House Building, Sisaket

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

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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Mishark » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:05 pm

Today, we got TOT IPStar internet, and given our location, I think I will be happy with the speed. Cost is about B1,240 set-up costs, plus B2,600/month. Had a Skype call with someone in England and using wireless from 20m away, the call was clear for both sides.

Unfortunately the location of the dish is completely unacceptable, however they left enough wire to move it much further away from the house, which would put it in a aesthetically pleasing position. We want to build a house for the water pump and incorporate a platform for the satelite dish...

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Finally, for today at least, the rendering has been finished. Tomorrow the electrician comes and then they start with the ceiling. After that the tiling, or at least that is my understanding...

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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Mishark » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:44 pm

Well, after a little over a week of no work, we are apparently back on track. And I learned the total to be paid to the project manager (yes, still alive though never see him) is B570,000. Some things we have paid direct, so the amount will actually be less. The figure of B700,000 was the girlfriends figure to finish the house without furniture or appliances. I am tracking all the expenses on my iPhone, so let's see how well she does...

Since the last update we have 80 truck loads of dirt delivered, not 10 wheeled trucks and not full loads, but cost was only B160 per load. Only complaint was it was WAY too much! Family member was supposed to keep an eye on it, but they didn't. We paid a farther B2,500 to have it spread...
GardenSoil.JPG


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The wiring guys have been in and run the cabling we wanted in the conduits. Not all as we ran out of audio cable, but that can be done later... (same photos as in futurising your home thread sorry)

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Now they are creating the customised ceiling. Flat ceiling was already paid for, but to have it customised throughout the house is costing an extra B25,000. Feels a bit too much, but we are getting it done and from the little they have done so far, it should look nice...

Ceiling support.JPG


Custom Ceiling.JPG
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Sisaket: Not my last post, I hope!

Postby Mishark » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:04 pm

Well things are continuing to progress slowly, as they have from the start. The custom ceiling has been completed and so has the electrics. At first I was concerned the lighting made the house look a bit like a light shop, but the fact we have almost every level of light, from very dim to rather bright, is quite cool. None of the lights were placed for function, all for aesthetics (subjective)...

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One of the hardest things for me, is knowing exactly what I want in a house. I had the choice to limit the number of lights in the ceiling, or to keep them as they planned. Normally I like a minamilistic approach, but I went with the planned lighting. Will I like it, who knows - can always turn them off! :lol: The lights in my office:

[Next Post]

Strange that they have installed the electrics before doing the painting. Is that normal?! At least they have put a lot of masking tape around the lights...

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An interesting photo, and why I say hopefully not my last post, is the earthing rod for our two prong plug points. A tape join, and a hole through the earthing rod. Two things I believe that are NOT meant to be done? Will have to investiage that one...

EarthingRod+OutsidePlugs.JPG
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Oh, and also the outside plugs with no waterproof covering. What has my life expectancy gone down to? :shock:

Things continue to surprise me (maybe because I am not a builder) such as the laying of tiles inside. There is already a huge concrete foundation, and now they lay concrete under the tiles? OK, I need to read read building stories again...

Bedroom Tile.JPG


They have also started the tiling in the bathroom:

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And have put up the ceiling fans, should probably get an exhaust to take the air outside, and not just into the loft space?! (The cover has since been put over the fan)

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Oh, and they have erected a power pole for us. Total cost for pole and connecting to the power was B4,500. Will take a photo and upload sometime soon...

As we spend most days in the village, and do not want to commute every day, we are moving into the house in 3 days time. So, what does the house look like now?

The House.JPG
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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:08 am

I think seeing the dish through the window is cool, sort of like living in a moon base.

<the rest of this conversation has been split to house-electrics continued>

pattayapope wrote:I am afraid the majority of Thai electricians are very poor and only learned their trade from other poor electricians.


Plumber anyone?
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Sisaket: Yay! Moved in... :-)

Postby Mishark » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:54 am

Have now spent 4 nights in our house and so much happier to be staying on-site, rather than commutting EACH and EVERY day! Even if there are no doors, no windows, no bathroom, no inside kitchen or many of the things some people would classify as essential...

Everybody has rallied around to make the house as comfortable as possible. The first night we did not even have windows installed, just blankets and grass matting covering the bedroom windows:

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The window frames have now been done, but still awaiting glass:

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An outside asian toilet with 4 tin walls:

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An oil drum and plastic dish for showering:

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Cooking is done (usually by this lady) with the Isaan charcoal BBQ on a typical Isaan table:

Outside Kitchen.JPG
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Sure, I could probably not do this long term, but I came to live in the village for the experience of it. And as such, I can do these same things that some of the people have and will do for there entire life, for a short amount of time...
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Re: Sisaket: Yay! Moved in... :-)

Postby fredlk » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:02 am

Mishark wrote:Have now spent 4 nights in our house and so much happier to be staying on-site, rather than commutting EACH and EVERY day! Even if there are no doors, no windows, no bathroom, no inside kitchen or many of the things some people would classify as essential...

Congratulations and you have my admiration.
I know the feeling of hating to be away and wanting to be there and I'm reaching the same stage although I haven't yet mastered the squat-toilet - I wasn't built that way.
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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby BKKBILL » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:33 am

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Excellent!!! Mishark congratulations. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Mishark » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:50 am

Thanks all again, for continued supportive comments. It is great to have such a good forum like this (especially well done moderators) :)

I don't find everything in the village easy, but weirdly I am eager to learn and to try. It comes back to ones reasons for living in Thailand, or anywhere for that matter. Whether here to experience living (even if somewhat westernised) in an Isaan village, or here to relax and take it easy in our dream homes, or any number of different reasons...

The experience, is the reason I only eat Thai and Lao food and am so motivated to learning the Thai and Lao languages. It has been very rewarding having people help me improve, and increasingly more people understanding me when I speak...

By tonight I am told, we will have a functioning bathroom. Later we have a monsoon shower head, and (obviously) a basin to be installed as well....

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And glass for the windows should be done within the next few days...

As with many things that happen in the village, I often have no idea what is going on, and only understand as it unfolds. The setting up of the contraption started out as one of those times:

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Two lights and a bucket of water. The lights attract the insects and they get caught by the water, too heavy to fly. Unfortunately there were not many caught last night, otherwise I would tell you how they tasted! Probably the same as the other deep fried insects (very salty)....
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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Mishark » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:03 am

The glass has now been put in the master bedroom window frames, making that part of the house nearly complete, or at least easily liveable, by my standards anyway. The windows frames do still need painting/staining, and the walls (inside and out) need painting also.

Bedroom Windows.JPG
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Soon the sofa and fridge will join the TV, bed and bathroom currently in that room. I am starting to wonder what the rest of the house is actually for! Though, as the other rooms start to get completed, I am sure I will appreciate them... (reminds me of the early years in London)

Oh, now I seen some positive results of the bug catcher, though as yet, still do not know what they taste like. Some of the swarms that come through for a short period of time, hover around the light and do manage to dedicate their life to it:
Bug Catcher Bugs.JPG
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Sisaket: earthed tree?! and carport

Postby Mishark » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:00 pm

With all the discussion going on about earthing, not earthing and dying from electocution, I thought this might be an interesting photo to add to the site. Just wasn't which thread to put it on...

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And the car port:

Car Port.JPG
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Re: Sisaket: earthed tree?! and carport

Postby fredlk » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:07 pm

Mishark wrote:And the car port:

Not so sure about the earth, but I love the carport. Is it bamboo I see used for the poles?
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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Mishark » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:58 pm

Don't worry, I know it's not a proper earth. Was just trying to show some of the things that are considered normal and acceptable in an Isaan village. It very much seems to be about being told not to do something, and then not doing it, rather than doing things to be safe and actually stop accidents. Especially considering there are children around, and yes - it is live...

Yeah, it is bamboo, shade cloth and pvc piping. Some local builders and the girlfriend made it. Until now I have been pretty relaxed about money being spent, but now that I am remembering my goals, trying to get things done slowly, by locals and at a low cost, unless they are things that cannot be changed later (like tiling)...
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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby Mishark » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:12 am

So much better staying in the village for the last week, rather than driving the 25km each way, almost every day! I have a lot of respect for those of you who have done (and are doing) larger projects taking a year, or even longer!

Soon after we arrived it rained a lot one night, and some of our soil, and a lot of water came off our land and onto the neighbours grazing plot. The neighbour came over to complain to my girlfriend. They talked for a while and afterwards I asked if she had asked for any money, after reading similar stories on CTH. The girlfriend looked at me like I was stupid and said "Money for what?!". She just told the neighbour that yes, we would build a fence.

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We have bought the materials for building the perimiter wall. The girlfriend has suggested 1m and I am wondering if we can go down to 50cm?! If the wall is just there for retaining soil and water (not for privacy or security), is there a minimum height? A local outdoor wall builder offering his services for B200/metre came around, but once he saw a farang, instead said he would build Bangkok quality at B600/metre. Needless to say, we told him where to go...

Instead, as we are not looking for a quality finish, just something strong enough to do the job, family members who have done a little bit before will do it for B150/metre plus food and drinks... (I have faith it will turn out well, but let's wait and see) And I am happier, provided the work is adequate, to pay locals in the village, then outside help...

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A typical Isaan seen, looking out from our house...

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Re: House Building, Sisaket

Postby MGV12 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:35 am

Mishark wrote:but once he saw a farang, instead said he would build Bangkok quality at B600/metre. Needless to say, we told him where to go...


That'll be Bangkok then :lol:

Mishark wrote:Instead, as we are not looking for a quality finish, just something strong enough to do the job, family members who have done a little bit before will do it for B150/metre plus food and drinks... (I have faith it will turn out well, but let's wait and see) And I am happier, provided the work is adequate, to pay locals in the village, then outside help...


Good move Mishark ... actually building the wall is not rocket science so should work out well.
However ... where is the water that would have run into the neighbours land going to go after the wall is built? Just seep into the ground in it's own time or are you going to direct it somewhere? If so how?

There is no minimum height for such a wall ... just depends on the prevailing situation. As you already have a 'concerned' neighbour it might be worth telling them exactly what you propose before you commence ... better than complaints during or after the construction. May open a can of worms but if that's the way they are it's best to confront it now IMO.

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Sisaket: Happenings...

Postby Mishark » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:55 pm

Small update, more of what has been happening around here. Yesterday they built the structure for the shop that one of the family kids will run. I will give the girlfriend a starting kitty (B2,000 - B3,000) after which the shop should be self funding (hopefully). Here is the support structure (Isaan style):

Shop Support Frame.JPG
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Over the top will be put a thatched roof similar to the following photo. Apparently you can buy pre-thatched roof segments for about B15 each. The hut below has about 50 pieces. Will take more photos when the thatching is bought, and as the hut is built:

Thatched Roof.JPG
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Also, the girlfriends brother, wanting an alternative to working in the fields, wants to do a motorcycle round selling slushies (shaven ice with flavour added). So we went to a rubbish disposal center today scavenging for a side cart frame and wheel (Well, I mostly stayed in the car with the kids who played games on my iPhone). The motorbike is a secondhand one I bought him a while ago...

[Photos to come]

We had some fun with this insect last night. Made different noises in response to light and hand movement. Afterwards, we ate it deep fried - tasted like peanut butter, but then again, I had already drunk a lot of Lao Khao!
Insect.JPG
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Despite having more rain, the perimiter wall is yet to be built. The family members who are to do it have been working in the fields. Given the neigbours complaints I thought there would have been a bit more urgancy. Seems not...
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