A friend of mine at work recently gave me a flying fox (known as zip lines in other countries!) that his kids had grown out of. To minimise damage to the trees, we passed the cable through a piece of rubber hose which we slipped around the tree.
Because we have small kids (and sometimes even smaller visitors!), we strung a plastic swing seat underneath the cable car.
The height of the fill contained within the perimeter walls of the house and supporting the floor is adjustable based on local conditions.
Still, we had to consider that the surrounding land is open to development and that our future neighbors will fill their lots. We trucked in sand and gravel fill to raise the entire lot and the house location even more. All electrical circuits embedded in each floor are tested with a continuity tester before the floor is poured. Since the rooms are to be tiled, an ultra smooth surface on the concrete floor is not desired.
The thickness of plaster was not uniform as the plastering was used not only as a finish coat but also to correct any irregularities in the building. Your blog is very informative and helpful, I am currently building a 2 storey house in negros oriental and I’m Wondering if you have any idea on the ideal rebar grid for the second level flooring and also the rebar size.
One should always use a plastic membrane between the earth or fill, before the cement is poured to create the floor slab. Brian, for protecting wood we used Solignum to paint the wood, it is available in dark brown or in clear color.
Being married to my wonderful Filipina wife, we often have spend time in the PI and I have some understanding of how they install tile, (much different then the US) I found it hard to find a floor installation that was flat and or level. I have also been keeping an eye on your cost reports with interest, trying to get a rough estimate for what we will need to build phase 1.
Every hardware and building supply store has loads of pumps, from inexpensive Chinese to U.S. Right now I have many problems arising on my project, with the tile installer, with the carpenters and masons. Plus I have something that you can add to the concrete, well that is if you can find it there.


In a house it not needed, and even a 80 mm concrete will be strong enought to carry load from a normal house load, without rebars, as long as the underground is stable as its done here. The moisture membrane is to control the amount of moisture going through the concrete, and mainly its a problem if you put carpets direct on the concrete, as they can hold back moisture, and get very stincky and filled with poisionous mold and mildew, which is dangerous to humans. Good craftsmenship – tradition is to keep away, or keep in place, things you dont like to go other where. In my opinion the steel rebar should not get in contact with the ground otherwise it can rost and can make a swiss cheese out of the concrete over the years. It’s so helpful for me to follow your blog because you are ahead of me in your project (except in spending!) so I get a preview of problems and frustrations to be expected. I’m not really so experienced with concrete but I always realized that a runny mix was a bad thing.
It had actually been passed down to him by another workmate of ours several years earlier, when his children had grown out of it! We loosened it right off, secured both ends of the cable as tight as we could pull them by hand, and then wound up the turnbuckle to get as much tension in the cable as we could. Kids can hold onto the handlebars if they like, or if they’re a bit small or unsure they can sit on the seat.
It’s a simple piece of play equipment that provides hours of fun, and cost us nothing. While all electrical circuits are in conduit and theoretically could be rewired, some wires in this room go outside the house to lighting at the front gate, so they could be a little difficult to repair. I would like to ask how much water you used for the 1-2-4 cement slump so that it will not turn out soupy? But i think you will use tiles on top so nothing will pass through, and mold and mildew wont build.
We needed sturdy trees that were far enough apart to get a good ride, but we had to stay within the length of the cable I had. You’d be welcome to come around sometime and let the kids have a go, and check out the construction of the flying fox. We did do some filling of the lot before we built the house, but all footer depths were measured based on undisturbed soil — the footers are set in undisturbed soil, not fill.
Never leave raw metal (rebar) exposed to wet conditions, and even more so if you live near the ocean.


When I started tearing it up I had found that some of the wire mesh was in contact with the ground on the bottom side.
There was bubbling white sand at the bottom of spring which put out about 5 to 10 gallon per minute.
I’ve seen network and ethernet cables under false (raised) flooring in Data and server rooms. I some of the concrete job that I have worked on we would just us rocks that would life the wire mesh or rebar so that it would be in the middle. While I don’t want damage from termites, borers or rot I am also deeply suspicious regarding the safety of wood preservatives. The house is on about one meter of sand and gravel fill so not too much moisture should be present. I also watched a home improvement TV show where a floor heater was laid under the floor, but then again these were raised floor in New England states and likely to have basement.
I am old enough to have lived through the banning of widely used preservatives which are now known to be toxic; penta, creosote, arsenic etc. Our 500 liter storage tank is quite high so we’re hoping we can rely on gravity from our storage tank. The Philippines is hard on buildings — earthquakes, floods, typhoons, blistering sun, termites and now rising seas. After these months of working together, we generally produce good concrete without much fuss, as long as I am there supervising. Our well gives enough water and by local standards is good but it’s nothing like what we had on our farm in New York. In New York huge areas (Adirondack and Catskill Preserves) were set aside in the 19th century to protect water resources.



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