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.


17 – 23 January, a slow week so this will be a short post. The rat hunt I told you about in Week 11 HERE, which robbed the build of workers, ended on Sunday taking three days rather than the expected two. Only a moderate result in terms of rats collected in case you were interested, which is good news for the rats!

Ming had wanted a particular guy to work on the render and, in typical Thai multi-skilling, also on the tiling once we get to that stage. He is supposed to be very good but more expensive. Remember that I have a fixed price labour contract with Ming the builder. A deal must have been reached because he turned up Monday and started what would end up being a full week’s work laying out the levels for render everywhere where there is a corner in the building both inside and out.

Each corner measured and laid out in mortar to ensure the correct coverage of the walls.

Each corner measured and laid out in mortar to ensure the correct coverage of the walls and sharp corners.

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This is on what will be a sliding door frame. Done on the left. To do on the right. Plumb line set out.

These little ridges must be there to help get the depth.

These little ridges must be there to help get the depth.

The whole lounge room walls done like this but not elsewhere. I don't know why.

The whole lounge room walls done like this but not elsewhere. I don’t know why.

I was surprised at the amount of render being applied. I was under the impression that one of the benefits of the AAC blocks is that because the surface is pretty smooth, in comparison say to the rough concrete blocks or the red bricks so loved by Thais, that a skim coat of render was all that would be required. Not so evidently. Can’t say I am particularly bothered. The render is cheap and the more bulk to the walls of the house the better from both an insulation perspective and sound reduction.

With not much exciting happening inside we have continued work on the garden by planted up the South and Western side of the house with shrubs that will eventually grow high enough to cut out the setting sun from the windows at the bedroom end of the house and also the outside dining area at the very end of the day.

These will quickly provide shade to the North and West of the house. 150 THB each or A$5.50.

These will quickly provide shade to the South and West of the house. 150 THB each or A$5.50.

We also bought 1,000 hedging plants to plant around the perimeter of the land to hide the fence and also provide security in the longer term. A A$100.00 investment.

1,000 small plants waiting for a home.

1,000 small plants waiting for a home.

Gaun in her element.

Gaun in her element.

Big things grow from small beginnings.

Big things grow from small beginnings or I hope so in this case anyway.

120 meters of hedging planted up so far.

120 meters of hedging planted up so far. You can see why I am keen the hide the fence.

Me adding the necessary chicken wire to the fence to keep out both chickens and dogs.

Me adding the necessary chicken wire to the fence to keep out both chickens and dogs. A 30 meter roll costing 440 THB at Global House. I’m enjoying doing something rather than just watch others work, although that’s fun too!

A trip to Global also gave us our kitchen drinking water filter, a rather fancy 5 stage model that will give us cleaner water than rainwater! We got the Camarcio RO002 model. It looks something like this RO003 version and will sit under the sink with an access tap on the benchtop.

Bought from Global 6,000 THB.

Bought from Global 6,000 THB.

On Thursday enough pre-work had been done to allow the full rendering team to turn up and start working.

Starting out.

Starting out. Ming plus one. Ming on the left and one of his regular workers called Joy on the right. He is actually a delightful guy too matching his name. A good solid worker.

Ming and two others rendering, one guy keeping them supplied with cement and the main guy still working on levels elsewhere.

Two rendering, Ming a sometimes helper, one guy keeping them supplied with cement and the main guy still working on levels elsewhere. Dog an observer only. Our bedroom door on the left, pantry in the middle and Peng’s/guest bedroom door on the right.

 

 

Smoothed on the left.

Smoothed on the left compared to the rough on the right.

The end result. This is the kitchen/family room wall to the bedrooms and pantry.

The end result. This is the kitchen/family room wall to the bedrooms and pantry.

The master bedroom started.

The master bedroom started. Ming at rest.

Detailing around the doors.

Detailing around the doors.

Good news on the rendering but, for those who have been through this process, doesn’t it reduce the perceived size of the rooms. Going from the white AAC block to a deep grey has halved the size in my eyes. All good once we paint of course as we’ll be opting for an off white throughout with colours being provided by the furnishings and artwork.

It was only when I was adding a large water filter and a gas cooktop to the collection at the family home that I realised just what an imposition on space our house build has been. Gaun’s mama has never complained even when she lost her bedroom space due to the arrival of my stuff from Australia, something I was horrified to discover afterwards. We have house things everywhere:

The carport. Tiles, vanities, overhead fans, fence wire and a fridge.

The carport. Tiles, vanities, a couple of windows, four overhead fans, fence wire and a fridge. The kitchen not shown but has two bicycles, a hot water system, my coffee machine and a microwave.

The lounge room, electrical wiring, 32 ceiling lights, 7 outside wall lights, a water filter and cooktop

The lounge room. Electrical wiring, 32 ceiling lights, 7 outside wall lights, a water filter and cooktop

My stuff from Australia.

My stuff from Australia next to mama’s bed space.

Our stuff from Chiang Mai!

Our stuff from Chiang Mai!

It pays to get along with one’s in-laws and these have been nothing but totally supportive, which makes things so much easier.

We are off to Udon Thani tomorrow to investigate kitchens from ToolPro and a couple of other places as an alternative to the modular option available from Global, which is adding around 140,000 THB to the build cost. I am hoping to save some baht to keep things somewhere close to the budget. I will report back next week on this aspect as I think we’ve really covered all that I can say about rendering inside.

Expenses-Week-12

Thanks for reading.