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14 – 20 February, a mixed week of soffits or eaves, whichever term you use, plus a touch of paint, electrical and tiling.

Soffit (from French: soffite, formed as a ceiling; directly from suffictus for suffixus, Latin: suffigere, to fix underneath), in architecture, describes the underside of any construction element.

Day 106 – The build seems to have entered a slower stage. I think that Ming, the builder, is worried about the amount of money he has been paying out to subcontractors for doing the major work and is now trying to contain costs by keeping some of the final aspects of the build within his own little team. Unfortunately one of his two off-siders is still away cutting sugar cane on his land, which reduces the workforce to Ming plus Jack.

Some additional hands ended up being included as the guy who will be doing the tiling and his mate had just finished a job and turned up looking for work. I am not sure Ming was that keen to offer it but one needs to be careful with relationships in a small community.

The longer term priority is to get the outside tiling down so that the final measurements for the sliding doors can be taken and the windows/doors ordered. I can’t finish the fitout on the inside unless I can lock the house at night. We haven’t had any items go missing as far as I know but with a lot of money going into electrical, the kitchen, bathrooms and doors I don’t want to take the chance. One of my brother-in-laws has offered to sleep in the house at night and that may still be something I take up as we progress.

To get the tiling down we need to finish the soffits and get the first coat of paint on everything. With the soffit framework finished in Week 15 HERE,  attention turned to getting the 100 m2 of soffit boards screwed into place using these fasteners. I have added these photos for those readers who are building in Thailand – not of great interest to anyone else!


97 THB at Global House.


To show the size. The little bulge in the screw at the bottom is to widen the drill hole so that the head can be countersunk and more easily filled prior to painting. I didn’t know so maybe others are in the same DIY boat.

Of the four workers three ended up working on the soffit boards and the other guy started painting whatever was available.

Having pondered on paint colour for the inside walls we decided on just using the same as the outside, a Dulux colour called Pearl White Ref 8575, which I really like. It is a paint that changes colour depending on the light it is exposed to. In sunlight it turns almost white and in shade will go a more cream colour and at some angles it has a touch of green.

Day 107 –  Slow progress being made on the ceiling. Because the design is two triangles pointing into a central rectangle it involves a lot of measuring and cutting. A straight fix of boards from the outside facia to the walls would have been a lot easier but less interesting.

Three people working on the outside sitting area ceiling.

Three people working on the outside sitting area ceiling.

Plus one guy painting.

Plus one guy painting. You can see the triangle shape at the ends, which is slowing down the install.

The supervisor in action. Leaning on things is about the extent of my physical activity.

The supervisor in action. Leaning on things is about the extent of my physical activity.

Inside a second coat of primer was being applied where the first looked a bit thin.

Day 108 – The outside lounge area ceiling was finished and some more painting mostly inside happening. I am a little frustrated with progress. There is another big ceiling to be done in the outside dining area plus all the external soffit around the whole house and at this rate it will take well over a week. Apart from my self inflicted progress delayer by complicating the design, the soffit frame was specified with over-thick steel for some reason which makes screwing into it a super effort.

The lounge being used as a parking area. In a Thai house this is not unusual even when the house is being lived in.

The lounge being used as a parking area. In a Thai house this is not unusual even when the house is being lived in. I think Gaun is OK with her bike remaining in the family carport!

The outside ceiling finished with a first coast of paint.

The outside ceiling finished with a primer coat of paint.

The most comprehensive reference manual on building a house in Thailand. An e-book of 120,000 words arranged in a number of sections including the initial planning stages, a daily report on the construction process, later updates after we move in, a few summaries and a section on more general background topics such as land titles, Usufruct contracts, utility expenses and the daily cost of my building project.

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Firstly, I am a retired government employee not a builder so you won’t find a very specific how-to building book full of technical details. However, what you have bought is a very detailed 884-page coverage of how an enthusiastic amateur like me survived the Thai building challenges and ended up with a wonderful home that I still find hard to believe I have achieved.

Although the house we built is unique to us and may not be anything like the style of dwelling you plan to build, you will find many of the processes, frustrations and hints I share very relevant to almost any domestic construction project in Thailand. Topics covered such as creating a cool house, planning and design tips and specific topics like septic and water solutions are mostly likely generic to your situation, or parts of them will be, so will be a useful addition to your research material.

I have tried to make the book a good read and not just a dry list of dos and don’ts. It is written in a casual style as though I was chatting with you and I hope that makes it more engaging. In each chapter you will live every individual day of the build with us plus some of other events and activities and share our excitements and frustrations. Even if you aren’t about to build in Thailand, I believe the book includes enough interesting material of one farang’s story to hold your attention.

Find out how to obtain the e-book HERE and lots more information including a free sample chapter HERE

I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).  

Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!!  I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical. Mike

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I have had the good fortune to have used the first edition as part of Yuri and my plans to build our home here in Surin.  To say it is a good reference book is an understatement.  The practical advice and your self deprecating style make it a great read.  The anecdotes and asides all add to its appeal as both a “how to manual” and a fascinating insight into what lies ahead for people like me who have only just commenced a similar journey. Far better armed for what’s to be encountered. Greg

The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.