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Thread: Solex project

  1. #101
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    There were a few things about the BoQ which struck me (as unusual). There appeared to be random items like bum guns and bog roll holders. However, other items we had discussed with him were not itemised: no house water pump, no house water storage tank, no water heaters for the bath/showers, no foil or foam for roof insulation, no insulation layer above the ceilings, no roof vents. Wow! So 3.9MB is “starts from”. Alarm bells were ringing. Significant reductions were going to have to be made. I was hoping to do this for around 3.5MB (parts and labour); then invest another million in furniture, air-con, kitchen and outside walls. The pool would be separately budgeted for at B550,000–B650,000. My budget for the entire project is 5MB. Although more funds are available if necessary, I have set myself this target and am determined to stick to it.

    We called the architect (P’Menn) to discuss the plans and so I could ask questions. I had read that CPAC Monier tiles have a minimum pitch guideline of 17°. The reference house I mentioned earlier in the thread – which we liked the look of from a complex in Pattaya, and which we gave the architect pictures of to use as a reference – has a pitch of around 20°. Why not use that? This would reduce the peaks of the roof; thus saving on materials. And then cut the overhangs to, say, 70cm instead of 120cm. OK, not going to be a big saving, but every little helps.

    Solex project-23-jpg


    Menn said that we can indeed reduce the pitch of the roof to a lighter 20°, but the result in the corners would be something like that above (which would be ugly), or a gable, which we don’t want. Menn stated that both reducing the roof pitch and trimming off bits of the overhang would, in any case, only deliver negligible savings. It would still be expensive.


    The other thing that planar roof picture above screams out is that in heavy rains a lot of water is going to collect on that roof, making decent guttering with integrated drainage network a must. I calculate the linear length of the roof edges to be around 110m. We have been quoted B550 per meter for decent guttering plus installation. So that is an extra B60,500 to the roof cost just for cumbersome, damage-prone guttering – plus mandatory drainage interconnection underneath, that would have to be done during the slab pouring and underground plumbing stage. I don’t mind the rain dripping down without guttering to the back of the house (south), but the garden and pool area at the front (north) I want to keep free of mud.

    In an earlier entry, I mentioned how I quite fancied a Colorbond roof that was mono-pitched to discharge all the rain towards the south, thus obviating the necessity of guttering. The wife hates that idea, for obvious reasons. It looks cheap. I then had to sit down with her and explain things that would have to be omitted for her roof to be realised: cost-cutting in the kitchen, sub-standard quality built-in dressing room, smaller-sized pool, etc. The dressing room is her main want, and this was my trump card. She has slowly come round to my idea, especially since Menn clarified all of my assumptions and stated that we could significantly reduce the cost of the roof. As readers are aware, the quantity of structural steel required for a light-weight roof are significantly less.

    What troublesome customers we are! Yet another change. But would P’Menn be able to do a new drawing for the roof and deliver a revised BoQ for the Colorbond (or BlueScope, whatever it’s called here)? Here is the new drawing:

    Solex project-24-jpg


    ^ He provided us with a couple of new drawings for the roof. One was for a cross-section showing the underlying steel. Here is a planar view, showing a mono-pitched roof, sloping downwards to the back of the house (i.e. southwards). For some reason the sala still has CPAC Monier tiles. We won’t be building it, so it doesn’t matter.

    Solex project-25-jpg


    ^ And here is a new BoQ to reflect a BlueScope roof, with revised down structural steel cost. The BlueScope item in the BoQ appears to have PU foam in it, so that is an additional cost compared to the CPAC Monier item in the previous BoQ which had no foam insulation at all. However, the difference between the two roofs (CPAC Monier tiles = B1,082,000 vs Colorbond = B709,000) is B372,000. And probably way more when you consider all the other faff involved, like guttering.

    I appreciate all the figures in the BoQ are indicative only, but as these general numbers are all we have to go off for the time being, decisions have to be made based on them.

    A quick note on the architect. Menn is not an architect. Maybe he has training in architecture, but he is a civil engineer by profession. As stated, his rate is for B100 per sqm, which made him the cheapest of all the options we saw, but also the most eager and approachable. His rate includes an engineer’s signature from another engineer friend of his. We actually met Menn in relation to a different problem: building a stream-bank-bracing wall along the northern face of the house, which will be another lengthy thread entry. In total, Menn came to our house to discuss the build eight times. Tomorrow will be his ninth. He is delivering the final drawings. We paid him B30,000 for the work and B1,300 to print off the drawings onto paper. Only time will tell if this was value for money.

  2. #102
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    I have not seen many BoQs. Obviously, they have also been in Thai, and I never had the time to translate them myself. So I would be interested to know from those with some experience what you think of the BoQ presented to me above by my architect.

    I feel it looks a little light. Also, it is quite vague in places. For example, there are vague entries on electrical (B45,000) for undefined work. However, I do appreciate this is not an exact science, and there will be a lot of variation.

    When we speak to builders, we will not be presenting them with this BoQ, but will instead present them with the drawings and ask them to give us their own BoQ. I take it this is standard practice?

  3. #103
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    First up ....the 1.2m is a pretty standard size for the eaves, and 60x120cm is a standard size for soffits,( Dura one ดูร่าบอร์ด ระบายอากาศ ขนาด 60x120x0.4 ซม. - คลาสสิ |GlobalHouse ) so if you had 70cm eaves you would still have to buy the standard size and cut them down...wasted material and extra work ! If you turned them around to have 60cm width you would save 50% but then you have the sun and rain hitting the walls and widows. Stick to 1.2m !
    A quick look at the plumbing section gives me a few thoughts ....
    Having recently bought a stack of PVC piping some of those prices seem a bit high ....ie 2 inch 8.5grade at 371 baht ? SCG brand is 175฿ here in Ubon. ( SCG ท่อพีวีซี 2 นิ้ว(55) ชั้น 8.5 ปลายบาน |GlobalHouse ) I know he has to have his mark up, but that seems a bit excessive ?
    17,000 baht per septic tank ? How about a quarter of that for this 1000L tank ...นิว ท็อป เวิลด์ ถังบำบัดน้ำเสีย 1000 ลิตร TCT-1000 L สีดำ |GlobalHouse

    As an alternative to guttering, have you considered gravel/pebbles in the drop zone with a french drain underneath ?

    Did you specify items such as tiles and lights which he has costed ? If not you might want to see what sort of quality you would be getting for the money, you might end up paying more for decent quality fittings and tiles

  4. #104
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    Hi Mikenot

    Thank you for taking the time to read all of the above, analyse it and provide me with some valuable suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    First up ....the 1.2m is a pretty standard size for the eaves, and 60x120cm is a standard size for soffits,( Dura one ดูร่าบอร์ด ระบายอากาศ ขนาด 60x120x0.4 ซม. - คลาสสิ |GlobalHouse ) so if you had 70cm eaves you would still have to buy the standard size and cut them down...wasted material and extra work ! If you turned them around to have 60cm width you would save 50% but then you have the sun and rain hitting the walls and widows. Stick to 1.2m !
    This is really great advice. Thanks! Yes, if it is cutting corners and creates more work and cost then we leave it as is.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    A quick look at the plumbing section gives me a few thoughts ....
    Having recently bought a stack of PVC piping some of those prices seem a bit high ....ie 2 inch 8.5grade at 371 baht ? SCG brand is 175฿ here in Ubon. ( SCG ท่อพีวีซี 2 นิ้ว(55) ชั้น 8.5 ปลายบาน |GlobalHouse ) I know he has to have his mark up, but that seems a bit excessive ?
    Already circumspect about quite a few items in the BoQ, their size/quantity and price, we have resolved to go to Global House / ThaiWatsadu and look at prices ourselves to really gauge the accuracy of some of the prices, and your circumspection is underlining that for me now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    Solex project-28-jpg

    ^ View of the septic tanks in black: one receiving from the solitary entrance toilet in the top right; one receiving from the kitchen and utility room sinks in the bottom right; and one receiving all of the discharge from the bathrooms in the bottom left.

    I actually raised this with the architect (P’Menn). I have not yet looked at the conventional sizes of septic tanks available here and their prices, but it did strike me as odd that three different tanks – which will all be receiving different quantities of discharge on a daily basis – would be the same size. That entrance toilet, for example, will not be getting as bludgeoned as the one receiving from the three bedroom bathrooms. Menn mentioned something about the size available being fairly standard (1,000 litres). The price is not yet something I have looked into. So thank you, once again, for bringing this to my attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    As an alternative to guttering, have you considered gravel/pebbles in the drop zone with a french drain underneath ?
    Yes, I have. The pebble idea, especially round the back of the house, could be turned into a nice feature. I will have to look into this detail a bit further.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    Did you specify items such as tiles and lights which he has costed ? If not you might want to see what sort of quality you would be getting for the money, you might end up paying more for decent quality fittings and tiles
    No spec was provided to him. Again, this appears to be a rather vague and unspecified figure. A trip to the stores is in order!

  5. #105
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    I don't know if you have had a read of the thread I started about our house build or not but in there in the first couple of pages I made some comments about my missus insisting the house "looked good" and wasn't "a box" so I feel for you on that aspect.
    Once you have been here long enough you will get to understand that looks are more important than substance.
    Also I made some comments on roof pitch in regard to the roof we put on our shed. I made the pitch 20 degrees but apparently the locals all thought it needed to be steeper.
    I am of the opinion that they think this because they needed a steep pitched roof when they used thatched grass roofing so the rain ran off and didn't have time to soak through. The shed has been there more than 12 years and there has not been any issues regarding the roof' low pitch. There are times when the rain and wind are coming end on to the roof that the water gets inside due to the ends not being closed off.

    I also have a few comments in the first couple of pages about our decision to buy the fittings ourselves. The builder bought the cement, steel, blocks etc. but we bought all the things like toilets, septic tanks, sinks, basins etc.

    I don't know if you have said whether you will be present on site every day of the build but if you aren't then stressing out about the detail at this point in time is a waste of time (in my opinion).
    I say this because if you are not there and an issue arises they will make up a solution that meets their standards but may not meet yours.

    A quick thought on your roof, maybe instead of a one pitch roof from the north side (I think) maybe you could make the point of the roof align with the northern edge of the bedrooms and when you get to the carport kitchen are you could make it slope both north and south from that line. I hope it makes sense to you. If you did that you could then have square boxed ends (gables I think they are called?). This may not satisfy your wife's need for looking good but may be better than one slope only.
    If you wanted to add something to break up the 'square ends" then an awning could be build that would also help provide shade.

    Anyway enough of my ramblings good luck.

    P.S. If you haven't looked at my build it is called "Ootai's wife builds a house"

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    Manc, re the heat in the roof space. Your design is long with the potential for two gables at the ends so why not change the roof design away from sloping ends to gable ends with louvres to vent. I don't think it will impact the aesthetics overly much and in the long run you'll not regret the impact of ensuring you have a properly vented roof space.

  7. #107
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    So... toilet water hoses and toilet paper holders...IN, but essential roof insulation...OUT???

    That's definitely the wrong priority!

    You can source tissue roll holders yourself AFTER it's finished, from HomePro or Boonthavorn. but that roof insulation, especially with the heat build up you will get if the architect don't get off his high horse with aesthetics and provides a practical solution, is essential.

    lol.. lucky we are all 'in on this one' from the start. Teak Door Construction Consultancy really earning is money today!

    Oh.. and the septic tank arrangements? I could not decipher the plans (thats probably me, though). I thought I only saw one, but then you mentioned septic tanks (plural). One for the master suite and the other down by the kitchen end? and the bed 2 and 3? i assume runs out into the swimming pool?

    Seriously, i probably missed it, so did you show a plan with the septic tank / grease trap / grey water schematic? This definitely need to be sorted and agreed before you commence because you are laying pipes and installing tanks right near the start of the works.

    Wow... that 'servitude' arrangement could be a minefield later. I dont envy you.

    Good updates, though. Thanks.

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    Yeah well... i see the septic tank plan now, just after I sent the last one!

    Note to self - read ALL the posts!

    They seem to be a fair way from beds 2/3 en-suites still, so your build crew have got to get the 'falls' right over the whole length. This might mean putting the tanks in deeper than they are used to. Don't let them get away with fitting the septic tank like they usually do then making the fall 'fit'.

    I suggest getting the builder to show you his fall calculation to the tank location and the depth of the tank so you know its right.

    It needs to be right to work properly.

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    ^ or just add a further tank

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    Finally - on those septic tanks.... did you formalise the soakaway arrangements...what happens to the liquid AFTER it exits the tanks?

    This is fairly important if you dont want to be pumping your tanks every couple of months!

    Oh, and one for the future. Once it's all built and you are 'in' and using those facilities, if you want the bacterial action to break down the tank contents, you will have to train your 'other half' NOT to tip bleach down the toilets as it will kill off the good bacteria. There are plenty of non-lethal toilet cleaners to use, but maybe did not see them before? Old habits can sometimes die hard, did with PJ, anyway though shes on board with it now. Over a year down the line in TD Towers and everything working exactly as it should, even with this incessant rain.

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    " View of the septic tanks in black: one receiving from the solitary entrance toilet in the top right; one receiving from the kitchen and utility room sinks in the bottom right; and one receiving all of the discharge from the bathrooms in the bottom left."
    As TD has pointed out, it's a long way from the guest bathrooms to that septic. Perhaps that septic could be moved to a more central spot ? Why are you connecting a kitchen sink to a septic tank, are you installing a waste disposal system in the kitchen ? Usually just a greasetrap would be installed, leading to a soakaway, not a septic system. I know in some countries everything goes through the septic (that's why any sizing guides from USA tell you to have huge septic tanks), but not in Thailand. Blackwater to the tanks, greywater to greasetraps.
    You could get a slightly smaller tank for the entrance toilet, ie 800L instead of 1000, but the price difference is only a few hundred baht, and as that looks to be the closest to the main living area you might find it gets more use than you anticipate, so I would stick to the 1000L size.

    " we have resolved to go to Global House / ThaiWatsadu and look at prices ourselves"
    Global House have a pretty good website actually, so no need to go to the store. Set your local store in preferences and you get the local price, which does vary slightly for transport costs. It's in Thai only, but Chrome translates it OK. ThaiWatsadu's website is a bit clunky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post

    " we have resolved to go to Global House / ThaiWatsadu and look at prices ourselves"
    Global House have a pretty good website actually, so no need to go to the store. Set your local store in preferences and you get the local price, which does vary slightly for transport costs. It's in Thai only, but Chrome translates it OK. ThaiWatsadu's website is a bit clunky.
    With the pandemic affecting store visitation, DIY/ building supplies stores are reacting in different ways as they try to drum up business.

    For info, HomePro are aggressively slashing prices across the product lines...they seem to be having a permanent sale, or price drop promotion every week.

    Not only building supplies, but household and electrical items - we bought our 80,000 THB LG double door fridge for only 38,000 and the electrolux washing machine, down from 40,000 to only 23k. The induction top was 60k down to 24k. Some absolute bargains to be had, they offer delivery for next to nothing, and their website can be viewed in English. Lastly, there are further discounts on some items if you buy online.

    With price cuts like this, it's worth considering for those toilet roll holders (!) and indeed, a few other things you might be needing. Not everyone may know it, but MegaHome is part of the HomePro empire.

    (I have no shares in HomePro, BTW)

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    We had an all-in price, labour and materials, so I think this will work for you, too?

    You will obviously be choosing tiles, light, etc so... ask your builder what his budget is for all these specific items (and then check what he says against that BOQ. ie break down his broad-brush budgets into individual items). Then, go to the stores and pick your choices for everything, note down the shop, item, reference number and price, and hand this to your builder.

    Your guy cannot argue if you spend under or up to his budget, right!? and you get the styles and finishes you want. and if your final choice is slightly more than the budget... just pay him the difference.

    And if his budget breakdown suddenly becomes nowhere near his BOQ quote... well... you know what to do!

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    manc
    I don't know if you have had a read of the thread I started about our house build or not but in there in the first couple of pages I made some comments about my missus insisting the house "looked good" and wasn't "a box" so I feel for you on that aspect.
    Once you have been here long enough you will get to understand that looks are more important than substance.
    Also I made some comments on roof pitch in regard to the roof we put on our shed. I made the pitch 20 degrees but apparently the locals all thought it needed to be steeper.
    I am of the opinion that they think this because they needed a steep pitched roof when they used thatched grass roofing so the rain ran off and didn't have time to soak through. The shed has been there more than 12 years and there has not been any issues regarding the roof' low pitch. There are times when the rain and wind are coming end on to the roof that the water gets inside due to the ends not being closed off.


    P.S. If you haven't looked at my build it is called "Ootai's wife builds a house"

    Hi Ootai,

    Yes, I have read the start of your thread (I have it bookmarked), but have not gotten too far into it yet. I noted that observation of the Thais preferring steeper pitched roofs historically to assist with heavy rainfall dissipation. Makes intuitive sense!

    The aunties at the shop down the road have had a good laugh at the farang and his metal roof idea. The wife asked one of the aunties what she would do (A4 from earlier in the thread), and A4 said that she would build the house so that it looked really nice from the outside (the nicest house around) and would invest all her money into doing so, even if the inside was cheap. External visuals far more important to them. Apparently this suggestion met with agreement with all the other aunties and elders present. I actually find their obscene superficiality refreshingly frank!

    Apparently the village is going to be disappointed with the sheet metal roof house of the minted farang having been promised great splendour and opulence (by whom I wonder?!). Obviously, I don't care what the villagers think other than that I find it very amusing. The one person I do care about is the missus. But, fortunately, she is now well on my side, and the extent of the savings, and the difference that money can make in terms of what we do with the house, she is now very much aware of and supportive of.

    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    I also have a few comments in the first couple of pages about our decision to buy the fittings ourselves. The builder bought the cement, steel, blocks etc. but we bought all the things like toilets, septic tanks, sinks, basins etc.
    We have not yet chosen a builder (work on choosing one will start soon), and so we don't have a definite arrangement in terms of who will buy what. The FiL is adamant that we buy everything ourselves. We have loads of land to store materials and equipment on, so that is not a problem. We will only be opting for contractors who are labour only, but I understand the extent of such arrangements can differ slightly (i.e. some contractors buy materials on your behalf, etc.). All options are still on the table.

    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    I don't know if you have said whether you will be present on site every day of the build but if you aren't then stressing out about the detail at this point in time is a waste of time (in my opinion).
    I say this because if you are not there and an issue arises they will make up a solution that meets their standards but may not meet yours.
    Our current house, and my office where I work during the daytime, is just a couple of minutes’ walk away from the building site for our new house. When the building is in progress, I will be there several times every day. So, I don’t have a perfect arrangement. I can very much anticipate that things will go wrong the second I am not there, and a few hours later when I come back to inspect, the damage will be done. I have made peace with Sod’s law. There are certain things I plan on being present all day for, however, even if it means taking a couple of days' holiday: for example, the main base slab concrete pouring, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    A quick thought on your roof, maybe instead of a one pitch roof from the north side (I think) maybe you could make the point of the roof align with the northern edge of the bedrooms and when you get to the carport kitchen are you could make it slope both north and south from that line. I hope it makes sense to you. If you did that you could then have square boxed ends (gables I think they are called?). This may not satisfy your wife's need for looking good but may be better than one slope only.
    If you wanted to add something to break up the 'square ends" then an awning could be build that would also help provide shade.
    I think I understand what you mean: the roof is essentially mono-pitched along the southern wing all the way from west to east until it meets the eastern wing, and from that mid-point the roof then falls down north, thus providing us with a couple of gables for vents. Yes, the missus and I are slowly starting to come round to this idea. Having the vents in a gable would do away with vents installed on the roof, which I can imagine would be a lot more awkward and costlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    Anyway enough of my ramblings good luck.
    On the contrary, thank you very much for your contribution! 😊

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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Manc, re the heat in the roof space. Your design is long with the potential for two gables at the ends so why not change the roof design away from sloping ends to gable ends with louvres to vent. I don't think it will impact the aesthetics overly much and in the long run you'll not regret the impact of ensuring you have a properly vented roof space.
    Hi Mike, thanks for this. Yes, the missus and I are slowly coming round to this idea, because it solves so many issues and can look nice.

    Solex project-29-jpg
    Solex project-30-jpg



    I have tried to convince the missus that nowadays in Australia and the southern United States, Colorbond is the go-to solution and has been for a couple of decades. She likes the look of some of the houses now, and agrees that it does not need to look flimsy and cheap, there are opportunities to make it look nice. The pics of the house above came up from a search for Colorbond. Also visible here is a low-pitch roof with central peak, affording a vent-containing gable. Pictures like this are winning the missus over. A roof design change is almost certain now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    So... toilet water hoses and toilet paper holders...IN, but essential roof insulation...OUT???

    That's definitely the wrong priority!

    You can source tissue roll holders yourself AFTER it's finished, from HomePro or Boonthavorn. but that roof insulation, especially with the heat build up you will get if the architect don't get off his high horse with aesthetics and provides a practical solution, is essential.

    lol.. lucky we are all 'in on this one' from the start. Teak Door Construction Consultancy really earning is money today!
    Hi TD, thanks for stopping by, mate.

    Yes, if everyone is commenting on something, then I know something needs my immediate attention. 😊


    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    Oh.. and the septic tank arrangements? I could not decipher the plans (thats probably me, though). I thought I only saw one, but then you mentioned septic tanks (plural). One for the master suite and the other down by the kitchen end? and the bed 2 and 3? i assume runs out into the swimming pool?

    Seriously, i probably missed it, so did you show a plan with the septic tank / grease trap / grey water schematic? This definitely need to be sorted and agreed before you commence because you are laying pipes and installing tanks right near the start of the works.
    Thanks for spotting this! Can’t believe I missed it. Of course! We would be forever adding digester into that tank running out from the kitchen sink / utility room. I think the architect has cocked this up in his drawings / BoQ; I think the tank servicing the kitchen / utility room is actually a grease trap, not a septic tank. Here is another plan drawing.

    Solex project-31-jpg



    ^ Here there are only two “treatment tanks” (that’s how the Thai translates) outlined: one in the top right and one in the bottom left, presumably for the two groups of toilets. No treatment tank to the south of the kitchen here.

    Solex project-32-jpg



    ^ This image was next to the plumbing diagram image supplied earlier in the thread. The septic tank I think is in the bottom left (with vent stack) and the grease tank is on the right in the centre. I think “treatment tank” here might be a generic label for either of these two. The drawings could have been a little bit more accurate here, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    They seem to be a fair way from beds 2/3 en-suites still, so your build crew have got to get the 'falls' right over the whole length. This might mean putting the tanks in deeper than they are used to. Don't let them get away with fitting the septic tank like they usually do then making the fall 'fit'.

    I suggest getting the builder to show you his fall calculation to the tank location and the depth of the tank so you know its right.

    It needs to be right to work properly.
    Yes, this is excellent advice thanks. This is definitely one of the things I want to be eagle-eyeing while they are doing the ground work and elemental plumbing before the main concrete gets poured.

    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    ^ or just add a further tank
    Would very much make for peace of mind, and might end up cheaper in the long-run. I will ask the builder about this. He may well volunteer this as a solution himself.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    Finally - on those septic tanks.... did you formalise the soakaway arrangements...what happens to the liquid AFTER it exits the tanks?

    This is fairly important if you dont want to be pumping your tanks every couple of months!
    Another excellent point, which I think we dealt with in meetings with the architect, but which I overlooked once the drawings arrived.

    Solex project-32-jpg



    ^ Here is the septic tank in the bottom left. The pipe running into the septic tank on the left (just next to the upwards running vent pipe) is entering from the toilet. There is another pipe running out to the right, and the Thai says that drains out to the storm water piping that we have in C-shape running out to the northern stream in two channels: one on the east and one on the west of the house.

    Solex project-28-jpg



    ^ You can see the C-shape arrangement here, with two drains in the top left and right running out to the stream. Those drains (brown and grey water from the septic tanks and grease tanks respectively) will both join the storm water drain to the stream. Several questions here. Can we do this? Well, these are the drawings that were submitted for approval at the OrBorTor, so we will soon find out! Then the other is, how does all this get engineered so that we have natural drops in the drains carrying everything out properly and no rises in the piping? Another job left for the builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    Oh, and one for the future. Once it's all built and you are 'in' and using those facilities, if you want the bacterial action to break down the tank contents, you will have to train your 'other half' NOT to tip bleach down the toilets as it will kill off the good bacteria. There are plenty of non-lethal toilet cleaners to use, but maybe did not see them before? Old habits can sometimes die hard, did with PJ, anyway though shes on board with it now. Over a year down the line in TD Towers and everything working exactly as it should, even with this incessant rain.
    Indeed, TD. Thanks for this. I am the kind of chap who has a go at the missus for this kind of thing and then goes and makes the same mistake himself. So we will both have to be on guard for this.


  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    " View of the septic tanks in black: one receiving from the solitary entrance toilet in the top right; one receiving from the kitchen and utility room sinks in the bottom right; and one receiving all of the discharge from the bathrooms in the bottom left."
    As TD has pointed out, it's a long way from the guest bathrooms to that septic. Perhaps that septic could be moved to a more central spot ? Why are you connecting a kitchen sink to a septic tank, are you installing a waste disposal system in the kitchen ? Usually just a greasetrap would be installed, leading to a soakaway, not a septic system. I know in some countries everything goes through the septic (that's why any sizing guides from USA tell you to have huge septic tanks), but not in Thailand. Blackwater to the tanks, greywater to greasetraps.
    You could get a slightly smaller tank for the entrance toilet, ie 800L instead of 1000, but the price difference is only a few hundred baht, and as that looks to be the closest to the main living area you might find it gets more use than you anticipate, so I would stick to the 1000L size.

    " we have resolved to go to Global House / ThaiWatsadu and look at prices ourselves"
    Global House have a pretty good website actually, so no need to go to the store. Set your local store in preferences and you get the local price, which does vary slightly for transport costs. It's in Thai only, but Chrome translates it OK. ThaiWatsadu's website is a bit clunky.
    Thanks, Mike.

    I agree, come to think of it, that that solitary toilet, although it looks quite small, alone and solitary, might end getting a fair bit of use. And, if the price difference is negligible, we should just stick to 1,000 litres as standard.

    ThaiWatsadu is my favourite of the B&Q (UK) / HomeDepot (US?) kind of shops here in Thailand, and it is a shame their website is so naff. Global House always appeared like the poor cousin to me, so I am surprised the website is good; I never checked it. But I will be checking it now. The other thing is: what have they actually got in stock? The websites can be misleading on this. Nothing beats an actual trip. We may find out that one of the shops has stock of tiles that we like, for example, but not enough quantity for our purposes. So we will go and see for ourselves. Makes a nice fun day out and the experience will start to really crystallise for us that these kinds of decisions will need to be made fairly quickly at some point.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    With the pandemic affecting store visitation, DIY/ building supplies stores are reacting in different ways as they try to drum up business.

    For info, HomePro are aggressively slashing prices across the product lines...they seem to be having a permanent sale, or price drop promotion every week.

    Not only building supplies, but household and electrical items - we bought our 80,000 THB LG double door fridge for only 38,000 and the electrolux washing machine, down from 40,000 to only 23k. The induction top was 60k down to 24k. Some absolute bargains to be had, they offer delivery for next to nothing, and their website can be viewed in English. Lastly, there are further discounts on some items if you buy online.

    With price cuts like this, it's worth considering for those toilet roll holders (!) and indeed, a few other things you might be needing. Not everyone may know it, but MegaHome is part of the HomePro empire.

    (I have no shares in HomePro, BTW)

    Wow! Sounds like you practically stole that fridge! 😊 We are actually heading to HomePro in Patts today after a Sunday Lunch. I will see what bargains they have.

    When we moved into this house here in the village, I had to buy air-con, curtains, washing machine, fridge, etc., and turn this place into a liveable house. That was our first experience of buying appliances. Our Samsung washing machine needed the repairmen to come and fix it very soon after installation. It has been fine since, but we have both learned a valuable lesson. The chaps from PowerBuy (from whom we bought the kit) came over and we chatted to them. Electrolux was the model cited to us. What we learned: don’t talk to the commission-based and stock-checking sales personnel – talk to the repairmen. They will tell you what works and what doesn’t!


    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    We had an all-in price, labour and materials, so I think this will work for you, too?

    You will obviously be choosing tiles, light, etc so... ask your builder what his budget is for all these specific items (and then check what he says against that BOQ. ie break down his broad-brush budgets into individual items). Then, go to the stores and pick your choices for everything, note down the shop, item, reference number and price, and hand this to your builder.

    Your guy cannot argue if you spend under or up to his budget, right!? and you get the styles and finishes you want. and if your final choice is slightly more than the budget... just pay him the difference.

    And if his budget breakdown suddenly becomes nowhere near his BOQ quote... well... you know what to do!
    Great advice, thanks. We will be buying everything ourselves, I would have thought. Although I will bear this in mind if the arrangement changes, or some of the more mundane stuff we leave to the builder (i.e steel and concrete, etc.).



  21. #121
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    Just a couple if questions before I go putting too much time into what I think would be a better arrangement for your toilets, showers and basins to allow for a (in my opinion) a better arrangement for your septic tanks and waste water traps.
    Firstly you say that you have or are submitting the plans post #118 to the OrBorTor. Has this been done already if not when do you plan to do it?
    Secondly I would not be putting any toilet water or other waste water in the storm drains as that will all end up in your creek on the north side and could create both a pollution and health hazard.
    Thirdly are you definitely not building the Sala in the location shown?

    So how high above the creek water level is your house going to be?
    Do you know how far down the water table is compared to your house (once the land has been built up).

    I believe you need 2 septic tanks, 1 for all the bedrooms and one for the eastern entrance toilet. These tanks should drain into a seepage system to allow the liquid overflow from the tanks to seep into the ground.
    All the waste water from your showers, basins, hot tub etc. should all be directed to "grease traps" that are then connected to the seepage system.

    I am fortunate here that we are above the surrounding ground and have good seepage so my system works really well. My final seepage consists of 6 "tanks" each made up of 3 concrete rings which in hindsight was overkill but I have never seen the bottom wet in the 10 years we have been using it.

    So if you have time to make some significant changes let me know and I will spend the time and effort to try and show you an alternative.

    As for your question about how they set up the drainage, unless you use a builder who has invested in some technology then you will see them running around with a water filled clear plastic hose.
    Water will flow down a 1 in 100 slope but better for it to be 1 in 75. As for water assisted crap flowing I am not sure what is the minimum gradient required although I used 1 in 75 as a guide.

    And can you please tell me what the thing is I have circled in the picture below?
    Solex project-mancs-house-jpg

  22. #122
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    Hi Ootai,

    Thanks for offering to help with this.

    That thing you have circled in the top right is the desired location of the in-ground water supply tank. It is right in front of the pump room, so it is close to the house water pump. The sala is almost certainly binned off now. I think I might know what your idea might be: to have the seepage water from these two septic tanks and grease traps drain into the garden in the front of the house. Is that right? I think that was the initial idea: to have the septic tanks on the northern side, but us moving the sala put paid to that. Another example of me tinkering and forgetting there was a reason why we put stuff where it was in the first place.

    I remember reading about septic tank outflow not being allowed to just drain into a natural waterway or storm water drain. Once again, I raised this with the architect and his builder mate, but that detail appears to have been forgotten, what with all the other details we concentrated on towards the end; namely the roof. We were told by the architect that the plans were ready for submission; all in order. So we submitted the plans in full on Friday. I did not question this any further, and am now very intrigued as to what the OrBorTor will say.

    Our land has been laid already. The land sloped downwards to the north (stream) in a stepped fashion, but we made it even up to the stream. This land fill work was done a couple of months back. There is quite a sharp drop to the stream. The drop is about 150cm to the bed of the stream; probably over 200cm when you factor in the ridge at the peak of the bank, although that height is not equal all around. I have no idea how far deep the water table is, unfortunately.

    I just looked at the BoQ again, and he has 3x septic tanks (each at B17,000!) and 3x grease traps. It is not clear from the drawings, but maybe the architect intended for these items to be set up in series, although it does very much appear that they are connected to the C-shape stormwater drain.

    Thank you for making these points. I can see this is something I am going to have to look at in a lot more detail and not simply accept the “don’t worry about it” line, which is so ubiquitous here. Thank you very much also for your offer to flesh out a bit of a plan for me. Let's see what the OrBorTor say first, and I may come calling back for ideas.

    The FiL is quite good with this kind of stuff. His house is just a few meters up from ours and, similarly, is not connected to a main street drain. I will be discussing this with him and the builder.

  23. #123
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    FYI.... i think that BOQ needs some serious scrutiny!


    SKU: 1138062
    Septic tank DOS HERO black 1,200 liters

    5,590
    4,690 baht

    SKU: 1019227
    Septic tank WAVE ZAD 1000 liters
    3,890
    3,790 baht

    SKU: 113799
    Septic tank DOS ULTRA 2,000 liters gray

    12,090
    11,490 baht

    SKU: 1019250
    Septic tank WAVE ZAD 1,200 liters
    5,290 4,690 baht

    Grease trap DEXZON PPIB 30 liters
    1,850 1,750 bahtBuy online, get an additional 175 baht discount.

    SKU: 1109344
    Grease trap FLUSSO PPIB 30 liters
    1,850 1,490 baht


    HomePro sample prices. 17,000THB seems 'a lot'!

    (and no... i cannot format this page. serves me right for copy//paste from homepro online!)

    Last edited by Thai Dhupp; 20-09-2021 at 02:39 PM.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    FYI.... i think that BOQ needs some serious scrutiny!
    Thanks, TD. I think a lot of it can be ignored, frankly.

    The positive way to spin it is that the BoQ could be very conservatively priced, meaning our overall costs will look a lot better than forecast.

    The correct way to view it is with a lot of suspicion. Prices could also be vastly underestimated. Furthermore, if scant work has gone into it, which appears to be the case, what else has been omitted entirely?

    I am hoping that our civil engineer architect has got the bread and butter stuff correct: steel and cement, piping, their quantities, sizes and dimensions. If not, then we have a right-off and we are pretty much starting from scratch.

    There is no way around actually doing our own BoQ. We plan to spend a couple of days next weekend in the shops getting prices for everything – right after I have had my Sinopharm jab.

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by manc View Post
    The positive way to spin it is that the BoQ could be very conservatively priced, meaning our overall costs will look a lot better than forecast.
    Maybe I am only repeating what TD has already said. We got the BoQ from the builder and pretty much rubber-stamped it because we weren't able to challenge him too much on the steel and the concrete whilst we went out and bought most other things ourselves: doors, windows, bathroom and kitchen suites, tiles and paint, light fittings, water tank and wall cabinets. Each time we bought something we just crossed it off the BoQ. Obviously the builder knew we would do this.
    I'm not sure that we saved much but I am sure that we got what we wanted.
    There were similarly some extras that came along and were agreed additions to the BoQ.
    If you plan to be directly involved in spending hours looking at toilets as we did and as long as the builder doesn't rush out and buy stuff that you have told him you will buy then there shouldn't be much problem.
    If the builder doesn't like that arrangement then I'd suspect him of having marked things up unreasonably.
    Of course you do need to make sure that you have things bought and on site when the builder needs them. He'd not be happy if his roofers were trying to finish and the insulation wasn't yet delivered, for example.

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