some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

2 meter high perimeter wall

image dsc21080.jpgThis is a shot of a section of the completed 2 meter perimeter wall around an adjoining 100 sq wah plot of land to the coolthaihouse. We’re still working on adding angle iron barbed wire 4 band on the top and there is also a sliding access gate. The workers have turned out pretty well so far, they have their own tools and are doing all the manufacture work on the gate and barbed wire supports here.

!@— image dsc21079.jpgThe wall was 3 sides on 100 sq. wah which comes out to 56 linear meters. A fixed price labor only bid would have been 500 baht per linear meter. I like the posts laid out at 2.5 meter intervals for strength as opposed to 3.5 meters (which can be done to save money). !@—

The costs break down as follows (not including the sliding gate or the barbed wire application): * supplies = 299 * blocks = 4440 * metal = 8695 * cement = 6600 * sand/stone = 9600 * labor = 21000 * formwood = 500 (had most of the wood needed) * total = 51134 or about 913 per linear meter

image dsc21067.jpgThis was something I liked that the workers suggested. They suggested attaching 2 support pedestals to the wall posts on the wall with the lowest land level on the outside. The idea is to add an extra support mechanism to protect against shifting.

image dsc21026.jpgHere is something I didn’t catch until it was too late. The outside corner of the wall is approximately 10 cm. from the official border marker. While it is true that you never want to obscure the border marker (and get in a hassle with the neighbor), 10 cm. is just a bit silly. The workers said this was ‘standard’, but the way I would normally do it is to place the corner of the wall overlapping the post (just barely) but keeping it in place.

Doing a perimeter wall is one of the most basic (ie. easy) construction tasks. Good workmen will have a lot of experience at how to do a basic block perimeter wall. One thing to definitely clarify up front, though, is that you want the posts poured after the bricks are in place. This is the ‘preferred’ stronger way to do it and prevents the blocks ‘unattaching’ from the post later on. However, there are two ways to do it, and if you don’t specify you’ll just get it done the quick way. One other thing you can point out is that you want the render coat applied thick enough so that you cannot see an outline of the underlying block work after it the stucco dries.

  • misc notes.

image dsc20937.jpgI was happy at the on set of the project when we got into a discussion about cement. I like sua-tiger brand, the foreman said this was good for rendering but he recommended a different brand for the base work (phet-daimond). I didn’t have experience with this one, but knowing that on a labor only contract there really isn’t any motivation to pull anything I can just mostly follow his recommendations. Turns out to be an excellent quality cement on par with chaang-elephant brand.

!@— image dsc20985.jpgThe frame placed in the post hole 60 cm deep. !@— image dsc20982.jpgThe upper frame is framed with block to save of the cost of frame wood. !@— image dsc20989.jpgAfter the post base is poured. !@— image dsc20986.jpgThe strip footing is poured 15 cm by 25 cm deep. !@— image dsc20991.jpgA completed section of the strip footing. !@— image dsc20998.jpgThis shot shows the raw block work completed and how the rebar frame now stands between sections prior to having the post poured ‘around’ the frame and block secions. !@— image dsc20995.jpgThe post being poured around the rebar framework after the block work is complete. !@— image dsc21006.jpgClose up showing a straight connecting rebar piece used between wall sections to add strength. !@— image dsc21021.jpgUpper footing being framed. !@— image dsc21072.jpgUpper footing is leveled with a string line. !@— image dsc21073.jpgUpper footing after being leveled and rendered. !@— image dsc21077.jpgRendering the upper footing. !@—


  1. Excellent looking work, dozer. Are you going to paint it or leave it with a skim coat only? Also, wonder whether the 500 baht per 2.5 m section fixed-labor price holds true in rural Suphanburi. Guess I’ll find out when the bids go out.

    Thanks very much for posting all these great topics with detail. You are doing the farang builder an invaluable service here.

    Cheers, Boon Mee

  2. Glad you left a comment, caused me to reread my piece. The ‘standard’ labor only price here in Pattaya is 500 baht per linear meter (not 2.5 m section as I wrote before). In this case the daily had a slight savings as a fixed price labor bid would have been 28k baht.

    Upcountry it would be the same or possibly cheaper.

    Will be painting it the same color as the adjoining wall in front. By the way, when you subcontract for the wall fixed price painting normally isn’t included – maybe you can get them to throw that in.

  3. Saw where Carlyn & Sak had used pigment in with the skim coat to achieve a longer-lasting paint job than to have to re-apply every few years. How has this method worked out for others who have gone that route? I recognize that it’s more expensive initially but over the span of 10 years or so…?


    Boon Mee

  4. Dozer,

    Re-reading the article I noted that you mention two ways to have the posts poured after the cement blocks are in place. The “quick way and the “preferred” way.

    I might have missed it but can you illustrate (words) the “preferred” way?


    Boon Mee

  5. The preferred way is having the posts poured around the cinderblock after the cinderblocks are set in place (as pictured). The easy way is when they pour the posts first and then ‘fill in’ the cinderblock in-between. If you don’t say anything this is what they will probably do – which will give a low quality wall without any savings.

  6. Hi D

    I expect many of your readers will have seen perimeter walls leaning over, especially if any earth is heaped up against the wall on one side. I would always suggest have small drain holes at the bottom of the wall in case flash flooding should create a water build up, just a precaution

    I have seen both methods of construction. I would prefer to have the posts go down 1 meter (below the ground softening region in the rainy season).

    I have also seen a surface skim of plastering used rather than the 15mm standard. If you have strong posts, then the block work is only a fill in, not structural. the light ski, gives a good painting surface (colour skim is better of course). It was good enough for my local bank. Also you dont need to stagger the blocks, they can be laid with the vertical edges in line, looks attractive, the cement is stronger than the block.. This method can save on cement costs and labour

    its always good to have a 2m perimeter wall, very sound security method and favoured by influental polititians

  7. Regarding Boon Mee’s pigment question, I will be experimenting with it on a upcoming building I’m doing. In Carlyn’s case they have a cement mixer which makes it easier to get consistant colors – which is still problematic. Can be used with hand mix but not so sure how it would turn out.

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