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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 11-08-2017, 06:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New project in Korat

Hello everyone.
I am at the very start of building a house in Thailand at the instruction of my good lady Air. I will try to give this ordeal a narrative so that everyone can laugh and enjoy the trials and tribulations that are sure to beset and attack me from every angle.
I will try to include all the mundane but so necessary pieces of information that may/may not apply to others attempting to do the same.
At the moment, Air has soundly rejected my preferred option of building on a lovely piece of land , family owned , because it is too far out. (That's why I preferred it).
Her preference is to build a baan noi in the yard of mama and papa's house. Well that's where it all started and it's grown from there into a four bed two storey house blah blah etc etc. Oh and a patio ! I have designed up a proposal loosely based on my house in England as the layout works well for me, but with a few tweaks and additions such as a downstairs shower room/wet room. I also propose to have a Thai style roof in tiles so that it doesn't stick out in the village like a sore arse !! Obviously it will be very different to all the other traditional (read this as bloody awful) Thai houses in the village but I feel that I should try to blend in a little bit. Some Thai roof designs that I have seen are quite intriguing to my western eye.
Anyway, my outline plans are with a local builder who is going to come up with a proposal of some sort and I am waiting for his reply.
I am coming back to Thailand 1st September for two months so I am hoping to advance the project to an outline before that date and make a definitive plan when I am present with him later.
I have seen several of the builds done by the builder and they all seem to be of an acceptable standard compared to some of the rubbish I have seen. So I remain optimistic at this point. However I fully expect bitter experience to tread heavily on that optimism.
So , That's all folks for now at least. I will keep you all up to date as everything progresses or turns to 5h1t before my very eyes............
Best Regards to you all
Mike /Ling Noi
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds great!

Get the plans put up here, let's see what you've got in mind!
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good luck ....rather you than me...
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ling noi View Post
Her preference is to build a baan noi in the yard of mama and papa's house. Well that's where it all started and it's grown from there into a four bed two storey house blah blah etc etc. i
Of course it is, big mistake as you will never get the buggers out of your house, or rather hers. Houses should be built as far away as possible from the family IMO. You will probably get family members being moved in, OK if you want that and can stand it, i'd rather hang myself than let that happen.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dear Mike ...

You are building next to the Outlaws ... have you ever lived with them for months on end?
Assuming not ... not a good idea to build.

What works in England (housing design) doesn't translate to a hot humid climate of Thailand.

'a four bed two storey house' ... do you have lot's of children? I'll assume not. Crazy to build anything of that scale.

You won't be there for the build ... disaster awaits you.

I'm just waiting for the statement ... Nah, it will be OK, my MiL and FiL will supervise the Build ...

Thais traditionally build on a 4 x 4 metre platform and varying that (building to an English plan) does throw up some issues and potentially extra costs.
That said ... all good fun, good luck with the build.
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Perspective is everything ... it's the difference between going through an ordeal or going through an adventure..
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thai3
big mistake as you will never get the buggers out of your house
I remember an English guy who had a house built for his teelak. During the build he used to say to his missus 'just me and you Pon'. Referring to the amount of family hanger on'ers that were in their old house. None would be allowed in the new house.
How wrong he was. In fact the family hanger on'ers got worse after they moved into the new house.
Only way to keep them out is to put a wall between you and them. I did and put locks on the gates if the MiL came in without ringing the bell on the gate.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mike you in-laws may be wonderful people and very open to new ideas, take no notice of these negative comments, I've had a wonderful time here living next to my in-laws.

It's been a match made in heaven, enjoy yourself invite all the neighbours around and long lost family, and buy them everything they want, and throw parties every Saturday night.

Enjoy your build, and just let the builders get on with it, I'm sure the finished product will be what you've always wanted.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico
It's been a match made in heaven, enjoy yourself invite all the neighbours around and long lost family, and buy them everything they want, and throw parties every Saturday night.
What ever you're smokin I'll have one.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yep the last 16 yrs have been one long trip
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey, to everyone for the messages in reply to my new thread........ some of you folks have a turn of phrase that makes me roar with laughter. Thank you .
YES !! I am aware the outlaws will move in. In my minimal experience of Thailand , I have found them to be like those bloody little ants - the mere slightest of gaps and they wheedle a way in. And its hard to get rid of them cos they're persistent little blighters. I have a fourth floor condo and I sometimes have trouble with them there so they aren't afraid of heights. Ants that is , but I'm sure that the same can apply to the outlaws too.
As soon as the plans are finalised I will attempt to post them on here - I've read about how easy it is to do !!
Anyway, thanks for all the replies and encouragement...............
Best Regards Mike/Ling Noi
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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PS
I fully intend to to be present for most of the build and because my trade is a precision engineer I fully expect to be driven crazy by the antics of the Thai builders.
Also ,FYI, I am hoping to spend an increasing amount of time in the land of smiles but I am still working in the UK although I am eligible for retirement/pension/bus pass/ free prescriptions etc etc.
Also I am aware of the the necessity of a tow rope to exit the family from the house, but at least my little teerak (!) will be looked after whilst I am away . Cheers
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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PPS
Anyone here know the proper procedure for obtaining the correct legal permission to build a house here ? I await your advice/ knowledge. I bet it involves a payoff to someone somewhere for making it easier. Seems to be accepted practice.......
Thanks Mike
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ling noi View Post
PPS
Anyone here know the proper procedure for obtaining the correct legal permission to build a house here ? I await your advice/ knowledge. I bet it involves a payoff to someone somewhere for making it easier. Seems to be accepted practice.......
Thanks Mike
Not usually a problem, you just need to find out who controls your area, orbator, tessaban or amphor.

If you are on other land types, national farming land etc, big problem, but as you say village, should be no problem.

Building plans are needed for Tessabans [towns], villages covered by orbator offices, probably will just be an ok from the village boss.

Personally, I would not go for a 2 story house, look to open roofed areas or your aircon bill will be crippling, open air kitchen, air flow etc.
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Old 13-08-2017, 06:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ling noi
I bet it involves a payoff to someone somewhere for making it easier. Seems to be accepted practice.......
I doubt it very much regarding a 'payoff'.
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Old 13-08-2017, 08:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hello Mike, im soon to finish my own building..if i should share any experience it must be: Be on the building place, buy all you need yourself, build with the white 14-15bath blocks, not the 4-5 bath grey.. Much better and in the end its nothing to save on the cheaper blocks. I pay a team daily per head and its working fine for me. We had some breaks now and then for rice farming etc but its ok for me. Good luck

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Old 13-08-2017, 08:56 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You have 2 ways in which to pay for your build. The builder just charges for the labour. Giving you a written contract as to the amount along with a finish date. Plus penalties to be incurred if finish date isn't met.
Second the builder gives you a price to include everything including materials. I went that way and I really think the builder lost out. In fact post build he actually said that he should have put an extra 500,000 Baht on the price as he did it too cheap.
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Old 13-08-2017, 09:08 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That only confirm the contract with all included is big business.. In my case i manage my own workers and buy all, works good for me. But its a must to be on the building place this way.. Last day i told the one guy ( the youngest of the older guy team, he 30) who i think was not effective that tomorrow he must work better, then he got insulted, loose face i guess, but next day they all worked very hard and continued work some extra time after 1700 to make it good again

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Old 13-08-2017, 10:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I find that Thais seem to start of well and with enthusiasm but after a week or so they get fed up IMO.
My builder really never left a supervisor in charge when he wasn't there and the fcukers used to take advantage of this. No matter that he was informed of the fact he never seemed to be bothered.
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Old 13-08-2017, 01:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey. Welcome aboard. This should be fun. As for the outlaws, how big is the posse? Young or old? I have found that to be very important info.

My wifes family is small. When I met her, her mom was already gone and her Dad was late 70s (now 80) who lives with us but he and I laugh all the time. Good old guy and he does his deal and I do mine.

Anyway just run with it. Good luck on the house build. Dont shoot for perfection....
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Old 13-08-2017, 01:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
You have 2 ways in which to pay for your build. The builder just charges for the labour. Giving you a written contract as to the amount along with a finish date. Plus penalties to be incurred if finish date isn't met.
Second the builder gives you a price to include everything including materials. I went that way and I really think the builder lost out. In fact post build he actually said that he should have put an extra 500,000 Baht on the price as he did it too cheap.
I did same and I know our builder lost out. He knew it too. Plus he should have charge hazard pay as my wife was on top of the entire build and there was no cutting corners.

I highly encourage the OP to set up 4 installment payments with 50% being the last payment AFTER walk through is agreed on.
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Old 14-08-2017, 12:24 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the advice, I am taking it all on board. Really helpful. I will post again with many questions and await your sage advice.
Cheers Mike
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Old 14-08-2017, 12:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Hi again.
All very useful information which I will retain and use to my advantage. Thank you all very much for sharing.
I shall have my house built using only first class materials. Of that you can rest assured. I am prepared for a battle over that too, but I'm paying so I will choose.
Anyone have any ideas on insulated/ cavity walls ? Do they keep the heat out or keep it in ? Or both ? I fully intend to have heat reflective double glazing throughout because my condo gets steaming hot from the sun blazing through and Thai single glazing seems very leaky to me, both to noise and draughts . The draughts are annoying because the hot air draughts do battle with my air-con. I think I help keep my neighbourhood a little cooler than it would be otherwise !! Putting draught excluder around the front door helped quite a bit but the windows are as leaky as a Whitehouse memo. So I want to avoid that problem.
And yes I know that a cool house is a house with plenty of air flow but I can do that easily by simply opening the windows and doors and getting Air (wife ) going a bit so she waves her arms about and shouts - that usually moves a lot of air around, - bit like a windmill but no electric needed.
Whilst on the subject, any thoughts on roof insulation? I know that heat rises so it would be good to vent it out ,but also as the roof sits in the sun all day , it acts as a bloody great heat soak . My thoughts are to put insulation directly under the tiles and not above the ceiling like in the UK. Then I can put vents in the gable ends or roof hips to allow the heat to flow out , maybe with a small fan as a helper. Your thoughts please.
Enough for now I think. Should raise some ideas for discussion......
Once again ,many thanks and Best Regards to you all Mike
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Old 14-08-2017, 02:26 AM   #23 (permalink)
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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.

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Old 14-08-2017, 06:18 AM   #24 (permalink)
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On the back of our roof I put a Whirlybird (I don't know what they are called over here)...with two louvres on either side it create a wind movement through the roof and keeps it cooler..ie. I am trying to cool the roof space. We are still getting 33 deg inside in the afternoons but ours is much cooler than the neighbours..
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Old 14-08-2017, 06:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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As David said above the sun angles are most important. Optimum is if you present a gable wall to the afternoon sun.

I had a store built on the west end...hot as hell in the afternoon but its a store so no worries.

Even better if all the windows are under patio...then you might not need double glazing.
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