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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 08-08-2010, 05:16 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by glennb6 View Post
1. Most houses I've seen and reviewed in the threads involve pilings driven multiple meters into the ground and the house then build a few meters up on them. Now I'm used to seeing houses here built upon concrete slabs. So... if you want a one story house on ground level why not compact/raise and compact the ground and pour a supporting slab for the ground floor ?
Rainy season. Year after year...
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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And cooler. Lots cooler.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:36 PM   #28 (permalink)
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and a lot of shadow!
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Old 18-08-2010, 06:21 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Well its been a while, and with no further plans to show you yet, of the changes we made i might as well start with the build.

First we need a builder, now we dont have a picture (as he is a modest man) but we do have his abode for this build:



Very comfortable, in fairness the builder lives 800 meters down the road but he was worried about the wood being stolen, so he has stayed every night on his own.



Ok, so we must mark out the buildings position on the land. We had a hard decision to make which was to shorten the building width ways so to give us a meter + either side for one storey building. The roof will also have a drain on the left side as this is under a government water drain that parallels the land.

you can see the drop off on the picture above and this will be used to give a viewing point to the mountain and the lit Doi suthep at night. I am holding my breath but also trying to get out neighbor to put a tall tree in front of the water tower in front to hide more of it from view.



Holes must be dug and poured with rebar, this section is on the lower tier not infilled which is why there are a lot of rocks as it is much harder then on top.



You need some serious machinery to dig holes, always start from one end so that you can work backwards otherwise you get stuck....

Both concrete, gravel and sand have arrived from supplier 1.5 km away. Its nice to be local and then supplies are on time and not to far if you need some more.



Lastly leave a mess that the local dog can admire from his sand castle and then your done, awaiting the rebar team to do their stuff!
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Old 21-08-2010, 08:32 AM   #30 (permalink)
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this should be good, what plans do you have for the aged wood??? sanding,staining and if so what kind of treatment are you going to use??
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:53 AM   #31 (permalink)
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so where are we at?



We must build the house thats where we are!

So holes dug about 1.20 meter down and then at the bottom we must use rebar to connect the upright metal for the column.



The builder said he normally uses 4 by 4 square but for our house he wanted to use 5 by 5, im not quite sure why he thought it might need extra steel but it went in quick and without problem.



This makes the connection as i said for the upright it is concreted and then prepared to be shuttered for the full pour.



So here is the shuttering this is ready formed with big bolts to clasp the wood tight and make a good seal. What you cant see is that the rebar has been bent outward at the top, to fit the wide shape at the top.



So then we are left with concrete pillar columns, i forgot to mention the metal flanges for the bolting the wood poles to the concrete. These were bought originally from the yard we got all our materials, but the builder insisted he make them from straight metal pieces. I think the guy wanted to craft everything himself, he was a real professional craftsman and i would highly recommend him to anyone in Chiangmai.

He stayed alone in the hut whilst all the other builders arrived by motor cycle as and when they were needed. For the concrete we had young guys and gals, and for the next part we were mostly running on the old fellows and their time built skills.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:58 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Here are the 6 pillar columns on the lower ground, where the ground is harder and rocky. This will be an extension from the original house we bought, and might not be added straight away. This will be an outside under roof kitchen dining area, and also hold part of the master bathroom atop on the far side.

We also hope that this will continue to lower levels of secret gardens and rooms to the rest of the 500 sqm behind the house.



One more look down the land toward the front. all filled in and ready to go for the wood poles.

So what now?

We must think about, wood poles and the roof tiles.


Here you can see some wood poles numbered out to post location, these are mai daeng poles, though we have a mixture of teak, and mai daeng. All poles are reclaimed and generally are 5-6 meters long.

At first we thought that we were going to buy wood tiles cut down from mai daeng wood, you need about 55 shingles per square meter at a cost of 7-8 badt each depending on quality.

But when we thought about it we were concerned by the price and the longevity of the roof. It seems that the cost would be about 120,000 badt and we would be lucky to get 15-20 years use from it. Although this is a long time, and can be redone we were thinking about clay when we saw a roof on the way to the hot springs.

To cut a long story short, we decided against clay tiles and opted instead for concrete tiles instead. They are stronger then clay, so less likely to break in storms and about half the price too. When they are up they look just as good as clay and you can paint them too, however we are just sticking with the natural grey. The other most important thing about the roof is its going to be framed by wood rather than metal. This will make the cost of the house go up, but i thinks its worth it when we will look up.


here are some painted concrete tiles, the cost of these will be about 75,000 in total.

some edge tiles for the runner truss ends, this one being the end tile which is why the shape to run off water.



Concrete top edge end run tile. you can see the measurements and price, as well as the weight.

Because of the weight of the concrete tiles and the added weight when it rains, the truss's needed to be braced better. As we were using wood and not metal, we had to be careful as the roof is very big, so it didnt collapse the building.

So here is the first look at the building, unfortunately, none of the building with just wood poles. As they went up very fast!!!!!!!



good night.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:08 AM   #33 (permalink)
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right, where are we?

Inbetween the madness of the build we had a slight problem with water!

The person who we bought the land off, would also provide electric and water (by way of a well).
This was about 50 meters away from where the house will be, right by the entrance corner of the land. It seemed that practical sense went out of the window when they decided to locate well and also how to indeed dig down. When we got back from buying the house, we were told that the water had dried up????

Dried up i say we are 500 meters from the ping, and in rainy season.
It hasnt dried up!
Oh no not dried up, your neighbour has been taking it, said the previous land owner.

Puzzled and annoyed by the seller, we decided to get a new well dug by the kitchen and bathroom further down the plot. The guys who came round said it would be about 27 meters at 300 badt a meter. i said yes!

So, after realising that they picked the hardest place to dig it, and were manually digging it, rather then being ready the next day. It took 2 days, but the were in good spirits and seemed happy for me to ask questions why they took turns to attack the ground.




Anyway finished product, thats the deep water well the seller bought for us(thats right bought for us) but then he made such a cock up of the first well, maybe thats why?

Though to be fair we are buying more land off of him soon, so i will deduct the 8000 badt off that.






We dont need safety here just balance whilst building, its taught in building school, the almost magical ability to hover and work. Amazing!!!

right now some flooding,

This was in the heavy rainfall where most of Thailand was besieged by water well this is the lower tier of land that which will have a raised decking across most of the area for garden sala and general lazy activities. Its good to see a scenario like this so as to make assurances against any real damage in the future. It was drained away within 4 hours of rain stopping. These are the poles for the outside kitchen and dining area looking over to Doi Suthep.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Looking to the front from the middle of the house, the blue shirted man in the builder, the master craftsman. In this picture you can see some boys digging out the trench for the concrete for the front porch/sala/stairway.



Looking up through the many different woods, you can see the frame for the roof has been put on. This was a decision we made, which has cost us a lot of money in respect to the rest of the build, but i think will pay off when you look up and see wood instead of metal. More to come of that!

one more!

and finally for the roof:



Over this period i was itching to get the tiles on because it rained continuously for about 2 weeks. So future note for building wood house, try to not do it slap bang in rainy season,a little either side might be better.

Right back to the front and what those boys were doing:



Its going to be a big hamster run for my sons hamster, of course!!!???

No this is the concrete supports for the front sala/stairs. This will house the wood beams and se will be poured with metal brackets tied in.

It seems the way, that for a job like this, it takes 3 people to work and another 2 people to watch and cajole the others into submission.



But these guys were Pro's and didnt flinch, they worked through the day to get it poured and to leave us with a nice new.......... base!

And would you believe it the sun has come out, absolutely fantastic!!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:32 AM   #35 (permalink)
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So i will leave you with a final tally of all those bits adding up to make a more complete house. Whilst this was going on they have also started the wall which for now will be a mixture of poured concrete, precast concrete and barb wire to keep every cow and his farmer companion out. This is only temporary and will be replaced for a complete bamboo wall housed in between the cast concrete and decorated.



The cost of the wall and the metal gate was about 35,000 badt

That was for concrete to pour the columns and metal framework.

Barbwire about 25 rolls of the stuff.

Bamboo lattice fencework.

A metal gate.

and labour.

so thats it for now more to come when i upload them, may thanks for the comments and views.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:38 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
This was a decision we made, which has cost us a lot of money in respect to the rest of the build, but i think will pay off when you look up and see wood instead of metal
true, the wood beams and structure look much better than metal

as long as you are certain that your wooden structure is strong enough to support the ton of cement tiles!
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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as long as you are certain that your wooden structure is strong enough to support the ton of cement tiles!
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:40 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I hope we will have no jokes about Ben's last thoughts

what was the last thing to go through Bens mind when his roof collapsed?

a ton of tiles
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:47 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Hi Ben its looking good, however, i would pay extra attention to
the circled area in the pic,it looks like an under purlin is being nailed into the sides of the columns.
the load of the roof is the red arrows and the yellow arrows show the direction the nails will be pulled out when the full load of the roof is applied.




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Old 10-09-2010, 02:42 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Its bolted, as all joins are on the house that are taking the loads. The house should be in good hands the builders work is amazing, ive seen a few houses, very expensive on the Ping river and they seem to be doing alright(none of these i dont think with concrete tiles).

We also have an architect, and we have discussed all the issues and this was one of them.

Originally we were going to have clay, then we moved to concrete board as it was cheap, then we came to a compromise of concrete tiles.

Each one weighs 1.2 kg and there are 43 per square meter.

Obviously as mentioned they soak in water and weigh more when wet, pitch and drainage is important here.

But i discussed bracing the truss, with the architect, so this has been done towards all the middle sections so that all the the top three truss posts are connected.

Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions, all help is great.

I will check the point you made about the weight on the outer edges, but noone is living there for a reasonable time so we shall see from a safe distance what happens.

If it falls down builder is responsible for any mistakes made.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:58 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Here you can see the rafters attached, the main roof space is 160 sqm which totals about 50,000 badt for tiles needed et al.



Here you can see the sala being built up, and the whole house starts to form shape.



here are the bases for the sala the wood and the design here is pinnacle, this has been left up to the builder to come up with based on some drawings.



Naga design based on snakes.
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Old 13-09-2010, 10:27 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Was riding around my neighbourhood recently and had a look at new house nearby.
Typical khmer masonry base about 3.6 high and a timber frame on the slab.
External cladding vertical boards and battens,roof is clay tile.
Some timber second hand,price for ten by sixteen-160sq meters by two floors.equals $62 a sq metre.
But minmal plumbing and electrcal,no ceilings or internal linings-very basic but cheap and not bad quality at all.
Some good hardwoods in the house.
i have looked at a house for removal here,thought about putting one or two on our block on the bassac river.
Quite big,1959 model,some timber rotting outside,lovely cupboards and sliding timber security doors.
He wanted 3k to buy it I estimated to rebuild fifty ks away with new roof tiles and some timbers and plumbing and elec-another 8k.
Not bad is it?
The killer was when my missus went out the back and they had a new house almost identical to the old one!
They lived on highway one to vietnam and the major road widening meant that they had to move back.
Anyway the wife liked the new one that had cost 30k and needed another ten k to finish.
End of deal.
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Old 23-10-2010, 09:43 AM   #43 (permalink)
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This is a great thread and I would be interested to know more details since I will be looking to build a similar project very soon in the Udon Thani area. The house is looking good so far and finding a builder is 60% of the battle. Thanks for all the great pics and progress notes.
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Old 23-10-2010, 07:12 PM   #44 (permalink)
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All looks good,but concrete tiles would not have been my choice.
They age quickly and absorb water within a few years and they are bloody heavy.
Metal roofs with anticon insulation beneath are much more practical.
Much less weight and much cooler.metal gives off heat very quickly unlike clay or cement tiles.
Build looks very professional however,well done.
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Old 25-10-2010, 08:28 PM   #45 (permalink)
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nice one

Hi Ben love what you are doing. I have been planning to build something very similar now for 2 years. Its refreshing to see a new house that's not a concrete box. I will be following this thread with interest and a touch of jealousy. I will be doing the same as soon as the dammed exchange rate picks up. Chok Dee with the rest of your construction.
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Old 29-10-2010, 09:26 PM   #46 (permalink)
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One more thing could you post the websites your wife found regarding timber brokers.
Its ok if there in Thai.
Thanks B.D
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Old 31-10-2010, 10:44 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
This is a great thread and I would be interested to know more details since I will be looking to build a similar project very soon in the Udon Thani area. The house is looking good so far and finding a builder is 60% of the battle. Thanks for all the great pics and progress notes.

The first builders we had came from 200km away, but they were very demanding and we got rid of them. A tricky situation but a gut feeling that has probably saved us loads!
Our builder is local (800m) and he is one of the nicest guys ive met, a true professional and an amazing craftsman. Builder is probably 70% of the struggles you'll have with building so having someone who can sympathise with your needs and budget is important.
We got our Teak wood from a house in Phrae, Its a place i would recommend as a starting point. Northern provinces have de constructed wood houses for sale in lumbar yards and these can prove to very good as well.

Get your plan, and then find your posts and you cant go far wrong.

Cheers
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Old 31-10-2010, 10:57 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cambtek View Post
All looks good,but concrete tiles would not have been my choice.
They age quickly and absorb water within a few years and they are bloody heavy.
Metal roofs with anticon insulation beneath are much more practical.
Much less weight and much cooler.metal gives off heat very quickly unlike clay or cement tiles.
Build looks very professional however,well done.
I understand your points there is always a compromise in anything you do, pragmatically speaking you're right and metal roofs are far cheaper and release heat quicker.....BUT!
They look horrible, full stop! and we wanted something of beauty, unfortunately clay tiles were too costly, however the concrete tiles look striking from a distance and have a subtle character and charm.

Concrete is heavy and when wet even heavier, but they dont break like clay tiles do. If well maintained they should last a long time. The tiles can discolour but we wanted something that would blend and age with the wood house. Paint and maintenance can solve all the above issues.
We wanted to have an open roof so timbers and roof could be viewed so personally I wouldn't have used anything else.

We did look at shingle, if as the roof got old we would replace for shingle, but im Happy with what we have.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 31-10-2010, 11:06 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bankao dreamer View Post
Hi Ben love what you are doing. I have been planning to build something very similar now for 2 years. Its refreshing to see a new house that's not a concrete box. I will be following this thread with interest and a touch of jealousy. I will be doing the same as soon as the dammed exchange rate picks up. Chok Dee with the rest of your construction.
We did all our building whilst the Exchange rate has been low, at points 46 Badt to the pound?"?$!!!!!
It still has worked out cheap, but as we are know 3/4 of the way through, with a better exchange we would have been completed. But thats just how is it!

We have been lucky in other ways, a great labourer and finding very good wood, if you wait too long there might not be a lot left.

I think that there is no real reason for not building in wood, its far more satisfying and can still be made into a modern home with a bit of thought. We are actually going the other way and are trying to create a more traditional lanna look inside and out. The house has some modern twists but at the heart of it, it is very traditional to Chiangmai style and Lanna.

MAny thanks for your comments and i hope you get building soon. cheers!
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Old 31-10-2010, 11:10 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Looking good ben and some of that woodwork looks very good. As mentioned get a decent civil engineer to check the roof loading just to be sure.

Great thread and I reckon your house will be magic when it is finished.

Keep us up to date with plenty of pictures mate.
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