How to build a swimming pool in the Philippines

Do you plan to have a sweet swimming pool in your backyard? Or maybe rock a mini-water park for business?

Before plunging ahead, let’s toe-dip on how and where to start building a pool in the Philippines. Here are some splashes of guidelines and tips on how to go about it.

Let’s dive right into it!

Why Have a Pool?

We say, why not! There’s nothing like POOL that spells F-U-N !. Let’s roll a rundown of other reasons:


In this age of Netflix, bulging tummies, and technology take-over, a pool is an oasis to detoxify and unwind. It beckons you to come herewith, milord – feel the sun and have some outdoor lounging. Life is certainly brighter and more positive from a lounge chair, sun hat and all.

A regular swim is good for your health and physique. It is one of the best and refreshing ways to exercise and lose weight while looking super cool. Not to mention the benefits of regulated breathing that comes with this practice, especially for people suffering from asthma.

A swimming pool encourages family bonding, parties, and get-together. It is a focal place inviting everyone to create waves of memories. Plus, there goes the effortless way of herding the kids to have a proper dose of Vitamin D while being raised as strong swimmers.

Whether it’s for your family home or for your vacation house doubling as a business, a swimming pool is an investment that adds value to your property.

All-in-all, ladies and gents, life is cool by the pool.

Steps of on Building a Swimming Pool


Step 1: Rules and Guidelines

First thing – Check out your subdivision or barangay rules and guidelines for any restrictions. Hold your horses and your digging shovels just yet, amigo.

Double-check considerations like:

  • Setbacks from your property line you’re allowed to build
  • Water supply (You’ll have pool pumps which might affect the supply of your neighbors.)
  • Drainage tapping (Can your subdivision or barangay’s sewer pipes handle your pool’s wastewater when you drain?)

Step 2: List the things you would like for your pool.

Listing and compiling reference pictures (like a mood board) will help you narrow down your tons of wants.

  • Will you have it In-groundtype (they’ll dig up so your pool is below the line of your pavement) or Above-ground type (the pool basin is constructed above your pavement)?
  • How will you use your pool? This will generally dictate the shape, measurement, and depth.
  • Lapping pools usually are long, narrow, and rectangular in shape, typically 12meters long x 1.8 to 3meters wide with a recommended depth of 3.5 feet
  • A recreational pool or a small-scale water park is best for family fun. This usually comes with water features like bridges, mushrooms, slides, and the likes
  • Maybe you just fancy wading or lounging around. If so, dipping or plunge pool is for you. It is typically small and deep. Measurement could range from 2.4×2.4meters to 2.4×4.8meters, with a depth range of 4-8 feet.
  • Infinity pools (the kind where the water overflows at the edge, so it gives the illusion that it goes on or plunges yonder beyond) are best if your area has a vast landscape or great view of a mountain or body of water.
  • Natural pools are lagoon styled are usually free-form and rustic in style.
  • Then there’s the spool. It’s a combination of spa and pool.
  • In what color would you like it? The following considerations affect the color of your pool water:
  • the finish pool material (plaster, stone wash-outs, or tile)
  • the deck or pavement, and landscaping surrounding the pool
  • the amount of sunlight the pool gets
  • how deep the pool is (the deeper the pool, the darker the pool water color could look)

Step 3: Next is to have a rough plan for your pool and surrounding space.

Overwhelmed? You can always hire an architect to help you with this.

Here are some points you need to consider:

  • Plan where to place your pool. (Bearing in mind the village rules you got from Step 1, of course). Aside from the pool itself, allot space for the other requirements such as:
  • Lounging, pavement, or deck area around the pool (Do you fancy some lounging chairs? Maybe some palm landscaping or warm wooden decks?)
  • Pump House (Don’t worry about the details yet. Your architect and specialist pool contractor will guide you on the minimum space required and needed minimum distance from your pool)
  • Storage Room to keep the chemicals and equipment for maintenance

Tip: You can even have your pump house and storage room specially designed so it won’t be a standing eyesore, e.g. like a minimalist lighted cube meant to blend in with the landscape


  • Consider also if you’ll need an outdoor shower area (for washing off dirt and sand, especially if your area is by the beach)
  • What kind of pool structure you’ll go for?
  • There’s the Traditional Concrete Pool Type (It’s done by having the wet cement mixture thrown by a machine (shotcrete) to the hollow block wall and floor of your pool to form a solid compacted concrete basin)
  • Another option is the Modular Pool System which involves ready-made reinforced fiberglass panels fitted as walls of the pool then combined with concrete floor
  • And there’s the ready-made Pre-fabricated Fiberglass Basin

Step 4: Source out and set meetings with at least 3 pool contractor specialists. 

Arm yourself with your hopes, dreams and information gathered from the previous steps. It would be a good diving board to start the discussion.

What to talk through with the pool specialist guys:

  • What is their expertise? Is traditional concrete type methodology their specialty or the pre-fabricated modular system?
  • Show them the proposed area for the pool. Actual site conditions will be inspected (like the softness of the soil). It will determine their recommendation for methodology and package cost proposal.
  • Probe on their previous completed projects and request for reference clients you can check on.
  • What maintenance and aftersales services do they offer?
  • Request for a quotation. Pool specialist will offer you their price packages with detailed scopes such as the materials and equipment that they would use.
  • Don’t be shy to ask for details like the brand of pumps and filters, the maintenance it requires, and the package that is most suitable for your budget, design requirements, and your site.


A general breakdown of work are:

  • The structure and general finish of the pool
  • The filtration and pumping equipment
  • The plumbing system (water supply and drainage)
  • The electrical work (underwater lights etc.)
  • Additional work such as landscaping and hardscaping (general term for outdoor elements like pavement, decks, benches, etc.)

If you hired an architect, they could assist you in this stage of getting and reviewing proposals from the pool contractors.

Step 5: Pre-construction Work Preparation

Once the contract is finalized with your chosen contractor, double-check this checklist of deliverables as preparation for the construction.

  • Signed and sealed detailed drawings or blueprints for permit and construction, usually part of the deliverables of the contractor
  • Actual samples of the finishes that would be used must be submitted for your stamp of approval (like the tiles, pavers, lights, etc.)
  • Schedule of construction including when to purchase/deliver materials that you might have chosen to supply (called Owner-supplied materials or OSM) must be given by the Project Manager
  • Get the contact details of the Contractor’s Project Manager. He or she will be your new best bud.
  • Arrangement of a temporary facility for the workers (where the construction materials will be stored and where the workers will sleep if they are arranged to stay-in)

Step 6: Procure Subdivision, Barangay, and Municipal Permit

This scope can be included with the contractor, should you opt to lessen the headache of the legwork involved.

Step 7: Construction Time!

A regular site visit and close communication with the project manager is a must to assure that everything goes according to plan.

Don’t forget to get hard copies of weekly accomplishment reports. Everything is best carried out in black and white, especially when it comes to billings.

Step 8: Completion and Turn-over

Before you do an epic cannonball jump into your sparkling new pool, check this out first:

  • Request for the As-built Plans (overall blueprint plan on how your pool was made) and Operational Manual (showing schematics on installed parts and how they are connected)
  • Request for a demonstration on Maintenance, Cleaning, and Chemical handling
  • Confirm warranty periods on pools structure, material finishes (like the tiles, pavers, etc.), and equipment (like the filters, pumps, etc.)

Step 9: Breathe out and enjoy!

You can now do your epic cannonball jump. A sensible, mellow dipping will also do.


Where can I hire a swimming pool contractor?

Here are some swimming pool specialist contacts you can tap:

Ace Pools, Inc.
Address: G/F Nassons Bldg. 8467 West Service Road, Paranaque City
Contact: (+632) 215 7984 | (+632) 551 8094
Instagram: AcePoolsInc
Fb: AcePoolsIncPh

Address: 8893 Sampaloc Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City
Contact: (+632) 8890 7471 | (+632) 8890 7469 | (+632) 8899 5664
Email:  |
Fb: NFS Swimming Pool

PoolWorld Philippines, Inc.
Address: Ground Floor IPark Building, Masiwa Road, Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
Contact: (+32) 495 2367 | (+632) 995 085 4084
Fb: poolworld.philippines

RePTITe Industries
Address: 71-C Lupo Diaz St.Bo. Obrero, Davao City
Contact: (+632) 918 911 2745 |  (+632) 922 813 0916 | (+632) 977 815 5384
Fb: RePTITeIndust

Avalon Pools | EPG Construction Inc
Address: 13 Central Avenue, Culiat, Quezon City
Contact: (+02) 924 0769 |  (+02) 921 6477


What is the Cost of Building a Swimming Pool in the Philippines?

Getting a permit from a subdivision can run from P 5,000 to P10,000 depending on your Home Owner’s Association rules. Municipal permit can run from P20,000 to P45,000.

Traditional concrete pool construction packages cost around P50,000.00 to 60,000.00  per sqm.

Modular or Pre-fabricated Fiberglass Pool System prices depend on its shape and measurements. Check-out this supplier’s website to get an idea of how much it would cost:

It’s still best to get a proper cost-detailed estimate with a contractor since cost packages will also vary depending on your chosen filtration and pump equipment.

Have a good discussion with your pool specialist so you can balance what you require for your pool while staying within your budget.


How can I be sure that a contractor is reliable? 

Spare yourself from a stressful, wet, and wild experience during your pool construction. You deserve an expert.

The idea is to form a squad goal with your pool specialist contractor that would last beyond the construction period. With their guidance on proper maintenance, your pool baby will be well taken care of.

The ever- advantage of hiring a reliable contractor is the peace of mind that they will not vanish in the middle of the construction. That’s a thousand percent hurtful than a belly flop.


Here are some signs that you are dealing with the right one:

  • Provided a copy of their business/mayor’s permits and license (DTI or SEC Registration), VAT Registration, and bank reference details
  • Visited and inspected the actual site and give proper, knowledgeable recommendations to suit your budget and design requirements
  • Able to give past project clients as a reference


What Are the Options for Pool Material Finishes?

Here’s a quick dish-out of the usuals:

  • Plaster Finish
  • Inexpensive
  • Smooth, classic look especially if you’re going for the Mediterranean ambiance (Imagine Santorini, Greece)
  • Could require a lot of maintenance
  • Could last 7-10 years, a bit on the short lifespan side
  • Aggregate (Pebble, Gemstones, Glass beads, Natural Stones like Marble and Colored Quartz ) Wash-out Finish
  • Created by mixing cement-based, pigmented plaster with aggregates
  • It is applied by hand, polished or exposed using a power washer
  • A longer lifespan compared to a plaster finish, could last 30 years with proper care
  • Tile or Mosaic Finish
  • Can come as Ceramic, Porcelain, Natural Stone or Glass
  • Best finish option maintenance-wise (could last for a long, long time & easier to clean)
  • Wide-range of color possibilities
  • Most expensive option


How can I make my Swimming Pool Safe?

  •       Install a removable pool fence as a safety barrier
  •       Install a pool alarm that would alert when there is unauthorized access to the swimming pool, especially needed when you have kids going about
  •       Install pool safety net or cover that is strong enough to hold the weight of 2 adults and a child
  •       Always lock the storage room where chemicals and cleaning materials are kept
  •       Have the do’s and don’ts reminders by the pool with emergency contact numbers


Instant Fun! Just Add Water


Ready now to take the deep dive and build your dream pool? Hope the above guidelines and swimming puns served you righteously.


With the right planning and hiring the right team, building your dream pool will go swimmingly well! Til next time, stay cool!



Top 20 Contractors in Davao

Do you have a construction project coming up in Davao? Maybe it’s your dream home.

Or maybe your office assigned you a big task like a commercial building, a warehouse, or a factory. 

Regardless, check out our list of the top 20 best contractors in Davao.

Constantin Design & Build

Constantin Design & Build is a one-stop-shop for construction, design, and renovation. They can do both luxury designs and cost-efficient works. They also innovate and take on projects that keep up with the modern and changing times. For instance, they can build systems to make your home more energy-efficient and cool during hot summer afternoons.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • CHATEAU DE BOUDREAULT – 6-bedroom house with a gym and swimming pool.
  • HOUSE CAROLINE – a small and cozy house with industrial-inspired design.
  • CASA ALEXANDRIA – a unique 5-story house with 5 bedrooms, garage, and an infinity pool at the 4th level. This is also the company’s headquarters. They use CASA ALEXANDRIA to showcase the company’s capability in creating world-class designs, construction, and property maintenance.
  • SAMAL CITY – a small but modern commercial building.


Contact Details
Address: Blk. 10 Lot 5, Phase 1, Villena St, Las Terrazas Subd., Maa, Davao City 8000
Landline and Fax: +63 082 – 227 – 5001
Mobile: +63 998 – 962 – 0887 (SMART) +63 917 – 509 – 2017 (GLOBE)
FB: Constantin Design & Build

Ulticon Builders, Inc.

Ulticon Builders, Inc. is a Quadruple A general contractor. That is the highest rating from the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board or PCAB. Their expertise is in roads, highways, piers, bridges, and irrigation projects. They also do building constructions. If you work for a company or a government agency in Davao or nearby areas and you were assigned to a big construction project, get in touch with Ulticon Builders.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Sayre Pinadtalan Road
  • Puntian Road Bukidnon
  • Esperanza Bridge
  • Aglayan Zamboanguita Road – Phase 3 and 8


Contact Details
Address: Don Julian Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Ulticon Builders Compound, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines, 8000
Landline: +63 82 282 0280
FB: Ulticon Builders - Home | Facebook

A N Escalante Construction, Inc

The official website of A N Escalante Construction, Inc. looks simple and quite basic. It feels like a mom-and-pop construction company next door. That is until you see their portfolio of finished and ongoing projects. It includes commercial and residential buildings, hospitals, road works, a condo by Ayala, and a beach club just to name a few. A N Escalante Construction, Inc. is actually a Category A PCAB contractor focused on buildings and special electrical works.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Tagum Medical City
  • LPU Town Davao
  • Underground utilities for Roads 2, 6, 7 and 11
  • Samal Shores Beach Club
  • Patio Suites Condo at Abreeza Ayala Business Park in Davao


Contact Details
Address: ANECI Building, Nacilla Village, Buca, Maa, 8000 Goyenko Drive Talomo, Davao City Davao del Sur Philippines
Landline: (082) 244 1280 / (082) 244 1820 / (082) 244 1870
Mobile: 09190769577
FB: AN Escalante Construction, Inc.

AE Botuyan Construction & Structural Consultancy, Inc. (AEBI)

AEBI is an engineering and consultancy firm with projects all over Davao and nearby municipalities. They can build small to medium-sized houses up to large-scale construction projects from the government or private companies. They also do structural and foundation design, soil exploration, soil evaluation for use construction materials, retrofitting, and construction management.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Medium-sized Home in Davao
  • Malta Medical Center in Davao Del Sur
  • Marco Polo Lotus Court Restaurant
  • Davao City Water District – Reservoir and Tunnel
  • Holcim Cement Davao Plant


Contact Details
Address: B&L Bldg., Beside Davao River Bridge, Diversion Road Davao City Philippines
Landline: (082) 241 - 2886
Mobile: 0917-719-9374
FB: AEBI - AE Botuyan Construction and Structural Consultancy, Inc.

G. Santos Construction

When it comes to hiring a contractor, should you only look at companies and construction businesses? How about a single proprietor contractor? Don’t underestimate them. Just look at O.G. Santos Construction, a single proprietor business owned by Engr. Oliver G. Santos. He has been in the industry since 1975. O.G. Santos Construction has worked on banks, bridges, buildings, flood control, roads, schools, and even a slope protection project.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Renovations for several branches of BPI Family Savings Bank and UCBP in Davao and Cagayan de Oro
  • Gandiangan and Suluan Bridges in Zamboanga
  • GSIS Office Building in Davao City
  • Bacalan Flood Control in Zamboanga


Contact Details
Address: Lot 9, Block 10, Pioneer Ave., Pioneer Village, Davao City, Philippines 8000
Mobile: 0928-504-5282 / 0918-456-8798
FB: OG Santos Construction

EEI Corporation

One of the largest construction companies in the country, EEI Corporation has been listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange since 1975. They have projects all over the Philippines and even a few abroad. If you work for a company or a government agency in Davao assigned to a large construction project, such as an office building, thermal plant, warehouse, roads, bridges, or factories, call EEI. It is no surprise that they have the highest rating in PCAB (AAAA).


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Malayan Colleges Mindanao (a Mapua School) in General Douglas Macarthur Highway, Talomo, MA-A Davao City.
  • MRT-7 to connect Quezon City and Bulacan.
  • Thermal Visayas Energy Project in Toledo, Cebu.


Contact Details
Davao Office Address: Goldwin Building, Door #5, 2nd Floor, Elpidio Quirino Ave, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Landline: (082) 224 1332
FB: EEI Corporation Davao Satellite Office


ESBE Industrial Builders & Contractors Corporation


The specialty of ESBE Industrial Builders & Contractors Corporation is construction for industrial buildings, steel fabrication, installing mechanical equipment, and supplying manpower to maintain your plant. The main office is in Central Luzon, but they have an office in Davao and projects in many parts of the country. You can also hire them if you need heavy equipment like air compressors, compactors, boom truck, low-bed trailers, cargo truck, dump truck, or a rough terrain crane.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Drainage system for a food company in Davao.
  • Steep tanks and a corn in-take line building for a food company in Maguindanao.
  • Admin office, walkway, and elevator for a real estate company in General Santos City.


Contact Details
Address: Km. 17, Ilang, Davao City, Davao Del Sur, 8000 Philippines
Landline: (082) 238-0342
Fax: (082) 238-0889
Mobile: 09753959442
FB: ESBE Industrial Builders & Contractors Corp.

Filmix Concrete Industries, Inc.

The expertise of Filmix Concrete Industries, Inc. is building and operating batching plants that produce premium and ready-mix concrete. Filmix Concrete Industries, Inc. is a large-scale operation with several projects in its portfolio. The main office is in General Santos City but they have offices in Davao City, Digos, Koronadal, Butuan, and Cagayan de Oro. They have many projects in each location.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

Davao Projects

  • Aeon Towers Condo
  • Gaisano Mall of Toril
  • Star Oil Gas Station


Digos City Projects

  • Fafa Doodz Motel Inn
  • BCS Credit Cooperative, Matanao


Contact Details
Address: Purok 26, Riverside, Barangay Maa, Davao City 8000
Landline: (083) 552 7782
Mobile: +63910-892-3407
FB: Filmix Concrete Industries Incorporated - Home | Facebook

MNE Toledo Construction Services

MNE Toledo Construction Services is a design and build contractor that can handle a range of projects from small houses, condo and home renovations, restaurants, apartment and commercial buildings, and bridges. They prioritize the comfort of the people who will live or use these structures. The goal is total satisfaction for the end-user.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Indian Restaurant in Davao
  • Condo Renovation in Davao
  • Full House Renovation in Davao
  • Bridge Construction in Compostela Valley
  • 2-storey Commercial Building in Davao
  • 4-storey Apartment in Davao


Contact Details
Address: No. 87 Watusi Street Buhangin, Davao City, Philippines
Email: /
Landline: (082) 286-0034 or (082) 225-2647
Mobile: 0907 875 1515
FB: MNE Toledo Construction Services

AAA Rock Construction Corporation 

AAA Rock Construction Corporation is an engineering and construction business that also offers architectural and interior design, heavy equipment rentals, and conduct training courses through the Davao Rock Training Academy. The training academy is impressive and makes them stand out from all other contractors in Davao. The training academy helps both their employees and ordinary people to develop new skills to create additional sources of income for themselves. They even offer TESDA Accredited Courses.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Kembali Coast exclusive residential seaside resort in Davao
  • Dasureco office building, a non-profit electric COOP in Digos City, Davao
  • Plaza Azalea exclusive seaside community in Davao


Contact Details
Address: Davao Rock Bldg. Lacson St., Obrero Davao City, 8000 Philippines
Landline: (082) 227 5187
Email:  0920 945 5631
FB:  AAA ROCK Construction Corporation formerly DAVAO ROCK Mixer Enterprises

R2R Construction

The expertise of R2R Construction is the design and construction of sanitary landfills and wastewater treatment facilities. For sanitary landfills, their goal is to keep the waste isolated until it has completely degraded. When it is already 100% safe, the landfills are converted to parks and natural areas. They also do environmental consulting services through the Ridge-to-Reef organization. They even have a small online shop that offers eco-friendly products to help save the environment and support their cause.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Mati City Landfill in Davao Oriental
  • Pigcawayan Sanitary Landfill in Cotabato
  • Midsayap Sanitary Landfill in Cotabato


Contact Details
Address: 948 Nidea Sobrecarey St. Obrero, Davao City, 8000 Philippines
Mobile: +63-917-721-2272
Landline: (082) 244 6193
FB: Ridge to Reef, Incorporated

RAFEMA Air-conditioning and General Services

You might think that RAFEMA Air-conditioning and General Services is only an air-conditioning and maintenance business. However, they also do phone and data network installation for your home or business. They install generator sets. They do general contractor work for electrical, construction, plumbing, and renovations. They even have large projects like working on all the cell sites of Globe in Mindanao. Despite their business name and a simple company website, their portfolio of clients speaks for itself.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • All the cell sites of Globe in Mindanao
  • Megavia Corporation in Davao and Cotabato
  • MSI – ECS electronics company in Davao
  • Great Albacore Distribution Inc. retail company in Davao


Contact Details
Address: Iñigo Street, Bgy. Paciano Bangoy, Davao City, Philippines
​MOBILE: 0919-2476-110 / 0955-548-8253 / 0915-514-6637
​LANDLINE: (082) 224-6214
FB: Rafema Air conditioning & Gen.Services Surigao City branch

Stone Depot

Do you need to remodel your kitchen or bathroom? How about replacing your tiles with granite, marble, or quartz? Would you like to add an island kitchen couter? Stone Depot is the perfect contractor for this service. They specialize in the fabricated installation of granite, marble, and quartz. There are advantages to working with a small company like Stone Depot. They take care of their clients personally. The bosses of the company are on the field to handle any situations or challenges that may arise.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • White engineered quartz island counter and kitchen in Davao
  • Black granite kitchen and island counter in Davao
  • Black engineered quarts kitchen in Cagayan de Oro
  • White and black engineered quartz kitchen counter in Bukidnon


Contact Details
Address: Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City 8000 Philippines
Landline: +63 82 327 2682
Mobile: 0945 332 1948
FB: Stone Depot

Chembond Industrial Supply, Inc.

Chembond Industrial Supply, Inc. is a specialty contractor that offers a wide variety of industrial services for your business or home. Services include waterproofing, concrete repair, retrofitting, industrial floor coating, and concrete coring. general engineering services like the construction of an entire house or building, which means they are not solely a specialty contractor.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Waterproofing for a building in Davao
  • Epoxy pressurized cracked injection for a Davao building
  • EIFS cladding installation for a hotel and condo in Davao
  • Waterproofing for a Davao warehouse
  • Construction of a 3-story residential building in Davao


Contact Details
Address: Jota Manilena St., Near Poly Subd., and Lanzona Subd., Brgy. Matina-Aplaya, Talomo Davao City, Davao Del Sur
Telefax No.: 082 285 0206
Mobile: 0963 940 9006 / 0917 705 5264 / 0932 888 1433
FB: Chembond Industrial Supply, Inc.

Argus Builders

For a company that is only 8 years old, Argus Builders have a lot of notable clients and projects in both the private and government sector. Even their very first client is impressive, a 25-room hotel suite in Davao. Their services include preconstruction, design, build, and project management services. They also do swimming pool and pond construction, water waste management, and heavy equipment rentals.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Malagos Garden Resort’s Viewdeck Café in Davao
  • Malagos Garden Resort’s Honeymoon Suite in Davao
  • A family villa in Davao
  • Lanang Premiere Davao Hospital Inc. – Coffee Shop
  • Lanang Premiere Davao Hospital Inc. – Private Suite


Eco-Tourism Projects in Davao

  • Pusan Point Science Discovery Center,
  • Mt. Hamiguitan Natural Science Museum
  • Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park


Contact Details
Address: Door 2, Puentespina Cmpd. Bolcan St., Agdao, Davao City Davao del Sur, Philippines 8000
Landline: (+6382) 222-3203
Mobile: +63 917 626 7175

Rigor and Associates Consolidated

The specialty of Rigor and Associates Consolidated is architectural and engineering design, construction, and renovation of small to medium-sized homes. They create beautiful houses at a reasonable price. They also do transportation and urban planning services.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • 2-story residential home in Toril, Davao with an Asian Tropical Modern design
  • Renovation of a 4-decade house in Davao into a very modern and energy-efficient home
  • 2-story 3-bedroom home with Mediterranean Architecture in Puan, Davao


Contact Details
Address: 11-A Narra street, 8000 Ma-A, Davao City, Philippines
Landline: (+6332) 414-6380
Mobile: +63 977 803 7922
FB:  Rigor and Associates Consolidated

CC Nicolas Pool & Spa Builder

Did you ever dream of having a swimming pool in your own home? How about building a private pool for rent as an added source of income? Turn that dream into a reality by contacting CC Nicolas Pool & Spa Builder. They are one of the top swimming pool contractors in Davao. They build, maintain, and repair all types of swimming pools and special water features.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • A seaside resort in Davao Oriental
  • Several residential pools in Davao
  • Specialty swimming pool and kiddie pool for an exclusive seaside community in Samal, Davao
  • Swimming pool for a Davao subdivision


Contact Details
Address: Jereza subdivision, Rambutan st, Bajada Flyover, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
​LANDLINE:  (082) 333 3070
FB: CC Nicolas Pool & Spa Builder

JCC Construction & Design

JCC Construction and Design is a full-service general engineering contractor that offers construction, repairs, renovation, structural analysis, consulting, and management. Their clients range from typical residential homes to construction works for resorts and commercial buildings. They build high-quality and beautiful homes at an affordable price.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • 3-storey house in Obrero, Davao
  • Perimeter fence for a subdivision in Davao
  • Foundation for a satellite station in Davao
  • 2-storey house for a subdivision in Davao


Contact Details
Address: Mabini St., Davao City, Philippines, 8000
​Mobile: 0945 445 4153
FB: JCC Construction & Design

MB Construction Davao or Max Build Construction Services

MB Construction is a full-service general contractor with a specialty in building small houses and working with specialty metal structures. They can make a container house for less than Php 200,000. They work on residential homes (full construction or renovation), government buildings, churches, balcony railings, gates, and other special structures. They also offer water drilling and treatment, glass aluminum, metal fabrication, air-con and CCTV installation, landscaping, plumbing, and electrical.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Government training camp and isolation facilities in Davao
  • Church in Bangkal, Davao City
  • Container housing project in Digos City, Zamboanga, and Bukidnon
  • Smal pre-fab housing in Catalunan Grande, Davao


Contact Details
Address: Quimpo Boulevard Davao City, Philippines, 8000
​Mobile: 0997 601 5162
FB: MB Construction- Davao

RJ Builders General Contractor

The RJ Builders General Contractor is a full-service construction and engineering firm that do a wide variety of projects including several residential homes, offices, quarrying and equipment, housing, land development, and government projects. They have a lot of projects in Davao, but their portfolio is nationwide. They create beautiful and modern homes that will make your house stand out from the neighborhood.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Several house constructions in Davao
  • Several house renovations and interior designs in Davao
  • Interior office fit-out in Davao and Alabang
  • Government road in South Luzon


Contact Details
Address: Unit No: R2, Valgosons Corporate Center Arellano Street Poblacion District, Davao City 8000 Davao del Sur Philippines
Mobile: 0918 652 3824
FB: RJ Builders General Contractor



How to renovate your bathroom in the Philippines

Image Credit: CMBuilders

You are thinking of renovating your bathroom into that wonderful heaven you always dream of having.

But where to start? How to go about it?

Get ready as we shower out some tips, guidelines, and few unwelcome bathroom puns for you.

Image Credit: CMBuilders

Why It is Time to Renovate your Bathroom

The Toilet and Bath is the most used room of the house.

Here are reasons that might make you decide to finally renovate your bathroom:

    • Have you been ignoring that moldy ceiling and passing it off as art?
    • Is your plumber already on your favorite contact list?
    • Maybe it’s time for a one-time overhaul instead of recurring quick patches.
    • Have you been scouting for a water heater for your bath to retire your trusty ‘takore’?
    • Dreaming of a cool rainshower?

Replacing old fixtures for more efficient and sustainable models can be a good investment by saving you money on utilities in the long run.

Image Credit: Homelockers

The bathroom is a good breeding ground for bacteria.

Changing the material for your floor, walls, and ceiling that is easy to maintain is a point to a healthy lifestyle.

Tips and steps for Bathroom Renovation

Step 1

Let’s identify spaces in your bathroom first.

A toilet is where your water closet is (toilet bowl), while the bath is for your shower or bathtub.

Powder Room or Half-Bath is a room with a toilet and lavatory (sink) only.

So, here we go.

First stop – have an idea of what design you are going for.

Go ahead. Make that Pinterest album.

What would be your color scheme? You’ll be swimming with ideas.

Decide on the style and baby, and stick with it.

Image Credit: CMBuilders


If your space is small, you might want to go for a light color scheme like white and beige for a brighter ambiance.

Dark colors will make your space cozier and tighter.

Step 2

List down the changes you would like your bathroom to undergo and the budget you are ready for.

Here’s some checklist you may want to run over:

  • Are you looking at making your bathroom bigger?

Look around the adjacent space, is there room for expansion?

  • Are you going to do a re-layout?

If you do, this might entail changing your plumbing line.

Might as well if that clog keeps on bugging you like a stinky zombie that keeps on rising back from the dead.

Your floor and wall materials will also need changing after.

  • For shower enclosures, here are some options:
    • Tempered glass (usually comes in 10mm thickness, 180cm in height)
    • Fiberglass or acrylic type (they can come in pre-fabricated box type, ready for installation including floor basin)
    • Shower curtain
    • Wall Niches

Do you fancy that built-in shelves that recess into the wall?

It’s either you chipped an existing thick wall (checked that you won’t chip any columns).

Build-up/ board-up your existing wall.

  • GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) socket for convenience outlets (including water heater) for safety.

It’s a must for indoor wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

  • Have concealed cabinets or open shelves for storage of
    • extra towels
    • bathrobes
    • toilet papers
    • soaps, and what-nots
  • If you have space, maybe provide a cabinet to conceal cleaning materials like
    • squeezy mops
    • toilet brushes
    • bottles of muriatic

Here’s a run-down of usual bathroom items, fixtures, and accessories:

  • Water Closet (toilet bowl)
  • Bidet
  • Lavatory or Wash Basin
    • Above counter lavatory type
    • Under counter type
    • Vanity sink – if you have a counter or shelves or cabinets around it to place ‘abubots’
  • Mirror (including that small, retractable shaving mirror)
  • Lavatory Faucet
  • Shower fixture
    • Telephone type
    • Wall-mounted shower
    • Rainshower – you know, the cool one mounted on the ceiling
  • Water Heater
    • Single point or multipoint water heater?-
  • Toilet Paper holder
  • Bath Towel Bar (comes in 30 cm, 60 cm, or 120cm)
  • Robe Hooks
  • Soapdish shelves or bathroom caddies
  • Exhaust Fan!
    • ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted
credit: top-notch construction

Not only to suck out that funky smell but to bring out the moisture, especially from the shower area.

Without it – “ Welcome molds- raise your family here – in our bathroom.”

Step 3

Sketch the space you currently have.

Bring out your meter tape and take the overall measurement (use the mm or cm, henny).

Take note of the length, width, and ceiling height.

It will be your canvass to sketch things you want to change in your bathroom.

Take note where the following are:

    • existing plumbing provisions for drains and
    • water lines (the holes letting fresh water in and dirties out) 
    • electrical tapping point for your water heater and exhaust fan.

Step 4

To finalize your plan and design, you can go with either:

  • Hire or consult for design and cost estimate proposal

    • an interior designer 
    • an architect
  • Hire a “design and build” contractor
    • they have in-house designers
    • they can do construction proposals
    • they can design

If you decide to take on the design challenge, you need to prepare for:

  • Plans
    • Wall ‘Elevation’ Views 
      • this plan shows the wall when you are facing them
      • it would give you the mounting height of items  measured from the floor
    • Ceiling View Plan 
      • it’s the layout when you look up your ceiling
    • Top View

Consider the sizes of the fixtures vs. your space before buying anything.

Lay it all out with the measurements.

You’ll feel like going down the drain if that newly purchased lavatory doesn’t fit.

The shower area must at least clear 90 cm wide so a single person can move freely

The front of your toilet bowl must be at least 60 cm away from your wall and 37.5-45 cm side edge to sidewall

Floor separation for your shower area could be via ‘zacalo’ (10cm high concrete barrier) or a floor step down (at least 5cm)

  • Finishes
    • Floor
    • Toilet Wall Finish
    • Shower Wall Finish
credit: cmbuilders


Want to have that clean, minimal look for your bathroom?

Try to use the same style or/and color for the floor and wall tiles.

Especially good if it’s in full-length from floor to ceiling.

Works nicely on small bathrooms.

  • Ceiling – use moisture resistant board in semi-gloss paint finish for easier maintenance
  • Sanitary fixtures (like the faucets and showers) – one color and material for all will be more coherent.

It usually comes in stainless steel.

Colors and finishes are available in chrome (the shiny, glossy silver kind), satin (the matte finish), black, gold, and copper

Window shop on Home Depots.

Feel free to walk around and touch samples, check out the measurements and sizes

Re-measure everything before purchasing.

It’s also helpful to mark your actual bathroom with masking tape and markers.

It will help you visualize the sizes and distances.

Planning is the whole difference between stinking or sliving! this bathroom project.

Step 5

Prepare your cost estimate and bill of materials.

For the cost estimate, it’s helpful to picture the scope of work in 2 parts:

  • the insides (pipe and wire roughing-ins)
  • the outside (the finishes)

Each scope of work will be cost-out in material supply and labor.

Here’s a basic lineup for reference:

  • Preliminaries / Mobilization – items to prepare before starting like
    • permits
    • area board-ups
    • transportation
    • deliveries fees
    • tools
    • cleaning, etc.
  • Site Works
    • items like digging, demolition of walls, dismantling of existing fixtures, etc.
  • Plumbing work 
    • laying of drain and waterline pipes called roughing-ins including fixture and accessories installations
  • Waterproofing
    • Trust, don’t go tiling without this coating or urine trouble, especially if your bathroom is on the upper floors.


Pro-plumbers swear by the effectiveness of the brand Thoroseal, available in Home Depots or hardware stores

  • Electrical Work
    • water heater & exhaust fan
    • GFCI convenience outlets
    • accent lights
    • wiring and installation
credit: top notch construction
  • Finishes
    • floor, wall, ceiling finishes like tiling and painting
  • Doors and Glass enclosures
  • Cabinetries

Step 6

Now it’s time to find a contractor to do your renovation.

It is best practice to have at least three cost proposals (or bidding).

Prepare your plans & material finishes for the briefing.

If you hired an interior designer or an architect, they could assist you in this stage of requesting and reviewing proposals from the contractors.

If the bathroom is small, you have the option to hire a trusty group of workers (plumber, mason/tiler, carpenter, electrician).

Just be ready to give a lot of your time to supervise, check work, monitor cost, and buy materials – the whole shebang.

You can have it via ‘pakyawan’ – all-in labor cost to do the listed work for an agreed timetable period.

Be ready to check the quality of work for this.

Or you can have it ‘arawan’- paying the workers’ daily wage.

Be ready to monitor progress regularly.

Step 7

Construction Time! 

If you opted to hire a contractor, it is supposed to be less stressful for you.

Get your contractor project manager’s contact for coordination.

It is always best to do regular site inspections and meetings, along with your designer.

Request for a timetable of the construction and be mindful of the dates on when they will need the items you decided to supply, like your fixtures, should be delivered.

If you opted to hire a group of workers, best to stay hands-on with progress.

credit: cmbuilders


Test that drainage and water line for leaks before it’s buried in cement.

Remember the waterproofing?

After its coating dries up on your cement, flood-testing is a standard practice to make sure that there are no leaks.

So they will flood your floor and it will stay that way for 24 hours.

Step 8

Time for that Project Turn-over

Make your final punch list (list of items that need to be fixed) when things are around 80% done.

There should be no back jobs but in case there is, a reliable contractor gives a 1-year warranty to fix it.


Where can I hire a bathroom contractor?

You can hire a general or design & build contractor who specializes in residential interior finishing work.

Here are some contacts you can tap:

Conmech Construction and Development Corporation

    • 132 FSA Corporate Plaza, San Francisco St.
      Mandaluyong City 1500
    • Contact:  (+632) 8534-6823

Mundo Design + Build

    • 2nd Floor, UPRC III Building,
    • 2289 Chino Roces Ave.,
    • Pasong Tamo Ext. , Makati City
    • Contact: (02) 8-MUNDO-8

Saltbox Design Group, Inc.

    • Kingsville Executive Village, Antipolo City
    • Contact: 0917 520 0170

DKA Studio

    • dkastudioph
    • Pasig City
    • Contact: 0915 177 6630

Tokyo Grand Renovation Inc.

How can I be sure that a contractor is reliable? 

The advantage of hiring a reliable contractor for your renovation is the peace of mind that they would finish the project.

Here are some signs that you are dealing with the right one:

  • provided a copy of their
    • business/mayor’s permits
    • license (DTI or SEC Registration)
    • VAT Registration
    • bank reference details
  • before submitting a cost proposal
    • visited and inspected the actual site
    • studied the plans and material documents
    • asked questions or clarifications about the design (and maybe, gave some recommendations)
  • able to give past project client as a reference

If ever you opted to go for a group of workers, best that they come from a reliable recommendation.

Better also to check out their past projects.

How can I avoid being scammed?

  • Research your contractor.
    • Can’t stress enough the advantage of a good reference from past clients.
  • Meet them for a site visit.
    • Request for a copy of their company profile, portfolio, business permits, and licenses.
    • Don’t be shy to ask the right probing questions.
  • Arrange payment schedule base on the standard terms.
    • Downpayment is usually 30% of the total cost.
    • The 60% are via progress billings. 1
    • 0% retention fee (or warranty) is a standard in the construction industry.
  • Make sure you have a tight contract.
    • Have it notarized.
    • Review all the details before issuing the downpayment and Notice to Proceed.

What is the cost of renovating a 10 sqm bathroom?

The cost of a bathroom renovation depends on the extent of work to be done, existing conditions, finishes, and fixtures.

You can use the average cost of P25,000.00-35,000.00/sqm to get a ballpark.

credit: top notch construction

It’s still best to get a proper cost-detailed estimate so you can stay within your budget.

You can play with your finishes and fixtures choices if ever you need to adjust costs.

Where Can I Source Out Material Finishes Good for My Bathroom?

So you decided to supply the finishes like tiles, fixtures like toilet bowl and lighting.

Feel free to walk around home depots to canvass and feel the materials.

They are also available online. There’s Wilcon, CW Home Depot, MC Home Depot, Citi Hardware.

Go window shop!


You are ready to flip that bathroom?

With proper planning, research, and the right project partners, you’ll slay it.

Have fun and enjoy the process.

Imagine how gratifying taking a hot, relaxing shower in that gorgeous, sweet-heavenly, squeaky clean box of a dream.









The Complete Guide for Floor Tiles in the Philippines

You went merrily away to pick that new floor tile for your home project.

But, surprise – surprise, there are so many daunting options (…whether you go to your local Wilcon depot or browse on another Lazada sale). 

So the issue is, how do you choose the right one for your room, style, and budget?

Let’s narrow down those choices.

Check out these guidelines on commonly available tiles in the Philippines.

Image Credit: Philstar

Things You Should Consider in Choosing Floor Tiles for Your Home

Tiles are one of the easiest to maintain, versatile, and durable materials for the floor finish.

But what things you should consider in choosing one?


Is the area indoor or outdoor?

Tiles meant for outdoor are thicker (10-50mm) and rougher in texture (meant to ride out the elements, rain, sunlight, humidity). 

It is usually made with cement (like paver tiles), clay (like that earthy Vigan tiles), or porcelain.

You can also use ceramic types outside.

Be mindful of thinner ones that tend to crack easily.



What is the function of the room you’re changing your tile for? 

Is it for a kitchen or bathroom?

Areas for utility are preferably easy to clean (you’ll be regularly brushing or mopping it, Cinderelly), heavy-duty, and non-skid (meaning, not slippery like on the shower area).

Tiles have grade classification that is based on thickness and quality.

The thicker it is, the more heavy-duty it is.

Is it going to be walked on by several people?

Better to find the thicker ones (at least 10mm in thickness).

One more property to check is the skid resistance (how slippery it is).

It usually has the following category:

  • Very slippery – This is very polished, glossy, and reflective (you can see your blurry image in it. This is good for flooring that is not usually walk-on like a shrine or platform for displays.
  • Average skid resistance – Some polished tiles are honed or have their shiny coating scraped off. They have a matte finish. Honed tiles can still be slippery when wet, though.
  • Good skid resistance
  • Excellent skid resistance – They are sometimes called non-skid tiles. They are usually in a matte finish and more on the rough side texture. Best for bathroom floors.


PRO Tip: Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret. You can always ask the seller the material specification of the tile. It’s like a manual that gives all the information about the product. 



A quick guide for floor tiles slip ratings. Image Credit: TileMountain



What are the color scheme and design of the room?

The floor contributes to the overall ambiance of an area. 

Do you want it to be part of the subtle background to make a room feature wall or bold color of your furniture stand out? 

Or do you want it to be the main thing to pop up like the delicious pattern of Machuca tiles?

Do you fancy a pink-themed bathroom? Image Credit: Houzz



What is your budget?

Do an estimate for the material and labor cost of your project.

You can usually adjust by changing the tile material (the cement adhesive, grout, and labor are more or less fixed price).


Types of Floor Tiles

There are literally hundreds of types/variations of tiles in the world.

But in this guide, we will wrap a quick reference guide of common tiles available in the Philippines (usually available in major regions and cities such as Metro Manila, Quezon City, Cebu, Davao, etc.) to help you decide.



Image Credit: Daily Chronicle

Natural Stone Tiles like Marble, Travertine, Granite

These are products of mother nature made for thousands of years, quarried, polished, and cut into tiles.

The usual sizes of stone slabs that are cut into tile can vary from as big as 120 x 360 cm to as small as 2.5 x 2.5 cm. 


Rate: Basic regular stones like Carrara Marble, Jet Black Granite ranges from P 3,000-10,000 / sqm. They can go much higher for more unique slabs.

Pros: Last for a very, very long time. Nothing beats the timelessness of Natural Stone. It’s grand, baby.

Cons: Super expensive and has porous quality (absorbs moisture that can cause stains which is why they coat it with sealants).



Image Credit: CCEnews.

Ceramic Tiles

It’s the most common tile we are most familiar with.

Ceramic tiles are a cooked mixture of clay mixed with other elements like sand and quartz.

It usually comes in sizes of squares, like 10x10cm, 20x20cm, 30x30cm, etc. or in sizes of planks like 10cm x 90cm, 15cm x 120cm etc. 


Rate: The average price for 30x30cm with 7.5 cm thickness is at P30-35; for 60×60 cm with 10cm thickness is at P155-250.

Pros: It is cheaper than Porcelain Tiles. It has a lot of optional textures and designs to choose from. It ranges from timeless solid colors to mimicry prints made to look like wood or natural stone.


PRO Tip: Want to have the tile alternative for wood planks? If the quality is not done right, pattern imitation like wood grains can easily fade off. It can look a bit fake or cheap. Go for matte, textured finished rather than the polished ones. It would look closer to the real thing.



Image Credit: Iloilo Today

Porcelain Tiles

This type is one of the most versatile among tile options. 

Porcelain is technically a kind of ceramic tile.

It’s made of clay mixed with sand and feldspar minerals, fired at a higher temperature, making it more durable, more tightly packed, denser, and absorbs less water. 

Rate: Italian and Spanish homogeneous types can be really pricey. The 60×60 cm size can range from P 2,000- P5,000 per piece.

Homogeneous means the colors and prints run all the way through the tile (Check out the side thickness of your tile for that tell-tale line).

Tiles from the Philippines, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia are cheaper alternatives. The size 60x60cm can range from P155- P500 per piece.

Pros: It’s classy + you can get that natural stone look, like marble or travertine, in porcelain tiles as a much cheaper alternative to the real thing.

It is available in a wide selection of sizes and design patterns from rough, non-skid kinds for exterior use to elegant polished indoor options.

Cons: It’s a bit slippery compared to the classic ceramic tiles.



Image Credit: Cts/Vietnam cement tile

Cement or Paver Tiles

Cement or Paver Tiles are molded mixtures of cement, sand, color pigment, and marble powder.

Outdoor cement tiles or also called paver tiles are the ones we usually see on entrance driveways, gardens, or parking lots.

They come in a variety of sizes (brick type, waffle-like type for grass-turf kind,  20x20cm, 30x30cm)  and of earth-tone colors.

Indoor cement tiles can have charming stamped or to-die-for handpainted prints and patterns that can bring character to any room.


Rate: A regular cement paver tile with a size of 10x20x6cm brick can range P17-P25/pc while prices of custom tiles like our local Machuca brand are based on design and quantity.

Pros: A concrete paver for outdoor flooring can be durable and very cool (airy) since it allows heat to be absorbed by the ground below. Custom pattern designer cement tile, like the Machuca, is a work of art – set to razzle-dazzle.

Cons: Custom pattern of historical Machuca can be expensive if you compare to import counterparts (but it’s so worth it). It also has a minimum number for each order.



Image Credit: Marcia Adams / Joey Donasco

Terracotta Tiles (a.k.a. Vigan Tiles)

 We commonly referred to Terracotta Tiles as Vigan tiles. With its charming reddish-brown color, it is a prominent element of the real O.G. – Bahay na Bato.

Terracotta means “baked earth” in Italian. These clay tiles are cooked at a very low temperature, giving us these highly porous yet lovely earthen-color pieces.


Rate: 30×30 cm Vigan Tile is at P 55-60/pc

Pros: Rustic charm character, thrives well on Philippines’ hot climate

Cons: Very porous that can be a source of molds and stains unless coated with sealant (sealant will make it shiny)



Image Credit: Arvex Mosaic

Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo Tile is a pre-cast of cement or polymeric material, sprinkled with wonderful chips of marble, quartz, granite, shells, or glass and then polished.

It’s a charming floor tile that sparkly-winks whenever light strikes it.

Rate: Machuca Tiles Terrazzo line has 20×20 cm size which costs P155 per piece at 100 pcs minimum order.

Pros: Tile character (it’s such a beauty!), very durable and can last for a long, long time. It can be used for high-traffic areas, because of its compressive strength.

Cons: It’s more pricey than your ordinary tiles.



Image Credit: FC Tile Depot

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles are small cuts of tiles (2”x2” or smaller), from ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass, resin, stainless steel, or mirror, then arranged into a pattern and set on a mesh sheet.

You will usually see them in swimming pools, bathrooms and kitchens.

Rate: The price of mosaic tiles depends on the material to be cut

Pros: Very customizable and impressive (gorgeous for that floor accent pattern).

Cons: Be mindful of the material finish vs. area to be tiled (glass mosaics can be slippery when used for flooring). It also needs a skilled installer.



Frequently Asked Questions:


Where you can buy floor tiles?

Here are some stores with showrooms you can check out (and link to find out their locations):


  • Wilcon Home Depot

  • CW Home Depot

  • MC Home Depot

  • Mariwasa Tiles

  • Mozzaico Tiles, Mosaic and Art

  • Floor Center

  • Metrotiles

  • Machuca Tile

For custom, handmade tiles, locally manufactured since 1903

  • The Tile Gallery

For high-end Italian and Spanish Tiles, book a schedule for their Makati showroom here:

  • Kaufman Stone

For natural stone floor requirements,



What are the popular tile brands in the Philippines?

Here’s a list of local brands that you will usually see on the hardware stores:

  • Mariwasa Tiles
  • Ten Zen Tiles
  • Eurotiles
  • Lepanto Tiles
  • Machuca Tiles

Italian Brands:

  • Atlas Concorde
  • Casalgrande Padana

Spanish Brands:

  • Grespania
  • Rocersa
  • Cifre

Tiles from China:

  • Sol Ceramica
  • Arte Ceramiche
  • HuanQiu

Tiles from Indonesia:

  • Roman Tiles



What materials do you need to prepare for tile installation?

You may feel the urge to do the tiling yourself.

Fair warning though, it is not as easy as it looks as you see on youtube.

For best results, hire skilled workers. You can check out different tile setters in the Martilyo directory.

They can guide you on materials you need to prepare aside from your tiles.

It is usually with tile adhesive (cement that would hold your tile) and tile grout (cement to fill the gap between your tiles).



How do I estimate the cost for tile installation?

  • Cost out your tile including allowances. The guide to estimate the number of tiles needed in an area is given in more detail in the next question below.
  • Regular Tile Adhesive comes in 25kg at P300-500 per bag and covers 5sqm at 3mm thickness (this is given that the floor is already flat-ready with cement)
  • Tile Grout (the mixture you put in between tiles) comes in a variety of colors to match your tiles. The regular type comes in 2kg which covers 8meters of 30x30cm tiles with a spacing of 3mm. Bag costs around P60-250 depending on color.
  • To get a rough estimate of the total labor cost, get 30%-45% of the total material cost.



How do I estimate how many tiles are needed in an area?

Step 1:

Get the area of the room (length x wide)

Example : 8.5 meters x 3 meters =  25.5 sqm


Step 2:

Get the area of 1 pc of tile you’ll be using (length x wide, use the same unit of measurement)

Example :

The size of your tile is 30cm wide x 30 cm long

Covert centimeter to a meter (because that’s what we used for the area of the room)

So, we’ll use 0.3m wide x 0.3m long = 0.09 sqm


Step 3:

Divide the area of the room by the area of the 1 pc of tile (answer of  Step 1 ÷ answer of Step 2)

Example :

25.5 sqm ÷ 0.09 sqm = 283.33 pieces of tiles

Round of to nearest round number = 284 pieces of tiles


Step 4:

Add 10% – 20% allowance. If the pattern of your tiles is unique or your area is irregularly shaped (with lots of “siruho” – partially cut tiles to fit an irregular-shaped area), better allot higher allowance percentage.

Example :

284 pieces of tiles x 0.1 (that’s 10%) = 28.4 pcs round off to 28 pcs additional tiles

284 pcs + 28 pcs = 312 pcs total


Pulling your hair out because of the maths?

Just use tile calculators like this one:

Your friendly neighborhood tile suppliers can also do the estimate for you.




It doesn’t hurt to do proper planning, canvassing (even though it’s confusing and tiring), and hiring the right persons to do the job.

It saves you from the pain of not getting what you want or re-doing a bad job.

Make sure find that right tile for you.

I hope this guide serves you well.

Catch you later!






What? A waffle box house in the Philippines?

Have you ever heard about the term “waffle box house” but not sure what it is?

Hhhhmmm, it sounds new (…and yummy?)

It’s a new option in the house construction industry to address cost efficiency, time efficiency, and reliability.

Image Credit: GMA News TV

What is a waffle box house?

A Waffle box house is a box-type house structure made of reinforced concrete poured monolithically.

Does that sound too technical for you?

In simpler terms, the flooring, walls, and ceiling, referred to as the “waffle box” is poured with concrete all at the same time.

So why do they use the term waffle?

Imagine a waffle having grids.

It is technically the same thing.

The waffle box consists of grids where supports (i.e. rebars – the “skeleton of the house”) and other provisions (i.e. for your electrical needs,  plumbing needs and mechanical needs) are placed before concrete is poured in.

Prefabricated House Construction

Yep, this is prefabricated.

Prefabricated means that the structure itself is prepared before delivery.

Imagine there is a “factory”- a warehouse where it is being assembled and made before delivering it to the desired location.

The waffle boxes, when ready are being delivered to the desired location and assisted by a crane since it is delivered as a whole unit.

All other components such as the electrical, mechanical, other architectural details and interiors are considered in the planning.

This is completed after the delivery of the waffle box in your location.

After the delivery, all the finishing touches and finalization will take place.

On the other hand, the structural component of the waffle box has been incorporated into the structure itself before concrete pouring.

The foundation works where it will be placed is prepared before delivery of the waffle box in the location.

Types of waffle box houses


A waffle box bungalow with rooftop
Image Credit: Sibonga

Waffle box houses offer a wide variety of options such as but not limited to the following:

  • Bungalow house with open roof deck – if you want a one-story but spacious at the same time
  • Studio unit – for a condo vibe living
  • Studio unit which can be extended to one bedroom
  • Studio unit which can be extended to two-bedroom
  • Two-bedroom which can be extended to a two-story house

And so on… this type of housing provides you flexibility and so many options.

Moreover, waffle box houses can also be considered for other occupancy purposes like offices, apartments, and even restaurants.

The best example I can think of is they’re like Lego Blocks (..all you need to do is assemble them).

In simpler terms, this is a box where you will just fill in the content and decorate however you want it to look.

Doesn’t that sound so fun?

5 Reasons why a waffle box house is right for you

Waffle Box is modular

In construction, the modular term refers to the process wherein the “modules”, in this case, the waffle box is constructed off-site and then assembled on the desired location.

This type of housing can be your temporary and permanent house.

Since this is a “box” and a single unit, then, transferring to another location is possible.

It is safe to say that waffle boxes are flexible.


Waffle Box is expandable

Unlike standard houses, waffle box type structure is expandable.

In case you have decided to have more space in the future, then it can be done easily (Now this is another good feature).

If you want to add another bedroom or more bedrooms to your house, it is possible with this type of housing.

If you want to consider renting a room in your backyard, it is possible to create a new room with waffle box house construction.


Waffle Box project saves time and budget

Unlike the traditional construction where workers will be preparing the rebars, lay concrete hollow blocks (CHB), pour concrete, and do finishing, waffle boxes will be much faster.

Since waffle boxes are made in a factory or warehouse, then it will be delivered to the location ready to receive other details already.

The finishing touches will probably get the majority of the project time frame.

Since time and cost go hand in hand, it is safe to say that the total project cost of your waffle box house will be lesser since the material cost and labor cost will be much lesser.

You want to save money right? Then, this option maybe good to consider for your next housing project.


Waffle box is reliable

As mentioned, waffle box is made in a controlled environment.

This can only mean that the quality of the structure is assured since there will be no other factors affecting the fabrication.

Waffle box houses are inspected and made in such a way that it passes quality control during production, after production, and after site delivery.


Waffle box house can be considered sustainable

Do you have a green thumb?

Do you want your next house to be sustainable?

Then, waffle house box maybe worth considering.

Unlike the traditional construction where there are a lot of materials involved, like formworks, rebars, cement, etc., waffle box uses fewer materials.

This type of construction has been designed in such a way that lesser materials will be needed without compromising safety and quality.

Thus, overall, it can be considered sustainable since it creates a lesser carbon footprint concerning construction.

What is the cost of building a waffle box house?

Like any other house construction, the cost would depend on the finish which you would want.

Do you want the basic finishes, or would you want to elevate the look of your new house?

Whatever it is that you want, the waffle box house can adapt to it.

For comparison, let’s say you have a waffle box house construction equivalent to approximately ~20 square meters consisting of one module.

The following will be more or less the estimated construction cost of a waffle box house.

Basic finishes include your typical wall paint and flooring.

This is if you are on a tighter budget.

The construction cost is around Php 20,000 per sqm equivalent to Php 400,000.

Semi-elegant finishes is an upgrade to the basic finishes but still optimizing cost.

From ceramic floor tiles, you can upgrade to let us say, homogenous tiles.

You can also opt to have some decorative cornice on your room.

Construction cost for this finish is around Php 25,000 per sqm equivalent to Php 500,000.

An elegant finish can be defined by a very “Pinterest” and “instagrammable” house.

Here you have a wider option for the materials.

With this budget, you will have a variety of design options to choose from.

Construction cost is around Php 30,000 per sqm equivalent to Php 600,000.

These are just estimates based on the prevailing rates.

It is best to consult first and get a proposal for your needs and wants.

Just be sure to have your requirements ready in mind so you will get the best value for your new house.

Researching like you reading this article is a good start.

Waffle Box House Contractors

Solidcon Construction Philippines Inc.

Their head office is in Makati City.

According to their website, “the waffle box is a patented industrial building system” invented as a practical solution to concerns in housing in the most cost and time-efficient way possible.

It is pending release with the International Property Organization of the Philippines and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

They have done several projects mostly residential projects from one-story to two story.

Projects were in several locations across the Philippines.

According to their website, waffle box can be installed and transported within a 24-hour period.

Other components and works such as retouching works and finishing works are done within a period of 7-30 days after the installation of the waffle box.

After which, you can already transfer to your new house.


PVBS Construction Services

Their company was established in 2018 with office located in Taguig.

They offer waffle box building technology in the Philippines.


How to start building a waffle box house?

Your waffle box house project will start on contractor selection.

They will be requesting you for the details as well as your project location.

From there, they will be able to give you a proposed plan and details of your project.

Normally, there is already a waffle box size available.

Thus, you will expect that they will be able to identify already how many waffle box houses you need.

Once you agree with the plans and proposal, building permits will be processed.

This is being applied to the building official of your local government unit.

Permits requirements would normally involve the following: a set of plans and specifications, TCT (Transfer of Certificate Title), Tax Receipt, Tax Declaration, and accomplishment of Permit Forms.

It is always best to check these requirements with the local government unit as these may have changed.

According to a contractor, waffle box house fabrication can be accomplished within 24 hours.

Why? As mentioned, it is done in a warehouse and sizing is already pre-determined.

Thus, there are already “patterns” where they follow.

This is being fabricated in their warehouse to ensure that quality structure will be produced.

At the same time, the area where your waffle box house is to be located will be prepared to receive.

Once ready, the waffle box house will be delivered to your location.

Imagine the whole box being delivered and assembled to the lot.

After which, all finishes and other trades such as the electrical, mechanical, architectural, interiors will be completed.

This will take the most time of the construction and probably the most exciting part for you.


Is it safe? Durable?

Waffle boxes are made of solid poured reinforced concrete ranging from 4,500psi to 6,000 psi so safety and durability will not be an issue.

Moreover, the “skeleton” or reinforcing bars of the waffle boxes are already incorporated to ensure that it is structurally sound.

You can be assured that this type of structure is safe and durable.


Is it cheaper than traditional housing?

Yes. This is because waffle box housing will save from the labor cost, material cost, and equipment cost which are the major cost drivers of traditional housing construction.


Can it survive storms, earthquakes, floods?

While this technology is a somewhat new and still ongoing development, monolithic construction is a proven safe and code-compliant form of construction.

As mentioned above, the reinforcing bars or “skeleton” of the waffle box is incorporated already.

Thus, making it safe for occupancy.

With regards to flood, waffle boxes can be elevated and adjusted to meet the requirements of your location.

In the planning stage, it would be best for you to take note of this with your chosen contractor.

This is so they will be able to determine the proper elevation of your waffle box house.


How about long-term maintenance?

In any construction project, quality assurance and quality control is a major consideration.

This is to ensure that the customers will get the best.

Here in waffle box houses, quality is already controlled at the start since it is made in a controlled environment.

So, what does this imply?

It means that quality assurance and quality control have been made before delivery.

With regards to long maintenance, generally, waffle box houses are still somewhat the same as the traditional so maintenance would not be a problem.

The reason is that the structure is still made of concrete.

Concrete is a widely used construction material and is known for durability.


Wrapping Up

So, have you decided on your new housing project yet?

In the past few years, construction and technology have been evolving.

For most, waffle box house construction is a new term.

Nonetheless, the information provided above would help you decide.

Depending on your requirements, it would always be best to check options for you to choose which will suit your needs.

Sometimes, it is also okay to deviate from the traditional and go for modern ways of construction such as the Waffle Box House.





Top 20 House Contractors in Cebu [Updated 2022]

Do you have a construction project coming up in Cebu?

But not sure which contractor to choose?

Maybe it’s your dream home.

Or maybe your office assigned you a big task like a commercial building, a warehouse, or a factory. 

Regardless, we’ve made a detailed guide of the top 20 best contractors in Cebu to start your journey.

Image Credit: Traveloka

Top 20 House Contractors in Cebu:

Available in these cities/provinces: Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Aloguinsan, Argao, Asturias, Badian, Balamban, Bantayan, Barili, Bogo, Boljoon, Borbon, Carcar, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Daanbantayan, Dalaguete, Danao, Dumanjug, Ginatilan, Lapu-Lapu, Liloan, Madridejos, Malabuyoc, Mandaue, Medellin, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Naga, Oslob, Pilar, Pinamungajan, Poro, Ronda, Samboan, San Fernando, San Francisco, San Remigio, Santa Fe, Santander, Sibonga, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Talisay, Toledo, Tuburan, Tudela

PRG-Golden Horse Cebu Construction

If your construction project will be highly technical with difficult working conditions and a tight deadline, this is the contractor for you.

Whether it’s for a small family home or a large building, PRG-Golden Horse Cebu Construction can service your needs. Concrete construction, underground utilities, steel fabrication are just some of the many special skills of this company.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Adelfa Hotel located at the center of Cebu medical and commercial area
  • Banilad Town Center (commercial shops)
  • Cebu Holding Center (office)
  • Ayala Center Cebu (mall)
  • J-Centre Mall Mandaue


Address: 23 V. Rama Avenue Cebu City, Philippines, 6000
Contact: (032)3470871 / 0915-514-4712 /
FB: Golden Horse Construction Service

Green & White Construction Corp.

Green & White Construction Corp. is an all-around contractor that can handle all types of houses, commercial buildings, interior design, and consulting services.

They can manage your construction project from the planning stage, government requirements, construction, and up to the final turnover and inspection. You can also hire them as a consultant for occupational safety, fire safety, and environmental compliance.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Interior renovation of a home in Liloan, Cebu
  • 3-story commercial building in Consolacion, Cebu
  • 2-story office in Compostela, Cebu
  • Oxygen Plant in Compostela, Cebu


Address: Upper Lutao, Estaca, Compostela Cebu, Philippines 6003
Landline: (032) 4254969
FB: Cebu Green & White Construction Corp

HERO Construction and Development Corporation

Formerly HD Engineers+Builders, HERO Construction and Development Corporation is an engineering, construction, and design company.

They work on residential homes, government projects, and commercial/industrial buildings. The focus of the company is to be cost-efficient while still finishing the project on a reasonable timeline.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Warehouse converted into the temporary office of the Mactan Economic Zone Authority as they wait for a new and bigger building
  • Renovation at the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) Building of the Department of Agriculture 7
  • Empty rooftop converted into an open-air martial arts gym for Mactan Combat Sports


Address: Rm 304 Albulario Building II, 37 General Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City 6000 Philippines
Landline: (032) 417 2664
FB: HERO Construction and Development Corporation

Studio Each Architecture

Studio Each Architecture creates modern and cost-efficient construction projects. Hire them if you want a distinctive design without spending on luxury architecture.

They design commercial centers, hotels, residential homes, offices, and student dorms.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • 4 mid-end to high-end houses in Talamban, Liloan, Mandaue, and Lahug, Cebu
  • Renovation of a high-end home in Lahug, Cebu City
  • Dorm in Lapu Lapu City with 70 units
  • JL Commercial Center in Consolacion, Cebu
  • Jakosalem Tower hotel in Cebu City
  • ICHA Dessert Café in SM Seaside, Cebu


Mobile: +63 915 678 1012 / +63 923 365 2467
FB: Studio Each

Studio Carel

The goal of Studio Carel is to bring beauty and design to every home, while also being functional. It’s a business born out of passion.

They started by interior designing condo units made by renowned developers in Cebu. They have expanded this service into residential homes, offices, shops, and showrooms.

They are based in Lahug, Cebu, but have expanded their reach in other areas including Metro Manila.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Modern Scandinavian home balancing white surfaces with light wood tones
  • Contemporary tropical luxury home for a client who loves the beach
  • Modern office that combines natural elements with a light atmosphere


Address: 2nd Flr., Unit 203, 479 Arch. Bishop Reyes, Lahug, Cebu City
Mobile: +63 917 710 9046

EEI Corporation

EEI is one of the biggest construction companies in the country. They are listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange since 1975.

They have ongoing projects all over the country. Hire EEI if you are working on a large-scale government project or if your company gave you a big construction project like an office building, power plant, warehouse, or factory.

Given their accomplishments, experience, and resources, they have the highest rating from the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB), which is an AAAA.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Bohol Panglao Airport
  • Thermal Visayas Energy Project in Toledo, Cebu
  • Caticlan Airport


Address: 2nd Floor F. Miranda Bldg., # 5 F. Ramos St., Cebu City, Philippines
Landline: (6332) 253-4190
FB: EEI Corporation

Comfac Global Group – Cebu

Comfac Global Group is one of the top fit-out contractors in the country for office spaces.

Hire them if you leased a bare office space or if you need to renovate yours. Their main office is in Makati but they have a satellite office in Mabolo, Cebu.

This company is a full-service fit-out contractor. That means they make bare office spaces complete with finishes, furniture, air-conditioning, and all other things that make them suitable and ready for occupancy.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Plug-and-Play area with 100 workstations for start-ups and expanding BPO companies
  • Solar panels installed in a Laguna facility


Address: 30 F Cabahug St., Mabolo Cebu , Cebu 6000
Landline: +63 (32) 232 4563, +63 (32) 232 5079, +63 (32) 232 4563, +63 (32) 232 4571, +63 (32) 232 4571
FB: Comfac Corporation

Sky-rise Builders Management, Inc.

Sky-rise Builders Management, Inc. is a one-stop construction and engineering company. They provide everything from construction, fitting out of your air-conditioning system, plumbing, landscaping, labor, maintenance, and more.

They can handle residential, commercial, offices, and specialty showrooms. Their head office is in Cebu, but they also have satellite offices in Pasay and Davao City.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Penshoppe in SM Cebu
  • Golden ABC Shops – Oxygen, Memo, Regatta, Red Logo
  • Rose Pharmacy
  • Sunnies Specs Optical
  • BO’s Coffee
  • Flawless Beauty Clinic
  • Electrolux Home and Kitchen Appliances


Address: 104 Charity St. Belmont Village, Pakigne, Minglanilla, Cebu, Philippines
Landline: (032) 490 0130 / (032) 266 0818
FB: Skyrise Builders Management Inc.

EJS Multivector Solutions Inc.

EJS Multivector Solutions the company you hire if you need the expertise to build an electrical system for your construction project.

They can install wiring and handle the maintenance for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. If you have problems with your electrical system, they can study your power systems and audit your energy use.


Here are some more services they offer:

  • Generator Test
  • CT & PT Test
  • Circuit Breaker Test
  • Lightning Arrester Test
  • Neutral Grounding Transformer Test
  • Hi-Potential Test


Address: Yap Bldg, 583 V Rama Ave. Cor B Rodrique St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu Philippines
Landline: (032) 494 4480
Mobile: 0917 770 9012
FB: EJS Multivector Solutions Incorporated

D’new Hard Builders & Development Corp(DHBDC)

The current focus of DHBDC is buildings with engineered steel and precast concrete.

But they offer a wide variety of services which include carpentry, masonry, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and heavy equipment rentals. The mission of the company is to create world-class buildings even on mid-size construction works.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • FCO International Inc. factory in Lapu Lapu City
  • Cebu R Hotel
  • PAC Realty proposed warehouse building in Mandaue City
  • Paknaan Greenland Realty proposed warehouse building in Mandaue City
  • Sanicare Care Products Asia Inc. warehouse in Lapu Lapu City
  • Nissan Car Cebu


Address: Sitio Molave, Tayud Lilo-an, Cebu, Philippines
Mobile:Operations (+63 922) 887-7842,Sales (+63 922) 887-7841,Finance (+63 922) 822-6534,(+63 922) 887-7841
FB: D' New Hard Builders & Development Corporation

Hi-Speed Construction Corporation

The specialty of Hi-Speed Construction Corporation is pre-engineered warehouses and factories.

However, they have completed all types of building structures. The company prides itself on completing high-profile projects like S&R Shopping Center Cebu and a distribution center for Nestle.

According to their website, most of their projects today are from repeat clients. That is a testament to the quality of their work and how much their clients trust them.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Newman Chemicals Corporation warehouse
  • PEBA Manufacturing & Trading warehouse
  • Commercial building in Mandaue
  • Special design for a film set in Lapu Lapu City
  • Apartments/dorm in Lapu Lapu City
  • Steel Parking for a church in Cebu City


Address: 800 A.S. Fortuna Street Mandaue City, Cebu 6014
Landline: (032) 345 3678 to 79, (032) 346 0113
FB: Hi-Speed Construction Corp

ATSP Swimming Pool Builders / Construction Services

Did you ever dream of having a swimming pool in your own home? Turn that dream into a reality by contacting ATSP Swimming Pool Builders, one of the top swimming pool contractors in the country.

They build, maintain, and repair all types of swimming pools and special water features. They do projects nationwide.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Sheraton Mactan Resorts and Hotels
    • 2 Main Pools
    • Leisure Pool
    • 5 beach-front swimming pools
  • Damesca Resort Tagaytay
  • Caloocan Sports Complex
  • Divine Grace Retreat House in Batangas


Address: 1057-F Macopa Street Basak Engineering, Basak, Lapu-lapu, 6015 Cebu, Philippines
Mobile:0935 127 8474 (Globe),0942 923 6208 (Sun)
Landline: (032) 402 1340
Email: or
FB: ATSP Swimming Pool Construction

Ragojos Heritage Construction Corporation

Ragojos Heritage Construction Corporation is one of the top interior fit-out contractors in the country. They have been in the business for 30 years.

They are known for their impressive designs with high-quality materials. They are Category A on PCAB. That means they have skilled workers and have the financial capability to turnover projects.

To ensure high-quality results, they partner with the best designers and sub-contractors in the country.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Telus International BPO
  • Banks – BDO, CitiBank, HSBC, RCBC
  • Law Firms – RMBSA Law, CVC Law, Bengzon Negre Untalan (BNU)
  • American, Italian, and Norwegian Embassies.


Address: 15 Garnet St., Francisca Village Happy Valley Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Telephone: +63 951 9765 to 67
FB: Ragojos Heritage Construction at Francisca Village

Kens General Construction Services (KGCS)

KGCS is a full-services contractor, which means they handle all aspects of construction and renovation.

The company prides itself on quality workmanship, a keen eye for detail, and a competitive price. Being a full-service contractor allows them to control the budget, timeline, and overall quality of their work.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Complete home renovation of a house in Cebu
  • Cebu condo interior renovation and LED light installation
  • Stainless patio railings for a house in Cebu
  • Full exterior re-paint of a house in Cebu
  • Full interior fit-out of a sports shop in Robinsons Galleria Cebu

Address: #1 Montebello Road, Brgy Apas Cebu City 6000
Landline: 032-273-4443
Mobile/Viber: +639173153646
FB: Ken's General Construction Services 

Fine Finish Cebu

The specialty of Fine Finish Cebu is creating modern homes. They build well-designed and high-quality interiors/exteriors while making your home energy efficient.

Hire them if you want fine finishes for your home or business. They employ highly skilled workers that save both time and money for the client.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • 3-story modern Mediterranean home in Lapu Lapu City
  • Commercial spaces in Talisay City
  • Modern House in Valencia, Bukidnon
  • Jairos Tower, modern glass building in Mabolo, Cebu
  • House in Fortune Homes subdivision in Talisay City


Address: Day-as Road, Beside Ang Dating Daan, Buagsong, Cordova, 6017 Cebu
Mobile: +639214275469 , +639171689307
Email :
FB: Fine Finish Cebu

E. Abraham C. Lee Construction & Development, Inc. (ALCI)

ALCI is a construction and design company with expertise in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

They produce superior quality work on time with professionalism and transparency towards their clients, employees, and partners. Be sure to get in touch with ALCI if you have a large construction project in CEBU coming soon.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Patria de Cebu renovation
  • 4-storey Street Children Activity Center in Cebu City
  • 5-storey Mixed-Use Building in Cebu City
  • 38 Park Avenue Showroom in Cebu City
  • Casa Mira Towers in Cebu City
  • Prawn Farm in Negros Occidental


Landline: (+6332) 414-6380
Mobile: 0917-518 8363
FB: JE Abraham C. Lee Construction & Development Inc

PLD Construction & Development, Inc.

PLD Construction & Development, Inc. started as a single proprietor business in 1974 but has since become one of the top construction companies in Cebu.

They have a AAA Category in PCAB. They have a track record on high-end, medium, and even low-cost buildings. Aside from residential and commercial projects, they have also worked on bridges and seawalls.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished: 

  • Living Hope Hospital in Leyte
  • Department of General Services in Cebu
  • Mandaue City Hall
  • Hoops Dome basketball court/sports center in Lapu Lapu City
  • Mindanao University of Science & Technology


Address: P.C. Suico St., Tabok, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines 6014
Landline: (032) 422 9365 | 384 4607 | 421 1088
FB: PLD Construction

Orceo Architects Design and Construction

Orceo Architects Design and Construction has been in operation since 1980. They have already accomplished many residential, commercial, and interior fit-outs all over Region VI and VII.

Aside from honest and high-quality work, the company prides itself on constant innovation. That’s why they can complete modern special services like sprinkler systems, acoustic board layout, and aluminum wall cladding.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • 2-story house renovation in Camella Homes Cebu
  • Staff house and covered parking in Consolacion, Cebu
  • 1-storey house in Dipolog City


Address: 333-7b, Tres de Abril st., Punta Princessa, Cebu
Landline: (032) 2537929
Website: Orceo Architects

RHB Engineering and Contractor Services

If you read the website of RHB Engineering and Contractor Services, you might think that they are only an electrical contractor.

That is their specialty, but they can also do several other construction services like cost and estimates, architectural design, fire protection, mechanical works, plumbing, sanitary, air-conditioning, and many others.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Super Metro Mambaling in Cebu City – electrical
  • Philippine Port Authority in Bohol – electrical, fire, plumbing
  • Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center – civil works
  • Sta. Barbara Suites in Cebu City – plumbing and sanitary


Address: Upper Casili, Mandaue City, Cebu / 2nd floor Janjoh Bldg., Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu
Mobile: +63921-573-2948 or +63 917-717-1476
FB: Rbh Engineering and Contractor Services

Kimwa Construction and Development Corp.

One of the best ways to make your construction project faster and more efficient is to install batching plants on-site for concrete mix, asphalt, rock crushing, and concrete blocks.

Kimwa Construction and Development Corporation is a pioneer of these technologies in Visayas and Mindanao. They will build these plants, operate, and maintain them for your construction site.


Projects they are currently working on / recently finished:

  • Construction of the Umapad Brangay Health Center
  • Port of Cebu pavement repair
  • Samboan-Badian Provincial Road – improvements
  • Mt. Majic RCAG Station
  • Sub-contractor at the Davao Airport


Address: M. Logarta Street, Subangdako, Mandaue City
Tele Fax: +6332-3460421 to 23; 346-1176; 344-4251
Email: No email
FB: Kimwa Construction & Development Corporation



How to renovate your kitchen in the Philippines

Many of us would like a great kitchen where we can impress our friends and relatives.

Or maybe you just want to be organized to better cook meals for your loved ones.

You can already see yourself cooking ala-Gordon Ramsey in your dream kitchen, but it looks greasy and messed-up.

So how to go about a kitchen renovation? You need a house contractor that specializes in kitchen renovation.

It can be overwhelming, and you already heard enough cautionary tales of woes.

Fret not. I’ll dish out some guidelines for you in getting your very first kitchen contractor.

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Reputable Contractor


The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms you can spend on.

You would want a reputable contractor to work on your renovation project.

Here are just some reasons why:


They have a team of interior designers.

Specialty kitchen contractors like modular cabinet specialists usually have in-house interior designers who could plan a balance, well-used, aesthetically pleasing and functional space.

Design and planning are the primary keys to every successful kitchen renovation.

They have years of experience.

Along with your designer, a reputable contractor, with their expertise and years of experience, can give you information on the pros and cons of the recommended materials and their maintenance.

Plus, they are knowledgeable about common problems usually encountered during renovation, so you do not have to go through the pain of it.

They know the best brands for materials

Since your kitchen is a hardworking, soul hub of your home, consistent quality of workmanship and materials are the top priorities to be considered.

Reputable contractors offer warranties to ensure the quality of their work.

You don’t want your hard-earn moolah wasted on hiring cheaper but unreliable workers.

They have good work ethics

Fly-by-night contractors would run away with your payment at the first sign of a problem, leaving you wiping tears with a dishtowel in the middle of the mess of your un-finished demolished kitchen.

If ever there will be immediate problems after the construction (often called back jobs), reputable contractors are reliable to go back and fix it.


Steps of Renovating a Kitchen

Step 1: Design

Let’s get down on pinning what design you want for your kitchen.

Prepare a list of things you would like to have in it.

Choose your color scheme.

It would dictate the overall ambiance of your room.

Would you like it warm and intimate? Maybe bright and welcoming?

Choose the style you like your kitchen to have.

It should match your lifestyle, how you would use it on a daily basis.

Would you like it polished and sleek? How about charming, shabby chic?

Get ready and pull out your measuring tape. Measure, and sketch your space. (use the cm or the mm). 

If you have old blueprints of your house, that would be a great reference.

But no worries if you don’t.

You can do ideas of layouts on this sketch of your kitchen space.

Sketch layouts will help sort out ideas that will be easier to relay to your designer and contractor later on.

A compilation of picture pegs is a big help to narrow down the look, functions, and ambiance you are going for.


Step 2: The Specs

 How far you’ll go with your kitchen renovation? Make a list of things you want to change.

This list will be your basic scope of work.

It would help to have this thing ready before you make design and cost inquiries.

Scope of work will also gauge your budget for your project.

For a kitchen renovation, you may want to marinate your thoughts about:

  • Changing of overall kitchen layout (this will most likely involve dismantling old cabinets, knocking off walls, re-routing plumbing, and electrical work)
  • Changing of material finishes for floor, wall, or ceiling
  • Plumbing & Electrical work (for your new sink, faucets, appliances, and new lightings)
  • Cabinetries (change it to built-ins or maybe a change to sleeker modular cabinets?)


Step 3: Your Appliances

Have a list of appliances you need (and want! of course). This list is to check what would fit your space and would fit your planned budget.

PRO Tip: Check out the online appliances stores of Anson’s ( and Abenson’s ( for reference on prices and measurements!

Here’s a roll of basic and small appliances you may need. Feel free to tick away.

  • Refrigerator
  • Cooktop or Range (If you feel British-y today, mate, we can call it a hob)
  • Do you want a cooktop (could be an above-counter or built-in with the counter) or a range (a stand-alone cooktop with oven underneath)?
  • How many burners? Do you want it with gas (LPG), electrical, or induction?
  • Rangehood – Would you like this mounted on the wall or over an island?
  • Rice Cooker
  • Water dispenser – You can have this placed above the counter, or nicely concealed inside your cabinets. Don’t forget to give space where to store those extra gallon bottles
  • Electric Kettle
  • Coffee Maker
  • Microwave
  • Oven Toaster or a Bread Toaster
  • Oven
  • Blender or Food Processor


Step 4: Scouting

By this time, you can now start scouting for an interior designer or an architect to map out a design proposal for your kitchen.

A reputable specialist contractor with in-house designers is also the way to go.

The designer will visit your kitchen (the site, as they may call it) to do some actual measurements and note all the existing plumbing and electrical provisions.

Now is also the perfect time to give them the brief.

Let out all those compiled sketches of layout, your pegs, your list of appliances, and your dreams for your kitchen. Come on, now. Don’t be shy.

From that initial meeting, the designer will come up with a design fee proposal.

How to choose the best suitable interior designer or architect for your need?

  • Nothing beats a good recommendation from friends
  • Check out the designer’s portfolio. Are the projects in line with what you have in mind? You can also ask if they have a previous client you can contact as a reference.
  • Visit their office. Check out their websites.
  • If it is a major renovation that will involve signed blueprints and permits, you may want to check if their professional license is valid at the PRC website (

It would be good to compare at least three design proposals.

Some designers would give initial image boards for the project to show what they could offer.


Step 5: Collaboration

Work with an interior designer or an architect. 

For planning your kitchen layout, think ‘ice, water, and fire’ – the kitchen magic triangle.

Place your refrigerator, your sink, and your stove in a functional working triangle.

Here are some other things to consider on kitchen planning and on selecting material finishes, fixtures (like sinks and faucets), and hardware (like cabinet handles, hinges):

  • Storage cabinets – You have the option here of getting modular cabinets (means pre-fabricated cabinets, measured to your space, can be dismantled and reinstalled) or the traditional built-ins.
  • Pull-out baskets – You may want to consider these for dinnerware, pots, pans, and trash bins. Designate your cabinet spaces as how you use your kitchen.
  • Power Outlets – Assign a portion of your preparation worktop (or island) for small appliances placement with accessible power outlets.
  • Distances between counters – 90-100 cm is a comfortable distance between counters, enough for two persons standing back to back but close enough to move across working counters.
  • Countertop – Do you see yourself using this kitchen for a long, long time? Invest in a good countertop. Here are some material options: Quartz, Granite, Marble, Solid Wood, Stainless Steel. These can also be used for the backsplash, along with tiles or backpainted glass
  • Maintenance – Consider maintenance on selecting your floor, wall, and ceiling finishes.
  • Accent Lights – You may like to have white-colored lights (daylight T5 or LED strips) under your cabinets for task lighting over your counter. Warm or cool yellow lights (cool-white or warm white bulb) for droplights over an island or breakfast nook will set a warmer ambiance.

Finalize your plan and selection of material finishes, fixtures (like sinks and faucets), and hardware (like cabinet handles, hinges) with your designer.

Also, request for a project estimated cost.

Don’t lose sight of your cost budget, else it might run away.

It would be smart to have at least 20% of your fund as a contingency for any unplanned expenses.

Renovation, like a Thai horror movie, always has ways to surprise you.


Step 6: The Kitchen Contractor

It’s now time to seek a reputable contractor to bring all your kitchen plans to life.

Your designer can assist you in this stage of requesting cost proposals from contractors.

Prepare the plans, material documents, and scope of work (it’s sometimes referred to as Bill of Materials) given by your designer.

Check also your subdivision or building admin for any construction guidelines or required permits.

Have at least three (3) contractors visit the site and submit a proposal.

Your designer can assist you in reviewing the submissions.

The lowest price doesn’t necessarily equate to the best bid.

But keep in mind, to check every detail:

  • See if they cost out all the work in the provided blank bill of materials (it’s usually broken down into labor and materials cost)
  • Watch out for items that they might have excluded from their scope (like permits, construction bonds, etc.). It means you’ll take care of it
  • Did they cost out the brands, models of the specified finishes or did they give alternatives? Are you and the designer okay with it?
  • Request for a copy and presentation of a Construction Timeline.
  • The standard payment terms usually come:
    • 30% Downpayment
    • 60% through Progress Billing (They have to submit an accomplishment report with pictures when Progress Billing is requested)
    • 10% Retention (This amount to be released until the warranty lapse)


  • Warranty- one-year defect liability is a standard
  • Agreement on some pre-construction arrangements like: will the workers be allowed to stay-in site overnight, payment of utilities during construction, etc.
  • Agreement on Liquidated Damages or the provisions and conditions on penalty if the project is not finished on the set completion date.


Step 7: Construction Time!

Get your contractor project manager’s contact.

It is best practice to have a regular site inspection/meeting, along with your designer, at least once a week.

PRO Tip: Request for a timetable of the construction. This is very important.

Be mindful of the dates on when they will need the items you decided to supply, like your appliances, should be delivered.


Step 8: The Checklist

 Around the time when at least 80% of the work is done (Yay!), you can now start walking around the site and do a punch list (it’s a list of things that needs fixing). Open those cabinets, test out those drains for leaks.


This list must be taken care of before the contractor finally turn-over your brand-new kitchen to you.


There is always a chance you’ll find things that need fixing on your oven-fresh kitchen during the first weeks. No need to worry. Just call back your contractor so they can fix it. That’s the use of the 10% retention fee you’re holding, usually for a year or the warranty period.




Where can I hire a kitchen contractor?

You can either hire a general contractor, with broad experience on kitchen projects, or a modular kitchen specialist whose expertise is all things kitchen.

Here are some contacts you can tap.

Focus Global, Inc.
12th Floor, Twenty-four Seven McKinley Building, 24th Street corner 7th Avenue, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Contact: (02) 8705-9999

Mandaue Foam Philippines
Contact: (02) 8424-3000

Rolin Panel Products
# 290 9th St. cor 8th Avenue, Grace Park, Caloocan City
Contact: (02) 83644942-43 , (02) 83665458

Luxacraft Philippines
168 Haig St. near Kalentong, Mandaluyong City
Contact: 0917 883 8376

Saltbox Design Group, Inc.
Kingsville Executive Village, Antipolo City
Contact: 0917 520 0170

Mundo Design + Build
2nd Floor, UPRC III Building, 2289 Chino Roces Ave., Pasong Tamo Ext. , Makati City
Contact: (02) 8-MUNDO-8


What is the cost of renovating a kitchen in the Philippines?

The cost of a kitchen renovation depends on the extent of work to be done, existing conditions and finishes, fixtures, appliances, and equipment.

Civil, Architectural, Finishing, Plumbing & Electrical Work – you can use the average cost of P15,000-P30,000/sqm to get a ballpark.

Loose Furniture, Decors, Accessories & Appliances – you can run a canvass from online stores, including assembly, delivery & installation costs.



How much would it cost to hire an interior designer in Metro Manila?

Designer Fees could be on a percentage basis (10%-15% of the overall project cost) or by the space area involve (P1,000-2,500 / sqm).

All of these fees may still vary and still depend on your renovation requirement.

You know, the scope of work you require, the site’s condition, location, and all that jazz.

Designer’s payments usually break into percentage chunks:

  • 10% upon your confirmation of the proposal
  • 20% upon the submission of the initial design, visual perspectives, visual and material boards
  • 40% after they have further design ideas into details and materials and you guys more or less have come up with a concrete plan and finishes
  • 20% when plans are lock-in, and they proceed on the production of detailed plans, drawings, and material documents. This is also the stage when they will assist you with the review of contractors’ proposals.
  • 10% this would be for the coordination with you, with suppliers, and the contractors during the construction. The fee will also cover site inspections to check if everything’s going according to plan.


How can I be sure that a contractor is reliable? 

Here are some signs that you are dealing with the right one:

  • provided a copy of their business/mayor’s permits and license (DTI or SEC Registration), VAT Registration, and bank reference details
  • visited and inspected the actual site, studied the plans and material documents, asked questions or clarifications about the design (and maybe, gave some recommendations), all before submitting a cost proposal
  • easy to communicate with. You wouldn’t wait for days for the assigned project manager to get back to you.
  • gave a realistic construction schedule
  • able to give past project client as a reference


How can I avoid being scammed?

  • Research your contractor. Always best if they come with a good recommendation.
  • Meet them for a site visit. Request for a copy of company profile, portfolio, and business permits and licenses. Don’t be shy to ask the right probing questions. How many projects are they currently working on? Do they have partners or subcontractors?
  • If during the proposal inquiry, the contractor refuses to visit the actual site or you’re finding it hard to communicate with them, see it already as a red flag.
  • Price way, way too low compared to other bids and seems unrealistic? Chances are they do not understand the work that comes with the plan. Hit that red buzzer.
  • Don’t pay in one bulk! A good contractor knows the standard terms of payment. Know their proper business name and bank reference details.
  • Make sure you have a tight contract. Review all the details before signing and giving out a down payment.



Hope these guidelines will serve you well, mi amigo.

Remember, take your time and plan your kitchen renovation well.

Work with your designer on bringing out what you want.

Hire a reputable contractor.

Don’t forget to have fun with the process.

There’s nothing like the first celebratory meal cooked right out of a fresh made-over kitchen done right.



How to build a container van house in the Philippines

Thinking of a budget friendly, cost efficient, fast construction and modern vibes for your new home?

With the huge rise of house construction costs in the Philippines, many of us need cheaper alternatives.

One of the cheaper alternatives is building a shipping container van house.

This has been an option in other countries including the Philippines and is gaining popularity these days.

5 Reasons why a container van house is right for you

Reason #1: It’s the trend.

If you are one who is into trying new things and exploring other options, shipping container houses is the one for you.

This is trendy and probably can be considered emerging here in the Philippines.

Try searching for design inspirations and you may be surprised to see a lot of beautiful and functional ones.

If you want to elevate your living and want to be different, this is a good choice.


Reason #2: You can save time in construction

Given that van container house is prefabricated, construction time will be lessened.

Imagine you have a box.

All you need to do is decorate it and fill it with what you need.

This includes the mechanical (aircon), electrical (lighting, outlets, etc.), plumbing (toilet and kitchen) and interior design (furniture etc.).

It saves time in the sense that the shell itself for your house is already available.


Reason #3: You can save money in construction

As mentioned, you will have to decorate and fill in your box only with the things you need.

Moreover, since you save time in construction, then you will reduce the overhead cost or cost of your manpower.

Reason #4: More flexibility for future changes

Since container van houses have the “shell” already, then you can probably classify this as versatile or “flexi”.

In the future, if you want to convert your house into other function such as a storage, restaurant, staff house, classroom, library, emergency shelter, you may opt to do so.

Definitely, van container houses are very easy to customized!

Reason #5: You can be mobile

Have you ever thought of moving to a new location but would want to bring your own house?

Hhhmmm… well, if you think the possibility, container van houses can address this issue.

Since it is technically a container van, then, it can be done without having to consider so much.

7 Steps to Build Your Own Container House Van Project

Step 1: Know what you need and budget

Like in every construction project, you need to start with a plan and ask yourself these questions.

  • What do you need?
  • How much space do you want?
  • How large is the lot to be occupied?
  • How much is the total budget for the project?
  • How much is allocated for the construction?
  • When do you need the project?
  • What is the project timeline?

It is also a good thing to ask your local government unit regarding the permit requirements for this type of project.

This is to ensure a smooth delivery.

Since, there are already existing projects here in the Philippines, most probably, you will not have any problems regarding this.

Step 2: Find container van contractors

Here are the top contractors that specializes in shipping container vans house construction:

1.) Smarthouse Philippines

They provide options not only for houses but also for classrooms, dormitories, and warehouses.

Their projects have reached not only Luzon but also to Visayas and Mindanao Area.

These projects include houses, staff houses, villas, warehouse, dormitories as well as libraries and classrooms.

You can go to their showroom at their Manila Branch, Iloilo Branch, Cebu Branch or Davao Branch.

2) R & A Trading

They offer prefabricated container houses, prefabricated container offices, refurbished container van offices and refurbished container van houses.

Previous projects include locations in Manila and Pampanga. Their office is in Bulacan.

3.) Container Living Ph

This company was founded in 2014 and has done several projects including hostel, café, quarters, restaurants and other commercial establishments.

Range of services include procurement of shipping containers, installation of required openings for other trade’s components (i.e. doors, windows, mechanical and electrical connections etc.), partial pre-fabrication or full pre-fabrication, where modules or containers are delivered ready for site occupancy.

4.) Vantztic Incorporated

Their services include sales and lease of different container vans which can be used as office container van, classroom container van, computer type room, home van with bedroom, CR and kitchen, storage and for telecom containers.

Their office is in Valenzuela City.

5.) Davao Container Homes

They offer supply of prefabricated modular containers for office, house, warehouse, isolation facilities, steel bunk beds, portable toilets, modular bathrooms.

They also offer design and build of customized container house projects like low-medium cost housing, rest houses and beach houses.

6.) Essencia Container House Ph

They offer four types of container houses. These include the flat packtype, corrugated type, foldable type and expandable type.

7.) PowerHouse Prefab
They offer prefabricated containers in various sizes. to suit your needs such as business/office space, private living quarters, evacuation sites, food factories, warehouses, classrooms and even a mobile food trailer.

8.) LuckyHome668

Located in Davao City, they offer container houses stackable up to 3 storey.

These are ideal for office spaces, isolation facility, dormitories, shops, guard house, restaurant, and houses.

Recent projects include house in a forest, company office and a container restaurant.

9.) LowCost Prefab Container House

They offer prefabricated container houses and warehouse with delivery and installation within Metro Manila, Davao Mainland and Butuan.

10.) Indigo Prefab House

They offer several options including container houses, single floor or multistorey prefab houses, prefab guard house, toilet facility and warehouses to name a few.

Past projects include dormitory type container houses, container offices, container apartments, rest house, police outpost and mini mart.

Their main office is located at Binondo, Manila.

Step 3: Communicate

Now that you have thought of your requirements and other details from step 1, you may now proceed to coordinate with your preferred contractors.

Note that it is recommended to consider several contractors and request for a proposal.

This way, you will be able to compare each and probably save you some money.

This way, you will be able to check which suits you most and you will have the general idea on how much and how long the project will be.

Also, you must consider the payment terms and warranty.

Will they require you a downpayment? How much?

For the warranty, is it for 1 year? 2 years? Or even more?

You may also want to ask for after warranty services.

This is to ensure that you will have someone professional to fix or repair in case there would be problems in your space.

With these, you will be able to negotiate not only with the cost but also with the time requirement and other essential matters. Now that is a good tip!

Step 4: Site Visit

After you narrow down your choices or probably select a contractor, next step would be a site visit from your contractor/s.

This is to ensure that they will be able to survey the area and see if there are any problems to encounter.

Probably, they will also be able to have some recommendations or changes to consider, if any.

It is best also for you to ready your questions for clarifications in case there would be some.

This is to ensure that you will get the best out of your money.

Step 5: Blueprints & Plans

After surveying the actual location, next would be the finalization of blueprint and plans.

Here, all the detailing portions will take place.

You are expected to see the material specifications, measurement and other details of your project.

Like in any construction project, blueprint will be your masterplan so it would be best for you also to check on this.

Do not worry of you are not a technical person, you can always ask your contractor or maybe some of your friends to help you out on this.

Step 6: The Checklist

As you get closer to your very first trendy project, below is a checklist of the necessary details or thing to consider with the project.

Since, you will have a van container house, other things to consider are as follows:

➢ Blueprint and plans
➢ Material specifications
➢ Permit requirements
➢ Contract including terms of payment and conditions
➢ Timeline
➢ Other trades: mechanical, electrical, architectural, plumbing, interior design, furniture etc.
➢ Warranty

Step 7: Contract Signing

Everything is settled.

Then, you will now proceed with the contract signing.

PRO Tip: Be sure to read what is written in the contract and make sure all the things and considerations you have initially talked with the contractor were taken into consideration.

Like mentioned earlier, you may always seek help in reviewing all the technical stuff.

There is nothing wrong in asking questions if you do not understand something.

If everything is in order, go ahead and sign that contract!

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

In addition to details mentioned above, here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for you before heading out to your new project.

Where can I hire a container van house company in the Philippines?

Mentioned above are the container van houses companies in the Philippines.

They usually have websites, Facebook and Instagram accounts which will make life easier for you. Try searching them and check the results.

With these, you may have a glimpse also of their previous projects or designs which will serve as your project inspiration.

➢ What is the cost building a container van house in Manila?

Container van houses vary price depending on size, type and your requirement.

A usual used 20ft container van may cost from around Php 80,000 to Php 120,000 while a used 40ft container van varies from Php around Php 120,000 to Php 140,000.

On the other hand, prefabricated container van varies from Php 155,000 (2.5m x 6m)and up depending on the required size.

➢ How can I avoid being scammed?

The key here is to always do proper research to check the legitimacy of the company.

Ask questions such as the following:

  • Do they have a company website where you can check?
  • Do they have the list of previous projects done? (you can probably check this too to make sure they are legit! Why not give them a call or drop a message for you to be sure?)
  • Do they have an office address and probably sample container van houses available for checking?

➢ How can I be sure that my contractor is reliable?

Like in any construction projects, you should require the contract, list of deliverables and timeline or target completion date.

This is for you to monitor you project and so you will have a guide on what and when to expect.

You can also take photos or videos as well for your documentations just like any engineer does.

You can use this for your creative content too!

Some delays maybe expected.

This will depend on the reason/s and other unforeseen factors like typhoons or floods.

But, you should assess and coordinate directly with your chosen contractor.

Afterall, you have signed a contract with them.

➢ Is this safe?

This type of construction has been in the Philippines (and also other countries) for quite some time already.

To answer the question, it is best to ask the professionals directly.

But, given all the previous projects which you can search, it is safe to say that this type of project is also worth trying.

My Main Takeaway

Times has changed and there are already modern ways on construction including this one.

Construction is continually upgrading and getting better.

Van container houses do not only give you the modern vibes but also present quite a list of advantages which you can take into consideration.

Now that you are equipped with some knowledge and new details, why don’t you try this new trend in construction!


How to get your house blueprint plans in the Philippines (And why you need them!)

Have you ever been to a house that seems so tight?

Were you able to climb a very steep stair, so steep that it looks like you are so close to doing wall climbing?

So, what do you think is the main problem which may have caused this?

Is this because of the material used?

Or probably the worker who constructed the house?

Maybe, they were not following instructions!


Well, the main problem here is that many Filipinos are constructing a house just so they can have a shelter.

Simply put, they have no plans or blueprints.

Worry no more because this is the job for an architect, who can draw blueprint drawings for your house.

Image Credit: teravector

What is a house blueprint plan?

This rolled sheet of paper is what you usually see on construction projects.

Blueprints are drawings or plans where you can see the exterior and interior details, measurements and specs of a house or a building.

It’s a design or a pattern where it guides builders how to build a specific project.

Have you ever seen a Filipino architect or engineer rolling out this sheet of paper?

Why do they have to always hold this?

Is it really that important?

But before that, aren’t you curious why it is called blueprint? Is it really color ‘blue’?

Blueprint used to be the process of reproducing the plans and drawings long time ago.

The process involves certain chemical or compounds which make the paper turn blue.

Image credit: Mindandi

Can you imagine our old Architects having to draw every plan and detail on every sheet of paper… manually? Ouch! It sounds so painful!

Well, as of now, construction projects still use blueprint.

Sometimes, you will see plans printed in ‘white print’ like the normal paper you see.

But, generally, blueprint is still widely used. This has been widely used to refer to as the plans and drawings.

Okay… that is pretty much the “History 101”.

Why are blueprints important?

Basically, a house blueprint is your “masterplan” where every detail of your dream house is.

This includes the measurements down to every material to be used.

This only means that there is already a guide to follow during construction.

You will not worry that the construction workers might misalign the wall or the electrician will forget to put electrical socket near your bed, or the study area would not be well lit for your needs.

You will not worry anymore that workers might now follow instructions!

Blueprints will ensure that all components of your house will fall into place, will fit with each other and that space will be properly planned.

House construction involves a lot of details which includes but not limited to the walls, ceiling, electrical works, fixtures etc.

It has so much detail that might keep you wondering, will this be fine? Or will it look best here?

Moreover, you do not want unused space in your house.

Blueprints will ensure that you every inch of your house will not be put to waste.

Surely, it will feel like you had just purchased a new pair of shoes which perfectly fits!

Blueprints will ensure that you are working within your budget.

Cost of your house construction is dependent also on your budget.

Architects will be drafting the blueprint based on your needs and resources.

You do not want to shell out more money than your budget while the construction is ongoing.

You have been saving a lot for this dream house.

It would be so frustrating if you will have to spend more than our budget, right?

Blueprints are a requirement for the Building Permit application of your house construction.

This is submitted to the Office of the Building Official in your Local Government Unit, whether you’re in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao or any province.

They will then review your submitted blueprint before they give you the go signal to proceed with the construction.

Ooohhh! So, are there are certain permits first before you can start construction?

Can you not simply build a house?

Your neighborhood just hired workers for the construction of their new house, can you not do the same?

Yes, 100%! There are rules and regulations depending on your locality.

But, one thing is certain, you will be required to submit a blueprint!

Different types of Blueprint Plans

Blueprints would normally include the following set of plans:

➢ Architectural Plan

This is for the general layout of your house.

How many stories do you want?

How big will be your living room?

Do you want a high ceiling?

Or maybe, a mezzanine?

How many bedrooms do you need?

Do you want a walk-in closet where you can display your shoe collection?

How about having a mini office or mini library?

How about a garden with pool or a gazebo?

Sounds lovely right?

This also includes the materials to be used like the painting you would want, what type of door do you want for the entrance of your house?

Also, what type of flooring you like, do you want floor tiles for your receiving area?

Or maybe wood panels to suit your taste?

PRO Tip: Probably, this set of plans will be the most exciting one for you as you can imagine already your dream house by simply looking at it.

➢ Structural Plan

This is for the “skeleton” of your house, to ensure that your house will stand the test of time 🙂

You have been seeing a lot of news about earthquakes or flood especially here in the Philippines.

You are in the Pacific Ring of Fire and with these, you are prone to experience these calamities.

Of course, you would want your dream house to be safe for you and your family which is why the structural component of your house needs to be planned and designed carefully.

These should abide the Structural Code of the Philippines (yes, you read it right!) to ensure safety.

➢ Electrical Plan

This for the electrical component of your house including the lightings and standby generator set (if you do not want power interruption 😊).

If you are into sustainability, into renewable energy and would want to use Solar Panels, then this set of plan would tell you the detail about it.

Sounds cool right?

➢ Mechanical Plan

This is usually for your aircon needs and ventilation of your house.

This would tell you how many aircon and its capacity you need to buy.

Have you ever wanted aircon for your living area? I bet you do not want a scorching summer season too.

➢ Plumbing and Sanitary Plan

This one is basically for your bathroom and kitchen needs, from fixtures down to the pipes.

Do you want bathroom for every bedroom? or a bathtub for your weekly me time?

How about a powder room inspired by the hotel you last went too?

Alright, does that sounds exactly like a quick walk through to your dream house? Were you able to visualize it?

How to hire you very first architect in Metro Manila, Cebu or wherever you are in the Philippines

So, probably your next question is how do you get these blueprints?

Where will you get it?

Here is an easy guide and overview for you to check.

Step 1: Search for an architect or a company with expertise on house construction.

Google will always be your best friend.

But many times they only display company websites.

So I managed to list all the reputable ones to a directory at Martilyo.

You can also compare the prices, expertise and projects of each contractor there (so you can check the best ones ~ or the most budget-friendly).

The key here is for you to check the “legitimacy” of the company or person and to always check previous projects done.

With these, you may also get some ideas and inspiration for your dream house.

Step 2: Collaborate with the Architect

Okay! So, finally you have checked this company and fell in love with their previous projects after browsing their profile.

Next step is for you to coordinate with the company and request for a proposal.

If you’re booking them through the Martilyo directory, try to get contractors with “a Freebie”.

You’ll see this near the “Grab Contractor” button.

Also, many contractors and architects also offer a free consultation.

You will be asked the basic questions such as the following:

  • How many square meters is your lot?
  • Where is the proposed location or address?
  • How much is your budget?
  • Do you want a 2-storey or bungalow?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • How many toilet and bath do you need?
  • Do you have any inspiration for the design that you want
  • What finishes would you want?
  • Would standard finish fit you? Or do you want it more on the high-end side?

To summarize, this would be defining what you want and what you need in your dream house.

At the same time, your architect will guide you in your needs and give you initial suggestions and recommendations.

Finally, the architect will have an overview ~ a general idea of what you want and what you need.

So, they will be able to produce the initial plans.

Step 3: The Presentation

Now, you can’t wait to have a look at the initial plans.


The Architect will now present with you the floor plan.

Sometimes, they will also show you initial 3D walk through plans.

They will also give you initial drawings for the façade so you will have the general overview on how your house will look from the outside.

This part is getting more exciting right? Since, you will have already a glimpse of your dream house.

Step 4: The Payment

How much will you pay for blueprint plans in the Philippines?

Prepare to shell out money between P10,000-P30,000 for the plans. If your architect or agency is a well-known brand, expect to pay above P30,000.

Most often, a 50% reservation fee will be required as the next steps would require the detailing portion.

Here, you will now decide if you would want to really push through with your dream house construction.

Step 5: Drafting

The architect will now draft the plans mentioned earlier.

Take note that these blueprint plans are not 1-pager.

These are set of plans per trade mentioned earlier.

It maybe 5 pages or even more since every detail is already here.

They will be using programs such as AUTOCAD to draft the plan.

Sometimes, there are still who do manual drawings.

But, again, one this is certain.

Blueprint is still the output.

In addition, the Architect will also be tapping services of other professionals as follows:

Civil Engineer – for the Structural Plans
Mechanical Engineer – for the Mechanical Plans
Electrical Engineer – for the Electrical Plans
Sanitary Engineer – for the Sanitary Plans
Master Plumber – for the Plumbing Plans
Interior Designer – for the Interior Design

Above mentioned, will be the “team” to ensure that your dream house will be the best that you can have.

Step 6: The Feedback

To be able to arrive at the final blueprint, the architect will of course be in touch with you for the approval of the final design and layout of your house.

Do you want any changes? Or some adjustments?

PRO Tip: Make sure everything is final ~ as it will cost you a lot when you change something in the construction stage mid-phase.

Step 7: Begin the construction stage!

Then, finally after waiting for a few days. your blueprints will be printed.

The next steps would be on the construction stage of your dream house.

You can check this post for the top 100 contractors in the Philippines.

Or if you want to have an idea how much to build a house in the Philippines, you can also check the average cost per square meter from house contractors in the Philippines.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed my post.



How to Start and Run a Construction Business in the Philippines

Starting a construction business is challenging in the Philippines.

Your niche (whether you’re a kitchen contractor or a bathroom renovator) is mostly probably be saturated.

Your competitors with deeper pockets have a significant advantage (…and many play dirty too).

I will lay out some of the major problems below.

But you don’t have to worry.

I will also outline the steps how to start a good journey in the construction business.

5 problems of starting a construction business in the Philippines

Problem 1: Overcrowded Competition

There has been a construction boom in the Philippines in the last decade.

I’m sure you have seen all the condominiums and other construction projects popping out.

A bigger pie means more slices for everyone, but it also means more competition.

But your construction company can survive if you are willing to focus on a single niche.

Problem 2: Lack of Knowledge

If you don’t have any experience in the construction industry, it will be very challenging.

The construction business has plenty of real-world challenges that deal with money, clients, laborers, and the government.

PRO Tip: Get someone to mentor you or hire a manager who has been in the industry for 10 to 20 years.

Problem 3: Lack of Manpower with Good Skills

Many skilled workers get higher-paying jobs abroad.

Those that remain here command higher pay.

Your choices are to pay higher, sign-up in a recruitment website or staffing agency.

Or go all-in with a referral drive from friends, family, your current employees, and other people you know who are in the construction business.

Problem 3: Lack of Budget (for Equipment and Materials)

Money is always a big issue.

Cash is like oxygen in the contractor business.

You only get paid when you finish the project, but materials and equipment will have payment dues now.

A steady cash flow or an open line of credit is what a construction business needs. Try taking out a loan in BPI, BDO or Metrobank.

Problem 4: Lack of Customers

There are many reasons why a construction business lacks customers.

Maybe your core niche is already saturated in the market.

Maybe your business will do better in nearby provinces outside Metro Manila like Bulacan, Laguna, or Cavite.

Continue working until you find the best niche and location for you.

So now what?

Laying out the issues above, it seems that all hope is lost.

But if you’re still brave enough to venture the world of construction, architecture and interior design ~ then I’m sure nothing can stop you.

Here I will outline the steps how to start one.

(And improve your chances of how to compete with the big fishes)

Let’s start.

7 Steps of how to start a house contractor business in the Philippines (Metro Manila, Cebu, Provinces, etc.)

Step 1: Identify your Niche and Goals


It’s ok to have big goals, but don’t expect to be the next Megawide or DMCI in the next few years.

Start with your strengths and experiences.

Do a SWOT analysis.

Begin with general goals and then go ultra-specific.

Do you want to be a general or a specialty contractor? Start small.

A good start is to have a steady flow of income to pay your bills and workers.

You can start by being the contractor for making modular cabinets (then you can expand later on).

Can you handle the stress and pressure of a small project?

If yes, scale and take on larger projects.

Step 2: Find a Specific Target Market


As you work on smaller jobs, you find out what types of projects you enjoy.

As months pass and you gain experience, you can now find out your specific target market.

Is it ordinary families looking to build a new home?

Is it wealthy families looking to redesign their kitchen and bathroom?

Maybe you are good at designing small offices and commercial spaces (50 – 100 sqm.).

If that target market is lucrative enough, it can sustain your business for years to come until you decide to scale up.

 Step 3: Study the Competition


Be sure you have accomplished steps 1 & 2, identify your Niche and Specific Target Market:

  • Your main competitors have the same niche and target market as your company.
  • Analyze both their online and offline presence. What info and images can you see on their website and social pages? Do they run ads? Where can you see their brochure and signs? What is their pricing?
  • Organize your research on a notepad or spreadsheet.
  • Analyze the similarities, differences, strengths, and weaknesses of your competitors.
  • Filter out what you can adapt and use in your business.
  • PRO Tip: Find a huge gap in the market that you can exploit. This is how you win against the big fishes.

Step 4: Create a Business and Costing Plan


The next step is creating your business plan. No need to be professional, just a basic one would do for now.

It will serve as your business’ foundation in the future.

  • Executive Summary – introduces your business and what you do.
  • Company Analysis – gives more details and background.
  • Industry Analysis – talk about trends in the industry.
  • Customer Analysis – describe your target market in detail.
  • Competitive Analysis – same as step 3.
  • Marketing Plan – lay down your marketing strategy both online and offline.
  • Operations Plan – explain how you will run your business.
  • Management Team – summarize the career profile of your team.
  • Financial or Costing Plan – make a financial forecast and summarize where the initial startup capital will come from.
  • Appendix – write any supporting added information.

Step 5: Construction Equipment You’ll Need


For a start, you’ll be needing these basic construction equipment:

  • Cement Mixer
  • Power Tools
  • Drill
  • Jackhammer
  • Grinder
  • Measuring tools
  • Masonry Tools
  • Electrical Tools
  • Protective Equipment for Workers

In the construction business, you have two choices, invest in the equipment and let your team do everything or subcontract the job.

That’s why many contractors prefer to subcontract the work.

You need to compile a list of reliable subcontractors.

Even if your subcontractors are very reliable, you still need to manage the project.

Make sure that the job is quality, finished on time, and within budget.

A Point to Ponder: Owning and maintaining the equipment and managing the workforce to operate them can be draining for many startup contractors.   

Step 6: Types of Suppliers You’ll Need


Here are just some basic suppliers you’ll need for your construction business:

  • Steel Frame Systems
  • Concrete and Appropriate Technology
  • Compressed Earth Block
  • Mud Brick
  • Concrete
  • Vertical Transport
  • Elevator or Lift
  • Escalator
  • Composite Materials
  • Thermal Protection
  • Moisture Protection
  • Doors
  • Stile and Rail
  • Raised Panels
  • Wooden Doors
  • Sliding Doors
  • Garage Doors
  • Storefront
  • Electrical Systems
  • AC Plugs and Sockets
  • Circuit Breakers
  • Connector
  • Wiring
  • Switches
  • Wood Finishing Materials
  • Fire Suppression
  • Furniture
  • HVAC – Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Masonry
  • Metals
  • Plastics
  • Plumbing including Fixtures and Equipment
  • Building Safety Codes
  • Security Systems
  • Architectural and Specialty Designs
  • Telecommunications and Internet
  • Wood and Woodworking
  • Windows

Step 7: Basic Staff You’ll Need


Of course, you’ll be needing a team:

  • Construction Manager – They oversee the construction project from beginning to end.
  • Estimator – They estimate the total cost to finish the project.
  • Architect – Uses creativity and expertise to bring to life the vision of the client.
  • Supervisor – They are the bridge between the laborers and management.
  • Expeditor – They determine materials needed, order them, and make sure you receive them on time.
  • Construction Worker – They are the front liners and the driving force of construction. They are the builders.
  • Engineer – Nowadays, engineers use the latest technology to create plans and check if the plans were implemented.
  • Electrician – They make electrical connections for your project.
  • Construction Foreman – Manages the workers on-site and handles their schedule, deadlines, safety, payroll, and hiring.

Step 8: Research everything:


How to Deal with Customers

  • Explain the Plan – If the client asks you a tricky question, you must be ready to answer.
  • Set Expectations – Listen Thoroughly and Take Down Notes
  • Prepare Your Team – Tell them about the client’s personality or expectations.
  • If the client was dissatisfied with something, dig deeper
  • Clients know what they want, but sometimes they can’t express it.
  • You have to put their vision into words.
  • Execute once you agree.
  • Do not argue with clients. Instead, apologize but stay composed.
  • Note down their concerns and discuss how to resolve the problem.


How to do a Site Visit

  • Be organized, detailed, and take pictures.
  • Advice your client to bring their lot plan, map, and a copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) to confirm the total lot size.
  • Given the sunrise, sunset, and orientation of the lot, determine the best positioning for the house/building.
  • Check the soil of the client’s lot and the soil of all the lots beside them. Soil topography has a crucial impact on the cost estimate of the project.
  • Check all available utilities like electricity, water, internet, and drainage.
  • Check all the regulations and requirements of the barangay or subdivision.
  • Check the nearest hardware and suppliers.


How to Estimate Quotes

(The Unit Pricing Method)

  • Take one material.
  • Separately calculate the total cost of labor and the total cost of materials.
  • Divide the total cost by the total square meter of your area sample.
  • Example: Total Labor Cost is Php 18,000 + Total Material Cost is Php 21,300 = Php 39,300 divided by 100 sqm. Total à Php 393 per sqm.
  • Repeat the process for other materials.
  • Add profit, overhead, equipment rental price.
  • You can also add 10% for wasted materials and time.
  • Invest in hiring a good estimator and a good cost estimate software.


How to write Contracts & Papers

  • Write the title and preliminary statement
  • Describe in detail the work to be done
  • Add financial Info
  • Include due dates, deadlines, and penalties for late payment
  • Describe exactly how changes in the contract especially the cost, will be handled
  • Describe how disputes will be resolved
  • Include coverages like insurances and workers salary and all other legal requirements liable to the construction company
  • Add a signature line with the current date and the full name of both parties
  • Require both parties to bring photocopies of updated government IDs with specimen signature
  • Have the contracts notarized


How to Create Blueprints and Drawings

  • Plan your blueprint
  • Research the rules of the local government and the subdivision
  • Draw a rough sketch before working on the actual blueprint
  • Scale the design of your house by 0.25 inches per 1 foot
  • Draw the rooms in the house
  • Draw a second line on the outer wall of the house to write the width of the walls
  • Add details to the rooms
  • Use a felt-tipped pen to label rooms
  • Draw symbols for doors, windows, appliances, furniture, and fixtures
  • Draw symbols for electrical like plugs, switches, and power outlets
  • Write the type of flooring and thickness for every room
  • Add details for scale
  • Include dimension lines for every room and exterior walls
  • Use a computer program or software to create your blueprint
  • CAD Pro, Edraw Max, and Adobe Illustrator are commonly used these days


How to Acquire Government Docs and Permits for a Project

  • Complete all requirements and fill up the application form from the municipal office
  • Visit the Office of the Building Official to submit docs. Usually, they will tell you to go to the Assessor’s Office next.
  • They will give you an Acknowledgement Slip. That is usually pending approval in 10 business days. 
  • Once approved, they will give you an Order of Payment, pay your fees at the Treasurer’s Office.
  • Photocopy the Official Receipt and give a copy to the Office of the Building Official releasing area.
  • After 5 business days, claim your building permit from the same releasing area.


How to Partner with Subcontractors

  • Research the subcontractor before hiring them.
  • Create a very detailed contract and have a subcontractor agreement to protect you from taking any liability for the contractors you hired.
  • Don’t jump into opportunities right away. Shop around. A reliable subcontractor is worth the wait.
  • Be clear with deadlines, but add extra time for changes and revisions. Give them the flexibility to make quality work.
  • Ask what kind of liability insurance they have.
  • Don’t Micromanage. As the primary contractor, your job now is more on project management and building a good relationship with clients.
  • Give feedback.


How to Manage and Find Labor

  • Write a clear and transparent job advertisement online.
  • Use the same advertisement to make offline advertisements like recruitment flyers.
  • Give recruitment flyers to the barangay hall. Eventually, word will spread that there is a construction company hiring within the area.
  • Ask referrals from friends, family, and your employees.
  • Set clear, detailed, and specific expectations.
  • Make sure they are paid well and on time.
  • Build a good relationship with them. Know the story behind the employee.
  • Know their daily task.
  • Do not micromanage.
  • Train them to become skilled workers.
  • Don’t stress them out.


Step 9: Register Your Business


Now if everything is planned and ready, you can now register your business to different government institutions:

  • Register to the DTI for Sole Proprietorship or SEC for Corporation – For a corporation, it can be a one-person corporation, partnership, or a minimum of five for a regular corporation.
  • Apply for Business Permit – Specific requirements, processes, and fees vary per municipality. Visit your municipal hall to get the specific requirements for you.
  • Register in BIR and Apply for Receipt Printing.
  • Register in PCAB or the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board
  • Your business will be categorized from Level E to AAAA depending on the financial capacity you applied in SEC or your Business Permit. Don’t worry if you are at the lowest level. Your business will level up as you grow.


Step 10: Launch and Promote


And finally, the most important part ~ promotion and marketing.

This is the most essential and toughest area of running a construction business, wherever you are in the Philippines.

Here are just some few ideas to help you:

  • Create a buzz in the weeks before the launch
  • Gather a list of people who can give you referrals. That includes friends, family, construction professionals, or clients from your previous career.
  • Create samples of your work like floor plans, 3D outside view of houses, and cost estimate samples.
  • If you can afford it, do an open house style of launching with food, drinks, and showcasing the samples of your work. Invite the people on your list.
  • If not, launch on your social media pages and blast out an email to your contacts that you are now open for business.



We’re finally done! I hope you learned something in this post.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask something in the comment section below. 🙂