Updated 6 July 2016:
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8 – 14 November 2014
My post on Week 1 can be found HERE.
Week 2 saw some useful progress some of it in unexpected areas. We are waiting for the official blessing ceremony to take place on Sunday 16 and until this happens nothing much can be done on the land. However that didn’t prevent the start of construction at the family home where all the steel is stored.
Day 8 – Saturday, work on digging the bore continued. As I told you in last week’s post, the output from the first bore they dug wasn’t enough to provide non-stop water with the pump running continuously for three hours, which they classify as a “fail”. They then started to drill a new bore on the opposite side of the land using water from the first bore to provide the water needs of the second drilling operation. The good news for us is that after a while the first bore ran continuously for over three hours so we now have two fully operational bores.
Drilling was finished by the evening and everyone agreed that it looked hopeful for a successful outcome when tested. This is determined by the quantity of water being consumed by the bore when its being dug. When you hit a water producing layer it absorbs the water being pushed down by the rig and “new” water has to be added constantly to the system, in our case from bore No. 1. This is the stage where we were running the submersible pump continuously in bore No. 1 for more than three hours to feed the second bore dig.
More holes for the columns were dug, which I won’t show you again. Seen one hole and you’ve pretty well covered the topic.
Back at the family home the first of the 13 column reinforcing frames had been started.
Day 9 – Sunday, the bore dig finished the hole was cleaned out by pumping more water down and checking the resulting outflow for anything that might cause the submersible pump problems once installed.
Once satisfied that the bore was clean the drilling rig was closed up and the truck moved off the land seven days after it arrived.
The last step was to move the submersible pump from bore No. 1 to the new bore and run it for three hours. The end result looked like this:
The guy charged me an extra 800 THB for the blue pipe that went in the top of the second bore to seal it from groundwater. The family was slightly upset as they felt this was a farang cost and he wouldn’t have done it for a Thai. However, I was totally happy with the end result and in a million plus plus baht project it didn’t seem too excessive! I ended up giving him an extra 1,000 THB, bringing the total cost for the drilling to 14,000 THB or A$490. We will end up buying a cheap submersible pump, which you can get for around 4,500 THB, for the first bore as a standby in case we have any problems with the pump on the second one.
The reinforcing for the 13 columns was finished by the end of the day.
Columns finished work started on the reinforcing for the base of the columns, which will be placed at the bottom of the holes.
Ming, the builder, delivered the first of the concrete formwork timber to the site.
Day 10 – Monday, Ming wanted to buy 50 bags of cement for the concrete they are going to mix by hand for the columns and the footing beams. By beams I mean the horizontal concrete beams that reinforce the slab in areas where it will be load bearing. This is a borrowed photo from another site to give you an idea of what I mean:
Ming and my brother-in-law Lud went to place the order and wouldn’t let me go along. They wanted to get a Thai not farang price and this was easier if I wasn’t in sight! They ended up paying 125 THB per bag or 6,350 THB including the 100 THB delivery fee. The concrete arrived that afternoon and was stored in the site shed:
The column reinforcement was moved to site, which conveniently is only 100 meters down the road from the family home. That afternoon with concrete available the first pour happened. The bottom of each of the column holes were provided with a thin layer of concrete to give a pad for the reinforcing to sit on. I had written this down as a good tip from my research on coolthaihouse.com, so it was nice to see it happen automatically on my build.
Back at the house work continued on constructing the 13 bases that would sit under each column.
Last activity for the day was the delivery of the remainder of the steel. This is all the roof steel.
TOT, which for your next trivia night is the acronym for Telecom of Thailand, phoned to confirm they would be installing the broadband tomorrow. Yay.
Day 11 – Tuesday, With all the work that can be done onsite prior to the official blessing ceremony finished activity moved to the family home and work on the roofing steel. Ming decided that he would get started on the roof construction rather than just let things sit for a week.
Day 11, Tuesday, painting the steel continued so nothing too interesting to report on that side of the build.
Another tin of paint was needed over and above the one we bought as part of the initial steel order. Bought in Si Bun Ruang the Thai cost, bought by Lud, was 1,300 THB compared with the 950 THB we paid previously. Typical small town markup.
The family had realised that they had forgotten to include a project completion time in the contract they had drawn up for me with Ming. That was rectified this morning when a four month build time with penalty was added:
Work started on one of the footing beams that would link the columns together at ground level as I have already explained above. Only one of these has been built so maybe Ming had a couple of extra people for the day and this is what they filled in time doing.
Not strictly building related but TOT arrived and very efficiently installed a wireless broadband connection to the family home. This will be moved once our house is completed. I am paying 590 THB or around A$20.00 a month for 13 mbps and getting 15 mbps! I am the only person on this part of the system in Si Bun Ruang. How come I can get three times the speed I had in Australia’s national capital in a small rural town in the sticks of Isaan? Lovely – I am a happy man.
Ming was planning the roof construction and actually using the plans to do it:
Day 12 – Wednesday, Only two people working at the family home today, Ming and one other. The task seems to be to construct the ring beam that will support the roof. I was surprised to see work start on the roof, which would normally be the next step after all the concrete base was complete. As I have said before I think the sequence has been altered to fit around the blessing ceremony on Sunday.
All the double lines on the plan above represent two C sections of steel welded together to form a square  if you see what I mean. Illustrated in the photo below. The other thing I was surprised with is that this is the full sized ring beam for one side of the house – 18 meters of it. I will be interested to see it being moved both to the site and into place as it’s bloody heavy!
Day 13 – Thursday, work continued slowly but steadily on the ring beams. Ming wasn’t happy with his welding machine so went out and bought a new one. It was a comforting sign of the commitment he is giving this project, although I am sure it will be used for his family builds in the future as well.
Day 14 – Friday, by the end of the day we had three 18 meter ring beams and two of the 11 meter one completed.
Tomorrow work moves back to the land to get it ready for the ceremony on Sunday. The items for the blessing are being collected including a fishing basket and spinning reel, so look out for my report at the end of week 3 for that!
Thanks for reading.