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Concrete Fence: Contract, Plans and Cost

 Building A Concrete Fence: Contract, Plans and Cost - The Mock Up

The initial mock-up of our concrete block fence

 

This article is part of a series on how we built our concrete hollow block fence or wall in the Philippines.
More information can be found here: Perimeter Fence Philippines: Index

In the first part of this series on the building of our concrete fence design in Davao City, Philippines, we covered the search for a designer and builder and tips on the design process. In this part we’ll take a look at the plans we designed, talk about the contract we signed, and show you some of the material costs.

The Plans

Overview

The plans call for a wall around our 768sqm lot to be constructed from 4-inch CHB (concrete hollow block). The block will be laid atop a concrete footer set 4-feet deep into the ground and between concrete columns. The columns are to be “exposed” on the interior, meaning that they will be larger than the width of the block and protrude on the inside of the fence wall only. This leaves a smooth face on the exterior. The fence will be 4 feet above the ground on the sides and nine feet above the ground at the front and rear.

Atop the 4-foot sides will be 3/16″- thick steel angle stock that is 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ wide. The stock will be cut to form points at the top. On the front and rear fence walls, the angle bar will be 1 foot high and also trimmed into points.

All fence walls were to be “parged” (covered with a coat of a cement and sand mixture to look uniform) on both sides. We will have a main gate and a “man” gate made from tubular steel and native yakal wood.

 Building A Concrete Fence: Contract, Plans and Cost - Column Footer

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The Plans – More Detail

The column footers were reinforced with lengths of 12mm rebar wired together to form mats 2-foot square. These were wired to the column skeletons which were made from 4 lengths of 12mm rebar tied together with 9mm rebar laterals to form a tall rectangle. These skeletons would later have wooden forms built around them and the forms would be filled with cement to form the columns.

The columns were tied together at the bottom by horizontal lengths of 12mm rebar with 9mm laterals (just like the columns, only longer) which made up the footer reinforcements.

Here is a picture of the bones of the anatomy of the fence walls, and a picture of what the left side elevation was to look like.

 Building A Concrete Fence: Contract, Plans and Cost - Column Anatomy

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 Building A Concrete Fence: Contract, Plans and Cost - Left Side Elevation

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The Contract

The contract we signed included the design and building of our CHB fence. Separately, we agreed to have our architect draw up house plans for us which wound up costing us ₱50,000. The idea was, if we were satified with how the fence went up, we would use him to build the house as well. If we weren’t satisfied, we would still have a set of plans to hand to a different contractor.

Our architect offered us the contract for the wall at a standard cost for labor. He figured it like this: whatever the materials estimate was, he took 40% of that and added it on as a labor estimate. There were also permitting fees and contingency deposits,  and “professional fees” noted in the contract. The contract also included clearing the lot and filling it to prepare for building the house.

Costs For The Concrete Fence

To try to save money, my wife Menchu took the architect’s materials list around to various hardware stores and to see if we cold get better prices than he was quoting us for the large items.

This is a very important point. Buying our own materials would save us money but it would increase our participation and responsibility in the project. Rather than letting the architect deal with suppliers and scheduling and verifying deliveries, it would be up to us. At the time, we were renting a house in a development that was just down the road from our lot. Knowing we would be on the site nearly every day, we felt comfortable monitoring the materials.

Another important point is that going to the hardware stores in the area and talking to them helped us establish relationships with the store staff and delivery drivers that would help us during our house build.

The initial contract cost from the architect was ₱884,000. Buying some of the materials ourselves drove our actual cost for the fence down to ₱753,000.

Some Itemized Costs

We were responsible for buying the bags of cement, the 4-inch CHB, the rebar reinforcements, and the angle and flat bar stock. Here is a chart showing our costs:

 Building A Concrete Fence: Contract, Plans and Cost - Chart of costs

Keep in mind that this is what we paid for these materials over a year ago in Davao City, Mindanao. Prices vary from place to place in the country and from store to store. They also vary by the quantity purchased. You can usually work out a small (or significant!) discount on large purchases. Prices also differ according to supply and demand.

To illustrate: we just bought some bags of cement for our backyard piggery project and the price per bag had gone up 20-pesos to ₱265.00.

I hope you liked our second installment on building our concrete fence here in Davao. If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

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