Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:22 pm

That's it... My wife told me today that the house was complete and that we would need to pay the last 15% settlement to Pi Lek. We are all going on holidays in Khon Kaen in 2 weeks time, for children holidays. We will therefore enjoy our new home for the first time. My wife already bought the 42" flat screen :evil: and connect telephone and internet :P Satellite will be installed next week :? and few trees (banana trees) will also be put on the land :)

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This is the only bit I am not happy with. Not enough planning and thinking in the kitchen

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Furniture is home made as I was not happy with what was displayed in the usual shops

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No visible rain gutters on the front facade

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The master bedroom with its private terrace

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The back of the house

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I can't stop thinking that this fish pond was a great idea

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The wooden entrance stairs was also a good idea. Just wondering how is it going to age with the rough thai weather
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:26 pm

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Master bedroom bathroom. Not precisely what I had in mind when I bought the black tiles. Could have been better

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Some may like it, some not. I like it. Girl's bedroom
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby Rick B » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:25 am

Thomas, thanks for all of your progress posts and photos. All in all, a beautiful house with many good ideas throughout. Here's hoping you and your family enjoy years of comfort together when you are in your new Thai house.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby rubik101 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:50 am

Thomas, a great project, I like it. Also a great thread and pics.
I would suggest that you slope up to the sides and back of the house, both to avoid splash noise and also drain the water away from the house. Lots of good ground cover plants to bind the soil and no need for gutters! Don't use grass! Needs cutting. You might need some boulders where the splash is heaviest to prevent erosion.
Measure twice, cut once. Buy cheap, buy twice.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:41 pm

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.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Wed May 06, 2009 9:39 am

We have started our second week in our new build thai house. No problem so far. Here are pictures of what is now my little paradise

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The house is now fully equiped: beds, fridge, micro wave, toaster...and air cons; although I didn't want any, pressure from wife was too strong.

Last night we talked with my wife about selling the house to build a new one somewhere on the beach. She wants 5 millions while I will be happy with 3.5 - 4 millions.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thaifly » Wed May 06, 2009 3:31 pm

gidday thomas...ITS A BO DEREK..IN EVERY WAY...well done..and your shelia is indeed made of the right stuff..her work in overseeing your build ..was a delight to see...and the thai fly had concerns about herdoing this job...goes to show..that a shelia ..can do it ..pass on my congrats to her as well..and great building story as well...good on you thomas..its a a nice GIDDAY to all its the thai fly from mae rim
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby rubik101 » Wed May 06, 2009 3:40 pm

Hey Thomas, have you an accurate figure for the total costs? Remember all those little extras etc!? Then you can make a realistic estimate of the selling price. Bear in mind the time that you and your 'sheila' put in at a reasonable hourly rate and you may find the 5 million figure is more realistic. But then, you can only sell it for what someone will pay for it!
I would want at least a 25% mark up on the total costs to reflect my time investment.
Measure twice, cut once. Buy cheap, buy twice.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Thu May 07, 2009 11:44 am

The house costed us 2.5 millions, on top of which you need to add 200k for the piece of land and say another 300k for the equipment inside (air cons, fridge, furnitures...). The house is therefore around 3 millions all together.

I don't count my time since it was spent after working hours in the evening and I never considered this time spent as working time, it was more a kind of hobby.

500k to 1million profit does look ridiculous to me. A 5 millions house will never find a buyer here anyway.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Fri May 08, 2009 4:28 pm

thomas.fontaine wrote:500k to 1million profit does look ridiculous to me. A 5 millions house will never find a buyer here anyway.

I wanted to say "does NOT look ridiculous"; I was close to my daily nap when I was writing this one :|
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby chiangmaiexpat » Sat May 09, 2009 5:13 pm

I hope you are enjoying your time in the new house. The inner patio/veranda looks very lovely. Nice pictures. I don't know much about the Khon Kaen real estate market, but I doubt that profits > 25%-30% are realistic, especially not in this economic climate. Of course, you might get lucky and attract a foreign buyer who doesn't care about money, but chances are slim. In the heydays of the nineties you could get fantastic profits from developments in attractive locations, but even professional developers are not making more than the mentioned 25%-30% these days - and only if they are good at it. If you can go beyond that you should consider making it a profession. :D

Cheers, CMX
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby BKKBILL » Fri May 29, 2009 10:35 am

Thomas, a great looking project you should be proud. It is nice to hear the problems were relatively minor. When first seeing the photos showing the crawl space it did seem to make the house unbalanced but as said that problem was rectified I am planning on starting a house up north soon and would like to use the Ayara roof tiles with the dry fit. You had concerns about leaking in storms and was wondering if that was the case or hopefully everything remained dry. As you have not claimed to be a professional I presume there will be no charge for the advice.

Again good job, William
It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thomas.fontaine » Fri May 29, 2009 4:48 pm

We have not experienced any issues with the Ayara roof so far, but reany season has not really started yet, so need to wait a bit to be sure that there is no leaks.

I think the key with Ayara roof is to make sure that you will have experienced labours on site with this roof type. Installation of the tiles are quite specific to this system that requires specific skills.

If you have this experienced team, then it should be no problem
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby thaifly » Sat May 30, 2009 11:10 am

thomas.fontaine wrote:We have not experienced any issues with the Ayara roof so far, but reany season has not really started yet, so need to wait a bit to be sure that there is no leaks.


gidday thomas... and all...its athe thaifly from mae rim...a very good rule to follow is to allow two rainy seasons for any leaks...from thaiflys experience.we had a small leak on our top balcony in the second season from a cracked tile...our next door neighbour had leaking problems in there third rainy season...so taking that into account...the thaifly is still on the look out for a leak...its a good luck CHELSEA F. C. GIDDAY TO ALL....its the thaifly from mae rim
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Re: Holiday House in Khon Kaen - Thomas

Postby Inuit1963 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:38 pm

thomas.fontaine wrote:This is how, I hope, our house should look like at the end
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The major difference is that we have a crawler space instead of a ground floor. We visited this house 6 months ago. It was just finished when we visited it and I took an awful lot of pictures of all the details I like, to remember, and try to copy them I must admit. I gave a complete set of the pictures to Pi Lek so he knows exactly what we want to achieve. The house was made by a coolthaihouse member (I can't remember his name right now - shame on me) and also based on this model no 30.


Dear Thomas

If i fall down on my knees and throwing me in the dust in front of your feeds- :roll: Can i get you to sent all the pictures of A30 of the house have shown here directly to my e-mail adress
1963@greennet.gl

Brgds
Tim
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