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  1. #1
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    Building a small office block from scratch

    I'm a bit out of my depth here. We need a new office block, and the prices for what are available are too high, or far from ideal for what we want.

    We had a deal with family for some land behind the house but she's being daft, so we are going to buy land and build on it.

    We can get land pretty cheap in this area, and want to have minimum of double garage downstairs, office space upstairs. Not sure about budget yet, if the price is right, we could build a 4 roller door 3 story concrete mega-structure

    We have a fair grip on land that is available, electricity, internet access etc, and they let you build whatever you want, wherever.

    What I don't know much about is what kind of groundwork is involved in preparing to build such a structure, and the costs involved. ie sure I could snap up some bit a rice field for 100K but how much to prepare that to build on?

    and secondly. what kind of building to build. I've seen the type of thing we want, and obviously research for this venture will extend beyond asking TDers, but any info is appreciated. Will post some pics, and see what you guys reckon these building are worth, coz I'm getting a wide range of prices. Cheers.

  2. #2
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    So we're looking at land like this (defunct rice paddy at edge of the village)....



    And whacking up something like this...



    The land is well located for us and can be had at a good price though might need to buy a whole rai.

    So how much on top of the land fellas? Thats for all the ground work, a building similar to posted above, an other extras. What am I looking at?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    I'm a bit out of my depth here.
    Not unusual for you, mate... No offence.

    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    Building a small office block from scratch
    This could be an excellent thread. Good luck with it.

    I'd be worried about getting the right permits/ownership documents if I were buying farmland and building an office on it - don't see much of that going on, but the whole of Parkanong and outwards from the bridge was coconut fields 25 years ago, so...
    How do I post these pictures???

  4. #4
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    1 If you build on floodable land or rice paddy it will need 1-2 metres of fill
    2 A brief drive around and you'll see plots already raised
    3 They need time to settle 1-2 years depending on fill/driainge esp if going any higher tha one floor where all costs rocket
    4 With really cheap land Id be tempted to do everything at ground level,construction,cleaning and maintainance less
    5 Of course if you intend reside and want a view or security a second floor is good
    6 Ventialtion is key I'd go for Hebel Superbolck/Q-con everytime if it was for me
    7 Plan layout of septic and drianage first its an expensive retrofit

    Let us know how it goes,good luck
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    I'd be worried about getting the right permits/ownership documents if I were buying farmland and building an office on it - don't see much of that going on, but the whole of Parkanong and outwards from the bridge was coconut fields 25 years ago, so...
    Yeah, basically the entire village used to be rice fields and jungle. Now it's urban / commercial zone sprawl, and the land I'm looking at is non-used rice land adjoining this commercial/residential zone. It's a poor location for businesses as it gets no traffic, which is ideal for us. Good thing about around here is getting that paper shit done is the easy part.

    As far as being out of my depth, thats how we do I guess.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44
    3 They need time to settle 1-2 years depending on fill/driainge esp if going any higher tha one floor where all costs rocket
    Cheers for your input David.

    This 3 point really sucks, as I need this thing built pretty soon.

    So what kind of cost would I be looking at to raise a rai of old rice feild 2 metres ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    So what kind of cost would I be looking at to raise a rai of old rice feild 2 metres ?
    200 baht/truckload X 300 trucks = 60,000 baht. If you want it spread add 50 baht per truck load. Quote based on November 2014 fill purchased at same rate in Chiang Rai rural location, local earth moving company.

    Shop houses cost can vary due to location, labor costs, furnishings such as baths, tiles, fixtures. Local labor is cheap.

    Materials used for economics is generally cinder block thin and not very durable, but cost is about 3 1/2 baht per block.


    Major cost will be concrete by C-PAC varies due to location but not all that much difference. 1st grade 3,000psi @ 1850/cu.mt., 2nd grade 2,000psi @ 1750/ cu. mt., 3rd grade strength varies usually inbetween slush and mix aggregate and unknown amount of cement content 1,700 baht cu. mt.

    You can hire locals to do most of the labor as those skills are in abundance in small villages. Have the wife ask around. Quality is not important, simply put it up and hope you can rent them out or sell off. Shop houses in my area local are going for 1,500/mo. rent. Far to many avialable and no real market here for them.

    Closer to Chiang Rai prices go up as expected, but the numbers of empty shop houses double.

    I suggest you hold on to your money and put it in interest bearing bank accounts.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat terp80's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    You can hire locals to do most of the labor as those skills are in abundance in small villages. Have the wife ask around. Quality is not important, simply put it up and hope you can rent them out or sell off. Shop houses in my area local are going for 1,500/mo. rent. Far too many available and no real market here for them.
    Closer to Chiang Rai prices go up as expected, but the numbers of empty shop houses double.
    I suggest you hold on to your money and put it in interest bearing bank accounts.
    Right now, in and around CM, there are many, many empty shop houses for rent/sale. Maybe there was a run on building them in the last few years. I wouldn't build a shop house now unless there were truly unique circumstances. Of course, the land will not lose its value, so you're good.
    .

  9. #9
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    ITNT - much appreciated, cheeers.

    G'day Terp, been meaning to catch up on your house thread......

    Sure there is oversupply at the moment (though the area seems to be filling up fast)

    We need to be in a pretty specific area close to all the staff.

    But also, it's a bit of a biz move. Mrs bills directly to an AU company for office rent. If that bill goes to a building owned by the Mrs then all she has to do is come up with a down payment and finance, make sure the rent pays for the loan + some, and in x years you own land and a building for the cost of the down payment. Easy game innit.

    We're not all retirees splashing around building Koi ponds some of us gotta make a crust somehow.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat terp80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    We're not all retirees splashing around building Koi ponds some of us gotta make a crust somehow.
    9999, that does sound like a great plan to me! I'll be watching for updates from my deck, splashing my little toesies [see previous photos] in the water and sipping something cool. Good luck! And don't forget to post lots of pics.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    This 3 point really sucks, as I need this thing built pretty soon.
    It depends on your land also, to an extent - I think (I may be wrong...) that as long as your foundation pillars are down to solid ground/rock then you'll be mostly ok. You still need to compact the ground best you can or the floors will crack, but that's not a foundational problem, and you can mitigate it to some extent by pouring thicker concrete floors. I think...

  12. #12
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    ^Spread foundations or oversized footings will stop any measurable subsidence. My 18 piers sit on footings 1mt x 1mt x 1mt...and larger approx 1 1/2 mt deep. Soil was both new fill and old existing, but had settled over 1 year. Pour a mud slab prior to pouring your formal footing and everything should be just ducky. Don't forget the re-bar...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    I'd be worried about getting the right permits/ownership documents if I were buying farmland and building an office on it - don't see much of that going on, but the whole of Parkanong and outwards from the bridge was coconut fields 25 years ago, so...
    yep ... we are definitely taking an informed punt on the area developing. The main road is highly built up with the usual Thai clutter - for a quarter of the price the Mrs can buy land a soi back. And if the Junta keep things nice and tight, roads will keep getting fixed, bridges built etc.

    The land we have eyed off is right on the edge of the growing sprawl. Its a free roll anyway coz we have tenants paying rent covering the finance, which is why we're doing this - it's going to be hard to lose, and the upside could be big. This thing could well be worth double in 5 years.

    The rights, docs, etc .... the lawyer says we are good to go on rice paddy in this area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    on't forget the re-bar...
    What rebar???












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    ^Right

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9999 View Post

    We're not all retirees splashing around building Koi ponds some of us gotta make a crust somehow.

    You not going back to AUD now mate. Decided to stay here. ?

  17. #17
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    going back but in 4-5 years .... when my oldest starts needing proper education around 7-8 years old. We're still keeping close ties here and running the business.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 9999
    This 3 point really sucks, as I need this thing built pretty soon.
    It depends on your land also, to an extent - I think (I may be wrong...) that as long as your foundation pillars are down to solid ground/rock then you'll be mostly ok. You still need to compact the ground best you can or the floors will crack, but that's not a foundational problem, and you can mitigate it to some extent by pouring thicker concrete floors. I think...
    Not that I have the first clue about this but I pretty much agree with what Betty said.

    So long as the foundations are on solid ground then fundamentally you should be good. Plan your ground floor level to be a bit above the road level and then fill soil around the foundations to that ground floor level. If it's 2 meters of fill then I'd probably avoid pouring a slab directly on the fill but instead make a floor with preformed concrete slabs attached to the columns and pour a concrete floor on that (i.e. bit like it's a first floor). If the filled soil subsides a little in the coming years then you'll end up with a 20 cm or so void under the ground floor but it shouldn't be a big problem. Just try to avoid having any piping or the likes under the ground floor as any soil movement may dislodge something that could prove to be a monumental PITA to fix.

    It's probably a slightly more expensive way or doing things, but it would mean you can get building right away.

    If you were truly adventurous you could avoid filling the 2 meters and turn it into a cellar - good luck with finding someone who knows about damp proof coursing to keep out the elements come rainy season though...

  19. #19
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    It seems that a lot of developers are trying to build houses in this region.

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