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  1. #26
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    Hello David48at TD
    Thanks for the reply and for showing interest .
    The site is naturally elevated from the surround by about four to five feet and the ground is very stable and solid red soil. Even when very wet only the surface seems to become that clinging slush and there is plenty of natural drainage to all sides. So I am confident that a relatively small lift to the build will ensure a flood free house. I have been there when there has been torrential rain and watched the water flood the soi outside but never encrouch within a metre and a half height wise of the site.
    I have two options for the siting of the house but I am not sure of the orientation. I will check this out when I visit in early September.
    I have no disabilities and remain in reasonably good health at the moment
    I am 65 years old so I should know better than to do this to myself but hey ho.....
    I have planned for a downstairs loo and separate shower/wet room , four double bedrooms of which two will be en-suite and a further family sized bathroom upstairs.
    I have a good gang of friends with whom I regularly have at least one month per year with in Thailand so the extra accommodation will get used.
    I expect that I will be living in the house together with my wife and one child for at least six months per year, maybe more when I retire from work in a couple of years, but I fully expect that there will be an invasion whilst I am away. To be honest, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy the company of Air's family. They are good hard working folk and they have always looked after me to the point that I am embarrassed by their generosity. Papa and Mama never drink and Papa might have one cigarette in the evening whilst he relaxes. Sound honest hard working folk.
    Air has three sisters, one older and married and living miles away in Ubon Thani, one about 14 years old and a joy to have around ,and an adopted 'daughter' who is about eight years old and seems to call everyone Mother because all the ladies in the family raised her from a baby jointly. This young lady seems to have taken to me because her big sister/mother has seen fit to marry me.
    I don't support the family financially but I'm sure that the monthly money that I send my wife looks after everyone.
    I regularly take boxes of biros, pencils, pencil sharpeners , coloured crayons and A4 writing pads to donate to the local school which is next door (gladly received). I do this anonymously but they know damn well where they come from.
    This is a pretty poor farming community. I've been blessed in my life and I don't mind giving back a bit, but only when I choose to do so.
    So sorry ,I'm rambling on .............
    I hope that that has filled in some of the blanks for you.
    Any more information that you would like I am happy to supply.
    Once again , Best regards to you all .
    Mike

  2. #27
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    Thanks Mex. I will look into that but I think I am on the right track from what you are saying. Whirlybird eh ? I think I know what you mean . Sounds like the hot air rising makes it spin which then makes work even better. Pretty sneaky. I like it !
    Cheers Mike

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    Mike ... interesting

    Let's start with a few basic questions.

    How old are you? Do you have any physical limitations/disabilities?

    How many adults/children will be living in the house?

    How many bedrooms/bathrooms do you plan to have?

    What is the soil type? Is it rice paddy land or elevated?

    Have you been to the land for an extensive time during the wet season to observe water flow across the land?

    Which way is the block orientated? Sun angles are important.
    Oustanding post David. All of those things need to be considered. Its good to see sun rise set on land. Long eaves or in order and good shade trees

    I highly recommend a lifted house if no physical ailments that make stair climbing a problem. My house is so cool underneath and even the slightest breeze helps cool the house. Another plus is it keeps a lot of foot traffic out of the main house.

    Good info...

  4. #29
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    Make a good plan for your house to get as less sun as possible to your walls. If you surrendered by sun without protection consider double walls, use the white blocks not the cheaper grey. get wide roofing who protect your walls...Double glass windows will not do much for you, but good planing will. Find out how sun move and direction so you have this info what choose or make houseplan. I suggest build garage as single unit and let it create shadow for your home. When it come to roofing its a huge topic, i went steel roof route with foam inside and insulated ceiling and it seems good as i can say now.

    Pink

  5. #30
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    OK ... we are getting some solid information now to give some positive feedback.

    With the House design/orientation.

    Living areas should go on the areas which receive the morning sun and sleeping areas on the side that either receive afternoon or little sun.

    You don't want the morning sun streaming though the bedroom windows @ 5.30 am

    Double glazing is mostly a waste of money.
    Unless, of course, you are building an ice box which will be 100% Air-conditioned.
    Which I am hoping you aren't.

    You can achieve a similar result with shaded single glazed windows and decent curtains, maybe thermal lined.

    ---

    Most likely your wife will ask for a cement tiled roof as that provides most 'face' for her.
    IMHO, there are better options then that.

    Sarking is usually laid under the roof, allowing a small gap between the physical roof and the insulative sarking.





    When we re-roofed the Thai Farmhouse, we added sarking.

    Then there is insulation used above the ceiling. Especially important if air-con is being planned.

    Lots of choices there. Start by reading this thread ... http://teakdoor.com/construction-in-...-thailand.html (Insulating your home in Thailand)
    It's 10 years old, but the principles remain.

    The cheaper stuff comes in rolls and start with an 'R' rating about 1 or 1.5 (bubble wrap with foil on two sides) to the thick stuff, a few inches thick.

    Venting the ceiling space with soffett air vents is important.

    ---

    Q Con blocks? Or any type of aerated concrete blocks, IMHO are a great choice for the external walls, but a waste of money for an internal wall.

    Read about the block choice here ... http://teakdoor.com/building-in-thai...ch-to-use.html (Bricks and Blocks, which to use)

    ---

    Building a house in Korat? Read this ... http://teakdoor.com/building-in-thai...n-dummies.html (Building a house in Isaan, for Dummies.)

    ---

    Gutters? http://teakdoor.com/building-in-thai...-thailand.html (Guttering in Thailand)

    ---

    You see, the questions and issues you ask have been trail blazed by many before you.

    General reading comes from here ... Building in Thailand Famous Threads - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum pick a few which address your personal issues.

    ---

    One thing that I would suggest to you.
    The reason I asked your age was this. As we age, our ability (and desire) to climb stairs quickly dissipate.

    Design the house with the main/master bedroom on the ground floor and if en-suited, then also have an alternative bathroom also on the ground floor.

    ---

    Think about the inside/outside kitchen question.

    ---

    Then front door cannot be opposite the rear door ... bad feng shui ... the good luck could simply blow out of the house.

    Bedrooms ... Bedheads are not to be positioned on a southern wall ... very bad feng shui ... it's how you lie in death.

    ---

    Termites, the destructive abilities of which, can not be underestimated.

    ---

    Water supply ... how and where from?

    ---

    Overall comment ... the notion to build an air-conditioned ice box is a poor choice for Thailand.

    Building in the tropics needs a tactical approach.

    Think more fans and high air-flows/interchange with air-con reserved for private areas, such as the Master Bedroom
    so that you have a good nights sleep.

    Insect screens are paramount importance.

    You really have no idea how infuriating Thais can be leaving doors open.

    ---
    So ... how is that building design you had in England looking now?

    BTW ... there's a million more things and hopefully others will give you the heads up.

    Our fingerprints never fade from the lives we touch

  6. #31
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    Pink makes good points. It will all boil down to research and planning.

    Also to note. Bringing in mature trees after the build is done is cheap. We brought in a few.

    Roofing materials are a huge debate. I think attic ventilation is more important. We have roof vents on all sides. We used a reflective ceramic tile roof which has been fantastic.

    The OP shouldn't be in a hurry. My wife and I spent a year plus designing our home and researched materials and environmental items. Wind. Sun and of course Feng Shui stuff..

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD
    Overall comment ... the notion to build an air-conditioned ice box is a poor choice for Thailand.
    having the main bedroom fully insulated and airconditioned when living in the north east is not a bad idea

  8. #33
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    Of course each person has their own threshold for heat. I have quite a high level so I do not care much. We installed 4 AC units and only use the one in the MB for about an hour on some nights. However I have ceiling fans in every room and use them frequently.

    I agree with David. Trying to keep a big house at 25 to 26c is an expensive proposition.

    I guess if money is no object then by the biggest ones you can fit in each room and let'er rip.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD
    Overall comment ... the notion to build an air-conditioned ice box is a poor choice for Thailand.
    having the main bedroom fully insulated and airconditioned when living in the north east is not a bad idea
    Agreed

    Probably lost in the wall of advice of mine above ...
    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    <snip> with air-con reserved for private areas, such as the Master Bedroom so that you have a good nights sleep.

  10. #35
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    Forty years ago I lived in a block of flats...on the third floor. I had to carry every grocery item up those steps and walk up and down them at least 4 times a day.

    I promised myself that one day I would build a house with no effing steps.

    So I did.

    Its not about age or disabilities...it is about wasted energy..and it is pointless to build a double story if the land space is available. It is also cheaper.

  11. #36
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    ^
    I used to live in a brilliant two story house, the kitchen and bedrooms were upstairs and the views great.

    Soon the views did not seem so great anymore but the steps and lugging shit upstairs got old real quickly.

    Vowed never to live in a two story house again unless it had a lift.

    Good call that,

    My knee shit its self the other day, Ok as long as I'm not walking upstairs.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  12. #37
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    Hi to everyone.
    Once again loads of great advice. I am endebted to you all .

    Firstly, I have restricted space so to fit in the accommodation I want , two floors is the only option.
    I will review the orientation of the house / sun accurately in September.
    Yes some of the advice on design having to be futureproof is very relevant but Stannah could come to the rescue if all else fails. This means a strong sidewall to the stairwell needs planning for. Great point.
    I will follow up on links provided and try to absorb all the best bits relevant to my project.
    Again thank you all for taking the time to help.
    Best Regards Mike

  13. #38
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    OP. Mike, just a bit of advice, your friends will not come a visiting, a big McMansion in the middle of nowhere is not where friends holiday.

    Story. near me 7 KM away, German built a 4 story 7 bedroom mansion, covered roof bar, his friends, or 3 of them in 5 or 6 years visited, none stayed more than a few days, Pattaya was more fun then the middle of nowhere.

    He got sick and ended up living on the ground floor, couldn't climb stairs, died a few years ago, Mc Mansion lays empty, wife moved back to the family hut.

    You sound like you are planning on spending big time on this house, may be better to think of a cheaper place and keep the cash or buy a condo in a tourist area.

    Think anyone on here that lives in the sticks will tell you, it's not all happy holidays, today it hit 43 degrees C, aircon couldn't keep up.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    OP. Mike, just a bit of advice, your friends will not come a visiting, a big McMansion in the middle of nowhere is not where friends holiday.

    Story. near me 7 KM away, German built a 4 story 7 bedroom mansion, covered roof bar, his friends, or 3 of them in 5 or 6 years visited, none stayed more than a few days, Pattaya was more fun then the middle of nowhere.

    He got sick and ended up living on the ground floor, couldn't climb stairs, died a few years ago, Mc Mansion lays empty, wife moved back to the family hut.

    You sound like you are planning on spending big time on this house, may be better to think of a cheaper place and keep the cash or buy a condo in a tourist area.

    Think anyone on here that lives in the sticks will tell you, it's not all happy holidays, today it hit 43 degrees C, aircon couldn't keep up.
    Good advice!

  15. #40
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    When I bought my first house I was advised by a friend to think of the 3 D's

    Death, Divorce and Disease...oh..and never over capitalise.

    Ie..don't build a palace next to a pondok.

  16. #41
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    One thing I would have done different with my build is that I would have built a small 1-bed, 2-bathroom place first, with a decent sized living area and covered outside. IF at a later stage I then wanted to expand, I'd just build another small building, connect them up with a covered walkway and shift the space usage about. This is actually how houses were built traditionally here in Thailand.

    There is always the tendency to get drawn into thinking 'just get the build over with now in one go', not to mention the pressure of 'er indoors (if she had her way, my build, would have been 400 m2!).

    I agree with the McMansion prophecies, a possible huge outlay for little return, and to me, the idea of having rellies all living under one roof as a happy holidays hotel is one that makes warning lights flash!

    Obviously nobody here knows your actual relationship with family etc, but give yourself time and allow the build project to evolve.. one thing is for sure, everything changes over time.

    I'd think of yourself and teerak first, guest house afterwards. Meanwhile you can then get something completed in a shorter time and still have not dipped into the coin too deeply.

    Good luck with the build, interested in seeing where this goes!

  17. #42
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    To James Collister.
    Many thanks for the heads up James. Already have the condo in Phratumnak - that's the quieter area between Pattaya and Jom Tien. I love it there because nowhere is more than a 5-10 minute motorbike ride away yet I have the pleasure of a quiet area to live in. I have no intention of selling this hideaway.
    However, you may have a good point about the German feller. Maybe I will downscale a bit and build a single storey house but make provision to add a second floor later if I get cabin fever. At present I live alone in the UK in a four bed house and I relish the space and comfort that it gives me, but as you say this ain't Thailand. Apples and oranges etc .
    Thanks for making me think
    Best Regards Mike

  18. #43
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    Just done a recce on google earth. The proposed site faces east.
    How does that affect things ? Good or bad ?
    Mike

  19. #44
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ling noi View Post
    Just done a recce on google earth. The proposed site faces east.
    How does that affect things ? Good or bad ?
    Mike
    It doesn't matter so much which way the allotment 'faces' ... more how you align the building on site.

    How big is the allotment you plan to build on?

    BTW, what title does the land have?

  20. #45
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    Lots to consider here Ling Noi. Most the posters have built their own home and have some great feedback

    I will drop in a few more.

    I just read that you are mid 60's so a lifted house may or may not make good sense. All depends on your health status and of course how active you remain. My FIL who lives with us (81) goes up and down the stairs without any issues and in fact likes it as it forces him to remain active and limber. He frequently uses them to exercise. But again like everything each person will have their own opinion.

    I agree with Jamie in that to build any size house with the belief you will have friends drop in a lot will likely not happen, especially in a remote location. Most want to go to high impact tourist places (Beaches usually). So I say build your house for you...not others. Originally I thought about a 4 bedroom home and then said why? Wife and I agreed 3 spacious rooms is perfect leaving one for guests (If they should come). To this day I have not had 1 friend from the US come stay at our place (Albeit LOTS say they would come). Only my BIL, wife and daughter come and stay and it is perfect.

    I still stand that a stilted house offers more flexibility and keep the house cooler. Downstairs I have a full laundry room with storage. I also have a full bathroom with shower and a men's urinal and reg toilet. (More like a mudroom) but never gets dirty. Best thing I did. No back and forth into the house with mud and dirt.

    I have a detached car park/ workshop area and a nice outdoor kitchen off the house. All food is served downstairs as we have a full table and hutch there. We enjoy eating outside as I BBQ regularly. We have had numerous parties at our place and its nice as people do not wander your house and do not need to come in and out. With that said I would not recommend an indoor western kitchen as we grew up accustomed too. If your wife is a big cook it will smell up the place. Once the smell gets into the place very hard to get it out. We have an oven upstairs with counter tops with items and supplies for my wife's baking. We have never had a dinner indoors to this date.

    In the end your house is your house. Build it for you, not others but take some of these inputs as a way to step back and really think it through. The best thing we did was take our time. You will benefit from that the most.

    Good Luck on your build

  21. #46
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    It may also be cheaper if you build on an alternate plot that allows you the space to build single story..

  22. #47
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    Hi Mex.
    As my land is for free , and I don't need to purchase/maintain transport for my teerak to visit her parents everyday , it doesn't come much cheaper. But I catch your drift and i will investigate other options when I get there , as I suspect there may be some that I have been 'steered' away from .
    Whilst I pretend not to know her intentions, I just let everything '' go with the flow'' but when I don't like something , don't worry, it doesn't happen . I am the boss but I like a quiet life.
    Best Regards and thanks for the input.
    Mike

  23. #48
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    Ventilate don't insulate. And check out your build daily after work ends.


  24. #49
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    ^ I assume those fellers shimmy up those poles set at 45 degree angles. Wow!

  25. #50
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    Mike, just another thing to keep in mind, don't know where you are bulding this house, but electricity supply can be a problem.

    When I first came here there was no power, over the years it's got better, but we still have days and on occasions a few of them with out power.

    Brown outs are common even though I paid for our own line from the main road, no use having all the modcons if you don't have the power to use them.

    Have a look at how far from the main road you are and the cost of getting powerlines put in.

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