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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Chris's Villa Build in Phnom Penh Cambodia

    Hi guys,

    Been reading the forums for a while getting ideas for my own build. Although I'm based in Phnom Penh Cambodia, the building techniques, materials and challenges are all basically the same.

    My wife and I are building a 4 bedroom villa for our family on a 650m2 block a few km's outside of down town Phnom Penh, the place is already a couple of months into construction and I was wondering if anyone was interested in following the build?

    If so I'll start posting some pics and reports. As I'm interested in getting feedback and there's no comparable construction forum for foreigners in Cambodia.

    I'll also have to build up 5 posts as it seems I can't post images until I've done so.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  2. #2
    Mid
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    bring it on

  3. #3
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    Okay cool, I'll just go and get my first five posts in and then get some pics up.

  4. #4
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisInCambo
    I'll just go and get my first five posts in
    games room seems to be the place for that

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    Member brouhaha's Avatar
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    Post your five here.

  6. #6
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    Okay so I've now hit my five post tally, so let's get some pictures up to give you all an idea of what we're doing.

    I'll start with the plans, it's a custom design done by a local architect here in Phnom Penh, here's the 3D render:



    There's a fair bit of artistic license at play here, I'm far more debonair then the bloke in the picture and I drive an S-Class not an E-Class, but apart from that it's spot on. Joking aside, there have been some small changes since this render, the columns from the front balcony now extend all the way down to the ground floor and we have also added a second floor in the roof space.

    Here are the floor plans:

    Ground


    If you are wondering about the split space on this plan, the area on the right is a granny annex for my mother in law. She's effectively part owner of the house, as the sale of her house is funding part of the construction. Previously we had separate houses in different parts of the city, but would all end up staying at her house or all stay out our house, so decided it was stupid having two houses, so both sold up to build this bigger place. Pretty sure Thailand is the same deal as Cambodia, you also marry the family.

    First Floor - much more space here as the granny annex is only on the ground floor.


    Second


    And here's the current state of play at the site, as you can see we've just put the slab down for the first floor:





    I've got pictures going back to the start of construction, which I'll start to post if there is interest.

  7. #7
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    Okay I can see there's 11 people looking at this thread and a couple of replies, so now I've confirmed that I'm not talking to myself, I'll go ahead and post some more pics.

    Seems I've lost the memory card with the pics of the exterior wall going up and foundation work, so we'll have to start with the first floor beams.


    Here's Dad after walking around site telling everyone how it should be done:




    Here's my wife and me (in my most masculine t-shirt) doing some praying and making some offerings. You can see they're getting ready to pour the ground floor beams:




    Here's the steel work going up for the ground floor columns:




    There the 'custom' formwork being put in place for the columns:




    A tidy site is a safe site:




    Some of those child labourers you read about in the papers:




    Everybody, tools down. The foreman has spotted a possible health and safety infringement:




    An elevated shot:


  8. #8
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    Lookin' good, Chris. I'll be following with interest. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    keep em coming, welcome to teakdoor BTW

  10. #10
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    Can a foreigner own land in Cam? How much would a house like this cost to build there?

    Nice pictures, thanks!

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    Yes, nice pics Chris and welcome to TD. Good progress already as you don't appear to be struggling with workers/helpers.

    Looking forward to regular updates

  12. #12
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Why is the roof space not ventilated ?
    I think you will need to vent the hot air out

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    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Got another one watching, Chris. I built a place in Batangas, Philippines a few years ago. 612m2 lot. Six bedrooms, 6 1/2 baths. 260m2 downstairs; 280m2 up. Came out perfectly, and in the two years since we completed it, we have had no problems at all. Biggest thing is you need to be on site - every day. Best of luck, and I'll be following along with interest, as the memory is still very fresh in my mind. My twins were about 8 or so when we were building, and I think they enjoyed messing around on the site more than I did.

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    Wonderful report and a great looking place. Keep it up.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for sharing with us Chris . I shall be doing the same on here one day when we build .
    I am never quite sure about the far east,s facination of having a toilet so close to the kitchen or in my MIL<S case part of it ! We will defo be giving that aspect a miss.
    BTW do you live there full time or half and half ?
    Good luck to you and your family in your new home cheers !
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan
    I am never quite sure about the far east,s facination of having a toilet so close to the kitchen
    Rapid onset to diarrhea after swallowing a mouthful of some nasty local food may well be the reason.

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    Very nice, and welcome.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scandinavian View Post
    Can a foreigner own land in Cam? How much would a house like this cost to build there?

    Nice pictures, thanks!
    A foreigner can own condo's but not land, there are ways around this with some legal gymnastics, such as registering a company where you own 49% a group of strangers organised by a lawyer owns the remaining 51%, then the company buys. Or there are 99 year leases with 99 year extension clause. Anyway I don't need to worry about any of that as my wife's Khmer so we can just put in her name as we've done in the past.

    I'm budgeting about $100k (3 million baht) for the build. I'm hoping I'll get change from that but I won't hold my breath.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim View Post
    Why is the roof space not ventilated ?
    I think you will need to vent the hot air out
    Thanks for pointing that out, this is the type of feedback I was hoping for.

    In this case there are vents in the elevation drawings, there's a few details from the architectural plans that didn't make it into the 3D render. Guessing the render is a pain to update.

    Here are the elevations:




  20. #20
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^^Don't hold your breath. You can more or less compute how much it will cost to put up the framework, depending on fluctuations of prices on rebar, cement, and such. Where your costs start shooting up is with the finish work. That, of course, is up to you and depends on taste (and budget) but marble, tile, bathrooms, electrical fixtures, etc can kill you. My place, which is probably a fair bit bigger than yours, cost me about 250,000 - not including the land. And, we really didn't go crazy on the finish work - just solid, nice looking stuff that would last forever.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    Thanks for sharing with us Chris . I shall be doing the same on here one day when we build .
    I am never quite sure about the far east,s facination of having a toilet so close to the kitchen or in my MIL<S case part of it ! We will defo be giving that aspect a miss.
    BTW do you live there full time or half and half ?
    Good luck to you and your family in your new home cheers !
    I live here full time, I've been here 8 years now and can't see myself going anywhere anytime soon.

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    It's the tropics. Personally I'd build it out of wood. I'm oldskool though.

  23. #23
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Problem with that is termites. These big bastard termites they have here (and I presume in Thailand, etc), can drop a house faster than an earthquake. The only wood in my house is doors, stairs, and stair banisters. All cabinets are out of a synthetic wood, which looks almost exactly like real wood, but which is termite proof.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^^Don't hold your breath. You can more or less compute how much it will cost to put up the framework, depending on fluctuations of prices on rebar, cement, and such. Where your costs start shooting up is with the finish work. That, of course, is up to you and depends on taste (and budget) but marble, tile, bathrooms, electrical fixtures, etc can kill you. My place, which is probably a fair bit bigger than yours, cost me about 250,000 - not including the land. And, we really didn't go crazy on the finish work - just solid, nice looking stuff that would last forever.
    I've learned that lesson the hard way before!

    This is the forth construction project for my wife and I in Cambodia, so I'm pretty sure I won't get burned because we haven't thought of something, but like you say prices fluctuate and finishing is a 'how long is a piece of sting' type proposition. We've already seen the price of bricks go from $230 to $310 for 10,000 this dry season and I've just managed to talk myself into UPVC windows which will add $2.5k.

    I've always imagined that it would be cheaper to build here than in Thailand, mainly because labour is cheaper and labour costs drive the price of everything.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    Thanks for sharing with us Chris . I shall be doing the same on here one day when we build .
    I am never quite sure about the far east,s facination of having a toilet so close to the kitchen or in my MIL<S case part of it ! We will defo be giving that aspect a miss.
    BTW do you live there full time or half and half ?
    Good luck to you and your family in your new home cheers !
    I know I'm not too keen on that either, on the first plan the toilet door opened into the main living area but apparently in Chinese culture having the toilet door face the front of the building is bad luck, so had to put the toilet door in the utility room or be blamed for every negative event to ever occur for the rest of my life.

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