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Building & Renovating

16 More Pinoy House Construction Terms, Decoded

This handy Filipino construction glossary will let you know the difference between hamba and haspe, among many others

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Photography: Paolo Feliciano

Are you always lost in translation when your workers suddenly say that they need to buy materials for your senepa? Or are you totally in the dark when your contractor chats up his foreman and says that they need to change the kilo of your roof (nope, that ain't a measurement of weight). 

Then it's high time to know the Tagalog or Filipino terms for basic parts of the house, so you'll never be in the dark again. 

Balangkas

Wooden framework of a house. 


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Barandilya, balustre

Baluster or balustrade of a staircase.

Bisagra

Hinge; usually that of a main door or cabinet door. 

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Gabay

Handrail of a staircase. 

Halige

Structural post of a house. 


Hamba

Jamb, doorjamb; the upright parts of a doorframe on which the door is attached to. 

Haspe

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Wood grain, or distinct markings on a piece of wood or wood veneer.


Kilo

Rafter, truss; the sloped structural members that support the roof. 


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Madrina

Stringer; this is the housing on either side of a staircase.

Pasamano

Window sill. 

Reostra

Purlins; a horizontal beam along the length of a roof that supports the other rafters and boards.

Senepa

Fascia board; a vertical band around a roof's edge. 

Sepo

Girt; a horizontal structural member of a wall. 


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Sibe

Eave; the part of the roof that hangs over the structure of a building or house.  

Soleras

Floor joist; parallel pieces of material that support a floor. 

Tabike

Siding; wall cladding or other material that forms the sides of a structure or house. 

SOURCE: "Sariling Sikap sa Pagtayo ng Bahay" by Carlos E. Guico; to see more of this home by architect Gelo Manosa (pictured in this story), click here

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