cost of building a house

i bought a small piece of land near labuan bajo,flores.
i would like to have an estimate ,per square meter, of the construction cost for a simple 80 m2 house.
also, i need someone to build that house  :)

First things first.

If you aren't married to an Indonesian this is illegal.
If you are, you must have a pre or post nup agreement that puts the property in your partner's name.

i bought the land on my indonesian partner's name.

That works, but get a post nup if you don't have a pre nup. That'll protect you from losing the land.
Costs vary a lot and foreigners tend to get a high price so get your wife to check a range of prices before you buy.

disappointed with fred's replies...
they do not answer my question

How can anyone give you a price when there are so many variables?
If you want it finished fast, that means you won't get the best prices and the workers will end up costing you more.
If you are happy to wait a while you can get the best prices on materials and save money.
It also depends how go you are at negotiation and how much you get ripped off.

This is a "How long is a piece of string" question, so only general replies are available.
I built a two story, three bed all in for 120 million (same land area), but I knew everyone and where to get best price.

I just searched this site and found the below document that perhaps is interesting. It is for Java so I think Flores should be cheaper for labour cost.

thanks fred

I noticed you posted on the prefab thread.
These things are available in varying quality all over Indonesia but can sometimes be hard to find as many companies have no internet presence.
Your best bet to find a local one (if google comes up blank) is just to ask around and see what comes up. Try to get a telephone number but get an Indonesian to call for you.

You have your answer.

You might also note going direct to a brick or block factory will save you cash.
Most places have local manufacturing and they'll sell you a truck load without the slightest question, so you'll save the shop's profit.
These people rarely advertise so you'll have to ask around to find them.

Fred :

You might also note going direct to a brick or block factory will save you cash.
Most places have local manufacturing and they'll sell you a truck load without the slightest question, so you'll save the shop's profit.
These people rarely advertise so you'll have to ask around to find them.

With all due respect Fred, it doesn't work like that. It's far more sensible to get the supervisor on site to order from the brick factory because he knows exactly how many bricks, tonnes of sand, cement, etc to order and when and how much to re-order when the stock gets low. Let the supervisor order the materials and you pay the supplier when it is delivered by transfer using your mobile phone as it is delivered.

I think no need to search online. Look around and speak to workers who are building houses around you. Use them if their quotes are good. They know all the suppliers for everything. Building a house in Indonesia is not same as building in France or America.

If you find a good set of workers or contractor who you think is honete, then use them, let them do everything and check the bills carefully. No need to google unless you want high price.

In western countries, I would agree.
This is Indonesia where many of the same manufactures have hardly got bank accounts, much less will accept electronic transfer of funds.
The builders will estimate the quantities required, but cash talks and is commonly the only language the suppliers speak.
The sand will come from a different supplier, and the cement another.
You can very probably get all the materials from a single source, but he will just go to the various people to get the stuff, then add a profit.

As for the builders, they are rarely professionals except the supervisor, and his chances of holding any qualifications are pretty much zero. He'll have done it through experience and trial and error.

Another detail - Watch the electricians like hawks. Most have no real clue and are happy to twist joint wires without the slightest interest in what happens when the connections fail.

The area in question is hardly a major town, and that means professionals are unlikely to be available for anything, so local labour is all that will be available.

Most suppliers have a bank account, and accept transfers.

If you want to buy bricks from someone making them himself by hand from mud on a river bank, then he probably only accepts cash. But those bricks are not good.

Bricks from proper manufacturers and there are several qualities of bricks and accept transfer to their bank account when they deliver.

My suggestion is to source and buy a traditional wooden house ...or two ...and plan to renovate them ...
the wet areas kitchen and bathroom can be add ons to separate the costs of new against renovation ...this proves to be a fast and economical way to go ...and you get  to enjoy the feel of traditional tropical design /living ...chas

It seems to me that a good way to start comparing different offers would be to have a cost per m2 for standard quality.
Can this be obtained?

The link I gave you is for another article that someone started about building a house in Indonesia. That poster mentioned Rp2 million per square metre at the lower end. But it seems that was for building a house in Java. I do not know how much to build in Flores. Just read the article because it is informative.

yes thats normal ...for a simple house ...around 3-3.5 juta should be ok ...prices  vary according to location and who is building ...if you have a nominee ...that you can trust ...then use him or her to negotiate the rate ...but if you are experienced you can do your self ...the wooden house I refer to are around $4000 aus  /for 6o sqm ....then you renovate to suit ,,,
if you build in bamboo ...also enconomical ...treated bamboo ...Im an architect happy to help if you need it

thanks chas for your input,
so you are talking about prefab used wooden house?
the house can be dismantled and shipped?
4000 aus$ for a 60m2 house?
where do you find such houses?
can you tell me more about it pls

I wander around a lot, collecting information useful to many people for a variety of reasons.

This post is a visit to a breeze block manufacturer near BSD, Tangerang. … 573#541170

and a brick factory I visited

These small industries supply bricks to the local shops, but you save money by going directly to them and paying cash. Similar places exist all over Indonesia, but you have to hunt them out as most don't have a web site. Cash talks, and it gets you discounts.
I hope that's clear and unambiguous.

I always wanted to live in a large wooden house and finally got the opportunity to do so in Bangkok, around 1985. It was a profoundly disappointing experience, mostly because the house did not keep out the sun's heat during the daytime, and at night it lost all of that heat so it became chilly quickly. You couldn't even touch the walls facing the sun - it was that hot. I envied the Chinese in their shophouses. Even without air conditioning they were a lot cooler. And those thick concrete walls held a certain amount of heat at night.

Other annoying problems included cracks between boards so local kids could peek in and see what we were up to. Cheap entertainment.

I am sure it was relatively economically built but it was owned by a wealthy Thai family so they should have known what they were doing. I think we were the first renters they had.

Just one experience to share.

Good insights Byron!  I agree, while they can look great, wooden structures in humid climates are not practical in the long run.   

From what I've heard from other expats who have done projects in Flores, the climate there is drier than say here in Bali, where it is nuts to build anything intended to last, out of wood, or bamboo. 

My best advice to you, Indodiver, is to network both with locals and any expats you can find in your area of Flores.  Most often the best tucans (contractors) are found via word of mouth.  That is certainly the case here in Bali, and I highly suspect the same is true in Flores. 

Good luck with your project.

I've seen some top quality wooden structures, but made of top quality everything and I'd be willing to wager the price was top as well, probably a lot more than a brick build would cost.

My mate, you come from England, and I from “New England.”  Both of us are used to wood built structures that are 300 or so years old, and for you, even older. 

But here in Indonesia…finding a standing wood structure of half that age would be almost a “Mission Impossible” unless they were built from what are now, ultra expensive woods like teak or iron wood, viz, joglo houses.   So yes, what you say about a wood built house here (if in teak) would surely cost considerably more than traditional brick and stone.   

Any expat with plans to build in Indonesia is better off by following what the local customs are regarding buildings…stylistically, and building materials.

There's a teak joglo just up the road from me and ... WOW!!!!!!

... but I'll bet it seriously cost.
The basic timber stuff I've seen is fine for a couple or few years, but that's really about it.

so,  brick is better,  more durable, and cheaper than wood.
now, cost wise there was only one input. minimum 2 millions/m2.
some local told me 1million or a bit more per m2.
one of the major cost appear to be the foundation. any input on that cost if made in cement,not Wood?

I keep being told specific prices per meter, but how does anyone work that out?
Where you live changes the cost of land and building materials, just as it does the cost of labour.
Who you are can equally change the prices you pay, as your ability to negotiate a price changes the final number.

My 2 story cost about 1 million per meter of floor area (2 million by land area), but my wife knew all the prices and people so she didn't get ripped off and that was in a village. The same 15 km away in the town would have cost a lot more. That house in Jakarta would have been top dollar to build.
If I had done the sorting out, I would very probably paid a lot more as I was unfamiliar with local pricing.

Any prices quoted on the forum or by mates are just wild guesses because there are far too many variables.

yes fred, but a number of wild guesses can give a better idea than 0 information.

Contractors quote per m2 floor area depending on different places. That is a contractors easy way of quoting, and it ups and downs depending on quality of materials used. Bypassing the general contractor means more work for you but you save a lot of money. Tiles and bricks and cement and sand and wood and aluminium and roof tiles all vary enormously in quality and price. The price per metre is an approximation from contractors. If you don't know your materials you may get the cheapest quality and you may get Rp1 million per m2. There are so many qualities of wood and tiles. Cheap sand can lead to damp walls. Cheap bricks mean less structural strength.  Breeze blocks are  cheaper than bricks but are not so strong in Indonesia. Unless you know the different qualities better proceed carefully. Cheaper prices often mean bad materials and quicker but less good workmanship. Also if the price is quoted too cheap, and the workers think they cannot do it within the quoted budget, they may disappear. If they are not happy you may get less good quality work or a roof that uses too few tiles and leaks in heavy rain. So don't pay too cheaply either :)

The best way is to speak around, get recommendations, see that the workers have built before etc.

Thank you Fred for your info. It gives a price really paid out there.
Of course there are some up and downs.

Thank you saintJean for the info.

How about payment. You are mentioning workers leaving.
How is it done normally?

Indodiver :

How about payment. You are mentioning workers leaving.
How is it done normally?

Workers are commonly casual, unskilled and day to day.
Don't expect them all to turn up as they should because you'll be disappointed.
Most get paid weekly for the number of days they turned up.

Workers usually get paid at the end of the week. And as Fred says, it's based on the number of days they work since they get paid at a daily rate. Sometimes they request food or water to be included, that is negotiable. More workers means more to pay out but your house will be finished faster. Be prepared to pay out money almost daily for materials. Workers do not like waiting around for bricks or cement to arrive.

Usually a "crew" will include workers with certain specialties. for example, one will specialize in shaping and building the reinforcement bars, another two might be specialized in bricklaying, one might be good with wood and build the supports for laying concrete, less skilled workers will mix cement and concrete and the most unskilled will carry bags of cement and do more simple jobs. But there will be a foreman who will coordinate everything.

Workers sometimes do not turn up, and salary is deducted. Sometimes they want to take time off on public holidays. Keep a daily check on how many turn up each day. Be nice to them and drop off food and drinks sometimes to keep a good relationship.

so you pay them a posteriory, after they have worked.
one person i know who wants to build the house asked  me to pay 20 % upfront ...
is that common?

that is 20% of the entire bill for the house.

Pay for materials as they get delivered, workers at the end of each week.
No way I would pay a deposit as there's a better than average chance you'll lose it.

Yes that is right. Pay for materials as they get delivered and the workers at the end of each week. This means not using a general contractor but using the workers directly, and as long as the workers are fairly honest you will save enormously.

the person I know told me he could take for himself 10% of the material bills.
how is That?

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