Building a House in Thailand
Why did I write this book and what will you find in it?
This book has really written itself in some ways. Its origins can be traced back to a blog I have been writing since moving to Thailand in June 2013. In it I have tried to capture many of the everyday happenings that take place in my new life both the “touristy” and the more mundane. 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 it was only natural for me to continue recording the daily events of life, which now revolved around construction, and share them on the blog.
For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly 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.
Having read your eBook twice already I am now starting on the specifics which have become a vital ingredient to my own build in a few months’ time. Your update has arrived in the nick of time so that I may fine-tune some of those areas. I was particularly keen to absorb the comments of Robert in respect to rendering and thank you both for elaborating on this aspect. My own preliminary plans and analysis now numbers in excess of 100 pages and is still growing as I learn about the intricacies of building a home in Thailand. I am most grateful to you, Tony, and your commenting readership for the frankness you have given in sharing your experiences, warts & all. Your work has become my foundation stone & I am most grateful. Sure I will make some mistakes in judgement and/or knowledge but they will be enormously reduced thanks to your efforts. You are remarkably candid, which is enormously helpful to rest of us who have yet to go through the process. Many thanks! Ian
Four years after we moved in I am still getting questions about various aspects of the build and we have had many delightful people drop in to see us, the house and discuss their project with us be it in the immediate or longer term.
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!). We intend building close to Udon fairly soon, but have had some issues with a couple of excellent potential land plots (both deemed too expensive, and too far from Mama!!)
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.
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!
The same view now.
So what will you find here?
Firstly I am a retired government employee not a builder so you won’t find a how-to construction book full of technical details. What you will get is over 750 pages detailing the day by day progress of our build and find out how an enthusiastic amateur like me survived the Thai building challenge 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 type of house you plan to build, you will find many of the processes, frustrations and hints I share totally relevant to almost any domestic construction project in Thailand. Chapters on topics like creating a cool house, planning and design tips and water are mostly likely generic to your situation, or parts of them will be, so will be a super useful addition to your research library.
Building in Thailand by Tony Eastmead is not a mere how-to book, but a story told about building in rural Thailand. Despite its great level of detail it’s a fun read with an abundance of pictures and illustrations. Tony’s charm comes through and in its own way what might be the single most useful trove of information on construction in Thailand to some, is a fascinating cultural insight for others. I’d recommend this ebook to anyone even remotely considering building a house in Thailand in a heartbeat.
Karsten A – Bangkok
You will find lots of images in this book and many are repeats of the same view at different stages of the construction. I haven’t done much in the way of culling these because they are central to telling the story of the build and help you understand what various stages looked like for us and there will be a similarity to your build in some if not many of the images.
I have tried to make the book a good read as well and not just a dry list of do’s and don’ts with some photos added. In each chapter you will live every day of the build with us and share our excitements and frustrations. Even if you aren’t about to build in Thailand I hope the book includes enough story material to hold your attention.
Because most of the descriptive words were written at the time they often capture small events or milestones that might have been missed if the book was written from scratch at the end of the project. It is also a very personal story and you will get to meet my Thai family and some of the characters involved in the build as we go along.
The book doesn’t end when we moved into the house but continues. I think equally important are the chapters that talk about changes we made to the original plans and why and the experiences and observations I make having lived in the house for over four years (update due at the four year mark – 3 April 2019). I have included sections on establishing a beautiful tropical garden, which gives us as much pleasure as the house itself. The book follows the progress of the garden from builder’s site to the lush oasis it has become at time of publication
Once again the garden is an entirely personal thing in design and application so it isn’t presented as a template. I hope I can motivate you to incorporate a garden plan into your home development because the speed at which things establish themselves here gives you such a quick return on effort. The cost of plants is so cheap that it seems a shame not to take advantage. You may not be garden people and therefore can skip this part of the book if it doesn’t interest you. There’s plenty else to keep you involved.
Thanks so much for getting the e-book to me. I’ve now read it cover to cover (in just under 2 weeks) and found it a great, rollicking read. However, it was much more than that being informative, educational and really gave an insight into Thai building and associated issues. I’ve already re-read several sections. It’s given me a further glimpse of what my new home country will be like in the near future. Thanks again and congratulations to you on the book and all your hard work. All my best to you and Gaun.
The book is arranged in three sections. The first is my story of buying land followed by a daily account of the build itself with a huge amount of detail. The second is a summary of everything I could think of to help with your building project. It is in a Chapter called “In Conclusion” but could also have been located at the very beginning of the book. The final chapters provide more specialised and varied information on topics such as land titles, Usufruct contracts, utility costs, specifications and a running total of all my building expenses.
I hope I have convinced you that this book will be a useful tool in your Thai building armoury. If I have then just click on the button below. The pricing is around the cost of a case of local beer. Everywhere in the world if a friend helps you out with a project a case of beer is the standard “thank you”. A small price to pay in your project budget which will most likely run into the millions (of baht)!
If you want to read a full sample chapter you can download it here: