Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Holcim HUB guides aspiring owners in building their homes

Apr 08, 2011

You’ve saved up enough money for a house, and you want one specifically made for you and your family. You’ve already visualized hundreds of times where the different furniture will go and how the rooms will look. You’ve built your dream house in your head, now the challenge is actually getting it done. 

Building your dream house will most likely be the biggest expense in your life, so you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. But with a daily schedule likely packed with having to juggle time for work and home, it would be difficult to squeeze in time to manage your home’s construction.

You need to keep track of the budget, regularly meet with the contractor and check the construction progress etc. If reading about this feels tiring, wait until you actually have to do it! It is definitely one huge task, and you need all the help you can get.

Cement maker Holcim Philippines understands that would-be homeowners like you need assistance in making your dream home a reality. So as an added service, it has launched its home-building solutions brand called the Holcim Helps-U-Build (HUB). Consider the Holcim HUB an expert you can consult and who can guide you through the home-building process—from design to construction.

Remember that it’s your dream home so the experience of building it should be enjoyable, and the memories pleasant. “Horror story” and “stress” are not words you want associated with it.

To get you started, here is a short guide on the important things you need to know when building your house, based on the Holcim HUB Home Planning Kit available in the Holcim HUB centers in SM Pampanga and along McArthur Highway.

1. Designing your home

With the design in mind, consult an architect who can flesh out these ideas and give you a plan and cost estimate. The architect should be able to tell you whether your specifications are realistic given the site you’ve picked and budget. Also, familiarize yourself with the construction rules and regulations in your area and plan for them too.

Holcim HUB Business Manager Jay Santisteban said it is important to prepare a detailed plan. “A complete design helps you estimate construction expenses. It will serve as basis for buying the building materials, guide for any subsequent design modifications, and basis for securing permits and financing,” he said.

2. Preparing the budget

Cost estimates, no matter how well prepared, do not cover unforeseen expenses once construction has begun so expect the actual price tag of your house to go higher.

Prepare a budget that would realistically allow you to see the project through. Consider your current savings as well as possible financing options, in case you need some contingency. Be disciplined in prioritizing expenses. Spend only for the essentials and resist the temptation to stray from the budget.

3.    Forming your construction team

After crunching the numbers, assemble the team that will build your house. We strongly recommend interviewing several contractors before choosing one. Do a background check with the contractor’s previous clients and suppliers so you would know his reliability.

Santisteban said it would be good to have a contract drafted by a lawyer detailing your expectations and the contractor’s deliverables. The Holcim HUB Home Planning Kit has a sample of this that you can go over. Your contractor should also be able to help you in securing permits to get the construction started. Finally, meet with your contractor and architect to discuss how to execute the project.

4. Shopping for materials

You can shop for the construction materials or delegate this to your contractor. If you decide to do this, stick to your design and your budget. Visit several hardware stores for best possible prices. You can also check out the Holcim HUB Builders’ Center along McArthur Highway, for our selection of high quality building and finishing materials.

Santisteban, however, noted that shopping for materials should not just be a bargain hunt. “While you should keep an eye for bargains, do not decide on purchases based solely on prices. Keep in mind the specifications of your project and ensure your purchases are what you actually need,” he said.

Always consult your contractor about the ideal volume of products to avoid wastage or slowing down the construction.

5. Managing the project

Regularly check on the project so that agreements with your contractor are honored both in terms of work quality and schedule. Refrain from making sudden changes to the agreed plans. This will not only prolong your wait and bloat your expenses, but it can also be frustrating for your construction team. Major changes late into the construction activity may also require new permits.

6. Moving in to your house

Once the project is finished, ask your contractor to walk you through it for a final inspection. Two months before you move in, consider hiring the services of a moving company to help you transfer to your new home.

Properly organize the move by creating an inventory and labeling the boxes accordingly. Start unloading furniture for the second floor with items for the living room at the end.

Santisteban said those who have more home building concerns are free to visit the Holcim HUB Service Center in SM Pampanga.

“We have home advisers there who will be happy to assist you. You can also visit the Model House and the Holcim HUB Builders’ Center along McArthur Highway to see what a house—the construction of which is managed by the Holcim HUB—looks like, and browse through quality materials for your home construction needs,” he added.

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