An Englishman In Isabela Blog #101 – Steaming Ahead

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Northcon crew were steaming ahead today. Lots of activity in every area of the house and many skills/craftsmanship in evidence. I feel a certain buzz of excitement as I wander through the rooms of the house and see all these skills coming together to create a lovely home.
I have always been fascinated by the way so many of the tools they use are created on site in DIY fashion. For instance, there are a number of handmade ladders constructed from wood and bamboo. The framework the welders climb to reach the roof trusses has also been welded together onsite. Tools for adjusting the curve of a window consist of a short piece of water tube with a nail through the end. The man making the mouldings for the windows uses a piece of shaped aluminium. Although very simply made, in the hands of craftsmen these handmade tools appear to be just as effective as a product you would buy from a hardware store. Welding equipment and certain power tools like grinders are provided, however.
At the end of the day we met the engineer we have appointed to handle the perimeter fencing permit application. We will manage this sub-project on our own, without assistance from Northcon, as we have declined their revised quotation which we felt was still too high. Unlike Northcon we don’t have overheads or profits to consider so where we can do certain aspects of the project for ourselves we should.
We will use reinforced hollow block for the wall elements with half moon steel railing covered dips to maintain the view from our windows. The wall will also have rampart elements to prevent any collapse and will be set back from the backfill. The front wall will consist of attractive steel railings above a wall, but the back and sides will be kept very simple to minimise cost while at the same time providing appropriate security around the two houses.
Backfill, driveway and maybe a pool remain to be discussed with Northcon but no bid has yet been received.
The height and length of the wall was agreed with our engineer and he will prepare the plans over the next week before submitting them with supporting documents for the fence permit. We have to go to the barangay hall in Patul tomorrow to obtain the barangay fence construction permission. This has to be submitted to city hall along with the other documents. Once we have the necessary permit we will order materials and Gina’s brother will direct the construction.

Check out this video: Hyner/Mangli got House Construction 26 January 2010