some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

Day labor or Subcontract -> Perimeter Wall

The next step in the storage building project is to get the perimeter wall built. I wouldn’t classify building a wall as ‘easy’, but it is one of the more basic construction projects. Any good construction person should be able to do a good job building a perimeter wall. Most of the obvious problems you see with walls is do to short cutting to save on materials.

We started checking around on subcontracting the job out. A highly recommended couple came and said they would subcontract it for 700 per linear meter (labor only). They would put together a team of several workers to get it done quick. A little math: The three sides that need the wall are 16 meters + 25 meters + 16 meters = 57 meters. Going the subcontracting route would cost 39900 for labor only. This seems to be the going rate around here for a 1.7 meter high perimeter wall. Some searching around might get it for maybe 600.

Using this same couple (a husband and wife) on a day labor rate would be 250 per day each (500 total per day). I figure the job to be about a months worth of work. So this then is 30 * 500 or about 15000 (again labor only). OK, maybe it takes them 6 weeks but that still comes in at only to 22,500.

Asked about why the subcontract is so expensive, they replied they will have a lot of people come do it quick. Just what I don’t want. Whenever I see a lot of people doing stuff quick, I start to get nervous. OK, the idea number of people for a wall job is 4. That way they can finish off a job about this size in 2 or 3 weeks. So 2 is a bit short, but it is fine in this case.

I think for small projects the subcontract is a good way to go if you haven’t ever seen that particular project done before and you haven’t seen it on this site.

No on to the next problem of day labor: management. I don’t think this will turn out to be a problem at all. The construction people who referred these folks have worked with them before — so they should be up to speed. I know how long the project should take. If its not getting done after two weeks or so I abort mission and start with a new crew.

If the pricing was close I would go the subcontract method. But at double I just don’t figure it’s worth it.


  1. Hi Dozer

    The going contract rate up country was 2000 per panel (1 post and one panel 2.5m by 1.7m high).They usually are a husband and wife team (wife mixes cement) with 2 labourers and can do one panel complete with plastering per day

    I think you really must make construction detail sketches, drawings otherwise you are asking for trouble. get them translated into thai

    You must estimate the total material reuirements and costs and plan for delivery of materials

    Dont get conned into providing meals or refreshments of any kind, thats their problem. Dont lend any tools. Always dress smartly a behave loftily like a chinese Tao khae (if they spot a weakness they will be sure to exploit it)

    Always agree a method of stage payment

    Make a specification and basis of contract

    If you dont do it semi professionally, then hard luck for you


    Robin T

  • blog » Day Labor - Jump on It!
  • Leave a Response

    You must be logged in to post a comment.