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  1. #1
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    Cost comparison: elevated house vs separate outdoor area.

    I am looking for feedback on the costs of building an elevated house with sitting area below vs. a separate sitting area adjoining the main house. The assumption being that the areas are of equal size.

    In the roof merits threads two posters commented that it would be cheaper to build a single level home and have a separate covered area for outdoor sitting, car park etc. This is counter intuitive to me and I am wondering if there is something I am missing.

    I know the stairs might be a pain in the ass when I get older and I know the separate area will consume garden space but for this thread I would like to stick to the cost difference.

    My thoughts:

    On the plus side for the elevated house I am thinking most of the savings are in the roof. Other than a slight extension to cover stairs up and down there should be little or no extra costs on the roof. There might also be some savings on services as the water and electric would be more centralized.

    On the plus side for the separate area, you would need more footings but they could be smaller (not sure if this is really a significant savings). Columns might need a bit less steel as well as there is only the roof to support as apposed to the entire house plus roof. I guess you also save on a set of stairs.

    Other than this I can't see much price difference, as both areas will need equivalent flooring, paint, furnishings, etc.

    Comments?

  2. #2
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    never mind the difference in costs, what do you want?

  3. #3
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    ^ considering the difference in costs may allow you to have more of what you want within your budget...

  4. #4
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    I am leaning towards the elevated house because I would like an elevated deck with a better view and I think it would catch more of a breeze and be cooler. I am concerned that the stairs will irritate me but I think that can be mitigated by a toilet and beer fridge on the lower level. I seem to go back and forth in my head every day.

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    ^ you can still be elevated a metre or two on your concrete platform; and you can furthjer have a large outside area with a split decking which'll put you 3 or 4 metres above the local land level - could be really nice.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    ^ considering the difference in costs may allow you to have more of what you want within your budget...

    that difference has not been quantified yet

  7. #7
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    Under your house you have to consider the noise the natives make, ie they are too bloody loud and will wake you or not let you sleep, build a seperate area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    that difference has not been quantified yet
    That's true, and others on here know far far more about house builds than me; all I'm saying is that I started with the same ideas as the OP, but the builders and architects told me that it'll be 20%-30% increased costs for the same area on 2 floors as it is on 1 floor. I can't exactly remember where the costs were - I suppose they are on the house frame which will need to be stronger and larger, thus more expensive; maybe increased labour as working up high is slower than working with your feet on terra firma. Others?

    As the OP has noted, the roof cost is one of the most significant, and if you build out instead of up you're likely to have higher roofing costs, although this may be negated by the types of concrete supports you need (they can be smaller and cheaper)? Also, putting up walls on a second floor will be labour intensive and you'll need more care/stronger structures, lots of weight in the second storey floors too...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moolek View Post

    I am leaning towards the elevated house because I would like an elevated deck with a better view and I think it would catch more of a breeze and be cooler. I am concerned that the stairs will irritate me but I think that can be mitigated by a toilet and beer fridge on the lower level. I seem to go back and forth in my head every day.
    The stairs and age issue is a legitimate concern.

    Why not build a separate bedroom downstairs for when the time comes or not just worry about it and build downstairs when upstairs becomes to much.

    Another alternative is to build a lift, my friends have done this in there 2 story gaff.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  10. #10
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    ^ my thoughts as well

  11. #11
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    I had same Q when I built You can check view differnce Tools used stoof on roof of UTE and Ladder Wind buy a 10 baht plastic winmill make accurate observations on broom handle 2 m ad 8 m off ground Cost may be irrelavnt to you but there is an opportunity cost if you use more spce to future buyers ,heirs or expansion. Of course on a huge plot or huge budget such factors are trivial. Downstairs bathroom for youand vistors is agood plan at minimal space outlay . If a level site may conside half backfill some part and have ramp,shallow external staircase like many traditional Thai agricultural dwellings. I alwys find travel around abit with a camera and you'll get lots of inspiration. added virtue of going up is lesser pests animals but greater maintaince height for cleaning painting or gutters. An all round verandah ws my choice cbasically a Superblock Queenslander so shade all sides.If heat is an issue n your area big eaves balconies will allow one side with shade.Australia and Florida Spain have plenty of ideas,many books in BKK etc just dont let your wife see the fantasy homes. Good luck
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  12. #12
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    Terry I was thinking similar thoughts, likely just put up some walls below and build in an additional bedroom. My guess is a small electric or hydraulic lift wouldn't be too expensive either.

    DD, do you really think you would get that much noise up through a concrete floor? I would think it would be the same noise level in both cases if the outdoor siting area was adjacent the main house for the one floor option.

    Still primarily interested in cost comparisons if anyone has experience with both styles, Bettyboo's response where he was quoted 20-30% more for the elevated home seems counter intuitive and I am still trying to get my head around why it would be more expensive. Cost is somewhat of an issue, I would rather not spend more than I need to, my tastes are pretty simple and I am looking to get as much house as possible for under 3m baht (would be real happy to come in at 2-2.5m though). For instance I want western style toilets but don't need a high end western kitchen. I want lots of properly grounded electrical sockets but don't need expensive light fixtures. I wan't to start thinking of cost savings from the start so if can save money on the build then maybe I can put in a small wading pool or something.
    Last edited by Moolek; 13-04-2012 at 02:37 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    never mind the difference in costs, what do you want?
    Moolek, I think dr Andy got it in one here.

    IMHO there is probably not a great deal of difference and I would not like to say which one would be cheaper. However something that you didn't mention was how much comparable usable space do you get with each, i would think you lose quite a bit of roof space to cover the stairs (if they're internal not uncovered external). Also as you have said the "larger" as in stronger columns and beams would require more steel which may or may not be the expensive portion as concrete is not that expensive.

    So if you reckon you can handle stairs and you want a view from above and you don't have a large piece of land then go for the double story build.

    My missus went for single story as she built the house on a slope which was filled level to the back of the house and then she elevated the house about 0.75m above that so in the end at the back the floor is nearly 2m above the natural ground and gives us a view. What I like most though is the fact that I can disappear up one end of the house away from where the Thais all congregate and make noise. If it was double story I would be above them. We did have plenty of room to build though so that wasn't a constraint.

    Just one suggestion don't waste the money building an indoor kitchen or an indoor living room they won,t get used. There's another thred on here about a Bali pool house and that is exactly what someone said on there as well. If I was to build again I would have enclosed bedrooms , bathrooms and toilets and then open living space only.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    Just one suggestion don't waste the money building an indoor kitchen or an indoor living room they won,t get used. There's another thred on here about a Bali pool house and that is exactly what someone said on there as well. If I was to build again I would have enclosed bedrooms , bathrooms and toilets and then open living space only.
    Strongly agree with your points here. I think I do wan't one small indoor area for use as an office/lounge so I have a place to retreat to if the in-laws or mosquitoes invade. Definitely agree on the outdoor kitchen.

    Since we haven't even decided on the land yet I don't know which option I will go with but it is starting to sound that other than the quote Bettyboo got, the general consensus is that there won't be that big of a difference in price.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moolek
    My guess is a small electric or hydraulic lift wouldn't be too expensive either.
    Crazy idea, imho; most expensive and potentially difficult option available to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Moolek
    Bettyboo's response where he was quoted 20-30% more for the elevated home seems counter intuitive and I am still trying to get my head around why it would be more expensive.
    You should check with builders/architects and do a cost comparison. Everything for building up needs to be more costly: quality/depth of foundations, steel, labour, concrete, the list goes on - it's not that hard to understand really; once it was pointed out to me it became clear. The foundation, frame and roof are the basis of the build; all of which are different for a 1 floor or 2 floor build - check the costs for the different elements involved...

    Quote Originally Posted by Moolek
    Since we haven't even decided on the land yet I don't know which option I will go with but it is starting to sound that other than the quote Bettyboo got, the general consensus is that there won't be that big of a difference in price.
    Spending money on the land is always a good option: 1) they don't make more land; 2) land prices rarely decrease; 3) you have lots of building options moving forward...

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    No one's mentioned the possibility of "flood waters," yet? Depending on you're location the elevated sitting area seems more practical. The problem you mention with stairs seems a bit of an over reaction IMO. You can build the stairs so it has at least two different landings allowing for the person to stop at the first landing for a rest if required. Secondly, if you are carting something to the second floor main house living quarters this is an excellent way to make the life more acceptable. Adding a community seat on the first landing if you just feel like that's where you want to be at the moment.

    Under the house is also excellent living quarters for visitors and afternoon naps in the hammock. Evenings one can enjoy the cooking area nearby, the communal conversations and antics of friends and family. Mosquitoes are always a problem but for the long stay ferang its not something to keep you out of the night star sightings and numerous local stories about ghosts and ancestors.

    As said before, build what you want not what we here offer. You have an idea already so follow your mind maps.

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    I agree with Dr. Andy. If your building a home and you can't get what you want, why build? I built my house exactly as I wanted. It was a little more expensive, but I got what I wanted, the way I wanted it. Parts of the way I built it will save me money down the road. I think you should be comfortable. You don't build one everyday. I didn't build a 2 story because of what you said. I couldn't imagine climbing stairs when I get old(er).

  18. #18
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    ^thanks, to you and Ootai

    first you should decide exactly what you want, then make the budget for that

  19. #19
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    Costs

    The 2011 cost of construction in Bangkok for a single story detached home - concrete per meter was, low quality: 10,400, medium: 11,800, high: 13,400.

    For a two story home - concrete per meter, low quality:9,500, medium: 11,000, high:13,400.

    These are the numbers used by the Banks and Valuers Association of Thailand.

  20. #20
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    ^ is that including land costs?

    I had the land already and was only considering build cost.

  21. #21
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    No this is the cost of new post and beam constructed concrete home with proper footings that is hopefully ready to move into (in Bangkok). This price does not include built in cabinets, furniture or fitting out the curtain and drapes. This depending on your tastes, you can spend a lot of money finishing out a home.

    You can do it cheaper by using different construction methods, but comparing their published numbers to our own real cost numbers, its a close approximation.. Once you get over 3 floors the price will increase by 30% -50%, since larger structure is required and difficulty in working at heights.

    Sorry this got off track, I really just published the numbers to show that the cost of building a two story with the sitting area under it or a separate sitting area, may end up being similar in cost.

    As DrAndy stated, it is best to just build what you prefer.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    is that including land costs?
    Quote Originally Posted by InKorat
    No this is the cost of new post and beam constructed concrete home with proper footings that is hopefully ready to move into (in Bangkok).
    Your low quality number is 10,400; folks have built for half that.

    Upper end can go anywhere, but a reasonable build can be 8,000, and that's not particularly low quality, so the number might be one quoted by some source, but it's not what I've read on other threads or been quoted by the builders/architects. Maybe that's the cost if you allow a company to build your property and factors in their profit at 30%+...

    The cost is much higher than many posters have explained on their threads.

  23. #23
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    ^^ n ^^^ Thanks a lot. Good data to keep handy. Greatly appreciated Inkorat.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    Your low quality number is 10,400; folks have built for half that.
    The price is a developers price, they have offices to run, show houses to build, plus a few more expenses than somchai the builder who lives in a shack down the Soi.

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    ^ yep, that's what I thought; thanks for confirming.

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