13 – 19 December 2014, this was the week that the shape of our house became a reality with both the roof structure and concrete slab completed.
Day 43 Saturday, the concrete slab team of four guys turned up first thing and started the preparation work to get the ground levelled and the sand down ready to lay out the rebar for the slab.
Meanwhile Ming’s three workers continued to build the roof. It was a very pleasing sight to see eight people working on the site rather than Ming + one, which we got down to at one stage. We headed to Nong Bua Lamphu and Thai Watsadu to pick up a couple of rolls of black plastic to lay on top of the sand and under the rebar as a vapor barrier and to slow concrete drying period.
Ming is mostly pretty on top of his job. Here he has incorporated the electrical conduit to bring electricity into the house under the slab. He wants to bring power from the roadside pole to the house underground, which shows an unusual sensitivity for the aesthetics of the build for a Thai.
By the end of the day the slab team were starting to lay out the rebar, which was to be constructed on site, a task I was pleased not to have to do. We decided do this as the off-the-shelf versions were made from thin rebar and everything else in the build has been of quality so why stop now? The extra labour costs would be covered by Ming and he didn’t have any problems in going down this route.
Day 44 Sunday, gotta love the 7 day a week build. The roof guys started to put up the central supporting beam that will form the ridge to the roof.
Day 45 Monday, the preparation for the slab was finished today and the concrete pour booked for the morning. Ming and team made great progress on one half of the roof.
Meanwhile we hit the road to Udon Thani with the mission to find the alternative supplier of Windsor windows as I had been told through udonmap.com, a local forum, that they were a cheaper alternative to EK Decorate, the better known of the two suppliers in Udon. This one is located on Thong Yai road with Bangkok Hospital on your left. The shop is about .5km on your right shortly after it becomes a lot narrower. You’ll see a large construction material yard when you arrive but it is easy to miss. Just drive in and ask for Khun Yok. Nothing like EK. No fancy displays but the people are really friendly and helpful and the head lady speaks pretty good English, something missing at EK Decorate.
I am still struggling with selecting the right combination of windows as I wrote about HERE. This second Windsor supplier came in with the best quote to date by quite a margin. However the best Windsor can do for a double glazing profile is a 5/6/5, that is 5 mm glass, 6 mm spacer and 5 mm glass, which is less than the one I wanted being 6/9/5. The difference in the glass size is supposed to help with noise reduction.
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.