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  1. #1
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    Wood or concrete?

    First off, what a fantastic forum! So many of my questions already answered. But I have a couple more if you could help me out....I'm planning on building a house when I get the funds together and need some opinions/advice. Planning on building a wooden house on stilts about 2m off the ground, with cement bathroom and kitchen (similar to Hillbilly's house which is gorgeous BTW )

    1. Does anyone know much about neem tree wood (mai teeum) for building a house (I don't know a thing about it except creepy crawlies don't eat it apparently) eg durability, proneness to splitting, warping (?) etc...

    2. Would it be better (cooler, cheaper, etc) to have a wooden floor or cement with tiles? Does it make a huge difference with the foundations?

    Appreciate your answers

  2. #2
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    I had aged teak floors installed and would never do it again. Even being aged they tend to buckle due to the weather here, I would suggest using a wood grain tile, this may be cooler for you also. Good Luck

  3. #3
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    Our home in the North has a concrete floor on the ground and wood upstairs, not quite what you are looking for lulu, but just to give some ideas. Getting wood of good quality of uniform size and shape for me has been difficult, so if you can live with floors of varying sized wood that in places you can see through why not. With all its faults this is the only house that I can realy relax in.
    That is until the figing rooster wakes me up at first light.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumbo View Post
    Our home in the North has a concrete floor on the ground and wood upstairs, not quite what you are looking for lulu, but just to give some ideas. Getting wood of good quality of uniform size and shape for me has been difficult, so if you can live with floors of varying sized wood that in places you can see through why not. With all its faults this is the only house that I can realy relax in.
    Have to admit that the wife's parents wooden house in Phayao was always seemingly cooler than other houses of modern construction. If I had the money to build a quality wooden house would do so, but..................!
    Depending on where in LOS you are thinking of building, availability and cost of wood will vary immensely. Don't forget also, that you might well have difficulty in finding skilled workers for a wooden construction.

  5. #5
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    lulu- Don't forget to read coolthaihouse too for lots of technical discussion.

  6. #6
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu
    Planning on building a wooden house on stilts
    What are the stilts going to be made of ?
    The difference in weight between a wooden floor and a cement floor will be a factor in how you build your foundations.

    The hardwoods used for house building are,
    mai sak
    mai prodoo
    mai teng
    mai daeng
    mai takaen
    mai makaa
    Last edited by Thetyim; 16-07-2007 at 09:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    Cheers for your replies...Jumbo, the house we live in now is very similar to yours with cement downstairs and wood upstairs. The wood upstairs looks good, but you can see through the gaps in the floorboards to downstairs!! Don't want this to happen in my built house. Does this happen due to shrinkage over time?

    My father-in-law assures me he has enough trees to build the house without us having to buy any extra timber. Since I've never seen a plantation of these trees anywhere around, I have no idea where they're coming from! Any idea how many trees (not overly large trunks) would be needed to build a house 12 x 7m?? How much time do you need between preparing the wood to building with it? Here, they seem to cut the tree down, strip it, cut it to size and wip it up...doesn't it need to weather or something?

    Originally wanted tree trunks to provide the support but I've been out voted in favour of cylindrical cement poles. The wood is definately Mai Tium (teeum), just read it's part of the mahogany family. Thanks again guys, appreciate the input.

  8. #8
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    Mai Tium ... sounds like 'artificial wood' to me.

  9. #9
    Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu View Post
    My father-in-law assures me he has enough trees to build the house without us having to buy any extra timber.
    Doesn't the wood have to be seasoned before it can be used? This may take a year or more after cutting the trees down. Dunno, not an expert, but, I know you can't use green wood.

  10. #10
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    Also, you need a license for chopping trees down for the wood these days, don't relie on the fil's word for it...

  11. #11
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    Wood needs to be treated at a mill for shrinkage and termite protection.
    If the tree is on you land you can cut it, the Thais are not lookig to screw other Thais if there is only a few trees involved. Wouldn't hurt to see he local Tambum Office, only 200 baht for a licence.
    You can get tongue and groove floorboards from any reputable timber merchant these days. I bought mine in a little town near Amphur Kong (Korat). This will stop the warping.
    I lined my walls/ceiling and internal walls with isulation bats, coolest house in the village, and the AC is cheaper.
    Good luck

  12. #12
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    All the trees are on FIL's land so no drama there. I always get laughed at when I suggest going to the local lands dept (Or Bor Tor?) for anything like plan approval, building permit, etc. I'm told "we're in a village, we don't need to", while they look at me thinking what a silly farang I am! What an adventure I'm in for! Putting the first lot of land fill in today let the games begin!!

    Ban Saray how much did you pay for your floorboards if you don't mind me asking?

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    My house was just finished in May.
    I have granite floors downstairs and pradouk staircase and wooden tongue n groove pradouk floors upstairs. Since I'm out in the sticks, I was concerned about termites and was assured the wood was treated properly. Also, they poured a first layer of 5 cm concrete on the floors upstairs so any shrinkage or buckling should be relatively to treat with shaving and shims.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu View Post
    ..All the trees are on FIL's land so no drama there. I always get laughed at when I suggest going to the local lands dept (Or Bor Tor?) for anything like plan approval, building permit, etc. I'm told "we're in a village, we don't need to"..
    What the locals told you is true to a certain point. However, regardless of where certain trees are grown, one does need a legal stamp on each and every log. This comes from personal experience. The police may visit, but they only want money. Let the family handle this matter.

    Most building codes are really up to you depending on where you want to build. Once again this is Thailand...

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