Building a Teak wood house in Thailand

This thread will show the good, bad and the ugly of building a Teak vacation home in Thailand with a hillbilly at the wheel. This home is my design with a long-term theme in mind.

You will be able to see my mistakes, the Thai builder/worker mistakes along with living with the Thai village surrounding my shack in the jungle.

Even though I have been away from http://teakdoor.com for 2 months does not mean this project only took 2 months. We bought this parcel of land bordering the Nan River about 3 years ago. We have had tractors dig, dirt shoved around,trees planted and snakes killed in anticipation of our guest home.
Please feel free to comment, critique, bitch, slam, make-fun-of or bow at my feet. What you will see and read actually happened.
First, because of work constraints I was not able to attend the initial setting of the posts.
Keep in mind the monks had already visited.
This is what I first saw...

Building a Teak Wood house in thailand
A teak wood house in the making
Another Teakwood house
Building a Wooden House for less than 250,000baht (How much to build a wooden house)


Building a shophouse

Yep this thread will teach you how to build your own shop house in several easy steps.
This block of shop houses is down near my land and has just been started on.
Anyway first off you need some scraps of wood, these you need to whack into the ground to run your lines from so you can get all your posts in nice straight lines, with this job as it is quite a big one they got a digger in for the day to dig out for the footings.

Building a ShopHouse in thailand (Building Your Own Shophouse)


Building a Swimming Pool

Well here is how to build your own swimming pool in several easy steps.
Now first off you need to dig a great big hole, and believe me this aint easy, best to pay some Thai guy with a digger to do that, anyway this hole obviously needs to be bigger than what your specified swimming pool size will be.
So lets say you want a pool by 10 meters long and 5 meters wide for arguements sake, well it's not for arguements sake actually but it just so happens that is what we are building at the moment, ok so the pool is 1.8 meters deep in the deep end, but you need to dig deeper than this to get the old footings in there some how, so lets say we go 3 meters deep for the footings, these we chuck in every 2 meters, this is cos swimming pools are really heavy and fat people jump into them, should swimming pool owners charge fat people a surcharge?
Anyway here is a nice picture of a hole.

Building a Swimming Pool in thailand (Building your own swimming pool in Thailand)
Building a marble swimming pool


Want to look at some really nice houses in Thailand


Building a Staircase

Yet another riveting post by the dog on something that affects us all...
Now generally stairs here in thailand are made out of concrete and are as ugly as hell, this first staircase we made out of teak wood, this we charged about 150,000baht for.

Building a Staircase in thailand, Teak or granite (Staircases in Thailand)

Your Kitchen in Thailand

Now kitchens are quite important cos we store all our food there, and food is quite nice, well unless I cook it.
Now rich people are differant from us poor people, they generally have 2 kitchens, one for smelly Thai crap which is generally an outside or near enough outside kitchen, then they have there foking expensive euro style kitchen.
Anyway this first kitchen is a Euro one which cost about 800,000baht, i mean fok me it wont cost me that much to build me first 3 bed bungalow, but us poor people aint going to be spending that sort of money on a kitchen.
This kitchen is about 3 meters by 3 and half meters, ok its got a 50k fridge in it and that but hell, it's still a lot of money for something that you may use once perday, and if thats for breakfast all you need is a toaster and a kettle.
This is made from mdf, which really aint suitable for this humidity, but it does have beautifull granite tops.
pics starting from the left of the kitchen and working to the right.

Building a Kitchen in thailand (Kitchens in Thailand)
Thai Kitchen Ideas


Shower Partitions

Now shower partitions start from those plastic hanging sheets that go green and slimey within a month upto really nice stuff.
Glass blocks are the nicest things to use in a bathroom I reckon for partitioning and letting light in, they cost from 65baht each.
To build a shower partition out of glass blocks is actually quite a slow job, this is due to their lack of absorbencey, so the cement takes a long time to go off, also you need a beam all the way round it to strengthen it as they dont stick aswell as bricks.

Shower Partitions in thailand (Glass blocks and shower partitions)


Thailand Bathrooms

I have to admit the bathrooms in my place are plentiful but pretty squalid, one is just a toilet, another is a Thai bathroom which is pretty awfull and even my son wont shower in there, the other 2 are hot water euro sort of style but too small and pretty horrid.
My best bathroom has a 1,000baht odd sink in it, but if you got 30 odd k spare you to can own a sink like this.

Classy Thai Bathrooms (Classy Bathrooms)


Building a Bathroom Sink Counter.

Now this maybe a good start off point for those contemplating building their own swimming pool or shophouse, ie start off with a small project first and it don't really matter if you fok it up too much.

Now let's start from the beginning, this bathroom has already been tiled and most of the other stuff fitted, so the guys have come in and angle grinded out the tiles where the concrete has to be poured, so first up they do the 2 horizontal cuts and then the 2 vertical cuts and chip out the tiles they need to.

Next drill out holes in this to stick the rebar into for when you want to pour the concrete, stick up your form work and then pour your concrete, the way this one has been done you really need to leave the supporting form work up for about 5 days, normally the side would also be poured concrete or brickwork to support it so you could take down the form within 24 hours, anyway lets see how they get on over the next couple of weeks.

Bathroom sink counters (Building a Bathroom Sink Counter)


Insulation Blocks for your Thai House

First off we shall start with the old "QCon" Blocks, these are now down to a measely 25baht each so the building cost is on par with using crappy red bricks, ie each one you lay is equivelant to quite a few bricks ( no I am not going to work out how many bricks) also you use only 3 mm of mortar so they set off real quick and they are also nice and square which makes it easy to build a straight wall, anyway can you tell me where the builders went wrong on this job?

Q-Con Insulation blocks (Insulation Blocks in Thailand)


Learn to Render in Thailand

OK, I need a bit of advice (so I'm probably in the wrong place, bet here goes anyway)
I want to render all the walls around my garden - I am a DIY nightmare, but generally enjoy fucking things up and like to get the whole family involved as well.
I would like to know...
What materials and tools I would need
Approximate cost per square metre (or per meter length of wall) for materials
A step by step guide to doing it
Or would I be better off just getting someone who knows what they're doing - if so, what would I expect to pay (again, per square metre)

Learn to Render here (Rendering)


Plasterboarding and Gypsum

Ok guys the is my first post on this forum... i am having a condo refurb done in pattaya, i would like any info pics espically to show the archtiect etc design's for a suspended ceiling.
Thanks in advance

Suspended ceilings and plaster board in thailand (Suspended Ceilings)


Guttering for your Thai House

Generally only 2 materials are used to manufacture guttering in Thailand, Galvanised Steel or Stainless Steel.
Both of these are bought as flat sheets and then shaped by hand over an iron form, very few places actually have the presses.
Galvanised guttering lasts about 4 years here as most people can't be bothered clearing out leaves and other debris which creates damp patches that stay damp for long periods, I am not sure how long the stainless guttering lasts as we have only been using it for about 6 years.
The guttering is made into 2.40 meter lengths which just so happens to be the length of the sheets, and is then cut down to the lengths that are needed.

Guttering in thailand


Security Grills to stop the burglars

Now this has never ceased to amaze me, why has every property got security grills here in Thailand, in the UK I saw one house that had security grills and he was black so was probably a drug dealer or something nasty like that.
Well the reason is that this country is full of people that want to nick your stuff, I mean even the crappiest old shacks have security grills and they own about 20k bahts worth of stuff, so where to buy your security grills?
For the low end people like most of us we just have crappy old steel security grills, the high end amongst us buy the stainless steel stuff.
But there is a big price differance, anyway going back to the low end stuff, go to the nearest place that has some old crappy security grills hanging outside it's place and they will make them up for you, they generally don't have signs outside as that means paying sign tax and even worse maybe income tax, although these guys do work on a good profit margin, this guy has been doing subbie work for me for about 8 years, he never finishes on time but his prices are good, well apart from the time he tried to stitch me up and I gave the work to someone else, he learnt his lesson on that one
I got to admit that this year I have given him about 350,000bahts worth of work, and if his wife was pretty I would expect some action there, but I think she is a 50 year old lady man, funny that, she pays me my commisions but there is no way I would pay her a deposit, just don't trust people like that.
Time to move on with the important stuff I suppose, get to reckon you will pay 1,100baht per sq meter of steel work and you wont go far wrong, anyway here are a couple of pictures of exterior wall stuff being made up for me now for the place we are doing the swimming pool, this is a real big plot of land.

Security Grills in thailand


Roof Tiles available in Thailand

The Thai clay roof tiles are nice and classy, but i reckon they do need a lot of upkeep and are damn expensive to do roofs in these roof tiles, the reason for the expense is that they are so heavy and you need like 100 odd of them to cover 1 square meter, the roof tiles vary between 8baht and 16baht per piece, due to the small size of the roof tiles you do need a hell of a lot of steel cross beams, ie about every 15cms, some of the tiles have been varnished in the following pictures and I think this is something that you would need to do every year due to damage by the sun and heat, but they do look damn classy.

Clay Roof tiles (Thailands Clay Roof Tiles, yet another roofing thread.)


Roof welding

Another in the series of dirtydogs DIY building projects, although here in Thailand you probably wouldn't want to spend all day up on the roof welding bits of steel together, yep it is hot here in Thailand.

Okay for a start I believe all roof trusses are made from steel now, I really don't think anybody in Thailand uses wood anymore as it is too damn expensive.

Now a nice roof has lots of differant areas to it and basically is all over the place looking nice, this will probably have to be worked on every year or two to repair leaks, cement and galvanised sheeting are not really that good for sealing or sorting out roofs, the cement cracks after a year or two and the galvanised sheeting is generally not big enough to cope with heavy rain storms, obviously the best roof style you can have from a maintenance point of view is an A frame roof, but hell they are ugly and they do work and if everybody had one it would put pikeys out of business.

So the first step is to order a load of steel and paint it in red oxide, the steel comes in 6 meter long pieces and is covered in some crappy oil stuff, wipe this down with thinners or whatever and then give it a coat or two of the old red oxide, normally here one coat is the norm, so if you ask for a second coat at this stage expect to pay more money for that, we do 2 coats while it is uncut as it is a lot easier painting the steel on the ground rather than in the roof, once it is in the roof generally the steel only gets touched up on the weld burns, but then again the slag aint even knocked off, yep problems for the future, but how long did you expect your roof to last?

Building your Roof (Building a Roof in Thailand)


Building Your Own Soakaway Cesspit

These quite obviously are quite important, if you aint got one of these it means haveing a shite out in the garden, this can sometimes be embarrassing, ie if you have guests round for your birthday BBQ or some such thing.

Anyway this is something any DIYer can do, first up you need to dig a big hole, the bigger the better.

Most lowend housing and shophouses can contain just under a cubic meter of shite and piss, now don't forget all that water that goes down the toilet everytime you flush it, so most times these cess pits fill up pretty quick, yep you have to get the suction people in every now and again to suck out your tank, hell here in Pattaya it's only 300baht per suck, but, do you want that every week?

Nope, of course you don't, so nows the time for you all to build proper cess pits.

OK, First off dig a big hole, now dig it a bit bigger, if your a family of obese people then keep on digging, yep you lot that eat and shite too much and need loads of cesspits, so keep on digging, one, you will have the benifit of actually exercising and two you wont need them emptied so much.

Anyway once you believe your cesspits are big enough for your household it is time to go out and buy some concrete rings, now these are less than 200baht each so buy loads of them and if you can't use them all then dig some more dirt out.

Chuck the concrete rings in the massive great big hole, stick 4 inch pipe joiners between all the piles of rings at top and bottom, this way will deal with floaters and sinkers, fill up the inbetween of all the rings with stone for some stability, you also need a breather pipe preferably above head height so you don't have to enjoy the aromas from your cesspit, the breather pipe just stick a t piece on top of it.

These rings you can buy covers for, 1 cover comes with a hole so you can access your cesspit and the other without, you have to decide how you need to access your own cess pit.

On this one we used the covers for the rings and built a square access point which is obviously covered as they don't smell to nice, we then done a concrete pour to make it all nice and strong so the garden didn't cave in when someone walked across it, I mean you really don't want to fall into that shite, do you?

On top of this you chuck your soil and then make a nice garden.

Toilet waste in Thailand


Wiring a House in Thailand

A friend of mine bought this house a while back, but now he is actually going to live in it himself he thought it best to make the wiring safe, so he ripped out all the original wiring and has started rewiring it all, all the new wire he has color coded with tape so he actually knows what cable is for what, yes you may have guessed by that last sentence he is not a Thai.

There are generally 2 ways to do your cable runs, on top of the rendered finish which is the normal ugly way where you get to see the ugly cables for the rest of your life, or inside the wall, by rights the cables inside the walls should be run in yellow conduit, this sometimes allows you to pull through damaged cables to replace them, but a lot of the time they get jammed as the cable aint flexible enough, also if your drilling a hole and yellow plastic starts coming out you know you have hit a electric run, trouble is as most of the time percussion drills are used the odds are you gonna hit the cable as you see the yellow come out, percussion drills are a lot more powerful than your run of the mill hammer drills.

Now as this house is already built it means cutting out channels in the render with an angle grinder and then chipping it out, if you actually live in the house at this time it is probably best if you go out for the day while they are doing this, it is noisey and will cover your house in cement dust, and no, they wont clean up the mess properly so you will be finding dust for weeks to come, and if you have a maid there is a good chance she will resign if this is gonna be a big job.

Anyway with this first picture you can see the channeling is nearly complete, this is for the kitchen lighting, for lighting you just need to use 1.5mm electric cable, you can use 1mm cable theoretically but why bother.

Wiring a House in Thailand


Tiles and Tileing in Thailand

Ceramic Tiles in Thailand, first off let's start with the products available, Tiles come in 3 grades, "A", "B", and "C", "C" grade is the worst, the absolute pits, the best thing you can do with "C" grade tiles is to smash them up and make a Mosaic out of them, the color variation and size variation is so great that you really wouldn't want them on your floor or wall unless you was doing some weird modern art type of design where straight lines don't really matter, these are the junk of ceramic tile manufacturers and amazingly they sell quite well here in Thailand.

"B" Grade tiles are slightly better but hell is it really worth the saving of 50 pence per meter? why not go for the "A" Grade stuff?

Since the Recession in Thailand all grade "A" tiles are exported and now grade "B" tiles are labelled as Grade "A" for the Thai market, these aint so bad and I have seen a lot worse in some of the Aussie home improvements magazines, yep even in their full page advertisements, got to admit I was quite shocked and will scan the picture and post it.

Onto the real Grade "A" tiles before the reccession, now this room was tiled about 8 years ago, yes I know the grout looks shite but tomorrow I shall get my girlfriends toothbrush and bleach and show you how to clean your grout, anyway as you can see there are still size variations in the tiles, obviously with all tiles you will get slight color variations but this is minimal on Grade "A" tiles, So what should builders do with the oversized tiles, ie the one that is 4mm bigger than 6 other tiles? dump and absorb them in their cost? Get the customer to buy a few more boxes and listen to him whinge about the price? or just lay them? Don't forget this is worldwide not just Thailand.

Ceramic Tiles and tiling


Using concrete profiles to make the exterior of your house nice.

Concrete profiles are as cheap as chips here in thailand so you really aint got no excuse for not using them.

This stuff you drill a few holes in, then as your screwing the profile in you chuck a load of cement in behind it to get to stick aswell, keep the cement lean as you really do want to get the poxy thing to stick and it dont stick too good to walls that have already been rendered off, these look great if you paint them in a color to high light them, I shall nip down the concrete profile shop tomorrow to get some more pics of the stuff available.

More info and pictures here (Using concrete profiles to make the exterior of your house nice)


Bricks and Blocks, which to use.

Basically as these are only considered infill and not load bearing here in Thailand there is a lot of stuff you can use to build the walls in your house.

First up we have these red blocks, I have to admit I have never seen a house built with these, well that is untill we built one, these are a bit pourous and some of them do have holes all the way through them so can have problems with the rain, but damn they look good

With these it is best to color the cement with red oxide and rough finish the joins, for some reason if you smooth finish the joins the color looks crap, plus these are more your olde worlde type blocks so the rough finish does look better.

Inside you need to render off and then it is best to use insulation and plaster board as these bricks do absorb the heat from the sun, on this one we just used the cheapy insulation plastic stuff with the reflective coating and plaster board with the reflective coating.

These 20 by 40 center meter blocks can be bought in Salaburi for 20 odd baht each, or in Pattaya for nearer 40 odd baht each.

Bricks or Blocks


Thailands Marble and Granite

Marble and Granite are really cheap in Thailand, this grey marble in Salaburi in 30cm by 30 cm slabs is about 250baht per square meter to buy, now the cheapest grade "A" ceramic tiles are going to cost 180baht per meter and they haven't got the class of marble.

The only problem with marble is that it stains easily, ie soap, booze etc will stain it as it is slightly pourous.

They also do this grey marble in 10cm by 20cm slabs, but that does look a bit bitty and there is a lot of color variation, these cost 100baht per square meter, the most commonly used size is 30cm by 60cm at 450baht per square meter.

The slabs vary in thickness so cement is used to lay marble, also your base floors wont be level anyway so it's cement and sand to stick these down.

Thailand also imports granite and marble from Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Africa and Italy, obviously all the imported stuff is bloody expensive, a differant marble tomorrow

Marble and Granite (Thailands Marble and Granite)