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How to Successfully Negotiate with Contractors in the Philippines?

If you're planning a construction project in the Philippines, you may be wondering how to get the best value for your money when hiring a contractor. Negotiating the price is a common practice, but it's important to avoid making assumptions that can lead to unrealistic expectations and delays in the project.


In this article, we'll discuss why hiring a design professional is essential when negotiating with a contractor and how it can help you achieve your goals within your budget.

Understanding the Role of Contractors in the Philippines

Before we dive into the benefits of hiring a design professional, it's important to understand the role of contractors in the Philippines. Contractors are responsible for managing the labor and materials needed to complete a project, but they don't own the suppliers. Therefore, negotiating with a contractor as if they have control over the suppliers can create confusion and unrealistic expectations.

For example, if you want to build a new home and negotiate the price of materials, such as lumber and roofing, to stay within your budget, making assumptions about the cost of materials that the contractor cannot fulfill can lead to disappointment and delays in the project.

Why Hiring a Design Professional is Essential

Hiring a design professional, such as an architect or interior designer, is essential when negotiating with a contractor in the Philippines. Design professionals can provide detailed plans and specifications for the project, which can help the contractor accurately estimate the cost of materials and labor. A design professional can also help you make informed decisions about materials and finishes that are within your budget while still achieving the desired look and quality. They can also help you prioritize the most important aspects of the project, which can help avoid unnecessary expenses and delays.

In addition, a design professional can help you develop a clear vision for the project and create a detailed plan that can be used to solicit bids from contractors. This can help ensure that you are comparing apples to apples when evaluating bids and can avoid surprises or misunderstandings during the construction process.

Negotiating with a Contractor in the Philippines

When negotiating with a contractor in the Philippines, it's important to communicate openly and honestly about your budget and expectations. Doing your research and having a good understanding of the current market prices for the materials and labor needed for the project can help you negotiate a fair price that is within your budget while still providing the contractor with a reasonable profit margin.

It's also important to remember that a good contractor will be transparent about their costs and will work with you to find ways to save money without sacrificing quality. A contractor who tries to hide their costs or refuses to work with you on the price may not be the best fit for the project.

The "Pakyawan" or "Pakyaw" System This is a common agreement between homeowners and mostly freelance contractors for construction projects in the Philippines. Under this system, the freelance contractor completes the project for a fixed or specified price, regardless of any changes in labor costs and materials. This can be advantageous for homeowners as it allows for a clear and fixed budget and can be a good option for simpler construction projects or renovations. However, potential drawbacks include the possibility of lower-quality work and materials, as well as difficulties in making changes or modifications to the project scope once construction has begun.

If you're considering a "pakyawan" agreement for your construction project, it's important to carefully weigh the potential advantages and drawbacks. Our next article will dive deeper into the "pakyawan" system in the Philippines and explore how it works in more detail, so stay tuned for more information. Lastly, it's essential to have a written contract with the contractor that outlines the scope of the project, the agreed-upon price, and the timeline for completion. This can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that both parties are on the same page.


FEROLINO ALEJO CORPORATION manages the Space Project, a design and construction company that specializes in creating personalized and comfortable spaces. With a philosophy of "designing solutions," Space Project is located in So-oc, Arevalo, Iloilo City and has a satellite headquarters in Kakarong, Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, Metro Manila.

To inquire about interior design services, please email or visit our website at


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