Tiny House Renovation: What happened in a month?

8/18/2014 10:34:00 PM

Before I bore you with construction site photos complete with rebars, coco lumbers, and debris, let me thank everyone for not freaking out over this big change. Yeah, 'coz of all of the problems in this world, a blog name change is something to freak out about. I live in a bubble. But seriously though, it's a big deal for me, and I really believe that everything will be better from here on out. (Bubble. what did I tell you?)

Anyway, boring stuff ensues. Where in the world did that month go?? I don't even know. House progress is steady, but as I've mentioned here, it's somewhat snail-paced. They say it's easier to start from scratch than do all the demo and work with an existing structure. It's time consuming. But this is what we have so we'll work with it and just be thankful for the savings we'll enjoy because of this. Imagine building all the foundation works, exterior walls from scratch? That would totally add up on cost.

Week 1: Already discussed it here. It's just a 3-day work week since they started out late that week, so only minor demolition happened. They ripped out wood wall partition, ripped out ceilings on both floors, removed some doors, and start with jackhammering concrete walls.

Week 2: This is basically still demolition week. Because of change of layout on first and second level, a lot of concrete walls must be removed. It's a very dusty week and I'm thankful for the bf's family's patience. Their whole house is practically covered in dust but we didn't hear a word about it from them. Thank you! I think this week, they also started building the formworks for post and beams for additional structural support. 

Week 3: They removed the roof. As much as we wanted to hold on to it because we don't want to expose the existing second floor wood flooring to moisture, we kinda don't have a choice. hehe... Since we're adding a new level, framework and formwork should be done so bye bye roof. They finished the beam for the flooring of the third level, and started building the post.

Week 4: I took this last photo a few minutes ago (we're on week 5 now). Last week they did a lot of formwork / framework. (gawd how many times would I even say those words in this post? Haha.. But that's basically what they did. Formworks. Frameworks. Formworks. Frameworks.) It's quite a long process since we're like building a new house, so that's where were at. We have maybe a week or two to go before we pore the first batch of concrete for the post / beam. Then we'll move all the formworks on to the next level for the last pouring of concrete. After would be metal works, walls, roof, then electrical & plumbing, only after then we would be tackling the interior. If my calculation are correct, we'll have 2-3 more months to go. Urrrghhh.... so near yet so far.

So what did I learn the past month?

1. I am impatient. I've been staring at the construction site everyday and all I can think about is "Naiinip nako!" I wanted to see it move further along quickly, and I wanted walls and roof NOW. 

2. I need to be patient. Obviously, all this won't happen overnight. There's a process and we need to stick by it. It will be done soon. It will be done soon. If I keep repeating that, then it will be done soon.

3. Hauling is freaking expensive! Since we demolish concrete walls, we need to get rid of all our debris (panambak). 
That load of truck costs us P2500. We already did 2 loads. That's P5000 just for throwing away debris. We could buy bulbs, faucets, toilets, with that. But we have to dispose them somehow, so we just suck it up and did it. To save a little, we asked our delivery people of coco lumbers if they could haul one batch of debris, they already have a truck anyway. So they did it for P1000. Hay salamat.

4. It's quite fulfilling to know exactly what goes on inside your house. Like literally inside all those frames and concrete, inside the walls, where would everything go. Those little things makes you feel more connected to the space. Like you really know it. I'm weird.
I even did a few of the rebars support. Like 3. The bf made something like a hundred, and I did 3. Way to go! Haha.. But in my defense, I would have a done a lot more, but delivery of materials came, and no space were left for me to work with. But I'm proud of those 3. Somewhere inside the post or beam of the tiny house were my work of art. Hehe.. 

5. You need to set a budget but you need to be flexible as well. We have a rough idea on how much we'd like to spend for the house, and it's quite a small number that we're aiming for. So we did what we've got to do to save on cost, but in the end, you need to have a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses. We're so far from actually knowing what our total would be, so I'll let you know how that goes. But as of today, we have spent 96,735 Php. Eeek.. and we have a long long long way to go. We'll give a final breakdown when that time comes. Soon I hope! Haha

I guess that's it for now. I cringe at how boring this post is because if it weren't our house, I wouldn't even read this. Haha.. So to those people reading, thank you! But still, I want to document this whole build your house thing. I want to look back and see how far we've come, or even to just reminisce on all this process. Eventually, I'll post the fun stuff, the inspiring stuff, but as of now, please bear with me as I compose another post about ready-mix cement. Haha... No I won't. 


  1. Good to read about the progress of your home. From a reader, whose home is a work in progress too, I hope you salvaged materials you can re-use/re-purpose that would help in keeping cost down a little. For materials that you'll be throwing away which can be sold to junk houses, you could try contacting one, even just those who go street to street with a kariton. This way you can get them hauled off for free and even get a little change from it.

    1. Oh yes. We're salvaging every last bit we can. From old cabinets, old doors, old ceiling, wood, you name it, we're using everything we can reuse. :) The one's we needed hauling are concrete debris or what we call here panambak. And the bf even googled "DIY panambak" in the hopes of doing something with it. haha.. And actually, things we can't reuse but can be sold to kariton we already did. Maybe I can do a post about it but I forgot to take photos, sayang.

  2. Enjoying watching the progress on your place, Elle! Can't wait to see it finished! Maybe before Christmas? It's wonderful to see your dream come into fruition. I have been to the Philippines so I think I can understand the context of your story. The fact that you are working with such a tight budget and space constraints is what makes it so much more interesting for me. Also loving the new blog design!

    1. Hi Mary, yes the goal is hopefully before Christmas.. but at this pace, I wouldn't know. Haha.. But the important thing is we're heading there.. sooner or later we'll get there. :) Well, the great thing about the tiny space is smaller cost. Glad you like the new blog design. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. It wasn't a boring post, actually very interesting. I'm thinking of doing some kitchen renos myself.

    1. well thank you. best of luck to your kitchen renovation!

  4. This post about your house is kind of giving me a crash course. The husband wants to have a chill out place in our so-called 3rd floor but the problem is we are not sure if the structure of the house can take it. Since I have been reading about the tiny house stories, I have read (in between) about you using metal roofs for some of the areas (tama ba?).

    I will let the husband read and see if he can make sense out of it (di ko gaanu makuha ung explanation! hahah) and maybe think if we can use this an option.

    Hope to read more of your renovation updates! :)

  5. Hi Rach,

    Yes tama! I know I'm quite confusing in explaining our process.. haha, it's not conventional kasi. But we basically extended the post/columns of the existing structure, added beams etc using concrete. But for the walls, steel frames and metal roofs on the exterior, with insulation and hardiflex for the interior. I'll be posting update soon. :)


Thanks for dropping by. I'd love to hear what you think! :)

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