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PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ONLY AN EXTRACT OF WHAT YOU WILL READ IN FULL IN MY EBOOK ‘BUILDING A HOUSE IN THAILAND’ DETAILS OF WHICH YOU WILL FIND BELOW.


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!

Classic Isaan architecture.

Classic Isaan architecture. Ming’s formwork collection growing in front of the shed.

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.

MIng and the new worker.

MIng and the new worker.

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.

Four oxes constructed.

Working on the final one for the day. Four completed.

Ming continues to water the concrete beams to help slow the drying process and increase strength.

Ming continues to water the concrete beams to help slow the drying process and increase strength. Having a high output bore is proving a real bonus.

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.

I missed out on getting a photo of the Bluescope sign last time so here it is. Useful if trying to find the place on Highway 2. Facing Khon Kaen the sign is behind some trees on the left so it is a bit hidden.

I missed out on getting a photo of the Bluescope sign last time so here it is. Useful if trying to find the place on Highway 2. Facing Khon Kaen the sign is behind some trees on the left so it is a bit hidden.

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.

Bluescope quote for Colorbond.

Bluescope quote for Colorbond.

On our return to Si Bun Ruang burying the house was well underway.

After four weeks I have achieved one column out of the ground :-)

After four weeks I have achieved one column out of the ground 🙂

Small trucks. 200 THB each load including he tractor fee.

Small trucks. 200 THB each load including he tractor fee. This bloke is driving through my lounge room.

The same tractor driver as before. He still looks too young to be driving anything.

The same tractor driver as before. He still looks too young to be driving anything. Does a great job through.

What we had at the end of the day. Not much!

What we had at the end of the day. Not much! Last week’s photos were much more interesting.

Next week – the roof starts to be built.

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.