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Construction in Thailand Is building in Thailand as bad as it seems? Can properties really be built and fitted out to European standards? Would you like to Build your own house in Phuket, or a swimming pool in Bangkok? Solar water heating in Pattaya? Or maybe you want to build a resort or guesthouse on Koh Samui? If you want to build a luxury house in Thailand then this is the forum for you.

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Old 05-10-2016, 02:52 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Just what this site needed, good timing. I also like the C/M area and its climate. Looking forward to this build and thanks for sharing.

PS
How long have you been in the LOS ?
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:43 AM   #52 (permalink)
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I like the use of the concrete around your pond and the steps leading down. It is almost like a natural swimming pool you see on the web. Blue gill or Sunfish would be nice for a small pond. Fun to catch with a pole and line and probably wont muck up the water as much as catfish.
I read a bit about bluegills yesterday, they seem to like a lot of space, so not sure my small pond would be big enough for them. I have had a large pond in Thailand before, it had all sorts of stuff in it, never managed to catch a catfish, nor those black Pla Salid and striped Pla Raed (which cruised around in large shoals taunting me), only caught Pla Tapian (carp) which was not the best eating.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:47 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Just what this site needed, good timing. I also like the C/M area and its climate. Looking forward to this build and thanks for sharing.

PS
How long have you been in the LOS ?
Cheers DM,

Yep Chiang Mai has seasons, rather than just hot&dry and hot&wet as you get in the south.

Been in LOS for 14 years total, with a couple of short stints abroad for work in-between (Dubai, Greece and UK).
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:55 AM   #54 (permalink)
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As mentioned, we had achieved completion of the concrete elements to the pond, had dug a well and wrangled large boulders from the ground, plus fenced the place...

Actually the fencing took 2 attempts as the first crew started off OK, then became very crap very quickly and were promptly fired by a passing 'big cheese' local, who acted in my absence and sent them packing, hired a new team for me at the same price. This new team took down the shoddy handiwork and started again, all very organisisisied.

In true Thai style, we celebrated with an impromptu BBQ on my neighbour's land (as it was less dusty, and had grass, man) :




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Old 05-10-2016, 12:14 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Right then, onto the next phase of development, which leads us to question time :

Any guesses what this chap and chapesse are paying a visit for? (note chit in hand)

Hints and clues; nothing to do with his choice T-shirt, he is a nice chap and not usually so serious looking, the Thai hooked machete (พร้า) and tape measure on the ground are his:


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Old 05-10-2016, 04:31 PM   #56 (permalink)
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OK, then, no guesses: Answer is he owns a tree nursery, so it's time to jump in the truck and head up to the hills beyond San Kamphaeng hot springs and do some shopping!

This is a fun thing to do, I just love garden centres, especially Khamtieng near Tesco's in CM, which is great for buying plants and shrubs, but if it's big trees you are after, go to the chaps that specifically grow and transport only them.

Buying mature trees to put on the land will give the place some instant character, shade, form, encourage wildlife, as well as consolidate the soil. I think this land has worked hard enough in the past decades as rice paddy, and it's about time nature was put back into this little bit of landscape.

I'm putting the trees in before the house build to give them a head-start, plus it's the right time of year, best to plant trees when the rainy season begins, although I am a bit ignorant of the species and character of Thai trees, so will be guided by The Man (Khun Wichit I think his name is):



This is a tall tree which will have very distinctive red pom-pom flowers on it (not sure of the names of these trees).



This is a flowering tree, has white sweet-smelling star-shaped flowers.. I'm just a hippy tree-hugger at heart.

I was also on the lookout for a characterful specimen tree to place in the tongue of land right next to the pond, and saw this beauty, which is about 60 years old and needed a good home:



In the end we bought 32 trees, including numerous flowering trees (pink, red, yellow, white), sculptural trees, fruit trees (3X sweet chestnuts, star apple, and 2 types of mango), plus 5 large squirrel-tailed palms, in addition to a whole bunch of other palms, some of which are huge mature clumps of plants.

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Old 05-10-2016, 05:03 PM   #57 (permalink)
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i always wonder how these punk t-shirts get all the way to Thaiand, leftover stock maybe?
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:12 PM   #58 (permalink)
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will you be planting some fruit trees as well ?
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:16 PM   #59 (permalink)
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i always wonder how these punk t-shirts get all the way to Thaiand, leftover stock maybe?
That may be the answer, although that doesn't quite explain things like Hitler T-shirts and the like, so maybe it's just random re-hashes of cultural/historical things that have a perceived coolness without any understanding of actual meaning.

I remember being at Glastonbury back in 1988 and saw a Japanese band called The Frank Chickens, they explained that they saw lots of fashion items in London with Japanese text on that had absolutely random and abstract meanings (or non-meanings) as the text was only used because it looked good... Back in Japan, they saw 'Frank Chickens' printed in English on some pencils for exactly the same reason, so they chose that name for their band.

It could also be that this guy likes punk rock of course, but I didn't want to get spat at and was never much into po-going/moshing, so never asked
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:26 PM   #60 (permalink)
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will you be planting some fruit trees as well ?
Hi DM,

Yes indeed, the mature fruit trees we planted were Star Apple and Mango (2 types), and since then we have planted the 3 'good luck' trees, Mayom, Jackfruit and Tamarind.

Additionally we have put in smaller Lime, Lemon, pink and white Pomello, Kaffir lime, Papaya (2 types), banana (3 types), and coconut trees (although I may snuff it before any of the coconuts grow!)

We'll plant more trees as we go, but will wait for most until after the house build.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:45 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyenglish
I remember being at Glastonbury back in 1988 and saw a Japanese band called The Frank Chickens
I remember the Frank Chickens!

I've seen them too but don't remember exactly where. Most likely one of those 'Save The GLC' concerts in London in the mid-eighties.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:27 AM   #62 (permalink)
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So discussions of Frank Chickens aside, back to trees... although it is highly likely that I will have a bit of a shin-dig when the build is finally 'done', can't guarantee that it will have Japanese singing girls there, but it will probably involve a few ales and pig on a spit on the land, followed by possibly a live band and more at Baanpong Lodge, a fantastic wee resort just up the road (worth checking out if you are ever in the area).

So, shortly after the tree shopping trip, a jolly gang of chaps arrived in pick-up trucks and dug a load of holes, they made light work of it, all went smoothly. A happy bunch these tree chaps, they like trees which helps I suppose, but I wonder what % of people actually like their jobs?

Positioning of the trees and the types of trees were discussed with 'The Man' Khun Wichit, who agreed on most suggestions, but was adamant about a few changes of plans, which I was only too happy about, my logic being that if he was just going with the flow and didn't care (or didn't know) he wouldn't have bothered making suggestions himself, thus indicating he did know what he was doing (as well as looking and sounding as such).

So, trees, transport, installation, 3 months guarantee with full replacement on any trees that upped and died during this time, all included in the price (with discounts offered on bulk purchase, plus a few freebies too). The total amount was a reasonably hefty outlay, as we had included a couple of rare trees and the big specimen tree (which has since been named 'treebeard'), that said, the costs were nowhere near the costs of buying one mature tree and having it transported and planted if I was back in the UK (or similar).. #shudders at the thought of it!

The Man still pops down to the land to take a look at progress as he is genuinely interested in what we are doing and how the 'oasis' is coming on.

We had a big storm and strong wind here last week, some Teak trees along the road leading to the land lost half their height and had to get a team to come in and clear the road of large branches with a chainsaw. Fearing the worst for our relatively newly planted trees I headed down to take a look, and nearly all were fine (phew!). Only one of our trees had moved slightly where the support posts had slipped in the now very damp soil, we called Khun Wichit and he was here with his lads to fix it within the hour, and refused any payment, although I insisted he buy the guys beers and bunged them some cash. He said he'd be back after the rains had finished and do some pruning for us, now that's service!






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Old 06-10-2016, 10:52 PM   #63 (permalink)
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As we entered the rainy season, I was made acutely aware of the effect of a sudden and heavy downpour on bare earth, so to minimise the effects, I decided to get on and lay some turf around the pond, so that the soil doesn't just wash down and fill the pond up after all that work.. so off we go to Kamthieng to buy some grass.

There was a queue for turf as this IS the time of year for laying, so it took a couple of attempts to purchase enough, as it's first-come-first-serve over there, no orders (which to me makes no sense but hey-ho).

Additionally, I thought it would be a good idea to put in a hut of some sort, somewhere to store garden tools and also shelter from the sun or rain.. looking about I thought a bamboo hut made to order would be just the ticket, and whilst I was at it I ordered an outside loo too. Delivery of the bamboo huts on the back of trucks driven through the village brought out many of the locals who actually cheered with approval!



There is something really pleasing about the almost instant results with laying turf (although my friend mentioned that it looked like a playground)... it'll mature quickly enough and look natural in no time, as I have chosen Malaysian grass, which puts out runners and will sprawl over the cement. This grass is no good for areas of high amounts of traffic, but is perfect for my requirements.


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Old 07-10-2016, 02:49 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Great thread ! Keep it coming.
I wish you and your family the best of Luck & Health with your new home.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:06 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Mate, I didn't realise that it would be an 'all concrete pond'.

BEFORE you put any fish in, good idea to have the PH balanced ... usually it's 'high'.

When we drain the ponds here after the fish harvest, we usually spread the Thai equivalent of Baking soda to lower the PH, due to the build up of mildly acidic waste matter.

If you know someone with a pool, just borrow their test kit to get the PH balanced.

Also have a read of ... http://www.fishchannel.com/setups/po...ete-ponds.aspx
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:44 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Mate, I didn't realise that it would be an 'all concrete pond'.

BEFORE you put any fish in, good idea to have the PH balanced ... usually it's 'high'.

When we drain the ponds here after the fish harvest, we usually spread the Thai equivalent of Baking soda to lower the PH, due to the build up of mildly acidic waste matter.

If you know someone with a pool, just borrow their test kit to get the PH balanced.

Also have a read of ... Concrete Pond

Many thanks David, some great info in there, I will study it more..

Actually, I have left all of the bottom of the pond and the top 1/4 of the water level bare, the soil here is pretty neutral clay, but as soon as some plants rot around the margins this will up the acidity levels, as cement/concrete is alkaline, I'm expecting the natural order of the pond (once more vegetation is put in) to balance more to neutral.

Right now, the pond is already full of wildlife, bugs, water-scorpions, water boatmen, frogs, tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs, and small fish that all have taken up residence and seem to be going about their merry business. The water is less cloudy than other ponds in the area, so I have high hopes that once reeds and rushes (which are good filterers of water) and oxygenating plants and fish are in, all will be tickety-boo.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:49 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Was over at the excellent Sunday market in Samranrat a few weeks ago and came across a stall selling live terrapins (or freshwater turtles) and felt sorry for them... not fancying a hearty soup, we decided to buy them all and release them into the header pond up near our land... good merit and all that (but I do hear that turtles make for excellent eating... hmmm).

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Old 07-10-2016, 04:06 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Now then, there is a dirt track running down to the land, it doesn't get a lot of traffic, just us and my neighbour plus a few of the locals who use it to access the fields, but this rutted and rocky excuse for a thoroughfare is only going to get worse during the rainy season and when I start getting deliveries of building materials to the land it will go to hell in a handbag pretty quickly. The fact that it's not very wide, and is sandwiched between a large bank on one side and a rather deep field irrigation header pond on t'other, could lead to some puckering sphincter moments, so something had to be done!

Got the whole thing graded, then rolled, dumped lots of aggregate (the flat road stuff, not the gravel used for concrete), then rolled again... also did the same on the land, but left the bit in the middle for the time being as it's not too bad, but might do this bit too if the track starts getting bad.



After grading.



After gravel and rolling.



Beautiful shot of rarely seen roller in action (usually gravel is just dumped and it's left to trucks and cars to tamp it down with their wheels in two tracks..), Constable would have been proud, look, lillies, trees, water, greenery, diesel fumes.. it's got the lot.

This road has since been through some pretty heavy rain and it has not affected the surface one bit.. it's almost smooth enough to skateboard on, I'll consider that a job well done (enough)!
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:12 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Here's a couple of shots of the land with newly laid track, also showing a few of the trees we planted and where the house will be:



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Old 07-10-2016, 04:32 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Hi Jonnyenglish...the work you have done so far looks fantastic...
We were faced with the same problem..driveway..in the end ..it was cheaper , more realistic to use ..we used large aggregate or "IT" as Thais call it..when the big rains come..it wasn't a problem ever with driving over it..never got bogged or stuck..
The dogs don't like it as it hurts there paws when the walk over it..

Just my 2 cents worth.looking forward to the rest of the build..
Thank you..
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:27 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Dead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai ForumsDead Metal Spending a lot of time on Thai Forums
Looking good already. An enviable spot as well !
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:47 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Yemen has a great interest in being a Thailand ExpatYemen has a great interest in being a Thailand ExpatYemen has a great interest in being a Thailand ExpatYemen has a great interest in being a Thailand ExpatYemen has a great interest in being a Thailand ExpatYemen has a great interest in being a Thailand Expat
Looking great. Good Luck with completion.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:30 PM   #73 (permalink)
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jonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailand
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Originally Posted by biff View Post
Hi Jonnyenglish...the work you have done so far looks fantastic...
We were faced with the same problem..driveway..in the end ..it was cheaper , more realistic to use ..we used large aggregate or "IT" as Thais call it..when the big rains come..it wasn't a problem ever with driving over it..never got bogged or stuck..
The dogs don't like it as it hurts there paws when the walk over it..

Just my 2 cents worth.looking forward to the rest of the build..
Thank you..
Cheers Biff,

The soil we used for raising the land was a real mixed bag, some very sandy, some with a lot of clay in it, some was very fine almost like crushed gypsum, which compacts nicely and hardens in the sun to almost concrete, but as soon as it rains it turns back into mush.. we made a big error bringing in 40+ truck loads of this stuff under the assurances of Nong the digger (as it was locally available and free).

We had to then hire another chap a month later to scrape all this crap away and put new aggregate (a gravel and red earth combination) to raise the driveway, on top of which went this road surface aggregate (DSA) that you can see in the above pics, it's pretty good stuff although about 40% above the price of ordinary gravel used in concrete.

When the house build is done, I'll be concentrating on more landscaping, using raised beds, into which will go very good soil. The spaces in between will be a mixture of paving and gravel over membrane all relatively low-maintenance, I don't mind pottering in the garden, but with 2 rai of land to weed, it'll be a never ending job with bare earth!
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:32 PM   #74 (permalink)
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jonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailand
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Originally Posted by Dead Metal View Post
Looking good already. An enviable spot as well !
Cheers DM, yes it's a great place, the view is always changing with light and weather making the mountains nearer, further, misty, moody etc. My photos don't do it justice really.

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Old 08-10-2016, 03:33 PM   #75 (permalink)
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jonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailandjonnyenglish is a glorious beacon of light in Thailand
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Originally Posted by Yemen View Post
Looking great. Good Luck with completion.
Well, many thanks!

Almost ready for the start of the build.
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