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Emigrate to the Philippines

Planning to move to the Philippines? Besides its scenic landscapes and stunning islands and beaches, its rich history and various cultural influences add to the country's appeal as an expat destination. Check out our guide to help you get started.

Building a house in the Philippines

Building a house in the Philippines

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After securing your own plot of land or getting a valid lease agreement for a plot of land, you’re almost ready to make your dream house in the Philippines come true. This, however, entails considerable planning, energy, and resources. 

Read on to find some useful tips and information to help you get started in building your dream house in the Philippines.
hand with pen on top of building plan layout

Building permit

In order to be allowed to build a house in the Philippines, a building permit is required. If the financing of a building project is secured, the property has been contractually agreed by means of a deed of absolute sale and notarized, you can submit the building permit to the local building authority.

The contractual relationship between seller and buyer that has come about via a “ Deed of Absolute Sale ” is legally secured and binding, whether the parcel has been entered in the Register of Deeds or not. (Administrative Code of the Philippines, Sec. 194).

It is advantageous to consult an engineer or master builder who is responsible for the plans. This person should also have the necessary contacts with the building authorities responsible for the approval of the plans.

In addition, you will also need a second plan- the electrical installation plan, which must also be approved.
bundles of one thousand Philippine peso

How much does it cost to build a house in the Philippines?

The costs of building a house in the Philippines generally depends on the type and size, but are significantly lower than in Europe. You can build a nice house in a great neighborhood for around 40K USD, and if you have 100K USD, you can already live in your own mansion-house here. 
Now, if you are on a low-budget side, you can build a nipa hut with brick foundation walls. A roof made of nipa is not only beautiful but also cheap and keeps the rain off well. Note, though, that approximately every 3 to 5 years this type of roof has to be retiled.
woman holding a plan and a building contractor facing house construction

House building Philippines Tips

It is highly recommended to be on-site during the construction phase. If you are having your house built while you are preparing for your pension at home in Europe, don't be surprised if everything is not built exactly as you would like it to be and if the construction progress does not meet the schedule. 

Even for most Filipinos building a house, the owner is typically on-site as often as possible, even if he does not do anything. Even if you are not knowledgeable in construction, just being there during construction and using your common sense can bring about a few advantages. This also allows you to assess the construction and still intervene in time, if there are some mistakes, to prevent costly home repairs down the line.

Below are some additional tips you might want to consider:
  • Choose the workers well. It is best to listen to recommendations from friends and other expats.

  • Pay attention so that the cement fills the hollows well and that the iron bars are welded or at least firmly bonded together.

  • To avoid termite infestation you can use the chemical club (Solignum, Termite X).

  • Considering that the Philippines is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, earthquakes are common. For this reason, you might want to choose a location that’s less prone to earthquakes, or at least build a house designed to withstand the impacts of an earthquake.

  • In the Philippines, typhoons are a common occurrence, when building a house, it’s recommended that your roof isn’t installed too high and shouldn’t be too heavy, however, the slope must be sufficient for the flow of water when typhoons strike.