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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    Default House build cost?

    Ten years after buying our plot in KK we are finally wanting to build on it.

    Its on a gated site with about 800 square meters.

    The how long is a piece of string question is, How much to build a good sized, modern, good quality three bed house?

    Also any recommendations for western friendly house builders in the Khon Kaen area?

    Thanks Paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merc Fintail View Post
    Ten years after buying our plot in KK we are finally wanting to build on it.

    Its on a gated site with about 800 square meters.

    The how long is a piece of string question is, How much to build a good sized, modern, good quality three bed house?

    Also any recommendations for western friendly house builders in the Khon Kaen area?

    Thanks Paul.
    Give Alan Sinclair a call in Together Construction Thailand.
    Great company and very reasonably priced for houses and Swimming Pools.
    They built my home last year and we are really happy with the quality and professionalism they provided.
    www.togetherconstructionthailand.com


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  3. #3
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Is this Alan the Builder as was?

    If so, he undoubtedly has a good reputation, but be prepared to pay 'farang' rates.
    'Tis me

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    Quote Originally Posted by caller View Post
    Is this Alan the Builder as was?

    If so, he undoubtedly has a good reputation, but be prepared to pay 'farang' rates.
    No not that Alan the builder.
    This is a different guy and a completely different company.
    I was quoted far less than any other "Farang" Construction Company I got in touch with.



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    No, Alan the builder is called Whitnall and is from the Surin Area - at least the one I know is.

    Having recently gone through nightmares with the Thai builders carrying out alterations to my house, I would be very careful who you choose to do the work. They need to be good at their job but they also need to understand that some of the methods that may be acceptable to Thai's are not acceptable to us - i.e. we like our earths to actually be linked to ground, not just terminated in the fuse box. If you have any building knowledge, by all means employ a Thai builder and oversee the build. If you don't, be very careful or employ someone who does to manage the build.

    You can build a house very cheaply in Thailand but that's exactly what you'll end up with - a cheap house, badly built with low quality fittings. The windows in my house were the usual uPVC Chinese imports with butt joints, sliding openers and rivetted together - about 2500 - 5000 baht each. They leak like hell, the jing jocks walk straight under the seals and are basically rubbish. I've just ripped all mine out and replaced them with European quality doors and windows. But, and its a big but - the choice is the usual rubbish or very expensive good quality fittings. My doors and windows came to almost £6000 fitted, the spec is very high (by Thai standards) but they would have cost about £4000 in the UK. Likewise, finding decent quality kitchens in Thailand at the right price is difficult, they are way more expensive than you'd pay in the UK.

    Make sure the builder you employ is a builder - not just a farmer who can mix cement. I'm sure there are some good ones around but they must be few and far between. If you do find one, go look at some of their work, don't just go on a recommendation. For some reason, a lot of westerners seem to drop their standards when they move over to Thailand. What is acceptable to them may not be acceptable to you. Ask yourself, have you ever stayed in a Thai hotel where the tiling has been done correctly and where the water from the shower doesn't flood the bathroom?

    I just received the latest photos from my house and the new bathroom doors (£100 each) have been put on upside down!!! Final straw for me, they are fired and the project is on hold until I can get back over.

    Be careful, use either a farang run construction company or a farang project manager.
    Last edited by Flip; 30th Dec 2017 at 15:24.

  6. #6
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merc Fintail View Post
    Ten years after buying our plot in KK we are finally wanting to build on it.

    Its on a gated site with about 800 square meters.

    The how long is a piece of string question is, How much to build a good sized, modern, good quality three bed house?

    Also any recommendations for western friendly house builders in the Khon Kaen area?

    Thanks Paul.
    To be honest and with respect to this forum, I would seek advice from people in Khon Kaen, try here or a local expat forum as you can bet your life the folk on there will have all sorts of information that could help you. You really need local insider information.

    For example, my experience in Hua Hin is different to flips and I won't be using a western builder in Hua Hin ever again. I am having to re-do much of the work of the one I did use. He's busy and spreads himself thinly and at the end of the day he uses Thai workers, he has to. I now use one or two local Thais who many farangs here use and they do their work to western standards. They know what's expected and they have the ability to meet those expectations. I'm currently having a roof extension built and I'm very happy with the progress being made.
    Last edited by caller; 31st Dec 2017 at 07:48.
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    Some British or western buildings see a money making opportunity in Thailand, and all they want to do is make a quick buck.

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    I don't doubt there are good Thai builders - its finding them. I did 5 years in construction management in the UK and have come across all the cowboys but I have never, ever, come across incompetence on the level I've had in Thailand. I was warned though so I take some of it on the chin.

  9. #9
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    I don't doubt there are good Thai builders - its finding them. I did 5 years in construction management in the UK and have come across all the cowboys but I have never, ever, come across incompetence on the level I've had in Thailand. I was warned though so I take some of it on the chin.
    My neighbour ran his own successful building company in the UK for many years. He watched his house and others being built by the Thai developer and liaised with the Thai Engineer in charge of the project. By and large he was very impressed with the standard the houses were built to.

    But I agree with you flip, it's about finding the good guy's, hence my suggestion to try and liaise with the local expat community to see if they can help. I wish I'd done the same to start with!
    Last edited by caller; 31st Dec 2017 at 15:31.

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    Default House build cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    No, Alan the builder is called Whitnall and is from the Surin Area - at least the one I know is.

    Having recently gone through nightmares with the Thai builders carrying out alterations to my house, I would be very careful who you choose to do the work. They need to be good at their job but they also need to understand that some of the methods that may be acceptable to Thai's are not acceptable to us - i.e. we like our earths to actually be linked to ground, not just terminated in the fuse box. If you have any building knowledge, by all means employ a Thai builder and oversee the build. If you don't, be very careful or employ someone who does to manage the build.

    You can build a house very cheaply in Thailand but that's exactly what you'll end up with - a cheap house, badly built with low quality fittings. The windows in my house were the usual uPVC Chinese imports with butt joints, sliding openers and rivetted together - about 2500 - 5000 baht each. They leak like hell, the jing jocks walk straight under the seals and are basically rubbish. I've just ripped all mine out and replaced them with European quality doors and windows. But, and its a big but - the choice is the usual rubbish or very expensive good quality fittings. My doors and windows came to almost £6000 fitted, the spec is very high (by Thai standards) but they would have cost about £4000 in the UK. Likewise, finding decent quality kitchens in Thailand at the right price is difficult, they are way more expensive than you'd pay in the UK.

    Make sure the builder you employ is a builder - not just a farmer who can mix cement. I'm sure there are some good ones around but they must be few and far between. If you do find one, go look at some of their work, don't just go on a recommendation. For some reason, a lot of westerners seem to drop their standards when they move over to Thailand. What is acceptable to them may not be acceptable to you. Ask yourself, have you ever stayed in a Thai hotel where the tiling has been done correctly and where the water from the shower doesn't flood the bathroom?

    I just received the latest photos from my house and the new bathroom doors (£100 each) have been put on upside down!!! Final straw for me, they are fired and the project is on hold until I can get back over.

    Be careful, use either a farang run construction company or a farang project manager.
    Absolutely agree,
    I searched for a decent builder for months and got recommendations up the wazoo for thai builder/farmers. The problem is that all the recommendations usually come from family or friends or the aunt of the uncle of the mate that married the granny of the..... well u get the idea.
    Every village has a million second cousins once removed and they all push them forward as the best builders ever when someone (especially a Farang) is looking to build. So none of the references means a damn thing.
    I went and visited loads of these
    " professionals" and all there work was crap
    I then moved on to Farang builders and to be honest most of the ones I looked into were on the outside great but when I went looking I found they were mostly as bad as the farmers.
    The problem is that only Thais are legally allowed to build here so u will never actually get a Farang builder as such but what I found with Together Construction was that the owner (British) has a long time team and they actually take pride in their work. He trains them before he lets them near a build and doesn't accept any of this rubbishlike letting them bigger of back to the rice field to help mom and pop every few months.
    They have a choice, be a builder or a farmer but not both.
    While they were building my house one of the new guys wanted to go for a week to help on farm and was basically told you leave you go for good.
    He stayed
    Alan Sinclair the owner told me that a lot of companies use all sub contractors once they get the contract and although sometimes taking on one or two extra staff is unavoidable he said he never puts an inexperienced team on any project. At worst if he takes a subcontractor it will be one guy and never a crew. the subbie will be with the long term team of regular staff and will just be mixing cement or other menial tasks to help out but never put in an important job.
    I kinda took all that with a pinch of salt until I saw how he ran my project and was well impressed.
    My house came in under budget and a week early and I actually have straight walls and no leaks which is a miracle in Thailand.
    One thing also to watch out for is bogus pictures on contractors websites or Facebook. The amount of google pics I found on alleged reputable builders sites both Thai owned and Farang was scary.
    They just bang up someone else's build and take credit as their own. I was impressed with my builder because he actually posts live footage of his builds and daily updates etc so u can see what's going on and nothing is fake. That was pretty much the main reason I hired him.
    It's a scary, daunting roller coaster of a ride building here but it is possible to get a good job as long as your not trying to be a cheap Charlie.
    Although in saying that, my guy was not a whole lot more than the local builders and a whole lot less than most of the Farang builders I looked at and I got proper earthing, proper windows, a roof that doesn't leak , a proper fuse board with wires that don't droop across the garden and pretty much everything else you would associate with a U.K. quality build.




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    Quote Originally Posted by caller View Post
    My neighbour ran his own successful building company in the UK for many years. He watched his house and others being built by the Thai developer and liaised with the Thai Engineer in charge of the project. By and large he was very impressed with the standard the houses were built to.

    But I agree with you flip, it's about finding the good guy's, hence my suggestion to try and liaise with the local expat community to see if they can help. I wish I'd done the same to start with!
    As far as I know Alan from Together Construction is based in Korat but has ties to khon kaen. I read somewhere that Dave the owner of Blues Bar , one of the main expat hangouts in kk knows him and has vouched for him before.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    I don't doubt there are good Thai builders - its finding them. I did 5 years in construction management in the UK and have come across all the cowboys but I have never, ever, come across incompetence on the level I've had in Thailand. I was warned though so I take some of it on the chin.
    Mate you and me both...
    It's frickin scary how bad some of these cowboys are. On one site I visited when I was checking out a few companies I asked one of the guys (or rather I got my wife to ask him) why one of the concrete post wasn't built square on the pile ( for those that don't know the lingo the pile is hammered into the ground to provide support for the foundation and then the ringbeams and pillars are built on top of them on concrete pads.
    This pillar he had just built was sitting on the dirt beside the pile and when questioned about it he said " no problem it have many piles so miss one no problem"
    Are you kidding my me ????




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  13. #13
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input.

    We are looking to spend 3 / 4 milloin bht on the build, including internal fitments.
    I`m a kitchen fitter by trade, so would like to source kitchen, bathrooms and internal fittings myself. Fit them myself if possible?

    I think two or three main stages of build will help, as far as assesing the build as it goes.

    1. Plan and get drawings done
    2. Do the concrette framework, pinning. We are on the bank of the CHI river
    3. Infill the conrette frame and fit roof
    4. External doors, windows, rendering etc.
    5. When we move to Thailand, do the detailing, interior ourselves.

    We are looking for quite a contemporary building, outside and in with maybe a slab roof. The boxy looking type, not sure if it affects build cost too much.

    We will be living in the UK while this happens and visiting for each stage of development.

    About the fitted kitchens. I know quite a few doors used on the UK kitchens come from China and import duty on Euro kitchens is high. So what about importing from China some of the better quality conponents? Or is duty on the goods still a killer?

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    No idea, I ended up buying a Danish kitchen in Bangkok- well a kitchen from a Danish company. Still not the quality I would expect for the price but definitely better than I saw at Homepro etc. The owner of the franchise is English which helps.

    Since then I've been informed there's an English guy who has a kitchen showroom near Pattaya - might be worth looking in to.

    By all means look into doing much of the internal/detail work yourself but decide which way you want to go....you'll no doubt end up with a much better job. However, look into the practicalities and logistical aspects of that. Example:

    I've decided to do my own plumbing and after much comtemplation, I'm taking a UK push fit system with me. Some copper will be used but 1/2 copper pipe is available in Thailand. The reasons for this are;

    a). I'm installing an inverter to provide hot water and thermostatic showers (I just hate electric showers and I don't like washing up in cold water). Where hot water systems are fitted in Thailand they use a different type of pipe which needs welding together with some sort of machine which means I'd have to get someone to do that part for me or buy a machine.

    b). Then there's the problem of describing what fittings you want - I tried doing that with an English speaking friend at a merchants and they still didn't understand what I meant. I'm pretty sure that if I was to try using a Thai plumbing system my brain would be battered by the time I'd eventually got everything I wanted.

    c). Most Thai plumbing systems chop the pipework into the wall - if you get a leak (and I've had one), its a real pain to get to. This is especially true in a bathroom - can you imagine having to remove tiles and break in to a wall a few years after you're done and the tiles are discontinued?

    Just one example but you need to think about it. If I could find a Thai plumber I could trust, I would probably do things differently. A downside to what I'm doing is that I have to take more fittings (T's, Elbows etc.) than I need because should I end up short, I'm screwed.

    What may be better is to find a handy Thai builder and work with him.

    By the way, inverter hot water systems need not be expensive and are far cheaper to run than other forms of water heating. Mine cost me 53,000 which is way cheaper than those offered by other companies. I visited a bar/restaurant that had one installed 4 years ago - they had never had a problem with it and were impressed with the savings they've made. If you are considering having hot water, I can put you in touch with the supplier.

    Your budget of 3 to 4 million (I presume that's it and not 3/4,threequarters?) will provide you with a good quality house with high end fittings done right.

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    Yes, 3 to 4 million.

    I will look into the hot water at a later date (Da would want hot water for sure) , I would have thought a solar system with a presurised 300 ltr storage tank would take care of it but its a bit early for that just yet.

    A link to an inverter system would be interesting.

    If you are bringing push fit from the UK, may I strongly suggest you pay a little extra and use Hep20 fittings and avoid Pust-fit at all cost, you get what you pay for.

    Electrics - I would like to wire the house to UK spec, with UK sockets and ring mains but not sure if its allowed. I can do all that myself too.

    I presume there is duty to pay on bringing in pipes and cables too

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    I wouldn't use anything other than Hep2O but there's nothing wrong with push fit - its the people who use it that cause the problems. I'm sitting in a house I plumbed 10 years ago and with the exception of the 3m closest to the boiler, its exclusively push fit. People forget the inserts and don't use a proper cutter - that often results in a small tear in the rubber 'o' ring which weeps ......bla bla. I also lubricate each joint before the 'push'. Conversely, the other semi next door was first fixed before I fired the alcoholic plumber. I've had 3 to 4 leaks in that house - each for the reasons I described above. On one (old style Hep20) the collar hadn't been screwed up!!!

    I didn't do the wiring as mine is a renovation but I am also fitting UK sockets - having seen some of the wiring they do, I doubt there are any regulations on who can fit electrics.

    My suitcases have been bulging on the last few trips..................what's duty?

  17. #17
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    You could employ a reputable Thai architect that will oversee the build. You could write in to the contract that monies paid are in stages of completion and being signed off by the architect.
    The safest way but the down side is you pay a premium and a hefty one at that.
    What ever is decided, spend more time designing and implementing well thought foundation works as everything comes off these and get local knowledge with flooding trends and build accordingly.

    I agree it is (or can be) hit and miss appointing a builder. Thai or foreigner. We were lucky I suppose. I have or had a construction company background and over engineered everything from wiring to the quality of the cement used.
    Just remember that Thais will (BIG WILL) buy the cheapest product that fits the job and save a few thousand bht over the project. Better to buy the materials yourself.
    There are a few European kitchen and double glazing manufacturing in Pattaya area with the high demand. Its not expensive to truck it anywhere. Does Ikea not do kitchens in LOS? But be aware most things made from any softwood or MDF types are subject to infestation.

    Good luck
    Last edited by ian1208; 3rd Jan 2018 at 21:24. Reason: spelink
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ian1208 View Post
    Better to buy the materials yourself.
    Agreed but be there to see them used. I bought proper lintels (they usually cast them on site - why???) all the right size for each particular opening (well the nearest standard size). I then got a phone call saying there was a 2.1m lintel missing - turned out they'd cut it in two and used it on windows. There were a couple of window lintels left over though .

    Oh, forgot - here you go Merc http://www.taitronicsheatpumps.com/
    Last edited by Flip; 3rd Jan 2018 at 21:31.

  19. #19
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    Agreed but be there to see them used
    Yes, of course. I should have made that clear............haha
    Another issue is when they cast the concrete, it takes 28 days to properly cure. I have seen them ripping off the shuttering and building next day
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Merc Fintail's Avatar
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    Oh, forgot - here you go Merc http://www.taitronicsheatpumps.com/[/QUOTE]

    Thanks. One of those on solar would be great!

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