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  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by runker View Post
    I like your doors in the last photo you posted but was wondering how they operate. There doesn't seem to be any track that they follow when opening and closing. And what will filling that gap in the middle, will there be another door hinged to each side?
    No track, it was decided that actually they cause more trouble than they are worth.. they fill up with grit and dirt, dead insects etc and get jammed up. Also, if there is any slight movement in the wood, they jam and stick or wear badly.

    The central 2 doors are hinged as well, this means there are 4 doors on each side, this way they will fold back on themselves easily and fit snugly next to wall space. There will be bolts holding the doors closed and a securing mechanism on the wall to hold them in place when folded back.

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecowry View Post
    This was an interesting read, thanks for it. I like your pond ideas.
    Glad to contribute. I am really itching to get that pond up and running, tired of seeing it as a half-filled semi-stagnant pool of something in a concrete bowl! I have to finish the house first though

  3. #303
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    OK, so, an overview of what I have learnt on the build so far:

    1) The metaphysical is as important as the physical (all manner of offerings and incantations have been made to appease the spirits).

    2) What may seem obvious might not be to others (80% of things are executed the way you'd expect it, but then there's the 20% that leave you standing there with mouth open and a head full of questions).

    3) Give everything time (even things that seem to be a major cause for concern will, given enough time, be sorted out, no need to add to the fuss).

    4) Offer observations rather than instructions (that way there is no loss of face or emotion involved).

    5) Don't expect resort-quality levels of finish from your local builders (I have a very competent team, they are very good overall, but they are not specialists in anything. As such, I will have to revisit many things at a later date to give proper level of finish, especially walls and woodwork).

    6) The electrician that Noarng used was nothing short of a lazy git, with outdated techniques and very shoddy practices.. this is one thing that's going to be problematic. I know very little about wiring, having only picked up a bit of knowledge over the years, but heck, even I know there are some serious issues on my build!

    I'm torn between just getting the house 'finished' then fixing the wiring to the expected standard, or get them to fix it now and cause all sorts of bad juju on-site (and with 'er indoors, who thinks I just make stuff up at a whim just to create a bit of drama...).

    Issues with the wiring:

    Mixed up cable colouring regime; In Thailand it should be Black=Live, White= Neutral, Yellow and Green= Earth
    I have black on black, black on red, red on red, black with white.. a total nightmare.

    No Earth on wall lights or ceiling lights and fans (even in bathroom!) even though I requested everything to be earthed. The fans and bathroom lights need earthing for sure, and I'm not certain even how they can install an ELCB in the control board without earthing.. I'm sure it will just trip out.

    Wall sockets and light sockets should never be mixed on circuits.. I suspect this has happened on my site, but it's such a pig's ear with the wiring I can't tell.

    Wiring from sockets, fans and lights all come into junction boxes above the spare bedroom, then they are twisted together (?!) and attached to thicker cabling that then runs down to the control box, instead of just running the cables for each ring in separately.My guess is that he was trying to save space on the board by reducing the circuits. What this means is that the thicker wiring and the fuse of the control board will be higher amps than the actual wiring, a very dangerous thing to do! I need each ring to be coming in to the control board, each with it's own breaker set at the safe level.

    Having pointed out all of the above, I could tell that Noarng was embarrassed, but he was also a bit pissed off, with a typical 'I've been building for 20 years and this is the way we always do it...' reaction. In this instance the 'pointing out, without loss of face' approach crashed and burned!

    After an hour, some sort of noises were being made, something about swapping out cabling for correct colours, but no real admission that the wiring had been badly installed.

    I have therefore made an executive decision to let them get on with it, 'finish' the build and get the wiring fixed afterwards by another qualified firm. I just don't want to derail the build at this stage, not that any sort of 'down-tools' has been implied in any way, but with the build at 80% complete, but payments at 90%, it would be more costly for me to finish the build myself (including the wiring) than just to fix the wiring issue later! After all, I rented an old wooden house a few years ago and refused to move in until the place had been completely re-wired, the landlord agreed to pay 50%, I think the bill was 12k baht!

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post
    No Earth on wall lights or ceiling lights and fans (even in bathroom!) even though I requested everything to be earthed. The fans and bathroom lights need earthing for sure, and I'm not certain even how they can install an ELCB in the control board without earthing.. I'm sure it will just trip out.
    Mate, just trying to help you understand ...

    "No Earth on wall lights or ceiling lights and fans (even in bathroom!) even though I requested everything to be earthed. "
    ... could be translated into Thai as ... Make sure you Earth everything that needs to be Earthed ... Farang very strong about this.

    The Thai Electrician thinks maybe he's done the correct interpretation of the work instructions as he (probably)
    wouldn't earth anything that isn't a PowerPoint (GPO).

    Lost in translation?

    ---

    "and I'm not certain even how they can install an ELCB in the control board without earthing.. I'm sure it will just trip out."
    In a word ... no.

    If the ELCB operate the same as in Australia, they are not set to read any 'Earth' current.
    They measure the current 'in' (black wire) vs the current 'out' (white wire) and any discrepancies over the set amperage
    (in Australia that 30 mA) triggers the ELCB.

    Yep, it's got the 'EL' Earth Leakage bit in the name, but technically, it's not how they work.



    ^

    'L' = Load (black wire)

    'N' = Neutral (white wire)

    There is no active monitoring of the earth wire.

    Hope that helps a little.
    .
    Perspective is everything ... it's the difference between going through an ordeal or going through an adventure..

  5. #305
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    Thanks David.. I sort of understand now

    I'm still not able to mention "wiring" to 'er indoors without all sorts of hassle.. I guess I'll just stick to the plan and let them get on with it. I'll review the whole thing once it's safe to do so!

  6. #306
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    Getting a good electrician in Thailand is not easy. I have done quite a bit of electrical work in my life and when I came here I couldn't believe how things where done. I rewired my condo because there where no grounds on anything. Even the main panel wasn't grounded.

  7. #307
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    I completely understand your electrical angst. When we started our build and the pillars and slabs were poured I went and sunk 2 big 8ft long copper rods into ground and showed my FIL and wife a You Tube vid of what they were for so they could explain to the crew. They got it and understood and no issues.

    Also another area of concern is plumbing. I have found that the problem with the plastic piping is that it is typically not round as it has sat in some rack with weight on it or whatever. TIherefore when they glue pipe into an elbow or coupler it never seats around circumference. So I showed them what to look for before gluing. I said look at the pipe. If not round do not use and also bought them all PVC piper cutters so they would not saw it. I have personally watch hair line cracks happen and they think the glue will fix. It might but with thermal cycling it will propagate. Then comes the tile yank out and cement mess to fix. I just witnessed this at a friends condo. Had to tear the whole damn bathroom apart.

  8. #308
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    6th of July is apparently the best day for a bit of Juju and house blessing.. some offerings and whatnot, but no priest this time. A bit of traditional karaoke and a bbq later...

    No, the house isn't finished yet, but the windows are in, most doors are on, the electrician scurried in without being noticed and did some bodging.

    Pics to follow soon.

  9. #309
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    The last few weeks have been mostly running around sourcing better quality fittings than Noarng would have used on the build, including;

    Lighting, door and window furniture, bathroom fittings, electric showers, ceiling fans, water pump etc.

    The usual argy-bargy of locating products in retail outlets only to find they are discontinued or out of stock. Nearly all items have now been purchased (thank goodness!).

    Work on the house this week:



    Fitting front door furniture, with decent heavy push/pull handles (both doors, inside and out) that weren't of a neo-babylonica pseudo-antique look



    Fitting of bifold doors, along with deadbolts (which I think look like they may be troublesome later on if there is any movement in the wood, which there is sure to be!)



    Tiling of kitchen and lounge floors (note Goi the neighbour's dog inspecting the finish). As the tiles are not absolutely equal and even, plus the last two tiling sessions were somewhat of a rush job, the spacing is uneven, thus it requires your man (bottom LHS) to angle grind along a straight edge to even things up a bit. Grouting is also going on in this not-so-quiet working environment.



    Concrete carcass that was installed in the kitchen has now been ripped out, walls finished and floor being tiled in readiness for fitted kitchen to be installed in a few weeks time.

    Khun D.Odgy and his sidekick Tonto also visited and fitted some wall sockets and light switches.



    Nearly there with the tiling now.. but still have to tile the front verandah, although the tiles have run out again, so more need to be ordered.

    One thing I did notice this morning when I popped in to give the workers 2 bunches of bananas and the front door lock and handle sets, was that without bothering to ask, someone has installed additional handles on the sliding doors. Hmmm.. OK well they weren't requested and even with good intentions and all that, they look odd, the finish is cheap and not in keeping with the overall look. Additionally, the locks already fitted to the sliding doors have recesses to pull the doors with already, so having 2 sets of handles is just plain bonkers.

    Here's a close-up of the offending articles (on RHS):



    Well they can come straight off again!

    Outside (apart from a bit of tiling and pea gravel concrete finish on steps and verandah) is also nearing completion:










    Next stages will be finishing off the car port and service room, connecting up the plumbing and electricity, (including pump and water tank), fitting out the bathrooms,
    and installing a kitchen.

    TTFN

  10. #310
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    Looking pretty good. We have a set of teak bi-fold doors similar to yours. The wood hasn't warped and after five years they're pretty much in the same condition as new. But given the choice now I'd probably go for a sliding door.

  11. #311
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    We've had a shitload of problems with wooden doors expanding in the wet. So glad our window frames are aluminium.

  12. #312
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    Yeah, the bi-fold doors are a bit of a 'suck it and see' thing... I think that they'll be fine as this wood is pretty high quality, dense, close-grained and I'll give it more attention with extra coats of varnish once the build is "done".

    If they do become a pain in the arse, I'll just flip them out and put white aluminium sliding doors in, and re-purpose the hardwood frames.

    The idea of putting these in was to continue the long and thin design theme of the windows, as well as removing the divide of inside/outside.. I'll soften off the whole thing by using plants in pots to bring the outdoors inside more.

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    We've had a shitload of problems with wooden doors expanding in the wet.
    A sufficient gap (not too tight inside the frame) has to be always reckon on.

    Sometimes when installing on site, the door edge was manually shaved off because too tight to the frame. Then, the edge has to be varnished again, otherwise the moisture is entering through this open grain.

  14. #314
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    Looking very nice JE

  15. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatOne View Post
    Looking very nice JE
    Many thanks... will really look much better once the kitchen gets installed and the verandah and pond sorted out and other assorted bits fixed (a fair bit of snagging to do).

  16. #316
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    Your attention to detail is fantastic. The wooden windows and doors look great

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post
    The last few weeks have been mostly running around sourcing better quality fittings than Noarng would have used on the build, including;

    Lighting, door and window furniture, bathroom fittings, electric showers, ceiling fans, water pump etc.

    The usual argy-bargy of locating products in retail outlets only to find they are discontinued or out of stock. Nearly all items have now been purchased (thank goodness!).

    Work on the house this week:



    Fitting front door furniture, with decent heavy push/pull handles (both doors, inside and out) that weren't of a neo-babylonica pseudo-antique look



    Fitting of bifold doors, along with deadbolts (which I think look like they may be troublesome later on if there is any movement in the wood, which there is sure to be!)
    Wood work looking very nice . I REALLY love wood in houses. I did the same type bi fold doors for our TV room however they are in a guide runner top and bottom and fold up nicely. The room is small so when the AC runs it will make it uncomfortably cold if you want it to be.

    All the Teak we used was from the old house. I wish I had more. Few more places I would have liked to use it to accent interior. I still want to make a Teak wet bar area.

    Will you install ceiling fans?

    Keep the pics coming.

  18. #318
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    Hi JPPR2,

    Woodwork is looking OK, but really not to the level of finish I would prefer (I used to be a conservation joiner). The whole lot needs tidying up, sanding down with fine grade, then resealing. Had a discussion with Noarng and the foreman yesterday and they agree.

    The focus for the moment is to finish off the build, whilst scrabbling around for the finances.

    The detailing can come afterwards, even if I end up doing it myself...varnishing will be best done in a clean room, hung with damp sheets to remove all dust, not on the verandah above piles of sand whilst someone is chasing out the floor tiles with an angle grinder!

    Yes, I will install ceiling fans, they will be short ones hung from the overhead beams.

    It's a shame that Thailand hasn't yet caught on with internet retail of reduced price furniture and interior items, I could furnish this whole place for about 100,000 baht if I was in the UK/USA, I could spend that on just a sofa here!

    A trip up to Baan Tawai is on the cards soon.

  19. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post
    Hi JPPR2,

    Woodwork is looking OK, but really not to the level of finish I would prefer (I used to be a conservation joiner). The whole lot needs tidying up, sanding down with fine grade, then resealing. Had a discussion with Noarng and the foreman yesterday and they agree.

    The focus for the moment is to finish off the build, whilst scrabbling around for the finances.

    The detailing can come afterwards, even if I end up doing it myself...varnishing will be best done in a clean room, hung with damp sheets to remove all dust, not on the verandah above piles of sand whilst someone is chasing out the floor tiles with an angle grinder!

    Yes, I will install ceiling fans, they will be short ones hung from the overhead beams.

    It's a shame that Thailand hasn't yet caught on with internet retail of reduced price furniture and interior items, I could furnish this whole place for about 100,000 baht if I was in the UK/USA, I could spend that on just a sofa here!

    A trip up to Baan Tawai is on the cards soon.
    JE,
    I understand. you know though, I let a lot of the wood finishing aspects go. It gives it some character and honestly at this juncture, it all good. My contractor did the same, installed for fit and got some stain on them but later I had to clean them all up in places. Mine all fit well but the wood craftsman friend of the family new of the swelling concern and properly set them.

    We just did a multiple sliding glass door set up for our upstairs Sala. Quite impressed with the quality/fit and finish. Now we can put our nice wicker furniture outside. Before the birds flew in and through would crap all over and when it rained it would blow in. The ceiling fan moves just enough air but we always have a nice breeze at our place.

    As for the furniture...Absolutely agree. I had researched this on trips before my wife and I moved back here. This is why we amassed a ton of Mahogany/Walnut dark wood furniture in the US and brought with us. The cargo container easily paid for itself. One solid real wood King bed frame here can set you back $3K USD. The cargo container cost was $5K and we brought over 3 solid Mahogany bed sets for the bedrooms plus a lot of other furniture.

    Like you, I wasn't about to build a nice home and fill it full of Index Furniture

  20. #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post

    Like you, I wasn't about to build a nice home and fill it full of Index Furniture
    I can see that acquiring furniture will have to be a mixed approach... Some things I'll design myself and have them made up.

    I have seen some decent copies of famous designer furniture, armchairs, chaise-longue that would add a nice element to design as well as functionality, sure they aren't originals, but will still work.

    For the time being however, I'll be sitting on the floor!

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    Arrived on site to the sound of drilling, not wood, but concrete, prolonged bursts of hammer action chiselling, and wondered what the heck was going on...



    Some floor tiles were being taken up as they weren't laid flat enough.. I didn't think they were too bad, nothing that would have resulted in stubbed toes and any raised edges would be worn down soon enough as terracotta isn't the toughest flooring in the world (I 'd invite people with tough feet to walk to the fridge and back to get beers).

    Additionally, the Bifold doors were all being taken off and fettled, bolts being re-positioned etc.

    So, the things I ask for get interpreted into the next best thing, and yet stuff I don't ask for gets done.. at this stage I have adopted a bit of a not-giving-a-hoot attitude, as things tend to work themselves out after a few days anyhow. Overall I'm pretty happy.

    Other stuff:

    The thrones and other bathroom bits have arrived



    Tiling going on the verandah:



    And a meeting in what will be the kitchen, with the kitchen design and installation crew, the missus and Noarn the build:




    Lots of chat, questions, answers, more of the same questions, followed by the same answers. Basically, the upshot of it was that the electrician had installed the wiring in the wrong places. Oh... really?!

    Trenches were also being dug for the water supply pipes, external security lights, more internal lights, bathroom fans, showers and some more plug sockets are now also installed... so lots of activity today.

  22. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish
    So, the things I ask for get interpreted into the next best thing, and yet stuff I don't ask for gets done.. at this stage I have adopted a bit of a not-giving-a-hoot attitude, as things tend to work themselves out after a few days anyhow. Overall I'm pretty happy.
    Honestly JE, Great approach. Its keeps you from going crazy and stressing you out. I found on our build it always worked out as well. Sure we did a lot of homework and communication up front before the build which helped, but there were still things along the way that left me scratching my head. I too am extremely happy with our house in the end. Its just a house, not some shrine. I realized that if my wife was happy then I would be too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post

    Gal in the pic looks just like my wife both physically and build foreman wise. She always seemed to have the builders full attention.

    BTW, did you have any 3D rendered build plans developed prior to the build?

  23. #323
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    Gal in the pic looks just like my wife both physically and build foreman wise. She always seemed to have the builders full attention.

    BTW, did you have any 3D rendered build plans developed prior to the build?
    Gal in the pic is my misses, aka Sergeant Major

    Yes, did draw up 3D plans myself first, then Noarng's son drew up architect's plans (which were mostly not adhered to).. close but no cigar!

  24. #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish
    Gal in the pic is my misses, aka Sergeant Major
    Ten Hut!!!!.... I completely understand. I love my wife's tenacity. She some how can make it all seem so pleasant. Nice smile, polite, speaks nicely, laughs all the while saying "DO IT MY WAY"

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish
    Yes, did draw up 3D plans myself first, then Noarng's son drew up architect's plans (which were mostly not adhered to).. close but no cigar!
    I have a 20+ page 3D rendering. All electrical, plumbing, lighting, septic, grey water etc etc. My wife and I sat with the General Contractor and went over page by page and signed and agreed. I'd say they got 95% spot on, the other 5% is as you say No cigar. They did however only have to come back 1 time to fix an issue with one toilet vent so I call that a big win (It was actually plugged with newspaper). The house has had zero issues now and its 2+ years old.

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post
    Arrived on site to the sound of drilling, not wood, but concrete, prolonged bursts of hammer action chiselling, and wondered what the heck was going on...



    Some floor tiles were being taken up as they weren't laid flat enough.. I didn't think they were too bad, nothing that would have resulted in stubbed toes and any raised edges would be worn down soon enough as terracotta isn't the toughest flooring in the world (I 'd invite people with tough feet to walk to the fridge and back to get beers).

    Additionally, the Bifold doors were all being taken off and fettled, bolts being re-positioned etc.

    So, the things I ask for get interpreted into the next best thing, and yet stuff I don't ask for gets done.. at this stage I have adopted a bit of a not-giving-a-hoot attitude, as things tend to work themselves out after a few days anyhow. Overall I'm pretty happy.

    Other stuff:

    The thrones and other bathroom bits have arrived



    Tiling going on the verandah:



    And a meeting in what will be the kitchen, with the kitchen design and installation crew, the missus and Noarn the build:




    Lots of chat, questions, answers, more of the same questions, followed by the same answers. Basically, the upshot of it was that the electrician had installed the wiring in the wrong places. Oh... really?!

    Trenches were also being dug for the water supply pipes, external security lights, more internal lights, bathroom fans, showers and some more plug sockets are now also installed... so lots of activity today.

    Coming along nicely, Johnny.
    Modest, yet seemingly quality steps.


    The young lady in the foreground - is that the real boss [Missus]? Keeping things in order...

    Continued success and no mishaps.
    Best to ya.


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