29 November – 5 December 2014 This was the week our house disappeared but more about that later. Day 29 Saturday, Last week finished up slowly as the five person crew working up to that point disappeared to cut sugar as I reported in Week 4. However Ming, the builder, continued to turn up on-site at 7.00 am each day and today the formwork for the 12 remaining columns started to take shape cha cha, or slowly, slowly. Ming hasn’t had a day off since we started and has shown a real dedication to the build. Money well spent so far. The site hut, which had to be moved to allow soil to be brought onto the house site, was also rebuilt in what I hope will now be its permanent spot until this is all over. A true Isaan construction of tree branches, leftover pieces of timber and old corrugated iron sheets. It fits into the village landscape far better than my house will! Day 30 Sunday, Ming has been calling in favours and now has a permanent worker on the job. Ming’s son has also been pulled in from Bangkok and will be working from tomorrow. Formwork is still the priority and quicker progress was made today obviously with double the workforce. By the end of the day, five of the columns had their boxes constructed with one more to go. Ming is doing the concrete pour for the columns in two sessions. Day 31 Monday, I wrote about the need to bury the house footprint in last week’s post HERE. Today everything we have achieved so far was going underground as three trucks were turning up to transport earth from the family farm to the land. It was the same crew that originally trucked in nearly 200 loads to raise the land above any flood levels back in November last year and that story can be found HERE. Ming’s son had turned up with a small truck of his own which will prove useful as the build progresses. Leaving the son and Gaun’s family to look after the soil work at the land Ming, Gaun and I headed back to Bluescope on the other side of Khon Kaen to order Colorbond for the roof. Gaun and I had already visited the factory, and I wrote about it in Week 3, but I wanted to ensure that the colour I had chosen was held for me and I needed Ming to do his Thai builder thing with Boom, the sales manager lady, to ensure we reserved the correct quantity. Ming had already worked out the lengths he needed but there was additional discussion about the number of screws, the flashing and some other technical aspect and I was pleased to leave them to it. We ended up ordering 304 m2 to cover the 260 m2 roof and this plus the flashing and screws brought the price in at a bit under 126,000 THB, 27,000 THB more than the rough estimate we came away with from the first meeting. We paid a 1/3rd deposit of 37,000 THB. Bluescope wanted to charge 5,000 THB to deliver, which Ming wouldn’t be in. I believe his son’s truck will be doing the job and, although I am sure I will pay, I am also sure it will be a lot less than the Bluescope fee. I get slightly worried about spending what is for me a largish chunk of the total budget on things like Colorbond roofing. I could have got the stuff the Thais buy for a LOT less. I hope that making decisions like this aren’t just for “comfort”, in that it’s what I would do back in Australia, but really does add practical value and quality to the house. I have provided a copy of the invoice for those particularly interested in this aspect of the build, Clay I’m thinking of you here. On our return to Si Bun Ruang burying the house was well underway. Next week – the roof starts to be built. Thanks for reading.
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.