some thoughts from Dozer
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Become a Time Waster!

Before you start your project, it is a great time to become a time waster. You may have noticed that many Farlang businesses have a motto – ‘No time wasters’. What do they mean exactly? I was reading one web site which hunts out and packages used cars for expat customers. They are basically a car finding service that can help expats with all aspects of buying a car. They do all the research, and when you are ready to look at a car you simply give them your parameters and they take you around and show you the best cars according to your preferences. They however note on their site that they have recently had to institute a non-refundable deposit, due to certain ‘time wasters’.

I have news for you. If you are buying a car or a piece of land or a house you have every right to be a time waster. Normally the Thais are used to it. Just explain you’ve got to think about it. If you are getting pressure from any body to do anything quick I urge you to do the following: chill out and don’t make any decision for two weeks. Forget about pressure here, there is plenty of land, if that deal doesn’t go through there will be another one. Very seldom is property here sold off at fire sale prices, although it does happen. Fire sales on land or properties (that is a forced emergency quick cash sale) almost always have Thai recipients. Even in the rare event that you do happen to miss out on one of these fire sales, it is much better than moving too quickly and getting yourself stuck in some undesirable situation.

I appreciate the thought behind the no time wasters’ motto. I really don’t like to have my time wasted either. I had a used motorcycle to sell, which I advertised at an attractive price. Someone called, and we setup a meet for Tesco South in 45 minutes, at 3PM. I arrived and he didn’t show. At 3:20 I called and asked him where he was, to which he said he was just leaving and could I wait another 15 minutes. No. And I didn’t appreciate it. And of course there has been other times when I’ve felt my time has been wasted. But I’m not about to start any kind of business with this as my motto. Especially here, Thailand is about wasting time.

Of course, one should always be prompt for appointments and keep obligations once made. This discussion centers around the time you’re trying to decide if you want to ‘take the plunge’ on a particular project. Once you start your project it is generally a different matter. You need to be focused and do things promptly. If you’re in the research stage please allow yourself to take all the time you desire before committing and try to avoid businesses whose motto is ‘no time wasters’.


  1. Just foud your site and think its great.I am moveing to pattaya in a coulpe of weeks an plan to do a self build.I think this site will be invluable

  2. Yes waste time, good idea, come from a new direction each day, it confuses them. after a while you begin to find inconsistencies and lying.

    Check, Check and check again

    draw up a list of all the possible angles, then go through these methodically using different sources to cross check

    ExaMPLE you want a roofing contractor

    whats his experience Where has he worked go and look (and get your partner to talk to the locals, or employ one if she is too shy) Check 3 sites Ask about the building spec and form of contract they used How do you know the roof is structurally safe (tiles are very heavy, they use crude welding, if it breaks there could be serious injury Who does the stress calculations Can you get a civil engineer to check and sign the strut drawings Who will buy the materials? Better to buy them your self (tiles) I dont like welded strut joints, i would use a fish plate and 2 bolts for each strut, non critical metal laths can be spot welded

    and so on

    Remember once you hand over money you lose power

    If any part of the contracts remains unfinished, hold back on payments

    On a big job, always agree on stage payments schedule A contractor should not expect you to feed his workers (unlike day rate) Dont lend tools, a contractor must have his own complete set. Start as you mean to go on, business like and correct. If the contractor is reputable and has done good for for Chinese thai, then he will have no probnlem with this approach

    Dont get pally, familiarity weakens your position and breeds contempt (the CTs dont do that)

    Its a good idea to write out a proper contract and specification, then get it translated

    after all a roof is a critical part of the house

    it should go without saying that if you are building a 2+storey dwelling it must be struturally designed by a registered civil engineer, accept nothing less make sure you get a full copy of all design calcs, thats what you are paying for, he also must sign the master drawings properly and legibly, any cavilling, warn him once , if it reoccurs get another one and start again

    check check and check again

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