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  1. #1
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    Advice before building please

    Plan to start building a small house 52sqm later this year outside KK, and have some questions:

    I have a lease agreement with permit from owner to build and occupy a house on that land. The land has a Chanote. Are building approval/permit needed?

    I dislike those inside columns/pilars seen in every room - do local Thai builders know how to build bearing walls?

    Do anyone have illustration picture of a bearing wall being built, so I can show builders?

    If above not possible, Prefab columns/pilars - or made on site? What is recommended?

    Gypsum ceiling - have seen some bad example of this out in the sticks. Anyone who have illustration pics of this being made?

    Lastly, any recommended building team that take small jobs 50 kms south west of KK after Songkran?

    Sorry if these questions have been asked before.
    (Still reading this forum and taking notes)

  2. #2
    Sprayed On Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xray
    after Songkran?
    Not sure about the other questions but you've got the right idea to do it after songkran. When we were building the bar in Bangkok we let all the builders take the songkran holiday and the bastards never came back.

  3. #3
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    I too hate to see the columns - pillars inside, I would forget trying to get them to build load bearing walls, unless you want a load of agravation! also what would you use? the bricks have no strength.
    What I did in my current house was put double walls in to hide the pillars, which also helps with insulation and is relatively cheap.

  4. #4
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    sounds like you need to go to a different country.

  5. #5
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    Possible example

    Dear X RAY, This is a photo of a small near 50 square metre typical thai structure. On the outside once it is rendered it will have an even finish. If you follow Airporttwo's advice, use two skins of the red brick (common in most economic building materials) it will look an even smooth finish once it is rendered from the inside. Possible use the wonder block, which has great insulation properties. It is possible to free span up to 8 metres, if you use a steel roof with a bridge beam, (as seen in this photo). You could use the demensions of a 8 metre long, 7 metre wide basic home design. 7 metre width will give you a single room of approximately 4 metre by 3.5 room which can contain a small ensuite. Allowing you room for 3 other areas of similar square metres to have whatever.

    You can span with steel to whatever, but the steel roof design is too expensive.
    Keep it simple for the builder, as he has built these typical designs all his life.

    The builder will go to the local Amphur and lodge the design at that point and be permitted to build that design.

    Without load bearing walls is not a bad thing. Allows open plan living and can gives you a very big look inside with only a small area to work with. The wonder blocks are best for internal walls. Allows internal wiring to be simple as with water piping that will be a blue poly pipe to look at. You don't want any of these attached to the outside of walls, it takes away that industrial look. With the small red brick they will grind out any cavities for these purposes.

    The gyprock ceilings can have a insulation paper which is on the other side of this material. Although helpful, it does not give you the best possible result. Batts in the ceiling with at least a 3 rating will be more helpfull. Typical roofs are tiled, and few have whirlybirds to release the hot air. So some type of horizontal venting to the roof cavity will be very helpful. Like vents at the ends of the roof, that move air horizontally. The roof in this picture will allow the vents to be installed and give protection from the rain. Gable vents.



    Concrete, steel, gyprock ceiling, insulation batts, roof tiles, porcelain tiles with block walls, timber framed windows that push out with fly screens all round should give you a very economical and practical project that the builder will have no trouble in completing.

    Hope this gives you some scope and information for your consideration.
    I will not ask anything about your agreement with the holder of the Chanotte.

  6. #6
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    Correct - you don't need internal posts nor load bearing walls. Make you perimeter posts large enough 80 cm X 80 cm for example & then just span everything; as in the picture above.

    Comcentrate on good footings.

    Bangkok is built on wet clay so we have to worry about it.
    Barack Hussein Obama lying polecat. Libs Only Comply With Laws They Agree With.

  7. #7
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    You could use Thermalite blocks (known here as Superblocks I believe) with the same width as the columns. Once rendered columns disappear! Advantages include better sound and heat insulation and speedy construction process (I understand).

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    Be very careful with the contractors and how you pay them. I tutor a child whose father and mother are both high ranking Thai military, and both are very intelligent people. Their home is huge and beautiful but they hired a contractor to remodel and enlarge it, and build a granny cottage on their property. The contractor tore the house apart, did about 25% of the work (mostly poorly), overdrew his payments by 200,000 baht then abandoned the job. I've heard numerous stories of Farangs getting ripped off this way, but If this can happen to educated and elite Thais, how can you prevent it from happening to you? Incompetent and dishonest contractors are very common here and there appears to be no such thing as a completion bond, as you would likely have in the west.

  9. #9
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rondothai
    You could use Thermalite blocks (known here as Superblocks I believe) with the same width as the columns. Once rendered columns disappear! Advantages include better sound and heat insulation and speedy construction process (I understand).
    Yes. This is the method used. Can use any type of wall material, brick, concrete block, etc. Basically you have a double wall the width of the support columns. Does drive up the price though. Hard to tell but the pic Musty posted looks to be double brick wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xray
    Are building approval/permit needed?
    If it is in a small village likely no approvals needed for the small house but you need to check.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  10. #10
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    No one has mentioned steel beam and metal stud work. you can jib the inside walls and use brick / stone for the exterior.
    Or if you feeling earthy go for straw bale .. dirt cheap and great do it yourself potential.

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    Musty: thank you for the photo. See you use the red bricks, do that prolong building time a lot, compared to the larger grey bricks?

    Airportwo: Double wall is a good idea for hide the column. Thanks.

    Gypsum ceiling is my headache. Seen some horrible example where they used those 60x120cm plates and try make it look like gypsum.

    ** sssfqt: hope you see this. Do you know a good contractor near Khon Kaen? Please PM me details if you have.

    Architect and structual engineer in Pattaya area??
    Have called all architect listed on Yellow pages - not 1 answered the phone.

    About the Chanote - no worries. The house will be less than 300K, and we all know that rent/buy/build, it's always a big risk in Thailand.
    Keep the good ideas coming.

  12. #12
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    Gypsum, or drywall as well call it - comes in 4 ' x 8' sheets. It's fine for ceiling - unless it gets wet. If your roof leaks you will have a sodden mess on the floor. If your happy that your roof won't leak - fine use it. But they also sell 4 x 8 sheets of another product - quite thin, pretty ridgid. You can not go back & cut in lights etc but if it gets wet it won't fall down.

    Agree with the new metal studs for interior walls. A very new concept here. Superblocks certainly keep the place cooler (exterior walls).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airportwo View Post
    I What I did in my current house was put double walls in to hide the pillars, which also helps with insulation and is relatively cheap.
    I did similar. The insulating factor provided seems to have worked wonders not only reducing the heat on the inside but most definately for retarding the sound. At least when the windows are closed.

  14. #14
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xray
    Do you know a good contractor near Khon Kaen?
    Let me check with a builder I know. I believe he uses a company from Maha Sarakham. I've seen their work and they do a good job.

  15. #15
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    X Ray, have a look at the thread called, 'Building a house in Isaan for dummies'.
    Sabang has delivered a great thread for value building in Issaan.

    You will see where he has started by getting four quotes for the job. You will also see the contrasts in the quotes. If anyone can recommend someone here on Teakdoor, please follow up on their experience as usually they would not
    give you these details without having a good experience with that builder.

    I know it will be hard to find four of them. But you may get some help here.
    Sabang's builder is about 45 klms from Khon Kaen.

    With regards materials, get a quote with the different blocks or bricks. Depending on your preference. I do like the Super block. As stated in this thread, members will swear by it. I have not used it, so I can't say.


    Good luck

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTY
    Building a house in Isaan for dummies
    Good call Musty. Here's the link.

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

  17. #17
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    Thanks again Musty, I have got many ideas from that thread.

    Norton: Please PM me details if you get them.

    I am 50/50 :
    a) I buy all materials myself and pay contactor only for work. May save me lot of money, but I have to run around shopping. At least I get good standard materials.

    b) Contractor buy materials. Ease of mind for me, but contractor might pocket 20-30K bying sub standard materials. What did you gentlemen do ?

    You think too mutt, say my missus. She might be right, it's only 300K house.

    Checked out prices today. Superblocks 60x20cm looks interesting and I go for that.
    The improved heat and sound isolation is worth it.
    7,5cm thick was B17 and 15cm thick was B26.
    For 52 sqm house (quick estimate) that shoud be a total of 13K (7,5cm) or 16K (15cm).

  18. #18
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xray
    What did you gentlemen do ?
    Have done it both ways. A whole lot of problems can be avoided if you go to a single builder as the general contractor. A good builder will subcontract out to specialist contractors to do the drywall, windows, electrical, etc. The important thing is to make sure you have specifics in your contract regarding materials you want. In particular, roofing, flooring and fixtures. If you go with a general contractor any materials he buys will have a profit markup so yes materials will be more expensive but you will save headache of finding and getting materials to the site on time.

    In your case, I would let the general contractor buy cement, steel and basic structural materials. You can buy roof tiles, foor tiles, bathroom fixtures, electric components and hardware for doors to save a bit of money. Just make sure the stuff you buy is at the site when it is needed.

    Unless your Thai is good, trying to be your own general contractor will end in tears.
    Last edited by Norton; 18-01-2010 at 09:58 PM.

  19. #19
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    Rather than post a bunch of pictures here click on this:

    Construction pictures by dot888com - Photobucket

    Maybe give you some ideas.

  20. #20
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    I bought my own materials & paid for labor. Then I know I'm not getting gyped on substandard stuff.

    If you are going to hire one contractor to do all of it - then I suggest splitting the job into maybe 10 phases - he gets paid as each phase is completed. Correspondingly if you get sick of him you can fire him & you are not out some huge deposit.

    These guys are good at getting 95% done. Usually you have to get another crew to do the final fit & finish. If they say it will take 6 months - figure a year.

  21. #21
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    I have seen so many jobs where the owner is buying the materials and little do they know the builder has already made a percentage arrangment with the supplies shop, just let the builder buy the materials, he will get them cheaper than you can and pocket the difference, aint going to cost you anymore and the builder is happier with his income.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    I have seen so many jobs where the owner is buying the materials and little do they know the builder has already made a percentage arrangment with the supplies shop, just let the builder buy the materials, he will get them cheaper than you can and pocket the difference, aint going to cost you anymore and the builder is happier with his income.
    Disagree totally here, I think its best to check prices from local shops before you start the project. Then you can budget materials and know the prices before you buy. I would always ask the wife's relatives and my neighbors the price of items. Usually they are bang on and the local shops quote the same price if not avoid that shop. In my area I have yet to be quoted a special falang price. I like to pay the contractor by the job and unless it is big like my garage I only pay when the job is complete. If its a building I will pay after the structure is up then again once the roof is finished then again after the tile work is done.

    Be careful of the electrical and plumbing, most builders don't know how to do it properly and will leave you with ungrounded power outlets and plumbing that doesn't have traps so you get sewer smell in your home. Keep in mind they are usually working for Thais who only care about the job being done cheap.

    Also consider double skin on the blue plastic pipes that are exposed or under concrete otherwise they tend to become brittle from the elements.
    For the most honest and reliable taxi driver in Bangkok plz call Mr. Weerasat (Wee) 089-238-1918. He has an Izuz SUV and has been our neighbor and family friend for over 10 years.

  23. #23
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    The best advice is not to build a house which avoids all the problems of dealing with thais

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakeopete
    I think its best to check prices from local shops before you start the project.
    I should imagine that would be obvious to anybody, but who will get a better deal from a supplier, someone who is going to spend say 200,000baht once at a shop or a builder who spends several million baht per year at a shop?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakeopete View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    I have seen so many jobs where the owner is buying the materials and little do they know the builder has already made a percentage arrangment with the supplies shop, just let the builder buy the materials, he will get them cheaper than you can and pocket the difference, aint going to cost you anymore and the builder is happier with his income.
    Disagree totally here, I think its best to check prices from local shops before you start the project. Then you can budget materials and know the prices before you buy. I would always ask the wife's relatives and my neighbors the price of items. Usually they are bang on and the local shops quote the same price if not avoid that shop. In my area I have yet to be quoted a special falang price. I like to pay the contractor by the job and unless it is big like my garage I only pay when the job is complete. If its a building I will pay after the structure is up then again once the roof is finished then again after the tile work is done.
    If you go to some big stores like DoHome, there is no "falang" prices, they are usually 30 to 50% cheaper than your local hardware store, never heard of any complain about quality, and to keep everybody happy your contractor can get an extra discount when he shows some kind of professional identification.
    The things we regret most is the things we didn't do

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