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  1. #1
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    Buriram Builders

    My thai fiancee will be coming back over to the US with me Sep 15th after we finally got the visa for her. My plan is to retire...again as I am already retired once from Calif...in 4 years max and then build in Buriram in her village. Her family owns and farms quite a bit of rice land and her and her sister have about a 5 rai plot that is rented out to another farmer.

    What I would like to find is a very good builder in the Buriram area that I can consult with when we are visiting there concerning the best areas of land to build on, start planning our house, etc. So if anyone has the name and number of someone they have used in the area I'd appreciate it if they could pass it on to me. I have read many of the horror stories of how a lot of them skimp and not do everything quite the way you might like. So I am hoping to hook up with one that will listen to us and what we want and do it right. We will be visiting her family for about 4-5 days before we head back to the US on the 15th next month. She's pretty excited about coming here and I look forward to a great time taking her around.

    Another question. How do you finalize your house plans? I assume you use an architect in your area to do all the specs but since this will be a new venture for me, I'd appreciate any input from you experienced ones!! I have my ideas of what I want and the soon to be wife and I will be discussing floor plans, etc while she is here with me.

    I think this might be my first posting in here as for a few years I have just been reading other posts and enjoying all the trip pics others have posted. But now things are finally moving in the direction I want.

    Thanks for all your help in advance!!

  2. #2
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    I know this guy,he has built some nice house's,check out his site .....

    alanthebuilder.com
    Last edited by boloa; 08-08-2010 at 11:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Member Tomesarn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boloa View Post
    I know this guy,he has built some nice house's,check out his site .....

    alanthebuilder.com
    maybe he's managed building some houses but he doesn't answer email !!!

  4. #4
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    I'd be wary of someone who is too cheap to buy ads and would rather spam forums.

  5. #5
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    I would also be wary of retiring to Thailand and building a house in Buriram on my first day.

    I'd rent there for a while first. Like a year or two. Can probably rent an amazing pad for peanuts.

    This might put you in the doghouse for a while, but see just how tough they take it that you're not building them a house straight off the bat.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by boloa View Post
    I know this guy,he has built some nice house's,check out his site .....

    alanthebuilder.com
    avoid him
    like the plaque

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom View Post
    My plan is to retire...again as I am already retired once from Calif...in 4 years max and then build in Buriram in her village.
    I know a couple of great contractors. However, I would not send them to talk to you about something that may or may not happen 4 years from now.

    Not trying to rain on your parade but I think you need to slow the horses down just a bit...

  8. #8
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    First of all, I will not be building any house for the rest of her family, that's for sure. She understands I will not be an ATM for family!! I have made that very clear from the start.

    Second, my horses are not chomping at the bit to get out of the gate. I was just trying to get an idea of which plot might be best to build on, but....that can wait. Thanks for the input.

  9. #9
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom
    Buriram in her village
    Where in Buriram? Ampur?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom View Post
    First of all, I will not be building any house for the rest of her family, that's for sure.
    Well no, you'll be building a house on her or her family's land right?

    Her family will always come before her husband right, the same as most relationships the world over.

    Why not go for a traditional house, built from wood. There's a lot of companies with depots full of pre-fab built houses, you go take a look, choose what you want, then they come build it on her land.

    Any issues down the line, and it can be moved to anywhere you want.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairman Mao View Post
    I would also be wary of retiring to Thailand and building a house in Buriram on my first day.

    I'd rent there for a while first. Like a year or two. Can probably rent an amazing pad for peanuts.

    This might put you in the doghouse for a while, but see just how tough they take it that you're not building them a house straight off the bat.
    Agree. What would 20k a month get you; a very nice place. 15k would too. In fact, a 10k per month place would be a 3 bed detached house in half an acre... Why not rent and have a look around for a while...

  12. #12
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    Well, now, I have talked to her about talking to her sister about us buying her half of the farm they own. Although I have not lived in Thailand yet, I have been there a lot and I have read up a lot about the pitfalls, etc of building. I know I can't completely own the land but at this stage in my life I am not so concerned about that. I will talk to the appropriate people to make sure I am protected the best I possibly can be and, just like all of you that are married to Thai women and have built houses, etc, etc, etc, you wouldn't do it if you didn't have some faith in your spouse that they would not screw you over. But life is but a gamble anyway and you can never be absolutely sure about anything, only do the best you can to protect yourself. So maybe we would rent for a little while, maybe not. I am certainly not going to live in a room with no AC or hot water while a house is being built when that time comes. And during our visits back to see family I am sure we will be looking around the area a lot.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom
    Buriram in her village
    Where in Buriram? Ampur?
    Village 9, Krasang Subdistrict.

  14. #14
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom
    Village 9, Krasang Subdistrict.
    A bit to far for a very good builder here in Roiet so can't help you here.

    Some answers to your questions/concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom
    How do you finalize your house plans?
    The best way is to look around your area at houses that generally fit your desires. Find out from the owner who the builder was. He will have build plan/s. Ask the builder to show you other houses he has built. If you like the quality and general design of a particular house, then tell him modifications you would like and ask him to quote. A good builder will be able to incorporate changes into CAD drawings and can build from it. This is common approach here. Eliminates the cost of architect and as the builder has built similar before will reduce problems in meeting your expectations. Best if you can find at least 2 builders. 3 preferable.

    Build contract should be detail specific as possible. Best to identify everything by manufacturer and model. Roofing tiles, bathroom fixtures, flooring, paint, windows, doors and the like are important and will drive price. I recommend a turn key contract where the builder is responsible for sourcing and buying all materials. On paper, often appears having a labor only contract is cheaper but IMO, this is fraught with potential conflict with the builder. There may be a few items you can buy yourself but keep in mind if the material is not on site when the builder needs you are responsible. Unless you can be on site during the whole build period, a turn key contract with a proven builder is best.

    Regarding the land purchase, availability of infrastructure is important. Access via a proper road, electricity, phone line (internet), water supply and the like. If these do not exist as in many rural areas, your cost to obtain will be high. You mentioned purchase of rice land. Rice land typically has none of the infrastructure you need so suggest you purchase in village.

    Protecting your investment can be done via a 30 lease agreement. This will prevent the land being sold or mortgaged without your permission. All nice and legal like but rule of thumb is "never invest more money in Thailand than you can afford to walk away from".

    Using in laws for any sort of involvement in the build will end in tears. Naturally your wife needs to be involved in floor plan and design but once a build contract is in place unless she has knowledge of house construction even she should not be involved day to day during the build.

    Many of the assumption you have from US building practices do not apply but a good Thai builder will build you a great house.

    As Dorthy said to Toto, "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more".

    Good luck.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  15. #15
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    "never invest more money in Thailand than you can afford to walk away from".
    Read and repeat 10 times OP.

  16. #16
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    Good advice, Norton. Thanks. I do plan on looking at a couple homes built for farangs, one just completed for my fiancee's cousin in the what I call outer part of the village away from the village proper. I am going to look at the detail, how well it is constructed as best I can and find out who built them. But one thing is mostly two story homes and I want a one story so as I age I don't have to walk up the stairs all the time if it becomes difficult!!! But if we have to have some bedrooms on a second level, the master has to be on the bottom floor. While I don't plan on having problems getting up stairs for a long time, one never knows and I don't plan on moving around.

    Also, I figure when I part this life whatever money I have invested in Thailand will end up with the wife anyway and I have already accepted that and don't worry about it. I will do the best I can to provide something for my kids here in the states and that's just the way it is. I don't expect them to be trying to get anything out of what I might have in Thailand.

    Another question. If I had a floor plan of a one story home from the US can I assume that a good builder would have no problem adapting that in a CAD program to build something similar in Thailand?

  17. #17
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom
    I figure when I part this life whatever money I have invested in Thailand will end up with the wife anyway and I have already accepted that and don't worry about it.
    Keep in mind, you may outlive your wife. If this happens her family will inherit the property and you will have no claim to it. Strongly recommend you get a 30 year lease. Very easy to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naja Tom
    I want a one story so as I age I don't have to walk up the stairs all the time if it becomes difficult!!! But if we have to have some bedrooms on a second level, the master has to be on the bottom floor.
    My thinking as well when I built in Roiet. My place a 2br, 200 sq meter single level place. A friend built one (below) with near same floor plan but 3br.

    Last edited by Norton; 11-08-2010 at 09:20 AM.

  18. #18
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    Very nice Norts.

    About how much for a place like that? I lived about 40km from Roi Et before, and moving back to settle down in that part of the country is usually on my mind.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairman Mao View Post
    I would also be wary of retiring to Thailand and building a house in Buriram on my first day.

    I'd rent there for a while first. Like a year or two. Can probably rent an amazing pad for peanuts.

    This might put you in the doghouse for a while, but see just how tough they take it that you're not building them a house straight off the bat.

    Excellent advice, but it will probably be ignored.

  20. #20
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Master Cool
    About how much for a place like that?
    Believe it was around 2.2 million baht all in except kitchen cabinets. Was built less than a year ago so current price would be similar. The one in the pic is about 220 sq meters including patio.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the floor plan Norton. I have been scouring other threads reading about the different kind of blocks vs brick, etc. I will have lots of info to sit down and talk to the wife about after she gets here and we start preliminary planning.

    I am not too worried about her family. I have spoken to her many times about getting legal advice and protecting myself as much as possible living in Thailand and she understands that that will happen. After all, I have worked in the US court system for 35 years so I am well aware of covering your arse. I've seen and heard it all.

    And I am not too worried about me out living her unless I can make it to 100 or she has some unforeseen accident or disease, which I hope doesn't happen. And when I am gone I am not going to care if she gets it all anyway!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomesarn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by boloa View Post
    I know this guy,he has built some nice house's,check out his site .....

    alanthebuilder.com
    maybe he's managed building some houses but he doesn't answer email !!!
    As I'd be cautious about Alan....his rep his born of mythology. If one cares to, really do some background work on this rascal. To many negatives outweigh the pluses.

  23. #23
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    alanthebuilder.com[/quote]

    maybe he's managed building some houses but he doesn't answer email !!![/quote]
    As I'd be cautious about Alan....his rep his born of mythology. If one cares to, really do some background work on this rascal. To many negatives outweigh the pluses.[/quote]

    Well, whoever ends up doing anything for me I will have checked out thoroughly, looked at his work in person wherever possible and talk to the people he built for. If the builder won't let me do that then he would not be doing anything for me. I looked at his site and some of the pics look like nice work but I'd rather see it in person. And some of the pics I could not view or view enlarged.

  24. #24
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    Reliable friendly and very helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomesarn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by boloa View Post
    I know this guy,he has built some nice house's,check out his site .....

    alanthebuilder.com
    maybe he's managed building some houses but he doesn't answer email !!!
    Hi in answer to your post regarding Alan The Builder not answering emails?
    I have had no problem whatsover communicating with Alan by email as it was only a matter of 2 hours before he got back to me, he did however explain to me that other people have had problems communicating this way, something to do with your carriers mail server, or it could be restrictions from your server, anyway it worked for me no problem at all first go! Alan is also contactable by phone +66 898-649550 or an alternative email address: alansurin[at]yahoo.com or his websites:
    alanthebuilder.com or surinhousebuilder.com I have actually phoned ALAN from Australia and found him to be friendly, knows what he is talking about, offers expert and accurate advice and his prices are very reasonable.
    check out his websites and click on the gallery to see what quality you can expect when contracting him to build your home of your dreams.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural Surin View Post
    As I'd be cautious about Alan....his rep his born of mythology. If one cares to, really do some background work on this rascal. To many negatives outweigh the pluses.
    ^^^^^^^^
    too true rural surin

    allan the builder poor reputation has reached as far as c/mai bad news not only travels fast but far as well

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