How to Build Your Own House in the Philippines

House on a hill
December 12, 2022

If your budget for building a house is insufficient and you want to save money, here are three tips that can help you if you live here in the Philippines.

If you don't come from much money and are self-reliant, it can be a bit difficult to build your own house or you’re lacking the budget, maybe these tips can help you. I have listed some tips below on how you can save money while building your house. 

It is not new to us that building a house is really expensive and we will need to prepare for such a monumental task. Like most places, here in the Philippines, the materials needed to build a house are expensive.

After my wife and I got married, we didn't have our own house either because we didn't have a good job and we couldn't save money to build a house. Luckily, if you are here in the Philippines, apartments are relatively cheap. So, we rented one while saving money for our own house. And after two years, we saved a little money and decided to build our very own house. 

And since we didn't have enough money, these are the things we did to save money to accomplish the goal of building our home. Hopefully, these tips will help you too.

1) Make a House Plan and Create a Budget 

It is important that before building a house there is a plan so you know what you are doing. You don't necessarily need an engineer or architect for this because you are not going to build a big building. Instead, you can ask for help from your acquaintances who are house builders to help you plan. They know how to plan and build such structures and usually, it's free or you just have to give them a snack or offer a helping hand in return.

Instead of hiring an engineer whose fee is usually quite expensive, just ask your acquaintances. There are also many ideas and tips on google about the designs and plans of houses. So even if you don't know anyone who builds a house, this can also be an option.

You also need to know how much your budget is for the house so that the construction can be sustained and not stopped. So, it is important to plan and estimate the budget in order to continue building your house. Be sure to add some extra cushion to your budget to account for any possible surprises. Typically adding 10% to your overall budget is a good idea to be safe.

2) Ask Relatives or Close Friends to Help You

It is natural for Filipinos to help one another, so consider asking your friends or families to help you build your house. Here in the Philippines, the term 'Bayanihan' is still practiced now, so if you have a lot of friends, it's better. ‘Bayanihan refers to the spirit of communal unity, work, and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.

Through ‘Bayanihan’, the community can come together to help you build something great. And, in return, you can participate to help others in your community. If you know how to help people, you can also expect them to help you when you need their help. Just try it, it works most of the time.

3) Make Your Own Furniture or Cabinets in Your House

I build most of my furniture in our house. They are not beautiful but they are utilitarian and great for my family. I made a dining table, divider, chair, and table in the living room. I made almost all of my things in the house, so I'm very frugal and thankful for the ability to do this. It’s not as hard as you might think. 

If you plan to build a house and you think you don't have enough materials, then practice how to make the furniture inside the house to save a good amount of cash. When I built it, instead of buying the furniture, I just bought plywood, lumber, and other materials and assembled them myself. I saved about 50-60% here. You’ll learn a lot in the process and can possibly do woodworking for other people as well. 

In the beginning, you don't need a fancy house. Remember we have to spend according to the budget we have. Don’t try to live above your means. Learn skills and be willing to try new things like building parts of your home or furniture because we can use them when we need them.

Hopefully, these tips inspire you to build some or all of your own house someday in order to save on the cost. Even doing part of the house building yourself can save you a lot and you’ll learn so much in the process.