some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

Koh Phan Ngan Beach House

image bhe-Persp02.jpgfrom ThomasJust thought I’d share a project of a type that you dont see often on your site which seems to me limited almost entirely to inland homes either around Pattaya or in the North.

While the structure is essentially a very basic thai style shophouse construction the house design and finishing will be Tropical Modern, terrazzo, wood window frames and doors, brushed nickel fittings, painted steel railings on patios etc. the house will be built on no more than a 3-4 colour/3-4material pallette.

The house is being constructed with a canopied roof terrace to provide partial shade throughout the day. To provide insulation, the terrace part of the roof will be covered with concrete pavers separated by a bed of loose gravel to act as “grout” between the the paving blocks.

image bhe-Persp-aerial2.jpgOn either side of the roof deck atop the two bedroom wings of the house we will use concrete slabs raised about 10 cm above the roof proper to provide a ventilation gap and ensure that no part of the roof/ceiling is ever in contact with direct sunlight. !@—

image bhe-Persp-deck.jpgIt must be noted that the house is at the top or an oceanside cliff at 85 meters above sea level and always has an excellent breeze. Accordian doors will open the front of the whole main room to the ocean. !@—

image bhe-Persp-entry2.jpgThe architect is a Canadian working in Thailand. The design is 100% his own and has no precendent anywhere else in the neighborhood on either Phan Ngan or Samui. Two houseswill be built simultaneously and share a 5×10 metre pool and surrounding pool terrace with cabana wetbar etc… !@—

The houses will be primarily for the use of the owners (myself and my partner), but are being designed with an eye to being viable as high end rental properties.

image bhHin-Ngam_low.jpgI found one of the earlier design floor plans to give an idea of the interior of the house forqive the scribbles, i am too lazy to generate a new one from the CAD files:

I also attached some pics of the site and the views the completed houses will have. !@— image bhjust_behind_my_house.jpg image bhpool_site_other_side.jpg image bhrock_face.jpg image bhview_from-pool_site.jpg !@—

Other details – each house is 141 sq meters – approx an additional 100 sq meters or terrace, including 50+ square meter roof terrace – bedrooms each occupy a private wing separated by 50+ square meter common lounge/kitchen area — ensuite for each bedroom – master suite has office space – secondary suite has lockable storage area for owners.

Each house has epic sea view. pool will be on cliff face

Full Eurpoean kitchen

Aircond only in bedrooms, with liberal amaonts of ceiling fans throughout.

I realize it will be a mega hassle to get these built, but well worth it i am sure you would agree.

editor: Most interesting and well designed project. If anybody ever questioned the importance of a view, the rock face view would convince them otherwise. Would be interested to see pics when it is being developed.


  1. hi i am puzzled, how did you get a title deed chenote, to guild a house high up. normally in the LOS you are not allowed to built above the level of the Wat. High ground is reserved for religious purposes, even for big men with influence.

    how did you do it?

    we would all like a room with a view?

    nice house design, much better than the usual design book rubbish



  2. Robin, glad you like the design we are very proud of it ourselves.

    As for title, the house is actually not Chanot, it is Nor Sor 3 . Chanot is very rare on Koh Phan Ngan outside of the primary towns. Nor Sor 3 is far more common.

    As for height issues, they are non existant as far as i have heard, we have clear title to build, and many houses on KPG, and on samui and in phuket are built on hillsides or clifftops certainly more than can fit on the ever harder to find absolute beach front.

    The islands are very mountainous, so it would be difficult to enforce that type of restriction


  3. How big is the land and how much did you pay for it?

  4. posted for Thomas

    Dozer, the houses will be sitting on approximately 1.75 – 2 rai of the 4 rai we purchased. The land was purchased during a 7month negotiation with the owners for 1 million per rai.

    We did all the leg work ourselves, though truth be told, a broker would have been just as efficient what with the number of trips between Bangkok and the islands i took that year.

    They are already asking more than double for adjacent lands.

    Our land is Nor Sor 3 (chanot only happens in an established town or village down there) and already Por Tor Bor lands are commanding the same price.

    The building budget for the houses is approx 2 million each, with an additional 1.5 for the pool 5×10 pool and terrace.

    We are expecting anywhere from 500,000 to 1 miliion in ‘surprises’.

    Like i said earlier, structurally we are buildiing the simplest of shop houses, all the structural cost will be in glass and doors.

    Early in the project our architect said, “why have a roof at all? if you are going to build it, make it a terrace, it becomes usable space and you save money and hassle on roofing materials, roofing style etc.”

    So there we go infrastucture, and site squares have just begun, we are hoping to have something “near complete” for Christmas. I’ll get you pics when there is something to see

  5. hi Thomas

    I do like your basic shophouse structure, very pratical and its something that local builders are familiar with. you can put your floors up on stilts, great! away from termites. you can also experiment with the cellular design as you have done, so much better that the typical blockwork straight on the ground as per some nasty examples shown on this site.

    I had a feeling that the NOR SOR SAM document was originally a kind of license that allowed people to inhabit and develop scrub land some 50 years ago. locals were granted this paper provided they inhabited and cleared the land – a kind of homesteaders thing like they had in the wild west of USA. It was intended for agricultural development not commercial exploitation – I dont know the full restrictions on this type of deed? of course as in the LOS all rules are subject to local variations of interpretation.

  6. Hi All

    Greetings from sunny South Africa. I am strongly considering moving to Phuket next few years and building there. According to Thomas’ calculations, present building costs should be about 14k baht per sq metre (2 million bath divided by 141 sq metres?) Would this be realistic in Phuket as well?. Are building costs rising rapidly on an annual basis in South Thailand?. Lastly, Thomas mentions a cost of 1,5 million bath for 5×10 pool and terrace. Is this the average cost for pools in Thailand?. Seems very expensive. Thanks in advance to anyone who answers my questions. Please feel free to copy responses to my direct email address below. Best Regards – Rob Wellman e-mail :

  7. Hello Thomas I love the design of your home, any chance you could give me your architects details. Or any other details like plans etc for your design??? It would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Margaret

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