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  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy View Post
    we have dual pain tinted glass through out our house and they make a HUGE difference
    Do you remember who supplied your windows?

  2. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    Order cancelled this morning after being advised they were, "Very busy" and unable to provide a time & date to come to site and confirm we are building a 5.0m gate.

    Order cancellation by SWMBO was with the daughter of the owner, who agreed to return the full 50% deposit we paid when the order was placed. The owner, who could easily double as Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love, was less forthcoming, wanting to charge 3,000 THB for a site visit the day after we placed the order and gave them the deposit. The visit by the mother and daughter was to scope the gate installation and confirm details of the electric gate controller and its installation. They were also scheduled to speak with the fence contractor but arrived too late @ 5:30pm, after advising they would be there at 4:00pm.

    SWMBO was less than impressed with the owner's attitude and let her know in no uncertain terms a deduction of 3,000 THB from the deposit for a site visit was not acceptable. After a number of phone calls and veiled threats from the mother, whose arrogance would only be exceeded by Anutin, the daughter finally stepped in and paid the full amount back into two separate accounts: 18,000 in one account and 3,000 in the other so as to disguise repayment of the full amount from the mother.

    Lesson learned - be wary of pushy, aggressive older Thai ladies. They can be very waspish if things don't go their way.

  3. #228
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    ^ i'd be tempted to ring them to ask them for a a series of quotes and site visits to a number of locations near and far, if i was bored and not a little vindictive

  4. #229
    CCBW Stumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    We have a s/s gate maker in our village
    Same us Shu. Local guy. Young and very professional. Has a full team. He did our front gate and set up all the tracks and motor. Nice to support locally plus builds up your relationship with your neighbors. I see him from time to time and we always take time to talk. Plus, always nice to have a SST/Metal shop guy nearby for the odd projects where you want SST. He has a nice pile of remnants I can dig through for a cheap price. Usually he says "Naah man, just take it" I usually offer a few hundred baht for a beer or 3.

  5. #230
    CCBW Stumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    Do you remember who supplied your windows?
    Windsor.

  6. #231
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    Property Entrance Gate

    Progress on installation of a new gate at the entrance to the property continues at a moderate pace. The gate will be motorised with lights at the top of the main column so power and lighting wires were run through underground conduit to the entrance yesterday. Formwork and rebar mesh for the driveway installed today. Had wanted to use pre-mixed concrete but BIL, who chairs the Gate Installation Committee had already ordered sand, cement and blue metal for hand mixing. Not specifying pre-mix to the builder was my mistake - I should have got in earlier however an emergency trip to BKK by SWMBO this morning to look after her sick son disrupted the day. At least I got the opportunity to ask them to use rebar chairs under the mesh. Some smirks and sneers followed, however a shrug of my shoulders was enough to tell them to deal with it.


  7. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    Had wanted to use pre-mixed concrete but BIL, who chairs the Gate Installation Committee had already ordered sand, cement and blue metal for hand mixing. Not specifying pre-mix to the builder was my mistake - I should have got in earlier however an emergency trip to BKK by SWMBO this morning to look after her sick son disrupted the day.

    Common sense prevailed. While SWMBO is away in BKK looking after her sick son, I took on the BIL over his decision to do the entrance way with an on-site concrete mix. Normally SWMBO would not even contemplate doing this given she is the youngest member of the family. It was an interesting discussion to say the least: a Farang who doesn't speak Thai and a Thai who doesn't speak English, but does understand it in a limited fashion. Got him to cancel the order for the sand, cement and blue metal and to order 6 cubic metres of pre-mix 300 concrete. Was able to capitalise on SWMBO being preoccupied getting the son home from hospital. BIL was somewhat standoffish but understood, and did not miss my suggestion to blame the cancellation on the farang.



    First 4 metres poured, 2 more to follow.
    The fence contractor should have been smiling but was looking sideways at me. The work quality from he and his two team mates has been good to date. Unfortunately they have dropped the ball on the gate. Poor quality work has left a sour taste: form work less than satisfactory, drainage pipes laid too deep to be effective, rebar work less than satisfactory. Overall slow work rate. Disappointing, but hey, this is Thailand...



    Full 6 cubic metres laid, ready for brushing off.
    Concrete cost 2,000 per cubic metre. Given it was ordered early this morning I wasn't going to complain. We were told we were 4th in the queue: 1st load arrived @ 10:10. Can't complain about the service- impressed.

  8. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    form work less than satisfactory, drainage pipes laid too deep to be effective, rebar work less than satisfactory.
    Well, it looks pretty good. Your premix should be strong so the rebar work isn't really critical.
    The workmen are still building the concrete road in the lane outside my house, their rebar placement is just a joke still I reckon the road will be fine for years to come.
    The one thing that does surprise me a little is that they never seem to cover the wet concrete. Other hot countries you'll often see damp hessian sacks laid on top for a day or more to retain the moisture that the concrete needs to set. Here, well, TiT.

  9. #234
    CCBW Stumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    he one thing that does surprise me a little is that they never seem to cover the wet concrete. Other hot countries you'll often see damp hessian sacks laid on top for a day or more to retain the moisture that the concrete needs to set. Here, well, TiT.
    Any and all concrete work that has been done at our place I regularly sprayed with water during the curing process. The first time on our drive way, my wife asked me what the hell I was doing. I sat and explained to her the process. Also I never allow the "Thai mix cement at site" process. I have watched them mix it in big black tubs at other places and it is laughable. I am picky and maybe it works, but........

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    I took on the BIL over his decision to do the entrance way with an on-site concrete mix.
    And so you should, its your money and you have to live with the outcome so well done. Sometimes the family dynamics in Thailand can mean treading a tightrope us whities aren't used to.

  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy View Post
    Any and all concrete work that has been done at our place I regularly sprayed with water during the curing process
    yep same here. spray down or soak 3 times a day for 5 days is my mantra.

  12. #237
    CCBW Stumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    And so you should, its your money and you have to live with the outcome so well done. Sometimes the family dynamics in Thailand can mean treading a tightrope us whities aren't used to.
    Absolutely. You have to stand your ground or get the "Well that's how we do it here" spiel. Early on during our house build my wife and I had some pretty strong arguments. I was not buying the Thai way crap. They have all the tools, supplies to do the job right. One simply needs to show them. So you can either fall into the SWMBO stuff or simply say "Not gonna happen on my nickel".

  13. #238
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    You can either look back with regret and say i told you so, or look back without regret and say i told you so.

  14. #239
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    Thanks for the comments and support gents. Very much appreciated.
    The family dynamic has been some what strained judging by the wife's cool reception with me on a Line video call this morning. Another speed bump to negotiate when she arrives home tomorrow.

    Mike, will go and spray more water on the entrance now - did it this morning and will do so again late this afternoon. Cheers

  15. #240
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    peciacake

    Fight hard and let us know the outcome/s.
    As for your concrete, if your gate is 5m wide as you say and I trust you unlike the gate maker, then I would estimate the are you concreted as around 30 sq metres so 6 metres would give you an average depth of 20cm and that should withstand all the abuse it will get.

    As for your drain pipes being too low. On the lowest side/end dig a trench low enough for the water to runaway from you driveway. Make the trench extend at least to the neighbours property line and then it will be his problem not yours. That is how the Thai's deal with stuff like that i.e. build your land up higher than the neighbours so your water runs off your land onto theirs.

    I can't recall you saying anywhere what solution you have come up with regarding the gap at the bottom of the mesh fence. How are you going to seal it?
    I always wanted to plant bougainvillea along our fence once it grows and fills out the thorns on that shit will stop everything.

  16. #241
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    Ootai,
    Appreciate your comments - thank you for posting. Our land is a corner block so I'll be digging out where the roadside culvert should be for as far as I possibly can so the water runs away rather than washing soil from the block & blocking up the drain pipes under the entrance.

    SWMBO bought more mesh to infill the space between the bottom of the mesh and the ground. It will then have soil back-filled against it to prevent the temple dogs digging under it. We will definitely be planting bougainvillea along the fence on either side of the gate. Apart from the fact they flower almost all year round and look great with the different colours. As you say the thorns are a great deterrent for just about everything. Even stopped the possums getting into the roof cavity in my old place in Sydney.

  17. #242
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    Entrance Gate Completed

    Finally finished the installation of the entrance gate to the property. The construction a worthy contender as the entrance to Fort Knox. Never let it be said SWMBO is one to skimp on steel. We now have a gate weighing close to 1,000 kilos judging by the amount of RHS tube used. Fortunately the electric gate opener we bought is rated to 1,000 kilos. Anything less wouldn't be up to it

    Note the fence post on the LHS of the gate column. It's 2.0m high and the mesh she bought is the same height. Who said she's paranoid about security?
    I still think my idea of a 1.5m concrete post fence with four strands of barbed wire would have done the trick, but then who needs the hassle of an unhappy wife.

    Kudos to the BIL who supervised the process. While he tends to get carried away during his many lengthy planning meetings the end result in this instance is aesthetically pleasing. Not so pleasing was the amount of slag left in the welds. Showing the fabricators a picture of a welder's chipping hammer brought blanks looks. When the process was explained to them they showed me how they grind the welds out with a 4.5 inch angle grinder then fill the welds with plastic body filler. I pointed out this leaves a lot of slag still in the weld, which would over time crack away and fall out notwithstanding the plastic filler used. Do you think this made any difference / change to chipping out the slag? No, neither did I. Ah well...as they say, "This is Thailand...."

    On a completely separate topic, if anyone knows a builder they can recommend who comes from around Surin / Sisaket / Korat / Buri Ram and would be interested in building our house please give me a shout. We were going to use Bandee Design and Construction but after observing the experience of another expat and his wife, who went from very happy to very unhappy (with good reason) we've decided not to use Bandee.


  18. #243
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    On a completely separate topic, if anyone knows a builder they can recommend who comes from around Surin / Sisaket / Korat / Buri Ram and would be interested in building our house please give me a shout
    Noted Roi Et not on your list but when you get up my way, I know a good one who even though he may not care to do it, he will certainly be able to recommend one in your area.

    Will take you to talk with him.

  19. #244
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    Look forward to that Norton. Many thanks.

  20. #245
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    (There’s) trouble at t’mill
    This is a story about a village divided. Those who have buffalo and those that don't.

    Readers of my posts may recall a story posted earlier about the Buffalo Shit Wars we've been caught up in. These relate to the local buffalo owners who stable their buffalo around Ayong's town reservoir, who every afternoon proceed to let their herds into the reservoir. Some herds spending upwards of 30 minutes cooling off. At times I've counted over 50 buffalo before I've got distracted and lost count. Needless to say a lot of buffalo shit ends up in the water. Do the maths, it's scary.

    To improve the town's water quality, the obotor put a fence around the reservoir in May last year. Howls of outrage were heard up and down Ayong as the (privileged few) buffalo owners who let their herds cool off in the town's water supply deemed to have had their "right" to use the water taken away from them. Yuri was one of the ones leading the protest against the privileged few that included the village chief. Yuri along with her aunt, a buffalo owner who had to make her own arrangements when it came off cooling off her herd, attended a meeting where it was made clear the days of buffalo fouling the water were over, .... or so we thought. Yuri was immediately seen as antagonistic towards the buffalo owners, when all she really wanted was to have water sans buffalo shit contamination. The new fence around the reservoir quickly had sections removed and the buffalos continued their daily routine. Round one to the buffalo owners.

    Roll forward to Feb 2022 and the recently elected obotor officials were given 8.0M THB to spend on upgrades to Ayong's infrastructure. Among the re-elected officials is Yuri's uncle, a man with his head screwed on and the best interests of the village at heart. He and the village chief, a self-serving trouble maker, do not get on. Yuri's uncle proposed upgrading the water filtration plant to include automatic chlorine dosing as well as upgrades to the pumping system itself. The chief was not a supporter and campaigned in the back ground attempting to white ant the proposal. Included in the proposal was resumption of government land surrounding the reservoir that had been leased to local farmers for market gardens. It was always conditional on being retuned to the government at some point, and was only to be used for vegetable growing. Never ones to miss an opportunity the locals who were lucky enough to get some of the land quickly replaced their veggie patches with buffalo sheds, giving them easy access to the reservoir.

    Which brings us to this week, and trouble at t'mill...
    To say land disputes are like touch-paper to Thais is an understatement. Anything that they perceive infringes their rights to occupancy of land is regarded as a sovereign crime. In this instance the obotor was painted as being deceitful and sneaky (I'd agree with that in this instance - some buffalo owners had recently upgraded their sheds and have now done their dough cold. They could / should have been told it was not permitted under their occupancy agreements). At least 12 families are affected. Three of them are along the Northern border of our land. They were told to clear all structures and trees from the land they occupy this week. Otherwise it would be cleared by the obotor with no care as to what happened to the sheds and rice straw stored on the tenant's land.

    All the while construction of the mega-fence around our land has continued. It has become almost routine as work progresses with completion in the next 10 - 14 days. So we've taken a bit of a step back, checking in early in the morning then again late in the day to monitor progress against the day's objectives. We were aware there was some disquiet among the buffalo owners, but were not concerned it was a problem for us. Big mistake.



    The image above shows how the bamboo from one of the buffalo owners has been cut and deliberately laid / dropped across our new fence. My first reaction was incandescent rage. It was clearly a "get square" for Yuri's protests. All I could see was a sizeable repair bill for the damage done to the fence by the heavy bamboo. The chief smiling smugly as he watched me stalk around the clump of intertwined bamboo laying all over the fence.

    Closer inspection showed just how strong the fence is. Apart from the two strands of barbed wire that had been torn off the posts the mesh was largely intact, albeit it needed to be re-tied to the posts. It is a testament to just how strong the mesh is and removed any doubts I had about whether it would match the advertised claims.

    It took three hours to remove the bamboo: Yuri's uncle coming to the rescue with his tractor and a wire rope sling to drag it away, taking care not to cause any damage to the fence now interlocked with long spears of bamboo. No damage though, so all's well. Gave the chief a smile and a wave when we finished just to show there's no hard feelings.



    The "after" shot showing where the bamboo was. An eight metre section of the fence was affected, fortunately with nothing other than cosmetic damage. That's the existing water treatment plant building in the bottom LHS. 8.0M THB should make for a pretty decent filtration & pumping system. That plus the buffalo having to go some where else to cool off and we've got the chance to have a half decent pumping station and water treatment plant.

    Round two to the non-buffalo owners.

    Something tells me we haven't heard the last in this saga. The chief didn't look happy when I gave him a wave...

  21. #246
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    Like Lakorn

    When is the next election, the rich farang can seed the village with money for votes

  22. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    (There’s) trouble at t’mill
    Welcome to village life, generations of accumulated grudges. People help each other often, then that seems to be quickly forgotten. Slights, however small, seem to stay in thefamily memory for ever.

    I don't get buffaloes. A crucial part of farming life a couple of decades ago, they no longer contribute anything to the farming cause. Someone I know turned down an offer of 1 million Baht for her buffalo last year, then it got sick and died two weeks later. Ho hum.

    People who own buffalo are perceived as wealthy. Another local story is that someone with a 'white' buffalo was asked "how much" and replied "3 million" as a joke. The buyer shook hands and the seller cried to see it go, saying he was a man of honour (whatever that means locally) and had to let it go at the price he had asked. Locals say he could have had Baht10K a day income from the buffalo sperm. Maybe true, but to what end? Creating a lot more buffaloes?

    Thebuffalo lobby is a strong collective. I don't understand it, still there it is.

  23. #248
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    I wish you all the best with the rest of your build my friend. I know you may not like to face the fact that building in Thailand may not quite equal your expectations of a western build but the best thing for your mental health is to let them do what they do.

    At the end of the day your bint will be dealing with their sub standard work and you will be pushing up daisies.

    Cheers Buddy.

    PS. Some punters crack onto a brilliant builder so the show goes on.

  24. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by peciacake View Post
    Something tells me we haven't heard the last in this saga
    Good yarn, great pix hears that there's a lot of shit in rural surin, I think there's a thread somewhere

  25. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutree View Post
    I don't get buffaloes. A crucial part of farming life a couple of decades ago, they no longer contribute anything to the farming cause. Someone I know turned down an offer of 1 million Baht for her buffalo last year, then it got sick and died two weeks later. Ho hum.
    Same here Shutree. From what I see around the village a lot of effort goes into the daily management of buffalo herds. For what? I'm reliably informed buffalo meat is prized for its quality and taste. Haven't yet seen it on my travels around various shops, supermarkets and restaurants.

    It's big business in the top end of Australia, with many teams dedicated to rounding up and exporting water buffalo meat internationally, so there must be a pretty lucrative market judging by the capital these teams have invested (road trains, helicopters, chase vehicles). But I don't see any large scale buffalo farming in Thailand. Much of the trade seems to be selling mature animals among breeders, not to market.

    Like many things I've experienced in Thailand, another one of life's little mysteries...

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