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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 30-12-2012, 04:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Traditional Wood buildings

Hi, this is a follow on from the house build, we are deciding to build a rice barn and we are throwing around some other ideas for other buildings.

Here is an Issan house that my father-in-law likes, we found it in an old book he has of house plans of traditional Thai buildings. I took the floor plans and have adapted it in google sketch up.



Many levels give a nice feature, this is a 1 bedroom, 1 ensuite main living area and outside terraces and sala.



Deatil of the house, wood is used slightly differently you can see the frame uprights hold the inside boards which are nailed to the upright. This gives a seamless finish from the inside, and a nice feature on the outside. The lower outside wall has a more normal horizontal cladding. The gable has a rising sun feature that is quite common in traditional houses.



Close up of the outside terraces, the seating area gives a feature point for welcoming guests or for relaxing with a drink. Because of the varying floor height the downstairs cannot be used as a living space in part only.



This gives a side on view at floor level, you can see into the main living area through the glass bifolding doors and into the bedroom and ensuite through the lower rooms.

This is yet to be decided as a going rpoject but is something different and would be a great addition to the back of the house and connected by walkway.

Next we have the Ricebarn, we have been looking for something that had a nice history and of course nice wood. After looking at many we finally came upon this one.



Now this rice barn seems a bit unsuspecting but the quality of the wood and posts and the feel inside was something that this photo unfortunately cannot summarise. This barn is 100 years old and the wood cut is of high quality not normally seen in wood yards.


Like many old buildings the cross beams for the joists actually fit into the posts. These cross beams are big very thick and are great treat to come across when you find some. As you wil notice however the height of the ceiling of the floor is quite low which means that the posts will be raised on concrete pillars by about 50 cm out of the foundations.



Inside you can see Teak wood cladding, the posts are squared off from the floor up to allow for the internal frame and cladding. However all of this internal wood will not be rebuilt the same and will be used in other areas.



So now we had found our ricebarn we had to get it dissmantled. Some fellas happily obliged, lukcily for us.

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Old 30-12-2012, 04:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you asked the local monks to judge that your actions are correct ? My wife tells me that you have done something which could prove to be very dangerous to you and your family.

Rice barns are occupied by many spirits and they do not take kindly to being moved.
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Old 30-12-2012, 06:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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^ just like back home, boyo!

That looks a very large rice barn, Ben, nice too

I am sure you are not going to just erect it as it was before once moved, pointless unless it is architecturally special

Are you sure it is a rice barn as there seem to be lots of access for rats!

lots of excellent wood and posts
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Old 30-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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FIL's design is pretty nice. Haven't seen any local builds with a three level porch system. what I don't care for are the bannister free steps.

I'm tearing down a Thai build in about three months and will sell off the wood and fixtures. Thai builds lack modern conveniences as well are windy during cold months. Also dirty all year long due to poor construction methods.

I find them to be unhealthy places to live.
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Old 30-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you asked the local monks to judge that your actions are correct ? My wife tells me that you have done something which could prove to be very dangerous to you and your family.

Rice barns are occupied by many spirits and they do not take kindly to being moved.
Not if a spirit house is close by...

As the only thing that might occupy a rice shed are rats and weevils.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
Many levels give a nice feature
and add a bit more danger for the occupants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
So now we had found our ricebarn we had to get it dissmantled. Some fellas happily obliged, lukcily for us.
Did they soak the wood to reduce damage when dismantling?
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What did the barn cost you Ben?
Do you have a breakdown of what you're getting out of it?
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Old 30-12-2012, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks interesting, but I'd be concerned with a lack of handrails on all those steps. Might just be me though.
Good luck !
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Old 30-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rural Surin View Post
Quote:
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Have you asked the local monks to judge that your actions are correct ? My wife tells me that you have done something which could prove to be very dangerous to you and your family.

Rice barns are occupied by many spirits and they do not take kindly to being moved.
Not if a spirit house is close by...

As the only thing that might occupy a rice shed are rats and weevils.
Not so, I'm afraid. The removal of a rice barn is a very serious business and guarantees bad luck if not done in an appropriate manner.

On our own land a spirit house stands adjacent to the site where a rice barn once stood. The monks came before the barn was removed and, apparently, they have to come back if we decide to build a new house on any part of that site.

Not my beliefs but they are taken seriously by the family.
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Old 30-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by can123 View Post
Have you asked the local monks to judge that your actions are correct ? My wife tells me that you have done something which could prove to be very dangerous to you and your family.

Rice barns are occupied by many spirits and they do not take kindly to being moved.
There were alot of thai people involved in this process, noone mentioned anything. A spirit house is I believe a spritualist part of Thai culture from either Hinduism or animism. It is not a common theme in the whole of Thailand and not carried out by all Thai people.
Luckily for me!

My family are quite a modern thinking bunch and dont have silly concerns about silly ideas. The only danger is how many people will want to come and visit when we are done.
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Old 30-12-2012, 05:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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^ just like back home, boyo!

That looks a very large rice barn, Ben, nice too

I am sure you are not going to just erect it as it was before once moved, pointless unless it is architecturally special

Are you sure it is a rice barn as there seem to be lots of access for rats!

lots of excellent wood and posts
Hi Dr. A

It was a rice barn, it was very old and so had now been converted to a place for odds and ends by the family. It is in part of Chiangmai where there are a lot of ricebarns, if not the last area around. but I dont think they used it for storage of rice, they are not farmers anymore.

It does however fall under the category of rice barn, because storage barn doesnt sound as good.

I dont get what you mean, it will be architecturally special because in about 20 years you wont see any left. We are keeping the main rice barns size but changing it to a living quarters for lodgers. It will be extended with a terrace and outside sala. To me it seems a bit strange to take something that is well fit together(like a wood building) and change the shape. We as a family like traditional wood buildings, and they for us are what will make this building project special.

You are right about very nice posts, everyone of the builders were eyeing them up the whole time it was being dismantled.
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Old 30-12-2012, 05:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
Many levels give a nice feature
and add a bit more danger for the occupants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
So now we had found our ricebarn we had to get it dissmantled. Some fellas happily obliged, lukcily for us.
Did they soak the wood to reduce damage when dismantling?

The designs are not finished, and can always be adapted to suit how safe it will keep the inhabitants when built. The ricebarn was moved some months ago, Im very happy with the team and the middleman we used. The wood is in a very healthy condition. To answer your question I dont know that they soaked the wood. The only wood that needs replacing is the battons that run along the rafters, this is because poor tiles had let in water. However I know of many good wood yards that have cheap hardwood to recover this situation.

All in all this should be an interesting project.
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Old 30-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What did the barn cost you Ben?
Do you have a breakdown of what you're getting out of it?
Ok, Well price is an interesting point. Im sure someone willa dvise me I spent too much and could have got it cheaper in a place that I dont live.
However I always like to know prices so this is a breakdown of costs that have been paid or are expected.

Ricebarn 100 years old - 10 posts, Teak wood. (6.5m w x 7.5 L) 125,000 badt

This was going through a middleman but we could not have found any ricebarns and I know that the posts if bought from a wood yard would have been 50-70,000 because this wood is not commonly found anymore.

This covered dismantling and moving to our site.

We esitmate the build to be about 250,000 badt to cover the labour and extra purchases including windows and wood for stairs and sala and terrace being added.

We already have water from the main house but a pump and tank are needed and these will be extra costs. We do however already have the septic tank.

so to summarise ricebarn 125,000
build 250,000
contingency 45,000
Sorry I cant be specific because Im awaiting an actual estimate from builders but this is what I have worked it out as. This is from previous experience.
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Old 30-12-2012, 05:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Looks interesting, but I'd be concerned with a lack of handrails on all those steps. Might just be me though.
Good luck !
Hi Steve

Please dont be, all this alludes to is my inpatience with sketchup and not finishing the design properly. I dont think the first stair set needs them because the height is 50 cms from the ground. The other rather steep set would have some rails, but all specific designs like this are always best to be added at point of build. I found this out when dealing with my builder and he is likely to be the same chap doing this one.

If not when I have plans drawn up from planning I will ask these to be added.

Thank you for your concerns though, they are duly noted. Thank you for your good luck when building, much is greatly needed, so Ill take as much as I can get.
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Old 30-12-2012, 05:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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right, enough talk, more pics please
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Old 30-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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FIL's design is pretty nice. Haven't seen any local builds with a three level porch system. what I don't care for are the bannister free steps.

I'm tearing down a Thai build in about three months and will sell off the wood and fixtures. Thai builds lack modern conveniences as well are windy during cold months. Also dirty all year long due to poor construction methods.

I find them to be unhealthy places to live.
Three level builds are quite traditional in north Issan, unfortunatley many Thai people with your sentiment exchange them for the quite ugly concrete buildings that seem to be replacing wood homes throughout the country for the last 40 years and more.

Thai builds are what you make of them, my house is a traditional build and yet has networking, inbuilt speakers, ensuites, walkin wardrobes and is more pleasent and easy on the eyes and heart then concrete.

From my experience wood houses are the pinnacle of construction methods for the tropics and craft of construction of great interest and awe with concrete being the oppposite. But Im sure that when we both generalise we are both wrong as there are also some Amazing concrete and modern constructions in Thailand. They are not to my taste in this specific project however.
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Old 30-12-2012, 06:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Mate, I love these Thai wooden houses and that design looks bloody brilliant to me.

Good luck with it EH.
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Old 30-12-2012, 06:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Sunsetter

The pics are going to be mostly design ideas as we are not building till later in the new year. Mostly sketch up etc. Sorry.
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Old 30-12-2012, 06:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
To me it seems a bit strange to take something that is well fit together(like a wood building) and change the shape.
If the shape suits your purposes, fine

Quite often that is not the case,so a different design can be built from the good old wood and still be an excellent building
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Old 30-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Mate, I love these Thai wooden houses and that design looks bloody brilliant to me.

Good luck with it EH.
Thank you, I love them too, Me and the wife are keen converts to the wooden house. We need all the luck we can get when building.

cheers.
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Old 30-12-2012, 08:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
Mate, I love these Thai wooden houses and that design looks bloody brilliant to me.

Good luck with it EH.
Regardless of how they might appear, I too, am an admirer/romantic of restoring and building traditional....
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Old 30-12-2012, 09:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
To me it seems a bit strange to take something that is well fit together(like a wood building) and change the shape.
If the shape suits your purposes, fine

Quite often that is not the case,so a different design can be built from the good old wood and still be an excellent building

The shape fits because its a guesthouse, and we only need 1 bedroom and ensuite inside with a bit of space and light. The exterior bits that we are adding like terrace and kitchen to the downstairs are what will make it more functional to live in. However the general shape and price of the wood made it an easier option.

If I was going to build something conceptual or designed I would just buy wood as I needed it to suit the design, Often because you are tied to precut lengths when buying a house. I am building from my experience the best way for the purpose of the building we need.

The next 5 months will give us time to change designs and best suit our needs but the ricebarn is the foundation of the guesthouse.

Thanks for everyones interest.
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Old 30-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
Here is an Issan house that my father-in-law likes, we found it in an old book he has of house plans of traditional Thai buildings. I took the floor plans and have adapted it in google sketch up.
Great thread start thanks.

Two questions. Any chance you can scan in the book of plans?

The roof tiles look to be clay tiles, were many broken during the tear down?


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Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
From my experience wood houses are the pinnacle of construction methods for the tropics and craft of construction of great interest and awe with concrete being the oppposite.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 31-12-2012, 03:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I used to love the old Thai wood places and would have considered building one on me wifes land in Issan once apon a time ,, untill I went to visit one of her thousands of Aunts out in the jungle ,, we was upstaire in her house having some rice + water , been in there no more than 5 mins and it started getting as hot as bloody hell ,, someone looked out started screaming wildly and we all ran out as the wood house next door had just about disintegrated into a fireball in the short time we was in there .

Fair enough they do look all lovely and traditional and each to theyre own , and I wish you all the best with your build Ben ,,, just not for me after that experience shit me right up , imagining being in there akip at night .
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Old 31-12-2012, 06:42 AM   #25 (permalink)
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yes. they can be a fire risk, so insurance is a good idea
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