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8 – 14 November 2014

My post on Week 1 can be found HERE.

Week 2 saw some useful progress some of it in unexpected areas. We are waiting for the official blessing ceremony to take place on Sunday 16 and until this happens nothing much can be done on the land. However that didn’t prevent the start of construction at the family home where all the steel is stored.

The land at the start of week 2.

The land at the start of week 2. Looking from the back towards the road.

Day 8 – Saturday, work on digging the bore continued. As I told you in last week’s post, the output from the first bore they dug wasn’t enough to provide non-stop water with the pump running continuously for three hours, which they classify as a “fail”. They then started to drill a new bore on the opposite side of the land using water from the first bore to provide the water needs of the second drilling operation.  The good news for us is that after a while the first bore ran continuously for over three hours so we now have two fully operational bores.

More backbreaking work to force the drill bit down.

More backbreaking work to force the drill bit down. The blue pipe on the left is feeding water from bore No. 1 into the supply pit I spoke about last week.

Drilling was finished by the evening and everyone agreed that it looked hopeful for a successful outcome when tested. This is determined by the quantity of water being consumed by the bore when its being dug. When you hit a water producing layer it absorbs the water being pushed down by the rig and “new” water has to be added constantly to the system, in our case from bore No. 1. This is the stage where we were running the submersible pump continuously in bore No. 1 for more than three hours to feed the second bore dig.

More holes for the columns were dug, which I won’t show you again. Seen one hole and you’ve pretty well covered the topic.

Back at the family home the first of the 13 column reinforcing frames had been started.

The last of the column reinforcements being made.

The column reinforcing frames being made. The family “compound” has three houses on it. The steel work is being done in the partly built house of Gaun’s younger sister, Yuan. The house in the background belongs to her sister Paed.

Day 9 – Sunday, the bore dig finished the hole was cleaned out by pumping more water down and checking the resulting outflow for anything that might cause the submersible pump problems once installed.

Checking the water coming up from the new bore.

Checking the water coming up from the new bore.

Once satisfied that the bore was clean the drilling rig was closed up and the truck moved off the land seven days after it arrived.

The drilling operation being packed up finally.

The drilling operation being packed up finally.

The last step was to move the submersible pump from bore No. 1 to the new bore and run it for three hours. The end result looked like this:

A beautiful sight. Filling a nine liter bucket in four seconds, making it around 8,000 liters an hour output - a great result.

A beautiful sight. Filling a nine litre bucket in four seconds, making it around 8,000 litres an hour output – a great result – and we have two of them.

The guy charged me an extra 800 THB for the blue pipe that went in the top of the second bore to seal it from groundwater. The family was slightly upset as they felt this was a farang cost and he wouldn’t have done it for a Thai. However, I was totally happy with the end result and in a million plus plus baht project it didn’t seem too excessive! I ended up giving him an extra 1,000 THB, bringing the total cost for the drilling to 14,000 THB or A$490. We will end up buying a cheap submersible pump, which you can get for around 4,500 THB, for the first bore as a standby in case we have any problems with the pump on the second one.

The reinforcing for the 13 columns was finished by the end of the day.

The 13 column reinforcement finished. 6 mm rebar for anyone interested.

The reinforcing for the 13 columns finished.

A closer view. This is 6 mm rebar for those following technical side of things.

A closer view. This is 6 mm rebar for those following technical side of things.

Columns finished work started on the reinforcing for the base of the columns, which will be placed at the bottom of the holes.

Everything done by hand including bending the base ends.

Everything done by hand including bending the base ends.

Ming, the builder, delivered the first of the concrete formwork timber to the site.


Formwork delivered.

Day 10 – Monday, Ming wanted to buy 50 bags of cement for the concrete they are going to mix by hand for the columns and the footing beams. By beams I mean the horizontal concrete beams that reinforce the slab in areas where it will be load bearing. This is a borrowed photo from another site to give you an idea of what I mean:

The footing beams.

The footing beams.

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

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