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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25 August: Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:57 am

We are finally back after a long break - a little disappointed on the lack of progress, but that is mostly
due to the constant rains in CM.

Anyways, the roof metal is about 98% done, should be completed this week pending favorable weather,
with the roof tiles scheduled to begin installation this weekend.
The attachment IMG_9653.JPG is no longer available

The attachment IMG_9689.JPG is no longer available


The barbed wire has also been installed around the perimeter fence, and is currently being painted with
grey anti-rust.
IMG_9653.JPG

IMG_9689.JPG

IMG_9687.JPG


The electricity pole at the side of the property had been leaning (like the tower of Pisa), due to soft soil and pressure
from the wires. It has now been straightened and set in concrete. 2 corner fence posts have also been set in concrete,
so once it all dries, the barbed wire can be finished in that corner.
IMG_9654.JPG


We also got delivery of 62 pieces of bamboo for the fence, that will be primed and painted in the next few days, and
installed.
IMG_9662.JPG
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby harry+ratchanee » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:08 pm

Hi Max
Hope you had a good tile-spacer holiday!
Bet your suitcases were busting at the seams with goodies for the house !!
Fence and roof coming along. Like the color of your roof tiles, will keep in mind!
Be out in 6weeks time, so hope to pop by for a chat. Just down the road around On Tai
When you get chance can you PM me some directions and a mob number, will call you first if ok ?

Take care

Harry
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:40 am

harry+ratchanee wrote:Hi Max
Hope you had a good tile-spacer holiday!
Bet your suitcases were busting at the seams with goodies for the house !!
Fence and roof coming along. Like the color of your roof tiles, will keep in mind!
Be out in 6weeks time, so hope to pop by for a chat. Just down the road around On Tai
When you get chance can you PM me some directions and a mob number, will call you first if ok ?

Take care

Harry


Hi Harry,

Yes it was a very productive holiday, we carried back 69 kg in 3 suitcases and 1 box, in addition to 25 kg
in 3 backpacks in the cabin - lucky the flights were quite empty due to low season. I decided to buy all
the electrical outlets and light switches back in Melb, so the house will be wired Oz style. I got 35 3-pin plugs
to rewire all the electrical appliances at home. We also got most of the chandeliers and light fittings back
there, in addition to low profile ceiling fans for bathrooms/toilets. And 2 bags of tile spaces!

Anyways, we will be out of the country between Oct 10 to Oct 21, but you are welcome either before or
after those dates for a look-see. I will draw up directions soon, and send to you.

Max
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26 August: Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:00 am

We had 4 columns destroyed - apparently the architect did not correctly align all the columns with the roof
metal, hence the 4 columns were just sitting there with nothing to do. I was wondering whether they would
be good to keep to support the walls, but since we are moving some of the walls between the bathroom
and kitchen due to a change of house plan (again for the 6th time), we decided to demolish them. The Thai
man and uncle at site did a good job, I felt bad watching them and taking pictures while they slaved away.

IMG_9701.JPG

IMG_9716.JPG


Uncle's girlfriend was busy finishing off the anti-rust painting of the barbed wire, and getting ready to start
cleaning and priming all the bamboo sections. We spent 10k baht at the local TOA shop buying a boot full of
wood preservative and clear outdoor (boat) varnish for the bamboo. Outdoor wood varnish is about 600 baht
per gallon, covering about 50 square metres, we have about 1200 square metres to cover, so the boat wood
varnish was the cheapest option for outdoor at about 200 baht per gallon.

IMG_9714.JPG

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The roof guys are still all over the roof trying to straighten some points out. We also asked for extra
reinforcements along the key joints, so that is being done.

IMG_9726.JPG


Although its taking a while, we think it looks good...

IMG_9746.JPG


Hopefully by Christmas, we hope to have it looking something similar to this:

IMG_8191.JPG
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Re: 26 August: Site Status

Postby fredlk » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:06 am

Max&Bee-in-CM wrote:Hopefully by Christmas, we hope to have it looking something similar to this:

I can already see it. It's looking good. It looks very Australian and any Ozzie driving past in the future will think he's in East Brighton. :wink:

I have a question. How come you don't seem to be using wire-tensioners on your fence? Or are you waiting until after you've fitted the panels?
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby BKKBILL » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:37 am

Looking beyond uncle’s girlfriend I see you will have the straightest fence posts in the area. :D

You are going to have a very nice house in the end. My wife walked by saw the picture with your wife standing in the entrance way so I had to zoom in on her and the baby. House be damned. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: 26 August: Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:13 am

fredlk wrote:I can already see it. It's looking good. It looks very Australian and any Ozzie driving past in the future will think he's in East Brighton. :wink:
I have a question. How come you don't seem to be using wire-tensioners on your fence? Or are you waiting until after you've fitted the panels?


Good point about the tensioners, I missed that one. Cannot use them now on the barbed wire, but we will have 3 or 4 runs of galvanized
wire on the outside of the bamboo once installed, so will try to find some, guess Global House as usual.

I actually grew up in Caulfield, just round the corner from Brighton E, yep there are many modern facades going up now, funny thing is,
if I was building in Melb, I would probably like an Asian facade, building here in CM, I want an ozzie one.
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:16 am

BKKBILL wrote:Looking beyond uncle’s girlfriend I see you will have the straightest fence posts in the area. :D

You are going to have a very nice house in the end. My wife walked by saw the picture with your wife standing in the entrance way so I had to zoom in on her and the baby. House be damned. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Thanks - I think the wife is getting a little jealous I am excited so much about the house, and spend more time with the house than her
at the moment.
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Re: 26 August: Site Status

Postby fredlk » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:51 am

Max&Bee-in-CM wrote:funny thing is, if I was building in Melb, I would probably like an Asian facade, building here in CM, I want an ozzie one.

I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I am building a house that looks like it was plucked from the mountainside of the place I grew up in, Camps Bay in Cape Town.
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Greenside » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:55 pm

Tons of thanks for the vast amount of detail you've found time to post. We are also in Chiang Mai with a similar area to build on and have been hanging on in the hope the UK pound will improve before taking the plunge. In the meantime we've had a borehole dug, the perimeter fenced/hedged and walled and are now getting the water tanks built and want to start on a small (3 x 3m) pump house to keep our gear dry and safe.

With such a small project it's hard to get anything approaching a sensible price from anyone on a whole job basis so we're going to follow your example and get day rate labour and try to find someone to help oversee it. Your figures for the roofing costs proved very useful today in that we could argue with confidence with a contractor who was assuring us that the steel for our simple little roof (28.5m²) would cost at least 20K - we since went out and priced it ourselves at about 6500. That was what convinced my wife that we should take the DIY route!

The only price I've got for welding the roof is 250/m² which is way over the 80 baht you mention. Can you let me have any contact details of the people who quoted for you? Also, who cut the beams to size - I'm assuming that at that price the roof guy just came and welded.
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:52 pm

Greenside wrote:The only price I've got for welding the roof is 250/m² which is way over the 80 baht you mention. Can you let me have any contact details of the people who quoted for you? Also, who cut the beams to size - I'm assuming that at that price the roof guy just came and welded.


Hello, and thanks for following the build. Our roof metal was completed today, and we received the final bill from the roof man - it
comes to 30,971 baht for 442.44 square metres, so thats 70 baht / square metre. The roof is 30 degree inclined with 1 metre overhang,
there may be more costs involved for a thai style roof that has many corners/angles, larger overhang, higher angle or those windows
at the top of the roof that the thai houses have.

He did the red oxide painting, the cutting to size, the welding, the installing, the fixing of mistakes, and the clean up. I must mention
though that the back part of the roof had a noticeable bulge, as did the right side (although a smaller bulge). These have since been
rectified.

We have to pay the 480 baht for the welding rods, but not for the grinding wheels to cut the metal, I guess he absorbed those costs
himself, and there are a few grinding wheels scattered near the left-over metal.

The roof metal man's name is Tap, and his number is: 081-951-4582
<Dozer 9/9: In case anyone is skimming the thread, the OP NO LONGER RECOMMENDS this contractor>

Bill attached. The numbers 1-7 are the various roof section areas, builder dad will verify those tomorrow before we pay.
Attachments
roof metal bill.jpg
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August 27: Site Status

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:11 pm

We finally finished the metal for the roof today, once its verified by dad tomorrow, final payment will be made,
and we can start putting down the tiles on Monday.

On the fence side, we have uncle and the thai man cleaning the bamboo sections, and painting with preservative
tomorrow.
IMG_9761.JPG


We also purchased a few bamboo sticks that are being spliced, in order to have a few more side runs on the sections,
currently they have a top and bottom, but I think it will look much better with 2 more runs near the middle.
IMG_9771.JPG


We put a few sections up to see how it looks...
IMG_9778.JPG

IMG_9779.JPG


I asked Bee to stand in front to get a perspective on the height...
IMG_9792.JPG
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby runker » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:17 am

Either the fence is very tall or Bee is very short?
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:28 am

runker wrote:Either the fence is very tall or Bee is very short?


Bee is 1.55, the fence is 2.50, I see what you mean. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Building our house in Chiang Mai

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:46 am

Max and bee,
I don't wish to throw cold water over what appears to be an excellent build, but your fence will not last the way you have it done. As an old "cocky" there are three things you must have for any fence, stays, strainers and wire. Stays are used to keep the fence upright, to run wire along, or through and to support, in your case the bamboo. Corner stays are the foundation of any fence. It doesn't mater how deep they go into the ground, what they are made of, how thick they are, if they are set in dirt or concrete, they must have strainers that are butted into the the stay at a 45 degree angle and running parallel to the fence; hence two strainers for each corner post (stay). These take most of the burden of the fence (in your case bamboo) when the wind blows. The rest is taken by the wire that must be "strained" to these corner post or stays to give it rigidity, otherwise the bamboo fence will destroy the stays on a windy day.
There a number of ways to dig in the strainers, most of the time a smaller strainer is put into the ground 2 foot or 60 cm. Large rocks can also be dug in and the strainers butted into the lower part. Wood is rarely used when doing this because it will rot in the ground, even if dipped in preservative.
The wire needs to be tensioned or strained to these corner posts. I have no idea what type of wire you are using, but the best is 16 gauge high tensile, or 8 gauge low tensile because it must be capable of taking the burden of high winds buffeting the bamboo fence. Hence "cockies" run four or five through their stays and barbed wire on the inside (to stop cattle and the like from rubbing against the fence too hard). Note I say through, because the wind changes direction when it hits a fence and the wires need support from both sides. Straining a fence is the most important part of building it. If the wire is loose the fence is useless. You must get the fence wire (each one) to "twang" when hit with a metal object (normally the handle of the strainers), if it doesn't your fence will self destruct. You cannot physically overstrain a fence using the strainers or tensioners, man is not strong enough to do that.
Even in Australia "cockies" will employ a "fencer" to fence large areas. It is a long slow job that needs expert knowledge. I haven't seen star pickets used here, neither have I seen wood dipped in arsenic. Your fence should be fine with concrete posts, but you must strain the corner posts.....NOW!!!
Otherwise the drunks in Pattaya, Chang Mai, Bangkok or Phuket will look up into the sky on a windy day and say. "Ah ha, there goes Max and Bee's unstrained, unsupported bamboo fence, pity it looked okay for a while, they just didn't know what they were doing".
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