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  1. #1
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    Pre Fab Building Ideas

    Houses are functional, but often ppl put appearances first. Thailand is no exception. Air con has led to lazy design with inadequate shade and ventilation. Glass and concrete trap and store heat, it's common to see whole blocks concreted over. Some houses are so large, with so much glass cleaning is almost a full time job.

    Building in Thailand is unpredictable. It's necessary to be on the job daily to prevent mistakes and rip offs. For working ppl this isn't feasable, besides, who wants to hire someone who's untrustworthy?

    I have an idea to build custom pre fab house. This would be two main rooms with air con, one combining an office and bedroom, the other just a bedroom. These rooms could be pre fab and dropped onto a slab, then a 'shed' with steel beams and colorbond roof could be built over the top. In between the rooms would be a semi open living area:
    Pre Fab Building Ideas-plan-5-floor-jpg

    There would be a 30 degree pitch on the roof for good ventilation. The kitchen and living areas would be in semi open, so despite it's size the house won't feel small.

    Pre Fab Building Ideas-plan-5-elevation-jpg

    This is just an idea, one of several. It's the smallest and simplest I could come up with. The basic idea is to use traditional design style with modern techniques and materials, with as much work being done off site as possible. I'm also considering using roller doors for security and privacy. This would make it very easy to enclose. I'd appreciate any feedback, feel free to criticize.

  2. #2
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    So the only reason you are going prefab is that it means you don't have to deal with builders on site? Seems to me that the usual beam and aerated cement blocks does fine, you just need to engage competent builders.

    The plan is a small build and not complicated, almost any Thai builder that is half competent can turn that out. With the size you can invest in passive cooling and quality roofing with insulation. I don't think you need to go pre-fab imo.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    So the only reason you are going prefab is that it means you don't have to deal with builders on site? Seems to me that the usual beam and aerated cement blocks does fine, you just need to engage competent builders.

    The plan is a small build and not complicated, almost any Thai builder that is half competent can turn that out. With the size you can invest in passive cooling and quality roofing with insulation. I don't think you need to go pre-fab imo.
    Competent builders are very rare here. If you're not on site daily you risk big mistakes and rip offs, things like not bothering to prime steel because they'll be paid before it rusts. Building site 'welders' are no comparison to those working in factories. One option could be to get the steel frame built in a factory, then assembled on site with the rooms added later. Factories and proper companies are more concerned about long term reputation.

    This would be the best option, but just thinking about dealing with the Somchai's on site is stressful. I've worked with them before, I also work in manufacturing here and understand why mistakes and delays are so common. It's mostly down to planning and communication. It can be obvious problems are on the horizon, but Somchai won't acknowledge it before hand or accept responsibility afterwards.

    The design has simple passive cooling. Thin roof insulation on colorbond is enough, this is what I have on my present house and it's fine. There would be trees for shade and evaporative cooling.

    Can anyone offer suggestions or have experience with pre fab steel post buildings? Colorbond walls would be fast and cheap. This is a good example.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithson View Post
    Houses are functional, but often ppl put appearances first. Thailand is no exception.nal design style with modern techniques and materials, with as much work being done off site as possible. I'm also considering using roller doors for security and privacy. This would make it very easy to enclose. I'd appreciate any feedback, feel free to criticize.
    When I presented my missus with my "functional" design her reply was "That's not a house its a fukkin box". So appearance certainly took precedence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smithson View Post

    This would be the best option, but just thinking about dealing with the Somchai's on site is stressful. I've worked with them before, I also work in manufacturing here and understand why mistakes and delays are so common. It's mostly down to planning and communication. It can be obvious problems are on the horizon, but Somchai won't acknowledge it before hand or accept responsibility afterwards.
    I agree with your statement about lack of planning and failing to see coming problems and be proactive in taking steps to mitigate them. I am of the opinion that rural Thai's seem to do everything as a temporary thing and just build stuff that can be abandoned or pulled down and moved at minimum cost. I have seen many times where their improvisation gives a temporary fix but in the long term costs more than a first up proper fix.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    When I presented my missus with my "functional" design her reply was "That's not a house its a fukkin box". So appearance certainly took precedence.




    I agree with your statement about lack of planning and failing to see coming problems and be proactive in taking steps to mitigate them. I am of the opinion that rural Thai's seem to do everything as a temporary thing and just build stuff that can be abandoned or pulled down and moved at minimum cost. I have seen many times where their improvisation gives a temporary fix but in the long term costs more than a first up proper fix.

    Appearance takes precedence often here, it's form over function, when form should follow function - a good design will normally look nice. The house I posted is a good example, nothing fancy or flash, very practical, didn't even need to fill. Here's another:



    What you said about Thais building is correct, they also like their comfort zone and won't think out of the box. I still see plenty of poor Thais putting on tiled roofs, while the rich have mostly switched to colorbond. Labour has more than doubled in the last 10-15 years, yet the Thai builder still work in the same disorganized way. The concrete style build with it's messy work camp is labour intensive and disorganized. With prefab steel factories and warehouses now common, I wonder whether steel and pre fab aren't more viable options? I've never seen a comparison of the costs of both.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithson View Post
    With prefab steel factories and warehouses now common, I wonder whether steel and pre fab aren't more viable options? I've never seen a comparison of the costs of both.
    get on the links, do some emailing and i'm sure you'll find out. Good luck with it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    get on the links, do some emailing and i'm sure you'll find out. Good luck with it.
    Most of those links don't actually sell houses and/or are located outside of Thailand. They are large companies and would probably give generic replies to emails. There are many smaller type factories, which most likely are cheaper, but how to compare costs with the normal build?

    A question for those who have built in concrete. What made you choose that method? Was any comparison done or did it seem the only viable option, due to a lack of info on alternatives?

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Hey Smithson, are you married to a Thai Woman?

    ... and yes, it is important and relevant

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    Hey Smithson, are you married to a Thai Woman?

    ... and yes, it is important and relevant
    No, not anymore. Why?

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    Hey Smithson, are you married to a Thai Woman?

    ... and yes, it is important and relevant
    Quote Originally Posted by Smithson View Post
    No, not anymore. Why?
    Well, if you did have a female Thai Partner, then it would be unusual for her to approve your concept/design.

    Happy wife, happy life and all that.

    ---

    So, since you don't have a Thai Partner, what plan do you have to acquire the land to accommodate your project ... foreigners not being able to own land in Thailand and all that headache.
    Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago ...


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    beam and aerated cement blocks does fine
    Agree 100% would use anywhere but esp in noisy steamy hot LOS

    You will be dealing with some folks , suppliers, land office etc , my strong advie is find one competent builder and he'll handle it all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    , my strong advie is find one competent builder and he'll handle it all.
    they are around

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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    Agree 100% would use anywhere but esp in noisy steamy hot LOS

    You will be dealing with some folks , suppliers, land office etc , my strong advie is find one competent builder and he'll handle it all.
    I don't think competent builders exist here. If you go through all the building threads here you'll see what I mean. This is why I'm considering pre fab.

  15. #15
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    Where and how does one go about finding them? Especially for a small job.

  16. #16
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    You do your due diligence by scouting around, finding building that have a quality build and asking the owners

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    You do your due diligence by scouting around, finding building that have a quality build and asking the owners
    I have and didn't find any. I also read the build reports from others and found most very unhappy with their builders, with many changing during the job. Some hired consultants to look after the job and were unimpressed also.This is why I'm considering pre fab,the reasons are outlined in my first post.

  18. #18
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    Thai Dupp's build used a Thai company and he got an excellent outcome, he is in Chonburi so maybe contact him for his builder details

    Thai Dhupp and Princess Joy's Thai House Build

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