How to Build a House Under P200,000 in the Philippines


Dream Big

Building a house in the Philippines can be anyone’s dream.

Now, how to make that a reality—well, that’s a different story.

Start with a vision and a budget

First, you’ll need to wake up, so that you can start with your vision and budget.

With everything that’s going on in the world today, you’ll also need to pluck that optimistic and go-getter attitude—so don’t forget your coffee.

Know what you want

With the right mindset (and money), planning should be a thorough yet exciting activity.

You just need to know what you want, where you want to build it, approve your next-door neighbors (this should be on your top 3), and most important of all, decide on the color of your walls!

With these checked, there’s still a lot to do—but at least you already know what paint color to buy ASAP.

Time for a small talk

But first, popping the big question: how can you build a house with a P200K budget?

Consider essential Factors

New House 101 tells us that the cost of building a house depends on a lot of factors such as area (square meter), materials, location, and more.

This does not include the appliances, furniture and fixtures, and plants (plantitas, take note), so these will fall under a separate budget.

Choose wisely the area, materials and manpower

If you want to build a house for P200K or less today, then you’ll need to plan for a smaller area, with simpler materials on a lot you already own, and of course, be prepared for a lot of DIY.

Think positive and have an optimistic outlook

It sounds like a ton of work, but it will be a fun and fulfilling experience.

After all, this will be your beautiful home and perhaps your best project ever.

Good things come in cute packages

Estimate the area

Given this modest budget, you’re looking at a rough or basic finish with a cost per square meter (sqm) that falls within P8,000 to P15,000.

Simple math will tell you that you can start planning for a 13 to 24 sqm abode.

The good news is if you are in a provincial area, you can stretch to 40 sqm with this amount!

The basic budget

The better news is that here’s a sample budget allocation so that you know what to expect (and to start your shopping list with).

With a total budget ready, you can tell how much to allocate for the different jobs and tasks, and if you will need to set aside some budget for a contractor (decisions, decisions).

Task List Percent Budget
Interior and exterior finishing

–       Flat ceiling and basic roofing

–       Cement floor or ceramic tiles

–       Paint finishing (Walls)

–       Steel windows

–       Simple wood doors with economical locks and hinges

–       PVC toilets

70%  99,792

–       Economical lavatory and sink countertop

–       Plumbing fixtures and drainage

20%  28,512

–       Economical lighting and electrical fixtures

10%  14,256
Total project cost 100%  142,560
Contractor (and/or Labor)  40% of project 57,024
 Total Housing Construction Cost

(net of other fees, permits, and fixtures)

Budget for “others”

Remember, this is just the cost for the bare-looking house. For the embellishment, fixtures, and other fees (not covered by the contractor), you’ll still need to allot more budget for these “others”.

Tiny but Mighty: 10 Tips for Giant Savings

Fear not, there are ways to keep within the P200K budget radar.

You’re not about to build a mansion with a pool (though we won’t stop you from buying an inflatable pool for the kids).

Here are tips to be resourceful, efficient, and just practical in your house construction.

TIP #1 Find an inspiration, and copy (or improve) it.

You can always copy or get insights from existing home designs (online and actual).

This is not an exam so this is not cheating (especially if you enhance it)!

Check youtube and other social media posts

Besides, YouTubers and other websites proudly post floor plans, drone shots, and 3D models of their projects.

Even proud homeowners showcase their cute homes and give online tours.

The fact is it’s FREE to look and emulate shared and readily available designs and plans.

Save time , money and energy

With visual examples, it will be easier for you to narrow down what you like and dislike.

This also gives you the perfect excuse for a field trip!

Rather than spending time (and money) on the floor plan and layout—you can get this job done easier with something already available and feasible.

TIP #2 Focus on the basics

With limited space, it’s important to prioritize the essentials: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room.

Your role as “Master Architect” comes with great responsibility in making smart and practical decisions—even if it hurts!

first things first

If you’re a family with a dog, you need to prioritize your kids’ room before the dog’s, even if the pooch is a lot cuter.

Don’t also force a garage, if you don’t even have a car. Focus on making the living space inside as comfortable as possible.

Why this helps

Keeping your plan simple and realistic will enable you to finish your project faster and within budget.

Aiming for unrealistic plans for such a small space will just disappoint you.

You might end up planting your garden on the street and making it public property.

TIP # 3 Keep it simple

Your goal is to maximize what can be done within, such as adopting a simple box structure.

One roof and four walls should be adequate.

Adopt uncomplicated designs

Stay away from uneven angles, curved walls, and slopey roofs because they will require complex work and therefore, cost you more.

Why this helps

The basic structure will be faster to design and build and will prove to be sturdier in the long run.

A not-too-sloped roof will also be easy to construct and repair in the future.

Wow others with interior decoration and accents instead—which can perk up any modern box space.

TIP #4 Make minimalist your design option

Choose a color scheme that is neutral, simple, and easy on the eyes.

The wrong paint choice—like too bold or colorful—will make your small house feel even more cramped, tacky, and stressful.

You don’t want to be compared to a kindergarten classroom or your favorite food court.

Go for neutral, simple and easy color schemes

Bring in some zen and calm with colors such as white (and black as secondary), beige, cream, or even a light gray.

Why this helps

You’ll achieve a beautiful and modern-looking house with a lot of breathable space.

You won’t need a lot of texture, embellishments, or extra decoration, which means more savings for you.

Also, investing in a minimalist and light-colored palette will prove to be a “cool” decision for building a house in our tropical “always summer” climate.

TIP #5 Build it up to make it look big
Add a loft

Add a loft to be your bedroom.

It’s classy and will give you an air of privacy. This will also create more space for the living and dining rooms below.

Place big windows

Place windows as well to bring in ample daylight (and your daily dose of Vitamin D) and shower your home with a lot of positive vibes.

Why this helps

The semblance of a loft will make your house look bigger!

It also offers more space without having to expand the floor area.

The loft does not add much weight because it occupies only a part of the second floor.

The windows add hospitability and charm, and of course, help you save on electricity during the daytime.

TIP # 6 Go window shopping
Search for discounts, sales and good deals

You will only know the cost and the availability of the materials if you check the stores first-hand.

Canvas the prices, and always inquire about bulk discounts, sales, and free delivery.

You might also get more inspo from the swatches and materials once you see and touch them.

Why this helps

Being price smart allows you to better manage your budget and wisely select the store/s to do business with.

If that store is your one-stop shop, then that should warrant you a lot of good deals (and freebies)!

Also, if you hire a contractor or others for this task—you’ll also know if he’s adding a mark-up (and giving you the evil laugh behind your back).

TIP # 7 Use forever material

Affordable, durable and chic

For your forever home, choose materials that are affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and durable over time.

Your design can work around these materials to achieve any look you want!


The basic concrete finish lends to an industrial and modern look and will go best with the box shape in a tropical climate such as ours.


This has a cool and classic look.

Stone is practically ageless and is a perfect choice for a country or outdoorsy home.


A brick home is sure to last a long time.

You can play with its versatility to achieve different looks from Mediterranean to minimalist Scandinavian.

If those were a mouthful, let’s just call it a beautiful brick house with your choice of color.


Steel is cheap and provides a sturdy foundation (think Superman).

It also brings a classy and art deco look to doors and windows.

If you want to look artsy to your neighbors and friends, then steal this look!

Why this helps

Longevity, fewer repairs, and a timeless look all contribute to preserving your forever home.

TIP # 8 Find housing alternatives

Explore modern methods

If the traditional construction is not your cup of tea (or soda, no judgment here), you can also consider prefabricated homes, shipping containers, or use prefabricated panels to build a new home.

They’re like a “cheat sheet” for getting a new home done at Superman speed.

The basic finish will still require you to invest in electrical and plumbing works, doors, sliding windows, double walls, tiles, and many others.

However, you can make specifications when you order them.

Why this helps

Prefabricated homes are already (pre) built, durable, energy-efficient, and weatherproof.

They require less labor costs and are manufactured to be thinner and stronger.

Move-in time is also faster with these Lego-inspired panels.

TIP # 8 Make safety a priority
don’t forsake Quality

Always ensure that the materials and methods used are of quality and best practice.

Do not skimp on costs if you think they won’t be seen (like beams and structure) or if the digging will add to the project time.

structurally sound house

The foundation, structure, roof, and walls make up the whole house and should be seamlessly connected to be durable, flood, and earthquake-proof.

If not, believe us when we say that wearing a hard hat all day at home is not fun.

It also doesn’t look good in a Zoom call.

Why this helps

We always hear safety first. Ensuring a solid foundation and a structure that is deep and unyielding will grant you a strong and weather-proof home.

Quality materials play their role in protecting your home from acts of nature, strong typhoons, cracks, and leaks.

That also means less cost for repairs and renovations in the future, and fewer wrinkles for you.

TIP # 8 Plan for some DIY bonding activities
Involve family and friends

Save on some costs and make fun memories by doing easy tasks with family and friends.

Of course, we don’t recommend you do carpentry or masonry work just to impress your relatives.

You can leave the heavy-lifting and muscle-building tasks to the skilled laborers.

start a diy project

By DIY, we mean easy painting, installing wallpaper, cleaning, and moving in the furniture.

Now if there’s a giant fridge or king-sized bed—that calls for more muscle.

Crafty skills in making cabinets, stools, or shelves will come in handy.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can volunteer to apply for the permits needed, and buy the refreshments for the rest of the hardworking clan.

Why this helps

The more tasks removed from the budget list, the more savings achieved.

Plus, the DIY activities are just a modern form of Bayanihan, which just deepens the bonds of family and community.

TIP # 9 Re-use and declutter

sell and earn, save and keep

Be smart and practical. If your current furniture and appliances are still functional, you don’t need to buy new ones.

Your new house will love you even if your things are not 100% brand new.

In the same way, if you feel that you are moving in more things than necessary, categorize them into the Throw, Recycle or Sell pile.

The Recycle pile can be sold for a few bucks, while the Sell pile warrants—you know it—a garage sale!

Your trash may be another man’s treasure.

Do we see Peso signs on your eyes?

Why this helps

Re-using things will not deplete the budget you’ve set aside for your house construction.

It’s also an environmentally friendly act to clean and recycle.

Having too many things is just going to make you look like a hoarder (not good) and ruin the fresh look of a new house.

Lastly, you stand to get rid of your trash and earn (Peso signs on your eyes again)—that’s hitting two birds with one stone!

TIP # 10 Keep it always new
Invest on care and maintenance

The best way to preserve the beauty and shine of your new home is to keep it clean, neat, sparkly, pest-free, and sprawling with life.

Always keep a broom, mop, soap, and rags handy.

Clean, repair, refurbish, repeat.

Why this helps

This is your forever home, so keeping it always in tip-top condition will incur fewer costs, damages, and other problems in the long run.

A Little Help Doesn’t Hurt

How to find the right contractor for your budget

Hiring the right contractor for your project will help you in many ways.

Here are some tips on how to properly choose a budget contractor:

  • Get referrals from family and friends.

Someone known by someone you trust should be a reliable candidate.

PLUS points if you get to check out the house—or okay, for safety concerns—see a photo of this masterpiece.

  • Find a contractor with years of experience and know-how of the biz.

This way, he knows the ins and outs and the tricks of the trade—in a legit way.

  • Check out his track record.

His list of past and ongoing projects, achievements, and even a photo gallery (if a website) will be proof of his work.

  • Ensure that he’s got the credibility—like a license or an engineer’s PRC ID.

A professional is less likely to commit fraud or cut corners. A photo in a hard hat is not convincing enough!

  • Stalk him (online)!

Seriously, do an online check on forums and social media to obtain feedback or reviews about him.

Social media users are quick to vent about fly-by-night contractors, and this is the best place to spot a scammer!

  • Canvas and compare quotations.

Don’t make a selection based on the unusually lowest bidder because he might “compensate” through other means.

You’ll be surprised one day that you’re missing a tile—or something to that effect.

  • Get to know your man (or woman).

The best way to gauge one’s character and ability to manage your project and budget is to meet and discuss the plans.

If he can marry the requirements and budget in a reasonable and practical method, then start signing those papers.

Save the happy dance when you’re home!

Small Budget? No Problemo!

Placing a big checkmark beside the mind-boggling question: can you build a house for less than 200K in the Philippines?

It’s doable—with the right planning and budget management.

It’s negotiable—with a smart and reliable contractor and an even smarter planner (that’s you).

A contractor is optional, but you know the drill—don’t easily fall for pearly white smiles and hard hats.

It’s customizable and classy—because you have the power (and skill) to design this simple and minimalist beauty.

It’s a job well done! Because your family and friends are sure to help you out.

Even if it’s just eating the leftovers from your DIY painting-bonding sesh—that’s still helping out.

Best of all, it’s exciting and fulfilling! This is the work of your hard-earned money and well-planned efforts.

It’s a design curated by your heart and some internet search.

Maximize living space

You don’t need to focus on expanding the size.

Just make sure you bring in quality materials and maximize the living space for the family (and the dog and plants).

As a parting reminder, always remember to keep it clean and neat!

You’ll never know when the dirt police, allergies, or neat freaks will pay a visit.

This home will be, hopefully, your forever home.

It’s all yours to love and grow in and keep forever. Now that’s a dream that’s far from being just little.




4 replies on “How to Build a House Under P200,000 in the Philippines”

Good am, shanta, my question is shipping container home livable? Which is better, the prefab or shipping container? Ca i geta referral from as to where to get both.

Magkano po kaya magagastis sa bakal po kasi sabi ng tatay ng asawa ko 220k daw po is bakal palang daw po e 60squere meter lang naman po itong bahay at isang palapag lang naman po e rerenovate lang po. Magkano po kaya bakal palang im here antipolo city

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