Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Any story related to building in the LOS, whether everything turned out hunky dory or not!

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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:48 am

Well, thanks!

I had some time to recalculate total expenses and we are roughly at 4.1 Megabaht for the finished house including kitchen, bathrooms, and garden wall. That's about 500k more than initially budgeted, but we are quite happy with the result.

I also found a solution for the Internet access problem. It's CAT CDMA. Yesterday I subscribed with CAT for the unlimited package which is 790 THB / month and I bought a CDMA USB modem for 8250 THB. CDMA is a mobile 3G technology that works in any area with mobile phone coverage. The practical speed limit is 1.5 Mbps which is like average DSL speed, just enough to stream a Youtube clip. The advantage is you can carry your laptop to almost anywhere and still have broadband access. Once I get ADSL, I might keep it as a redundant link. Initially I looked into 3G/HSDPA which is provided by AIS in Chiang Mai and offers even higher speeds. However, there are still problems with this service. It uses the 900 MHz band instead of the standard 2100 MHz Band -which means you need a special device- and coverage doesn't reach beyond the inner city limits.

Sorry for all the tech-talk - back to construction now.

Cheers, CMX
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby jazzman » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:12 pm

chiangmaiexpat wrote:It's CAT CDMA. Yesterday I subscribed with CAT for the unlimited package which is 790 THB
You're lucky. Not all areas have coverage. I have a satellite broadband 256/512 for 1,605 baht/month and the best I get is about 30 Kb/sec !
It takes up to five minutes to load this page.
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Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:20 am

We finally moved in. Two months later than planned, but we finally made it. A quick shot with the mobile cam documents the temporary chaos. The kitchen will be delivered next week instead of this week, because they started to paint the wrong colour and realised the error only when it was half finished. :? Better late than never. There is still a lot of furniture we need to buy. Everybody is very happy with the new house. The children especially enjoy the large living area and the garden.

Cheers, CMX
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Image_00043.jpg
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby jazzman » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:14 am

Congratulations CMX.
I wish you and your family every happiness in your new home.

- J
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby MGV12 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:14 pm

chiangmaiexpat wrote:We finally moved in. Two months later than planned, but we finally made it. A quick shot with the mobile cam documents the temporary chaos. The kitchen will be delivered next week instead of this week, because they started to paint the wrong colour and realised the error only when it was half finished. :? Better late than never. There is still a lot of furniture we need to buy. Everybody is very happy with the new house. The children especially enjoy the large living area and the garden.

Cheers, CMX


Congratulations on finally being able to move in Thomas >> we were impressed with your house when we saw it in the final stages recently and have no doubt that it will provide a comfortable family home for you.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby thomas.fontaine » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:08 pm

I consider this to be the worst news of the week as we will not have any more pictures from your house now that it is completed :|
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:17 pm

thomas.fontaine wrote:I consider this to be the worst news of the week as we will not have any more pictures from your house now that it is completed :|


Don't worry. I am not going to spare you just because we moved in. There is still some work to do, such as pavements, walls, garden, and interior design. While we are waiting for our kitchen, we have filled up the old ice box and installed a used gas cooker outside the house in the service area. Together with the maid bathroom this serves as a temporary kitchen. Normally it would be rather nice to take the meals outside, but unfortunately it's the burning season and the air in Chiang Mai is rather thick. It's much nicer indoors, believe me. The garden wall construction has made some progress in the meantime. Today the gardening company started preparing the soil for laying the turf. This means sifting through the topsoil and filtering rocks - quite a tough job. I was amazed to see only women working on it.

Cheers, CMX
Attachments
IMG_6696.JPG
The garden wall is almost finished.
IMG_6694.JPG
First planting efforts by yours truly - Golden Cane Palm and Mac Arthur Palm trees.
IMG_6699.JPG
Looks good in the evening with full Xmas-tree lights.
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby jazzman » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:25 pm

I like the last picture. It looks even better than the 3D rendering you posted at the beginning of your story :D
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby thomas.fontaine » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:33 am

Yes, keep us posted on the interior design. You seem to be vey lucky to be based in Chiang Mai; everytime I see nice furnitures (spa at sofitel in Khon Kaen, silk hall in chanabot, few other shops...) the answer on 'Where did you find them?' is always the same: 'Chiang Mai'

I will probably need to go there one day to shop around for furnitures and other interior design things

And yes, I agree with Jazzman, your picture at night is absolutely astonishing. External lighting is a bit like garden to me, whatever your house is, lighting is what is going to make it looks nice or just standard. Your house looks as it is: beautiful, night and day
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:01 pm

This posting is about the garden lawn. I break it into two parts to upload all pics. Although we are still in the dry season, we decided to get a lawn before weeds have chance to grow on the new soil. After some consideration, I chose Malay grass instead of the more common Nua Noi grass. I like the look and feel and Malay grass and -I was told- it is harder wearing and not a s prone to let weeds settle in it as Nua Noi grass. We also decided to install a sprinkler system to lighten the maintenance work. The lawn supplier quoted the entire job at 42k including labour and equipment for a surface of roughly 550 sqm. It took them about nine man-days to sift through the surface soil, and another nine man-days to install the pipes and the pump and the lay the turf and roll it. Since they worked in a team of three, they were done in six days. -Talk about instant satisfaction.- Much faster and easier than using grass seeds.

Cheers, CMX
Attachments
IMG_6703.JPG
A nice place for tea time or a sunsetter drink.
IMG_6706.JPG
The turf layers begin their work.
IMG_6707.JPG
Supply lines are normal blue PVC pipes buried ca. 20 cm.
IMG_6708.JPG
Almost finished...
IMG_6729.JPG
Done. House looks more "complete" with a lawn.
Last edited by chiangmaiexpat on Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:23 pm

The Sprinkler system is fairly simple. It consists of a pump and a control unit, a bunch of pipes and valves, and of course, the rotating sprinkler heads. The pump draws water directly (unfiltered) from the supply tank. It operates at a max pressure of 10 bar, probably less on average, and the system is divided into four zones, each with its own valve. The water pressure can only power a single zone at a time, which means three to four heads. So you have to open and close the four zone valves in succession. This is a fun job, because they put the valves quite close to the heads which makes it a bit difficult to open the valves while staying dry. Timing is the key. :D Looks like the workers didn't think this out too well, but as the CTH readers probably already know, Thai workers don't get paid to think and hence they tend to avoid exhausting brain activity in their daily work.

Cheers, CMX
Attachments
IMG_6734.JPG
Sprinklers firing.
IMG_6731.JPG
High pressure pump and hydro-control unit.
IMG_6733.JPG
Manually operated zone valves.
IMG_6732.JPG
Sprinkler head.
IMG_6736.JPG
Sprinkler in operation.
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:36 am

I just had a brief quarrel with my new garden hose. The skirmish ended with me tossing the thing onto the heap of empty canisters and discarded boxes, thus ending its short career in our new home. It is a 1/2" semi-transparent garden hose on a plastic reel manufactured in Thailand and distributed under the "Spring" brand through Home Pro. Don't ever buy this unspeakable product. I purchased it last week for 1,100 THB. Unfortunately I did not know that it has a major weakness. The walls of the hose are rather thin and thus it tends to fold. The folds block the water flow. So, half of the time you spend whipping and twisting the hose trying to get rid of the folds. This morning I attempted to coil up the thing which turned out to be quite impossible without folding it at some point. After spending 10 min trying to wind it up around the reel very carefully, the hose connection broke off at the inside of the reel and water gushed out all over the veranda. A few seconds later the reel described a parabolic curve and with a pleasant smashing sound it landed on the aforementioned heap of empty canisters. :mrgreen:

Cheers, CMX
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby rubik101 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:07 pm

CMX, that is a great house you have and well done for keeping up the standards! great pics btw.
I have become quite adept at managing my cheap hose pipe. It too, has a mind of its own and folds repeatedly whenever I move it. However, I now have learned to leave it lying on the ground when not in use and begin watering from the fullest extent of the hosepipe. As I work back towards the tap, I simply arrange it in large loops on the ground.
I only put it away when visitors are expected. I admit my garden is only small but I enjoy the time I spend watering the garden every morning. It is a contemplatitive time after my early morning swim.
Measure twice, cut once. Buy cheap, buy twice.
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:59 am

Alrighty... kitchen pics as promised. The kitchen has been finished for ten days, but I didn't get around to take the photos earlier. Doors and drawer fronts are made of pine wood and the interior is built from laminated wood boards. Black marble counter top, running 8.50 m plus 3.00 m bar. On the wall shown in the last photo, there are still two shelves missing. The bar is designed for sitting inside the kitchen.

Cheers, CMX
Attachments
IMG_6771.JPG
The new kitchen is installed.
IMG_6768.JPG
Sink with a view towards the future vegetable garden.
IMG_6759.JPG
Bar.
IMG_6770.JPG
Breakfast corner.
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Re: Building A Family Home in Chiang Mai

Postby thaifly » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:12 am

gidday c.n.x its the thaifly from mae rim...tell you matey ....the kitchen is A BEAUTY... love the bar area..in fact love all your project... A REAL BO DEREK.....and you have done it all on your PAT MALONE... no outside western supervision needed congrats...AND TAKE A BOW..for giving C.T.H. MEMBERS A VERY IN DEPTH BUILDING STORY.. where i am sure many will learn from in the future...its A KUDOS GIDDAY TO ALL.. its the thaifly from
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