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  1. #1
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    Cool Building in Khonkaen

    This thread carries on from my last thread where I was considering organising the complete build myself.
    I found that while I have the necessary experience (40+ years as a builder in AUS) I dont have the necessary contacts for the trades and suppliers.
    So I decided to get a few local builders prices and then manage the build in conjunction with the builder.
    I designed and prepared the construction plans myself, engaged the services of an engineer (recommended by a colleague). The engineer redrew my plans and incorporated them into his engineering drawings all in Thai.
    I then prepared a contract and specification which I had translated to Thai. This I gave to the builders to quote
    A little hiccup at the government office. I needed an architect to sign off on the plans. After some negotiations by my wife and the engineer and a little bit of tea money the plans were passed.
    I proceeded to get 4 quotes with prices for my design and specification. The quotes varied by some 40%.
    I asked for addresses of their current builds and went and visited them and to talk to the owners.
    Eventually I chose a local builder TC Builders, his price was not the cheapest but it was nowhere near the dearest, he can speak reasonable english and is open to my ideas and building methods ( he is keen to learn new processes). we negotiated on the contract draw-downs as I had biased them in my favour.
    All signed up and ready to commence.

  2. #2
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    Constructions Starts
    I arranged to demolish the existing house (photos to follow)
    then Dook (TC Builders) and myself set the house out ( I know that it is square, of the right size and in the right spot)
    That done the piles arrived the next day and were installed that week, I am very impressed with the foundations as the house is now founded in soil 6m deep where the moisture content is stable so I can expect to have little or no movement.
    The workers commenced to prepare the top of the piles for the footings and columns cutting them off at the required height.
    I noticed that there was no steel connecting the top of the piles to the footings
    I rang the engineer and advised him that in order to minimise heave (lifting of the structure due to the clay expanding) we should tie the tops of the piles to the footings.
    We agreed on 16 mm bars embedded into the tops of the piles. All done
    Next issue, I had tried to source reo bar chairs to no avail so I bought some 100mm pipe and a steel dropsaw and proceed to make my own which I gave to the builder.
    Once he understood their use he was very impressed and began to make his own for other areas.
    The next issue was there was no detail for the steel column footings for the patio.
    I spoke to the engineer and we agreed upon a 400mm dia hole 1200 deep with 2 vertical y12 bars
    I told the builder of this and he was not sure on how to dig a hole 400mm round as the post hole shovels are only 200 mm .
    I said get a crowbar. Now I discover that you cannot buy a crowbar in Khonkaen. They have never seen one. In desperation I went to a local engineering shop and had a crowbar made.
    That done I meet Dook and his workers on site and proceeded to show them how to use a crowbar to dig a hole
    He was impressed to the extent that he went and had his own crowbar made.
    Piles in - post holes dug (approx 2 m deep) steel in place for pile cap and cages made for the columns.
    All work stopped as we now had to wait for the designated day for the land/house blessing.

  3. #3
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    The land/House blessing
    Pam and I had visited the celebrant (fortuneteller) a couple of times to get the best date arranged.
    That done we decided on the 30th Jan
    No work on site that went above the ground up to this point in time.
    Pam worked tirelessly in conjunction with her mum and relatives for a very successful day.
    Next day - concrete poured steel placed for columns

  4. #4
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    land Blessing completed
    concrete poured for below ground pile caps/column steel
    This week above ground footings are being prepared and will pour on Friday
    Septic tank on site and hole dug (by hand)
    I have designed the sewer/septic system especially to incorporate a trap on every fixture and a venting system so that the water gets away quickly
    Every house that I have been in has bad smells in the bathrooms. There are no traps used for their showers and vanities.
    I gave this design to Dook and he understands the principle and will install accordingly.
    Next week prepare and pour the lower slab
    Install the drainage pipework
    Install the termite barrier system
    I sourced some plastic sheeting ( as close as possible to UM200 that we use in Aus) to be placed under the footings and slab. This should stop the rising damp issue which is prevalent here.
    Now to figure out how to post some photos

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    What a pain to upload photos this is. Other sites are just a couple of clicks find your photos and all done.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    ^Use the 3rd icon from right hand side, downloading a photo from your PC

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    havent figured out how to rotate the photos yet sorry

  11. #11
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Photos are fine. Thanks for sharing.
    Appears you have done all the right things so all should progress smoothly.
    Look forward to more.

  12. #12
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    Schematic of the pipework system (I designed using Revit)
    Note the use of traps and the venting
    I had my plumber from Australia look over the design. He said that I went overboard on the venting, that I could save myself some cost and effort, but I would rather put in more now as once it is built it cannot be added later

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    He said that I went overboard on the venting, that I could save myself some cost and effort
    Cost and labor not much here so agree. Best do it now.

  14. #14
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    Off to a good.. (second!) start MD...

    Certainly progressing this time... good luck with it all.

    Have you got a good contract in place with the builder? i hope so.

    I am looking forward to being a spectator on this one... keep the photos coming!

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    Mantadive ... great start to your building thread.

    A clean slate (vacant block, after demolishing) and the perimeter fence is existing !

    Oh, the guys here are aren't anal. You can come back more then an hour or two later and change (add photos) to a previous post.

    Most people found that lower res photos work well.

    Do you have any drawings/sketches of what is going to be built?

    Good Luck and looking forward to more.

    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

    .

  16. #16
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post
    I had tried to source reo bar chairs
    I think we had discussed this in another thread and that plastic ones are available if you know what you need to ask for

  17. #17
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    Good luck with the build.

    I'm looking forward to this thread; I wish the OP well and am sure everything will end up brilliantly, but suspect there may be some raging and arguing along the way due to Aussie quality expectations meeting Thai realities...

  18. #18
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    See below.
    Last edited by rickschoppers; 06-02-2019 at 07:19 PM.

  19. #19
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    MD, good luck with the build. I did similar to you and became my own project manager with a lot less building experience than you, so you have a good headstart. Also, the building materials are now much more available than when I started building near Udon Thani. I learned a wealth of information on this site that helped me a lot since the building methods in Thailand are much different than in the west. Patience is a big virtue here and if you are not expecting perfection, that will help greatly. I have listed the link below where the story of my own build is, if you are interested. And yes, pictures are a pain in the ass to post on this site.

    http://teakdoor.com/construction-in-...don-thani.html (New Build Near Udon Thani)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantadive View Post



    Schematic of the pipework system (I designed using Revit)
    Note the use of traps and the venting
    I had my plumber from Australia look over the design. He said that I went overboard on the venting, that I could save myself some cost and effort, but I would rather put in more now as once it is built it cannot be added later
    Mantadive, your schematic is a thing of beauty! Are you sending your black water (toilets) and grey water (sinks) to a single point?
    I was thinking of two septic tanks, the black water septic tank draining into the grey water tank and the grey water going to a drain field. I know that is not standard practice in Isan.

  21. #21
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    Best wishes Mantadive. Looking forward to watching your build...photos, commentary and explanations. Between you and Thai Dhupp, I'm feeling like a complete amateur in terms of knowing the trade. In regards to photos I took thousands and at least 98%+ in landscape mode because of the site flipping the portrait photos. In fact it now feels weird to take a portrait orientated photo on the iPhone. Regards, -BiP

  22. #22
    Freelance Astronaut
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoganInParasite View Post
    Best wishes Mantadive. Looking forward to watching your build...photos, commentary and explanations. Between you and Thai Dhupp, I'm feeling like a complete amateur in terms of knowing the trade. In regards to photos I took thousands and at least 98%+ in landscape mode because of the site flipping the portrait photos. In fact it now feels weird to take a portrait orientated photo on the iPhone. Regards, -BiP
    Hey BiP! I bagged that 'amateur' role long ago!

    OK I do know a bit more now than at the start

    But there again, you finished first!

    Agree with previous posts above...Teak Door members are wealth of experience in all things build-connected, and are willing to share... I certainly learnt a lot from the forum and am grateful for that.

    it was mentioned above by Baldrick about the chairs.. that was on my thread , but in the end my builder made his own, similar to what MD is doing.. probably the quickest and cheapest and no worse than plastic ones.

    Let's go....Bring on the Build..!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick View Post
    I think we had discussed this in another thread and that plastic ones are available if you know what you need to ask for
    Rebar chairs were discussed elsewhere and a picture of a plastic chair was posted. Maybe someone more competent than I usuing the search engine can find the links.
    I remember someone suggested cutting up those small red bricks to use as chairs. Seemed to be a practical solution.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    Rebar chairs were discussed elsewhere and a picture of a plastic chair was posted. Maybe someone more competent than I usuing the search engine can find the links.
    I remember someone suggested cutting up those small red bricks to use as chairs. Seemed to be a practical solution.
    There is a new condo going up next to my place in BKK, they are using all brand new shuttering and scaffolding, all the good modern equipment .....except those chairs. Early in the proceedings they had half a dozen Lao women making thousands of the usual concrete “doughnuts” ! I guess the chairs are not readily available, even for the big boys in construction.

  25. #25
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    Thanks Yes I wrote the contract myself (that was a part of my role in AUS) I kept it pretty simple and structured the payments so that I would be in front most times.
    The specification was detailed and I had it translated to Thai for the builder.

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