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Craftsman and Construction in the Philippines

In a past post “Man Viruses Machine” I wrote about the lack of modern technology in building. That is not completely true.

But a lot of the craftsman does not have the luxury to afford a lot of the tools we take for granted in the States.

Recently we needing some cement work and some tiles. The man we met through a friend is mainly a carpenter. But because most tradesmen need to work in other areas to complete a job, he is also a mason and a tile setter. He also was able to do some plumbing since we needed a sink replaced.

I have seen other forms of craftsman that surprised me. In the States if you need some fancy exterior molding or cornice work on a masonry structure they use a foam piece molded in the desired shape and then just stucco over it. Here it is done totally with cement mortar. When done it shows no ripples but smooth as if it was pre manufactured.

In America most interior doors are hollow core and in most cases is just compressed paper with wood frame. Here the interior doors are 6, 8 or 15 panel doors. They are hand made, and one of the best things is they are more soundproof.

Most interior walls are masonry. They mostly use a 4 inch by 16 inch hollow block and then a smooth coat of mortar is put over the block like a plaster coat.

Electricity is mostly run in a flexible PVC conduit. The bad part is if you want to add any electric receptacles they need to break open the wall, run the conduit and wiring and then close the wall back up with concrete.

Decent wood to build with is either expensive or of a low quality. Also since it is hot and humid here most of the year, termites are a problem. So because of this, as you can understand, concrete is the mostly used building material.

Roofs are mostly metal rafters with a metal covering. The coverings come in different styles. Rolled seamed and also some that look like tile.

I have not heard of the use of attic insulation so venting the roof is a good way to keep the house cooler.

From being in the architecture industry with home building, at first I was amazed by the way things are built, but I do not see any falling down and as the old saying “When in Rome ……”

I still remember when I moved to Florida from California. In California most homes are built with wood stud framing. When I was driving in Florida and saw masonry block exterior wall construction and metal stud for interior walls, I said to myself “Where is the wood”

So, you see, construction changes by country as well as regions within a country.

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