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  1. #1
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    New Build Near Udon Thani

    OK guys, it is finally time to start this building thread and is a result of about 5 years or more of research. As many on this thread, I wanted a teak house and did the normal thing of finding as many threads on this site with that title to read what others have learned. This dream came from my original visit to Thailand in 1985 when I was working in Saudi Arabia and started coming through southeast asia on my way back for home leave and vacations. I saw several teak houses back then in Bangkok and other resort towns and thought it would be nice to have one of my own to retire in. The price back then was about $60,000 and I thought that was reasonable compared to what I would pay back home to have a house built. As we all know, prices have increased significantly over the years.

    In 2002 I was is the process of buying a two bedroom 1 bath teak house on Koh Samui for approximately $100,000. It was 30 meters from the water and in a small resort that contained about 20 homes. I was able to rent it out and the maintenance was taken care of by a home owner association. This was in the days when I thought I wanted to retire near the water and be able to fish every day. I travelled there about every 5 months and was pretty happy for about 4 years. As Koh Samui grew and grew, I began to regret my decision due to the amount of tourists visiting the island. It was becomming another Phuket which I was not wanting or looking for.

    About the same time, I met a food waitress at a local restaurant who spoke good English and it became a regular thing to have breakfast at this restaurant and ask for that particualr waitress. It was not an attraction other than having someone to talk to and learn about the Thai culture. She knew about my dream to live in Thailand and I told her about my regret for picking Koh Samui. She was from the Udon Thani area and she asked if I would like to visit? At that time I had no idea of what Udon was like and graciously declined. My next visit to Koh Samui, she told me that her younger sister was visiting and would I like to meet her. I said sure and the rest is history. We wound up taking a trip up to Udon Thani and stayed in town. She took me to her parent's home, who were both deceased, and I met the entire family. It was a great experience and we definatly had the chemistry needed to start a relationship. Shortly after, I sold the house in Koh Samui and banked the money that I had invested to that point.

    I continued to visit Thailand every 5 months and stayed at my lady's parents house. In 2007 we bought the first building lot. It was about 2 rai for 350,000 baht. I had no idea of the value of land at that time, but it seemed a good price. It was on a main village road about 1/4 km from her parent's house and we had the fill dirt delivered to start the process of building a home. I will include some pics later.
    In 2009, we looked at another piece of land that had a pond with good views and was more to my liking. We wound up buying 4 rai which was also very close to my lady's parents house. We now had two building lots. One that the family keeps saying would be good for a shop of some sort and the other that is more suited to a residence and growing some small crops. I have no plan to open any kind of shop and told my lady that land is the same as money and not to sell it.

    Last January we had some fill dirt brought in and I finally decided on a house plan. I have traversed away from a desire to have a teak house and for several years had looked at a knockdown teak house. The cost kept going up to a point where I thought it was too expensive. I also read other threads like the one of Dr. A about his country house and his buying an existing house to use the wood for his build. Others have done the same and this sounded like a reasonable solution to the rising cost of wood. I began my hunt for an existing home with teak wood that was in good shape. JJ has done the same on this site and now has a very nice house. Over a three year period, I had several different renditions of the house I wanted to build. I prefer wood, but understand the reasonable price of cement and that most all Thais know how to build with this material.

    After a lot of thought, I decided to build a concrete structure with some teak panels. I will post the rendition showing the original plan for the house. I have made some modifications to suit my own taste and give more living space. I have already ordered four 5 meter x 5 meter teak panels, each with two windows that are currently being constructed and will be the center piece of the house. They will be on the second floor. I know it is difficult to visualize everything without pictures, so I will try to upload the initial renditions that gave me the idea for the house.

    The fill dirt is now going through a rainy season and I will start constuction the end of October or beginning of November when I retire and will post my progress. I am on a budget, as we all are, and hope to build the house at a reasonable cost with the help of all the threads I have read on TD. Stay tuned........
    Last edited by rickschoppers; 01-08-2011 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good luck with it all Rick I am sure your going in " eyes open " looking forward to your pictures .

    I will be doing the same myself in about 4 years time ,, in an area not too far from you allthough there is a property for sale right now that to be honest I am finding it very hard not to write a check out for right this moment ,,,,,,,,,,, were coming over in March so will see what happens then
    I'm proud of my 38" waist , also proud I have never done drugs

  3. #3
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    Can you space the paras.....bloody hard reading otherwise

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    "She took me to her parent's home, who were both deceased"


    scary stuff this...Bates Motel maybe?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabeel View Post
    Can you space the paras.....bloody hard reading otherwise
    Done, thanks for the suggestion Nabeel.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    Good luck with it all Rick I am sure your going in " eyes open " looking forward to your pictures .

    I will be doing the same myself in about 4 years time ,, in an area not too far from you allthough there is a property for sale right now that to be honest I am finding it very hard not to write a check out for right this moment ,,,,,,,,,,, were coming over in March so will see what happens then
    Land never seems to go down in price unless they are asking a rediculous amount of money. My recommendation is to purchase sooner than later if you know it is a sure thing. There are others that would disagree, but I purchased the first building lot quite awhile ago and it has appreciated substantially since then.

  7. #7
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    Here is the first building lot. Not wide, but very long. It goes past the treeline seen in the distance and is a total of 2 rai. As I mentioned before, we paid 350,000 baht for it and sits on the main road. This shows the beginning of the clearing before the fill dirt is brought in.



    A view from part of the way back.



    Of course, the stumps need to be cleared since it is bad luck to bury them or leave them on the land. I had some free labor from the family which made things very nice.



    Here is the finished product after 55 big truck loads of fill dirt at 500 baht per truck. There is a raised area back a ways which is where I had planed to place the house.

    Last edited by rickschoppers; 01-08-2011 at 06:50 AM.

  8. #8
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    Here is the new building lot that is 4 rai and has much better views and more suited for a residence. There is a barbed wire fence around the land which is one less thing to pay for. I will be adding two entrances, one that will be block with a steel gate and another down the lot for tractor and other access. The pond can be enlarged, but is very far down the list right now.



    The building portion is fronted by a road and is higher in elevation. This makes it very nice to build and be able to look down the lot to the pond and land below.



    This shot is looking at about where the house will be built. There is also another road the runs along the pond side of the land. This is about 1/4 km in the other direction from the family house.



    The first load of fill dirt to create a pathway for the truckloads of fill dirt.



    The upper level of the lot was plowed by one of the family members and it sets up about a meter from the next drop down of land. There are a total of three terraces.



    Note the expensive markers for the truck drivers to know the perimeter of the fill dirt. This lot was 680,000 baht for 4 rai which is a good price for this area.

    Last edited by rickschoppers; 01-08-2011 at 09:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Woohoo another building thread to look forward too, best of luck and I'll be watching and enjoying it!

  10. #10
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    These pictures were taken last month during the rainy season. All of the fill dirt has settled since last January and should be good to go by the end of October or November when the rainly season ends. The first task will be the foundation and I will be talking to a few builders in October to see who I can sub out the work to. I intend to be the project manager, buy all the materials and be on site every day of the build. These are all decisions I have made after reading TD.

    This is a picture looking at one of the corners of the building area where both roads intersect.



    My lady at the back end of the building area.



    This is one side of the building area facing the road. The front of the house will face this road and have a partial block wall with a steel gate similar to what I had built on the family house below.





    I will replace the barbed wire with some decorative steel work similar to the gate design.



    This is a picture of the other side of the building area facing the pond which is behind the trees. The second entrance will be by the pond to allow tractors or trucks, cars or motorbikes to enter the lot. My plan is to build a four bay sala about 20x10 meters behind the house.



    On top of the bulding area. The house will be approximately 24x13 meters with two stories. I will post pictures of the rough plans in the near future.




    This is about center of the building area and the view we will have from the dining area.
    Last edited by rickschoppers; 01-08-2011 at 06:58 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabeel View Post
    "She took me to her parent's home, who were both deceased"


    scary stuff this...Bates Motel maybe?
    At first glance maybe, but not even close once all is known about the family. The father passed away at a young age and the mother passed away about 1 year before meeting my lady. No worries of mysterious deaths or, worse yet, ghosts.
    Last edited by rickschoppers; 01-08-2011 at 09:07 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jizzybloke View Post
    Woohoo another building thread to look forward too, best of luck and I'll be watching and enjoying it!
    Thanks jizzy. I like the building threads as well since I have learned quite a bit from them. There is a wealth of information to be found and appreciate everyones input.

  13. #13
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    Good luck with the build, hope it goes well. I will keep closely tuned as I will too be building a house in Udon in a few years time.

  14. #14
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    Here is a picture of the rough plan that I will be following to build the house. My apologies for the lack of quality, but it should give everyone an idea of what I started with. Like I have mentioned, I have made many changes and anticipate making more as the project progresses. Many have found that it is not always possible to follow plans exactly, but as the project unfolds, there are many tweeks and improvements that are needed.



    One of the major changes is to block in all but one bay on the first floor which will be left open for car parking. This will increase the living space quite a bit and allow for a large living room.



    On the second floor there is a large balcony and a living area that will be where I place the 5 meter x 5 meter teak panels. The wider part of the upstairs will be block and the wall leading out to the balcony will be all glass with double swinging doors. I liked the large covered balcony which should have a good view of the entire lot and beyond.



    This is the first floor plan and again all but one bay will be blocked in to increase the living area. One bay will be left and an outside Thai kitchen will be on the backside of the house.


    The second floor will not have a kitchen, but will be open to one great room. Everything else will remain the same and the final product will have 3 bedrooms and 2 toilets with two large great rooms.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by isanmick View Post
    Good luck with the build, hope it goes well. I will keep closely tuned as I will too be building a house in Udon in a few years time.
    Thanks isanmick, and of course you are invited any time to view the progress and have a "cold one."

  16. #16
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    Looks like you're off to a good start and have done your homework.

    There's a few of us in Udon if you fancy meeting up a with a bunch of miserable old bastards who'll moan about anything.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Looks like you're off to a good start and have done your homework.

    There's a few of us in Udon if you fancy meeting up a with a bunch of miserable old bastards who'll moan about anything.
    I would be more than happy to add my moans to the group. I will be arriving October 14th after retiring from over 34 years in health care and am sure your group would have a few words on health in general.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    am sure your group would have a few words on health in general.
    Most of them don't have any health.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers
    am sure your group would have a few words on health in general.
    Most of them don't have any health.
    then we already all have something in common.

  20. #20
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    I know you probably dont want to say exactly where you are Rick but what area roughly are you in ? ie N/S/E/W of Udon

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    I know you probably dont want to say exactly where you are Rick but what area roughly are you in ? ie N/S/E/W of Udon
    East off the road to Nong Bua Lamphu.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan View Post
    I know you probably dont want to say exactly where you are Rick but what area roughly are you in ? ie N/S/E/W of Udon
    East off the road to Nong Bua Lamphu.
    Before or after the Khyber Pass (gong to NBLP from Udon)?

  23. #23
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    Really nice plan, I like the height, open areas, room underneath and outside kitchen - design features that have worked here for centuries.

    Not only will the place be cooler and more pleasant all round, but you'll save money. Have you considered putting in some ventilation in the roof ends?

    Also, you could wait before doing the downstairs living area, you might find it's really nice to leave it open and put in some potted plants as well as cut flowers like heliconias (bird of paradise) that you could grow on the property.

  24. #24
    In transit to Valhalla

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    Good luck with the build rc. plan looks good.


  25. #25
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    I think with rickschoppers attitude towards building in Thailand, he should do very well! Good luck and keep us informed on the happenings.

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