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  1. #1
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    Building a mini-resort in Phuket - The Country Resort

    OK, I've split up my existing thread about building a couple of mini-resorts in Phuket into two separate threads. This thread follows the build of what I will call The Country Resort, because the location of the project appears rural and right amongst the rubber tree and pineapple plantations, although it's actually less than 1Km from Phuket International Airport.

    This project is actually owned by my ex-wife, and she is building a 10-room mini-resort to cater for the single-night transit passengers from the airport. If you doubt the financial viability of such an idea, go back and read the original (combined) thread.

    My role in this project is as 'advisor', which means I'm overseeing the building work and making sure that she and her builders don't go and do anything totally stupid, which would be the natural path for them to follow

    If you want to check out my own mini-resort project, I'm covering it in the other thread entitled 'Building a mini-resort in Phuket - The City Resort'

    A quick recap and repost of some of the photos:

    My ex has rented half a rai of rubber tree land for 15 years, at a low rent. The lease contract is registered at the Land Office.

    The first job was to clear the land of the trees:



    After some delays with the monsoon rain, the heavy equipment was brought in to remove the tree roots and to create a temporary parking area:



    My ex needed to appease the spirits, so out with the naked chicken and cheap whisky:



    The first construction job was to dig a well which would be used to supply water to the showers and toilets:



    At the same time, the team of highly skilled builders arrived:



    Now we are up to date (end September 2011), and so here is the latest progress report:

    It's been raining almost every day, and this has slowed down the pace of construction. If you want to imagine the worst job of the project, it has to be this guy:



    This guy is digging out the soil from the bottom of the well shaft. He fills up a bucket with the wet soil and this is pulled to the surface by a small motor. At the same time, the plastic pipe (on the left side of the photo), is pumping out the water which would otherwise fill up the bottom of the well shaft.

    The well diggers worked for about 4 days and by Thursday (29th September) they had completed the well depth. Here is the completed well shaft before the concrete cover is put on.



    So here's the latest photo of The Country Resort.



    The rain has stopped and the workers have almost completed the basic construction of the boundary walls. You can see the rear wall (about 1 metre height to deter cobra snakes). The front wall will be faced with small 'it-daing' or facing bricks, with solar lights placed atop each concrete post. The land in front of the wall will be cleaned up and planted with attractive flowers. In the background of this photo you can see the crane lowering the final concrete rings into the well shaft.

    The workers are now going to move to the other project - The City Resort, and will build the boundary walls there. The well diggers will also move next week and construct the well. The reason for moving is that the Country Resort has to wait for the OrBorTor to formally hand over the approved project plans, and then the guest room building construction can commence. This is expected to occur in the middle of next week.

    I also want to ensure that my City Resort project moves forward at a similar pace to my ex's project. (Don't want her to have a completed resort and me sitting on a pile of sand and cement!)

    Simon

  2. #2
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    I see the workers have started on the first bungalow. Not sure on your anticipated rate but you may have to spend a bit more .
    The corrigated iron sheeting looks ok in a sheep yard but I'm not so sure as a mini resort.

    best of luck.

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    Wow, you did a good job.

  4. #4
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    Today it rained, (as it did yesterday and the day before and...). so building work is going slow right now. At least it allows me to check if the land is liable to flooding (which it is not)

    Simon

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    OK - the rain has stopped, the sun is out, and work is proceeding at a fast pace.



    I took this photo at mid-day, when the workers were having a break. It's taken from a different angle compared to previous photos - this time I'm standing on top of the well cover, (the well now complete).

    The road is on the left side, just behind that sliver of 1.8 metre wall. The hotel parking is behind the orange cement mixer. The first building (5 air-con rooms) is being constructed on the right side, with the footings dug out and the first cement being poured. The rebar has been cut and shaped by the foreman's wife and various Burmese workers, (who are hiding from the hot sun in the 5-star hut at centre.

    When I left the site a few minutes ago, the team had already begun to dig out the footings for the second building, (kitchen and restaurant area).

    The international airport is about 900 metres away to the right, through the pineapple and rubber tree plantations

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon43
    The well diggers worked for about 4 days and by Thursday (29th September) they had completed the well depth. Here is the completed well shaft before the concrete cover is put on.
    how does the water get in?

    if the bottom is not on pervious rock, the water would have to get between the rings, and they look cemented

    we had some special rings with holes in that let the water in, as the bottom was clay

  7. #7
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    Indeed Dr Andy, the ground is pervious rock. In fact most of north Phuket is similar ground, and wells never run dry in the north of the island. This is completely different to south Phuket, where most hotels (and expats) are located, and where wells regularly run dry.

    Simon

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    Looking good so far keep them coming. Best of luck!!!

  9. #9
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    Here are a few photos to show how the reinforcing rebar for the concrete columns is made. The building is single storey, so the columns only have to support the weight of the roof.



    The smaller diameter rebar is cut into short lengths and then formed into a square or rectangle by bending it between nails that are fixed in the wooden plank above.

    This task is normally done by the women - in this case the wife of the brother of my ex.

    You can also see the yellow pipe clips attached to each of the wall concrete posts - these will be used to support the pipe in which the 3 phase electricity supply cables will be laid - one phase to each guest room.



    The larger diameter of rebar which is used in the column footing is too strong to be shaped by the female workers, (except maybe Big Bessie - the brutal Burmese barmaid). Metal wire is used to loosely hold the rebar together in the correct shape.



    Finally, the vertical sections that will form the column reinforcing are tied together in the correct shape. Each of these vertical sections will be tied to the footing rebar and wooden planks placed on each side of the vertical section, so as to form a mould for the concrete which will be poured inside the mould and the final, concrete column produced. (The green wellie on the left belongs to a Burmese foot whose owner was camera-shy. I already checked their WPs and all are in order, so maybe she has an errant ex-hubby looking for her...)

    But prior to this work, the monks will be paying a visit to bless the first concrete column foundation, (and I will not be around to take photos cos it's the weekend - so I'll try to get photos when this event occurs at the City Resort).

    You can see from the excavated soil that it's very sandy. This makes digging the holes for the column footings very easy. But sand is not so good when it comes to establishing a good 'ground' for the copper earth rods of the electricity supply. Normally, this is especially important for the shower instant hot water heaters. However, in this project I am using solar water heaters, and so there is no electricity floating around the showers. I will be using a 3-phase Safe T Cut RCD that will be installed where the electricity supply enters the property.

    BTW, in that last photo, the international airport is in a valley just behind the trees in the background
    Last edited by Simon43; 08-10-2011 at 09:26 AM.

  10. #10
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    ^
    Is that a floodlight, top middle of picture.
    You make them work 24/7?

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    You make them work 24/7?
    They currently work (out of choice), 7 days a week, from about 7am-7pm. The floodlights are because sometimes work that cannot wait, (eg cement work) needs to be done at night if it's been raining in the daytime

    Hard work is rewarded by 2 thin captain's biscuits for lunch, as opposed to none...

    Simon

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    oohh shxt, also have to call the monks :-)

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    nice project... looking forward to more.
    I'm currently preparing a same project in Phang Nga.

    I'm just wondering where i can find the laws and regulations around resorts/hotels...

    I'm having troubles finding the laws on the internet in english.

    As you already have a lot of experience in hospitality, you now any good sites where i can find those information.

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    [at]ironive - There are national laws and there are local laws, and I've only seen The Hotel Act translated into English.

    Basically, if your property has more than 4 rooms, it is classified as a 'hotel', and this means that you must pay a hotel tax on your room revenues, and must construct your property to adhere to a variety of safety and construction guidelines, most of which may not be enforced. These include doing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, which has to be submitted to Bangkok for approval prior to any building works, and which can take a few months to get approval.

    Most (all?) small projects will not want to make themselves liable for the hotel tax and additional admin paperwork, and so the building works will typically be split up into separate phases, each with less than 5 rooms, and each on a separate plan.

    The local OrBorTor rules may differ between each locality as well. The only way that you can make head or tail of this is to have a Thai speaker (and Thai reader) who can help you through this maze.

    Simon

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    So another day in the land of rain...



    what is not obvious from this photo is that it was pissing down with rain - to such an extent that we had to abandon work after lunch.

    This is a view of progress from atop the well cover again.

    The workers have excavated the trenches for the wall foundations and reinforced concrete columns - and have laid the rebar in the trenches and (vertically) where the concrete columns will be placed.

    Prior to filling the trenches with cement, the waste pipe for the toilet and shower are laid in place, since these will be embedded in the concrete of the bathroom floor. (So it's important not to fcuk up with the glueing of the 90 degree bend for both).

    You might just be able to spot the yellow pipework in which the electricity cables are run to supply the mains plugs - I have put 3 plug positions on each side of the guest-room. The yellow pipework runs within the walls, so again has to be installed at this stage of construction. after the floor and walls are completed, I will connect up the mains cable to the consumer unit which will be located on the rear wall of the building.

    We had to abandon work because it's not easy to do cement work underwater..

    Let's hope tomorrow is better weather - but the workers are making good progress in spite of this deluge.

    Simon

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    at simon... thank you for the info... helps me alot.

    Do you know where i can find the hotel act in english?

  17. #17
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    The rain seems to have stopped, so we need to catch up with the work:



    What's that I hear? Your workers need to sleep?? Not a chance These are hardened Issan folk who can work for 30 days (and nights) nonstop, with only M-150 and La0 Khao to sustain them.

    Tonight, since the weather is good, the workers are mixing and pouring cement for the foundations of the walls of the first guest bedroom building, which consists of 5 identical rooms. During the weekend, they should complete the cement work of the vertical, re-enforced columns that will support the roof.

    If they do a good job tonight, then I might let them have a few hours of rest tomorrow... (that is a joke BTW, if you are not used to my warped sense of humour)

    Simon

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    any chance of an update?

  19. #19
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    It's the weekend now and I stay in Ao Nang, but will return to Phuket on Monday to take some more photos.

    As you can see from the evening photo (above), the workers had prepared the vertical rebar of the columns. When I left on Friday, they had encased these with wood on all sides, ready to pour in the cement. So I hope to see a couple (if not all 5 rooms of this building), with completed cement columns.

    The next step is to create the concrete floors, (prior to tiling). On Friday, the Burmese women were busy leveling the floor areas with soil, prior to laying the reinforcing metal mesh and then pouring the concrete.

    The weather is much better now, so progress should speed up.


    Simon

  20. #20
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    good progress in spite of the weather

    how is your stress level?

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    Actually, my stress level is very low This is generally because:

    a - the project is very simple - no complex construction techniques
    b - this is my ex's project, not mine, (although my stress levels will rise if it screws up!)
    c - Aware of the (small) mistakes that I made on the last build, I'm keeping one step ahead and have written reminders to myself on copious bits of screwed up paper, (eg don't forget to install toilet - basic things like that)

    The work is progressing all OK and the Burmese workers have yet to steal my copper electricity cables - as happened last time.

    Simon

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    You have a computer render of what it should all look like?

    Looking good so far.

  23. #23
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    You have a computer render of what it should all look like?
    I have some renders that were for the benefit of the OrBorTor who drew up the 'official' plans. But nothing of a quality to put up on this prestigious forum.

    sorry about the recent lack of photos. My camera died on me, so will purchase a new one tonight.

    S

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    OK I have a new camera. The old one had a useful wide-angle lens, but this new camera has not - so the photos don't show as much panorama as before.



    Since the rain stopped, the building progress has sped up, but has been interrupted by 3 events earlier this week:

    a - One of our workers was shot dead, (reported in Teakdoor a few days ago).
    b - My ex-wife sacked all the Burmese workers for being .. er ... Burmese
    c - Our foreman is in hospital with advanced lung cancer

    So I need to find some more workers, but in spite of the current staff shortage, work is going well. The photo shows the concrete columns that will support the roof for the first guest building, with the metal roof/tile supports lying freshly-painted on the ground.

    The blue pipe stubs are for the toilet and shower wastes.

    Out of view is the second building (kitchen and restaurant), where the foundations for the vertical columns are being prepared.

    More to follow

    Simon

  25. #25
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    The latest photo for this project:



    Work has been progressing OK, and the weather has been good. But there are only about 6 workers on this project, (since my ex sacked the Burmese), and I'm sharing these workers with my City Resort project.

    This building has 5 guest-rooms. The metalwork for the roof is almost complete. The roof consists of a short, sloping section at the front, and a longer sloping section to the rear. The rear roof is not visible to guests, so I am using cheap, large tiles in this area, (you can see them in the photo).

    The cost for 350 tiles (1.2m x 60cm) was about 18,000 baht. The front section uses smaller, more attractive concrete tiles, and 750 are required at 12 baht each. There are also the special tiles used to complete the roof ridge line and sides.

    The concrete columns in the foreground are for the open-air sala building which will house the restaurant and reception area.

    Simon

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