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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 26-03-2012, 04:13 PM   #126 (permalink)
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The 1 meter retaining wall has been completed to contain the fill dirt and red brick filler continues around the house.



The steel for the back patio is being cut and welded. The little lady keeps a watchful eye on things while her Thai kitchen gets more red brick at the back of the house. There will be a door on each side of the kitchen, one leading down to a wash area and on the other side toward the pool table and entertainment area. I am dreading the trip to the roofing company to order the steel roof panels since there must be well over 600m2 to cover. I will give you an exact fugure once all the measurements are made. The roof will be the most expensive part of this build, but I think it is a part of the house that needs the most effort along with the foundation.



Another angle of the red brick and back patio steel.

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Old 27-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #127 (permalink)
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I just fired one of my workers for missing 6 out of the last 10 days. I paid everyone yesterday and he has a problem with drinking. I am sure he spent a large portion of his pay on whiskey. Too bad and nothing new in this country. It amazes me when everyone is crying to make some money and then they blow it on drink.

Being in hospital management, the same thing occured in the US. You could always tell in the first 3 months who was going to be reliable and who was not. It just seems to be more prevalent here in Thailand where there is a high unemployment rate among able bodied men. I used to feel sorry for them, but not now and I do not spend near the money on whiskey for locals that I used to.

I am just glad that the remaining crew seems to be more reliable and willing to work and earn some cash.
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Old 27-03-2012, 10:55 PM   #128 (permalink)
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looking big. good luck. I like the elevation of the ground floor, nice touch.
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Old 28-03-2012, 04:26 AM   #129 (permalink)
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Your place is looking like it will be a palace of gems in that area Rick!

The one thing that stands out is the house is sitting up nice and high - good for when the weather turns nasty. The build quality and thinking seems to be above average. Also, I think having your brother in-law along for the ride as your foreman as well as being a tradesman is a great asset. I am an electrician - so am looking forward to seeing how that stuff goes.

I love watching these types of threads...Good luck mate - and thanks for taking us all on the journey

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Old 28-03-2012, 06:20 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Have you considered foil backed styrene for insulation between the walls?
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Old 28-03-2012, 07:09 AM   #131 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers
I am sure there will be a lot of you that disagree, but if I was having experienced installers do the Q-con, I probably would have gone that route. The red brick is also a much stronger wall than the Q-con overall and the two rows of block should give me decent insulation.
QCON are just blocks and very easy to put up. They cut much easier than bricks or normal blocks too, as wel as being lighter to handle

the only thing different is the cement you use to build with, and the rendering; you just have to buy the correct stuff

so they are quick and easy, and the finished wall is strong
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Old 28-03-2012, 07:11 AM   #132 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyman63
Your place is looking like it will be a palace of gems in that area Rick!
I hope so, but it is looking like a warehouse at the moment!
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Old 28-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
Have you considered foil backed styrene for insulation between the walls?
lets not get started. (funny joke at my own expense)
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Old 29-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #134 (permalink)
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^^^^^
Thanks Ben, it did wind up being larger than what I envisioned but that is OK with me. I am a little clostrophobic in a smaller house and I also like the taller ceilings. The Thais build on a much smaller scale and I understand the reasoning.

The entire house has ben built around the view. It is not of the ocean, but I can live with looking out on the greenery and farmland. The city has never been for me and I will enjoy sitting out on the patio with a cold one.
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Old 29-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #135 (permalink)
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^^^^
GM, thanks for the comments. I wanted to incorporate the Thai-style (NE that is) of building and so far that has been accomplished. Yes, it is not the normal post house you see in the north, but the locals seem to like the lines. It is big.

As for the electrical, I will be relying on the team to do most of that. Many have worked in Bangkok or other places where they know things are a little more up-scale. I do not expect western standards, by any means, but a good sound fuse box is one thing I do want to make sure they understand. Grounding is another thing you read about a lot here and many do not quite understand the thought process. Any suggestions?
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Old 29-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #136 (permalink)
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You have a good sense of what you want. more importantly they are sticking to building it that way which is always a good thing.
Cant wait to see the walls going up.
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Old 29-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #137 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
Have you considered foil backed styrene for insulation between the walls?
Good idea. How does that work?
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Old 29-03-2012, 10:45 AM   #138 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyman63
Your place is looking like it will be a palace of gems in that area Rick!
I hope so, but it is looking like a warehouse at the moment!
I am hoping once the teak panels go in along with some widows, it will transform into more of a house than a warehouse.

I know you have strong feelings about Q-con and do understand. I have heard stories of its installation being "screwed up." Maybe these are just stories, but I rather stick with what the buillding team knows to be on the safe side. This is a decision all have to make and to go outside the comfort zone of any builder or laborers is asking for trouble in my opinion.
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Old 29-03-2012, 11:49 AM   #139 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
Have you considered foil backed styrene for insulation between the walls?
Good idea. How does that work?
Shiny side out?

As it's fairly compact it would give you a good radiant and conductive barrier if installed against the inner wall inside the cavity.
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Old 29-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #140 (permalink)
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^
Something to think about.
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Old 29-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #141 (permalink)
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The steel for the back patio is finished and it is off to the roofing company to purchase the steel roof panels.



I am not sure of the total square meters since one of the steel workers took all of the measurements, but here is 120,000 baht worth of sheeting. I went with the strait design like that on the car port for the patio and the house will have a fake shingle design.


Roofing is a topic that is discussed a lot on this site and it all boils down to personal preference and budget. I chose a metal roof for particular reasons and I will explain some of them so that you can understand my decision.

I lived a number of years in southern California where I was born and clay shingles were the norm. Many of the houses I purchased had them and they were a real pain in the ass. Yes, this was the California dream, but I swore to never buy or build another house with clay or any other kind of shingle again. Some of the reasons are listed below, but remember it is a personal preference:

1. The shigles I had were clay and thus very prone to breakage. Thailand has cement, fiberglass and other types of shingles that may not be as prone to breakage as clay.

2. Water leakage was also a big problem with shinkgles. No matter how good the installation, there always seemed to be creackes that water could get into and cause a big headache.

3. Wind damage could also run up a big repair bill. During a good wind storm, you could always count on some shingles being dislodged or completely blown off the roof.

4. Every time I went up on the roof for a look, or to repair something, other shingles cracked under my weight since they were pretty brittle.

A steel roof is cut is sheets the width of the roof and there are no seams to worry about for water leakage. They last a long time and have little or no maintenance. I was looking for a roof that was practicle here in Thailand, that would last a good while and have little or no maintenance.

The biggest disadvantage is noise from heavy rain. This is something I put up with at my lady's parent's house where I have stayed over the past 6 years. Some insulation between the roof and the ceiling should help some of that.

I am not trying to convince anyone to have a steel roof, but only trying to explain why I chose to do so. In the end, it is all up to the person building the house.
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Old 29-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers
I am not trying to convince anyone to have a steel roof
No need. It's the only sensible material to use in the tropics.

One point my builder made, is the sheeting that looks like a normal roof is a bitch to put up and get looking right. He advised me to stick with the straight stuff (which I prefer anyway).
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Old 29-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #143 (permalink)
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A view of the house from the back of the plot. This is the main access road and the next cross road runs along the front of the house.



A little bit of telephoto applied to the shot above.



A view from the road next to the house.
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Old 29-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #144 (permalink)
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Hi Rick
where do I start...there seems to be several different earthing/grounding arrangements for 220 volt mains domestic supplies that exist in Thailand from what I have read. By far the most common appears to be a IT system where the distribution transformers out in the street are star point connected and not earthed. Without going into greater detail which may lose yours and others attention - there are some important minimum standards that must be adhered to for the electrical installation in your home to make it safe. These include:

1. At the very least - RCBO's (residual circuit breaker with over current) or RCDs (residual current device) MUST be installed for each & every sub-circuit circuit in your switchboard. An earth electrode can be driven deep into the ground near your switchboard and connected using the appropriate clamping arrangement to the green or yellow/green wires in a three wire system (red-active,black-neutral,green-earth) It may make little difference with regard to protection in a IT system common in Thailand, but I would personally have this in my home.

2. Make sure when buying RCBOs - you buy the best quality available - can you beleive even these devices have been counterfeited, with lots of cheap and nasty stuff coming from - you guessed it - China. Get your sparkys to buy a reputable brand if possible.

3. Make sure the power cables your sparkys are going to buy for your home have the appropriate insulation rating of cables installed within an IT system. These should be at least 0.6/1kv. In Thailand, most cables are rated at 300v, which is not adequate.

4. If possible and depending on cost - IT systems should incorporate an IMD (Insulation Monitoring Device) for your cabling - could be money well spent.

You should run all this past the sparkys and make sure they understand where you are coming from.
Keep in mind - once installed - those RCBOs or RCDs need to be checked OFTEN, since they are the only real protection against dangerous "touch voltages" & thus earth leakage currents.

If your not sure about anything - feel free to ask mate.

Last edited by greyman63 : 29-03-2012 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 30-03-2012, 07:35 AM   #145 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
The steel for the back patio is finished and it is off to the roofing company to purchase the steel roof panels.I am not trying to convince anyone to have a steel roof, but only trying to explain why I chose to do so. In the end, it is all up to the person building the house.

Colorbond is good stuff. I hate the corrugated stuf but since they came up with the fake tile look it is a winner in my book. Cheap(ish) light, easy to use and lasts forever.
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Old 30-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #146 (permalink)
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^^
Good information GrayD. My plan it to try and make the house as safe as possible and you have explained the grounding issue well. Again, I do not expect it to be up to western code, but I would like the house to be safe when it comes to electricity and fire. These are the two elements I fear the most here.
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Old 30-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #147 (permalink)
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The first steel roof panel goes on the patio roof. It amazes me how these guys work high off the ground with no safety gear. I am only hoping we make it through the build with zero injuries.

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Old 30-03-2012, 02:03 PM   #148 (permalink)
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One of my main goals is to get the house semi enclosed before Songkran. It appears this goal will be met with the roof coming along at a good pace. The picture above was this morning about 10am and it is now 2pm. Considering the crew took a 1 hour lunch, I am happy with the progress. It should be about another two days before finishing and then it will be on to more block infill and erecting the teak panels.

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Old 30-03-2012, 02:42 PM   #149 (permalink)
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One of my main goals is to get the house semi enclosed before Songkran. It appears this goal will be met with the roof coming along at a good pace. The picture above was this morning about 10am and it is now 2pm. Considering the crew took a 1 hour lunch, I am happy with the progress. It should be about another two days before finishing and then it will be on to more block infill and erecting the teak panels.

odd I'm sure in oz the mock tiles are laid in horizontal strips...
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Old 30-03-2012, 03:10 PM   #150 (permalink)
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It is now 3pm and the patio roof panels have been completed. Another advantage of a steel roof, very quick and easy installation.

Please excuse the picture angle. I have had a few beers by now.



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