Updated 6 July 2016:
I have just published a 750 page eBook that follows the challenges, frustrations and successes of building a house in Thailand from the very start of us buying the land through to moving in and beyond. You will be part of our building team for every day of construction and I will share many do’s and don’ts all designed to save you time, money, sleepless nights or all three. This book is a must have as part of your research on the subject of building in Thailand and you can find it HERE.
20 – 26 December 2014, a week of not much happening because, as I told you in Week 7 HERE, progress on the build had outstripped supply. The two main items we are waiting for are Colorbond for the roof and the AAC blocks to build walls. Both ordered but waiting for them to arrive.
However hang in there because there is exciting news on the septic and grey water tanks front! We bought the septic tank from Global House in Week 7 and this week the crew dug it into the ground. It was a 2,000 litre version, although I think smaller would have been fine. It’s hard to get guidance on size based on the number of people expected to be using the house. The forum on coolthaihouse.com has a lively debate on the subject with one contributor quoting the figures for America, which require a small swimming pool sized septic. From my reading this is because the seasonally cool climate in a large area of the US requires a longer holding time before solids break down and is therefore a useless piece of information. Our tropical climate speeds the whole process up and therefore smaller septic tanks are very workable. Ming, the builder, suggested 2,000 litres and as I had nothing better to offer that’s what we went with.
The system I was replicating was illustrated on coolthaihouse as follows:
Toilets on one line going to the septic and then a grey water soaker tank with the grey water from showers, basins and kitchen flowing into a separate pipe leading to a second grey water tank. The only variation to the photo above is that I didn’t install a grease trap.
These are just two concrete rings sitting on top of each other with holes drilled into the sides to let the water out. They cost all of 120 THB each ring and another 120 THB for the lid. Surrounded with gravel and covered over with soil. A venting pipe was run horizontally from the side of the tank to the edge of our land.
If the soaker tanks are overwhelmed with water I will add a pipe from one to the other and then across the land in a soil covered gravel ditch to spread the water over a larger area.
With the team cut back to Ming and his two regular workers I next asked them to put up a fence around three sides of the land as my first attempt to stop the endless visits by dogs and chickens! The final victory will only happen once the front wall goes in with the gate and possibly a shotgun. The other benefit of the fence is that for the first time it would properly define the boundaries of the land.
Ming charged me 250 THB a post, 9,750 THB in total, which I thought was a bit steep. However it took them 3 1/2 days to do the job partly because they are meticulous with levels and getting the fence straight, so I think I got value for money. The corner posts were concreted in the the others just dug and backfilled.
For those of you thinking that this is a bloody ugly fence to be running around one’s property not to worry. We are planting a double width hedge on our side, which will eventually submerge the fence in greenery and hopefully look something like this at some stage thanks to www.coolthaihouse.com topic HERE:
We took the break in house happenings to buy and plant our first trees on the land. This will end up being a wall of greenery to protect East facing windows from the morning sun. Good sized plants at 140 THB each. Establishing a garden here will take no time and cost a fraction of what it would back in Australia.
The next photo doesn’t look much but is the ensuite marked out with a burnt stick on the concrete slab! Exciting in that it shows a positive attitude that we will be getting some concrete blocks at some stage soon and these markings will turn into real walls.
And on Friday, my birthday, after lots of phone calls to Thai Watsadu our first load of 800 AAC blocks turned up.
No mortar mind you so we had to make a rush trip to Thai Watsadu in Nong Bua Lamphu to get 16 bags so the wall building crew could get started the next day.
Week 9 will be a little more interesting with the walls starting to take shape and a run to Khon Kaen on Monday to pick up 128,000 THB of Colorbond. However we will be hit by the New Year shut-down from Tuesday and I don’t think we’ll see workers back on site until Week 10.
Thanks for reading and a happy New Year.