massive weight of many things and this has affected Tere mostly, these are several issues piled on top of each other and burdened all of us.

First, Kenzo’s injury. His broken arm greatly put a lot of concern on us because even with a broken arm he still continues his rowdy ways and this cause us to panic most of the time and scared us to death of another accident or re-injury. Kenzo will still actively do his stuff, as like any kid will, as if his arm is not in a cast and two metal pins are what keep his bone together.  This is one of the weight we are now carrying.

Second, house construction. we are in a process of completing our loan requirements and getting our permits. The bureaucracy  in getting permits are tough, plus the cost of each step that we need to do. You need to start with Homeowners, Developer, Brgy, City Gov’t and the seemingly endless signatories and fees just to finish each step. It is one of the saddest thing why our country is in shambles.. the red tape just to get a permit is painful and everyone wants to be paid just to get an approval. You need to prepare to give “grease money” or else they are gonna “seat on” your application to gather dust.

Third, Tere’s dad. she took the responsibility to make personal visits to his dad, but going to QC is a painful trek due to the hours just to get there. She has to save half a day for each visits which she prefers to spent to be with the kids. I offered to suggest to her to share that  responsibility  to her other siblings but according to her they won’t do it. I insisted to make them do it to her free a  bit.

Fourth, is me. Days ago lost my Zolodin and decided not to buy a new batch. So for about 10 days I stopped taking it and during that time I started to feel I am getting back to my very low energy self. This makes me a burden than someone that can help out. Good, that I found my meds and started to take them again for about 5 days now.

Fifth, Kenzo’s attitude. Since he was a baby I kept on lecturing Tere to adjust his parenting but all was for naught, because really who am I to give advices. Kenzo has turned into a spoiled cry baby and now, in our current situation his tantrums put her mum and all of us in a tough corner.

The most bad words by her mom spilled out these past few days. I feel sorry for Kenzo that he has to catch all of it, considering emotionally he is fragile. Just like me, I think he has a tendency to be depressed.

Sixth, the overall cost involved in building a house and everyday expenses.

All of these are sitting on our shoulders but mostly it was on tere. It was a tough and ugly situation we are in now. Often I would just hope tere will just leave the house so that the house will be quiet… Now I started to realized that I need to fix my estate taxes, transfer properties to my kids, finish the house, free up all businesses I handle for  Sue. Travel one more time and END IT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House buying

Few things I learned about house buying is that, if possible, all should be written or there is an existing trail. It is not enough to get an approval, agreement etc orally because people have weak memory and misunderstanding happens due to speech, tone, grammar, lack of attention span etc.

If you are dealing with a broker, it is still best to know the seller personally, visit his/her house, get his/her contact details because while processing the transfer, building permits, construction agreements and/or paying the taxes you will probably need the assistance of the owners.

One of the thing you need to be sure of before paying is to have all fees in writing that are still unpaid and it should be stated therein that other fees that are not there but are chargeable prior to sale date must be paid by the seller.

Fees like association dues, property tax, surveying, utilities etc must be declared  or  paid.

Normally buyers mainly focus on the TCT, and Real Prop taxes and when all has been paid the buyer can be surprised with other unpaid dues on the property. Of course, you have to call the broker but since brokers are paid already and the sale has been closed, the buyer now has to wait to be prioritized by the broker. After the commission brokers are not too keen on meeting, discussing with you. There demeanor will even change after the sale, before the sale they will call you Sir/Ma’am and will be respectful. on time, helpful, always available etc… but after a sale they can act busy, slow to your requests, tardy…

Same with the seller, they can act similar to the brokers after a sale which is a natural reaction as they dont have anymore incentive to do the extra work. .

Problems: house construction

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As they say, “do not celebrate until the fat lady sings.”

When we thought all of the hard part  was  over and that we are gonna start our house construction we were faced with a serious and a bit costly problem that can threaten our project to another long process or worse–non completion.

We started the project with a trip to the contractors house to discuss the design that we wished to have. Now my mindset there is to suggest a design that will fit our budget but mum has another idea (which I allowed her to follow) is to make the best design without much consideration to our budget and just let the Architect and Contractor to adjust and make a budgeted version.

I was really against this plan and I was uncomfortable with it but since I dont have  much active voice in the project I just allowed mum to have his way, I try to interject and protest  but I  will be blocked with “e di ikaw mag bayad ng loan.” , that kept my silent.

Few weeks after the design was completed it was very nice and looks way over the budget. Now the Architect assured as that the price tag of 8M was overstated for loan purposes only and they will just downgrade the finishing/ materials and fit it to our budget of 3.2M. But still even with this guarantee I was concerned, that how can you downgrade an 8M house to 3.2M, I kinda doubt it and from time to time I voiced out my fear to mum.

That assurance that the house will only cost 3.2M is a releif to us, so we proceeded to submit the plans and went to a lengthy, tedious process of a bank loan. We waited for weeks and was given a go signal.  Then we have to meet with the contractor again, to finally start the project. They will bring us the final break down of the project and it should be 3.2M, give us the contract and set to meet again to pay them, sign the contracts and build.

But when I met them, my worst fear was realized, they cannot downgrade a 8M house to 3.2M the lowest they can go is 5.1M. We paid them 60K to make those plans for our purpose but that plan is now useless and our money burnt.

The plan B left with us was to look for a contractor that can downgrade it to fit our budget or redo the whole project, pay another 60K for the design and spend another 2 months of processing it.

“it aint over till it is over.” Prior to all of this confusion mum is always giddy and almost celebrating  that we are to have our house, even if construction has not started, while I am not for I know it is still not a house until it is really finish. I am more of waiting it to finish before celebrating and now with this new development mum was quite stressed for all she thought we went over the hardest part and not knowing that all is about to get harder.

 

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