Of Hamba and Doors

Hamba– Ilonggo for door jamb. One bonus about my job, my Ilonggo vocabulary increased!

Options for hamba: cement or wood.

Most go for cement because of the anay. But I preferred wood. My architect also preferred wood and he suggested I buy hamba in a hardware store. There were many kinds of wood there, but I just took what my architect suggested. The staff in the store will ask you the size of your door. So be sure to carry a list of the width and height of your doors to save you a telephone call or another trip. Take note of the thickness of your wall, too.

Our bedroom doors were 80 cm wide, bathroom doors were 70cm, kitchen door was 90cm and front door was 100cm. Thickness of wall was 4 inches. I bought all the hamba for the doors except for the front door.

My foreman and panday were not very happy with the hamba. ” Mahumok ni doc.” True enough, when you press your fingernails on it, it will leave a mark. “Kag hindi ni mabato sa ulan kag init,” they said. They relayed a story in one house that they had to replace the hamba because the owners could not lock the door during the rainy season.

My reply: ” It’s ok, kung masira, palitan lang next time (Will just replace it once damaged).” Although it bothered me for some nights thinking about their stories of my hamba, I have to take control. Must have the right attitude.

“Ano gusto mo pagbutang sang hamba?” my panday asked. Huh? I didn’t have any idea on this detail. The hamba off the shelf was a little short of 4 inches, the thickness of our wall.

hamba door with arrow

Being the contractor of my own house, there were a lot of design details I was often asked during the construction. If I did not have a clue, I would ask my husband. If he didn’t have a clue, too, we would often look at our apartment details. I was often spotted staring intently at some detail of a house or building we were visiting. I suddenly notice things I didn’t mind before. Like the door jambs.

I had the hamba positioned such that its side was levelled with the side of the interior room  (blue arrow). At the outside (red arrow), it was seen flushed back an inch from the side of the wall.

Later, our architect noticed it. And he commented about a design principle: “No two unlike materials should be flushed or levelled with each other. Para hindi makita ang tinabuan.”

All our doors were custom made.

Our interior doors in the second floor were designed with four panels because our sliding windows in the second floor were also four panelled. I had it made with mahogany framing and 1/4 inch plywood panels. The panday suggested to use all mahogany. “Para mabakod, dok (So that it’s durable).”  I preferred the plywood so that the door would not be heavy. And besides, “Kung masira, palitan lang next time (Will just replace it once damaged).

CR and green room door

Notice that the hamba was levelled to the wall. According to my architect, to remedy it, a door trim is recommended. Well, maybe next time when with extra cash.

The pintor (painter) who did my floors also painted the hamba and doors. I instructed the color of the panel to be like the mahogany floors, and emphasized that the U cut (blue arrow) should be darkest so that the panels will protrude.

U cut

Our main door was made of teakwood. Hamba, also teak, was custom made. Design principle was already followed. The hamba protruded 1-2  cm. from the wall, inside and out. It’s a big main door. Height was 8ft. The design was like stacked horizontal slabs so it would complement the jalousie windows.


The kitchen door was same as the front door except for the height. It was standard height at 7 ft.

kitchen door

Our big side door. For the future side porch. Notice that the hamba was not levelled with the wall. Looks good. No need for a door trim.

side door outside

So, that’s all our doors. In case you are wondering about the stainless louvers at the top of the doors and jalousie windows, they are for air circulation. So that even if the windows are closed because of the rain, it would still be comfortable inside the house.

Yes, the louvers works. Will discuss next time how our house takes advantage of nature and stays comfortable in hot or rainy days, or brown-out times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: