My building story:

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

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Re: My building story:

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:10 am

jomoblues wrote:


What really impresses me is his attention to detail. He visits the work site every day and reviews the work of the previous day with the site manager and provides instructions for the following day. He takes all critical measurements for himself and has rejected work on at least two occasions so far. At no additional cost to me he has also made several recommendations (which I have accepted) to alter some of the specs detailed in the engineering drawings/ architectural plans I had drawn up last year. Some are minor and perhaps satisfy his particular way of doing things but others are more considerable and will incur material costs for him, but he's prepared to do this and that to me shows he's proud of the work he does and wants it to be right for his clients.

I'll spare you the detail of his alterations (unless anyone is interested) as I know this is a bit of a dry read---sorry. JoMo.

Please don't spare us. :D it is interesting to know the changes. You've already told about the change in spacing of the rebar ties.
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:46 am

Rain stopped play---in Udon Thani not Perth.
We have had heavy overnight rains, which continued until mid morning and they have completely drenched the work site. I drove over to take a look and the hard compacted soil has turned into glutinous clay, with a few pools of standing water and quite a bit of run-off down onto the road out front. So there will be no work today and I suspect none tomorrow either. We'll need a couple of days of sunshine to dry it all up before work can resume.

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Re: My building story:

Postby unclezillion » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:15 pm

there are three ways to go with water heaters. Personally i would go with 7kw instant heaters all around as they can keep hot under pressure. i have just put in a 4.5 kw heater (WS 45 E @ 2900 from Homepro) for the maids shower but it is adequate only at about half pressure, you can also go for solar powered heaters or for tank type immersion heater.
Personally i use Steibel Eltron instant water heaters. http://www.stiebeleltronasia.com/ Ariston work ok but discolour very quickly.

solar: http://led-gpi.com/solarpower/solarheating.html
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Re: My building story:

Postby fredlk » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:37 pm

I bought Panasonic DH-6GM2 multipoint water-heaters (at 6,490 Baht each) and have 1 heater for each tap so that there are no long runs and no complicated junctions. I am very happy with this solution.
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Re: My building story:

Postby BKKBILL » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:28 pm

My solar water heater works at full pressure with no recalculating pumps, it has a 1500W electrical element for back up. Might even connect the power to that someday if the need ever arises, mind you it’s only been installed for two years. Works a charm!

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:08 pm

My thanks for the three prompt contributions on water heaters (you're ahead of me); I will get back to that subject but it will be tomorrow now. My requirements are fairly standard obviously but I would like to put them on record anyway and consider your suggestions against them. I would also welcome any further information or opinion you can offer on the subject, thank you.

I'm a novice at this with no previous experience in building beyond what I've read on this website over the years and a couple of books I've read by people who have built their homes in Thailand. That said, I'm a quick learner, adaptable and not too proud to ask for help where my understanding is limited. I've committed a lot of the tips and hints on here to memory, and saved copies of the more comprehensive contributions on technical subjects such as plumbing and electrical. So I truly welcome and appreciate all of the support and help I receive from all who contribute to CoolThaiHouse. And please, don't be afraid to call me out if I'm going about something the wrong way. I don't take offence easily.

Respectfully, JoMo
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:35 pm

OK, I just want to finish the ground beam updates as it is getting to feel like its taking me longer to tell the story than complete the actual work.

Sunday morning the readymix concrete truck arrived and it was pleasing to note that it looked like it was a good strong mix. It was poured into large tin troughs and then the team scouped it up by the bucket full and poured it into the form work. They worked very quickly but there was only five cubes on the truck and we needed about 20 in total, so progress was sporadic as we waited for further deliveries throughout the morning. I was disappointed to see two female workers pouring large amounts of water onto the concrete in the form work, presumably to make it easier to work, but they stopped when they noticed I was taking photographs. Other than that the application of the team was very good.
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:43 pm

Just as I was saying to say to my wife that I hadn't seen them vibrate the concrete a young man appeared with a vibrator and did just that. He followed the progression of the forms being filled and vibrated them thouroughly and then more concrete was added to top up as necessary.

When the young man learned that I was taking photographs for my on line build story he was very keen to make sure I got plenty of shots. Two will suffice.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:17 pm

Early evening we went back to the site and inspected the ground beams. We were mostly very pleased with what we saw although there are a couple of sections that look unfinished. We'll have to find out why tomorrow.

I put a tape measure across the beams in several locations and they measure exactly 25cms, which is as per the modified requirement.

Note to SomeTimeWoodworker.
This is another modification made by my contractor against the original engineering specs. On the plans it calls for columns and ground beams of 20cm by 20cm but my contractor said as it was a two story house with a large central span of over 5 meters he would feel more comfortable if we changed the dimensions of the columns and beams to 25cm by 25cm. Also, the spacing for the ties on the rebar in the columns as with the ground beams has been changed from 20cm to 15cm.

I will detail all the changes that the contractor has recommended on a separate post as requested.

JoMo
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:48 pm

My wife and I were called away Sunday lunchtime before the work was completed and it was early evening before we were able to get back to the site. We were surprised to find that work had stopped and there was just one worker there, aimlessly cutting lengths of timber with a circular saw. My wife asked him where everyone was but he said he didn't know or wasn't letting on if he did. We dismissed it from our thoughts presuming that as they had finished filling the ground beams they were taking a half day. Anyway, they would have to wait for the concrete to start hardening before they could proceed, and as it was Sunday it seemed reasonable that they should have an early finish and go out for some food or a drink.

(Note: I know that concrete has to cure not dry).

Today was a wash out because of the overnight rains so no surprise to find only the site manager, his mia noi and a couple of other workers on site. But work being rained off was in fact no more than a coincidence for the absence of the main workforce and we were only to find out the real reason for their absence when my wife received a phone call from the foreman late in the day. The issue is still evolving and will come to a resolution tomorrow; either by the contractor taking appropriate action against his project manager or by my personal intervention. More on this tomorrow.......

It never rains, but what it pours. JoMo.
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:25 pm

Thank you sireneou for your comments and suggestions.
Your observations are correct, the foundations have been improved on the original specs based on my contractor's recommendations. He has 25 years experience in the construction industry, so I'm willing to trust his judgment on these matters. As you are involved in the industry I also attach some significance to your observations and comments and welcome your contributions to my developing story.

Regarding my relationship with the contractor, and as I mentioned earlier, it's generally very positive and we tend to meet on site or speak on the phone each day. I don't want to be too directly involved in the detail of day to day activities beyond making my own QA observations and other than that I try to limit my involvement to responding to his questions, clarifying details of my requirements and giving approvals where necessary. That said, as we move through the various phases we will hold proper on site meetings to agree and sign off the exact requirements as they occur. Naturally these are already detailed in our contract but we both want to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what is required as we reach each stage of the program. This will become even more important later with a need to ensure proper coordination of the work schedule as I have a separate contractor for the roof and another for the kitchen and my wife and I will be buying most of the interior furnishings and fittings ourselves which he will install. Plenty of challenges lie ahead.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:43 pm

It's been a week since I last posted an update.
To be honest I've been rather deflated and not really inclined to continue with my building story because of the problems that erupted on the 16th. Things stayed ugly for several days and served as a distraction to what I should have been focused on which is, of course, building a house. However, I'm slowly coming round to the new 'normal' with a sharpened commitment to stay much closer to the on-site operations, and to continue with my record of the house build, as and when I can.

I'm still completely satisfied with my contractor but there was a serious fall out between the site manager and the foreman over money (what else?) which has resulted in the foreman and his team of 9 leaving, and as of yesterday the site manager has also been removed by the contractor. I have a scratch team of new foreman + 6 at this time although thankfully all of the more technical work, plumbing, electrical, joinery,roofing is to be completed by more qualified teams as we progress, but even so this current team require constant supervision and direction. My contractor is providing most of this at this time, remaining on site for several hours each day, and me and my wife are on site for most of the day and interceding as and when we're not happy with anything. It's not ideal but it is allowing us to move forward, albeit slowly.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:07 pm

When the forms were removed from the ground beams, most of them looked in good condition with little evidence of air bubbles having been trapped in the mix. There were however a few problems specifically with 3 beams. One of which I posted a photo of on the 16th but there were two more that clearly had not been vibrated at all with a honeycomb appearance and required quite a bit of remedial work to make them appear acceptable. Thankfully they are in the area by the front door and therefore don't have to support much beyond their own weight but none-the-less, not very satifactory.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:23 pm

The pest control guys arrived when we were still ankle deep in mud, but they did not seem to mind and just got on with the job of installing the termite treatment system. They surveyed the layout to determine where best to install the pipes that will provide the feeder points for the injection of the chemicals in the future and then set about laying the pipework around the foundations.
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:03 pm

The treatment system consists of a simple pipework which is coursed through the foundations, with sections left protruding on the outside walls. There are orange nipples at regular intervals along the pipework; these are the spray points for the chemical. The guys fixed brackets to the ground beams and then coursed the pipework through the beam network, going under from one section into another where possible and starting new ones at various intervals. They then sprayed the entire site with the chemical which they claim is good for three years protection. After that time they can provide a follow up service or I suppose we could do it ourselves, whatever.

They will come back once the walls have been plastered to tidy up the visible pipework. JoMo
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