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  1. #1
    Member slunky's Avatar
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    Construction Industry in Samui

    I'm a fairly new expatriate in Samui. I'm back here this November and I'm wondering if anyone knows if there is a need for farang building supervisors. Are these positions generally held by Thais? Are there any high end western style timber frame homes being built on the island that need some western building experience? I'm only 50 and I don't want to just sit on the beach every day and I enjoy the work I do. My grasp of the Thai language is slowly coming around. I've seen some nice interior finish work in some of the hotels on the island and would love to know more about the construction trade in Thailand and on Samui in particular and how farangs fit in besides owning the companys involved. I realize that we're not allowed to strap a belt on and start hammering nails. Thanks in advance for any input

  2. #2
    ding ding ding
    Spin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slunky
    Are there any high end western style timber frame homes being built on the island that need some western building experience?
    Timber framing is not common anywhere in Thailand, those projects that are underway would probably have farangs managing anyway so the scope for getting involved might be limited.
    Best just to get out there and start exploring.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    The money is piss-poor for even Project Managers involved in big hotel/resort/condo projects on Samui or anywhere else in Thailand. The construction trade(s) in Thailand are basically a closed-shop because Farang can't (or won't) work for those wages.

    Best of luck though - building in Thailand is without exageration at least 10 times more difficult than in a western country...

  4. #4
    Member slunky's Avatar
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    Thanx for the input...I guess even the higher end villas are concrete then? Does anyone use steel stud and drywall (gyprock)? I'm not looking to make a lot of coin, more about staying busy and staying long term in Thailand. What's the better money makers as far as small company endevours that would only employ 3 or 4 Thais? Interior finishing? Small inground pools? Is there a need for home sound system and / or home theater installation? Is anyone using solar power?

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by slunky
    What's the better money makers as far as small company endevours that would only employ 3 or 4 Thais? Interior finishing? Small inground pools? Is there a need for home sound system and / or home theater installation? Is anyone using solar power?
    Swimming pools will make you the most money but you will need about 6 to 8 staff per pool as they are so bloody time consuming, sound systems we used to get some American bloke to do in the bars and he had a recording studio, after 12 years he went back to the States to make some proper money, Interior finishing, ie fitted furniture painting and all that you would need a lot more staff and will cry your eyes out every time you saw the curves on the wall that you had to finish, fitted furniture is real good money but an illegal business for farangs, go for swimming pools, they are easy money, well as long as you don't fok up

  6. #6
    Member slunky's Avatar
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    Thanx for the input...sounds like a good old adventure I'll be on some time in the future. In the meantime, I'm also trying to find some building jobs (Framing) in China or Korea. Info or contacts are as rare as hens teeth though. Anyone able to help me with info? I can make some decent coin in Canada (putting on Hardi siding right now), but keeping the overhead down is really tough. Nice to be able to take a short flight to LOS at the end of the contract as well. Thanx in advance

  7. #7
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    I know one of the project managers for a massive casino project in Macao and I know the sales manager for LaFarge in Malaysia.

    What do you have to offer? If your experience is limited to US housing, you have little value here, as the rest of the world builds things differently.

    I would say PM me, but you can't.

  8. #8
    Member slunky's Avatar
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    Hi...thanx for the info. I've worked on concrete highrise buildings here in Canada and timber frame house construction, I really don't have one particular area of expertise, more a well rounded body of experience. In concrete construction, I've done form work, fire stop caulking, steel stud framing, hanging gyprock, finish carpentry. Most of my experience has been with home building and renovations though. I have a friend who built North American timber frame homes about 7 years ago in Korea, but those contacts are null and void now. Presently, I'm working with said friend installing exterior wood trim and Hardi siding and last year I did a couple large house renovations. One was guted to the shell. Well, I don't know if this helps me at all. If you need more info let me know. Thanx again

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    I would say that your best bet is to either renovate old places and sell them to expats (we don't worry about ghosts) or start your own building company and do smallish projects. The main problem you will have is finding decent staff, as most Thais at the bottom of the ladder (ie - in the building game) are on par with monkeys.

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