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  1. #1
    Member สมาชิก Essex boys's Avatar
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    Default House building threads?

    Hi all, I have had a quick look on here and there doesn't seem to be any specific area that covers house building, as in pictures of houses that are under construction and house building story's.
    i think the other forum called 'teak door ' covers a lot of construction issues, just wondered if this forum could do the same? Hoping I haven't ruffled any feathers by bringing this subject up.
    looking forward to your replys.
    many thanks
    essex boys

  2. #2
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    No matter how many websites provide information, your biggest problem is finding a contractor that will build to decent standard. My first contractor came recommended but produced work of very poor quality. Hopefully the second one will be better but the big difference is - I'll be there this time. Don't do anything unless you're there to supervise it - even if you have someone on site sending messages and photos. Be there yourself or don't build.

  3. #3
    Member สมาชิก Essex boys's Avatar
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    Hi flip, thanks for your reply, I'm retiring in 18 months just before I'm 60, the plan is to rent my house out and live in Thailand for a year at the gf house,if I can hack it and I like it then we will commence with a house build, my intention is to be there every day to oversee it, my gf works for the government and has contact with a few contractors that do work for the government, a few of her work colleagues have had houses built by them and they are happy, I have seen the two most recent builds and the quality seems very good. But, once again thanks for your invaluable advise.
    essexboys

  4. #4
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Hmmmm.....remember, rightly or wrongly, Thai people accept far lower standards then we do so even when they say they are happy with something, it doesn't mean that you will be or indeed that it will be safe. Its only when you get down to the nitty gritty that you see how they do things - things that you can't see when the build's complete but that can give you problems later or even be dangerous. I could go on for hours on this but I'll give you one example:

    I fired my contractor because no matter how many time I told them, for whatever reason they just would not do as I asked. However, when I arrived at my house things were even worse than I'd thought. I'd already accepted that it was going to cost me to put their poor building work right but I just could not fathom their wiring. I doubt that even a decent electrician could have worked it out without spending a lot of time on it either so I asked them to come back and finish the electrics to avoid me paying someone to simply work out what they'd done.

    I was working away in the bathrooms whilst their guys were getting on with the remaining work but I kept an eye on what they were doing. One thing they'd missed was to put a ciruit in for some under-pelmet lighting in the kitchen. I could see the switch and the 2 points it would power (where I would later connect the 4 new under-pelmet lights to.) but the circuit needed connecting to the consumer unit (fuse box). To my mind that would come across the loft space into the kitchen with a chase down the wall to the switch - I couldn't see where the switch got its power from. Then I saw it - next to the switch there was a wall socket on the kitchen circuit - they'd simply looped a live and a neutral in from that socket!! They'd done the same with the cooker socket. I had been quite clear with them, take out the electric shower circuits and use the MCB that previously supplied them to supply a seperate circuit with minimum 16amp wiring to cope with the extra load the oven would demand. They simply looped it into the existing kitchen socket circuit.

    So, I had lighting wired into the sockets and what was supposed to be a dedicated oven circuit wired into the normal socket circuit. To add to that the wiring colours are different all over the house - in one set of sockets both the live and the neutral are red!! They seemed to think that was funny.

    The list goes on and on but needless to say, they were fired for the second time.

    Oh, and if you're much into DIY and buy any tools - don't let the builders within a 100 yards of them. I went for lunch and came back to find my extension lead, rotary hammer and concrete breaker in full use by their team. No could we borrow this please or do you mind? It puzzled me that I seem to have more tools than the contractor does!!
    Last edited by Flip; 1st May 2018 at 20:35.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Lonerider's Avatar
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    I find this forum informative and it gives loads of advice and ideas

    http://www.coolthaihouse.com/forum/u...605462c04096c7

  6. #6
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    I am still undecided on building a house, Or buying a house in Thailand.
    Have you considered on buying a house in Thailand essex boys, Loads of the banks have of a list of properties for sale usually on the outside of the bank before you walk in.
    I know someone who bought a house via a auction at a very good cheap price.Downside was the family had to be evicted and its a very complicated affair.
    While you rent the house for a year, I know you will consider all options.
    I know with building your own house, you can build up to your own good standard.

    I wish you very good luck with what you do.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Big AL's Avatar
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    Thai electrics are incredible. I prefer to stay in western hotel chains because I have seen appalling electrics in quite expensive Thai hotels. A British tourist died in Pattaya not long ago: he arrived at his hotel, went onto his room's balcony, touched the railing and was electrocuted. I also read of someone dying after touching a hotel fridge.

    Even if I were present, I would not know what an electrician was doing and be able to tell him that he was doing it wrongly. (I doubt many Thai electricians speak good English.) So sourcing a good electrician would be vital.

  8. #8
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big AL View Post
    Thai electrics are incredible. I prefer to stay in western hotel chains because I have seen appalling electrics in quite expensive Thai hotels.
    Hmmm - those hotels will also have been wired by a Thai electrician.

    - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by holty View Post
    Loads of the banks have of a list of properties for sale usually on the outside of the bank before you walk in.
    I considered this route before I bought mine. There were indeed some bargains available but none of them suited me. If I had bought that way I would still have gone in to it with the view that I would have to spend money putting shoddy work right.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Big AL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post
    Hmmm - those hotels will also have been wired by a Thai electrician.
    Yes, but Holiday Inn and Marriott etc have reputations to protect. I hope that they would be able to source and control people who did not electrocute their guests.

    - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - -

  10. #10
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big AL View Post
    Yes, but Holiday Inn and Marriott etc have reputations to protect. I hope that they would be able to source and control people who did not electrocute their guests.
    You could be lucky, I sort of see where you are coming from. Some of the bigger construction projects use European project managers which, if they are doing their job right, should ensure all aspects of the build are safe.

    I wish I'd known how bad they are before I started my project. But the walls are double skinned and rendered now - major job to re-wire it. Wiring is not that difficult and anyone who is reasonably practical should be able to carry out a basic electrical installation. I'm not saying anyone can do it, I've seen some horror stories but it really isn't that difficult for basic stuff.

    A friend of mine who built his own house in Thailand a couple of years ago asked his UK electrician for a wiring diagram. I think the sparky charged him £100 and advised him of which MCB's to install in the consumer unit to protect each particular circuit and which grade of wire to use.

    Lighting circuits can be hard to understand sometimes with all the loop backs for multiple switches on the same circuit - they sometimes baffle me so I just draw it out at a bigger scale .

    Where it gets really difficult is when some clown like the one who altered my house wiring doesn't follow the rules and picks up power from other circuits etc.

    Probably the most important thing of all, which would probably have prevented the accidents you mentioned earlier Big Al, is to make sure all metal objects that are fixtures of the house, sinks, hand rails, metal pipework etc. is properly bonded (connected) to the earth circuit. I have NEVER seen this in Thailand, anywhere and most of the installations I've seen so far didn't even have an earth!! One which I thought did was not actually connected to earth. To put that in simple terms - each socket did indeed have 3 wires, live, neutral and earth. These ran back to the source (the consumer unit) but the earth stopped there. In the UK most urban installations have an incoming earth so all 3 poles in the consumer unit are 'on mains'. However, in common with rural UK connections, all those I've seen in Thailand so far are the type that have their own earth - actually grounded to a 2 or 3 metre earth rod which is subsequently wired into the consumer unit. However, in the case I mentioned above, there was no earth rod. The wiring just terminated in the consumer unit and went no further..............ha ha.....I'm rattling on, I'll shut up but hope you get my drift.
    Last edited by Flip; 7th May 2018 at 21:30.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Big AL's Avatar
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    A Thai friend of my wife in the UK used to have a job (in Thailand) visiting houses testing circuit breakers. She did this by inserting into sockets a dinner fork with the middle prong removed and insulation tape on the handle.

    At Christmas, when at my wife's parents' house, an aircon engineer visited to repair an aircon unit. He took it off the wall and did something to it. To test it, he connected up a lead with bare wires at each end. He put the bare ends into a socket with the bare wires dangerously close to each other.

    Dangerous job being an electrician in Thailand.

    Someone living up the road from me in the UK has a house in Thailand. For that house in Thailand he had a barrier installed at the end of his long driveway/private road. The installer needed to use welding equipment. So he tapped into the overhead power lines.

  12. #12
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big AL View Post
    Someone living up the road from me in the UK has a house in Thailand. For that house in Thailand he had a barrier installed at the end of his long driveway/private road. The installer needed to use welding equipment. So he tapped into the overhead power lines.
    I've seen street vendors do that with crocodile clips!!

  13. #13
    Premium Member Allan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip View Post

    Wiring is not that difficult and anyone who is reasonably practical should be able to carry out a basic electrical installation.... I think the sparky charged him £100 and advised him of which MCB's to install in the consumer unit to protect each particular circuit and which grade of wire to use.
    Given that my first thought when reading this post was; "What's a MCB" - I think I'll leave any future house build to those who know better than me (ie; most people!!)!!

  14. #14
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan View Post
    Given that my first thought when reading this post was; "What's a MCB" - I think I'll leave any future house build to those who know better than me (ie; most people!!)!!
    Ha Ha Alan, well actually, as I've already said - its not that difficult. I'm sure you know what a fuse is? An given that, I'm sure you remember the old style fuse boxes that were found in every house? Well, previously when something went wrong on a circuit such as an overload or short circuit, the fuse would blow, break the circuit and therefore make it safe. An MCB is simply a non permanent circuit breaker (Minature Circuit Breaker) that has taken over from fuses. MCB's are usually more sensitive than fuses in that they can detect faults that may not have blown a fuse straight away and usefully, they can be re-set when the fault has been put right. They are simply a more modern form of circuit protection.

  15. #15
    Member สมาชิก Essex boys's Avatar
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    Hi Holty, I haven't considered buying a house, to be honest I hadn't even considered that, my mind always sets itself on building a house, I think if I design and build a house I should end up with what I really want, rather than a compromise. Hope you and the misses are well

  16. #16
    Premium Member Allan's Avatar
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    By way of an attempt to answer the OP query by Essex Boys - the sites that I've been looking at are Alan the Builder and Together Construction - but I agree, a more expansive list of sites that others have used might be a useful addition.

    More importantly, Essex Boys - we're safe!!!! COYI

  17. #17

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    Con fused by elec trickery.




    Basically a mcb will save your wiring. RCD will save your life.

    At least have one RCD in the consumer unit protecting all circuits. Two is better.

    Best of all, have all cicuits on individual RCBO's - if one trips then you should not be left in the dark with no clue as to what tripped it.

    And don't forget to test them occasionally - press the little red button to see it it shuts off the power.
    Last edited by manfarang; 10th May 2018 at 16:35.
    aka Spud / aka MF

  18. #18
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manfarang View Post
    Basically a mcb will save your wiring. RCD will save your life.At least have one RCD in the consumer unit protecting all circuits.
    Absolutely Manfarang - I didn't want to confuse matters further by starting talking about RCD's as well . I've never bought a consumer unit that didn't already have the RCD fitted but I guess in Thailand, anything's possible.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Big AL's Avatar
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    Maybe 10 years ago, I looked at houses in a new gated development in Korat. They were all sold, mainly to farangs or people from Bangkok, but the architect showed us around. The houses were all detached but very close to each other. Some windows looked straight into the windows of the adjacent house. The quality looked good and I did not see deadly wiring, although it could have been deadly for all I know. I wonder if the developers are able to source and control contractors who do not break very rule in the electricians' rule book.

  20. #20
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big AL View Post
    I wonder if the developers are able to source and control contractors who do not break very rule in the electricians' rule book.
    After seeing what I've seen over the last 2 years or so, if I couldn't check it myself I'd find a European electrician that could.

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