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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 08-10-2016, 02:43 PM   #76 (permalink)
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So, part of the delay in building was down to the fact that we had no power on the land, and we had to pop down to PEA and get our names down to get them to come and survey and install concrete posts and cables etc.

It took a while for them to finally make an appointment to do the work.

7 concrete poles, cable, and all the gubbins, plus 2 lorries and 14 men... all in for ฿77K not too bad considering:



Most of the team were skiving under the shelter of the cow-herder's shack at this time.



But were all back to spectate when both lorries managed to get themselves into ditches at the same time.



In the end it took about 5 hours to install, 30 minutes of which was extraction of vehicles from muddy klongs... haven't rented the temporary meter and physically connected up the power yet, we'll do that when we start the build, hopefully in a week or so.
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Old 08-10-2016, 03:16 PM   #77 (permalink)
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In actual fact, having a delay in building isn't a bad thing, instead of hiring a team of builders blindly, we now have a father and son building team on board to build the house. They have built many properties before and are local chaps, so the chances are they will do a decent job, as they'd lose face in the village horribly if they don't.

We are just going through the planning with them, but all should be fine, they also have contacts, so planning permission shouldn't be a big hold-up.

Some ideas for the look and feel of the house:

Floor area of main house will be 160m2 (10 m X 16 m), excluding walkway and sala. Raised up 80cms on reinforced concrete legs, the concrete base framework will have prefab (reinforced concrete) floor panels, skimmed and tiled with terracotta tiles throughout, apart from bathrooms which will have light warm sand-coloured marble floor tiles.

Roof will be steel frame with exposed beams boxed in with seasoned/reclaimed hardwood, no suspended ceilings.

House structure will be concrete posts, exterior walls will be concrete block, faced with a mixture of weatherproof exterior skim painted white and low-fired red brick (only as a fascia, not structural). Interior dividing walls will be concrete block, skimmed and painted white throughout.

Windows and doors will be hardwood, possibly double-glazed (if I can find a decent fabricator) if not then single glazed will suffice.

Large overhanging eaves all round, with low roof angle, pitching to steeper angles like a dutch gable roof, vents on all gable ends to allow for air circulation. A modern interpretation of Thai designs, meant to keep out heat and rain and lets breeze pull through the house. (I hate modern houses here, they just don't offer sufficient protection from the elements, let's face it even a cave is better at this than most modern house designs in Thailand with regards to this aspect!)

Open plan, airy, large indoor/covered outdoor living area, with open plan kitchen folding patio doors along front and half of the side of the house nearest to the pond.

Sala partly over pond connected to house with raised walkway.

Scruffy sketch, working out the room layout... also forgot that one shouldn't sleep with head facing due West, very bad juju.. so had to amend the bedroom design somewhat:



Initial workings out in 3D, since has been altered, but no need to re-make as the builders are drawing up final plans now:





And finally a mood board, just to get a flavour of where I'm going with this house build thingy:


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Old 09-10-2016, 07:37 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Welcome to the construction section. Good to see a new build thread. They always perk up the site.

There have been some excellent build threads here. I have enjoyed them all and they keep bringing me back to the forum.

Good luck
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:36 AM   #79 (permalink)
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So, after a flurry of postings over the past week, now it's planning and a wait for a week or so until we can start building work, so things are going to be quiet, unless you need reports of how many quail have taken up residence in the long grass, or how the chillies, beans, pumpkins and papaya are coming on! And as this is a thread about construction, I don't think I should stray too far.

That said, there has been quite a bit of interest in the pond construction, so here's what it looks like now:



The grass had been cut a few days before, the brown patches on the grass are dried clippings which were later raked up.

I hate that blue plastic overflow pipe being visible, I'll have to disguise it somehow, I will also put in a plastic mesh (held in place by a collar) to stop fish being flushed out into the neighbouring field. Additionally, I think the pipe is set a little too low, so rather than dig it all up again and reset it, I will put an elbow join on it... Ideally I want to keep the pond topped up above the visible cement, at the moment this is the natural water level owing to rains, now't to do with me... I'll do the topping up once my shack is built.

I'm pretty happy with the look of the water so far, it's not as turgid as I had expected, although this may change when the current fish residents get bigger (or others are introduced later), which will disturb the muddy bottom.

OK, that's all, cheers again for the positive comments, I haven't yet had anyone say "crazy farang, he makes pond and put trees before house", so I guess my arse-about-face way is OK ...

TTFN

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Old 09-10-2016, 10:47 AM   #80 (permalink)
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I quite like the order in which you've approached this project, and look forward to the next stage. Thus far, well done!
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Old 13-10-2016, 06:19 PM   #81 (permalink)
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I would wrap a deck around instead of the stairs. An awning or coverd porch would make a nice spot to chill out on in the evenings. Just a thought. It looks good the way it is. Good luck with it and thanks for posting.
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Old 14-10-2016, 12:55 AM   #82 (permalink)
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I like the size of your house. I hope I can keep our house to that size too. I also like the idea of having the guest room do double duty, I like visitors but really don't want them staying too long. What was the source of the sample design photos?
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Old 14-10-2016, 02:25 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I would wrap a deck around instead of the stairs. An awning or coverd porch would make a nice spot to chill out on in the evenings. Just a thought. It looks good the way it is. Good luck with it and thanks for posting.
I understand what you are saying about decking, but in my experiences with properties all over Thailand, if the decking or patio isn't well covered by a roof, it's either too hot or too wet to use.

My idea is to extend the roof line 1.5 metres beyond the footprint at the front of the house and 1 meter to the sides and back, to offer protection from rain and sun.The bifold doors at the front and side of the house, along with an open-plan space in the lounge/diner and kitchen linking up with the front walkway and raised aspect will hopefully give a feel of a deck, as it will be open, light and airy with very few obstructions to the outside and view. The whole area will be unified with with terracotta floor tiles, creating a flow and removing the indoor/outdoor divide common in most houses.

We will also have a sala for evenings by the pond.

The sketch plan is closer to how it will be than the 3d model, which was my rough idea and starting point (again arse-about-face approach!).

Cheers for your comments and suggestions though, I'll let you all in on how things develop when I have more news.
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Old 14-10-2016, 02:33 PM   #84 (permalink)
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I like the size of your house. I hope I can keep our house to that size too. I also like the idea of having the guest room do double duty, I like visitors but really don't want them staying too long. What was the source of the sample design photos?
Yeah, spare room that doubles as storage or an allocated office with sofa bed is the way to go... just having a bedroom with en-suite is either not ideal as an office, or under-used (if nobody is visiting) or an invitation to move in on a semi-permanent basis!

I'd also love to get a library started again (used to have hundreds of books years ago), so the office will be a study/studio really.

The sample pics are taken from all over the place here and there, mostly from stuff I have found on my mobile whilst having idle moments (architectural digest etc). The 'Flipboard' app is good to install on your smartphone/tablet as it tracks your interests (you can also add more subjects as you go) and gives you previews of website articles that you can then choose to visit. Very handy indeed for inspiration.

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Old 15-10-2016, 09:27 AM   #85 (permalink)
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Here's a couple of reference shots of a build I found online... The low profile of the house and roofline is similar to my planned build, plus wide eaves for protection from sun and rain. I'll add knee braces to add structural support at the front of the house as I am extending so far, they will also serve as a nice design feature. We'll have to be careful not to have them too low, they might pose a problem with bangs on heads when shuffling off to sit and look at the view with a G&T in hand...will have to discuss with builders when they return with plans in a few days time.



Here's another shot of the same building, with large patio-doors that removes the distinction between interior and exterior, I'll be achieving a similar result with wooden bifold doors.



Mix in a few design references to the Lanna style (house raised on chamfered support posts, long&thin windows, mixture of white, bifold doors, red brick, terracotta floors and wood etc) and bob's your uncle.

As I am not one for endless cutting of grass (or listening to someone with a petrol-driven strimmer do it for me for days on end!), I will be creating a garden with islands of planting and landscaped features (rocks, pools, sculptures, ceramics) with lawns of succulents and low growing dense foliage, gravel and paving in between. Similar in feel to the above picture, but with more greenery.

Paving and gravel are an alternative to vast expanses of unused lawns that need constant attention, but these areas do become heat traps if not broken up with water and planting, so I will have to be very creative to help keep the areas cool (nearest to the house specifically).
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Old 16-10-2016, 08:47 AM   #86 (permalink)
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As I am not one for endless cutting of grass (or listening to someone with a petrol-driven strimmer do it for me for days on end!), I will be creating a garden with islands of planting and landscaped features (rocks, pools, sculptures, ceramics) with lawns of succulents and low growing dense foliage, gravel and paving in between. Similar in feel to the above picture, but with more greenery.

Paving and gravel are an alternative to vast expanses of unused lawns that need constant attention, but these areas do become heat traps if not broken up with water and planting, so I will have to be very creative to help keep the areas cool (nearest to the house specifically).
I gave all of what you mentioned great thought as well, especially the concrete or paved area around and near the house as it becomes a HUGE heat sink. A couple of additional things to think about from what I have experienced thus far. Thailand has quite a large insect population as you likely know(ants are a huge concern). One thing very nice about grass is it keeps them away generally speaking. While I agree it takes some maintenance there are a few Japanese sods that do not grow tall and usually grow slower. I am very happy with the ones I have. Rock, paved and brick areas will draw all the creatures in as you are making convenient areas to set up camp(and they will trust me). So while you may not want to mow a lawn the trade off may be spraying pesticides to keep them at bay. I chose the other as I do not like the thought of all the chemicals and costs. Besides mowing a lawn is good exercise and actually quite relaxing plus we use the trimmings as fertilizer for our fruit tress

Your place will be outstanding when done and you will have many years of enjoyment. I am on the last small bit of landscaping now. While houses are never really done, getting to the point where it is just maintenance stuff is when you are enjoying it.

Cheers
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Old 16-10-2016, 10:21 AM   #87 (permalink)
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I gave all of what you mentioned great thought as well, especially the concrete or paved area around and near the house as it becomes a HUGE heat sink. A couple of additional things to think about from what I have experienced thus far. Thailand has quite a large insect population as you likely know(ants are a huge concern). One thing very nice about grass is it keeps them away generally speaking. While I agree it takes some maintenance there are a few Japanese sods that do not grow tall and usually grow slower. I am very happy with the ones I have. Rock, paved and brick areas will draw all the creatures in as you are making convenient areas to set up camp(and they will trust me). So while you may not want to mow a lawn the trade off may be spraying pesticides to keep them at bay. I chose the other as I do not like the thought of all the chemicals and costs. Besides mowing a lawn is good exercise and actually quite relaxing plus we use the trimmings as fertilizer for our fruit tress

Your place will be outstanding when done and you will have many years of enjoyment. I am on the last small bit of landscaping now. While houses are never really done, getting to the point where it is just maintenance stuff is when you are enjoying it.

Cheers
Hmmm.. never really considered the ants issue, although I have discovered that those red fire ants love coconut husk mulch...I guess that lawn around the house will help keep things cool, and I can plug in an electric mower. I used to have a house with a walled garden and reasonably sized lawn down when I lived in Koh Samui years ago.. as you say, something therapeutic about mowing grass.I'll have to hunt about for the optimal type..
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Old 16-10-2016, 10:55 AM   #88 (permalink)
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Our place is in Lampang and I have found 3 prolific ant species and the big red ants you mentioned are tenacious. They love fruit trees and make their nest in them by folding up the leaves but they are a rover type ant and they seek out food sources constantly and man when they bite they bite. While no venom they will draw blood and they have no fear of anything and attack in large groups. When I get a big colony in our Lumyai or Mango tree, I call over my neighbors as they love the larvae to eat. I cut them down into a bucket and they take them away. Some I let stay around as they are a huge part of the eco system for the fruit trees. The other smaller black ants are very fast and love to build nests under cement and in brick areas. They are the ones that usually infiltrate the house. They can be a real pain to eradicate. This is why keeping cemented or rock areas away from the house is a good idea. Then there are the very small reddish colored ants. Their bite has a bit of venom and you can get a welt from it. They too love cemented rock areas. In Lampang we also have the very large king black Scorpion. They flourish in old wood or rock areas. They usually aren't a bother until you accidentally come up on them.

Anyway just some food for thought. I did a ton of research on landscaping before we built our place as I wanted to know how to build a landscape that could minimize the insect "Guests" .
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Old 25-10-2016, 09:42 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Apologies for the lack of update, not much happening on the land right now, apart from I can report that the trees are happy about all this recent rain, although two of them are looking a bit anemic.

The Tree man (I found out his name is Khun Chanit) said that he will come back in a month or so and anything not looking good will be replaced for free. Initially the agreement was for 3 months guarantee, how about that for service?!

The banana trees that came in with the topsoil are now forming a jungle, additionally we have chillies, pea aubergine, lemon grass, limes, lemons, three types of basil, pepper (peppercorn type), pumpkin, long beans, wing beans, guava and passionfruit all doing their thing. Really need to get some raised beds in for smaller herbs and veg to reduce the amount of weeding and make it look less of a pig's ear..

Had another meeting with the builders and they have drawn up plans, all is looking good, a few adjustments to be made...

Also ordered in the temporary electricity meter and for juice to be connected up.

Almost ready to start the ACTUAL build!

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Old 27-10-2016, 03:23 PM   #90 (permalink)
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OK, latest update is that I amended the house plans to give the builders a clearer idea of what I am looking for... they are currently modifying their plans accordingly. Due to meet up in a couple of days and finalise the plans, and also we should then be talking about options for roofing material and costs for the build. I have an idea in mind for costs, but at this point I am holding my cards close to my chest to see what figure the builders come up with.

My amended and annotated versions of their plans:






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Old 31-10-2016, 10:34 PM   #91 (permalink)
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I like your layout and just borrow it when my wife ever gets tired of working decides now is the time to retire. Myself I would have a back door off the kitchen and maybe even a door off the master bedroom so I could walk outside. Someone earlier said something about a wrap around porch and I like that idea too but probably only on three sides. Right now people are walking out into thin air on one side of your living room. I may take some of the area from the dressing room and add to my bathroom. Looks like you're keeping the plumbing pretty straight forward and that should keep cost down.
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Old 31-10-2016, 10:48 PM   #92 (permalink)
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Looking really good,best of luck with the build.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:07 AM   #93 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by runker View Post
I like your layout and just borrow it when my wife ever gets tired of working decides now is the time to retire. Myself I would have a back door off the kitchen and maybe even a door off the master bedroom so I could walk outside. Someone earlier said something about a wrap around porch and I like that idea too but probably only on three sides. Right now people are walking out into thin air on one side of your living room. I may take some of the area from the dressing room and add to my bathroom. Looks like you're keeping the plumbing pretty straight forward and that should keep cost down.
I did consider all manner of layouts for the house, but I'm dictated to by the shape of the available land. Although I have over 2 Rai, it is long and thin, as it is this is the fattest part of the land space available, with a narrow bed, access road and 2.5 metres of clearance at the rear. The front has a bit more room, and I will build a second kitchen off to one side (to retain the views) in the front garden area for those spicy/pongy cooking moments.

The main house, plus covered parking and adjoining service/laundry with workshop next to it, along with a second outside kitchen will create an almost U-shape, the middle of which could be raised beds and decking, (or dancefloor and stage).

I am considering adding decking to the front and a bit to the side, but it depends on costs at this point, adding a larger roof will considerably up the costs, I really want to get the main house build going and then see what I can add, I'll be living off beans, frogs and mama noodles as it is!
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Old 16-11-2016, 12:55 PM   #94 (permalink)
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After a few more meetings with Noarng the builder, the house plans have now been finalised, planning permission gained and a total build budget worked out... a wedge of cash as a down payment has now been handed over. I was about 15% out with my estimates, but considering I was only guessing the steel and roof costs, plus had no real idea of current labour prices etc that wasn't too bad.

The deal is all construction, plumbing, wiring, hardwood (Mai Daeng) bespoke doors and window frames and casings/casements, glazing, tiling, painting, bathroom and kitchen fittings, lighting etc.. pretty much everything but the cooker, extractor fan and hood, and the granite work surface in the kitchen.

Building work guaranteed under contract for 1 year beyond finish date, with any snagging/repairs which may be needed all covered.

Had to ditch the planned extended raised walkway and sala connected to the house, as this pushed the costs up too much, but still keeping the covered walkway at the front of the house, which now extends the roof line at the front to 3 metres past the front wall and windows/doors.

I will put in a separate sala half over the pond, but with concrete legs and a wooden frame and timber with tiled roof. The change in materials used plus not being connected to the house is fine by me, as it will add variety and I can take my time choosing the site and angle once the house is finished.

Estimated house build time is 6 months.



Measuring out the land for location of the foundations.



Loi Krathong and a full moon seem to be a good day to start.



Holes all dug in one day.



Dinner was freshly caught and free.
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Old 16-11-2016, 01:12 PM   #95 (permalink)
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Building work guaranteed under contract for 1 year beyond finish date, with any snagging/repairs which may be needed all covered.
Anyway you can get a longer guarantee period on the roof?
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Old 17-11-2016, 12:37 PM   #96 (permalink)
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[quote=Barty;3399626]
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Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post


Anyway you can get a longer guarantee period on the roof?
CPAC Monier with the roofing system carries a 5 year guarantee here in Thailand, but as we will be using our own steelwork, I'll have to check what the roof guarantee is and let you know... I'm guessing 3 years.
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Old 21-11-2016, 08:54 AM   #97 (permalink)
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Building work guaranteed under contract for 1 year beyond finish date, with any snagging/repairs which may be needed all covered.
Anyway you can get a longer guarantee period on the roof?
Update on roof guarantee... quizzed Noarng the builder and he said 'lifetime' with a smile.
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Old 21-11-2016, 09:07 AM   #98 (permalink)
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So was up at the crack of dawn yesterday, as this was an auspicious day for blessing the land and house... the usual mix of disorganisation and traditional voodoo, I was asked if I had any gold to put into the foundation of the house, I just laughed and pointed out that the missus has all that and would some pocket fluff suffice?



Preparing for the ceremony:



Lots of "hoc Bai!" to those mean spirits...



Pigs heads, gold, flowers, leaves, wooden stakes hammered into the ground, coins, clothing, fire, water, wind, shouting...Something tells me that this isn't a totally buddhist ritual.



'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts...' (couldn't get the tune out of my head for a while.. maybe I was temporarily possessed):



The ceremony was aided by two of the neighbours dogs, who added their own 'holy water' liberally around the place.
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Old 21-11-2016, 10:55 AM   #99 (permalink)
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Looking great JE, Best of luck with the build
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Old 21-11-2016, 11:13 AM   #100 (permalink)
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Great Thread JE
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