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7 – 13 March, a week of yet more tiling, the start of landscaping, progress on the pond, doors and fixtures.

We still only have three workers on the site, two on tiling and Ming who has started the week building the walls for the feature pond in front of the house.

Ming building the side walls to the Koi pond.

Ming building the side walls to the Koi pond.

Koi fish in case you have never heard of them.

Koi fish in case you have never heard of them.

The dirt from digging the pond has been added to the front of the land, which will become our main garden area.

The dirt from digging the pond has been added to the front of the land, which will become our main garden area. Gate and driveway on the right.

The pond walls finished.

The pond walls finished. 5.5 x 2.0 meters.

The pond will be tiled in a light green, which will blend peacefully into the garden. I hope Barney the soon to be resident turtle likes the choice.


The two guys working on the tiling are great. They both turn up early in the morning and just get on with it. Jack, who is employed by Ming, mixes the cement and cuts tiles and the other man, who both Gaun and I call “the small man” – Thais aren’t strong on using names, lays the tiles. It is a smooth running operation and the results are excellent.

Peng's bedroom now finished.

Peng’s bedroom now finished. Looking towards the work area and ensuite.

The view the other way.

The view the other way.

A day was spent on Peng’s ensuite floor using the elusive white non-slip floor tiles I wrote about HERE, although the outcome is still more grey than white.

A final coat of paint and then the fitout.

A final coat of paint needed and then the fitout.

Sunday build day 128, the furniture we had ordered turned up and was packed into the family home’s carport. We had bought two bed bases and mattresses, bedside tables, a display cabinet and a couple of desks with matching chairs. All made from timber and good quality.

Our furniture delivered by Global House.

Our furniture delivered by Global House.

Quickly filling up mama's house.

Quickly filling up mama’s house.

By Tuesday day 130 of the build Ming was still working on the pond and had added the saphan or bridge that would lead to the front door.


Giving it a coat of anti-corrosion paint.

Me, Gaun and Ming. A pond photo moment.

Me, Gaun and Ming. A pond photo moment.

At this stage I spoke with Ming via the family and asked that more emphasis be placed inside. The pond and anything else outside could be done later but my priority was to get the house ready to live in. We had bought all the doors and associated hardware at the weekend so Ming moved to getting the doors hung and once again got my brother-in-law Lud to help him out.

Main bedroom on the left, the pantry and the second bedroom on the right.

Main bedroom on the left, the pantry and the second bedroom on the right.

Now here is one of those useful tips that I wish I had picked up on before. If you buy a standard door frame from Global House and probably the other hardware places, it comes ready to fit a 3.5 cm thick door, which is the standard in Australian and possibly elsewhere. However just to be different and cheap if you buy the standard Thai door it is a thin 3.0 cm. This leaves you with a door that doesn’t fill the frame, makes is very hard to fit a Western standard lock, which is designed for the thicker door and generally leaves you with an inferior job.  Needless to say I bought doors thinking about height and width, not thickness.

You can see what a delicate job it was to fit a normally sized front door lock into the 3.0 cm width door. Rubbish.

You can see what a delicate job it was to fit a normally sized front door lock into the 3.0 cm width door. You’d think that they would stain the doors and then install the locks wouldn’t you.

This was one of the few disappointments on the build even though only very minor in the scheme of things. I have bought everything on the basis of being high quality and i have slipped up right at the end.

Thanks for reading.

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.

So, what will you find here?

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

Undoubtedly, we would not have the quality home we now have without the book, we had no idea even where to start until we found Building in Thailand eBook. We did manage to avoid most of the traps that we could have fallen into, we are extremally thankful for the authors attention to detail and common-sense approach. Chris

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.