Labor costs

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.

Moderators: Sometimewoodworker, MGV12, BKKBILL

Labor costs

Postby somdet » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:28 am

I just received a bid of 450,000 baht for labor only to build a single story, 128 sq. meter house in Chonburi. Have labor prices gone up that much in the two years since anybody posted anything about labor costs on this board. I had been reading that labor is about 250,000 or so. Any thoughts? Advice? Suggestions? Comments?
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Postby somdet » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:25 am

nothing?
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Postby songkran » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:51 pm

First, it depends how complicated your construction is. More work = more money.
There are farangs in the Chonburi area who are having houses that size built right now for 600,000, materials and labour inclusive.

Dozer and the Jazzman got their houses built for even less than that.

There are two prices in Thailand: one for farangs who of course are all rich and ready to part with their money without almost batting an eyelid, until like you, someone tells them something different; and there is the other price: the normal one.
The secret is in getting the normal one. One way to do it is to get a consultant. A good consultants acts a bit like a broker. Some take a fixed fee. Others take a small commission on what they save you.

To save 200,000, expect to pay about 30,000. It's worth it , don't you think? A good consultant will throw in lots of other services too with that.

Then there's the question of the enormous savings you can make on the materials without having to go down with the quality. You might not have a 'regular customer' or a business discount. A consultant does.
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Postby JASONTHAI » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:44 pm

Hi my cost was 240,000 this was gor a 120 sq metre house in Korat
Where's my Chang beer
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Postby jazzman » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:01 pm

200,000 for 156 m2, and a wickedly complicated roof, and octagonal bay windows. In the stix halfway between nowhere and somewhere.
http://coolthaihouse.com/cthpics/thumbnails.php?album=6
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Postby somdet » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:31 pm

JASONTHAI- When was your house completed?

Songkran- Thanks for the reply. You sound a bit like a shill for a consultant. Do you know the farangs in Chonburi who are having their 128 sq. meter houses built for 600,000?
labor- 200 000 (if this can indeed be had anymore)
cement- 80 000 (as per Jazzman's post for this size house)
roof materials (not steel) 91 000 (cpac DIY calculator)
flooring- 20 000 (using cheapest grade A for everything)

that leaves 209 000 for rebar, steel, plumbing, fixtures, electrical, forms, cabinets, appliances, paint, perimeter wall, driveway, landscaping, incidentals. Can that really be done?


Moreso I was just interested in the labor price for homes completed within, say, the last six months. A house that cost 200,000 in labor 3 years ago doesn't really reflect the current economy, in my opinion.
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Postby songkran » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:50 pm

I wouldn't think the consultants here need a shrill (had to look that word up); sorry if I sounded so emphatic. I know what they do and how much they charge bcause i will probably use one next time. So I will still continue to stress the importance of having either a consultant or at least a very close farang friend who knows about construction in Thailand if you are not around to supervise having your house built. Once bitten, twice shy :cry:

Your other question: Yes I do,but i also made a mistake, she is in Chachoengseow.
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Postby somdet » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:57 am

I appreciate your replies. Here is what I learned from meeting with a consultant.

* You should have a person on site EVERY day to make sure things go correctly.
* If you have a farang consultant, each site visit will cost 5000 baht, or roughly 150,000 baht per month on top of the consulting fee. When I mentioned this, the rep told me that it was nowhere near that much because the consultant would only show up once a week. This after explaining that it was absolutely necessary to be on site every day to make sure things went according to plan.
* The savings to be had are mostly in careful pricing and diligent shopping for materials.

So, my thoughts are these-

* A farang consultant getting in the way of Thai constructos has the real and probable effect of causing major derision, discomfort, and delays. Not something I am looking for on my house project.
* I am not saying a consultant is a bad idea, especially in farang infested areas. I, however, am building out in the country where few Westerners venture. I sort of feel like it would be a hindrance in my situation. I also don't really feel the resentment and mistrust towards Thais I see so often on this board. Maybe that will change during my project, or maybe it won't. For example- I recently paid a guy 800 baht to pull a bunch of stumps. I have a lot of debris on my property still and after burning a bunch of it off, realized there were about four or five stumps he hadn't removed. When I returned to the property the following weekend, the guy had come on his own and finished the job without me having to ask or say anything. I am sure part of his reasoning is he wants to be the guy hwo brings in material ot raise the level of the land, but even if this is the case it was an excellent gesture of honesty and good business. Needless to say, he will be my dirt guy.


Anyway, I do appreciate your response. And, for what it's wortht, s-h-r-i-l-l is a high-pitched sound, while s-h-i-l-l is a person who poses as a customer to promote a business or product.
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Postby rosegate » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:13 am

somdet wrote:I appreciate your replies. Here is what I learned from meeting with a consultant.

* You should have a person on site EVERY day to make sure things go correctly.
* If you have a farang consultant, each site visit will cost 5000 baht, or roughly 150,000 baht per month on top of the consulting fee. When I mentioned this, the rep told me that it was nowhere near that much because the consultant would only show up once a week. This after explaining that it was absolutely necessary to be on site every day to make sure things went according to plan.
* The savings to be had are mostly in careful pricing and diligent shopping for materials.

So, my thoughts are these-

* A farang consultant getting in the way of Thai constructos has the real and probable effect of causing major derision, discomfort, and delays. Not something I am looking for on my house project.
* I am not saying a consultant is a bad idea, especially in farang infested areas. I, however, am building out in the country where few Westerners venture. I sort of feel like it would be a hindrance in my situation. I also don't really feel the resentment and mistrust towards Thais I see so often on this board. Maybe that will change during my project, or maybe it won't. For example- I recently paid a guy 800 baht to pull a bunch of stumps. I have a lot of debris on my property still and after burning a bunch of it off, realized there were about four or five stumps he hadn't removed. When I returned to the property the following weekend, the guy had come on his own and finished the job without me having to ask or say anything. I am sure part of his reasoning is he wants to be the guy hwo brings in material ot raise the level of the land, but even if this is the case it was an excellent gesture of honesty and good business. Needless to say, he will be my dirt guy.


Anyway, I do appreciate your response. And, for what it's wortht, s-h-r-i-l-l is a high-pitched sound, while s-h-i-l-l is a person who poses as a customer to promote a business or product.


I run a project managment company here in Pattaya, I visit my clients site on a daily basis, my fees are less than half a month than what you mention above, maybe I'm to cheap!!!!!

Yes you do need a consultant or project manager to oversee the building of a house if your unaviable for whatever reason, doing it without can easily turn into a nightmare & this was confirmed by a customer calling me yesterday exactly with that problem
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Postby somdet » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:13 am

Rosegate- For the 60 000 a month, what does your client get? If there is a problem, who pays for the fix? And, on a three month house building project, that is still 180,000 baht, which if applied to my remaining budget of 209 000 left (hypothetically speaking in order to build my house for the 600 000 that Songkran's friend is building her house for) leaves very little left for the huge bulk of materials I need...

I think this might be a good topic for a new thread- pros and cons of using a consulting firm.

Still, I am searching for some hard and fast labor prices in the last four months.
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Postby rosegate » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:28 pm

somdet wrote:Rosegate- For the 60 000 a month, what does your client get? If there is a problem, who pays for the fix? And, on a three month house building project, that is still 180,000 baht, which if applied to my remaining budget of 209 000 left (hypothetically speaking in order to build my house for the 600 000 that Songkran's friend is building her house for) leaves very little left for the huge bulk of materials I need...

I think this might be a good topic for a new thread- pros and cons of using a consulting firm.

Still, I am searching for some hard and fast labor prices in the last four months.


My fees could save you the 600,000 if that is what you plan on spending, I gurantee to make sure the problem if there is any will be sorted before it even develops, that is why you would be paying me.

If it is built un-supervised it's waiting for a problem to happen, I don't admit to being the cheapest, but a lot cheaper than the 150,000 a month some one else mentioned to you as in above?

A lot of builders in the Chonburi/Pattaya area are not interested in doing labour only, but you may be lucky enough to find a couple, although i don't know of any personally?
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Postby somdet » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:17 pm

Save me 600 000? Then my house would be free according to Songkran's post that a 128 sq. m house can be built for 600 000! Holy Cow, sign me up!!!

I am sure you do a good job, as I am sure lots of project managers do a good job. But surely you aren't saying that you could save me 600 000 baht on a house project where my max budget is 1.2 million baht? If that is the case, pm me and you have most likely have yourself a deal.
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Postby rosegate » Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:58 pm

somdet wrote:Save me 600 000? Then my house would be free according to Songkran's post that a 128 sq. m house can be built for 600 000! Holy Cow, sign me up!!!

I am sure you do a good job, as I am sure lots of project managers do a good job. But surely you aren't saying that you could save me 600 000 baht on a house project where my max budget is 1.2 million baht? If that is the case, pm me and you have most likely have yourself a deal.


What I was trying to suggest is that if you do not have somebody monitor the building job, the worst scenario maybe, that the builder might do a disapering act when you house is built & you have paid 50 or 60% of the total building costs.

Believe me this has happened numerous times.

As it hapens I know of a guy who has paid the builder 4 million baht so far to build his house, at most 3 million baht worth of work has been done, but the builder has gone, nobody knows where? I only found out about this yesterday
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Postby jazzman » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:26 pm

And that, Rosegate, is exactly what I fear is wrong with the cheap quote for Hybrid"s house on the other thread, which you so very accurately commented on.
They are obviousely quoting low to get the job, and then they will hold the owner to ransom for more money later on, or just bugger off and leave him with a house which as Songkran so aptly put it, will look like something left over after an earthquake.

Let's hope Hybrid takes his consultant's advice.

Saving 600,000 baht on a standard design quoted at 1,5 - 2 mil is easy. If you have the knowledge and the guts to build it yourself with hired local labour, the first big chunk you save will be the contractor's profit margin. The next big chunk is on that judicious purchasing, and keeping your stock of materials under lock and key :)

Talking about consultants Rosgate, you do tend to advertise rather heavily, and you do put the (more than) occasional sneak plug for yourself on lots of forums. Is work for consultants so hard to get? You seem to be very fairly placed in the market and you appear to have a good reputation.
Even your competitors sing your praise 8)
Maybe you should fire your webmaster :P
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Postby jazzman » Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:00 pm

I don't suppose there are many who read every single posting on this board. But any one who does will notice the amazing phenomenon that of the 400 or so members, a startling number are here because they are trying to save money on something that is already incredibly cheap compared with back home..

The advice for these people has to be, unfortunately:
either don't bother at all, or if you don't have the knowledge or time to take care of it yourself and want to avoid all the problems that WILL happen, administer your budget, and set your sights on something that leaves enough to afford a consultant.

A consultant's fee of 2000 baht per day is peanuts to pay, it's less than a backpacker teacher in aThai school gets and what he will save you brings his real cost down even more. Maybe we should all be applying for jobs here: http://nittayo.org
Or maybe we should join forces with Rosegate and become consultants.

if I were to get just a bottle of Chang for every piece of advice I've posted, I would be able to open a beer warehouse.

Now I suppose I sound like a shill too :lol: 8)
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