Secrets for beginners on how to get started in the construction Business in the Philippines


Philippine real estate has come a long way where only the big guns reigned the industry. Times have changed and even small time wannabe developers can get a juicy bit part of this ever growing business.


Armed with dedication, passion and determination, you can bask in the glory of a good ROI (return of investments). After all, we are talking of big bucks not loose change-so to the brave at heart, here are a few time tested advise that I would like to share.


If you are starting from scratch, find a good location to construct your intended project. Bear in mind the basis for a good location is the accessibility to transportation, schools, malls,marketplace, church. Make sure location is "Ondoy" free.


Get a good and reliable architect. Check out his references, projects and credibility. It is important that the architect you choose is able to interpret your ideas, goals and objectives. The bedrock of your construction will depend on a good floor plan that is well thought and carefully studied.



When designing your floor plan emphasis should be placed on  the two elements of nature-LIGHT & AIR. To achieve this, create a high ceiling, big windows so the room will be well lighted and ventilated. If costs becomes the issue, heed not - cost becomes insignificant when your buyer can enjoy the surroundings and feels the breeze. After all who wants to enter a dungeon-dark, and dingy room.


Quantity Surveyor or in Philippine parlance-an estimator of your construction materials. For small projects like a simple house, duplexes, townhouses, the estimator of your construction materials is usually provided by the appointed architect which is in the form of the bill of materials to be used for the project.  Im not saying that an estimator will replace the role of a QS or quantity surveyor. Far from it because a QS is a highly specialized field thaeven the minutest detail of your construction materials are computed. Getting a QS is the most ideal process but can burn a hole in your pocket because they are expensive. However, it is essential that quantity estimates are given prior to construction because for the wannabe developers, this will serve as your beginning balance for the construction materials that you will order. It also lessens over ordering of materials by your contractor and will give you an idea on your projected material costs and will show the entire scope of labor for your project.


Costs of finishing materials like type of tiles, bathroom fixtures, roof, paint are treated separately as this will all depend on your budget.


Choosing the right contractor. This is the most crucial aspect of construction because it can actually make or break your back. It is important that you do a profile check, see their past projects, and look at how thorough is their submission of their labor contract. In small projects, and a usual practice by the contractors they would want to provide labor and materials. The choice is yours. Check out your bill of materials provided by your architect and compare this to their proposal. To get a head start, you might want to assign a trusted staff to start canvassing the unit prices of the basic construction materials needed and just multiply this based on the quantity presented. It is also essential that prior to construction, the contractor will provide you with their methodology of construction, schedule, manpower, A MUST - prior to actual construction, a coordinated shop drawing is provided to you showing  how the electrical, sanitary lines will be installed. At any given time do not allow that the main structure like columns or beams compromised by allowing pipes to pierce through the concrete. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN unless with the approval of your structural engineer, make sure he signs the shop drawing and file all shop drawings provided by your contractor as these will serve as documentary evidences.


Filing of building permit(s). The building permit is filed depending on the location of your project. Please google and see the basic requirements to give you ideas on what are the procedures, timeline needed before you ground break. Again this is a tricky and sensitive issue when applying the necessary building permits(s) in the Philippines. Be foxy and be a good negotiator-NEVER TRUST NO MAN. Understand what is asked before you commit. It is again a  practice to appoint at least a closest-to-I can-trust representative who will liaise and do the dirty work in securing all the necessary government permits.


as part of your architect's contract of engagement, 2 sets of plans be provided.
One set (signed and sealed) by the respective engineers to be submitted for building purposes and the other set (signed and sealed) also for actual construction.


Create a bodega or storage for your construction materials. Make sure you appoint your own trusted employee to monitor the deliveries and outgoing of materials. Create an efficient recording system so you and the rest of your staff can monitor the ins/outs of goods.Keep your storage area impeccably clean and organized at all times-I call this the-supermarket storing system- where your trusted employee can determine what is running low, misplaced or worst stolen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Ground break day-make sure your architect is around to supervise & Ensure that locations of your columns are in place and followed according to plan.


A borrowed Quip:


"Good Architecture comes from Inspiration, Great Architecture comes from Collaboration"





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