Updated 6 July 2016:
I have just published this 750 page eBook that follows the challenges, frustrations and successes of building a house in Thailand from the very start of us buying the land through to moving in and beyond. You will be part of our building team for every day of construction and I will share many do’s and don’ts all designed to save you time, money, sleepless nights or all three. This book is a must have as part of your research on the subject of building in Thailand and you can find it HERE.
The blog has been very quiet for a while as far as new posts go but there is a reason for that. I am in the process of writing an ebook on all aspects of building a house in Thailand with its many challenges and pitfalls covered in detail.
When I originally wrote the building posts for the blog commencing November 2014 they were published on a weekly basis as the house progressed. They tended to be more a report of what was happening rather than a “how to” guide with more analysis on the process, which is what I am aiming to achieve in this book.
Having lived in the house for over 12 months now I can apply my realtime experience about things that worked or not and edit the entries I shared originally to make them totally relevant for anyone looking to go down the same path.
Although my experience relates specifically to a single level home built in Isaan much of the detail contained in the book will be transferable to any single dwelling construction process in Thailand.
Follow our story day by day while we went from this:
To this outcome today:
And every month in-between.
Each chapter will equal a week’s worth of construction work so that you can follow the minutia of day by day changes. I have worked to improved the original posts by adding HINTS and COMMENTS, two new topics to help newbies. HINTS are suggestions I make that will save you time, money or both. COMMENTS are everything I could think of that will make your life easier or give you greater understanding of each aspect of the build. I have provided a couple examples of each below to give you a taste of the concept. It is these little things that often came as a surprise to us as we were building for the first time and the aim of my book is to minimise the surprises in your building project.
HINT: Understanding how your water filtration system works is part of the homework I highly recommend you do in the planning stages. I give you some understanding in my situation described in the words below but in retrospect I didn’t give the processing of our bore water the attention it deserved and that was a mistake. Get on the internet and search for advice under topics such as………..(see the eBook for more!)
HINT: The window ended up having a minor infestation of termites, which only made an appearance once we had moved in. Don’t assume that just because you have bought timber from a large supplier like Global House that the termites haven’t come as an unwanted extra. Treat all timber with something like Chaindrite (available in all major building suppliers) before staining/painting.
COMMENT: In Australia our insect screens are installed on the outside of the windows and are usually fixed. Thailand has insect screens on the inside and they are sliding to give one access to open the windows. I was told this arrangement was to help keep them cleaner but I don’t know if that’s true. What that means is that in Thailand both window and insect screens open so you can easily pass things from inside to the outside. In Australia you would have to specify a special insect screen to do that as otherwise they would be fixed preventing you from passing things through the window.
COMMENT: A clip lock hot water distribution system might give you images of pipes pulling apart and water flooding into the space between the walls. However after 13 months of usage I can report that we have had no problems. The alternative is a green pipe system, which you can also find at the major building suppliers. The joins are heat welded together, which requires you to buy a special piece of equipment for this or employ someone. Businesses like Global House can suggest contractors, or did in my case anyway, who can fit hot water plumbing and charge per meter. Not cheap but best to get the job done right. You might get lucky and find a builder who has done this before but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
The book won’t just cover the construction but it will also follow the evolution of our beautiful, lush tropical garden. Although readers may not be as garden crazy as my wife, the photos will give inspiration to just how easy it is to enclose yourself in greenery, reduce glare and heat and add value to your home.
I will be writing a completely new and very comprehensive update chapter to include everything I have thought of or missed in my original posts. If you are thinking of building in Thailand then this analysis of our house build will be invaluable in itself let alone the chapters that precede it. I will also be adding useful links, a list of all the cost saving ideas and some specific sections for those small number of readers who will be sourcing materials in Udon Thani and a spreadsheet that breaks down all individual costs by category.
There will be masses of photos of course and some new ones to illustrate updated concepts or suggestions.
The eBook will run to about 600 pages so it will be a comprehensive reference and I guarantee it will save you some sleepless nights and save you money as a bonus! I plan to have it published and available for sale in June and will update you once that happens.
Thanks for reading.