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Thread: Building a shed

  1. #1
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    Building a shed

    I have recently moved from Australia to Thailand. I retired last year and after realizing I don't have to work anymore (could still find something to do in the future) I had a hard think about what to do, stay in Oz or move to a country that stole my heart after a visit 3 years ago. Been to Thailand about 11 times in a 3 year period and this was a place a could live till the end of my days (another 25 years?)

    Where to live in Thailand? I have been to many places in the times I've been here and although I'm a "city boy" it's always easier to go and look for "action" rather then being stuck there 24/7. I also intend to be a bit "self supporting", growing vegetables, have a few (edible) animals etc. the country side seemed to be the most logical option.

    Found a piece of land with an old shed and an old "house" on it, large enough to plot around on. The size of the land is around 6000 m2 and besides the buildings it also accommodates a small rice field and a pond. The plan is to build my house on that plot of land and when the build is finished, or at least habitable, knock down the old buildings. The shed that is on the land is really a "put together" of old wood and a steel roof, not water tight and enough openings to accommodate half the wildlife of this part of Thailand. the house is in a bit better shape, it's water tight, the roof doesn't leak.

    Last year I already installed a normal toilet, don't like the squat toilets and a electric hot water shower, bathing myself from the big water drum with icy cold water made a shower more like a CIA interrogation technique. The water supply to the property was not optimal either, being the last house on the village edge gave me no water pressure and at some times, no water at all. So I asked the locals to build a water tower for me that would pump up the water from a 45 meter well to about 4 meter high and for now gives enough pressure to shower and run the washing machine (when I bought a front loading washing machine it wouldn't work because of the low water pressure). When the "new" house is built I will install another pump to get a higher pressure for a good shower. A few months ago, after some trouble with the high calcium in the water, I had a water purification system installed, works fine and I now have nice drinking water a well!

    I have been reading his forum for about 3 years and have taken all tips on board. I would like to build the house myself, but unfortunately I don't have the skills nor the physical ability to build a whole house, I know what I want (and don't want!) so I set out to find a builder that would build what I want, not what he thinks is better or easier or.... I thought I had found a builder when still in Australia, communicated through email a few times and even met him in Thailand. Unfortunately it didn't work out. I have the ideas in my head for the house, how it should look and what kind of materials and made a sketch on my computer using one of the "home architect" programs but I neede a real architect to draw the house. The "architect" of the builder turned out to be Thai and merely a user of a similar program. I would like an architect to have his input in the build and come up with some nice ideas I might not have thought of. The Thai "architect" could only redraw what I had drawn, with numerous mistakes so I had to say goodbye to the builder.

    Now I had a bit of a problem, I had hoped to live in my "new" house by the end of this year, but that now seems impossible. I didn't like the idea of waiting around to find a new builder/architect so I decided to let a few local guys build the shed. In the end it is just a shed so how hard can it be...... I had drawn a quick sketch of the shed and discussed what I want and don't want with the local guys. The space between the water tower and the road was the place I wanted the shed to be build on, using as much of the land possible. The dimensions would be about 20 meters X 9 meters and should "house" a little "shop" on the road side, a place for the rice machine that is already in the old shed, don't know how the machine is called but it cleans the harvested rice and spits out rice grains. This part of the shed will also be used to park the tractor I bought, next a place to park my cars (have 2 cars here and 1 still awaiting shipment in Australia) and last but not least a "man shed" to fiddle around in and make stuff. Living in the country is nice, but I don't want to get bored. I like making stuff so the man shed is a must.

    The shed will have 3 roller doors, 2 for the rice machine and tractor, and 1 with remote control to park the cars. The shed will also need to be high enough for the rice machine and for me walking around without bumping my head every time, lost count of how many times I have hit my head already. The shop and man shed will have airco installed, and a lowered ceiling, the garage and rice machine shed will have no extra ceiling, just the steel roof. Highest point of he roof will,be about 4.5 meters that will leave enough room for doors and roller doors to be installed. Floor tiles in the man shed and shop, just the concrete in the rice machine area and a coating on the floor in the garage.

    Extra advantage of the shed is that it will also be a wall, separating the neighbors property. Around the rest of the property I will build a wall to keep unwanted elements off the property, now I have all kinds of animals invading, cows that eat my plants, stray dogs, chickens and snakes. The "lovely"neigbour also uses the property to dump anything he doesnt need anymore. It will also keep out the villagers who have adjacent rice fields and use my property to drive in and out all day. I have nothing against people but when they just walk/drive in and out of the property without saying anything and just look at me with a face like " crazy falang" or even tell me to move my car because they need to drive in with all kinds of tractors and other machinery, for me that was it. Shed and wall are a priority. Only thing is that I need a lot of wall to enclose the property, don't like barb wire. Wall will be 2 meter high in some sections and a bit lower in other so I don't loose all of the view. It's the last house in the village so my views are just rice fields on the front, back and right side of the property, on the left side, the village starts.

    A new adventure about to start, fase 3 of my life. Lived in Europe for about 30 years, Australia for about 10 and hopefully Thailand for another 25 years?

    So anybody with good ideas, tips, do's and don'ts, please feel free to comment on this build. I will try and get as many photo's of the build and share them with you.

  2. #2
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    Hi Wiz

    1. If you've followed the building threads for the past 3 years you should have a pretty good idea how it works (?) here.

    2. I assume you are happy to build a house on some elses land, have a partner etc, done your legal research and so on...

    3. If you're OK with your location make sure you build the house on a raised area of land so flooding never becomes an issue.

    4. Good Thai builders out in the bush would be rare. This will be your biggest hurdle. The locals were probably selling ice creams the week before etc.. and I would be surprised if many could follow anything but simple drawings.

    5. You will need to be there every day of the build.

    6. Whatever time frame they give you double it as an absolute minimum.

    7. Be prepared to be disappointed.

    8. Careful how you buy the materials, kickbacks is the norm.

    9. As an aside, the taxes to bring your car here are huge, have you checked it out?

    Best wishes

  3. #3
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    How about a few photos as well when you are up and running? i built in the village outside of Surin and made the usual mistakes but have purchased land next door and will build my dream bungalow and shed and the Mrs and kids can sleep in the original house. Like you I have specific ideas but have trouble conveying them to the Mrs who is the middleman. i am looking forward to the challenge as I will be just retired.

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    Thanks Aussie expat for your view.

    Yes I think I have a reasonable view of how things work (or don't) in Thailand. Every country has its challenges. The land is in my wife's name, I'm in the house book. The place never ever floods, no where near a river and no hills or anything around, flat as a pancake. Despite that, the land was raised over a year ago. I have lived in Australia for 10 years, most Aussie tradesmen have no clue as well on how to do things. The guys here have already built a few things, still standing. I am Not in a hurry, have thrown the time line out of the window. I take every day as it comes. Some days I have 6 at work, some days there are only 1 or 2, some days nobody. I've given up on questioning why. It be so. I live in the old house that's on the property, just had airco installed to beat the heat, although most of the cold disappears through cracks and other "ventilation" gaps Later I will move the airco to the shed. I try to get good materials for the built, I'm only going to build once, but on the other side, the buildings don't need to become heritage sites in the distant future.

    The other thing is that I will need tools for the man shed as well so I have bought quite a few tools for them to work with, had to laugh the first day they started they used a 25 cm long level.... Don't think it will work on a building like that, so I bought a few good, long ones. A cordless drill/ screwdriver, power drill etc.

    But on the other hand, most of the guys have worked in other countries on big building projects and there is a good! electrician amongst them, a few can lay bricks and stucko, a few can weld etc. they all get different pay, MIL does that part.

    I've given quite a few things out of hand, I just buy all materials so I can look for good stuff for a good price, and check a few times a day how they are doing, they know by now i dont like short cuts, evrythinh has to be strong enough and look nice. Thais are good workers, lousy finishers. At end of day I have a drink with them. Other then that I don't get involved to much during the day. If the shed turns out alright, I might consider using the same lot for the house, I will see. The shed and wall are the first priority.

    I know a lot of people have a sliding gate on their property, but I would like an automatic swinging gate, have not found anyone who can make that for me.

    The pond that is on the property has been dug out by an excavator to go from 50 cm to 300cm. I have put a sala in the pond and some fish. When i ordered the sala, they just needed to make a few adjustments so I can put a small kitchen in there. The sala is going to be too far from the house to keep running up and down to get things or eat. So a small kitchen with BBQ and fryer, washbasin and a small fridge. The sala sits on an impressive foundation in the pond and has a bridge to get there. Yesterday they finished the entree of the Sala, that connects the land with the bridge and Sala, looks great.

    The car I'm bringing in is a 1976 Toyota land cruiser.The car is drivable but needs a full resto. I've checked the taxes and they wont be more then $5,000. I reckon that transport included the whole operation would be around $10,000. The car will never be worth the amount I bought it for, importing it to Thai and restoring it, I'm not doing it for the money,it's just a very nice car to cruise in. The car has NO rust at all, no dents, everything is there, just old and never touched.

    I will sort through pics I have already made and try and put them up later this week.

    The only thing I find very difficult is to find someone who can put basis sketches and a list of ideas and wishes to an architectural drawing. I thought it would be easy to tell someone what I want and he/she makes a drawing and after a few changes I would have a workable drawing to start from.

  5. #5
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
    is a 1976 Toyota land cruiser
    FJ45 trayback or FJ55 wagon ?

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    FJ55 Wagon. In Australia it had the personalized number plate IRONPIG on it. Weighs over 2000 kg, feels like a tank, drives like a tank, no power steering or Airco, but you can roll down the window on the 5th door on the back, and with all other windows down, a pleasure to drive, just cruising' round. Top speed about 120k's. I bought it about 4 years ago, had to change the registration and needed testing by the MVR. Passed the test without a problem. But a very heavy car, trying to turn the steering wheel when not in motion is not possible, all thick steel, no plastics. Love that car!

  7. #7
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    WIZ good luck with the Iron-pig, I had 1 as a Company Car in the N.T. there got a reputation as the Rustiest ToJo every made!

    I made my own sliding Gate, 5.5mt long, alloy Wood look planks, there's Stainless Steel gate makers in our Town but that was to much 'Bling' for us

    Thais seem to build every thing from Concrete, but there's a few Shed builders in the Nation, steel frame that is.

    The Rice machine sound like a ''Mill'' the cast of Seed shell is great in potting mix's and soil Improver.

    hope to see some photos, when you have time up,

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    Hi mingmong, yes I've seen some examples of the IRONPIG in the US, all rotted out. Don't know where/why they rot the one I have now, no rust at all, never tempered with. Only had a tyre blown out once and rip through the wheel arch, but that's been fixed. In the US these cars in good condition, seem to get a fair bit of money, they use them for offroad/hill climbs. For me I just like old things, love to drive the pig around, car will need a full make over. Recondition the engine and gear box, new head lining, seat covers and a nice paint job and probably a few other things that need replacing. You have to have an ongoing project to keep you busy when out bush.

    Shed will be a mix of concrete and steel. They have welded all the roof support and have steel posts, filled in with bricks and mortar.

    Don't like the bling on gates too, stand out like dogs ears. But for some reason I like the swinging gates more. Have to see and wait if it is feasible.

    That's right, the rice machine separates the rice from the shell, locals buy the shell for their garden, for ducks to have a dry spot to lie down and I even think they use for some kind of matrass, as a filling. The rice machine sits in the shed and the shell get blown into a separate area, before it was just blown on the land. Now they are able to sell the shells, only will never get rich from that at 5 baht a big bag. But in the end they get some baht for that, before it was wasted.

    I will try and post the first photo's tomorrow. Have to see how I put them on etc.

  9. #9
    Lord of Swine
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    Be aware that thailand has right of access laws that limit your ability to deny someone access to land they own which has no public access.

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    All farmers can still get to their land using the normal! access roads. It was just quicker and more convenient to use "my" property as a through road. If they would have shown a little courtesy I wouldn't have mind. But all day driving in and out without a word, or even spitting on the way out.... F*ck that! I enjoy my new found privacy.

  11. #11
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    Hi WoO an interesting read mate ,, be nice to have some pics of the shed to go with it now if you can.

    I have read anne read again but TBH its doing me eyes in all the type ,, what area are you in mate ?

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    Newbie serene1's Avatar
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    I am also interested in what area you are and how much you paid for land/shed/house. Looking forward to the pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
    testing by the MVR.
    NT boy eh? Lived there for years not sure why I came here now. My wife wants to go back there.

    Easy solution for your power steering issues, get an 80 or 100 series, fantastic...including air
    Last edited by AUSSIE EXPAT; 22-06-2012 at 02:41 PM.

  14. #14
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    The property is in the north-east of Thailand. Nearest city/town is about 30km away, so in the middle of the bush, rice farms in my case. I did not pay anything for the land, it used to belong to my wife's parents. The land is now in my wife's name and as said before, I'm in the "house book". I bought a kubota in my name, but FIL uses it for the rice fields (ours and other people's). He only needs to pressure clean the tractor once a week. In the end FIL has an excellent shed for his rice machine and other things he stores in there, looks very professional and clean! We have land to build on. Everybody happy, I thought that was a good deal.

    I lived in Victoria, Queensland and the NT in Australia, but after about 10years, I'd seen enough. Not a place to get old for me, although I still hold an Australian passport.

    I will never part from my Iron Pig, can't wait to get it here, fix it and cruise around in. I've never seen one here in Thailand.

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    ^ Sounds a good deal mate ,, what is the big town city near to you then ? Udon ? if so we to have land about 30-40 miles from there

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    pics man!! we need pictures!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard of Oz
    I will never part from my Iron Pig, can't wait to get it here, fix it and cruise around in. I've never seen one here in Thailand.
    Might be because of the huge import duty they might slap on it mate ,, I would check that out before shipping it over , do they slap it on agri vehicles ?

  18. #18
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    ^ see post #4

    Spend all day in bed, just woke up. Will try and get photo's posted tomorrow for those interested.

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    Thailand Expat ossierob's Avatar
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    I also am interested in following your 'shed thread' as I purchased (sorry, - my wife purchased) the land behind our house where I (sorry, - we) want to build a man shed and vegie garden etc to keep me (sorry, - us) occupied in retirement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ossierob View Post
    I also am interested in following your 'shed thread' as I purchased (sorry, - my wife purchased) the land behind our house where I (sorry, - we) want to build a man shed and vegie garden etc to keep me (sorry, - us) occupied in retirement.
    You'll get the hang of it eventually

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    This morning I thought I post some pics, but for some reason couldn't from my iPad, when I took a look at the "posting rules" it says "you may not post any attachments". Does this mean I cannot post any pictures? If so why and when can I post them to satisfy the need for pics of other forum members.

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    Not that easy mate ,, nothing to do with your iPad,, you have to upload them to your gallery first then bring em back down ..

    Now I've got to go to work in 4 hours time so I don't have time to give you all the info on here but there are threads on here to help you through it

    Good luck
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

  23. #23
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    Finally found out why I couldn't post, read somewhere on the forum you should have 10 posts to start posting pics, I think this is my tenth post. If all OK, pics should follow from tomorrow to give you all a look at the shed being built and the wall and Sala.

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    I'm probably to blond to understand the posting of pics, if I try to upload pics from my iPad to the the gallery the buttons to upload are "switched off", I can't seem to press them, so cannot upload any pics. Yesterday I though I found the problem as I read you cannot post pics if you do not have 10 posts. Yesterday I reached the "milestone" of 10 pics, this morning the buttons (choose file) to upload still don't work. They remain dark coloured, can't upload. Shoot me.

  25. #25
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    Wizard... Welcome to Teak Door. It does take a while to get the hang of posting pics and there is a thread that someone did that tells you how to do it.

    Let us know where you are located more specifically and maybe some TD members could point you to some good crews.
    Press On Regardless

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