House Costs vs. Your BUDGET

Anything to do with prices. Raw material prices or prices for finished material (or labor such as well drilling). Project prices (how much will it cost??), etc.

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Re: House Costs vs. Your BUDGET

Postby jazzman » Fri May 29, 2009 1:12 pm

I'm reproducing this posting by Thomas here, because although it's in his very long and informative building story, it has critical importance in this topic on budgeting and planning:
thomas.fontaine wrote:Thanks for your comments.

Few months back, I was wondering how I would feel when the house would be finished: disappointed, depressed or simply satisfied. I must admit that I am now fully happy with what we've done. We didn't have any real issue throughout the construction phase and only few headaches.

What I would do the same if I had the start all over again:

• Choice of a traditional thai design. It is not only nice to see, but it also gives you this nice feeling that you've somehow contributed to the country you live in.
• One single floor design: no risk of leaks issue between the floors. I have heard horrible stories in this matter.
• The crawl space that is so much easier for the utilities and for storage purpose.
• Ayara roof tiles.
• Terra Cotta courtyard tiles
• The 4m and 2.4m wide doors, in the living room and master bedroom respectively, which create a nice flow between the inside and the outside of the house.
• The contractual arrangement we selected: lump sum for the labor and the raw material + "visible" materials bought by us. In my view, it gives the perfect balance between peace of mind, budget control and satisfaction on the finishing (floor, tiles...).
• Our choice of builder.
• White color for the house.
• Fish pond. It is always nice to hear and see water somewhere in your house, specially when you are so far away from the beach.
• Cathedral ceiling.

What I would do differently

• Proper detailed drawings of the kitchen, including fridge and the like.
• Pay more attention to the selection of material in relation to the insulation of the house (double glazing, wall...), as my wife is complaining about the heat inside the house. We don't have air con and I am very reluctant to install any.
• Always ask my wife what she will be doing the next day as I am not convinced with some of her choices (fans, lighting, TV, golden bench...).
• Slightly bigger (one more room).

Few humble advises for people looking at starting a construction:

• Spend time to select your builder.
• Think hard on what contractual arrangement suits you the best; we all have different reasons to go for one or another, but you will leave with it for the entire construction.
• Make you mind on whether you are happy to give your house to your wife or girl friend, or if you would prefer to go for some sort of partial "control", through usufruct or any other arrangement. That will avoid frustration.
• Do your homework (select your design, spend time to prepare a reasonably accurate budget...).
• Plan for full time supervision, by yourself or your wife or anybody else you trust, if you care about the quality and the overall aesthetic of your house.
• ENJOY :P . If you anticipate the construction follow up to be a nightmare, just go for a second hand house. The hassle is only worth if you enjoy it sometime. In my case, I did enjoy it, almost everyday.
• Read stories and advises in here.

One more thing: despite what can be read in this website, I believe it is perfectly achievable to meet your budget as long as you follow it carefully and are ready for few concessions to avoid overrun.

Read the full story HERE.
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Location: Thailand


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