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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    (Yet) Another Construction Photo-Essay Thread

    Right, inspired by the really good threads on here in a similar vein I've decided to detail the current renovations to our house. So here it is - number 1 in a series of, oooh, probably just this one really because I'm really rather useless that way.

    Anyways the decision to cause undue stress and prompt arguments in our relationship was made for one reason and one reason only. Well, actually two reasons both of which are due to be joining us on Jan 1st. In a nutshell the Mrs is pregnant. With twins. Oh how life can change...

    So first thing we thought was we need more room. More living space to be precise, bedrooms are already sufficent. Also we needed more parking space as I've already brought one of those Toyota Wish 'people-mover' things in anticipation of speeding down the highway of life and crashing at the intersection of Previous Freedom and Responsible Middle-Aged St.

    Firstly our house pre-renovation:



    Note if you will the stupid little 'car-port' that even with the Mrs old car (tiny little Honda City) you pretty much had to park half the nose inside the actual house to get the car out of the weather.

    The second thing to note is that due to the assinine decision in the original plans to build a barely usable car-port in the first place it also meant that you were left with a barely livable living-room:



    This first pic was taken some time ago (when we first moved in I think), this second one is more recent and notable for the new TV that I spent months convincing my wife we needed to buy, finally got her to conceed, and now never watch because she always is :



    As you can see it's pretty small. Ok for us now but certainly not when there are two of my demon-spawn mobile and charging around the place.You can see from the 1st pic in particular that the car-port effectively 'intrudes' on the space - the walls behind the bookcase and TV basically being the interior walls, so imagine if you will the carport directly outside of them.

    [To be continued...]
    Last edited by AntRobertson; 03-08-2007 at 04:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    [cont...]

    So essentially what we are doing is ‘filling-in’ (please forgive the use of overly technical terms) the current car-port and converting that into an extension of the living-room. The car-port will then be attached to the side of the current one/new area of the living room.

    From the picture of the living room above, the wall behind where the TV currently is (in the 2nd picture) will basically be knocked out (although we’re retaining about 1-2ft on either side to make a kind of arch effect rather than just open it right up.

    Unfortunately I didn't think to preserve all of this for posterity on here until after they'd already got cracking so the following is the first picture I have in the sequence:



    The things to note here is that they've already laid the concrete for what will be the floor and have raised it substantially to match the current interior floor level.

    Also to the side you can see that the posts for the carport have already been erected. Actually I think digging the foundations for these are the very first thing they did - I'm usually at work while most of this is taking place so I leave in the morning, return in the evening and rarely actually see the workers.

    It's like 'poof!', some magic little Thai construction fairies do magic construction on my house and are never seen.

    Although not quite... Aporos of that, the intial qoute specified 1-1 1/2mths work which I thought was a long time for what is bascially a pretty simple renovation. That's until I came home early today and saw/snapped this:



    Somphet having a nice little nap. At 11:30am. Bless.

    [to be continued...]

  3. #3
    ding ding ding
    Spin's Avatar
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    So far so good Ant, "coming home early at 11.30am" you must work a REALLY short day

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    From the picture of the living room above, the wall behind where the TV currently is (in the 2nd picture) will basically be knocked out (although we’re retaining about 1-2ft on either side to make a kind of arch effect rather than just open it right up.
    Knock down the complete wall then use plasterboard for the arch and small sticky out wall, the finish will be a millions times better and the price about the same. Also maybe make it the same thickness as the posts, hides them a bit then.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    [cont...]

    This is the next stage, a bay window:



    This is what caused me the most worry. I've not seen a lot here and was worried that I might not have been explicit enough in my instructions to the builders on exactly what it is I wanted. You can see in the background what was the front door, that is going to be removed and a full wall put in place.

    Needn't have worried because the support structure for it went up in no time at all and exactly according to my plans.

    We're going to put a 'built-in' sofa in the bay window area that doubles as a storage box. The doors to the right (below) I'm not yet sure about... remove them and put shelving or keep them, get them stripped, sanded and lacquered? Same area snapped from the inside:






    As you can see from the 2nd pic the brickwork has blocked-off what used to be an opening to our front porch. Now this is interesting, clearly the brickwork is pretty rough and was only ever intended to be covered with the usual, smoother, interior plastering/concrete stuff. However the more I look at it the more I'm convinced to simply leave it.

    Kinda like a mini-feature wall, albeit very rustic. Also we're going to put shelving in there anyways for a book shelf so I think that it will look quite nice with a simple brick/concrete backing. I'd also flirted with the same idea for the other (porch) side of the wall:



    But think that might be a bit too rough. So instead we're off to the shops tomorrow to try and find some nice tiles or something for there. I'm leaning towards something terracotta right now, perhaps even a relief of somesort?

    [to be continued...]

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spin
    So far so good Ant, "coming home early at 11.30am" you must work a REALLY short day
    Thanks Spin.

    I should point out that I'm home early today because I'm unwell. Errr, yeah that's it. Not well

    Also I really did want to see the workers in action. So here I am fluffing about on the IntraWeb whilst they are out there welding stuff...
    Last edited by AntRobertson; 03-08-2007 at 04:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Knock down the complete wall then use plasterboard for the arch and small sticky out wall, the finish will be a millions times better and the price about the same. Also maybe make it the same thickness as the posts, hides them a bit then.
    Good idea 'dog. Unfortunately however the majority of the wiring for the fusebox (hidden behind the picture in the 2nd pic, first post) also traverses the wall at that very same point.

    So while we did consider that it would've meant moving both the fusebox and a lot of the wiring. Easier to simply leave the space and create an arch rather than a fully open wall - I'm kinda thinking (hoping!) it will actually look quite nice also. Different at least.

  8. #8
    Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb
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    Where's the new front door going to go?

  9. #9
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    ^
    How much is this costing you Ant.
    let me know if you reccomend these chaps.
    I'll be needing some next month.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Here's the carport, this is what it was like when I got home today, beginning to frame out the roof:



    And this one I literally just took:



    I love the smell of welding early on a Friday afternoon! Reminds me of victory... no, that's not right. Well it reminds me of something...

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Burr
    Where's the new front door going to go?
    Sir Burr,

    Basically we'll use both the (existing) slider door at the front:



    We'll build a little paved path up to there... and also the new carport will have a sliding door adjoining the new living room area (in the gap seen in this pic):



    I'm imagining that the carport door will get the most use from us. If I had any friends I'm sure they'd no doubt enter through the front slider when visiting.

    Incidentally I wasn't to keen on putting the carport there as I'm a big fan of having an open yard - we've got a decentish sized 150 wa - but even now looking at it it's actually not that obtrusive given that area by the tree was rarely used anyways.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon
    ^ How much is this costing you Ant. let me know if you reccomend these chaps. I'll be needing some next month.
    CMN,

    Costing bugger all really, in any event much less than I'd intially anticipated.

    The intial qoute was for 180,000B completed work - including the interior floors, painting, windows and all that nonsense. We have however subtracted and added a few things since, as you do, but that has also balanced out.

    Bit to early to say if I'd recommend these guys but I am impressed with the work to date, will let you know when it's closer to completion. The guy that runs the construction Co. is a Uni friend of my wife so fairly confident he'll do a good job.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Aporos of not much at all really, here is the car that will actually be sheltered from the harsh elements in our new carport (although I've yet to tell the wife this):



    My new Mercedes 280CE! By gums I love this car! 160HP, 2.8L Straight-6, DOHC, pillar-less coupe.

    And this is the wifes new car, the one that veritably screams: 'Look at me! i'm married with kids, my life is over!':



    By the way, wrong thread to be asking I know, but if anyone has/knows of a Mercedes SLC 450 or 500 for trade or sale please let me know. Desperate to get my hands on one of them!

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Hmm, well first problem has occured. Albeit a minor one...

    Whilst they were putting up the framing for the carport they've basically knocked off the top parts of the concrete supports to weld/attach the frame to the metal rods properly.

    Thing is they didn't move the fish bowls underneath (big outdoor ones) like they said they would. Flipper now has a bowl full of concrete dust and crap.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Hmm, well first problem has occured. Albeit a minor one...
    Don't worry, they will get bigger. Please keep plugging away with the story and photos!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Hmm, well first problem has occured. Albeit a minor one...
    Don't worry, they will get bigger. Please keep plugging away with the story and photos!


    i like that, made me chuckle!

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly
    Don't worry, they will get bigger.
    Cheers hillbilly. Turns out you were 100% right!

    Compare and contrast if you will, this first pic as posted above was taken yesterday afternoon:



    This second pic I've just taken this morning:



    They've actually gone backwards!? Notice how they've removed all the support peices that they'd welded on yesterday. You can even see the burn marks up the wall from where they welded and then removed things. Can't believe I didn't notice this yesterday!?!

    Oh well, they've still not turned up this morning and we're off to scout for some sort of tiles or something for the wall by the front porch - will have to quiz them on that when we get back.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Annnnd further frustration today! Our trip to look for tiles was slightly less than fruitless.

    Basically this wall here:



    Now closes in the front porch. As I stated earlier I quite like the look and effect of the brick/concrete but it's just a little too rough to be left as is.

    So the plan was to finish that little section of wall with a sort of terrocota tile. Basicially the rough-hewn ones so that it would have a texture and be a little uneven. We also wanted to get some simialr style paving stones to make a path up to the same area/door. Easier said than done:

    First masonary shop had exactly what we wanted. Unfortunately what they didn't have was anyway for us to pay - unless we wanted to forgoe our change because she didn't have any. After she suggested we go and get some change and return I decided to tell her not to bother and that I hoped she had more luck with future sales.

    Second shop also had exactly what we wanted. However I knew there was trouble as soon as the lady (referring to the delivery) said: 'Hmmm, that's very far...'. It's a trip of 10-15min. Tops. She then proceeded to quote us B4,500 to deliver and install the tiles. Her rationale being it was a long way to go for a little bit of work. At this juncture we reminded her we also wanted the paving tiles for the path so with that included it would be more than worth her while. So she added on another B2,000 for the pleasure.

    It was then that I suggested to my wife we get the fock out of there before I told her to stick one of her tiles in a very uncomfortable place. So here I am back at home no further on than I was before I left this morning. Great.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat a. boozer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Second shop also had exactly what we wanted. However I knew there was trouble as soon as the lady (referring to the delivery) said: 'Hmmm, that's very far...'. It's a trip of 10-15min. Tops. She then proceeded to quote us B4,500 to deliver and install the tiles. Her rationale being it was a long way to go for a little bit of work. At this juncture we reminded her we also wanted the paving tiles for the path so with that included it would be more than worth her while. So she added on another B2,000 for the pleasure.
    I
    That's one of the reasons, that, as much as I would love a 450 SLC, or in fact any of the SLCs, I'm sticking with the pick-up, so versatile, used for carrying everything as and when needed.

    A very interesting thread, keep it up.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a. boozer
    That's one of the reasons, that, as much as I would love a 450 SLC, or in fact any of the SLCs, I'm sticking with the pick-up, so versatile, used for carrying everything as and when needed.

    A very interesting thread, keep it up.
    Thanks boozer, will do.

    Good point re the pick up and practicality. Still my thinking is that with kids on the way I've got the rest of my life to be practical - got to get the impracticality in while I can. Besides the Mrs's car is a nod enough to practicality

    Not much to update on today. Although they have 'finished' the framing for the carport roof (that's to say got it back to the same stage it was yesterday before they pulled it apart - still haven't worked out that one):



    and they also look to have pretty much finished the same for the roof tiles above the bay window:



    The one thing that I'm still not decided on is the driveway:



    The initial plan was to simply extend the old part but there's two problems with that. Firstly it's really hard to get them to match given that the older section is worn and whatnot, secondly it's also less grass space. We've got plenty but I'm also keen to keep as much as possible.

    At first I was thinking about putting those hollow hexagonal type tiles. the idea being that the grass can still grow between and through the middle. However I really like the look of the stamped concrete drives that someone else posted about, that of course brings me back to the same issue as above though. Hmmm, dunno... I think a decision of this magnitude requires beer.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    that's to say got it back to the same stage it was yesterday before they pulled it apart - still haven't worked out that one
    I have seen that happen so many times and the only reason I can think of is that they cannot work out the spacing, first they only really lightly tack everything up, then if they got it right they weld it into place properly, but half the time they take it all down and start again.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    ...I have seen that happen so many times and the only reason I can think of is that they cannot work out the spacing, first they only really lightly tack everything up, then if they got it right they weld it into place properly, but half the time they take it all down and start again.
    The hillbilly will probably take some crap for this response. But here goes...

    I know DD just a little bit. I have given about US25.00 to this site. I have nothing to gain nor lose concerning any of my comments.

    Having said that.

    I appreciate DD's honesty concerning building in Thailand...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    At first I was thinking about putting those hollow hexagonal type tiles. the idea being that the grass can still grow between and through the middle. However I really like the look of the stamped concrete drives that someone else posted about, that of course brings me back to the same issue as above though. Hmmm, dunno... I think a decision of this magnitude requires beer.
    which is exactly how decisions of any magnitude should be taken...good thread Ant...and lovely house...however your taste in vehicle is shit...a merc for Gods sake...how about a decent v8 holden...much better for your image...

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster
    which is exactly how decisions of any magnitude should be taken...good thread Ant...and lovely house...however your taste in vehicle is shit...a merc for Gods sake...how about a decent v8 holden...much better for your image...
    Cheers klongmaster, slur on my beautiful car notwithstanding

    I'm actually a bogan from way back so trust me, if I could I'd love a V8 Holden! Have owned several actually - even a GTR XU1 Torana at one stage, not a V8 I know, and last time I checked they were selling for around AU$40,000 nowadays! Glad I sold my mint condition one for NZ$10,000 then

    I've actually seen a few old Holdens around town here (Chiang Mai), even the odd Premier and the like. Problem is none are in good condition and they all seem to have Izuzu diesal and the like engine transplants.

    That's why I'm after a 450 or 500 SLC Merc, 5.0LT V8

    Oh, and back on topic for one sec, I've had the beers and still can't make my mind up about the drive. Clearly I haven't drunk enough.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    I have seen that happen so many times and the only reason I can think of is that they cannot work out the spacing, first they only really lightly tack everything up, then if they got it right they weld it into place properly, but half the time they take it all down and start again.
    That's got to be it, DD. I was watching them again today and they seem to have struck on an ingenious new technology now... it's called a tape-measure.

    Have to say I'm generally quite pleased with the work that has been done thus far though. Mind it all is just the 'rough' stuff, when it comes to putting the finishing touches (paint etc) that'll make or break it.

    One thing that really, really, really annoys me though is that they never clean up after themselves. There's bits of masonary and crap all over my lawn now! Again that just could be me and my extreme anal-retentativeness/fussiness though.

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