Building materials

Sharron

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Dec 19, 2002
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Good afternoon all

I was wondering if anyone can tell me the answers to the following please

the ratio of building blocks to bags of cement and sand, for the construction of walls for a house. eg 100 blocks is x bags of cement and x meters of sand

the amount of cement and sand per square meter for the base

I?ve spoken to a couple of builders who tell me different things. Never having considered building before I don?t know the answers for myself and I need the figures to work out how much it is all going to cost before I go any further.

many thanks for all your help.

Sharron
 

Barnabe

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Dec 20, 2002
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Hi,

proportions commonly used in France for wall mortar:
1 bag cement 35kg
10 buckets sand, ie 100L
17,5 L water
Volume approx 90 L
approx. consumption with hollow 8" block: 50 L/m2.

Don't forget the rebar, at around 2000 a quintal it can go fast.
Then the rendering.

Three years ago, I calculated a value of around 12 USD/m2 for non structural walls 18ft high I built in SD. This without rendering.

Anyway, if you are going to build, you should IMO consider than the walls are the cheapest part of the work, and probably the least problematic.

Hope it helps,

Good luck,

Barnab?
 

gin

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Mar 19, 2004
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Barnabe said:
Hi,

proportions commonly used in France for wall mortar:
1 bag cement 35kg
10 buckets sand, ie 100L
17,5 L water
Volume approx 90 L
approx. consumption with hollow 8" block: 50 L/m2.

Don't forget the rebar, at around 2000 a quintal it can go fast.
Then the rendering.

Three years ago, I calculated a value of around 12 USD/m2 for non structural walls 18ft high I built in SD. This without rendering.

Anyway, if you are going to build, you should IMO consider than the walls are the cheapest part of the work, and probably the least problematic.

Hope it helps,

Good luck,

Barnab?
Salut Barnab?,

Comme je sais que tu es Fran?ais, je vais poser ma question dans cette langue car l'anglais n'est pas really my cup of tea :disappoin
Quels sont les ?l?ments d'une construction qui posent le plus de probl?mes ou qui c?utent le plus cher en RD ?

Hi Barnabe,

And what are the most problematic or expensive parts of the work in DR ?

Gin's daddy
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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Good question

1) Getting a good design
2) Getting a good construction team
3) Making sure the calculations for footing and beams are correct
4) Making sure things like corners and windows are square.
5) Finishing touches, such as stucco and cabinetry is nerve wracking.

I will check with some local civil engineers, since those are worthy questions and deserve answers in bags, buckets or wheelbarrows, since those are what the workers use to measure construction concrete and mortar.

HB
 

Chris

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building costs

Back in my US days and even in South Africa building costs were usually quoted in eg. $xxx average per sq foot, or sq meter. Is there such an average number for the DR?
 

Barnabe

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gin said:
Salut Barnab?,

Comme je sais que tu es Fran?ais, je vais poser ma question dans cette langue car l'anglais n'est pas really my cup of tea :disappoin
Quels sont les ?l?ments d'une construction qui posent le plus de probl?mes ou qui c?utent le plus cher en RD ?

Hi Barnabe,

And what are the most problematic or expensive parts of the work in DR ?

Gin's daddy
Hi Gin,

Two issues: cost and problems.
I am not a builder, my comments are based on one 100m2 house and 600m2 commercial building I had built in the DR, with many mistakes, especially for the house.

About cost: the breakdown will depend on how you build your house, what materials you use (what kind of flooring? sanitaryware? cabinetry? windows?) So there is no "ratio" to be used that makes sense. Now, in Dr it's like in most countries, and Escott told you that already: finish work is the most costly part of a home building.

About problems:
- before buying a solar have the ground checked to be sure it is firm enough.
- don't listen to any dominican "maestro", have your house designed, as Hillbilly told you, especially if it has two storeys or more. Proper design of footings, beams and columns is easy. But it must be done, and checked when building. I am sure some posters know of serious Dominican architects.
- I have had problems with roof leaks: flat roof with no pitch. Plumbing: pipes with wrong diameter, and no pitch again. Electricity: bad quality wires, no protection, corroded.
-cabinetry: no quality problems, just had to send my lawyer to get the done work.. Always take you a 50% deposit, and then keep you waiting while they are drinking your money.

I am talking about the most serious problems, because you won't see them right away and when they arrive, it is very costly to solve them. Sometimes (in case of inproper structural design) it cannot be solved.. Other problems (Hillbilly's not squared windows for example) I have had but they could be solved right away.

Pay a good designer and design in details, the final cost will be zero, as you will spare money with that.

About getting a good construction team, that's a serious problem.. If you build around Santiago or in the North Coast, you will most probably find some advice here. In Sd you can find french people, if you feel more comfortable. Just have to pay the price.

I have no idea of how they build thatched tiled roof. with concrete formwork? Can anybody help?

Barnab?

PS Gin, if you really need french translation, PM me, sorry this is an english speaking forum.
 

Sharron

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Dec 19, 2002
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Many thanks for the replies so far. I really appreciate them and any more you care to make.

I have the design, and am talking to a builder that I saw build some other houses and I am going to pay him per block laid, for the walls etc. This is not a fancy mansion or anything grand, and I don?t have a whole lot of money to throw at it.

I will go to the block, sand and cement supplier myself to buy the materials, which is why I need to make sure I am not "misled" by either the builder or the supplier. I have also arranged for a Dominican friend to go and watch them every day to make sure that my materials don?t end up going for a walk.

The next thing on my list to price up is windows and dooors. Any ideas?
 

Escott

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Chris said:
Back in my US days and even in South Africa building costs were usually quoted in eg. $xxx average per sq foot, or sq meter. Is there such an average number for the DR?
You will get a general price per meter in Dollars on the North Coast but each plan and specs are different. I think 40-50 per sq. ft is a good starting point.

Scott
 

Hillbilly

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Recent talks to builders here in Santiago

Say that RD$8000-RD$10,000 a sq. mt. of construction. with "best"finishing--Mahogany Door frames and doors and cabinetry, for example.

Still looking to talk to my engineer friends.

HB
 

Escott

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Hillbilly said:
Say that RD$8000-RD$10,000 a sq. mt. of construction. with "best"finishing--Mahogany Door frames and doors and cabinetry, for example.

Still looking to talk to my engineer friends.

HB
Can you post a name of someone reliable at these prices? I would use them in a heart beat. That is about half price of the North Coast.

Scott
 

Chris

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Hillbilly said:
Say that RD$8000-RD$10,000 a sq. mt. of construction. with "best"finishing--Mahogany Door frames and doors and cabinetry, for example.
Escott said:
I think 40-50 per sq. ft is a good starting point.
My son and his building partners came up with $20 per sq. mt. (North Coast) They spent quite a lot of time with us in the past few weeks and tied up a building project for themselves while they are looking toward transitioning to live here part of the time.

They build with alternative techniques, heavy on using the right wood - more than concrete block stuff. They are all educated in Japanese carpentry techniques as well as sustainable building techniques using renewable resources. (I don't want to defend this statement - I'm simply explaining so that my next statement makes sense).

Where they are currently, in Maine, the cost for the specialized stuff that they do, is anything between $200 to $300 per sq foot. What a major difference in cost!

Scott, are you sure you're not being quoted gringo prices?
 

Escott

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Chris said:
My son and his building partners came up with $20 per sq. mt. (North Coast) They spent quite a lot of time with us in the past few weeks and tied up a building project for themselves while they are looking toward transitioning to live here part of the time.

They build with alternative techniques, heavy on using the right wood - more than concrete block stuff. They are all educated in Japanese carpentry techniques as well as sustainable building techniques using renewable resources. (I don't want to defend this statement - I'm simply explaining so that my next statement makes sense).

Where they are currently, in Maine, the cost for the specialized stuff that they do, is anything between $200 to $300 per sq foot. What a major difference in cost!

Scott, are you sure you're not being quoted gringo prices?
I haven't been quoted myself. This is based on seeing plans, specifications and quotes by reliable builders in this area. This includes NICE finishing and pool also btw.

One house was about 2400 Sq. Ft another was about 1200 sq. ft.

Scott
 

Barnabe

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A good Mahogany door will cost you about 12000 pesos in Santo Domingo. Say 10000 for the bedroom doors.
A custom made mahogany kitchen I would say minimum 80000 pesos.

Windows, there are many options: simple "persiana" shutters or real windows: wood, aluminium, PVC? www.induca.com.do I think it's the greatest company in SD. If you need pricing info, as you say you have a trusted dominican friend, tell him what you want and he can find out for you giving a call.

You will see that the cost of windows and doors, as a whole, exceeds the building cost of the wall. If you build a house with many small rooms, you will of course have a higher cost per sqm than if the rooms are larger.

Thus this personal advice: if for budget reasons you have to choose between room space and quality of finishing, choose the room space. I say finishing, not building. If you have a larger, well built house with poor finishing, you can improve it later if you wish or can. Also, if you are in a middle class Dominican neighborhood, your house will have more value, including for resale.

If you have a good carpenter, you can have really nice pine doors or dressing. It will cost you quite less than Mahogany, which is nicer, sturdier, heavier but much more expensive. If you look for economy I think you can also find affordable, good "Masonite" type doors at Induca.

I don't have real windows in my house in SD, just persianas. You get dust but apart from that, I find it OK. Noise is not really an issue.

BTW, don't forget the safety features in your budget. Minimum is iron for all the windows. if you leave in a Dominican neighborhood, balcony should also be closed with iron bars. Also if you have a car it needs protection. 4 small used tires on steel rims are worth 5000 pesos.

Even in SD you can have a nice 150sqm house built for 10.000sqm. Nothing really fancy, but not bad at all.

Now if you get a 20000 pesos/sqm presupuesto, probably you are choosing high quality materials, sanitaryware and appliances.

Barnab?
 

Sharron

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Dec 19, 2002
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Barnabe

Thanks very much for all the info and the weblink.

I have 300 sqm of land and am using most of it for the house and garage. I am going to get the house done a bit at a time. The rooms will be fairly spacious. 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen/diner and bathroom.

I am paying the builder just to "build". The finishing will be done later, ie kitchen cabinets, internal doors etc. I will probably go with the persianas for now. Sanitry ware and other items will be purchased by myself, once I have found what I want, and installed by someone else.

I am in no hurry to move into this house as I am living in a nice rented apartment for now, and can afford to stay there whilst this is being done.

Once again thanks for the info.

I would still like an answer to my original question though, if anyone has the answer.
 

gin

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Mar 19, 2004
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Barnabe said:
Hi Gin,

PS Gin, if you really need french translation, PM me, sorry this is an english speaking forum.
Thank you very much, Barnab? and the others, for those very interesting informations :cheeky:
I hope this thread will have a long life !
Just an other question : are mixer trucks beton easily avalaible all over the DR, price and quality ???

Thanks again

Gin's Dad
 

Barnabe

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Sharron,

your original question was twofold:
. for the walls, cement and sand quantities. It should be possible to calculate that with my answer above. Maybe Hillbilly will provide you more accurate info.
. about the base, I am not an engineer, but I guess it will be difficult to give you an answer. First (detail), you do not mention gravilla (gravel?). I suppose you will incorporate it in your base..

Are you going to "vaciar una zapata", ie build a 10cm thick concrete base? OK. Ask the "maestro" that will do it for you to tell you how much of everything he needs. You'll have your budget, and your friend will be here to check. Want to check again? Ask one of these companies that deliver readymade concrete for a quotation; "I need concrete for a x cm thick zapata that will be y m2. How much?" Home made concrete is about 40% cheaper than ready made, so it gives you a way to double check your budget. (About ready made concrete, you have to bear in mind that the work is more expensive, but quicker and cleaner than home made, and with an appropriate concrete, not just "a mix of cement and aggregates with water").

Now, are you sure this zapata is the appropriate type of base for your home? For example, if the soil is clayey, it gets really unstable when rains are repeated, it moves below your house...your home might be happy to find some firm point..

Concrete houses are extremely heavy. Hillbilly said that one of the problems was to have a sound design. Design has various aspects. OK; you know where you want the kitchen, the master bedroom, etc.. But what about the structural design? It is a one or two storey houses. Basic work for a structural engineer. Find one, you draw the house, he will design the structure. It will cost you a few pesos, but it could spare you a lot.

I am not sure you have analysed it this way. Because, for instance, you don't mention rebar. But first, it is of paramount importance, and second, you can be easily cheated by you maestro (if he wants to) on rebar.

Of course my advice costs me nothing, and that's your money at stake.

I'll try to get you more info on your question anyway,

Barnab?
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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Barnabe said:
Even in SD you can have a nice 150sqm house built for 10.000sqm. Nothing really fancy, but not bad at all.
Are you saying $10 a sq. meter?

Thank you for your information Barnabe - I think you have a number of people reading every word and putting it away into their "bags of tricks" to build in the DR.
 

gin

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Mar 19, 2004
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Does the Dominican law force to have a Dominican architect or my daughter who will be a soon engineer in construction can she play this part?

In addition, is it possible, without passing by a building firm, to find a mason independent and reliable and at which price?

Thanks

Gin's Dad