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Construction in Thailand Is building in Thailand as bad as it seems? Can properties really be built and fitted out to European standards? Would you like to Build your own house in Phuket, or a swimming pool in Bangkok? Solar water heating in Pattaya? Or maybe you want to build a resort or guesthouse on Koh Samui? If you want to build a luxury house in Thailand then this is the forum for you.

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Old 27-04-2012, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Budget Building

I have done a few Building a House on a Budget threads on local forums.I received this email today and would like some input from some of the good members here ....

here's the email....
I can't build my main house until I get money out of England so, I am intending to build a 'holiday bungalow' in the meantime.

Basically, I am looking at 12m x 8 m of which 32 sqm will be balcony/terrace and 64 sqm living accommodation.

I will buy all materials and I am looking for a 'labour only' quote from a local builder. He is going to quote for 2 stages ; (1) foundations, columns, floor, roof. (2) block work, plastering, ceilings electrics, 1st fix plumbing, painting/decorating.


This needs to be a Thai 'standard' build and I would have calculated labour at circa 30% of the overall build costs.

If you have time, I would welcome your thoughts on the likely costs.

We will rent a digger to dig the footings, the Column will be pre-cast columns ,the floor will be raised 1.5 metres so they will install concrete slabs - presumably onto the ring beam ?

On the second phase I may well use Qcon - I want to test them out before deciding what I want on the main house. Nothing complicated, windows will be installed by the local guy who made/installed at our shop


================================================== ========

So basically he wants to spend about 400K on a budget house ( 1 Bed,bathroom ,small Kitchen and what ever is left to be a living room) before he builds his main house.This Budget Bungalow will be used as a extra bedrooms for guest or may even be rented out on a short term rental of 3-6 months at a time after all the building work is complete.
I've told him he should be able to built this Budget Build Bungalow for around 400k but other have told him its not possible.....What are your views?
The price of 400k will not be met if Qcon block are used as the cement adhesives and special render needed would push the price up or would they ?
Cheers ...all input is greatly appreciated
Boloa
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Old 27-04-2012, 06:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I did a similar building albeit a few years ago to a good standard, roughly same size - cost was 400k, so do-able.
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Old 27-04-2012, 07:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Do-able and great living for Thais, not sure farangs would want to live in it though, it would be extremely basic.
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Old 27-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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96 square metres multiplied by 12,000 baht per square metre equals 1.152,000.00 Baht.

Doable but with care..........................
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Old 27-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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12,000 baht a sqm? more like 5/6000 would be more like it
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Old 27-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
12,000 baht a sqm? more like 5/6000 would be more like it
I think Loy Toy means 12,000 baht a squ/m is a price for a good build quality to suit what a westerner would call an OK living environment ( he will do this on the main build ).I think the guys knows what quality he is going to get for 400k but has anyone got any input so he can get the best build for his baht.
I'm just downloading Picasa so I can uploads so photos of Budget houses that have been built in my locale as the attachment option is not working to upload thumbnail photos off my computer on this forum
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Old 27-04-2012, 11:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAndy
more like 5/6000 would be more like it
Maybe 10 years ago Doc.

Renovations and building from scratch is a completely different kettle of fish.
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Old 27-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boloa
I think Loy Toy means 12,000 baht a squ/m is a price for a good build quality to suit what a westerner would call an OK living environment
I just got out of a 2 hour meeting with a notable successful construction company in Pattaya and he was quoting 18,000 baht a metre to build the 580 square metre house I designed as a favour for a friend of mine.

My Thai partner is also building some houses in Bangkok and he claims the costs are up around 14k a square metre.

I cannot see how some can claim such low building costs when the cost of the raw materials have almost doubled in the last 5 years.
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Old 28-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by boloa
I think Loy Toy means 12,000 baht a squ/m is a price for a good build quality to suit what a westerner would call an OK living environment
I just got out of a 2 hour meeting with a notable successful construction company in Pattaya and he was quoting 18,000 baht a metre to build the 580 square metre house I designed as a favour for a friend of mine.

My Thai partner is also building some houses in Bangkok and he claims the costs are up around 14k a square metre.

I cannot see how some can claim such low building costs when the cost of the raw materials have almost doubled in the last 5 years.
Nobody is disputing these are the build prices for Houses in Bangkok and Pattaya.Out in the Boonies house's can be build cheaply to the spec in the OP.
Here's one in our Village that cost 540k to build


Here is another that cost 400k ( pictures taken before it was finished )10m x 7m ,2 beds,bathroom and Living-room,the Kitchen is outside( Thai style )



Here is one the local Thai guy is just finishing for 320k,2 beds and living-room and Veranda ( bathrom and Kitchen is at the back and not included in the build price)


I think you can see we are not talking about 14/18 squ/m builds here but low budget for those that just want to build somewhere cheap to live or to stay when visiting upcountry for a few weeks at a time.!!
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Old 28-04-2012, 01:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
I cannot see how some can claim such low building costs when the cost of the raw materials have almost doubled in the last 5 years.
We're talking cheap here ......Breeze Blocks are still 5 baht each and cement can be brought for 120 baht a bag ( about the same price as 7 years ago ) ,floor tiles from the local warehouse at 140 Baht ( or less ) a squ/m ,Chang Roof tiles haven't gone up much over the years and sand and Building stone hasn't rocketed that much either.The only thing that has really gone up is the steel for the roof and concrete work. Also out in the sticks we're not talking big wages and there's no a big building company wanting it's large profit margin.!!!
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Old 28-04-2012, 09:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boloa View Post
I've told him he should be able to built this Budget Build Bungalow for around 400k but other have told him its not possible.....What are your views?
The price of 400k will not be met if Qcon block are used as the cement adhesives and special render needed would push the price up or would they ?
Cheers ...all input is greatly appreciated
Boloa


I reckon that Qcon will add circa 15,000 Baht to the cost. I have not factored in more for adhesive/special render
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Old 28-04-2012, 10:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I think the main variables to the budget will come from material costs - if I go for better quality materials/finishes then the price will inevitably move upwards.

I would be interested to learn from anyone who has had personal experience of rural Thai builder labour costs.

As Boloa posted earler:-

I will buy all materials and I am looking for a 'labour only' quote from a local builder. He is going to quote for 2 stages ; (1) foundations, columns, floor, roof. (2) block work, plastering, ceilings electrics, 1st fix plumbing, painting/decorating.

The proposed builder would not know a contract if it bit him on the ar5e. I understand that, but I also want to understand that the figures he will pluck from the air actually bear some resemblance to reality.
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Old 28-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Q-con are we talking those white lightweight blocks? Whats the special adhesive for? Last time I saw those being used they were toe-nailed together.
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Old 28-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VocalNeal
Whats the special adhesive for?
Don't know what you saw but q-con are stuck together using a cement based adhesive, but they are white and light weight.
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Old 28-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeecorner View Post

The proposed builder would not know a contract if it bit him on the ar5e. I understand that, but I also want to understand that the figures he will pluck from the air actually bear some resemblance to reality.
The secret to a good budget build is to find a good local Thai Builder.I always suggest to anybody wanting to build this way is to go and look at locally built houses and once you see one to the quality you want , then want ask the owner who built it for them.The thing is ,you mostly hear the horror stories about Thai Builders in the Villages,if the truth be known there are some good Thai builders about( though many would say this is an oxymoron ),normally guys that have worked in Bangkok for many years and have then gone back to their Village's in their 50's , some of these guys can do a reasonable job. The techniques they uses are the same at a top quality builder in many cases but they just use cheaper materials.As long as re-enforced concrete beams are used around the windows and in the middle of full walls most of these houses can stand the test of time.
You have the choice on the quality you want.....take Electrics....cheapest is surfaced mounted cable held on by ties... or upgrade to placing the electric cable in plastic surfaced mounted ducting......or upgrade even further to the electrics being placed in sub-surface in the yellow plastic piping ....the choice of the budget build is solely up to you. The purist may say 'surfaced mounted Electrics ..WTF' ....the building on a budget guy would say 'nice and cheap...lovely'
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Old 28-04-2012, 11:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
Q-con are we talking those white lightweight blocks? Whats the special adhesive for? Last time I saw those being used they were toe-nailed together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by VocalNeal
Whats the special adhesive for?
Don't know what you saw but q-con are stuck together using a cement based adhesive, but they are white and light weight.
I think ( I could be wrong though ) that VocalNeal was just having a dig at our Isaan Thai Builders saying they nail the Qcon blocks together to save money or that's how they think it should be done, so as to make them look stupid
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Old 28-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by boloa
I think Loy Toy means 12,000 baht a squ/m is a price for a good build quality to suit what a westerner would call an OK living environment
I just got out of a 2 hour meeting with a notable successful construction company in Pattaya and he was quoting 18,000 baht a metre to build the 580 square metre house I designed as a favour for a friend of mine.

My Thai partner is also building some houses in Bangkok and he claims the costs are up around 14k a square metre.

I cannot see how some can claim such low building costs when the cost of the raw materials have almost doubled in the last 5 years.

as has been said, this is a budget house and B5/6000 is achievable

besides steel (gone up 50%), which raw material prices have doubled in 5 years?

labour costs have risen from B150 to B200 in the sticks
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Old 28-04-2012, 01:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAndy
besides steel (gone up 50%), which raw material prices have doubled in 5 years?
All building materials have risen upwards and towards 51% in price along with crude oil prices not to mention interior fittings and appliances over the last 5 years.

In fact bricks are pretty hard to come by at this time due to the floods and re-building work and with that building materials have risen in price if you can actually buy the stuff.

To be honest I have never paid contractors on a daily rate nor built a shoe box Thai style home so if up country labour works for peanuts I suppose it could be around 8 to 10 k a square metre.
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Old 28-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Bola those prices quoted on the pics of the village homes you have put up ,, are they all in prices labour build / materials ?
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Old 28-04-2012, 01:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loy Toy
All building materials have risen upwards and towards 51% in price along with crude oil prices not to mention interior fittings and appliances over the last 5 years.
well, that is not double

if cement is B120 a bag, it was B100 a bag 5 years ago, a 20% rise

as for appliances, we are talking a budget build so appliances are not being included; interior fittings, still cheap for budget build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loy Toy
To be honest I have never paid contractors on a daily rate nor built a shoe box Thai style home
yes, it is a different world out there!
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Old 28-04-2012, 02:56 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
Bola those prices quoted on the pics of the village homes you have put up ,, are they all in prices labour build / materials ?
The are prices that I posted include labour and materials but you must remember these are Thai peoples house's so they are basic inside ( four walls,a light switch and a light fitting,with a few coats of paint, ceiling are the suspended type ,not Gyproc ,a 70squ/m house can have a budget suspended ceiling throughout for about 15k )).All of my friends that live locally to me have have built by getting a quote for labour and then organising their own job and materials.Most have not gone for the very low Budget Build but have upped the spec to about a 6/7 k squ/m build as they live here full time.For the extra baht you get poured columns and the small red bricks,but saying that just because you use low cost materials like Breeze Blocks and pre-cast Columns doesn't mean you can't have a nice bathroom or Kitchen inside.Budget building is all about spending you hard earned cash on what you prioritizes as important to you.

Last edited by boloa : 28-04-2012 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 28-04-2012, 03:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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village homes you have put up
Can I point out I'm not a builder here spamming for work but just a guy that has worked in the Building trade most of my working life that has an interest in Building .The whole aim of this thread is to try and get(give) as much information as possible for those that are are a tight budget that want to build a house in Rural Thailand.
Local western builders don't want to build low cost housing as there is no money in it for them.They would sooner build the 12/16 squ/m priced house where there profit margins are at there greatest.So what is a guy to do if he doesn't have building knowledge or the money to spend on a western builder who can speak English .Hopefully this thread can help him.
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Old 28-04-2012, 03:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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^ sounds fine to me

it will be interesting to see what you build and for how much
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Old 28-04-2012, 03:56 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
To be honest I have never paid contractors on a daily rate nor built a shoe box Thai style home so if up country labour works for peanuts I suppose it could be around 8 to 10 k a square metre.
I have a friend that has built a 200 squ/m Bungalow with 3 bredroom,2 bathroom ,a very nice kitchen,gyproc ceilings and a spacious living area for 1.6 Million. It's not just small houses that can be built for low prices.
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Old 28-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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boloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expatboloa Thailand Expat
Here is a few photos ( we all love photos ) of inside the 320k house showing the ceiling and the ceiling to the outside veranda

I'm not sure about the pink walls though,Light fittings were 150 baht each


I would say a little thought has gone into building this! Lots of nice area's so the Sparrows can have a new home too


Here is 2 inside shots of the 400k house to show what a basic low budget build gets you.


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