Updated 6 July 2016:

I have just published a 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.


4 – 10 April, a week of finishing. Finishing the pond and wall, finishing the kitchen by installing the granite benchtop and FINALLY finishing clearing the boxes out of the kitchen/dining area.

By the Wednesday everyone had left the site and we had the whole place to ourselves. My beer consumption has decreased as the end of day drinks with the building crew has stopped. The photo above is one such final session with Ming and the A Team. It feels quite strange but in a nice way not to have people wandering around the land and house. All the construction has now been completed and we are left to finalise the unpacking and start work on all the minor things that need doing.

The week started with continued work on the front wall, which was starting to look quite impressive.

The main gate on the left and the smaller entry gateway on the right.

The main gate on the left and the smaller entry gateway on the right.

That access gate looking towards the house.

That access gate looking towards the house.

The walls around this tree have been an added complication but I really didn't want just to take the easy solution and cut the tree down.

The walls around this tree have been an added complication but I really didn’t want just to take the easy solution and cut the tree down.

The flower bed to be in front of the main wall. Gaun checking out the mangos.

The flower bed to be in front of the main wall. Gaun checking out the mangos. The supporting steel work for the palings.

Rather than buy a bracket the guys cut the end of the steel beam and screwed it to the wall. Clever and cheap!

Rather than buy a bracket the guys cut the end of the steel beam and screwed it to the wall. Clever and cheap!

Meanwhile Ming had finishing up tiling the pond in front of the outside seating area.

The bridge starting to be build.

The bridge starting to be built to the front door.

The seating area to the left.

The seating area to the left.

The front wall finished.

The front wall finished. Once the render is dry it will be painted the same colour as the house. That entry ramp will be concreted.

And at night.

And at night. Love it.

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Once tidied, painted and planted up this will look brilliant.

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From the pond to the big lounge room windows.

Across the bridge to the front door.

Across the bridge to the front door.

The front wall finished the A Team, four guys who have done a lot of the work on my build, offered to build a fenced area at the end of the pond for Barney, my turtle who has yet to join the family. I paid for the materials but the guys did the work for free. They have been a brilliant crew and I will be sorry to see them go in some ways.

They will be back in a few weeks however as I am adding a small gym, a storage area, an internal laundry and a toilet to the back of the carport!!!!!!!!!! Crazy I know but I will be bored by then and ready to re-enter the construction business 🙂

Barney's garden area being constructed.

Barney’s garden area being constructed. The pond is lower at the end to allow Barney access to the water/garden while preventing him from wandering off via the side walls and ending up as someone’s soup .

Completed and after Gaun's quick landscaping work.

Completed and after Gaun’s quick landscaping work. Koi fish will be added first and Barney will be found once the wet season starts and the turtles start appearing.

Looking across the pond to the lounge area.

Looking across the pond to the lounge area.

Looking towards the front from the lounge area.

Looking the other way towards the front from the lounge area. A lawn area will be going down between the pond and the sala to quickly cover the dirt. A new tree added – A$25.00.

Moving to the inside, on the Tuesday build day 158, the people who were to install the granite benchtop in the kitchen turned up. Three blokes and a ladyboy. I was so pleased to see them because the kitchen was the final area still to be completed. We had packing boxes of cooking stuff cluttering up the area, plus the water filter, sink and cooktop couldn’t be finished without the benchtop.

I have to say I was super impressed with the work these guys did – the ladyboy did nothing until it came time to clean up when she showed herself to be a whizz on a mop! The granite came in four pieces, plus we had ordered two separate pieces for the two ensuites. They took care in determining the levels and joins and the whole thing looks great. Spot on.

Before.

Before.

The benchtop going in.

The benchtop going in.

I had ordered a bullnose edge to the bench and it was all done on site just with a couple of grinders and a steady hand. Amazing. We chose a black colour with a gold fleck. Very smart.

The finished result.

The finished result.

I can totally recommend this granite supplier located almost opposite to the new Global House heading back into Udon Thani. Let me know if you want more detailed info. I have covered it in a previous post.

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On the Wednesday Tam, the head of the A Team dropped in and connected our five stage drinking water filter and the sink. We now have a fully operational kitchen – yay.

Also on Wednesday we had the front gateway measured up for a four meter stainless steel gate, which will be ready to go in on 5 May, at a cost of 10,000 THB a meter. It is the last of the major expenses for this stage of the build.

Part of completing the kitchen involved kitting out the pantry, a forgotten room but important to the overall functioning of the house. I have rented a couple of places in Thailand that had almost no storage space and didn’t want this to happen in a house I designed. The pantry is a 1.1 x 3.0 meter room in between the two bedrooms.

We bought shelving from HomePro, the only place I know of that you can find laminated shelving in Udon Thani. The supporting structure was made out of leftover AAC blocks, painted up and glued together. The end result is a bit rustic but does the job. All my own work.

The pantry providing much needed storage space.

The pantry providing much needed storage space.

The end of Week 23 was a very satisfying step forward in the house becoming a comfortable home and it now looks like this:

From kitchen to lounge.

From kitchen to lounge.

The inside dining area now ready to be used.

The inside dining area now ready to be used.

From the front door.

From the front door.

The lounge.

The lounge.

Paintings now up.

Paintings now up.

From lounge looking towards the kitchen.

From lounge looking towards the kitchen.

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Not that long ago.

I am still at that honeymoon stage where I just like to stand and look. Gaun thinks I am odd but I don’t care 🙂 I am so pleased with the end result that it gives me great pleasure to let it all sink in. From Excel spreadsheet to a lovely family home and all for the cost of a garage back in Australia. There is no doubt that I am a lucky man.

I am not sure if Week 24 will make an appearance. I will write a build summary at some stage, which will bring the whole thing together and list everything I think you should look out for if constructing here. I want to take the budget apart at some stage too and look at ways I could have saved money by reducing the quality in a sensible way.

I also want to return to writing some stories that have nothing to do with building and get the blog focussed on living in Thailand again.

Lots to happen so keep in touch.

Thanks for reading.