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  1. #1
    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    Build costs advice

    In about 18 months I wish to purchase land and build a decent sized house in Chaing Mai area.
    Not too far from town.

    I want about 2 rai of land (Wife is an avid gardener?vegie grower).

    3 bedrooms 2 storey with a pool, plus small house for maid and visiting family members.

    I want all the mod cons remote monitoring, quality finishes, floating staircase etc - modern rather than traditional.

    It is a fairly broad spec but a bit of advice on land and build cost component would be helpful.

    I do not need advice on title - I would want Chanote however it will be in my wife's name - Just becomes a donation if we hit splitsville in the future.

    Any input would be appreciated
    Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.

  2. #2
    Lord of Swine
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    You can build Thai style for 5 to 10 k baht per sqm.
    Low quality farang style for 10 to 15.
    Med to high end farang, 15 upwards.
    Yours is sounding like 20 25.

  3. #3
    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    Thanks for that good info to get me started.
    - High end is still great value compared to Oz.

  4. #4
    Lord of Swine
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    There are a couple of guys currently running build threads with western homes and good, but not luxury finishes.
    Pop in to their threads and ask them their per meter costs.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheekyman View Post
    I do not need advice on title - I would want Chanote however it will be in my wife's name - Just becomes a donation if we hit splitsville in the future.

    Any input would be appreciated
    Only the land will belong to the wife. It's a different story with assets and this includes the house.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    You can build Thai style for 5 to 10 k baht per sqm.
    Low quality farang style for 10 to 15.
    Med to high end farang, 15 upwards.
    Yours is sounding like 20 25.
    Making a budget with THB 25'000 per square meter is more realistic for a house in higher Western standard, with good aluminium windows. You should also count all terraces, car ports etc. in the building area.

    With carefully chosen materials and a strict budget management you should be below the budget. Most builders have a too low budget and get surprised, later. It is typically that during building bathrooms and kitchen are upgraded to a higher level.

    With THB 25'000 per square meter you are on the save side.

  7. #7
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    I have had a little experience of new build in Chiang Mai

    our house is approx 100sq m per floor, three floors (although the top is open as a roofed terrace with a pool) and cost less than B3.5 mill

    so around B12 -15000 per sq m would be a reasonable target, depending on fittings

    if you need a builder, project manager, architect, designer etc etc, I can help you with my contacts, nearer the start date, and once you have found some perfect land

    I could even help you find that!
    I have reported your post

  8. #8
    Lord of Swine
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    ^ you put a pool in your roof?
    Did you do a thread on that build?

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheekyman
    2 rai of land
    Quote Originally Posted by cheekyman
    3 bedrooms 2 storey
    Your call but with 2 rai, consider a single story.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    around B12 -15000 per sq m would be a reasonable target
    Agree.

  11. #11
    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    if you need a builder, project manager, architect, designer etc etc, I can help you with my contacts, nearer the start date, and once you have found some perfect land

    I could even help you find that!
    Thanks Andy for your valued help - I will be in Chiang Mai in early July - I will contact you nearer the time to see if we can catch up. Your experience is much appreciated.

    Thanks to all other posters for your excellent input.

    Cheers

  12. #12
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    I would listen and follow Dr. Andy's advise.

  13. #13
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    I've spend the last few months trying to come up with a reliable estimate on building a house on 2.5 Rai (which we bought a while ago)

    I have a full set of building plans and quantity survey which I copied and gave to 4 different builders along with my own detailed and specific instructions.

    So far I've been given numbers which range from just over 12,000 Baht per m2 up to 22,000 Baht per m2....for exactly the same thing....

    Even building a wall around the land has a varience of about 250,000 baht from the lowest to the highest estimate. One guy quoted 700 baht/meter and another quoted nearly 2000 baht/meter. The wall will be just over 300 meters

    The problem is knowing who is right and who is wrong. If I average them out it would seem to be around 15,000 baht per m2......but unless I buy all the materials myself and hire a crew to do the work I don't really know what I'm getting.

    I just replaced a kitchen fawcet yesterday. It started leaking constantly so I took a look and the fucking thing was corroded and starting to split. It's only three years old. Went to Homepro and was confronted with about 50 different units many of which look almost identical....but ranged from around 300 baht up to nearly 3000 baht. If you can get a varience of 2700 Baht on a frigging kitchen fawcet can you imagine how much varience you could fit into a whole house.....

    The faulty unit was supposed to be high quality, and it looked OK, but it was in fact cheap crap. What you pay for and what you get are obviously not the same if you trust the builder to supply the materials. Building anything in Thailand is about as much fun as having impacted wisdom teeth extracted...

    I will eventually build another house on the new land because it's a really nice location and we can have a mini farm to play with.....but I'm hiring a trauma counsellor and stocking up on Vallium before the first pile is driven......
    I blame the Americans......and Thaksin.

  14. #14
    Lord of Swine
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    ^ building anything, anywhere is just about the most stressful experience you and you partner go though.

  15. #15
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    it is also very rewarding and great when you get it right

  16. #16
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    ^

    Indeed. That's why we do it. It's just that "getting it right" is much more difficult in Thailand. Having a bottomless pit of money obviously helps, but when the money pit does have a bottom, you need to know how much you are going to need to complete the project (within reason) and therein lies the problem, because in my case I'm fine with paying 15K per sq/meter or even a bit more.....but not 22K+

    Once you are half way into the project it's a bit late to find out that the 22K was the right quote and not the 15K or so that you have in the budget.......

  17. #17
    Member cheekyman's Avatar
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    Sage advice Koman - I will grovel at the feet of DR Andy to help me get it right

  18. #18
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    ^
    Yes, having someone in the area who has gone through the experience would be invaluable...at least with respect to finding reliable builders and sources for materials etc.

    As far as estimates to build your own house are concerned; it depends a great deal on the specific design of the structure and the types of materials you want to use, and how much you care about embellishments to impress the family and competing farangs, as opposed to just having a good comfortable and practical dwelling to live in..... There are endless ways to drive up costs and just waste money when building a house.

    A one storey house of say 180 m2 will cost more to build than a two storey house with 90 m2 per floor. Some designs are just more difficult to build than others and 10cm Qblock will cost more than 7cm QBlock etc etc. The variables are almost infinite. The biggest challenge always seems to be in finding a good, knowledgable and reliable contractor. They all claim to have these attributes when you approach them, but from my own experience, it aint so.....

    I know one Dutch guy who hired and fired at least four contactors before his house was completed. I'd say he's unusually meticulous and maybe one or two of the contractors just quit, but in the end he got what he wanted. I think he was about 100% over budget by the time it was finished and he damaged his reputation so badly he can't even get someone to come and cut his grass...... I don't think it was a happy experience and I don't think he even enjoys living in the ten million baht pink mausoleum with his bottomless pit of money...

  19. #19
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koman
    The biggest challenge always seems to be in finding a good, knowledgeable and reliable contractor.
    Number one on the list of importance. Before any builder is selected, make sure you get to see what they have built. If what they've built is what you're looking for then go ahead. You will get quality and workmanship seen in his past builds. Expecting more just ain't going to happen.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by koman
    Once you are half way into the project it's a bit late to find out that the 22K was the right quote and not the 15K or so that you have in the budget...
    that is why you set a budget; you don't just make one from the top of your head or from TD members advice

    you get estimates from builders, you do your homework obviously

    before even starting the build you should have a reasonable budget figure

    yes, you can go over budget, but that is often due to adding extra work or choosing more expensive materials than originally wanted

  21. #21
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    That would have been one quality build thread!


    Quote Originally Posted by koman View Post
    ^
    I know one Dutch guy who hired and fired at least four contactors before his house was completed. I'd say he's unusually meticulous and maybe one or two of the contractors just quit, but in the end he got what he wanted. I think he was about 100% over budget by the time it was finished and he damaged his reputation so badly he can't even get someone to come and cut his grass...... I don't think it was a happy experience and I don't think he even enjoys living in the ten million baht pink mausoleum with his bottomless pit of money...

  22. #22
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    First step buy the land in her name, then before you spend a penny more get her to sign a lease for you and make sure that lease is presented to the local land authority. if she refuses to lease you the land then say fuck the house and say goodby. when you have the lease the land is as good as yours, she cant sell the land behind your back.

  23. #23
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    yes, but what has that got to do with anything?

  24. #24
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    Great advise from a long time thai hand (if it matters a american, in thailand
    for more than 33 years) "Never spend more than you can walk away from if
    IT all goes TU *bad* at some point"
    TU = tits up ie all wrong/your f*cked...etc............

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