Select Page
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 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.
This is one serious hole.

This is one serious hole for the septic.

The system I was replicating was illustrated on coolthaihouse as follows:
The plumbing system.

The plumbing system.

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.
One of the grey water soaker tanks.

One of the grey water soaker tanks.

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.
The finished tank.

The finished tank.

The septic tank full of water and being watered into it's hole.

The septic tank was pumped full of water and is shown here being watered into it’s hole to settle the soil around it.

The finished system, septic - still to get its lid, and two grey water tanks now buries. You can see the venting pipes where they are situated running out to the right and the edge of the land.

The finished system, septic – still to get its lid, and two grey water tanks now buried. You can see the venting pipes where they are situated running out to the left and the edge of the 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.
Posts arrive - 39 to cover 120 metres.

Posts arrive – 39 to cover 120 metres.

120 THB each.

Posts at 120 THB each.

Some serious anti-elephant barbed wire.

Some serious anti-elephant sized barbed wire.

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.