Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

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

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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:08 pm

I have decided to start posting my thoughts, along with other obstacles on this thread, that way everyone can at least have a chuckle. Two weeks ago, or thereabouts, one of my architects rang with the final cost for the house.... over 7.5 million give or take a few baht. The pool alone was over 1.5 million. To be honest I thought my dream might have been shattered a little. So I asked questions of members on other threads and was assured that 1.5 million for the smallish pool was way too high. That boosted my confidence and armed with 40 printed pages from coolthaihouse I waited for the next phone call.
To be honest, Thailish over the phone can be, to say the least, confusing; Thailish in person can be even worse as everyone will see. Yesterday I had a long meeting with with my last-chance architect, in my house at Pak Kret. He first rang to get directions, then he got lost in the village with his assistant. He finally arrived on foot. Duly impressed with my 2 metre, teak and iron, motorised front gate, I cleared the dining room table, whilst he called his assistant. She finally arrived.
The plans actually looked quite good, some of the changes had been made, others had been badly interpreted. The prime example was the concrete roof on the second floor. I had asked for colorbond roofing, he or the assistant had changed it to concrete and then it got worse. "what's this" I'd enquire? And then there would be an exchange in Thai, before I got the Thailish version. Luckily my daughter has Wednesday afternoons off from school and she quietly gave me a running commentary.... "she thought that looked nice"...."it is going to be a show home"..."looks better that way"..."we have those from another build", the list went on. Now it would appear that my architect and his assistant, were under the impression the whole house would be built by their parent company, no names, no pack drills, so I will call them "Steptoe and Daughter".
Now the head honcho at Steptoe and Daughter saw MY rough plans on the senior architects table and was duly impressed, so much so that he duly issued orders, that no expense would be spared, no Issan builders would be used, no stone left unturned, etc etc. Notice I have MY rough plans in capitals. They no longer were my plans, they had become the managing director's plans of Steptoe and Daughter. And hence the 7.5 million.
Just when I thought things could not get worse, they did. In my plans I have a laundry, four bedrooms and two toilets on the second floor, in Steptoe and Daughter's they have three bedrooms and three bathrooms. And then they have wonderful things behind the house like my fish pond, and waterfall, whereas in mine they at the front of the house. On the ground floor my kitchen has been shrunk (my pride and joy), the place where my fridge/freezer would fit now takes a bar fridge. The list is long. To be honest it looks like my house has now become a Thailish house, the only thing missing was the huge columns. But they were there, so I found out, when I looked closely at the front fence, hidden amongst all the fluff. "What's that"? "Gate for house", "no that", "posts for gate", "they're bloody 4' thick and do nothing", "looks nice, eh"?
And all during this I am becoming annoyed because each and every change I make, back to the original, gets relayed by the assistant to the head honcho at Steptoe and Daughter. (And my daughter is giving a running commentary that includes some famous Aussie swear words she picked up from me). Don't worry dozer, I shall not repeat them. But the head honcho got named "wanker" by my daughter, so you'll get the drift. And of course my daughter added to the scene of confusion by texting on her phone the whole time.
Enough was more than enough. I have always wanted to say this, so I did. "Everyone stop talking, please turn-off your cell phones." It really was just like saying, go and kill yourselves. The death knell had been sounded. I was given the evil eye by everyone. My daughter huffed off. The assistant, still talking to the head honcho left the house for her car, the architect looked peeved and put his in his pocket. And that's when I took out my red pen and one of the pages I had printed out. I then reverted back to the year 1970 when I was an "A" class instructor at Puckapunyal.
"This is my bloody house, this is what I want. There will be bids at each stage. I do not want this. Please do it this way. You will make this change" (red slashes with pen). The list was long, it looked like a road map for reconciliation in Thailand, but finally we (the architect and I) were back on the same page and the architect looked a little trite. I had just slashed the 7.5 million down to 4-5 million within a matter of minutes.
Then the assistant came back in and they looked at the battle lines I had just drawn all over their plans, and so we started again. "No I do not want that, I want this."
The meeting went for two hours, I won't say it was productive, it certainly was not amusing.... well it was in parts. And each time the assistant would make a change back to Steptoe and Daughter, I would point to the wall where my wife's university graduation photos are, being presented by the prince and other members of the monarchy and say. "Remember, my wife is not here, but she is watching, and my wife gets pissed off really easily." My daughter had already translated that before she huffed off.
And so, here I am, sitting, mulling over what has happened. I actually think, finally, we might be on the same page, but you never know, because the last thing said was by the architect as they left, "Our company, make this house a dream". Which means he is still under orders from Steptoe and Daughter to build the house, come what may.
We have arranged for another meeting next week, which will give me ample time to recover from those stupid words all Thai females utter when things seem to go against their wishes..... "up to you". You damned better believe it, this is my house.
I hope all this makes sense and I for one don't mind flames, as long as they are intelligent and have a point.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:32 pm

Yikes, crikey, mmmm, .... Thanks for sharing.
These guys (and gals) are not for you. My instincts tell me that you will have a hard time getting your design built and at the right price. Threaten to get a new architect or else. If they decide to give in wait until you see the design. Then tell them you are having it built by a builder you know from somewhere else. That should force them to come clean. As with one lot I spoke to - a Farang builder with a Thai wife - they were willing to let their architect design whatever I wanted because they presumed that the build would be done by them. When architects work for, or are, builders you will not get a bespoke house.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby thaifly » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:13 pm

its a gidday to r/r...take your plans to another mob for a quote etc etc..hope you have nt paid any bugs bunny up front???? to this outfit.....its a RED FLAG gidday to all..its the thai fly from mae rim
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:29 pm

Dear Fred,
I have to agree with what you said, however, I do have infinite patience where it concerns something that I want done totally my way and to end-up "just right". When I took the architect through my townhouse and showed him what had been done, my way, he was suprised and impressed. He was even more impressed with the quality finish using normal products, made in Thailand. Of course I didn't tell him about the fights I had had to get it done my way and all the catastrophes along the way.
I will be taking him out to the build site next week and there, will introduce him to the three builders that are all vying for the build. That should throw the final spanner in the works that Steptoe and Daughter have for my build.
As long as they realize that they are in a bidding war with other builders I think all should be well.
Oh, as well, the pool came right down to 600,000 baht, even though nothing was changed on the plans. That's the figure I had in writing from one of the builders who had given the quote just on the material, pumps, holding tank, plus labour. I too can play their game.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:48 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:When I took the architect through my townhouse and showed him what had been done, my way, he was suprised and impressed.

I understand what you are saying and that you will be a hard taskmaster, but to keep your blood pressure at a good level, shouldn't you be the one to be impressed with his work?
Roger Ramjet wrote:Oh, as well, the pool came right down to 600,000 baht, even though nothing was changed on the plans.

That sounds about right.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:03 pm

Dear Thaifly (I can recall louis the fly and a can of mortein from Aussie commercials),
At this stage I have not signed contracts with anyone. What I can't figure out is their blase attitude when they know they are in competition with another company. I have requested Steptoe and Daughter bring a standard contract with them next week, which they thought was pretty cool; what they don't realise is that my wife wants it so she can run it through her legal department at work and we certainly be signing anything as yet.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:06 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:What I can't figure out is their blase attitude when they know they are in competition with another company.

Here I go again with my instincts, but my instincts are telling me that these people think you are a little gullible and that you will sign with them in the end.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby thaifly » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:13 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:I will be taking him out to the build site next week and there, will introduce him to the three builders that are all vying for the build. That should throw the final spanner in the works that Steptoe and Daughter have for my build.
As long as they realize that they are in a bidding war with other builders I think all should be well.
.

gidday r/r its the thai fly from mae rim..perhaps the fly has overlooked that you have 3 builders bidding from your project and i guess from your plans???.. if thats the case ..why bring in steptoe to your site..to meet the other builders ..you can verbally tell steptoe of your plans..with out potentially creating a uneasniness between all partys involved in tendering for your project..from the fly experience when calling for tenders it is done on a indivual basis..which is giving respect to your tenderers..but naturally you tell them that there are other partys bidding for the same job..bringing them..all four.. to your site..is not a ethical business practice for mine. go with your three bldrs .. flick this mob steptoe ...and bring in another if required ... hey cobber you will be in the loony bin.. before you have had a blow thrown on your project going down this rroad .. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE OVERHERE IS THE KEY .but its your money and your call..and good luck...ITS A GO GO SOUTH KOREA GIDDAY TO ALL its the thai fly from mae rim
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:28 pm

Dear Fred and Thaifly
My blood pressure is just fine except when I walk out to my car, then something comes over me and my multiple personalities come out and I hear whispers from all those past racing drivers. I sometimes wish I still had my old Ford GTHO (super-roo) with the phase 4 head (with bull-bar), but then sanity prevails at the petrol pump.
I'm going to run with this mob and see where it leads. The other architect is rather slow and staid and doesn't think out of the box. He can't understand that I want something different and has no imagination and continously tried to have my roughs scrapped and changed to a Thai style house with monolithic columns. As well, I need my daughter with me the whole time because his English is terrible.
However, that all being said, I am listening to all the experience here and I certainly won't be making a rushed decision (my wife wouldn't let me anyway).
I am a great believer in KISS, that is why this is going to be a simple build that looks different.
Now as far as being unethical is concerned, I have been totally open and honest from the start and I hate bullshit, but I have found that most things Thai (I have been here years) are done with their heart and not their heads and I think that's where most of the problems arise, that is why they all know they are working, or will be, working for me, not for themselves. I'm not being arrogant, or not trying to be, but I have seen too many things screwed in Thailand because of the heart ruling the head.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:35 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:(my wife wouldn't let me anyway)

Okay so at least we know who's actually calling the shots. :wink:
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:25 pm

Dear Fred,
You are totally correct, my wife rules the roost in this house, I am just the "farang with hot heart". As I stated when I posted the pictures of the land, "big boss" and "mini boss" are in charge and thank heavens I'm half deaf so I just say "yes dear" and "of course" to everything. But trust me on this, my wife is the head honcho accountant for a "farang" company and where it concerns our money or the companies she is a stickler and they do not call her "sticky" for nothing.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby thaifly » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:09 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:Dear Fred,
You are totally correct, my wife rules the roost in this house, I am just the "farang with hot heart". As I stated when I posted the pictures of the land, "big boss" and "mini boss" are in charge and thank heavens I'm half deaf so I just say "yes dear" and "of course" to everything. But trust me on this, my wife is the head honcho accountant for a "farang" company and where it concerns our money or the companies she is a stickler and they do not call her "sticky" for nothing.

its a gidday to r/r...its the thai fly from mae rim..the above post .. says it all for the fly..why asked the board for advice on your project when your shelia..has all the credentials to make this build a winner..sit back .. pay the cash .. and enjoy the ride.. and post the results on C.T.H.....its a argentina through to THE LAST 16 GIDDAY TO ALL...its the thai fly from mae rim
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:44 am

thaifly,
The answer is simple, I am not building a bank that hates departing with money, I am building a house, my house and my wife wants it that way.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:51 pm

It's time to start thinking about the build, or it will be after Thursday when the chanote documents are all signed at the land office and the land officially becomes ours - well my wife's anyway because it will be in her name. To get to this stage after looking at lots of land in and around where we currently live has been a year long task. Either the land we looked at was either too small, too expensive or was subject to flooding. As well there was the issue of electricity, water and drainage. Garbage collection, buses, shopping malls, hospitals, vets, freeway access, purple line stations. But the most important, to us, was neighbours. After putting up with a townhouse in a small dead-end soi that has just two parking spots under the front veranda (one taken-up by a water tank and pressure pump) and after having to get neighbours to move their bloody Isaan utes (one neighbour has two) and refuses to park them in his yard even though all the people in the soi have complained, it will be a relief to move to a nearly deserted area that nobody can block, no matter what they do.
During the last two months I have had the land surveyed twice. The local land office sent out their surveyor with his four workers (which took a month for them to arrive) and a private surveyor also surveyed the land with his one worker which took one day. Both came up with exactly the same and both put it in writing. The land office surveyor took three weeks, the private surveyor two days. One of my architects has been a no show for the last three weeks, even though he rings me each week and makes an appointment, so I have no idea what the plans look like at all. He says they have problems putting the contract in English. I think they have problems with the parent company. We shall see.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:46 am

Roger Ramjet wrote:I will be taking him out to the build site next week and there, will introduce him to the three builders that are all vying for the build.

And ... what happened?
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