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  1. #1
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    New house build near Kut Chum

    Once again all my fellow TD'ers thanks again for these excellent house build threads that have provided lots of help, and to make me chuckle as well. A little about me, I am a retired American living in Koh Samui. Recently purchased a new townhouse in Bophut. So we are going through work on that house, including a kitchen fitting with all of the western kitchen comforts, including my Franke kitchen exhaust, hehehe.

    My Thai wife owns a home up near Kut Chum up in Isaan near Yasothon. I hated to stay there due to the condition of the home. The house is so infested with termites, that in the evening you could almost hear the house being eaten.

    [/URL][/IMG]
    One time on the way up to visit we heard about another Falang near Kut Chum that was having a home built and the house looked quite nice. We talked to him and he was very happy overall with the contractor. He referred us to a book that had home designs in many styles and sizes with estimated costs. We found the house plan that was perfect for us. I forget the name of the book, but it was published here in Thailand and written in Thai.

    [/URL][/IMG]


    Sorry if the quality doesn't come across, I had to take a picture of them. Now that we decided on the plans, now was the time to get more references from the contractor and to negotiate.

    more to come......

  2. #2
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    Good luck with your build keep us updated with lots of pics because we are running out of things to photograph.

  3. #3
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    Thanks BD. I do have a lot of pictures to show of the build, I hope that I don't get critiqued too much. We have the roof up and they are pouring the floors today. The wife has put the fear into them to have it ready to sleep in by Songkran.

    Just need to find sometime to put up the best and tell my story.

  4. #4
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    Great stuff, well done for taking the plunge and starting the thread Hoxman. Pics help describe the build, but the words tell the tale. From what I've seen so far I reckon we're in for a bit of a treat here.

    Don't worry about critiques. However much you want things to be 100% right there will always be compromises to be made along the way. As long as you have built what's right for you and are happy with the end result then that's all that matters.

    If it gets too much then simply chuck a few pics of Koman's kitchen on your thread to divert the flak. It worked well for Betty

  5. #5
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    Looks like that's going to be a nice home, good luck with it.

    My Thai wife owns a home up near Kut Chum up in Isaan near Yasothon.
    That's a very interesting name for a town, in my language the word "kut" means vagina. I mean no disrespect, it's just a funny name

  6. #6
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    Hoxman, I see you have a lovely Honda City - excellent choice.

    Good luck with the build...

  7. #7
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    We want pics !!!


    We want pics !!!


    We want pics !!!




    Steve ( a fellow Yank)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koetjeka View Post
    Looks like that's going to be a nice home, good luck with it.

    My Thai wife owns a home up near Kut Chum up in Isaan near Yasothon.
    That's a very interesting name for a town, in my language the word "kut" means vagina. I mean no disrespect, it's just a funny name
    It would get even more attention, from the Europeans, if they renamed the town "Kut Noi"...

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    Steve

  9. #9
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    Been busy for us, finally moving out of apartment in Bangkok to make the final move to Koh Samui. We move out of apartment and last bit of furniture leaves Bangkok this Friday.

    Ok, I have read the other build threads and heard from the masses, more pictures and story are needed.

    So we decided on the builder, they had excellent references and were out of Yasothon. They were a husband and wife partner and employed their own employees.

    Come the day to finalize the plans and sign the contract was interesting. That morning we had to visit the local Wat to get the preferred date to start construction. It was decided 9 January at 9am, the first footings would be dug. I visited the village headman to get his blessings on the build, very easy since he is a good friend of the family. Didnít even want my bottle of Thai whiskey I brought for him. Later that day we met with the builder, my girls older brother, a family friend that also a builder and the village headman to review the plans.

    Of course there were a lot of markups to be made, even though this was the second time I reviewed them. First time he emailed me a pdf copy of the plans that I commented on and returned to him. Added more electrical outlets, drain and water for outside Thai kitchen and modified the roof overhand to extend over the outside kitchen and interior doors without banging my falang noggin. Once we came to agreement on the price and the plans everyone had to sign the contract. Quite an elaborate arrangement, having bought new homes in America hadnít experienced something like this before. In the next few days the permission to build was granted by the local land department office.

    Once we signed the contract, the village headman asked for the Thai whiskey for celebratory toasts. The toasts extended for almost two hours, and we had to go to the market for another bottle.

    The word spread like wildfire that we were going to build a new house, so that the next morning we had 3 groups show up to look at the house to provide quotes to buy the wood and fixtures. I thought that everything was worth going to a bonfire, but older brother had other plans. As it turned out he wasnít happy with any of the quotes so it was decided that my girls older sister would buy it from us. It was an easy decision for me, since she is so sweet to me and I wasnít really interested in the money.

    So in two days they hired some laborers at 300 bt a day to tear it all down. With just three people by the end of the second day, nothing was left except for the concrete posts and the foundation.
    [/URL][/IMG]

    The builder hired a guy with a tractor to knock down/pull up all of the concrete and haul it all away. So by the third day nothing was left of the house. We signed the contract on a Saturday and by the following Wednesday nothing was left of the house. Next step was to clean up the lot and get ready for the blessings and ceremonial offerings the local shaman would do on 9 January at 9am.


    Before I get too far along with the build I need to share the house plans.

    More to come......Cheers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoxman
    we had to visit the local Wat to get the preferred date to start construction.
    Critical part of any build. If you choose a non-preferred date you are in the shit before the first block is laid......

    Quote Originally Posted by hoxman
    have it ready to sleep in by Songkran.
    Now that will be a genuine miracle. If it happens you should turn the place into a shrine that we can all come and worship at. ...

    Mine won't be ready before Songkran and we started in early November last year....
    I blame the Americans......and Thaksin.

  11. #11
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    Good on ya! And keep it coming!

    We're still planning WHAT to build - never mind about WHEN!


  12. #12
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    Hi Koman,

    They guaranteed a six month construction build. If it isn't completed within 6 months from signing of contract there is a daily penalty. They are also incentivized to finish early since they get paid over 9 milestone payments. I have to approve each of those payments, we are 4 payments into the house build.

    Wife is sure we will be sleeping in the house by Songkran, we shall see.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoxman View Post
    Hi Koman,

    They guaranteed a six month construction build. If it isn't completed within 6 months from signing of contract there is a daily penalty. They are also incentivized to finish early since they get paid over 9 milestone payments. I have to approve each of those payments, we are 4 payments into the house build.

    Wife is sure we will be sleeping in the house by Songkran, we shall see.

    Six months is reasonable and certainly doable but Songkran is only a month and a bit away... When did they start?

    Our house went up very quickly and it appeared that it would be ready for occupancy in a few months, but then everything came down to a trickle....and at times a grinding halt. It's taking longer to tile the bloody kitchen that it took to build the whole structure....

    I know the book you got your plan from BTW. We studied it in some detail and almost went for one of the designs. The one you have chosen is very nice indeed. There were several we liked. In the end we just built a bigger version of the house we already had; with a few modifications. If it works, don't try to fix it I always say....

    More pics are needed.......a good build thread should have at least two thousand photos......it's the only way the rest of us can get to take the piss out of everything you do.....

  14. #14
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    Here are the draft front elevation and floor plan plans. These were the plans that we were given when the house was started on 9 January. We marked up his plans and are still waiting to get an update on them. I am getting a little concerned about seeing the updates. But as the wife says, "honey don't worry formean knows what you change".


    Front Elevation

    I didn't think too much about the height of the house, ground floor, during the review of the plans. As we progress with this thread you will see what I experienced. I will be the new highman of the village when the house is completed!


    Floor Plan

    I have over 20 pages of drawings that were provided if anyone is interested. Excellent detail and well planned, I thought

    more to come.....

  15. #15
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    So you are moving to Koh Samui but building your house near Yasathon? Sorry If I am thick.

  16. #16
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    Kind of a long story, but working/retired in Bangkok and spending time in Koh Samui with my wife. She lives there currently but like many has family up in Isaan where she has large farm and an older house.

    Finally getting really retired so making the move to Samui. So we purchased a new townhouse in Samui in January. And to make things more complicated we decided to re-build the Isaan home at the same time. We travel up that way every 2 to 3 months, and need to bring up the house to more liveable standards. Tired of staying with BIL who turns up the Isaan music at 6am. When we get tired of Samui in a couple of years we have the Isaan house to live in fulltime. Samui is getting more and more built up.

    Keeps us busy traveling to the three areas. Can't wait to get out of Bangkok.

  17. #17
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    Cheers Hoxman. Makes sense. When we finish Sailing my Mrs wants to set up on the Ocean. Phuket, but my feeling is it will never stop growing until it turns into a BK with a few beaches. Still great place but, down the road?

  18. #18
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    Time to catch up my build

    Ok, I have been a little tardy. Finished the move to Samui, a nightmare with the contractor to completed the kitchen fit-out, but that's another story. Got the missus Visa for trip to America in May. So back to my build....

    I last left off with the GF's older sister tearing the old house down. So once the old house and what was their foundation and footings it was time to start the dig. Before I post a picture, I had listened to some of the threads on here about the perils of bringing in fresh fill and not waiting for it to settle prior to building. So we decided to build up and add fill later. As shown in the plans the house is about 1.8 M above the current ground. More to come on this.

    I love it everyone is working hard. Had a good foreman that kept everyone busy. When he was a away his BIL acted as the foreman. So that meant when the foreman was present he worked with the others, but when he was gone the BIL stood around and watched them all work, sigh....TIT.

    Nice and deep footings for the columns. From a distance all you saw was dirt being thrown out of the hole by the man.
    Notice in the background the concrete mixer, that gets a lot of use in later activity here on the home build. Most of the concrete was mixed here on site, with only the floor and other large pours brought in via truck. I was told since we were an hour drive from the nearest concrete mixing facility they wanted to do as much on site as possible.


    I liked the rebar work they did on the build, good and tight and used spacers to get the steel off the dirt and into what will be the concrete. I was happy with all of the rebar work they did.

    I mentioned the foreman and his BIL that acted as foreman for the build, but I have to be thankful to the GF family and friends who also acted as foreman with eyes on the ground, while we were in Bangkok. We were going to have a friend of the family do the build, but he was too busy at the time to complete any earlier than 12 months or so. So instead he acted as our foreman overseeing the project. Also we had both of the GFs sister's homes adjoining the property. So when they weren't on site that day, we got a call from one of the sisters. And the friend of the family told the builder when he didn't like something or had a question. He was also quick to tell the sisters also.


    On the left in the camo jacket is the builder's foreman, also co-owner, and on the right also in camo jacket is the friend of the family. Both are overseeing the steelwork going up for the columns. I missed taking pictures of the obligatory blessing of the pour, you will see the offering that was made tied to the rebar for the column over the head of the man in orange.

    I will come back and add more to this thread today. Thanks for reading, welcome any comments or questions.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoxman
    I was told since we were an hour drive from the nearest concrete mixing facility they wanted to do as much on site as possible.
    Sensible move on the builders part. An hour each way for delivery could set you back a couple of thousand baht.



    Quote Originally Posted by hoxman
    I liked the rebar work they did on the build, good and tight and used spacers to get the steel off the dirt and into what will be the concrete. I was happy with all of the rebar work they did.
    Looks good in the photo. These Thai building guys are generally very good with rebar and concrete work. It's the fine finishing towards the end of the build that challenges them.....that's when the real "fun" starts. ... They are great hackers and grinders.....but anything where delicacy is required. is usually a disaster....

  20. #20
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    Hello,

    I have a lot of catching up to do on my home build thread. Can't believe it has been nearly 4 months since I last posted, shame on me. We have been busy, wife got US Visa to attend my daughter's wedding in May. Wife got hit by tourist in her motorbike and spent 3 nights in the hospital. Due to accident just two weeks prior to flight she didn't attend the wedding. And after my return to LOS getting her mended up. I am heading back to Kut Chum, today, to see how the home build is going that the BIL has been following up on. I promise over this weekend to get this thread back current and share the good things as well as the bad things that have happened since my last post.

  21. #21
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    Oh and BTW Koman, the guaranteed six month build is now projected at eight months as they currently forecast. At the princely sum of 750 bt a day for late fee not sure if this will help them along. Owner of construction company has told the wife they are late due to builders tending to their fields. But locals have told us that workers talk it up at the local restaurant that they have been busy in Yasothon on another house. Tomorrow we meet with the owner, village headman and BIL and her two brothers. Should be an interesting discussion.

  22. #22
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    I liked the rebar work they did on the build, good and tight and used spacers to get the steel off the dirt





    I still don't have a grip on this column construction bit .

    I can see that hole is nice and deep so you'll have strong rebarred concrete bases .... but how do you decide on the depth ?

    Did you dig down to some rock or shale or something ?
    Or is it enough to just go down about a metre and a half judging by the guy standing in the hole ?





    Wasp

  23. #23
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    Good thread so far and sounds very familiar. I had a house on Samui back in 2006. It was on the water in Bophut. After having it for about 2 years, I grew tired of the constant construction on the island. Ultimately, I moved up to the NE because at that time the land was much cheaper as was the cost of living. I had not retired in Samui, so maybe I did not give it a chance before deciding to move.

    The columns look pretty standard and as long as they are based in land that has settled, things should be fine. If you had fill dirt brought in, the holes need to be well below the bottom level of the fill dirt. If not, things will have a tendency to slip and slide causing your house to crack.

    My suggestion is to stay on top of the construction supervisor and make sure his crew is working at a reasonable pace. Are you on sight every day?

  24. #24
    Love Thailand Carnwadrick's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing the house come together but are your wife and GF going to be happy living in the same house

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasp View Post


    I liked the rebar work they did on the build, good and tight and used spacers to get the steel off the dirt





    I still don't have a grip on this column construction bit .

    I can see that hole is nice and deep so you'll have strong rebarred concrete bases .... but how do you decide on the depth ?

    Did you dig down to some rock or shale or something ?
    Or is it enough to just go down about a metre and a half judging by the guy standing in the hole ?





    Wasp

    Hello Wasp, being that the home is being built on the location of a previous home that was in place for nearly 40 years no fill dirt was added. It seems to be pretty standard to have your footings with a depth of 1 1/2 metres. It is coming together nicely, albeit very slowly.

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