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Thread: Solex project

  1. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    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
    Sounds familiar! Although this BoQ was done by our architect. The plan was always to have the architect do a BoQ for us, get potential building contractors to do their own for our project using the drawings, and then scrutinise the differences. What is becoming more and more clear is that we should be doing our own BoQ anyway – to the extent that this is feasible for us.

    I should state, just to avoid any doubt, that we did have a builder sit with us during some of the meetings with the architect, particularly at the start. The choice of architect was the builder’s suggestion. We know the builder as a family friend. We would prefer to contract this builder due to him being familiar. But we reserve the right, obviously, to go elsewhere if anything does not feel right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    I'm not sure that we saved much but I am sure that we got what we wanted.
    Thanks, Shutree, this is what we are hoping to do. And if something turns out more expensive than the BoQ it is because we have opted for quality rather than because the builder has exaggerated prices for profit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    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.
    This is one of the drawbacks of supplying your own materials. Whenever we have discussed “labour-only” deals with building contractors, this was one of their favourite points to make, no doubt to push us to an all-in option.

  2. #127
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    Originally Posted by Shutree (Solex project)
    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.



    This is one of the drawbacks of supplying your own materials. Whenever we have discussed “labour-only” deals with building contractors, this was one of their favourite points to make, no doubt to push us to an all-in option.

    -----

    Yeah, well that works both ways.

    It's up to the builder to tell you in good time when he needs things! That way, he won't be delayed, will he!?

  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    Yeah, well that works both ways.

    It's up to the builder to tell you in good time when he needs things! That way, he won't be delayed, will he!?

    Exactly! Adequate planning on both sides can negate that argument.

  4. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Dhupp View Post
    It's up to the builder to tell you in good time when he needs things! That way, he won't be delayed, will he!?
    TD, I think you were blessed with a very competent builder. My guy had a couple of people who were here throughout and a good many who came and went for particular jobs, like the wiring and the plastering and the tiling. They weren't always coordinated and sometimes the boss would arrive for a site inspection and discover that something was needed urgently. This was never a big problem for us as we got along fairly well. It is all about good communication and yes, that has to work both ways.

  5. #130
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    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, the brown water from the septics certainly should not ! That should drain out into a leach field / soakaway where it undergoes further biological treatment (well away from a veggie garden). Ideally the grey water wouldn’t either , but this is Thailand. There are plenty of buildings discharging grey water ( with and without grease traps) into canals, storm drains and even straight on to the street ( which is what our rental house did until I at least diverted the grey water into a gravel filled soak away ).
    If you have the space and the slope of the land allows it, best to have both run into a leach field, and then soak through the soil and plants into the stream eventually, by which time it would hopefully be harmless.


    And on a completely different subject, from another look at your plans I gather your wife ( and architect ) is not superstitious?
    Last edited by mikenot; 23-09-2021 at 06:47 PM.

  6. #131
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    Talking about Thaiwatsadu before, you may or may not know that they are part of the Central group so if you have one of Central’s “The 1” cards you can accumulate quite a few points buying house stuff at Thaiwatsadu, and Baan and Beyond, Powerbuy, and at the rest of the Central empire. It all adds up when building a house !

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    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, the brown water from the septics certainly should not ! That should drain out into a leach field / soakaway where it undergoes further biological treatment (well away from a veggie garden). Ideally the grey water wouldn’t either , but this is Thailand. There are plenty of buildings discharging grey water ( with and without grease traps) into canals, storm drains and even straight on to the street ( which is what our rental house did until I at least diverted the grey water into a gravel filled soak away ).
    If you have the space and the slope of the land allows it, best to have both run into a leach field, and then soak through the soil and plants into the stream eventually, by which time it would hopefully be harmless.
    Hi Mike, thanks for this. I walked along the stream one day with the missus to establish why the water looked an off colour. Loads of pipes discharging into the stream from neighbouring plots.
    Also, none of the houses I lived in here in Thailand that had septic tanks had soakaways or leach fields. None had the space for it. If the OrBorTor pass the plans through, I imagine our plan will be as the drawings. Not an ideal situation, I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    And on a completely different subject, from another look at your plans I gather your wife ( and architect ) is not superstitious?
    Ha ha! I have dismissed all of this nonsense whenever it has raised its head, so I don’t even know exactly what it is you are referring to. Possibly something about the way the beds are facing? 😃

    I had a tough job trying to sell the idea to the family of there being a toilet at the front entrance. The fact that this is positionally sound for several reasons did not pass the Chinese feng shui ghost test, or whatever random superstition contradicts it. The missus said the FiL had been out onto the plot asking the spirits for permission for us to build a house there. Luckily the spirits apparently consented, which was very kind of them. Otherwise, this thread would not have been started.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikenot View Post
    Talking about Thaiwatsadu before, you may or may not know that they are part of the Central group so if you have one of Central’s “The 1” cards you can accumulate quite a few points buying house stuff at Thaiwatsadu, and Baan and Beyond, Powerbuy, and at the rest of the Central empire. It all adds up when building a house !
    Thanks for this. I have instructed the wife to research exactly what kind of benefits there are to this to see if it is worthwhile bearing in mind. If the reward points only get us B200 off a toaster then I will ignore it. I am more inclined to believe the discounts on bulk purchases from DIY stores would beat any rewards from The1Card, but I am very prepared to be convinced otherwise.

  8. #133
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    Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I have been busy with work. Also, there have been some excellent thought-provoking posts that have prompted further reading on my part. (roof: how to vent, gables ends, whirlybirds?; in-ground vs above-ground water tanks: maintenance, floating from high water table?; brown and grey water discharge, soakaways; French drains for discharging storm water around the house, and a million other things).

    On Wednesday next week we are meeting our preferred builder. I have been going through other build threads and jogging my memory of construction processes to list questions that would be good to ask him. Since he is a friend of the family, he is very likely to get the job. We will be asking him to produce his own BoQ.

    We should have a decision from the OrBorTor on our building application by Monday 18 October. I would really like to get started on the build in November.

    I am even thinking of starting to buy items now. GBP/THB has not been totally awful recently, and I have been making movements and capitalising on the not-horrendous FX rate (£1=B46). Not quite the £1=B72 I was getting in April '06, but it will do compared to two years ago. Unfortunately, my accruing baht has coincided with the reduction on the government's guarantee on bank deposits (only 1MB coverage per person per institution now), so I have had to open several bank accounts to split this up.

    We are going to a uPVC windows and doors place in Pattaya tomorrow to get quotes. Then on Sunday we are Bangkok-bound. The missus has found a popular built-in furniture builder/fitter based in Nonthaburi with prices that are not extortionate – distinguishing them from all the other local service providers. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be good to have somebody lined up to do the job when the dressing room and kitchen need doing.

    When I get chance I will feed back with more news.

    manc

  9. #134
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    I must be bored as I had nothing else to do (at least that I wanted to do) so I made a rough sketch of what I think would work for your septic tanks and grey water drains.

    In the drawing the solid red circles are your 3 septic tanks, the green circles are the soak tanks for your septic outlets and the blue circles are for your grey water soakage. The blue rectangles are your grease traps for your grey water.

    I believe that looking at your pictures that you will have a bit over 3 metres at the south side of the house which should be enough room for the soakage tanks which are about 1.2m in diameter.

    I think in one of your posts you said you thought I was going to suggest putting the tanks where you pool was going on the north side. That is true but then you said about it becoming a garden and you don't want tanks in your garden area.

    Also If I read it correctly you have said that there will be about 60cm gap at the south side under the house and this will reduce to about 20cm at the north side so to me it makes sense to try and run your pipes where the clearance is greatest. You should have reasonable access to pump the soakage tanks or the septic tanks in the future if the pump truck was at your carport entrance they could get to everything.

    If the soakage was not sufficient in your area then you could divert overflow from your soakage tanks to the storm drain as I believe it would be much cleaner by then.

    One concern that should be considered is will having the soakage tanks there create a water logged area and compromise your footings?

    I am looking forward to hearing what the Or Bor Tor has to say about where the septic water can go. My experience has been that Thai's don't give a lot of thought to drainage and just let the water flow wherever it goes, hence no gutters on houses. Theior remedy is to build up the land if there is a water issue doesn't seem to matter that might create a problem for someone else.

    Don't work too hard and keep us updated please.


    Solex project-mancs-water-lines-paint-jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    One concern that should be considered is will having the soakage tanks there create a water logged area and compromise your footings?
    Good post Ootai, but without seeing the plot size v house there is no reason why the run from the septic tank to the soakaways could not be extended provided an appropriate gradient for the connecting pipe is employed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Good post Ootai, but without seeing the plot size v house there is no reason why the run from the septic tank to the soakaways could not be extended provided an appropriate gradient for the connecting pipe is employed.
    malmomike
    If you go back to post #71 he shows the house plan on the land plan and there ain't much room.
    The soakage tanks could also be located under the house depending on where the footings are located which is something I don't know.
    Of course if he was to do that then the tanks would need to be put in prior to the slab/floor being constructed.
    All these issues could have been avoided if he had purchased 5 rai to build on as well but that ain't how it is.

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    Ootai, thanks, i'd missed that.

  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    I must be bored as I had nothing else to do (at least that I wanted to do) so I made a rough sketch of what I think would work for your septic tanks and grey water drains.


    […]

    Don't work too hard and keep us updated please.


    Hi Ootai,

    Thank you for taking the time to draw up this sketch. You are right: there is a 3.2m distance between the southern boundary of our plot and the southern wall of the house. This is not a great deal of space. Within that area we plan to put that stormwater drain and the septics / grease tanks. I clarified with the builder, and what I suspected to be the case appears to be true: the waste water (sewage / grey) goes into the septic tanks / grease traps respectively and then straight into the C-shaped stormwater drain with two outlets running into the north-facing stream – i.e. no soakaways / leach field. I actually raised the idea of having soakaways downstream of the septics/grease tanks with the builder, and his face was a picture of total and utter consternation: “why on earth would you want to go to the trouble and expense of doing that”?
    😊 We also got the plans back from the OrBorTor yesterday: building application approved, as-is. So, presumably the OrBorTor would be thinking the same thing. I will have another read up on this, though.


  14. #139
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    Update

    We met our preferred builder on Wednesday. It was a two-hour meeting. I took him through the full plan and asked loads of questions. We will not be doing a “labour-only” arrangement. As is probably the case with a lot of people, we will be getting him to buy the boring stuff (cement, sand, piping, bricks, etc.) and we will be buying the more interesting stuff (tiles, taps, fixtures, etc.). He is going to come back within the next week or so with a price and other terms for a building contract. We have spoken to quite a few builders already, but we are quite happy with our preferred builder (k. Manit), and he is a family friend as well. Barring a ridiculous price for his services or dodgy details hidden within the terms and minutiae, he will almost certainly be getting the job.

    Manit’s FiL (Lung Dtia), who is very close to the OrBorTor, managed to get the planning permission decision confirmed quickly. Apparently the plans had been approved a while ago, but the OrBorTor were waiting for us to call in and enquire about the decision status, at which point a contribution to the tea fund would have been solicited. Once the OrBorTor realised our project was with Lung Dtia and Manit, the approved documents were sent back to our house immediately. Let’s hope Manit/Dtia’s house building skills are as good as their connections.

    It has been a mega busy few weeks and the next few weeks could be even busier as we get things in place to finally start this build. That being the case, entries in the thread may be a bit sparse for the foreseeable future. Trying to work full time, stick to an exercise regime, have a bit of a social life and build a house mean that time is at a premium. Once it all quietens down somewhat, I will do a few more detailed entries.

    In the meantime, thank you to everybody for all your help, contributions and suggestions so far!

    manc

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    manc, great to hear you're nearly there with the start, wish you and you lady all the best with it and looking forward to the updates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    manc, great to hear you're nearly there with the start, wish you and you lady all the best with it and looking forward to the updates.
    Thanks, Mike! And thanks for your help so far.

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    VAT

    Morning everyone!

    We have sat down with our builder now and gone through quite a lot of detail. I have got a price for the job too, and this tallies with what the architect cited in his BoQ. I will go into this in more detail in a cost breakdown thread entry once everything is ironed out and the builder is officially commissioned.

    The builder's price that tallies with the architect's BoQ does not include VAT, which would of course be applied at 7%, raising our base cost from 2.8MB (the price that tallies with the BoQ) to 3MB (which is of course over that price).

    So now I have a question for everybody: is this normal? I am aware and accept that VAT should be incorporated somewhere, yet the family aren't convinced that VAT should be added. I have had a search on the main Thailand-expat building forums and cannot see a great deal of hits when searching for VAT.

    So I was wondering: do the BoQ prices quoted by architects have VAT included? Should the builder's quotes to me include VAT already? Is this normally visible? In other words: is this a cheeky markup from my builder?

    I would be very interested to hear other people's experiences.

    manc

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    Quote Originally Posted by manc View Post
    So I was wondering: do the BoQ prices quoted by architects have VAT included? Should the builder's quotes to me include VAT already? Is this normally visible? In other words: is this a cheeky markup from my builder?
    In my case there was no mention of tax, that was the builder's issue to deal with, if he paid any at all. The BoQ price was the price we paid.
    If the BoQ did not specifically say that VAT was not included then I'd be thinking like you that this is a cheeky markup.

  19. #144
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    We did a big renovation last year, coming in at right about 3 million baht. We did not pay a VAT, and I never even heard it discussed. This was with a very reliable and upscale construction firm. I have never heard of it.

  20. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    In my case there was no mention of tax, that was the builder's issue to deal with, if he paid any at all. The BoQ price was the price we paid.
    If the BoQ did not specifically say that VAT was not included then I'd be thinking like you that this is a cheeky markup.
    Thanks for the quick response, Shutree.

    I just contacted the architect and he said that the BoQ (being light in detail as it is) did not factor VAT into the price.

  21. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    We did a big renovation last year, coming in at right about 3 million baht. We did not pay a VAT, and I never even heard it discussed. This was with a very reliable and upscale construction firm. I have never heard of it.

    Thank you, aging one. My suspicions are rising now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manc View Post
    did not factor VAT into the price.
    And did he and the builder already chat about this. Maybe 50/50?

  23. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    And did he and the builder already chat about this. Maybe 50/50?
    I certainly would not rule it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manc View Post


    Hi Ootai,

    Thank you for taking the time to draw up this sketch. You are right: there is a 3.2m distance between the southern boundary of our plot and the southern wall of the house. This is not a great deal of space. Within that area we plan to put that stormwater drain and the septics / grease tanks. I clarified with the builder, and what I suspected to be the case appears to be true: the waste water (sewage / grey) goes into the septic tanks / grease traps respectively and then straight into the C-shaped stormwater drain with two outlets running into the north-facing stream – i.e. no soakaways / leach field. I actually raised the idea of having soakaways downstream of the septics/grease tanks with the builder, and his face was a picture of total and utter consternation: “why on earth would you want to go to the trouble and expense of doing that”?
    😊 We also got the plans back from the OrBorTor yesterday: building application approved, as-is. So, presumably the OrBorTor would be thinking the same thing. I will have another read up on this, though.

    manc
    I must have missed this when you posted it. Anyway I would say its "up to you" whether you are happy letting water come straight out of you septic tank and into an open drain that runs around the perimeter of your house and then into the stream. I have no doubt the stream is not exactly in pristine condition so the main problem would be if you have kids or animals that play in or drink from the drain.
    I am sure it would not be approved in a more advanced country. I am always amazed at the lack of planning that goes into water catchment and runoff here. No long term plan seems to exist so the solution is to build up your land higher than the neighbours then the problem is theirs.

    As for you question about VAT I can't remember it ever been mentioned when we built our place but that was quite some time ago and I am getting older so the memory might not be in great condition.
    However in saying that I can't see that the builder would be required to be paying VAT except for that charged on the materials he buys. Whenever you buy something here there is always a 7% VAT tax component on the receipt.
    Maybe the BoQ supplied didn't include any VAT in the prices he listed but the quantities shouldn't change. If it was me I would be asking the builder to show me every receipt he gets for purchase of any material and then compare what he actually paid with what he quoted. I am sure the receipt will have VAT included.

    Good luck.

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