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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 21-11-2016, 12:36 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jonnyenglish View Post

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):


Welcome to the house building club. .

I have a set of photo's like that. I have some where I am in the hole placing the Gold, Copper, Silver metal around the 4 corners. I figured at that point while in it they would pour the cement over me and all was done. Foreigner gone. I wasn't sure if it was a blessing or a sacrifice.
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Old 21-11-2016, 05:05 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Fantastic thread so far! Looking forward to reading more as the project progresses.
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:12 PM   #103 (permalink)
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This week saw a fair amount of activity on the site, all rebar shaped and footings laid, columns and beams (ground level) being poured.



Metal forms used for all concrete pours, resulting in nice and clean lines.



Notice the nice and tidy site, mainly due to nobody living on-site, but also all of the chaps and lasses working are locals, and I'm sure they respect the fact that this area is quite unspoiled.



2 plastic septic tanks, plus two drain-away's (stacks of concrete rings) also installed at back of house.

Had to move one of the trees away from the build as it was too close to the house roofline... tree now moved to a position near to the gateway and well. The soil is a bit better up in that part of the land, plus there is more moisture in the soil owing to proximity of the nearby hill, so it should suit that tree quite nicely.

Next up will be the placing forms and pouring the extended wall posts, supporting piers and floor beams, ready for the precast concrete floor slabs to be dropped in later.

All moving along nicely.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:24 AM   #104 (permalink)
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Looking good JE, keep em coming
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Old 15-12-2016, 10:14 AM   #105 (permalink)
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Progress on the house build this week has been mostly shaping and placing/wiring rebar, plus cutting and placing shuttering for the floor beams... not very exciting, but at least now I can get a better idea of the way the house will sit in the landscape.



Noarng the builder, pretending to work.



Floor level beams now in place.. ready for precast floor slabs. Notice that the pond's water level has dropped greatly due to lower water table and no rains. I am now thinking that I should perhaps cap some/all of the upper drainage pipes before I fill it up again after the house build is finished.



Removing shuttering, ready for the next phase.

Need to scrape together the baht for the next instalment, but am waiting on some slackers to pay me... it's the way of the world (apparently).
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Old 15-12-2016, 11:58 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Looking good JE, keep em coming
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Old 15-12-2016, 12:11 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pics and the time to keep the thread alive. I enjoy build threads

I do have one question, I see you have the house elevated off the ground about a meter or so. Will you put some sort of covering around the perimeter when its done to keep the local wildlife out from underneath?
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Old 15-12-2016, 12:39 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pics and the time to keep the thread alive. I enjoy build threads

I do have one question, I see you have the house elevated off the ground about a meter or so. Will you put some sort of covering around the perimeter when its done to keep the local wildlife out from underneath?
I have considered this. If I put mesh over the apertures, this would have to be small enough to keep out rodents and snakes, but then if too fine, would block up with dust and cobwebs constantly and not allow air through. If I put chainlink or similar up , this would allow more air through, but also all manner of critters would take up residence.

Trying to block it off might be a mistake, as then my dogs wouldn't be able to root out anything under the house.

I have lived in a raised house down in Koh Samui before, the only things under the house were the dogs, who preferred to be under there more than up on the veranda, so that works for me!

So, my conclusion is to either not bother, or maybe try a combination of things like wire meshing and split bamboo panels that can be removed for maintenance and make it more aesthetic. I'm going to be planting flowering plants such as Helliconia and Canna Lillies, plus ferns and small palms etc. around the house to soften it all, so I'm guessing most of it will be hidden anyhow.

Any ideas?
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Old 15-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pics and the time to keep the thread alive. I enjoy build threads

I do have one question, I see you have the house elevated off the ground about a meter or so. Will you put some sort of covering around the perimeter when its done to keep the local wildlife out from underneath?
I have considered this. If I put mesh over the apertures, this would have to be small enough to keep out rodents and snakes, but then if too fine, would block up with dust and cobwebs constantly and not allow air through. If I put chainlink or similar up , this would allow more air through, but also all manner of critters would take up residence.

Trying to block it off might be a mistake, as then my dogs wouldn't be able to root out anything under the house.

I have lived in a raised house down in Koh Samui before, the only things under the house were the dogs, who preferred to be under there more than up on the veranda, so that works for me!

So, my conclusion is to either not bother, or maybe try a combination of things like wire meshing and split bamboo panels that can be removed for maintenance and make it more aesthetic. I'm going to be planting flowering plants such as Helliconia and Canna Lillies, plus ferns and small palms etc. around the house to soften it all, so I'm guessing most of it will be hidden anyhow.

Any ideas?
I think your dogs will love it to stay cool, that's for sure. Definitely something I think I would want to cover or at least consider. Not sure how to do it as your list on items to use are what I would have probably looked into as well.

My wife and I originally considered having our floor height similar to yours in the build plans but changed and then put the living space up and used the underneath for other things. My Father in law and general contractor recommended against elevating it to low where "creatures" can make a home underneath. Having dogs might keep them at bay depending on what might want to retreat there in the summer months (If anything)

I am enjoying your thread. I love the North. I am about an hour or so south of you

Cheers
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Old 19-12-2016, 02:33 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Not much going on with the build today, but over the past few days, more wire meshing (square stuff laid flat for strengthening floors) and rebar and shuttering was put in, plus the precast concrete slabs arrived and were placed.



Above nearest to camera is the front covered walkway/veranda/porch that runs the length of the house and is set 12cms lower than the main floor level (where second line of metal form is placed), more than enough space for chairs and a table for G&T's.

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Old 22-12-2016, 02:49 PM   #111 (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!





I always wondered how much rootball a tree needed if you were to transplant one, maybe it's not as expensive and difficult as I imagined.
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Old 22-12-2016, 03:05 PM   #112 (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:

The view is great, and the layout sensible, but I personally like the idea of a Japanese-style genkan or some kind of porch or "airlock" between the main reception area and the outside (and maybe some partition between the cooking area and the lounging area to keep food smells contained.
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Old 23-12-2016, 07:28 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Great thread Jonny. I am at the final stages of planning a very similar venture in a rice field outside Chiang Mai - everything slightly larger, but same same.

Did you consider earthquake 'proofing'? Chiang Mai is a 'moderate' earthquake risk area. There was a 6.8 quake in Burma that rattled the north in March 2011 and there have been many more big ones over the past 100 years. Current building regulations, if followed properly, should safeguard your house but only up to a 4.5. I'm currently discussing this with the builder and looking at ways to safeguard to 6.5. Glad to hear any tips.
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Old 26-12-2016, 01:38 PM   #114 (permalink)
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[/quote]
The view is great, and the layout sensible, but I personally like the idea of a Japanese-style genkan or some kind of porch or "airlock" between the main reception area and the outside (and maybe some partition between the cooking area and the lounging area to keep food smells contained.[/quote]


Hi Nemo, I understand the concept of separating the kitchen area, and had considered the options, but I just couldn't see how sliding internal partitioning screens/doors would work when the rooms go up to roof height with angled roof line and exposed beams without blocking off each area and ruining the flow. There will be cross venting at the roof peaks in both directions, this will pull out hot air and hopefully any cooking smells too. I'll also put in a decent extractor hood and fan with large enough vent on outside wall for cooking, plus will have an outside garden cooking station for Isaan/Thai fragrant moments.

As to screens, I'm not sure... have had them in many places and insects either get trapped inside the house, or the mosquitoes wait until the screen is opened to enter the house and then they are trapped in there too.. Screens also cut down airflow greatly and require constant cleaning. I'll live in the place for a while and then see what the best solution is.

Regarding transplanting trees, it is surprisingly easy, the root-balls are not that big, but for quick growing trees I'd stick to putting in juvenile plants and wait a few years... I only put in larger trees and a few of these didn't like being moved. Considerations are also numerous when considering planting positions of trees (proximity to house): leaf and fruit fall, insects, brittleness of branches, size, spread, roots growth, etc. Palms are easy, they are hardy and don't mind being dug up/moved, insects don't eat them, they don't make too much mess and create an instant garden.. I'll be putting many more of these in after the build is done.

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Old 26-12-2016, 01:59 PM   #115 (permalink)
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Great thread Jonny. I am at the final stages of planning a very similar venture in a rice field outside Chiang Mai - everything slightly larger, but same same.

Did you consider earthquake 'proofing'? Chiang Mai is a 'moderate' earthquake risk area. There was a 6.8 quake in Burma that rattled the north in March 2011 and there have been many more big ones over the past 100 years. Current building regulations, if followed properly, should safeguard your house but only up to a 4.5. I'm currently discussing this with the builder and looking at ways to safeguard to 6.5. Glad to hear any tips.


Cheers Gnu old bean, I was actually down on the land a few weeks back with a friend who has built a few places himself now and knows about building practices.. he was surprised to see that the rebar my builder used was oversized, more robust, plus there was a lot more of it than a standard build, he also noted that the footings, plus the bonding and floor beams were also oversized.

I asked Noarng the builder and he said he is 'earthquake-proofing' the house. I initially only wanted a light build with lightweight steel roof structure and roof tiles, but Noarng seems to be over-engineering everything to beef it all up, including the roof.

Roof steel has been ordered and is next in, so I'll have to see I guess, but I am confident as the construction team know what they are doing, refer to plans, and work with minimal communication or down-time. Jolly good show!
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Old 26-12-2016, 02:01 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Removing forms.. concrete posts and floor poured now all looking sweet, ready for the steel work for roof structure.


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Old 27-12-2016, 07:06 AM   #117 (permalink)
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looking very good and robust mate, looks like you have a very good builder
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Old 27-12-2016, 08:59 AM   #118 (permalink)
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Fantastic stuff right here. Respect to the Farang who do these builds.
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Old 29-12-2016, 07:08 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Great House build and nice progress. Just wana give my 2 cents as I did the same mistake. Always build a backdoor next to the kitchen sink. Thais love to chop and smash live animals in peaces and tend to make somehow a meas when they cooking. Its great to watch them but its not so great if they have to walk trough the living room to bring all this stuff in and the garbage starts smelling bad soon after they drop all the remaining food and leftovers in the bin after eating and cleaning the kitchen. And no chance to get the mess out of the house without disturbing you sitting in front of the TV and nipping on a nice Whiskey. Try to separate house keeping stuff from living room area. Same when the Nany starts cleaning the bathrooms and is walking in and out of the house passing the living room with the dirty mop in her hand..... 555

Just my 2 cents mate.
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Old 30-12-2016, 09:56 AM   #120 (permalink)
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You do have a point ralfbo, I should have put steps and a door at the back, or even the kitchen in a different place, I tried all sorts of combinations when planning, and this was the most efficient use of space whilst ticking most of the boxes, I'll have to go with what I've got. Maybe next time!

I will build a garden kitchen near to the sala, and from my experience, Thais tend to use these more than the inside kitchens.

I am also building a studio/workshop further up the land, away from the main house for my pottering and creative projects, so the chances are I'll be in that more that the house in any case.. always good to have a shed/man-cave to retreat to!
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:10 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Vettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai ForumVettronics is just really nice on this Thai Forum
Really enjoying your build. Will keep following this one for sure. The views are very nice where you are.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:49 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Met with Noarng the builder yesterday and discussed various build details whilst on-site.. we are going to ditch one of the windows in the kitchen and put a back door there after all (cheers for the design idea Ralfbo!).. it seems obvious to me now that I should have included one in the first place (durrrrr!).

The position of the steps coming up to the back door will mean we'll have to move one of the concrete soak-away's, but Noarn said "no problem, no cost".
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:50 PM   #123 (permalink)
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Really enjoying your build. Will keep following this one for sure. The views are very nice where you are.
Cheers! yes it's a great spot, there's a few plots left in this area and prices are going up quick.
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Old 04-01-2017, 04:26 PM   #124 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jonnyenglish
You do have a point ralfbo, I should have put steps and a door at the back, or even the kitchen in a different place, I tried all sorts of combinations when planning, and this was the most efficient use of space whilst ticking most of the boxes, I'll have to go with what I've got. Maybe next time!

I will build a garden kitchen near to the sala, and from my experience, Thais tend to use these more than the inside kitchens.
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Always build a backdoor next to the kitchen sink.
Or you can do like me and build a nice indoor kitchen that you do not use and then build a nicer detached one well over 8 meters away from the house downstairs. LOL
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:25 AM   #125 (permalink)
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Or you can do like me and build a nice indoor kitchen that you do not use and then build a nicer detached one well over 8 meters away from the house downstairs. LOL

Outdoor seating with bar and cooking area, fire pit and sala is the way to go for year-round use. I'm making a kitchen inside for me really, as I miss not having an oven, pan-frying a sunday roast just isn't a jolly good show you know!
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