10 – 16 January, a big week of building walls all of which were completed by Thursday afternoon. In celebration of this event the crew has taken off to hunt rats in the hills outside Loei for a couple of days. It sort of reminds me of the tradespeople working close to the sea in Australia who would disappear whenever there was a good surf happening.
For those reading who think that Thailand is always hot you should try Northern Isaan this time of year. Very cool. I tried to capture a moment but stuffed up the camera speed so it’s not a great photo. You can get the idea though. Local kids gathered around a fire to get warm early morning:
By the way the kids are laughing at my Thai number countdown, which I thought was pretty good but seeing their reaction maybe not 🙂
Back to the build the other major event in a very farang way was the hot water plumbing was finished and tested for pressure. Both hot and cold pipes leaked, which really emphasises the importance of insisting on this being done before the pipes are hidden away, in a cavity created by double AAC blocks in my case.
I have to say that for something so simple in theory the addition of a hot water system and associated pipework has been a real pain. Getting the pipes to fit the mixer taps, a few failures in the German push fitting system and annoying leaks had me wishing I had just opted for a simple wall instant system. My nightmare is that the hot water connections fail when we actually run it for real and we have to tear down walls to fix it. However if all goes well I will have the best showers in Si Bun Ruang, which in reality isn’t much of a boast to be making!
Week 11 is a bit along the same lines as Week 10. I don’t think anyone wants to follow a day by day photographic history of walls being built but I will throw a few in before skipping to the end result. Speaking of walls Ming, the builder, had one that was half built taken down because he wasn’t happy with it’s construction.
A huge amount of conduit is going in as the walls progress. The first fix of electrical was almost complete at the same time as the walls on the Thursday.
We seem to be making almost daily trips to the nearest larger town Nong Bua Lamphu 30 km away, covered in my post HERE, for one thing or another. To test the plumbing we had to do a quick trip to get what we needed to set up the house water system so we could attach the pressure pump. The end result looks like this:
The bore is on the far left, a pipe from there is split with one line going to the house tank and the other will run into the garden and feed two taps on opposite sides of the land about halfway down. The black box on the left of the water tank is a filtration system specifically set up for bore water. More detailed in this photo:
The filter is at the back while the front box adds a water softener before depositing the result into the tank. A pressure pump sits on the other side of the tank and supplies the house only, not garden. I followed the instructions supplied with the filter for this configuration and it doesn’t work!
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.
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.