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  1. #1
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Stamp-sized townhouse in the city

    I've been in Chiang Mai for while and if there is one thing I regret then it's not acquiring property in the 1990s when you could still find land or a house in the downtown / Old City area, or the (then) suburbs of Nimmanhaemin for a sensible amount of money.

    We all know what happened next, and even with some property bubbles bursting now and then and the odd economic crises, the overall trend remains straight up towards the stratosphere. Most Thai middle class families who want to own something will buy in one of the commercial developments out of town. Lots of good things about those but they are, well, out of town.

    In or near the Old City area, affordable options are mostly condominium units in older buildings, or a unit in a typical townhouse block. This topic will be about the latter, something like this. (Or actually exactly this. ) :



    As you can see there isn't actually a front or even a front door.. Just a shophouse/garage metal shutter. Literally the only thing going for it is the location, it's a 4 minute walk to the Old City. (And in a very interesting area generally.)

    As you might imagine, it's not much to look at inside, and it's SMALL.



    There is just one bathroom. This is it.



    And the kitchen.. not really Western Style.



    Upstairs we have two bedrooms. This one in front:



    And this one at the back:



    The front one has a small balcony, overlooking the dead-end soi. (Which is good, I realized from another place. It really sucks when you have motorbikes and tuktuks going way too fast right past your front door all the time.)



    But we have a plan!



    First draft of the downstairs area.



    And upstairs. Can you make sense of it?



    To Be Continued.

  2. #2
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    crackerjack101's Avatar
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    Good to see you back on the board WLL.

  3. #3
    Sukhumvet
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    Better to replace the shutters or keep then and add aluminium framed sliding glass doors behind?

    Shutters better for security if away for extended period.

  4. #4
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Plan is to just put in a normal front wall, some windows and even a normal door.

    The major undertaking in all of this is to fit in a bathroom upstairs. There's just no space so the only option is to extend the upper floor at the back, which means some posts and then extend it properly.

    The downside to that is that the bathroom can be accessed only through the back bedroom. We also looked at solutions with the bathroom in the middle between both bedrooms but that was just too difficult and loses space.

    BTW there is now a version two of the upstairs, that does away with any kind of balcony at the back (other than a small spot for the air conditioner condensor) and allocate it all to the bathroom.


  5. #5
    Sukhumvet
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    Generally one keeps all the plumbing in the same place so the upstairs bathroom should be at the top of the stairs above the lower one.

    If you want a tub then a corner one will save space.


    Shower head goes in a corner and points outwards also saves space the shower spray can even hit the corner mount tub. The taps/faucets do not have to be in the corner. The key is the corner mount holder for the hand held shower. Rationale? When one stands facing the corner the water stream showers one before one's shoulders touch the sides!

    Bathroom only needs to be the width of the corner tub. Door , toilet, wash basin, partial wall almost in line with tub with shower in corner. About 1.8m wide by ????. As long as the door misses the toilet! Tub will determine room width.
    Last edited by VocalNeal; 19-06-2017 at 11:02 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Interesting challenge, thanks for posting WLL...

    The Japanese are really good at optimising small space interiors, could have some extra ideas to add to the plans. That said, these days there are so many micro/small house projects being featured in interior design/architectural magazines and websites, I guess you already have an idea for end look and feel.

    How about a sliding door for the bathroom? The downside is that you have to leave space on a wall for the door to slide across, but that may be a better option with limited floor area.

  7. #7
    Sukhumvet
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    Is there anything to be gained by reversing the stairs? The entrance way at the front is wasted space? If the stairs went up the other way from just behind the front door? There would be some kitchen space under the stairs at the rear?

    zif you are going to build a new front wall take the bottom floor out to the limit of the 1st floor concrete? You'll gain a meter?
    Last edited by VocalNeal; 19-06-2017 at 01:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Get your wooden windows out and install Upvc ones from 'Homepro' manufactured by 'Hoffen'. Replace your roll up garage door with a 'Hoffen' Upvc sliding door also from 'homepro'. And then fit a security grill from these people SD Brilliant 2002 ?????????? ???????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ISO ??????????????????? SD01 Also available at 'Homepro'. I did on a DiY basis and I'm over the moon that I did it. Cheap as fcuk and great quality.

  9. #9
    Member anto2's Avatar
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    How much did that house cost to buy ?I can see it costing a B650,000 in refurbishment to make it half decent .Anyway it sounds like you have a great location .

  10. #10
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    This will be interesting to follow.

    Looks like a nice little project.

    Baan Tawai is great for wooden furniture for when it's finished.

  11. #11
    Member anto2's Avatar
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    Also if you don't mind answering how you found the house ?

  12. #12
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    As for the purchase price.. WAY too much. It's tough to explain to banks also that the location will result in a pretty good income. But then you're into business loans, not personal home mortgage.

    So we paid *cough* a million seven hundred. But the bank would only finance up to 1.2 mil, which is probably what we should have paid. And then budget for renovations isn't that high, it's around 300K. Although I bet that towards the end we'll exceed it on all kinds of stuff.

    I tell you though, it is HARD to find something for sale that doesn't cost 4-5-6-7-8 million around town.. forget empty land of almost any size (or empty land with any easily demolishable structure on it) For example, this is in a similar area in town, 80 sq. wa: https://goo.gl/SPS46v And the asking price is.. 8.5 million. While that's high, I really wouldn't expect it to be under 5 million.

    So anyway, I'm going to try and blank the purchase price from my mind and get to work. Starting with ripping out the floors.




  13. #13
    Member anto2's Avatar
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    We bought 10 KL out of town in Sansai ,7 years ago in a Moobaan,and now trying to sell .Should have bought something in the old City when prices were still reasonable .If they ever were in the old City ?as at the time i did not look .
    When you were looking for a property in town did you use a web site or did you get it by word of mouth ?.I have wandered around the old City recently on foot but did not see any for sale signs posted .Anyway if when we sell our house we may move back down south again near the coast .
    Last edited by anto2; 20-06-2017 at 07:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    I guess because I work in Washington DC the 1.7 mil seems like a bargain for the location you're in. 300K seems low. Will you be flipping this unit, renting it out or making it your own?

  15. #15
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    That price doesn't seem to bad to me either. I would love to get a fixer upper in the old city area too. Good luck with your project.

  16. #16
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anto2 View Post
    We bought 10 KL out of town in Sansai ,7 years ago in a Moobaan,and now trying to sell .Should have bought something in the old City when prices were still reasonable .If they ever were in the old City ?as at the time i did not look.
    Ha, yes. So me too. I did look about 10 years ago and could have bought this at the time for 3 million. Sam Larn Soi 6 in the old city:

    https://goo.gl/w2oQEM

    But noooo because, reasons. (Like you get a little more space for the same money in the boonies of San Dong.. ) That old city house would be worth double now, whereas I would have serious trouble to get close to what I paid for the out of town place..

  17. #17
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Alright.. there we go..





    Which results in a lot of mud..





    And some free snacks..




  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Oh my. Enjoy and good luck. Looks a major fix up.

  19. #19
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    Dumb question perhaps, but was it known before the project commenced that mud was going to flow into the house like that or was that a complication?

  20. #20
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    Whats the hole for? Septic?

    And was there not a better way to manage that fucking mud other than just plopping it in your living room????

  21. #21
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redhaze View Post
    Dumb question perhaps, but was it known before the project commenced that mud was going to flow into the house like that or was that a complication?
    I don't think it matters; they entire place is being gutted so you can see it like a construction site. While building new it also doesn't matter what the future living room area might look like while work is ongoing.

    It's not like we need to live there at the same time.

  22. #22
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Bricks arrived.



    And the foundation at the back looks solid.





    New septic tank goes in there too.

  23. #23
    Member WhiteLotusLane's Avatar
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    Plumbing..




  24. #24
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    How do you keep this foundation from sinking? I've heard of raft foundations before ...

  25. #25
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    Looks like a nice project you have going. Best of luck with the new home.

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