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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.

Building in Thailand eBook

When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I started to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end. 

Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many COMMENTS, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!

Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.

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.

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