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Earlier this week we visited Global House, one of the big building centres in Chiang Mai to get a feel for the cost of house inclusions and I thought that for those of you with a DIY background it would be interesting to see some of the results. I apologise for the quality of some of the photos but I didn’t want to take my large camera into the store, not that I think anyone would have been bothered.

Metal exterior wall downlights. Some nice designs here. Cost up to $25.00.

Metal exterior wall downlights. Some nice designs here. Cost up to $25.00.

Driveway lighting.

Driveway lighting – $48.00.

Solid brass door handles.

Brass door handles – they feel very heavy and solid in the pack – $16.00.

Bathroom lockable sets.

Bathroom lockable sets – $21.00.

A thicker stainless steel version double sink with drainer was selling for around $110.00.

A good quality thicker stainless steel double sink with drainer was selling for around $110.00.

There are two main options for kitchens here apart from the inside/outside choice. Many Thai kitchens will be built from concrete with tiled fronts, a non-concrete benchtop and usually plastic cupboard doors built under. A more basic version would look like this:

A concrete kitchen.

A basic concrete kitchen.

A rather garish but larger version of the same concept. Maybe wooden doors here.

A rather garish but larger version of the same concept. Maybe wooden doors here but often plastic to look like wood.

The advantage of this type of kitchen construction is firstly there’s not much to interest the termites, which are a constant threat here and secondly it is cheap to construct. The same people who build your walls build your kitchen. Thrown in some cupboard doors and a set of drawers and the whole fitout will cost you a fraction of the conventional timber/laminate kitchen.

These wooden under-counter doors will set you back $120.00. Plastic probably $40.00.

These wooden under-counter doors will set you back $120.00. Plastic probably $40.00.

The other option is of course what we would do in Australia either using a flat-pack options such as this example below or a fully designed and individually built affair. The cost can be as much as you want it to be for the latter.

This kitchen set selling for

This kitchen set selling for $1,275.00. Anything timber is more expensive here. Quality reasonable.

The full set.

The full set.

Another example. Each 80 cm section averaged around $400.00.

Another example. Each 80 cm double section averaged around $400.00.

I haven’t decided which way we will go. A wooden kitchen would look the nicest but I will have to see how the budget is looking once we get closer to that stage.

Triple glass top gas cooker

A quality triple glass top gas cooker $360.00.

Another choice.

Another choice.

The choice being whether to have hot water using an instant electric unit which is installed on the shower wall or go bulk. A 6000W Panasonic instant unit costs around $200.00 or a small bulk water heater such as these shown above about double that. The running costs will be less for the instant but the bulk units will most likely provide a better hot water flow, which in the cooler months Nov – Jan is a consideration.

A kitchen triple water filter unit - $120.00.

A kitchen triple water filter unit – $120.00.

My house will have a large external water filtration unit – cost around $400.00 – but there will also be an internal filter unit for all drinking and cooking water. Probably not necessary but better to be safe……The water for the house will come from three sources. 1. the Moo Baan has a central piped water system with water usage meters the same as Australia. The water is filtered but I am not sure how far I would trust it. 2. The house will have rainwater tanks. Silly not to considering the amount of free water is thrown at the earth in the long wet season and 3. We will be installing a bore. The water table is quite shallow in Si Bun Ruang and the Moo Baan water can run out in the dry season. The latter is not so much for personal usage but we will have extensive gardens that will require watering in the dry season.

Large shower head units.

Large shower head units.

With plenty of water and a decent water pressure pump I am ensuring we can have a proper shower not one of those run round to get wet versions as is so often the case over here. Showers are used frequently especially when it get more humid so I want one that doesn’t frustrate me.

Not essential.

Not essential just for interest. This rather nice mirror with a clear glass surround $60.00.

Front door option.

Front door option $460.00. Thai girl extra.

A less expensive version

A less expensive version $160.00.


A sliding window with flyscreens 240 x 110 cm $280.00.

What the window looks like.

What you get for the money. You can have any colour as long as it is white.

Nice little louvre windows.

Nice little louvre windows $70.00.

1.8 meter sliding door with flyscreen.

1.8 meter sliding door with fly-screen $180.00.


Dual flush toilet with a soft close lid! - $200.00.

Dual flush toilet with a soft close lid! – $200.00.

The cheaper alternative at $30.00!

The cheaper alternative at $30.00! Mind you that’s not allowing for the water bucket and scoop.


Looks OK -

Looks OK. A wall mounted basin – $65.00.

Option 2

Option 2 – $105.00

A floor mounted example -

A pedestal example – $80.00 sorry tap not included.

14 kg top loading washing machine

Samsung 14 kg top loading washing machine $230.00

Now that's more like it.

Now that’s more like it. You can’t go past a mega power wash at $530.00.

A few other items I came across:

  • Cold water taps – Thais mostly don’t have hot water outside the bathroom – are priced from $30.00. A mixer tap about three times that.
  • Water pumps seem cheap here, although I must say that I have never bought one in Australia. A Hitachi 350GX, which is a more powerful one and will provide a good flow rate, enough for my dream showers anyway, will set me back around $230.00.


  • A Saxon 800W submersible pump for a bore, which pumps 5,500 litres an hour from 30 meters costs $135.00, which seems unbelievably cheap.
  • A large outside water filter $400.00.

In general costs seem to be less than one would pay for similar items in Australia. Anything involving timber looks expensive by local standards. The big savings in building costs is in the area of  labour. Unskilled workers can be employed for $13.00 a day. Even with skilled trades given this low “base” the people expenses are significantly less than Australia and will result in lower building costs overall.

I will publish more posts as further costs come to light.

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Thanks for dropping by.