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  1. #1
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    Question Building a new home in Khonkaen - Advice requested

    Gday all,
    I am brand new to this forum so please bear with me !

    I am about to commence construction of our new home in Khonkaen.
    I plan to supervise this myself, engaging all of the required trades and supplying all materials.

    My background is this:
    I have been a carpenter since 1975
    I became a house builder in 1979 and a commercial builder in 1980
    I owned my own building company for 20 odd years as well as owned my own house Architectural drafting company
    Prior to recent retirement I was the general manager of a building company in Australia building approx 300 + houses a year.
    I think that I have the necessary qualifications to undertake this task:

    I have designed and drawn up our house plans and am now just waiting for the engineering to be completed.

    That said Building here is very different to building in Aus
    I am now trying to source trades people:
    I require concretors/form workers preferably an existing gang
    Machinery, Excavator, bobcats, trucks, post hole borers etc
    Plumber/drainer
    Electrician
    Roofer
    Gutter supply & Installation
    Gyprock installer
    and all best deals on supply of goods.

    If any one can supply me with recommended contacts / advice it would be greatly appreciated

    Regards
    Mantadive

  2. #2
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to seeing your build progress from this early start to completion.

    Will you be building in Khonkaen city?

  3. #3
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    Mantadive
    Good luck for your project. Please continue to post to let us know of your progress.
    I would be particularly interested in your opinion on how things are done here compared to in Australia.
    Sometimes I found it very frustrating trying to get things done to the standard I wanted as it invloved doing things a little different than what they were used to. There may be hope as I see ThaiDhup's builder seems to be a bit more advanced than what we used so there is hope that things are changing.
    Just a word of warning about being wary as every somchai you meet will be the tardie you are looking for at that time, according to him.
    Where I live there is not enough work for people to specialise so they are the proverbial jack of all trades.
    It might pay for you to actually visit some building sites and ask, it would also allow you to have a look at what they are doing and how well.
    Anyway keep us posted on your progress.

  4. #4
    I am in Jail

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    You'll certainly be having a new adventure with this,hope your wife speaks very good English or you speak Thai.

  5. #5
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    and all best deals on supply of goods
    There are numerous suppliers in KK so no problem finding all materials you need. This is but one. I use them in Roiet.

    https://www.globalhouse.co.th

  6. #6
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    I am now trying to source trades people:
    I require concretors/form workers preferably an existing gang
    Machinery, Excavator, bobcats, trucks, post hole borers etc
    Plumber/drainer
    Electrician
    Roofer
    Gutter supply & Installation
    Gyprock installer
    This is where you will have problem. Typically a builder will have a crew who do the above. Trying to find them yourself will be near impossible.

  7. #7
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    Call Australian "DAVE". He told me he's a master builder in Khon Kaen.

    Can't go wrong.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat

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    Be carefull,,I have been involved with many so called Thai tradesmen,,,trust me when I say 98% of them are bloody hopeless,,,and thats being polite.

  9. #9
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    OP, your a braver man than I am, just getting permission to build, then planning permission for the building, would have sent me insane.
    Dealing with local builders, would, or should I say did start me drinking whiskey daily, give the job over to some local that knows the ropes, or you are in for a lot of headaches.

  10. #10
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    There are a couple guys that used to build dams in Laos looking for work now.As for the headaches it is the rice whiskey, trust me.
    The fish.

  11. #11
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    OP, your a braver man than I am, just getting permission to build, then planning permission for the building, would have sent me insane.
    Dealing with local builders, would, or should I say did start me drinking whiskey daily, give the job over to some local that knows the ropes, or you are in for a lot of headaches.
    Perhaps or not, Jim..
    Every situation, activity, and individual will spin differently.

    Patience, humility, and sound local connections are helpful.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    I think that I have the necessary qualifications to undertake this task:
    Most definitely you do...except perhaps experience with Thai bureaucracy and tradesmen.
    Stick to your guns. You are an expert at what you're planning to do and that is what counts. However, be prepared to face some difficulties. Overcome them, but stick to what you know is right.

  13. #13
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    Thanks cisco999 Do you have Dave's contact number at all

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the advice I had planned to get references and look at work already done prior to engaging any one. If I can get recommendations from people that have used the trades then that would be a good start,
    In Aus if I advertised for new trades etc I went thru the same process, Managing over 300 builds a year I was interested in price but quality and reliability also influenced my decisions on who to hire

  15. #15
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    hanks My wife speaks good english and she will the face of the construction project so hopefully I wont be hit with too much Farang pricing !!

  16. #16
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    Welcome aboard. Look forward to the build.

    My suggestion is find a reputable General Contractor and manage him versus trying to track down and coordinate individual tradesman.

  17. #17
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    I did it (built a house for my mother in law) about 14 years ago.
    Made a model house from cardboard and stickpins to scale.
    you could lift off the roof of the model to see the rooms inside and how I wanted the plumbing, drains, etc.
    Builders I used spoke no English but my wife interpreted.
    I was there most every step of the way, helping them and gaining their respect with my experience.
    One weekend I went away.
    When I came back, they had done some plumbing to hook up 6 of those 2,000 litre concrete water tanks and didn't bother to put in any of the valves I had bought.
    So, if we have a problem in the house, 12,000 litres of water can dump in there.
    They were proud of the fact they saved me some money.
    Gotta watch em.
    Closely.
    Good luck.

  18. #18
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    If I can find the right trades then the project is manageable. I will rely on recommendations and references a lot , I will also check out the quality of work done prior. If a trade cant/wont supply references then I wont use them. I dealt with enough cowboys in Aus when things got real busy. Being on site each day and actually getting my hands dirty will help to control quality a lot. Plus we will be living next door to the project.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the suggestion, however I believe that I can manage this project and I will save their profit margin of around 30%. I know that I will probably pay more than a regular builder, this was the case in Aus as well. As a builder of 300+ homes we had great buying power, but as a one of owner builder not so much. In order to avoid farang pricing I will organise my wife to seek the pricing in the first instances. It will be a challange, I have time on my side though.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the advice, I have basically done the same as I am proficient with 3D CAD software I have prepared very detailed views, plans etc.
    I do plan to be on site every day and pitch in. I will be living next door to the project. With my skill set once the project achieves lock-up I can complete the works. I am qualified in most trades.

  21. #21
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Take a look at this recent construction thread. It is a good one.
    http://teakdoor.com/construction-in-...hai-house.html

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    OP, your a braver man than I am, just getting permission to build, then planning permission for the building, would have sent me insane.
    Dealing with local builders, would, or should I say did start me drinking whiskey daily, give the job over to some local that knows the ropes, or you are in for a lot of headaches.
    Very true,,,been there done that,,what a bloody head spin

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    I will rely on recommendations and references a lot , I will also check out the quality of work done prior.
    If a trade cant/wont supply references then I wont use them.
    That approach might be a little more challenging then you might imagine

    Out of curiosity ... why do you need a Plasterer/Gyprocker?


    Absolutely the best of luck with your project.

    David

  24. #24
    CCBW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    If I can find the right trades then the project is manageable. I will rely on recommendations and references a lot , I will also check out the quality of work done prior.
    That's the big issue most have been saddled with..."If I". You may spend a tremendous amount of time trying to line up all these folks to do the work. The effort versus cost savings isn't a big plus over here like it is in AUS or the U.S. being the project manager

    There are some really good General contractors out there with complete teams that work for them and you do not have to worry about the disappearing work force when rice harvest time comes. In our case, I drew the drawings, had them rendered to standard and then my wife and I sought out a general contractor. When we did we went to numerous of his builds both complete and in progress to see and get feedback. It was much easier then trying to find all of them individually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    In order to avoid farang pricing I will organise my wife to seek the pricing in the first instances
    Farang pricing is the least of your concerns IMHO. The larger concerns are reliable help and them doing it the way you want. Your wife working with the Thai workers will negotiate it way differently I suspect. I had this initially with my wife and I sat her down and said There is no "Mai Pen Rai" in this build. Everything matters and there are ways to do it right and ways to do it Thai. Lets do it right. She was on board and our house turned out extremely nice.

    Again good luck with your build. Look forward to the pics and updates

  25. #25
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    That's the big issue most have been saddled with..."If I". You may spend a tremendous amount of time trying to line up all these folks to do the work. The effort versus cost savings isn't a big plus over here like it is in AUS or the U.S. being the project manager

    There are some really good General contractors out there with complete teams that work for them and you do not have to worry about the disappearing work force when rice harvest time comes. In our case, I drew the drawings, had them rendered to standard and then my wife and I sought out a general contractor. When we did we went to numerous of his builds both complete and in progress to see and get feedback. It was much easier then trying to find all of them individually.



    Farang pricing is the least of your concerns IMHO. The larger concerns are reliable help and them doing it the way you want. Your wife working with the Thai workers will negotiate it way differently I suspect. I had this initially with my wife and I sat her down and said There is no "Mai Pen Rai" in this build. Everything matters and there are ways to do it right and ways to do it Thai. Lets do it right. She was on board and our house turned out extremely nice.

    Again good luck with your build. Look forward to the pics and updates

    Adding that personal and solid supervision and direction is essential - making sure things are done to one's satisfaction and not as they presume in their usual manner.
    The missus [real boss] need to be on the same page....this helps considerably.

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