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  1. #1
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    Not Using an Architect

    Howdy

    I have a good Thai friend here in Melbourne and he has just bought some land in Chumphon with his partner. They plan on building a relatively small, boutique hotel there on the 2 acres they have.

    I am just a little concerned that he is thinking of using a Thai friend here in Australia to draw up the plans. This friend is neither architect nor draftsman and I think it is fraught with danger.

    Would any people that have ever had experience mind sharing their views on the matter? I really want to convince them to use not just someone professional, but someone located in Thailand who knows what is really required to build there.

    Thanks in advance

    Shane

  2. #2
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    If you can get planning permission, then should be no problem

    the plans have to be signed by an engineer, so should be OK (unless they are going to bribe their way in)

    then if they get a good builder, the building may well not fall down for a while
    I have reported your post

  3. #3
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    cheers for the reply, DrAndy, but I think planning permission is the least of the concerns when not using a professional, in my view.

    Was just wondering if others had a view on proceeding without using either a profession architect or draftsman

    thanks again

  4. #4
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    They sound like they would be quite happy going to the vets for personal medical advice etc, get them to use an architect.

  5. #5
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    probably not far from the truth dirtydog. I am hoping an avalanche of opinion against the way they are thinking might be enough to convince them if logic is not

    cheers

  6. #6
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    My wife and I just built a very large house here in the Philippines - 19 rooms, 250 sq. mt. downstairs, 275 sq. mt. upstairs. Six bedrooms, six 1/2 baths, big garden, two car garage, maid's quarters, etc, etc. We drafted our own plans. Neither of us are draftsmen or architects, but we did know exactly what we wanted. It turned out perfectly. We have been living in it for 20 months now, without any problems at all. Drafting the plans shouldn't be a big deal. I would use someone who is sitting next to me, in the same country, rather than trying to convey my desires to a Thai long distance. All you really need is a big piece of paper, a ruler, and a sense of scale.

    Once you get to the building stage, you will need a local engineer, and a good foreman for the crew. And, to do it right, your friend or his partner need to be sitting on the site every day. The engineer will take your plans, make sure they are feasible, do the electrical and plumbing plans, and get all the official paperwork sorted. A good foreman will make sure the building is done right, that you aren't ripped off, and work with you to modify your original plans as needed as you move through the process. Once you build something, it is two to three times the cost to revise it. But, if you modify your plans as you go along, it won't cost any more.

    My wife did all of the purchasing of EVERYTHING, from cement and rebar, to lighting fixtures, plumbing, etc, etc, etc. She also ran and paid the 39-man crew, assisted by the foreman (who was great). She was on site at 6AM each day for ten to twelve hours, for six or seven days a week for nine months. Result was perfect - so good, in fact, that people drive by to photograph the house, and often stop to ask who the architect was.

    Drafting the initial plan is the easy part - just getting what you want on paper. The hard part comes later. And, with my wife doing all that she did, we probably saved about 30% overall.

    I should add that the engineer came by the site once or twice a week, just to check that everything was up to spec and moving along well. But, the foreman is the KEY.
    Last edited by Davis Knowlton; 04-01-2011 at 12:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkin
    They plan on building a relatively small, boutique hotel there on the 2 acres they have.
    If relatively small means a 2 storey structure then a "professional" architect not necessary. Finding a builder experienced in building similar is the most important.

    Very common in Thailand for experienced builder to build a well constructed structure using nothing more than hand sketched or prints from computer design programs such as Etch A Sketch.

    As Andy says, if necessary to get building permit then a proper set of drawings will be needed.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  8. #8
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    Can't be any worse than the locals who pose as architects.

  9. #9
    The Pikey Hunter
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    I've got a bit of a toothache. Can't decide between going to the dentist and a pair of pliers.....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post
    I've got a bit of a toothache. Can't decide between going to the dentist and a pair of pliers.....
    Go for the piece of string and a door handle option

  11. #11
    Member BKKBILL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post
    I've got a bit of a toothache. Can't decide between going to the dentist and a pair of pliers.....
    If you use the pliers don't forget to boil them.

  12. #12
    The Pikey Hunter
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    ^ Useful safety tip.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    My wife did all of the purchasing of EVERYTHING, from cement and rebar, to lighting fixtures, plumbing, etc, etc, etc. She also ran and paid the 39-man crew, assisted by the foreman (who was great). She was on site at 6AM each day for ten to twelve hours, for six or seven days a week for nine months. Result was perfect - so good, in fact, that people drive by to photograph the house, and often stop to ask who the architect was.
    My wife did the same with our first house. How about some pics davis?

  14. #14
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Hey AO. I was afraid someone might ask. I still don't know how to post pictures. In all honesty, I haven't even tried yet, although it is on my list. I do have pictures on Facebook (I know, FB is fucked, but my siblings insisted I get on it), at least of the outside of the house. Doing internal pictures is also on my list - for this month. I'm sure your kids have FB accounts. Go take a look. Let me know if you can see the house. If not, send me one of those Friend request things. D

    BTW: Your new avatar redefines BLAND. What happened to the kiddos? Beg to be taken off?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkin
    but I think planning permission is the least of the concerns when not using a professional, in my view.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    As Andy says, if necessary to get building permit then a proper set of drawings will be needed.
    you missed the point which Norton got

  16. #16
    FarangRed
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    A project as big as that you would be well advised to use a QS as materiel's have a habit of going walkies.

    Also can check at what you are being charged for
    example 10,000 roof tiles, why am I being charged for 15,000? I know of a job near to me were just that happened it was actually 4000 extra roof tiles being charged for

  17. #17
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    QS
    Excuse my ignorance but what is QS?

  18. #18
    FarangRed
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    Quantity Surveyor

  19. #19
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^^^That's precisely why I said either the owner or his partner needs to be on site daily, and that is also why my wife did all of the purchasing. If you aren't, and you don't, there is no question that you will be overcharged as well as shortchanged. A QS is what my wife did when she counted every tile coming off the truck, and then matched them to the purchase order to make sure the price was the same, as well as the quality and quantity of the stuff being delivered.

  20. #20
    FarangRed
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    Tell them you like a kiss before you get Fuked coz you will

  21. #21
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    You should also be aware that prices of things like cement and rebar vary - sometimes almost daily. Making your bulk purchases of things like this when prices are at a low end can make a lot of difference in the eventual cost of the house.

  22. #22
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarangRed
    Quantity Surveyor
    Thanks. Agree. Always have a trusted someone to check materials you are being billed for is what you get.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    I'm sure your kids have FB accounts. Go take a look. Let me know if you can see the house. If not, send me one of those Friend request things. D
    Just time for the avatar to go. Davis I dont allow them to have a FB account as yet. I have one and have looked. Make me a friend and I can see the photos.

  24. #24
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Done.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    My wife and I just built a very large house here in the Philippines - 19 rooms, 250 sq. mt. downstairs, 275 sq. mt. upstairs... ...But, the foreman is the KEY.
    Agree. I've just done a 5-bed/7-bath 3-fl house. Did all detailled drawings myself (never done it before and here in Thailand, they build very different from my Scandinavian homeland) and had a local archietecht/engineer to put it into a PC-programme, make calculations (steel etc.), print, sign and apply for permission.

    Especially the foremann and also yourself being at the site every day, are the keys to a succes. I had a constructor for the cement structure and then hired specialist teams for whatever: tiles, floors, carpenter, kitchen, doors, electric etc. Probably saving quite a bit buying materials myself and using independent workers.

    In my opinion: Yes, using a Thai friend may work well, as he may well know about the Thai-way of construction. You will (probably) need an archietect/engineer to transfer the drafts to construction drawings for both permission and building the project. The better and more detailled you can plan everything in advance, the less problems you will have later during construction.

    By the way - my archietect told me: "We can draw everything, but that does not mean you can build it!"

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