Building House in Udon

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

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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby MrRee » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:30 am

Say, this might be a good time to insert an "I wish I woulda" list. The foundation and structure is done and we are now in the wall and roof phase, but not everything went perfectly all the time. There may be other things I could remember were I to reread all my posts, but off the top of my head at the moment, I wish I woulda:

    Done more background checking and spoken with more prior customers of the first builder.
    Waited for the people I really wanted rather than get people I did not know for the sake of expediency. Other things were going on which pressured us to get things moving along. For example, the wife was on the verge of delivery and we wanted to get the roof up before the rainy season really started.
    NOT given in to giving people the benefit of the doubt for making common sense decisions. For example, the black water pipe was laid at an angle where it would "scoop" up water if the drain fills when it rains - it should have been angled so it would flow with the water or an L connector or plug should have been attached. Three choices discussed - no action taken. I have other examples galore!
    Planned the site layout myself (and thus, better). I left it up to the foremen to organize the site, but later found this or that was in the way of doing something else which meant moving stuff around too much to get things done.
    Mixed ALL our own cement in our own cement mixer. Although we specified quality, that quality was not always what was delivered. Believe me - regardless if you are doing a company build or a do-it-yourself - if you are not on-site ALL the time and personally inspecting ALL pours, whatever gets delivered gets poured. Thais (pardon the generalization) will not challenge the delivery or send it back if it is not correct. I've got 20 cm blocks going in to over-compensate after discovering this - just in case.
    Planned for 20 cm blocks from the outset. Had I done so, I may have decided not to optionally upgrade to the much more expensive 19 or 25 rebar in some of the beams.
    Raised the foundation another 10 cm. It is high enough and above the road level, but I always sleep better when things are a bit more than enough. I accepted the decision of the first builder on that call, and it remains the only element that is "enough" rather than "more than enough".
    NOT went along with installing the septic tanks just to give idle workers something to do. I wasn't on-site for most of what they did; and I have this gut feeling we're going to have to pull them both out and do the external waste plumbing over. Not a big deal, but just can't shake the gut feeling...perhaps its just the control freak in me.
    Hired a different person for quality control. A lot of the things missed should have been caught before I or someone else caught them. Also, those changes or fixes should always be re-inspected or followed up. The redundancy I now have in place is working ok, but some things - mostly minor - have been just inexcusable. Definitely, definitely hire someone who can be impartial and has initiative and the right "this is wrong, you need to change/fix it" attitude who will also follow-up. (LOL - good luck with that in Thailand! :roll: )
    Had the time to sit and watch a full build from start to finish, day-in and day-out. Arm-chairing it, researching, and peeping in was good preparation, but it doesn't FULLY prepare you for the way they do things in Thailand and the challenges you don't always hear about. At times, on a first build, you will find yourself feeling like you just need to hold on tight, grit your teeth, and hope for the best. Other times you will find yourself feeling like you just need to close your eyes, cross your arms, lean back, and trust that the pillow they "say" is behind you is actually there. I haven't felt like I need to bend over and grease up yet, but the build is not yet finished, either. :lol:

Well, that's all I can think of at the moment and at the end of the foundation/structure phase. Lessons learned by me for my next build. I hope it helps others. Who knows...on a future build when I really know what I am doing AND how things are really done, I may invite others to come and hang around for a few months. Udon is a nice place. :arrow:

Edit: Someone recently asked me if I plan on doing custom builds in the future. No. I have 3-4 plans that are as modular as IKEA furnishings (indoor pool, jacuzzi room, greenhouse, additional upstairs bedroom, elevator, hidden rooms, indoor gym - whatever, no problem). I plan to build only these with whatever variations are requested on land that I buy and develop. A better product in better park-like areas with lots of greenery, flowers, and fresh air (no slum mansions) at an affordable price. Not too far and not too near. I have no intention of doing the totally custom builds all over Thailand that other board members are doing. That is their space and they can have it.
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congrads: Lessons Learned

Postby geordie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:24 am

congratulations mr rees

Todays take away lesson is read more of the members comments you will find warnings pretty mutch the same as your wanna do list

maybe some of us do know what we are doing and resent being acused of posing as profesional builders on that basis the free advice offered should be at least taken on board as a consideration

option two is assume that the profesionals are perfect and listen to them at you own cost
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby dozer » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:07 pm

<Dozer: thread cleanup removed a few flamish posts back and forth.

I have decided to restore Geordie's original post above as of 10 Jun .>
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby setaputra » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:21 pm

<slight edit to post/// dozer>

But the constructive post by Geordie also seems to have disappeared. He made the very constructive point that in forums people give opinions and advice and try to help one other. I think that should be applauded not castigated.

He indicated quite properly and correctly that there has been a lot of good advice on this forum that other members have learnt from and found useful. I certainly have. On forums not everyone has to agree - everyone has their views - but they should be allowed their say. It may help someone on their build.

<Dozer: referenced post restored>
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby MrRee » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:59 am

Update 8b

The big boss for the roofers came out for a visit yesterday to check on how things were coming along and discuss getting the tiles, insulation, and other materials on-site. These guys are really rolling. Even with the occassional rain delays, they are ahead of schedule and could potentially finish by the end of next week(!). While I had the big boss on-site, I picked up some good pointers for the next build. I am also using them for the electric work. I've seen their work and it is top-knotch. It was comforting to also hear that their first build was not nearly as good as what my team has done. Yes, we made a misstep or two here and there, but all were resolved.

Laying the blocks was the primary activity for my team. Not everyone had worked with Smart Block before, and it seemed everyone had their own style. I had 5 bricklayers and assigned a helper to each. I observed each and found the team that was doing it the best (perfectly, in fact). I then gathered everyone around and showed them that THIS is how it should be done (so that it looks like one team and not five different teams all over the house).

The video below shows a newbie demonstrating the proper technique. He uses a bit too much cement/glue stuff here and is cautiously slow, but it is a big improvement over what his team was doing before.



I'm not onsite today to see how things are going, but I "hope" (uuugh..) things are going as discussed.

Take-away lesson: One team, one technique!
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby BKKBILL » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:04 pm

Must admit I do follow this thread, mainly because it’s on a building site and I intend to do another build next year. Although I have stopped viewing the videos some time ago. Find it quite interesting that this thread is the one that brings out such negativity with a good number of members. I know there is flaming from time to time on open threads as I think it would be difficult to keep everyone pleased all the time. Unfortunately this poster has brought a barrage of flaming to every thread he has started. It shouldn’t be to difficult to see the reason for this. :roll:

Oh dear looks like it’s going to be another busy day of cleaning and polishing.
It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby thaifly » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:55 pm

setaputra wrote:Thanks for removing the two flames posted by Mr Ree

.

its a gidday to mr rees..several days ago MGV12..posted a compliment to you ..following this post the fly commented to a fellow member that perhaps you have toned your posts down to a acceptable level..and along came geordie.with a nice post to you..and lo and behold..you put the boot in with two flaming posts on members behaviour of the past..then along comes dozer ..clean up thread..where he wrongly red carded geordies post.....very poorly moderating in the flys eyes..and now your latest post..you portray yourself as a angel...and everyone is gunning for you..mr rees for mine you have brought all this negativity to your buildingstory.and other threads.purely yourself..i again say that you are a professional s..t stirrer..and the c.t.h grapevine wishes you would disappear.. one way or another..if not ..it will be only a matter of time before you start flaming again..its a HOW I SEE IT..gidday to all...its the thaifly from mae rim
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby MGV12 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:37 pm

MrRee wrote:
I'm just here to share the story of my building experience. Not to be an instructor. I'll repeat what I've posted previously: "I'm just a guy building a house.". If some pick up a few things, great. If not, fine. When I make mistakes, I'll post those along with the triumphs. This is a do-it-yourself build. I am not paying a company to do anything for me other than the roof and electric. Any mistakes are mine; and so far, have been few. A build without mistakes is a fairytale, IMHO.

And yet............

Edit: Someone recently asked me if I plan on doing custom builds in the future. No. I have 3-4 plans that are as modular as IKEA furnishings (indoor pool, jacuzzi room, greenhouse, additional upstairs bedroom, elevator, hidden rooms, indoor gym - whatever, no problem). I plan to build only these with whatever variations are requested on land that I buy and develop. A better product in better park-like areas with lots of greenery, flowers, and fresh air (no slum mansions) at an affordable price. Not too far and not too near. I have no intention of doing the totally custom builds all over Thailand that other board members are doing. That is their space and they can have it.


As you like to play it by the rules, for instance sticking to the thread, I will do just that by commenting specifically on your posts.

I will also avoid flaming; which is generally accepted to be "hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users".

The above two quotes from you are somewhat contradictory and certainly misleading to your audience don't you think?

My constructive suggestion is that such contradictions, plus your own unique style of presentation, is hardly likely to result in promotion of your obvious commercial intentions so maybe you would do better to simply tell a simple story in a simple way.

You held it together for a week ....... now the enigma is back.

Just trying to make it better for everyone involved.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby dozer » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:03 am

The heavy hand of moderation at it again:

1.) I restored Geordie's original post///// therefore many of the subsequent threads don't apply (ie. why did you remove the post).
2.) Nobody requested that the post was removed.

If you have an issue with a particular post of yours that was removed used the contact form or PM me. I will review it.

I have cleaned up the thread again but mostly as it related to the above mentioned removed post.
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby MrRee » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:08 am

Update 8c

Just when it was starting to get good... :wink:

The roof has only a day's framing left before the tiles go on. The first floor walls are already almost 50% complete. Dirt is being sloped around the house and the landscaping of the immediate area is beginning. Things are rolling, rolling, rolling, and it is looking great!

Like some of you who have been following my latest adventure from abroad who know me personally, I have to agree that it just isn't worth the hassle. There is nothing I could do here that I couldn't do on some social networking site and I have nothing to gain. I just figured sharing my experiences here rather than somewhere else might give some encouragement to someone else going through the same stuff now or in the future.

<Dozer slight edit on 6/11 to remove reference to CTH members>

Dozer, you have been very fair and my unilateral decision to let the cadre of grumpies have their way hopefully will not be interpreted as a slight to you as the site owner or the Moderator-in-Chief. I understand all to well that you have to balance and scrub behind the "regulars" who camp this site all too often. I feel for ya! :wink:

I will end my story telling here on CTH with this final update. Those from back home: I will start a blog and send the link via email so you can see how things are going for me without you having to sign-up somewhere.

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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby geordie » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:33 am

MrRee wrote:Update 8c

Just when it was starting to get good... :wink:



There is nothing I could do here that I couldn't do on some social networking site and I have nothing to gain. I just figured sharing my experiences here rather than somewhere else might give some encouragement to someone else going through the same stuff now or in the future.

Some sites have groupies. Some sites have grumpies. A very small group of hypocritical grumpies camping this site are allowed to harass new voices with impunity. I say let the status quo rule. We know how that worked out for the T-Rex. :lol:



I will end my story telling here on CTH with this final update. Those from back home: I will start a blog and send the link via email so you can see how things are going for me without you having to sign-up somewhere.



mr rees i have highlighted a couple of bits above quoting yourself

the first comment is 100% true things are out of the ground now and thats when things start to motor along

I am glad you are following my sugestion to start you own blog that way no one can challenge anything you say you will in fact become your own forum then you can have your own groupies
who will read fawn and pamper as you demand you can in fact tell them absaloutly anything you wish without the threat of someone disagreeing with you unfortunately on this forum there are people from many walks of life believe it or not a lot of them have profesions most if not all come from countries where freedom of speech is a part of life so far embedded in there heritage they do not even think of it We and i include myself in the we( and feel sure the rest of the forum members feel the same )at coolthaihouse rattle along at times stumble along helping each other out

with the help i got i managed to build a bungalow in five weeks and at a reasonable cost
i was able to get an extremely good idea on budget i was able to get ballpark figures on materials and what i should expect to pay labour really all the important stuff that you need to know
I in return try and help out any member new or old with advice even if its not really something within my feid of expertise i will try and point them to a part of the forum where they will find info i am able to do this simply because i did not enter the forum with the motive of showcasing how i knew everything i was hear to learn and share what i know that seems to be esentially the problem and maybe you should look up the dictionare explanation on sharing you wished to dictate your narrative exaulting in the attention that is not how i see sharing
with you any advice was swiftly discounted good and bad it was comical actually it helped me through my illness reading some of your remarks they say laughter is the best medicine
your arrogance is astonishing i have clicked on your name and had a quick brouse through some of you posts outside of your Udon thread why was the location so secret why when the pm system returned did you invite members to critisize via pm really there are a lot of whys
the biggest of which is why did you bother joining cth you are definately not the sharing type as has been demonstrated time and time again at least you had the courtesy to thank and comiserate with dozer how about an apology for the members you offended while you were here by insulting their inteligegence i can only hope that on your blog you find hapiness

<slight edit Dozer 6/11 to remove reference to something above which has been removed>




PS any chance of you posting the link :lol: :lol: :lol:
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby MGV12 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:05 am

Mr Ree ... many on this forum have provided you with constructive feedback that could have, if only you could have climbed down off your high horse and assimilated it, enabled you to continue to post your build story here and been appreciated and even applauded for doing so.

Your decision to throw in the towel merely confirms that your motives in being here were not in line with the majority of members; to help others in their quest to build a house here in the most cost-effective and low-stress manner possible. You don't appear willing to do that and so maybe your decision to post elsewhere is the best one all round.

Where you completely lost the point, and placed yourself in this situation, is that the focus in posting here is meant to be the build, not the poster.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby dozer » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:27 pm

Final edits on the thread. Removed some posts and some edits also.
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Re: Building House in Udon

Postby dozer » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:10 pm

Oh, I did mean really final final final edits on thread. GUESS I forgot to lock it which I will do now. Please log your complaints under Friendly Banter! But beware of this.


excessive complaining


One other note; should MR REE wish to unlock this thread and continue posting, please PM me.
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