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  1. #1
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    Building a house in Nakhom Pathom

    We are building a "small" place in Nakhom Pathom, just outside of Bangkok. Over the past 2-3 years, we've purchased 3 adjoining lots, all former rice paddy, from a lady who was hurting for cash.
    The first lot is closest to the road and we filled it in and let settle for about a year. Then last year, we added another meter of fill in the general footprint for the house. Needless to say, it stayed high and dry throughout the flood. I give my wife all the credit for that idea. it was brilliant !!
    The second lot has been a test of raising chicken, ducks, geese and fish. We dug a U-shaped channel around the lot and have about 500 catfish in there. They should be ready by the end of the year. We also tried a small garden, bt the ducks decimated it. We had some success in raising ducks and selling duck eggs. This lot did flood though, so we are going to add more fill sometime next year. We might plant a bunch of mango trees, as they seem to gve us a bumper crop from the other trees previously planted.
    The third lot is still used as a rice paddy. The farmer pays us in rice for use of the land. We haven't decided what we will do with it. I'm happy, for now, to leave it as rice paddy.
    Late last year, we decided to go with PD House as builders. We spent some time with them reviewing different designs as well as visiting several finished, or near finished, houses in the Bangkok area. One was identical to the model I was leaning towards. After seeing that one, I was sold on the design.
    One of the things I like about their design is that the concrete pieces fit together with interlocking pieces. It's all pre-fab'd elsewhere and is then delivered to the site numbered. They they pretty much build it like an Erector set. There is some concrete poured on site, but that was mostly for the pilings and the ground floor.
    Anyway, now that I'm past the 5 post minimum, I'll try to post some pics of the project.

  2. #2
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    This is a pic of the model house from the PD House website.


  3. #3
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    Ground floor plan. We've tweaked the layout. Bedroom 4 will be converted to my office and the adjoining bathroom is gone. The wall between the kitchen and the dining area is gone. We both like a big western kitchen. A thai style kitchen wil be located outisde the kitchen. We've also tweaked the maid living area as well.


  4. #4
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    First floor plan. We are cutting the "Buddha room" in half and enlarging bedroom 3. We've also reversed the master bath and closet area. There will also be a jacuzzi in the corner of the master bath.


  5. #5
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    I look forward to seeing your thread and home develop.

    How much per square metre is it costing you to build? (labour and materials)

  6. #6
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    Wow, I thought you said it was a 'small' place. What is the area to the left of the dining room, is it a bar?
    I'm sure it's gonna look great, I'll be looking forward to the thread as well.

  7. #7
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    lookin good

    hi steve wow wonderful looking house.look forward to meeting you ,i live in seattle as well with my thai gf.she owns a thai restuaurant on queen anne hill . keep us posted......gary

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by palexxxx View Post
    Wow, I thought you said it was a 'small' place. What is the area to the left of the dining room, is it a bar?
    I'm sure it's gonna look great, I'll be looking forward to the thread as well.
    Yeah, I was being a bit of a wiseass there. However, I think I deserve it finally.

    If you mean the L-shaped area, yes I think that was originally intended to be something like a breakfast bar. We've modified the kitchen and have extended it out into that area.. We both like a big western style kitchen. There will be a half-wall separating the kitchen from the Dining area.

    Sorry, have been busy with work stuff and haven't been able to get some construction photos posted yet. Hopefully this weekend. Roofing tiles arrived the other day.
    Last edited by stevefarang; 16-11-2011 at 08:34 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by seattlesbest View Post
    hi steve wow wonderful looking house.look forward to meeting you ,i live in seattle as well with my thai gf.she owns a thai restuaurant on queen anne hill . keep us posted......gary
    Sa-was dee krap Gary. The plan is to alternate 6 months here and 6 months over there. Of course, her family will keep an eye on the house while we are away. Still trying to get visa for her, you know how much a PITA it is for a Thai woman to get a US visa. Hopefully, with the hosue built, it will be easier for her. Hell, earlier this year, we got her an unlimted visit visa to Australia, good for one year, with no problem.

    But yes, once she's here, we'll have to make the journey "up the hill" and visit your gf restaurant.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=stevefarang;1936409]
    Quote Originally Posted by seattlesbest View Post
    Of course, her family will keep an eye on the house while we are away.

  11. #11
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    great looking place Steve!

    another person looking forward to the pics and thread

  12. #12
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    OK, got some pics uploaded to photobucket, so let's see how this works.

    This first pic is the finished house we toured back when we considering several different designs. I was sold on this after seeing this house. It was not a model house, but an actual project that they had recently completed.
    Ours will look very similar, except I don't think we will do the wood trim on the front entrance. I think with the sun and heat, it will need re-varnishing every 2-3 years. It really looks spectacular though and I'm still very tempted to splurge on the wood trim. But for now, we will stick with a vinyl like trim.


  13. #13
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    These are some shots of the first lot, where the house is being built. It was a rice paddy that we filled in (about 1 meter) and let season for ~6-7 months. We've started planting some trees and stuff.



    This is looking back at the road and what will be the main entrance to the property.



    Of course, camera angle can be important when taking pics of someone watering a newly planted tree...


  14. #14
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    House 1.0

    This is the first hosue we put on the property. We needed somewhere to sit and get out of the sun, while at the property. We picked this up for about 5,000 baht. My wife did a good job when we purchased it. As usual, the vendor tried jacking up the price, but I told her no more than 5,000 baht and she had to go talk to the vendor to ask him to discount. Actually, we may have paid 4,500 baht. I forget now, except our teamwork was exceptional. Since taking these pics, we have moved House 1.0 to a different spot on the opposite side of the lot. We set up some duck, geese and chicken pens in our adjoining 2nd lot and dug a U-shaped channel for catfish raising, so it's easier to keep an eye on the animals.



    A front view of House 1.0



    And finally me and the missus sitting in House 1.0. The lot behind us is rice paddy. Maybe one day we might buy it.


  15. #15
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    More dirt

    Once we settled on a design and placement on the lot, my wife wanted to raise the footprint of the house by another meter. So we had our friendly dirt delivery drivers deposit some nice quality soil and raise the level even higher. I guess it really paid off and I'm very proud of my wife's decision. With all the flooding in the area, the house (under construction) stayed dry.

    I guess our neighbors across the road are happier too. I understand when the lot was a rice paddy, it would flood and overflow across the road into their property. So they stay dryer now too. Everyone is happy, which makes me happy.

    You can see the house for the ducks, geese and chickens in the background located on our second lot. Unfortunately that lot flooded so we will have to fill it in, or at least riase the area around the duck pen so they have a dry place to go to.






  16. #16
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    Pile party

    Here are some shots taken from the first piling ceremony back in March 2011. Unfortunately, I was stuck in the US at the time, but my wife made sure everything went smoothly. If I recall, the pilings were driven down about 8 meters.










  17. #17
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    My cool dog

    My wife knows I like dogs, but with my job & the extensive travel, I cannot keep one here in the US. So she surprised me and got me a dog over in Thailand. She picked him partly because he has a chocolate colored heart shape on his rear right flank. you can see it, sort of, in this pic. Anyway, I think he's a pretty cool dog and look forward to spending more time with him when the house is finished next year.

    This is a pic my wife sent me from a few months ago. She told me would try to get all 4 legs in, but can't do it.



    This is a pic I took back in July 2011. You might be able to see the heart shape on his flank.



    That same day, they gave him a bowl with water and ice cubes and he promptly puts one paw in the water. A couple of times, we would try to get both paws in the bowl.

    Last edited by stevefarang; 17-11-2011 at 02:41 PM.

  18. #18
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    Pilings are in. You can see the raised area for the house. Taken in July 2011.



    Some of the preformed concrete beams and columns that will form the frame of the house.



    And some more of the preformed concrete pieces. You'll notice the rustproofed (galvanzied?) metal pieces on the end that are slotted and keyed to fit together, much like a giant erector set. Everything is numbered.


  19. #19
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    Very good. Nice to see some pictures. Hope it all goes well.

  20. #20
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    You say, you are using PD house as your builders. I checked their site. They have some very nice designs on there. Have you checked how they compare with other companies, price wise?

    I might drop them a line about a price for a 3 bedroom.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneSureThing View Post
    You say, you are using PD house as your builders. I checked their site. They have some very nice designs on there. Have you checked how they compare with other companies, price wise?

    I might drop them a line about a price for a 3 bedroom.
    Yes, we are using PD House. We briefly checked some other house designs, but I really liked this one, especially after we saw the finished house as well as some other designs. Their houses seem pretty solid and PD House has been relatively easy to work with, although not many people in their Nakhon Pathom office speak much english.

    They have quite a few designs on their website. I think many of them are concepts and not ever built. But they have a good choice of 3 bedroom houses. I also like thier more modular build concept, instead of having guys hammer different boards together on site, just to pour concrete. I think the roof is better built, well at least the trusses don't look like someone just welded different pieces laying around. Definitely some thought put into it and looks well engineered.

    I think their pricing was competitive. Yes, we could have found someone who could have built it for probably half the price. But I feel comfortable with their quality processes and their well thought out approach.

    If you want a contact at PD House, send me a PM with your e-mail and I'll put you in touch with the people I'm dealing with. Then they can get in touch with the office closest to your location.

    I'll try and post some more pics soon. The roof is due to go up soon and then the exterior walls. I have to get over there to talk with them about the ceiling fans I want in each room to help with air circulation. Plus I want to see the wife and my dog.

  22. #22
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    The real work starts...

    With all those preformed and marked concrete pieces sitting around, it's time to start putting this big puzzle together.

    First, with all the rain, we had to get a couple of loads of gravel delivered so they can get the crane in position. Fortunately, we can reuse the stone for the driveway, which will be in the same general area.

    This is the view coming from the "second" entrance. I want to put a small pool in this area.



    The crane now in position...



    The concrete trees...
    You can see some of the orange rust proofed metal tabs that the horizontal pieces will fit into (interlocking).



    House stuff



    First floor work








  23. #23
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    Some videos

    These are some brief videos my wife made. back in September 2011.

    The first is just the crane lifting the concrete sub-flooring slabs up to the second floor.




    The second is where my wife does a brief survey around the first floor than bravely goes up the stairs to the second floor for a look around. At about the 58 second mark she points the camera over to our two adjoining lots. We go back to the tree line that you see in the distance. She then pans around the back side of the house which is all rice paddy, which we don't own...yet.


  24. #24
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    These pics are from October 2011.

    The basic concrete frame of the house looks finished here:



    And another angle:



    Our geese are not too happy about the flooding. We will have to raise their area next year.



    Another shot of the flooded area around the ducks/geese/chicken pen. We are raising fish as well, so they had to put in this blue netting to keep from losing the fish. The water in the foreground is a "channel" used to flood the surrounding rice paddies.
    We have a temporary bridge for getting across this channel. It's to the left of this picture. I'm hoping to do something a little nicer looking when the house is done. As well as put in one or two of those paddle wheel things I see in many places around the country. I think they help keep the water agitated to cut down on mosquitoes ? I'd also like to have a grassy flat spot leading down to the channel. We've already had 2 instances of dogs falling into the channel and it was a bit of a challenge getting them back out with the steep walls.



    Already, my wife's family is using the new house as a refuge from flooding elsewhere. We are high and dry thanks to wife's foresight.



    This is looking at what will be the master bedroom. Our property extends straight back to the tree line (I don't know the area, sorry. But it is substantial, seems about the size of a football field). Our property line on the left is about where you see the netting. From the blue netting e line is till a rice paddy. The farmer is going to pay us a couple bags of rice for the usage of the land. I'm fine with that, as long as it's being used for something productive. We haven't decided what we will do with it. We did get it pretty damn cheap though.
    You can also see the area where the ducks/geese/chickens have been wandering around. You also might make a U-shaped channel that we dug for the fish we are raising. I believe that they should be ready in a month or so.



    This is a view from the top of the staircase. You can make out the thatched roof of House 1.0 (we moved it from it's original loaction on the other end of the 1st property, as well as the duck/geese/chicken house in the background. The duck house is just bolted together and looks like it can be easily moved if we want. I don't remember how much the wife paid for it (10K baht ??), but I might put up a second one for my own little Thai style man-cave. I have several family members that make beer and I'd like to give it a go myself. I'm sure the locals will be happy to taste test (for free) whatever I make, as I experiment.


  25. #25
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    What's the truss, tell me what's happening...

    And now the roof trusses go up. Looks like they fabricate them on the ground (or even in a factory??) and then lift the finished pieces up for positioning. Irregardless, they look very clean, well thought out and very nicely done.



    A view of the front of the house with the trusses going up.



    A view looking towards the master bedroom.



    And then a view looking towards the family room and the second bedroom located on the 1st floor. Hard to see it, but the staircase comes up where the edge curves to the right and then straightens out.



    Here's a different angle where you can see the stairs coming up.


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