some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

coolthaihouse in 3D and house building ideas – Robin T

from Robin T

image modelhouse2skp.jpgHere’s just some stuff I messed around with. One thing came through as a glaring necessity

You must consider the likely impact on the roof construction when first laying out your floor plan. In your case you have created some expensive articulation which could have been neatly avoided and perhaps given you a larger floor area.

For example if you had made the end master bedroom the same floor area as the extended carport area, then you could have had 2 gabled roofs crossing, and not used the Wat style overlapping roofs (in your case Wat/2)

See my alt sketch (above)

image roofoff.jpgNotice the entrance area has a covered veranda which allows you to move from the car port to the door without getting wet, also ample space to sit at table. To the rear is another covered area for laundry drying and cooking outside

image inside2.jpgtry viewing it using the camera tool, turn on perspective, set field of view to 110 deg and eye height to 1.6, use the walk around tool, its distorted but quite realistic and gives you a very good idea of how the built will look

My initial mock up of your floor plan took about a morning. I made a few mistakes and also dawdled around, so in theory it could be sketched in 2 hours

In my opinion this type of approach is invaluable for the amateur builder. It really highlights pros and cons of a design.

Editor: I managed to purloin a copy of this software ‘sketchup’ at my local discount software outlet. I am delighted with the tool and thank you for doing this modified model of the coolthaihouse. I think it will demonstrate to everyone how useful it will be. And I remind everyone that Robin T has a free offer on the table –> Free house design.

A lot of what I have seen of the “out of the book” design is imitation hollywood style. It looks flashy but conceals all manner of impracticalities.

Editor: Yes, even the designs in Thai design books are designed to give the falang what they are used to back home, normally impractical at least to some degree.

For example

WE Europeans like to have a neat and tidy western kitchen which the average thai will turn into a tip in seconds flat (they do everything on the floor rather than on a worktop). Their reasoning is perfectly fair.

The floor is

large, cool and you sit down with the toddlers (why do you want to stand up at a table?) When you finish, just brush away the rubbish

Its our way that looks stupid to them

So you need a split area, with the second part containing an outside covered area for Wok frying. The second area needs to cater for thai habits and be out of general sight. Also include a large pantry cupboard for storage, pots pans and dry goods. You might also consider a draining the kitchen water to a shallow compost area, where you also throw kitchen refuse (rather than fill up the cess pit). The western kitchen with its eye level cupboards is impracticable for Thais, they are too short and cant reach.

Something you also need to consider:

Have you ever noticed that Thais are fastidious about sweeping and cleaning the floor, but will never clean a wall and remove paw marks. So anything put up on shelves will never get cleaned or dusted. Any indoor frying will coat nearby articles with a fine mist of hot oil. within a week this hot oil has oxidized into a varnish, after a month its more stubborn than polyurethane lacquer and must be removed with white spirit and much scrubbing. So a large enclosed pantry (closet) with shelving and a tight fitting door is a great plus (never seen one done here in paradise). it also discourages cockroaches and mice.

You have probably also noticed that everything falls apart here after a while so your interior design really needs to be labour saving

I think I am in favor of a “servants quarters” area for all that thai rubbish, their own kitchen, toilet, out of sight and keep your western bit for use by yourself and distinguished guests. I am always in mortal fear of some falang from the past wanting to look me up in the sticks. Having gone native up there, i would be embarrassed to say the least and outsiders seeing my living conditions (although perfectly ok by thai farmer standards)

editor: A novel idea. As far as the kitchen how nice it would be to have a separate kitchen area outside the main house. My friend upcountry built an outside walk in kitchen area which has roof and three walls but otherwise is open. It is attached to the main house. Was very impressed with this concept.

I also have another design which encompasses the entire plot area, but Im not sure if local regulations allow you to build your house walls right up against your boundary (so the house walls become the boundary wall). Its obviously done in town, where shop houses are built cheek by jowl, but I haven’t seen it in a residential development, maybe there are covenants? Please advise me on any planning restrictions you encountered

editor: yes there definitely is here. The house must be 2 meters from the perimeter wall. However, it is not really enforced (but could be a problem with a cranky neighbor or worse yet a Thai person of influence that you happen to piss off). Here, the house had a plan done by an architect. It could not get signed off by the planning czar (ah boh doh) without the two meter clearance.
just some thoughts, Robin T

1 Comment

  1. Hi dozer

    Ok fair enough will incorporate the 2m distance and send a revised Castle for your comment, it has many innovations that are completely different from the typical book design, including and outside kitchen, watch this space

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