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

Postby dozer » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:54 pm

Labor costs for a bungalow are easier to compare than complete builds obviously, but I will point out that they do vary depending on materials used. For example regular cinderblock/red brick will be one price category, double block or heavy cinder block will be another price category and Q Con will be yet another category.

From recent checks around the current labor costs (regular cinderblock/red brick) in the Pattaya area are about 1800 per sq. meter, lower up country, which seems to be in line with what most posters are saying.
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Postby rosegate » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:11 am

jazzman wrote: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)


Jazzman, your dead on, exactly what I have been trying to say all along.

2000 baht a day in really nothing, to insure a house is built properly etc
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Postby somdet » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:31 am

THANK YOU DOZER for answering my question! So I am gonna shoot for 230,000.

As far as consultants go, I think there are just as many shady characters who ply their trades with half-truths as there are crooked constructos. I might use one, but I might not.
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Postby somdet » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:49 am

You are a shill, Jazzman.
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Postby somdet » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:06 pm

Since I first posted this thread, I have received two other bids for the labor. The first was 350 000 and the second was 250 000. So, it was obviously just a matter of getting multiple bids. Also, I checked around with several different places to get my blueprints drawn. I received quotes from 4000 to 12 000 baht. Like Jazzman and others have staed several times on this board, I think it is a very good idea to get multiple quotes before choosing anyone or any srvice.
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Postby nickcar » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:02 pm

Jazzman
Thats a very interesting comment. 2000 baht a day over say a 5 month project (is that the normal time for a 175 sq meter house?) comes to 300,000 baht which is roughly 1700 baht per sq metre.

Don't get me wrong - I am one of the ones who certainly needs a consultant - my difficulty is figuring out how big a house I can afford. If I was able to use your figure of about 3700 baht per sq metre and add 1700 for the consultant I would indeed be laughing all the way to the bank. I have considered that if I can do it all at todays rates for 7000 baht per sq meter i would be happy.

Cheers
Nick
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Postby rosegate » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:05 am

nickcar wrote:Jazzman
Thats a very interesting comment. 2000 baht a day over say a 5 month project (is that the normal time for a 175 sq meter house?) comes to 300,000 baht which is roughly 1700 baht per sq metre.

Don't get me wrong - I am one of the ones who certainly needs a consultant - my difficulty is figuring out how big a house I can afford. If I was able to use your figure of about 3700 baht per sq metre and add 1700 for the consultant I would indeed be laughing all the way to the bank. I have considered that if I can do it all at todays rates for 7000 baht per sq meter i would be happy.

Cheers
Nick


I don't think there is anyway of just getting the builder alone for 7000 baht per sqm, there are no good builders working anywhere near that price in Pattaya
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Postby thaifly » Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:43 pm

rosegate wrote:
nickcar wrote:Jazzman
Thats a very interesting comment. 2000 baht a day over say a 5 month project (is that the normal time for a 175 sq meter house?) comes to 300,000 baht which is roughly 1700 baht per sq metre.

Don't get me wrong - I am one of the ones who certainly needs a consultant - my difficulty is figuring out how big a house I can afford. If I was able to use your figure of about 3700 baht per sq metre and add 1700 for the consultant I would indeed be laughing all the way to the bank. I have considered that if I can do it all at todays rates for 7000 baht per sq meter i would be happy.

Cheers
Nick


I don't think there is anyway of just getting the builder alone for 7000 baht per sqm, there are no good builders working anywhere near that price in Pattaya
A GIDDAY TO ALL ITS THE THAI FLY FROM MAE RIM ....indeed a interesting thread which i have been keenly following but due to moving in recently to our new house time has been a preminium in giving my costs to this topic and indeed a vitally IMPORTANT ONE i hired and paid all labour MYSELF ,,,at the rates following ......BUILDER....600 baht a day......SECOND IN CHARGE .....250 baht a day..... GOOD TRADESMEN.....220 BAHT A DAY....MEN LABOURERS....200 baht a day .... LADY LABOURERS...160 baht a day ...JNR GIRLS LABOURERS....140 baht a day.........the costs per sq meter for the above came to 2850 baht .... please take into considreration...my project consisted of 4 seperate dwellings.....main house...guest house...kitchen...and laundry....206 sq meter in all.... LANNASTLE ROOFS ON ALL DWELLING...AND THE MAIN HOUSE IS TWO FLOORS .....DOUBLE BRICK..GUEST AND MAIN HOUSE.. and throw in footpaths to conect all dwellings to boot ,,,,,in my personal view....if u took away the extra trimmings i had ....i feel 1700 to 2000 baht a sq meter a good call in the c/mai area for a good basic house... i engaged a building engineer to overlook the work at 2000...BAHT A WEEK....YES ...2000 BAHT AWEEK... he done a sterling job...i never engaged a consultant ..i just paid a architect to draw up my own plans for 17000 baht and that was it....... i will continue to tell my story very shortly and it will give u a better picture on what u can acheive witth i might add a lot of luck THE JAZZMAN HAS PROVED THIS ALREADY ...what he has done is nothing short of outstanding...and at the same time given us all members the INFO....f FREE OF CHARGE.........WELL ITS A GIDDAY ...THE THAI FLY FROM MAI RIM
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Postby nickcar » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:37 pm

Rosegate,

Thank goodness my house isn't in pataya!! I can understand how in an area like that the builders might have a strong hold over pricing - I hope that isn't the case in nakhon nayok!! I find the subject very interesting as eventually I have to decide how big a house I can afford. I presume rosegate that you mean a total per sq metre price and not just labour. Would be interested to know what the going rate per sq meter would be there.

thaifly
thats a very interesting post. what are "LANNASTLE ROOFS"? what does "DOUBLE BRICK" mean? two layers of blocks? or maybe 2 layers of real bricks?

I presume when you say ".........the costs per sq meter for the above came to 2850 baht " you are referring to labour only - what did the total per sq meter come to?

Cheers
Nick


PS I know from reading the financial results of the big building companies that they consider a 35% profit margin a bad deal and really try for 45%. I understand also that an expert in the trade is going to do the job much cheaper than somebody like me :P
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Postby dozer » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:33 pm

PS I know from reading the financial results of the big building companies that they consider a 35% profit margin a bad deal and really try for 45%


Yes, basically when you deal with the standard 'bill of materials labor and materials inclusive' you are talking about a huge profit margin 'typically' although there are some exceptions. The standard line that 'we buy in bulk and take our cut out of the 20% of materials' isn't accurate, as most of the building materials don't have that kind of mark up (and secondly normally the cut works out to be more along the lines quoted). This is almost always the most expensive way to go, but is the easiest to manage.

Next is the labor only fixed price contract. If you know the general price of laborers, the appx time the project will take, and the number/type of laborers on the project you can compute the 'margin'. Normally it isn't that fat. This is the second easiest to manage but you need to run around and make sure materials are available when needed.

The day labor rate is potentially the cheapest and hardest to manage. You might be half way through your project and something could come up (foreman's wife had an accident and is in the hospital) and everyone just takes off. Or you could get people working slow. Any number of things could happen. This normally works best when you really know the crew and have the time to devote to the project.

Rule of thumb for build out cost is labor * 1.8 to 2 for cinderblock/red brick bungalow with normal materials = material cost. So if the labor will be 150,000 materials should be about 300,000. Of course if you are using granite flooring, you would need to add the amount of granite - normal tile to the total, etc. etc. It is just a baseline.
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Postby jazzman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:07 pm

Which is extremely accurate Dozer :)

In Isaan, free lancing teams of builders who usually live from rearing half a dozen pigs, a few chickens, and a couple of rai of rice, and just get together to build a house, usually quote the magic formula of "48% of the materials cost". Why 48 and not a straight 50 beats me, but probably they think it sounds more professional.

In the story of the build of my own house you will see that this works out. Very close to what Somdet has now been quoted, my house cost 200,000 to build. This proves the point I have been labouring in these forums on how important it is to obtain multiple estimates, and wherever possible, not to let the contractor know that the money is foreign - or being earned in Thailand by a foreigner.

Dozer and others have already posted in great detail about all this elsewhere on this board - mostly of it is in this forum, dedicated to labour and materials costs, and the prices haven't changed much since. It's worth checking out. Here it is:
http://coolthaihouse.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=16
and there is yet more here:
http://coolthaihouse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=897
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Postby rosegate » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:24 am

jazzman wrote:Which is extremely accurate Dozer :)

In Isaan, free lancing teams of builders who usually live from rearing half a dozen pigs, a few chickens, and a couple of rai of rice, and just get together to build a house,


Jazzman, I think you clearly answered all the questions by this quote you have said above.

I'm sure the pig & rice farmers are very nice people, but not sure they are totally qualified to build a luxury house?

I think most of the Farang I know of & have dealt with would not be totally happy having a pig or rice farmer build the luxury 5 milion baht property
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Postby jazzman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:39 am

Actually, I can count myself extremely lucky - they did an excellent job on my house. This is due to a number of facts:
    I know a little bit about construction work.
    I was on site first thing every morning; then again at the end of the day.
    When difficult things were to be done I was there all the time.
    I was able to give them a few tips on how to do things the farang way.
    I took care of them as if they were my own family.
    I kept the materials coming at the right time.

I have seen some really shocking handwork done on the houses of absentee farangs - and not so absentee - here. In fact, every single house where the farang was absent, or at work all day, even if his wife was here keeping an eye on things.

One of the more often scenarios where things go wrong is where the wife's family kindly offer to lend their expertise ...

Most people in Isaan have a few acres of land and do a bit of farming on the side. Bit like teachers in Europe actually :wink:
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Postby rosegate » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:48 am

jazzman wrote:Actually, I can count myself extremely lucky - they did an excellent job on my house. This is due to a number of facts:
    I know a little bit about construction work.
    I was on site first thing every morning; then again at the end of the day.
    When difficult things were to be done I was there all the time.
    I was able to give them a few tips on how to do things the farang way.
    I took care of them as if they were my own family.
    I kept the materials coming at the right time.
I have seen some really shocking handwork done on the houses of absentee farangs - and not so absentee - here. In fact, every single house where the farang was absent, or at work all day, even if his wife was here keeping an eye on things.

One of the more often scenarios where things go wrong is where the wife's family kindly offer to lend their expertise ...

Most people in Isaan have a few acres of land and do a bit of farming on the side. Bit like teachers in Europe actually :wink:


Jazzman, totally agree with all of what you have said there, as you clearly state builders need to be kept an eye on, if not a disaster is waiting to happen :)
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Postby jazzman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:07 am

thaifly wrote:
rosegate wrote:
nickcar wrote:Jazzman
Thats a very interesting comment. 2000 baht a day over say a 5 month project (is that the normal time for a 175 sq meter house?) comes to 300,000 baht which is roughly 1700 baht per sq metre.


thaifly wrote: i engaged a building engineer to overlook the work at 2000...BAHT A WEEK....YES ...2000 BAHT AWEEK... he done a sterling job...i never engaged a consultant.


Thaifly, those a re really some excellent prices you got. It's difficult to find a Thai supervisor who will not bee in cahoots with the workers though. 2,000 baht would not cover the time for a farang onsultant to drive over to your place, unless he's a retireee doing you a favour.

Nickar, the consulting fee for a house like Jazman's 156 m2 would have been 156,000. And his work would have saved me 750,000 on the origional contractror's quote of around 1.6 mil. 300,000 baht is nothing for the savings, security and quality control it gives you on a budget of 3,000,000.

Maybe even 2,000 baht a day is not enough either. However, there is little sense in shilliing for consultants on this board - most of the members are here because they want free advice (and many of us are quite happy to give it).
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