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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 12-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by billg View Post
Do you have any plans for insulation in the house to prevent heat build up??
The walls will be QCon blocks which are meant to have insulating properties, we will have foil under the tiles on the roof and I believe building up off the ground should help as well. Hopefully I will arrive in Thailand before its too late to install some sort of fibre in the ceiling as well, at this point in time she who rules is a bit reluctant as it means spending some "extra" money, so if it gets installed I know where the extra will come from.

At this stage we only intend to have 2 air conditioners, 1 in the main bedroom (for me) and one in one of the other bedrooms mainly in case we have farang friends over for a visit.

Work has started again and here's the latest progress.











to be continued.....
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Old 23-05-2010, 03:30 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Well its been a while but things have started moving again. Had a couple of problems the first one was with the computer (hers) getting a virus so had to go to the hospital for a reconstruct.

The second was surrounding the steel bar used for reinforcing. The wife had her engineer come around and do a check on the progress and he wasn't happy that the builder had used different steel bar to reinforce the beams to what was designated on the plans. The way this is handled was part of the reason for this whole thread in that its Thai building for Thai, so I wondered how it would progress as the missus was not happy.

From my understanding the correct diameter bar was used, I had asked the wife to get the builder to show her what was on the plan and what he was using, however it appears that there is more than one type of steel bar. I'm not exactly sure how to describe the difference except to say that what I can rebar has thread type raised sections and the other is just smooth round bar. The raised bits help fix the bar in the concrete whereas the round bar can more easily pull through the concrete. They may also have differing Young's Modulus's which is a measure of their stiffness but I am not sure without being there to check with the Engineer and it gets lost in translation if I try to ask from here.

Anyway she stopped any further work from being done and had her Engineer check whether he thought the steel used would be OK or not. He thought it was not really suitable and made some suggestion about filling in the bottom section of the house. That is, brick in under the floor beams and fill beneath the floor which would probably stiffen the whole stucture. In my opinion that wouldn't do anything unless the fill was very well compacted before laying the floor on top. So she went around and spoke to as many of the local "builders" she could find and most came and inspected the job. The consensus was that the steel that had been used would do the job so rather than knock it all down and start again we are going ahead as it is. She has instructed the builder that he must follow and use what is on the plan. When I asked why would he do what he did, she reckoned it must be cheaper as she knows no other reason. So I suppose in the end he gets away with it but I hope with some understanding that its not acceptable. I know when I finally get ther in a couple of months I will want to discuss it with him.

So if one day you read in the news that a house has collapsed on a farangs head you willl know who and why.

Some photos that show the different steel used.

This one shows plain smooth round bar


This one shows rebar (raised thread) in the bottom centre. Not sure if this was there before or whether it has been added afterward to increase the strength (I hope so).


This shows a corner with a mixture of steel bar types


Just plain smooth bar



Looking north from the south western corner


Looking north east


Looking east with the shed on the right. Shows how far its set back from the road in front.


This is looking south at the kitchen verandah end. When I asked the missus about why the round pole was so white, she said it was because that had put some makeup on it to make it look pretty. Apparently they had added some colouring (makeup) to the concrete.



Looking south at the carport


I have been a bit worried about how high the roof beams are because I had only asked for rooms to have 2.4m ceilings. However I have been informed that the roof sits down over the beams and that the internal ceiling of the rooms will indeed be 2.4m high. Unfortunately I haven't seen a cross section plan through the centre of the house.

She told me today that the locals reckon she's building a factory because its so big. Maybe because its a large floor space on only one floor that makes it appear spread out.

thats it for today hopefully some more photos tonight.
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Old 24-05-2010, 03:03 PM   #53 (permalink)
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More photos have arrived.

The form work has been removed from around the roof beams but not from the bottom yet. It was nice for me to see that all the mounds of dirt have been levelled before they put the floor in so now I will be able to crawl around under there better if I have to.











This final photo shows the steel being painted for the roof. The wife asked me about the difference between spray painting the primer on (which they are doing) and using a brush? My thoughts are that unless they are using a thinning agent to make it flow easier when using a spray there should be no difference. If they are using some form of thinner then they should put more coats on. Can anyone offer some advice from experience it would be appreciated.



Until next time......
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Old 30-05-2010, 08:45 PM   #54 (permalink)
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it's looking good so far joined in a little late on this one, as for the primer not sure if it would make a difference just make sure they primer the welds as they need it the most..maybe ask the misses if she can scratch it off with her finger nail if soo i would say he cutting corners (again) If the rebar and round stock is a big price difference deduct it from the final cost or tell him you will if he doesn't follow the plan's as they are....just a thought, It must be hard to build a house and not be there..It does seem that your wife has a good head on her shoulder though.. good luck

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Old 31-05-2010, 04:06 PM   #55 (permalink)
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justincase 13
thanks for the reply regarding the primer, I'll remember the idea of using the fingernail but I won't ask the missus to do it, at the moment the only thing she'd use them for is to scratch me a little or even a lot. In the end she asked several people their opinions and the consensus was 50/50 each way so she reckons it will be OK.

Anyway here's some more photo's things are moving along slowly which is OK by me as I should be over there before its finished and its the attention to the final detail that makes it a good compared to an ordinary outcome.

Looking north across bedroom 3 and the kitchen to the verandah


The floors are in for the bathrooms


The steel is going onto the roof


The carport


Starting to take shape


Looking quite large, blocks out the water tower


When I seen this I thought maybe they have forgotten a drain hole. I thought that there should be 4. One for the shower, one for the handbasin, one for the toilet and one for the floor. So I asked the project manager (missus) about it and politely got told that if I wanted to be in control of everything then I had better get my arse over there on the next plane or leave it to her. As I don't speak either Thai or "women" I left it at that. I know (hope?) she will ask the builder.



until next time......
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Old 31-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ootai
As I don't speak either Thai or "women" I left it at that.
Thai is easy. Womanese an impossible language to learn.

She's doing a good job by the looks of the house so suggest you let her keep things sorted on site.
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Old 31-05-2010, 04:29 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ootai
As I don't speak either Thai or "women" I left it at that. I know (hope?) she will ask the builder.
You will win either way: if there is a f-up you can say "I told you so" and if there isn't you can claim that you trusted her judgement on the matter. It's the weasel way!
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Old 31-05-2010, 06:06 PM   #58 (permalink)
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"I told you so"
In my house, these words are never uttered. I avoid even thinking it having learned the consequences of such a foolish act.
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Old 31-05-2010, 06:19 PM   #59 (permalink)
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In my house, these words are never uttered. I avoid even thinking it having learned the consequences of such a foolish act.
I like to live dangerously!
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:26 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Wonderful thread. Learned a lot, Ootai. Which just makes me think I know so little.

As for the new tree you were wondering about, I think it's a poi vinan chorai.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Norton, Slackula
I try very hard not to say "I told you so" instead I usually go with this "Do you remember we discussed this a while ago" still very dangerous but what the hell.
If we didn't like to live dangerously we would never have gotten entwined in Thailand would we?

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If you are willing to admit that there is much that you don't know then you are miles ahead of many others because you are showing that you are willing to be taught or learn. The most dangerous are those that either don't know that they don't know or those are unwilling to learn. Most of what we have used in preparing to build and now building our house was picked up from this forum and others like it such as CTH & TV
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:41 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Ootai that was a good story mate. i too let my wife look after the building of our house in Sampran as I was working in Australia also at the time. There are a couple of things that I would change if I did it again but in the main she did a very good job. I didnt want so many toilets for one but she got her way with that...one in every bedroom one. As it was if the builder digressed from our main plan she made him put it down or off and do it again....and of course held off payment till we were satisfied. Thanks again for your story mate I enjoyed it and am pleased that it worked out well for you also.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:31 PM   #63 (permalink)
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If you are willing to admit that there is much that you don't know then you are miles ahead of many others because you are showing that you are willing to be taught or learn.
So true! Sometimes, I have been pleased with screaming NO, and yet often I wish that I had kept my mouth shut. Thin line...

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Old 10-06-2010, 03:54 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Really enjoying this thread, thank you
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:37 PM   #65 (permalink)
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ossierob, hillbilly and Bower - thanks for the comments

As for my last post about the missing drainhole, well I got my come uppance there. The feedback was “what are you trying to do make me look stupid? Lucky I (her)went and had a look first before I ask the builder, there are four holes there, can’t you count?” I thought for moment about bringing up the fact that looking at a photo and being there make it a little different but I thought nah let it slide.

Things have been a bit slow lately, apparently its been raining a bit so no work. I should point out that the builder only has a few guys working for him, I’ll have to remember to ask how many. Turns out that while the wife gets along OK with the builder (not on site most of the time but comes and checks every day) she does have a bit of a problem with the “foreman” who is there all the time. She pointed out to him that she thought the steel work on the roof was not straight and aligned very well and he got I bit put out so her response to him was well next time I’ll say nothing and then when you have finished get you to pull it down again and do it straight. Her words to me were doesn’t he understand that I was trying to help?

An update on the saga regarding the steel used by the builder that never matched the plan they spent some time together at the lawyers yesterday and signed up a document that they both agreed to and signed. Not sure exactly but it involved an extension to the guarantee and for her to retain a small amount (2% ?) of the build cost for the period of the extended guarantee. I agreed with her in that its not about the money its about him understanding that he agreed to build what is set out in the plans. I think she was very happy with her lawyer, must have been the aussie hat she bought back for him last time she was over (april).

There has been some progress. The roof steel work has been completed, the welding which in my opinion leaves a bit to be desired will be inspected by her “checker”. IU was happy to see that they had at least painted the welds. Turns out that the builder didn’t order the tiles earlier enough and is now waiting on their delivery. I see they have started putting in some props to support the floor slabs but I think he plans to put the tile on first.
Anyway here’s a few photos.




























till next time...............
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:31 AM   #66 (permalink)
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ootai that welding really looks a bit iffy blobs of weld everywherealso the steel could of been better cut to get the edges to butt better and make for better welding.

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Old 11-06-2010, 04:01 PM   #67 (permalink)
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ootai that welding really looks a bit iffy blobs of weld everywherealso the steel could of been better cut to get the edges to butt better and make for better welding.

scotty
I couldn't agree with you more and as I said in the post
"The roof steel work has been completed, the welding which in my opinion leaves a bit to be desired will be inspected by her “checker”. I was happy to see that they had at least painted the welds."

I spoke with her about it when she sent through the photos and she told me that she has an independent guy who she has told me she will get to inspect the job. I try hard not to be pushy otherwise I won't get to see anything until I get there in a couple of months. I will wait for the outcome and in the end there's probably nothing I can do about if she decides its OK. I think the problem is the "jack of all trades" that are used. Also I don't know about the costs etc associated with a MIG welder in Thailand but that's what they need on the light steel they use.

I just think that the majority of Thais try to avoid conflict and the others take advantage of them.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:09 AM   #68 (permalink)
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I just think that the majority of Thais try to avoid conflict and the others take advantage of them. ootai is offline Add to ootai's Reputation Report Post Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
I had some small issues on my Sarapi thread and found that you need to be firm and keep smiling when thee are problems - though mine were only small issues.

If you don't smile they think you are being aggressive and thus have an automatic right to ignore you. If you smile and make your point then walk away , they correct and are able not to lose face. Took me some time to realise that and even longer to actually deal with it their way and not the wetern way. But it works.
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Old 15-06-2010, 09:48 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Ootai , and others who have posted on this tread, thank you all for a wonderful thread, very informative, civilized and entertaining, a pleasure to read!
I am married to a wonderful Thai girl, we travel back and forth from the USA to Thailand but mostly live in Florida for the time, we own land in Khon Kaen and plan to build there with in the next year, and eventually move there.
I Have being following your thread as a non- member of this forum, with great interest, and a little, guilt for not contributing. Seeing the welds on the roof steel, prompted me to finally join The Teak Door forum so at o offer some advice. First let me post some my qualifications, I am a union Carpenter with local 926 in New York, specializing in concrete form construction. I hold several licenses, and is currently working as a Site Safety Manager. First let me say that I have only seen pictures of the welds ( some one at the site can make a better assessment) , but from the pictures it looks to me that they have not welded the beams, rather they have tack them together. That in my part of the world is totally unacceptable. Also what I see is that some are tacked only on the bottom, allowing the tack to easily separate if a downward or a torsion force is applied .If you have not done so already, I would have some one with expertise in the subject inspect the so called weld.
Having said that, please let me qualify my opinion to one who has only seen some pictures.
Any way, you are doing a great job, keep up the good work, looking with great anticipation to the rest of your building adventure.
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Old 15-06-2010, 09:59 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Buckaroo, in Thai construction it is normal to tack weld the lot then weld it properly afterwards, your jumping the gun a bit putting your new york values into Thailand, thai worker $5 perday, New york worker a slight bit more so time really don't matter in Thailand.
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Old 15-06-2010, 11:24 PM   #71 (permalink)
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You are probably right Dirty Dog, that is why I qualified my whole observation.
I follow this, and other forums reading about variety of subjects and point of views trying to get an inside on the prevailing attitudes in Thailand.
One thing I know is structural integrity, and in my opinion (and from my perspective) these welds dont look structurally sound, and I would think that at $5 per day, it might be a good idea to spend an extra day doing a better job.
Again I want to stress that my assessment is one of limited information and with out the context of the whole structure.If with in the context of the whole roof trust structure , these weld are structurally adequate , then fine.if not , then I think a closer look is warranted.
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Old 16-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I have no idea why they do it that way, 100 pieces of steel just tack welded and then they are all walking on it thinking it's safe, then they weld it properly, lucky they only weigh around 60 kilos I suppose, pretty sure if Thai's were on the large side there would be a hell of a lot of accidents whilst they were doing roofs in Thailand.
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Old 16-06-2010, 02:15 PM   #73 (permalink)
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I have no idea why they do it that way
Easier to fix all the "oops, that don't fit quite right" bits before you finish all the welds.
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Old 16-06-2010, 02:33 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Buckaroo, in Thai construction it is normal to tack weld the lot then weld it properly afterwards, your jumping the gun a bit putting your new york values into Thailand, thai worker $5 perday, New york worker a slight bit more so time really don't matter in Thailand.
Yes, but you do the final welds before painting it..

The sad truth is that most of these building workers can't make a proper welding, they are mostly using to high current (it's easier to start up the electrode..) thereby burning through the material.
Neither do they have a choice of electrode size, my well assorted hardware shop is selling two sizes which they call medium and big

I haven't welded for the last 35 years but I am sure I can still beat any of them building workers when it comes to welding.
The only exception is the blacksmith workshops and they are the ones I hire if I need to get something welded, they have modern equipment and have the experience to do it properly.
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Old 16-06-2010, 03:36 PM   #75 (permalink)
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gentlemen
regarding the welding I couldn't agree more with what you all are saying and I can't understand at all why it is so. It is my understanding that what you can see in the photos is the finished product. As soon as I seen it (and being here in Oz means all I have is the photos) I asked her to get someone to check it for her. Remember at the start of this thread I did say I was trying to present how a build would go when done by Thais with a Thai (my missus) in charge. She has informed that her "metal" man (who knows what his qualifications are) has inspected the job and told her it is not good enough (really?). So she has spoken to her builder and told him they need to come back and do a better job of fixing it.

I don't want to push the issue too hard as then I won't get any pictures at all. I am, after 10 years of being married to a Thai (whom I trust 100% and know is smarter than the average bear) and being involved in all the dealings that occur amongst them, I never worry too much about anything. As is stated on here quite often if you let it get to you it will do your head in. I'll smile and leave it up to her, maybe my head will be done in when it falls down on it, if it does hopefully its while I'm asleep.

I honestly believe that we farangs are as much too blame as the Thais as we come along and expect them to build things beyond their norm. If we stuck to timber and light weight roofing material with spans of 3m we would never have a problem. I wanted to use load bearing block walls and steel trusses to get 6m spans to give open living areas but gave it up as too risky. I tried to get my missus to agree to use light weight colourbond roofing but she reckoned it looked cheap and ugly. I tried to tell her we were talking about the roof not me, but anyhow bloody heavy concrete tiles it is.

While I'm on about the tiles. I found out that as part of what the builder gets when he purchases the tiles from ??? (can't remember the brand Cotto?) he gets free lessons for his guys in how to put them up/on. I should point out that as far as I understand the builder (only on site for short periods) has a "supervisor" and 2 or 3 others doing all the work. As a consequence they are the normal Thai "jack of all trades". In the end they probably do the best they can and its not me they have to satisfy but the wife. I can only hopefully provide some guidance.

Anyway thanks for the comments thats what helps others learn about this sh*t.
As I said in another post most people just grow old and retire gracefully but I'm going to retire in Thailand.
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