Building an Australian style house 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 our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:37 pm

Viking wrote:Hi,
Love following your build. I'm sure it's going to be a beautiful house.
One question pops up. Why did they remove the form-molds after one day?
My concrete knowledge is limited but even in cold Norway they leave the form-molds on for a while and waters the concrete to ensure that it cures properly before it dries. From the pictures it dose not look like they have been watering/covering the ground beams to ensure a high humidity level during the initial stage of the curing process.Improper curing can cause scaling, reduced strength, poor abrasion resistance and cracking. I would not like to build a house on a foundation prone to any of that.


Thanks... The concrete guy company, and builder dad both said the molds can be removed the next day, I was a little surprised also
but everyone else thought its ok. Since the molds were rented by the day, so be it, no need to pay. Maybe they put an additive in the
concrete to make it cure faster - not sure, the concrete company guy did not speak enough English for that level of questioning.

For the watering, I know we will be doing it for the concrete slab, and for the columns, I am not sure why it was not done for the ground
beams. I will ask, but I think the answer will be "this is how we do it here...."
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Rick B » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:34 pm

Max, just some friendly advice. Don't fall into the trap of accepting what the Thai's normally do as being the correct way. Many times it's not. If you know something is right to do, like watering the concrete in the early curing stages, then tell then that's what you want them to do and monitor their doing it. It is your house and your money!
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby MGV12 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:18 am

Max&Bee-in-CM wrote:For the watering, I know we will be doing it for the concrete slab, and for the columns, I am not sure why it was not done for the ground
beams. I will ask, but I think the answer will be "this is how we do it here...."


Hi Max -- the columns they usually wrap in plastic film, available everywhere, and it's a good idea to keep them wrapped as long as possible. I agree with Rick B that if they were going to take the forms off that early the beams should at least watered ..... watering and draping sacks over them to keep the moisture in ... again wrapping in the plastic film is good but in your case not easy as your beams appear to sit on the dirt so you can't get under them. The surface layer drying too quickly is where the potential problem lies and as yours have been exposed for three days now it's a 'fingers crossed' situation and learning curve for the next part ..........

Just trying to be helpful ... your beams look substantial for a single story dwelling so I wouldn't let this unduly worry you.

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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:53 pm

Rick B wrote:Max, just some friendly advice. Don't fall into the trap of accepting what the Thai's normally do as being the correct way. Many times it's not. If you know something is right to do, like watering the concrete in the early curing stages, then tell then that's what you want them to do and monitor their doing it. It is your house and your money!


Yes there have been a few "friendly discussions already - but to keep my blood pressure below 120 I found its best to let them do their way sometimes...
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:57 pm

MGV12 wrote:
Max&Bee-in-CM wrote:For the watering, I know we will be doing it for the concrete slab, and for the columns, I am not sure why it was not done for the ground
beams. I will ask, but I think the answer will be "this is how we do it here...."


Hi Max -- the columns they usually wrap in plastic film, available everywhere, and it's a good idea to keep them wrapped as long as possible. I agree with Rick B that if they were going to take the forms off that early the beams should at least watered ..... watering and draping sacks over them to keep the moisture in ... again wrapping in the plastic film is good but in your case not easy as your beams appear to sit on the dirt so you can't get under them. The surface layer drying too quickly is where the potential problem lies and as yours have been exposed for three days now it's a 'fingers crossed' situation and learning curve for the next part ..........

Just trying to be helpful ... your beams look substantial for a single story dwelling so I wouldn't let this unduly worry you.


Yes we already got the plastic film, and the plumbing ready to water down the columns and floor - I believe builder dad over engineered the foundations
and ground beams (the rebar is for a 2 floor house not a single), so hopefully all will be fine.
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9 July: Project Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:40 am

We had good progress in the last few days, with 3/4 of the form-molds for the columns attached.
We expect to pour concrete tomorrow. The rental company only gave us enough molds for 3/4 of
our columns, but thats ok since we only have 3 people working, so they can do it in 2 stages.

We are also making good progress with the fence, we have started putting the columns up in the rear
of the property. About 10 posts are ready for concrete to be poured in tomorrow also. It so hot to
work during the day, so we are working about 7 am to 11 am, then 4 pm onwards until it gets dark,
at about 7. I hate to say it, but I go through about 4-6 t-shirts per day!
Attachments
IMG_5676.JPG
I switched to wire ties from nails, to hold the posts to the frame - needs a smaller frame and much quicker.
IMG_5653.JPG
Bee helping to expand the hole, the workers misaligned it and the post doesn't fit onto the line
IMG_5610.JPG
Some of the back concrete posts raised, using the original frame design, which took a long time to make and align
IMG_5658.JPG
3/4 of the column form-molds done
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby robertkc » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:25 pm

Your house is a genuine family effort and you are going for a budget build as a rookie...commendable - I look forward to your progress and wish you all success. Our land is a few kms from yours and I found the few nights we spent there last year very clear , with the only light pollution coming from LoyKratong balloons... beautiful for stargazing.
Do you have an elevation of your house design to post? I don`t know much about Australian style, but assume it has colourbond roofing & wide eaves?
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:34 pm

robertkc wrote:Your house is a genuine family effort and you are going for a budget build as a rookie...commendable - I look forward to your progress and wish you all success. Our land is a few kms from yours and I found the few nights we spent there last year very clear , with the only light pollution coming from LoyKratong balloons... beautiful for stargazing.
Do you have an elevation of your house design to post? I don`t know much about Australian style, but assume it has colourbond roofing & wide eaves?


Thanks, I hope the final quality will not be rookie though! The clear skies is one of the main reasons for choosing the area, I will have an
observatory also, the clearer the skies the better.

I dont have an elevation diagram, but a facade I am aiming towards is attached - we don't have an attached garage, and will have a double front door not a single, otherwise its pretty much accurate. But who knows, things may change...
Attachments
Henley-Cascade.jpg
The facade I would like
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11 July: Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:02 pm

Yesterday concrete was poured for about 3/4 of the columns, today the form-molds were removed and placed
onto the remaining columns, and those will be filled with concrete tomorrow.

Yesterday, we also went to find some Myanmar workers near Tesco-Lotus at KamTien market, we got 4 people
for digging the holes for the fence posts. Rate is 250 baht per day per person. The wife and myself went there
the day before, and the rate was 300 baht, so we asked the cousin to come next day, and the rate is the
normal 250 per day.

Surprisingly, some of the Myanmar workers speak much better English than Thai, especially when it comes
to talking about price!
Attachments
IMG_5764.JPG
Some of the columns are complete
IMG_5727.JPG
The Myanmar workers digging the holes for the fence posts
IMG_5694.JPG
Finding workers on the side of the road.
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby harry+ratchanee » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:22 am

Hi
Looking really good and going up fast.
Keep the photos coming.
Maybe we can pop by when we are in Chiang Mai in October for a month?
You should be virtually finished by then.
You have certainly done well with the cost.
And looks solidly built ie. cross beams.
By the way I've always wanted a really really good telescope to star gaze !! Very jealous LOL


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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:52 pm

harry+ratchanee wrote:Hi
Looking really good and going up fast.
Keep the photos coming.
Maybe we can pop by when we are in Chiang Mai in October for a month?
You should be virtually finished by then.
You have certainly done well with the cost.
And looks solidly built ie. cross beams.
By the way I've always wanted a really really good telescope to star gaze !! Very jealous LOL

Harry and Ratchanee


Hello - Thanks.... I sure hope it will be finished by Oct, you are welcome to stop by for a visit.
The observatory though may take a while longer, unfortunately.
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15 July: Project Costing & Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:36 pm

Well it rained all day yesterday, and there is a lot of water on the ground. About half of the fence post holes
are flooded or caved in, destroying 2 days of digging. Some of the fence posts that have been erected but not
concreted in, have also shifted due to the soft earth. Oh well....

All of the columns for the house are now completed. The form-molds are being removed today, and will be
picked up tomorrow. We have also ordered soil infill for all the empty space between the ground beams,
in preparation for a concrete floor to be poured. The macro unfortunately cannot get in, due to the
wet soil.

We will also extend the house a little at the back - the 2 bedrooms seem a little small, so we have some space
where the alfresco area is, this will be cut in half and the 2 bedrooms increased in size. I will post the new plans
once I have a chance to update them. We have 2 Thai workers at site now, they will start to make the rebar for
the 1 extra column we need - the macro will dig the footing hole soon as the earth dries up.

The roof man also came to have a look at the house. He will charge 70 baht per talang meter (square metre)
for roof installation. We will buy all the metal, roof tiles, aluminium insulation, and any fasteners/adhesives.
I think that is an excellent price for labor, he will calculate the total surface area, and give a quote soon. We
had another roof guy come yesterday, he would charge 80 baht per talang meter.

Attached is the costing as at 1 July 2010, with the project as shown in the attached picture below.
Attachments
COST TRACKING - 15 July 2010.zip
Project costs up to today
(24.4 KiB) Downloaded 126 times
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Updated house plan

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:07 pm

Updated house plan shows bedroom 2 and 3 increased in size, making the house an exact box 13 m in width
and 20 metre in length, for a total size of 260 square metres.

We will need one footing and support column in the rear right corner of bedroom 2 - the 2 workers on site have
already started making the rebar framework for that. We anticipate it will set us back maybe 2 weeks, as we
need the macro to dig the hole, pour the concrete footing, rent the form-molds for the column, pour concrete,
then make the rebar for the 2 new ground beams, rent the form-molds and pour concrete.

After that is complete, the floor will be poured for the whole house, and then the roof construction can begin.

The outdoor alfresco area will also be more enclosed now, with the main house roof extending to cover the area -
previously we were going to terminate the roof at the house and have a plastic roof there. We will need to find
and install mosquito screens over the steps, which are the only open areas, to make it possible to sit there at
night and eat.

Dad is pretty easy going with changes, we can make changes as long as the construction process or stage we
are at permits it.
Attachments
Current House Design - V3.jpg
version 3 of the house plan
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20 July: Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:17 pm

It has been raining every day or so, and neither the macro nor soil trucks can get into the
land to do soil infill between the ground beams. So we are waiting for things to dry up.

However, the 2 workers we have on site have now completed all the rebar columns for the
garage, the observatory, and the house extension - so as soon as we can get a macro in,
it will dig the holes for the foundations, a total of 9 holes for the garage, 8 holes for
the observatory, and 1 hole for the house extension.

The architect never drew up plans for the garage, so we are going at it plan-less - we spent
some time with builder dad today hashing out all the details, and we agreed on all the specs.
Attachments
IMG_6059.JPG
Builder dad drawing up the plans for the garage.
IMG_6048.JPG
Preparing dinner
IMG_6026.JPG
The rebar for the garage is ready.
IMG_6034.JPG
The view of the front of the house
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21 July: House Plan version 4

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:35 am

After discussion with builder dad yesterday, we decided to increase the garage size to 10 m by 8 m, and
have a storage room inside of 2.5 m by 8 m. The new plan is attached.

The garage will feature the same roof as the house (cpac tiles at 25 degrees), the floor will be the same
height as the floor of the house (in case of future flooding), but feature single wall not double walls like
the house (to reduce cost and speed construction). We will also run water into the rear storage room in
case we decide to have the washing machine and dryer there, and not in the house in the future.
Attachments
Current House Design - V4.jpg
House plan version 4
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