“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Sunday, June 19, 2011


You may want to know how our house was designed.

Well first of all we collected house (home plan) designs on the Internet. It must have been hundreds.

One house that I liked, from a Filipino/American architect from California, was selected to try to make a model to find out if this was a helpful method to better visualize the house. It worked well and we concluded that it was not as nice as we thought. By the way this was done in 2008 in Malden, The Netherlands, see the pics.

Model from plywood

When we lived in Thailand in 2009/2010 I bought a book with 120 different house designs, from the Home Collection Group. Although I don't read Thai, the title page shows that is book number 6 in a series of books. We used this book to select our design in 2010, when we lived already in the Philippines. I asked my wife to make a top 3 of the best designs, I did the same. Our top three's didn't match. Even worse the top 3 of my wife had only one design, no. 92, all other designs she didn't like. I accepted her choice, but I wanted some changes. More balconies, removed the prayer room, added a maid room , dirty kitchen and a utility room.

As I couldn't find details of the architect to order a building set of papers, I decided to do it myself.
I just had learned to use Google's Sketchup (version 7) and started to draw the design and made the changes I wanted. We agreed that this was the house we wanted to build. Meanwhile we purchased a lot nearby

Google's Sketchup design
I also made a budget, based on the footage size and the rule of thumb 150-200 euro per sqm. Total area 1st and 2nd floor is 513 sqm, so budget worst case becomes 100.000 euro or 6 million peso.

Next step was to handover our design to the engineer/architect/builder who would help us to build the house. He built many houses for foreighners in a subdivision in Santa Barbara, called Wedge Wood. He is a relative of my wife and would deliver the workers, contact major suppliers making sure that we were paying fair prices and supervise the construction work week by week, while I did and still do the daily management.

He also prepared the papers for the city hall, to get a building permit. For this reason the house was modeled in AutoCad, and the AutoCAD people delivered a set of ca. 10 pages of drawings like site view, construction details, floor plans, roofing plan, elevation view, including plumbing and electrical. All to be signed by my wife, the architect and an employee of the city hall.
The building permit was also required for a tempory electric connection on the building site.
Also a budget of 3.5 million was handed over to the city hall, which is the basis for the tax to be payed.

AutoCAD artists view

As I write this post, the house is almost finished. See the picture of the house below. The final costs to build the house was 1 million less than the budget!. This is excluding the lot, fence, outbuilding, pump, landscaping and swimming pool.

The real house, almost finished


Contact Form


Email *

Message *