Great masonry. With three exclamation points.

Speedy called me into the garden saying he wanted to show me something. As I walked toward where he was, he said, “When we build a new house, we’ll hire this person…” He pointed toward the house being constructed behind ours and…

The hell we’ll hire whoever the mason in charge of the construction is.

I mean… crrraaaaap… even without a meter stick, the naked eye can see what’s straight and what’s crooked, right?

Two ways to view the crooked construction.

First view: It’s an illustration of the “Pwede na ‘yan!” mentality. Literally, that translates to “That’ll do!” It’s one of the bad traits Filipinos are often accused of. In many cases, not without reason.

Second view: That’s the problem when all the best construction workers have gone to the Middle East to build skyscrapers or to China to build ships. Those that are left to build our houses are the ones without enough skills to get them employed abroad. Still, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem if the architects and engineers supervise the workers’ daily output diligently. But many of the good architects and engineers have gone abroad too.

I only wish that the owner of the house can see this. But if he can’t be bothered to check on the construction progress, perhaps, it just serves him right.


      • says

        I can def relate here actually. My mother has this habit of getting someone from the not-so-nice part of the neighborhood to do quick-fixes around the house for really cheap labor. ‘Baratilyo’ is her word for that. It’s not unusual to hear hollow spots on a newly tiled sink. Frustrates my Dad to no end.

        • Ken_L says

          Is there a possibility it’s deliberate … an attempt to make some kind of archway instead of the normal boring rectangle? I guess you’ll know when the time comes to fit the window :).

      • says

        i’m sure makikita din yan ng supervisor or owner pag malapit na matapos or tapos na yung bahay. And then, di na nila maayos kasi dagdag bayad yun.. haaay. sakit sa ulo.

      • says

        I give up. I have some knowledge in architectural design and I can’t figure anything out of it. I was thinking that that kind of misaligned construction is too gross not to be noticed.

        Pero talagang wala.

        I can only surmise that they stacked the hollow blocks from top downwards.

  1. Betchay says

    Ms. Connie, I think you should be concerned as this construction is right behind your house baka pag nag earthquake bagsakan house niyo! When we were having our house constructed we saw something not right, we immediately found a new set of architect and construction company plus we had a structural engineer checked and repaired it before anymore damage done…..nipped in the bud! Sakit ng ulo talaga magpagawa ng house. Kailangan bantay sarado ka.

      • says

        Beng, what’s the nursery rhyme about the crooked man…?? The tune keeps playing in my head. :-P

        Ken_L & Ruth, considering that the other side is straight, that’s would be a weird arch don’t you think?

        curiousGirl, yes, and when that happens, I wonder what the solution will be — get rid of the mistake and rebuild or make the usual “remedyo”…

        Trosp, since you know architecture, notice how the hollow blocks on the top two levels (to the left of the window) are too widely spaced apart? Is there a good explanation for that?

        Tanggero & Gigi, when the construction started, I know that they dug pits for the posts… I just don’t know how many there were.

        benign0, exactly. Even whether it’s hollow blocks or frefab concrete affects the price.

        Tito Rolly, basta wag sya mahulog sa property namin ano?

        • says

          “Trosp, since you know architecture, notice how the hollow blocks on the top two levels (to the left of the window) are too widely spaced apart? Is there a good explanation for that?”

          Actually using hollow blocks would come out cheaper than having a solid cemented walls or spacing them farther apart than they should be. You can’t economize having them farther apart.

          The only explanations when you have eliminated the impossible (Sherlock Holmes, pahiram muna), whatever remains, however improbable, must be that it is either poor workmanship or hollow blocks availability.

  2. tanggero says

    malamang lasing yung mason – di ko tinagayan yun ha!

    pero bilib pa rin ako – naitayo yung wall ng walang poste

  3. says

    That’s what we get when we refuse to pay our workers the same wages employers overseas pay them. We want cheap, we get cheap.

  4. d0d0ng says

    This is really so funny cutting through the budget!
    1. There is no corner posts or steel reinforced concrete columns.
    2. Broken hollow block being used.
    3. Lacking hollow blocks so there are wider gaps at the top left.
    4. On the window side, the guy put the wood beam and two layers of hollow blocks on top of it before the side concrete (where the wood rested) cured, so each side hollow block settled and moved to the right due to the weight at the top.
    5. The contractor is hoping that all the deficiences can be covered up during plastering so the owner will not able to see them. The problem is the plasters will crack starting from the corner later before the wall will collapse when there is enough tension like earthquake.

    Connie, kindly give us an update when finishing is done. Tks.

    • says

      Please update us Connie kung kailan kayo makakita ng mga cracks on their walls, signifying na talagang merong mga structural defects ang construction. Be careful, too… Masyadong malapit sa inyo yan.

  5. says

    My late uncle was a contractor and he was very strict with the work of his workers. Sometimes he has work sites all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces like Batangas and he would make sure that he gets to see all these sites almost everyday.

    He was such a perfectionist to the point that when they were constructing our house, he asked his workers to take down the wooden sliding front doors (four huge panels in all) which were already in place because when he looked closely, he saw that the wood wasn’t smooth enough. He made them strip off the varnish and sand the wood again.

    Being in the construction business needs one to be a perfectionist and very meticulous.

    • says

      Crisma, di lang update. Because if that wall cracks and damages our property, lawsuit na maliwanag yan.

      Ria, the way your late uncle did things USED to be the standard. But, these days, contractors don’t want to lose money by repeating work even if the cause is their own workers’ fault. Mga gahaman na ngayon.

      • says

        What…what…WHAT?! I am so sorry for the unknowing owners but the incompetence of the foreman and workers is both hilarious and sad. Somehow, they don’t seem to care that people will be living there, probably will be sleeping right next to that wall, sus mio.

        • Jokologs says

          Mukhang design lang talaga yun hehehe.di na kasi USO yung masyadong symetric. Look at the cars evolution, from angular to curves hehehe

  6. Norm says

    I really think that you should contact your City Engineer’s office about this and have a Building Inspector visit that site. This is a huge concern not only to the owners of that particular house but to you and the whole community. Kung napalitadahan na yung wall, show them your photos as evidence. Baka madami na ring na-peste itong contractor na ito and maybe, just maybe, the City Engineers office would care enough to investigate the contractors’ previous jobs and have its license revoked kapag nalaman nila’ng this contractor is a joke.

  7. says

    LOL, I have never found a very literal illustration of “cutting corners” than this. I mean look, it IS a cut corner! ROFLMAO!

    P.S. They’re right about the City Engineer thing. If this house collapses, it would crash into YOUR yard wouldn’t it?

  8. EbbaBlue says

    Oh, gosh this stir my deep embedded emotions about the masons and carpenters that I hired to build an extension of my Mission House for the purpose of having a small Bible Classroom for the children in Quezon province. Not to elaborate, naku I fired them before the job is finished and my budget going overboard; nice neighbors pitched in to finish the construction, but as with good heart and intentions they have..(and I allowed them to), naku palpak din ang natapos. After the 3 earthquake na dumaan, last year (after 1 year of the construction), mayron ng crack yung wall (done by the original masons) and yung floor naman na tinapos naman ng mga more than willing carpenter kuno (neighbors) ay tabingi pala ang pagka-semento and.. .many more…Naku talaga. Pwede na rin daw yun sabi ng mga nakakita. Argghhh talaga

  9. slowhands says

    Hope they never have an earthquake, because this won’t stand. I have lived through many quakes in California, masonry is always the hardest hit. This looks very bad. Worse, it will probably be covered over by mortar to hide the gap, so after plastering the owner will never know. What negligence!

    It is partially fixable. Cut out the hollow blocks on both walls, drill holes for rebar into the walls, pour a corner post instead and use L shaped rebar dowels to couple the walls . Also, a solid concrete beam on top should replace the top two courses of hollow blocks all the way around the house.

  10. Chit says

    Whoahaha! We we’re just in the construction site of our little house yesterday and this was a familiar scene we were looking at….not this bad though…he fired out all the workers two weeks ago and now the construction is at a halt!

    I love your blogs connie even food unrelated! Just enjoying your website…will be hiky recommending to friends and if you don’t mind in Facebook!