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Dream Villa in Krabi

from Robby and Renee My husband, Robby, asked me to send you some attachments for your opinion. We invested in 3 rai down in Krabi and are looking to build a “nice” house IF feasable.

image robbieHouseDesign.jpg The quotation excludes the clearing of the land, possible land filling, pool, wall/electric gate and other possible fees. By the way, how does the 30/30/30 land lease work? The land is in Robby’s son’s name. He was told that the fee for this lease would be a “small” percentage of the cost of the land – does this sound right??? Robby’s son friend is an architect from Phuket. She said that she will charge me only 4% of the house costs and that 7% is what her company normally charges…sounds to me that she is moonlighting using her company’s resources! Also, it appears her expertise does not include electrical, plumbing, etc…only the house layout, e.g., walls, ceiling, floors, etc.

image robbieHouseLayout1.jpgAny assistance you can provide would be valuable. Thank you for your assistance.

editor: the reader sent me details of the architect bid which is based on building a house of 217.75 sq meter inside area + an addition of 57.50 sq meter outside (eg. parking) area. The architects bid is based on the construction budget of 18,000 baht per meter inside and 15,000 baht per meter outside. The total is close to 200,000 for the design documents and obtaining a permission certificate.

The house layout is very attractive and impressive. You are on the right track to get a very modern looking country villa looking house. I especially like the spacious areas, large veranda (great for sitting outside) and outdoor laundry area. PLEASE send some photos as the project progresses, I love to see how it goes.

lease

On the 30 year lease, there will be an option for the lessee to renew at the end of 30 and 60 years. One thing to watch out for in leases is often if the property ownership is transferred, the option to renew the lease isn’t binding on the new owner.

I’m not sure why a lease would be charged as a percentage. I would shop around and just tell the attorney you want a straight fee, not a percentage. There isn’t any difference between a lease for a 1 million baht piece of land and a 5 million baht piece of land. Of course with a lease you will need to pay your son an agreed upon fee, maybe this is the percentage that is being mentioned (ie. legally you can’t lease the property from your son for free).

architect

I would try to find an architect who can charge you a flat fee for all services, not a percentage. No matter how I work it out it seems like the architect is really expensive. My architect here wanted 3%, which I remember at the time I thought was expensive. He wouldn’t come off the 3% but was willing to negotiate the construction budget, so I eventually got the cost down to 12,500 baht. refer to planning czar. No doubt your project is much more involved and you should expect fees up to maybe 50,000 baht or more.

If possible I would try to get a few bids from different architects. Also, I would just tell them your want a straight fee bid, not based on a percentage and see how it goes.

The other aspect is quality. In the case of an expensive planning session like this I would make sure the architect agrees to supply and electrical plan which is normally not included. Also you should ask for a supplemental detailed plumbing layout. I would advise using double wall construction as shown here: double wall construction and indicating the materials and wall widths correctly in the plan. Another alternative is superblock superblock notes .

The bottom line on the plan is if you need to lay out serious bucks to get it done, the architect should do a very very detailed plan. Normally the architects produce a general plan which is enough to get the builders going, but they will have many questions as they go. With a detailed plan you will be better protected.

Construction

As you’ve read elsewhere in the site, I’m a fan of controlling the materials budget (ie. I want to be the one paying for the materials). This will only work if you’re willing to allocate a couple hours a day to the project. There are three benefits: the builder loses any incentive to corner-cut, quality control is better and you will save at least 25% on the construction budget.

In any case, once you have a plan in hand I recommend getting at least 4 bids from builders who come recommended and which have previous projects you can inspect. You can either get bids for labor only (if you are managing materials) or for an all inclusive bid.

Some builders may not want to do a labor only bid, but normally they don’t mind. It is easier for them to calculate their costs and they don’t have to risk as much capital.

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