Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

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Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby newhomepages » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:59 pm

I am very excited today because it was the first day we had workers on our land working. They were only building the camp they will use while construction is taking place. Our house will be a little less than 200 square meters including the flat roof and decks. I would call the style modern tropical. We designed it ourselves to allow for maximum air flow through the building for comfort and to reduce dependency on air conditioning, and to have an open feeling.

This is my first public announcement about the house, but I plan to post regular updates through the construction process if people find it interesting or it helps someone else building a house in Thailand. I will have lots of photos and videos to share too.

My name is Ed and I am from America, my wife is Emi and she is Thai.

Please feel free to ask us any questions.

-Ed
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby fredlk » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:06 pm

Hello and welcome.
newhomepages wrote: I plan to post regular updates through the construction process if people find it interesting

Of course we do. :D
newhomepages wrote:I would call the style modern tropical.

I would be interested in seeing any plans and elevations you might have. Thanks.
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby geordie » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:47 pm

Welcome to the forum take a look at RR building in Nonthaburi or fred at sattahip very modern concepts and you could crib a few idea,s a picture of the land and a location would be nice as a starter
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby BKKBILL » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:26 pm

geordie wrote:Welcome to the forum take a look at RR building in Nonthaburi or fred at sattahip very modern concepts and you could crib a few idea,s a picture of the land and a location would be nice as a starter

Yep follow them to the letter. What could go wrong. :lol:

Welcome to CTH and good luck.
It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:47 pm

newhomepages,
Welcome to the forum and good luck.
Do not listen to the purveyors of doom and gloom and those that are trite and sarcastic......it's fun, really, really, well possibly at times, sometimes, possibly, perhaps, well it's interesting, well, I hope you have a stable marriage...at least for now.
Looking forward to seeing the land and who the builder will be. Don't have a petty cash float whatever you do unless you're really really rich and take the translations as meaning possibly, perhaps, maybe.
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby geordie » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:49 pm

BKKBILL wrote:Yep follow them to the letter. What could go wrong. :lol:

Welcome to CTH and good luck.


The good luck will be needed
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby newhomepages » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:17 pm

Thank you for your support and wishes of luck. I know well that we need it. I have never heard more tragic stories than those of the people involved with real estate in Thailand. I fully expect things to go horribly wrong, often. Why would a sane person start this? It has been a dream of mine since the first time I came to Thailand in 1997. I feel like I have done a lot to minimize the pitfalls such as planning a very small, simple house that is just an adaptation of most common Thai building structure. And my not-so secret weapon is my partner who is the most responsible, diligent person I have ever known and my best friend. We have been married for four years.

-Ed
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby MGV12 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:03 am

newhomepages wrote:And my not-so secret weapon is my partner who is the most responsible, diligent person I have ever known and my best friend. We have been married for four years.

-Ed


That will help immensely .... good luck guys.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby newhomepages » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:53 pm

We went to the land yesterday and it looked like they were preparing for a primitive moon launch. Here is a photo of the pile driver which will drive 11 pilings into the soft central Thai soil.

I can't believe things are moving so fast now - just as I got prepared for endless delays.

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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby geordie » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:37 pm

Ok now the congratulations on having broken ground
Then the dreary bit what depth are the piles going and what is the cost of the piling
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby newhomepages » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:00 pm

The 11 pilings go down 18 meters and support the 8 main columns (photos of house plans coming soon). The cost for all the beams and columns is under 900,000 B which includes the pilings.

They finished the pilings in one day which surprised me so I didn't get a chance to take video of it.

We are working with and independent contractor. He seems like a really great guy and came highly recommended from a close friend. His own house has many design elements that we had already thought of for ours. Things moved at what I though was a normal pace at first with him translating our designs to his architect and structural engineer. He was very flexible and suggested some good ideas too. Today he gave us the full set of plans that were approved by the district office(after some minor alterations) on Friday. Now we(actually my wife) are ready to go to the bank and apply for the loan. The total price for the 150 square meter house is quoted at 2.6 million. That seems like a lot, but we had expensive requirements such as a 1.2 meter tall foundation, high ceilings, an open "loft" section and a flat roof. We talked to at least five different builders and no estimate was under 2.5 million. I'll explain more about that and write some flashback sequences later.

Please keep the questions coming. And let me know how my numbers sound. I have no idea how far pilings are supposed to be sunk. Is 18 meters good?

-EE
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby newhomepages » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:52 pm

This is how the land looked when we bought it in January of 2011. It's a little over 200 square wa in a development of empty land plots near Safari World. It included this little one room house with a tiny bathroom, an address, electric and water already installed by the previous owner. Only one other plot was built on when we arrived, but it had been developed and quickly sold out a couple of years before.

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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby geordie » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:13 pm

Piling is a straightforward proposition although expensive you hammer in the piles till they stop 18 meters is quite deep but under BKK is black silt so not good to build on where i am Rangsit i have seen them build a couple of housing estates (moo baans ???) and they have always piled so obviously a neccesary evil That does sound high for the meterage But if you are happy with what you are getting its still low by western standards
That would be considered a deposit in london

It will be easier to understand when you get a drawing up
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby fredlk » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:00 am

newhomepages wrote:It included this little one room house with a tiny bathroom, an address, electric and water already installed by the previous owner.

It looks like your typical Thai Sales Office which is always erected to service customers looking to build or looking to buy land.
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Re: Building a Modern Home in Bangkok

Postby newhomepages » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:51 pm

It is hard to say what's included in that figure. I believe it's the pilings, foundation, columns and beams, but no floors. That makes up about a third of the total costs for the house, with few finishings. I am not worried we are being overcharged because we got price estimates from so many different builders before deciding on one. We also went to homes that he had built and checked with the people living there, they were all happy with the work he did. However, The first bit of construction work he did for us was to put a door knob on the existing little house and that didn't go so well. Anyway, that is the kinda stuff I can and want to do myself. Just made me a little worried. Our contractor had the architectural drawings approved by the district, built the workers huts and toilet, purchased the pilings and had the pile driver set up on the land all before we gave him the first payment, or even finished paying for the architectural drawings. We feel a good amount of trust has already been built.

-EE
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