In the Beginning.....

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

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In the Beginning.....

Postby Paul039 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:56 am

Here we go! I promised my wife a house in her town, Wichianburi, Phetchabun. Dad and Mom gave us (her) the land from the families farm. They have been filling and grading it, getting it ready for us to build. We anticipate construction starting in the late fall early winter. The wife and I are going home for Songkram and will give Dad our plans and discuss how we want it built. Dad will build for us.He and several uncles do construction work and have built their own residences.
So; the plan:
We are designing our own floor plan. We will build a raised slab house, single floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath with modern kitchen and carport on the side. The floor plan is 12 by 16 meters with 2 front porches of 3 by 4 meters. Everything will be concrete. Block walls exterior and smaller block interior. I am concerned with termites and ants. We live in Western Pennsylvania presently. This is the carpenter ant capital of the world. At least we have cold winters that slow the bastards down some. I know insect control in Thailand will be interesting and I don't want the house to fall down. I am figuring concrete columns every 5 meters for support of the roof and strength for the outer walls. The slab will be poured in forms built on columns underneath. We want it raised for an aproximate floor height of 80 cm off the ground. The wife wants it enclosed. So be it.
Now the questions.
I am reading the board a lot and searching;
Window sizes, stardarn sizes, custom made, cost? I have chosen sizes of 1 meter high and widths of 1 to 3 meters. Have to see if thats doable and the costs?
Door sizes? Dad said something about 90 cm? I want swinging wood doors interior, 1 storm type swinging door in the kitchen and 4 sliding glass doors off of bedrooms and living room. Sizes on these are elusive. I plan several trips to supply houses in April to see what is available.
Roof spans are at some points going to be 8 and 9 meters but from what I have been reading that should be fine with steel trusses. Dad will make these in place. We will most likely use a composite roof of fiber panels. Mom has showed us brochures for some of these. No snow load so roof design is very simply, keep the rain and animals out, stay put in the wind.
Utilities:
What utilities? We won't need a furnace, air ducts or the associated junk we need here in the US. So we will core drill the floor for drains where needed, run feed pipes for water up where needed and drop power wires down from the ceiling wher we want outlets. I have seen the wiring put inside the block and holes put into the block for outlets. I like this, but might be pushing Dad's skill here. Covered exterior wiring will be ok. One thing we have already discussed, WE WILL HAVE SAFETY FEATURES. I want low voltage cutouts and good breakers along with a proper ground rod. This is a rural area and the old one wire system is used a lot. I want proper polarity and GFI protection also. I can do these for my self if needed. We will add air conditioning when we move there full time after I retire.
So that's the general plan. Wish us luck! Let the Games begin!
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Roger Ramjet » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:54 am

Paul039,
Paul039 wrote:Window sizes, stardarn sizes, custom made, cost? I have chosen sizes of 1 meter high and widths of 1 to 3 meters. Have to see if thats doable and the costs?

I can give you the answer to this question quite easily. We first went to a large company and got quotes for all of our 6mm custom sliding glass doors and windows. We then went to a few aluminum shops with pre-made and custom made windows and got quotes, then we found a local aluminum window/door man who also gave us a quote. All the windows and doors were to be tinted blue, 6mm in thickness and have fly screens, but also there was shower glass involved. There was also the type/quality of aluminum ...white powder coated and a certain thickness/standard.
After we looked at all the quotes and saw what the big company could do, we compared that quote with what our local man could do. The shops that we visited (at the urging of our builder) were all immediately eliminated. The large company's quote was slightly more than the local man's, but they said they couldn't/wouldn't supply the fly screens, so we went with the local aluminum shop and have never regretted it for one moment. He was one of the bright spots on my build.
My recommendation is use your local man.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby sirineou » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:57 am

Hi Paul
How is the weather in Pennsylvania? cold enough for you yet? :lol: I am in NYC right now we are putting up a building in Manhattan by the 59st bridge right next to the east side river and this cold is kicking my ass!! cant wait to get back to LOS and complain about the heat :lol:
It sounds like you have a good plan and seems like you have good support from your wife's family so...
Good Luck! you did say "wish me luck" :lol:
though I know a few guys from Penny and they all seem like they make their own luck, so I doubt you would need it.
Look forward to reading about your build
I talk to my self because I am the only one who will listen
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Paul039 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:49 am

I'm going to try a post of our rough floor plan, hope this makes it;
IMG_5357.JPG
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:13 am

Welcome and looking good.
Just a comment about the 7x12 room - as you probably know the standard metal beam length is 6m, so you will probably want to plan the beam cuts: 3.5 + 3.5, or 4 + 3, etc, to decrease any one area having a weakness along the length. For example, if all the beams are cut 6 + 1, and welded in line, there will be a potential weakness at the 1m weld point.
Also, for such a large room, don't be afraid to add an extra few saos (columns along the sides) to take the weight of the roof over that area. While there is no snow load, there was a heck of a hail and wind load the last few weeks.
We also have a big room and roof over that area, and made some mistakes, but fixed it up with trusses.
Good luck
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Paul039 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:21 am

Thanks. That has been one of my concerns. I thought the outer perimeter would be built from 1x3 box ( western size) and possibly the trusses across the living room the same. I am hoping to avoid columns in the living area. Maybe socket welding the sections together? Father in law will do the roof. I am going to leave it up to him. (I hope that's a good idea) I have seen his welds. At least there is no snow load expected. I was trying to place the exterior columns at 5m but realize they will probably be 4m and closer where the windows are. I have been trying to do more detailed drawings for column placement. My wife informs me they (Dad and Uncle) put columns at the window spacings too so I expect sturdy outer walls. Dad tells me the walls are the 7cm wide block. I am not real happy about that and will inquire of him using the thicker block. Wife wants the floor 80cm off the ground and Dad want 100 or more. I agree with Dad on this one. Much more room underneath for plumbing hookups. I want the floor poured solid and drilled for the plumbing. Dad thinks this will weaken the concrete. I don't think they will get the layout close enough with forms for holes. We'll see. My wife helped me with concrete work this summer in the yard and was upset I mixed it so thick! They are used to the soup style of pouring. Dad may be right about the floor being weak. This is going to be an interesting build. My opinion from the US and Dad building there. And my wife translating it all between us! We will keep a story going and hope for the best outcome.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Maseratimartin » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:57 am

Hi Paul,
seems like you and your wife did already made up your plans and know what you want...great!

Never the less I would like to give you some recommendations...:
- If you want AC later, consider some kind of isolation! Maybe double block walls outside with "staycool" between. This allows also to hide water or power lines!
- Windows and Doors: In alu is usually all possible but everything has it's price. Roger did already give you the right advice.
If you go for wood, just visit the stores around and look what is available. Some shops also over tailor made with only smal increase of costs...
- Nowadays you see more and more Thais changing to steel roofs. Colorbond is great but also the thai version would be for me the better choice then the fibre panels.
I basically hate the idea of drilling through the material you choose to keep the water outside.
Colorbond with clip lock is light weight and should seal great. Further low roof angles are possible.
Tiles will increase the load. The fibre panels are sensitive and crack easy...
- I have also some spacier room where I didn't wanted to have columns disturbing the place + 2 walls with huge windows. Truss system and a few stronger profiles will do the trick.
Choose the columns to carry the load wisely and the ones with high load are the ones with bigger footings (Standard 1x1m, bigger mostly 1.5x1.5m)!

Last, you will need nerves like steel ropes when building with family! Avoid getting your wife caught in between you and the family...they will never admit that you know it better.

Good luck with your build!
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Mike Judd » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:59 am

My Partner didn't want to see columns inside the outer walls, so whatever size blocks you use just keep them flush with the columns on the inside. If you use 200m.m. thick blocks or a double skin you can have flush walls on both sides. With the plumbing the only ones that are critical for positioning are the toilets and there are adjustable fittings if not exact . Floor wastes /sink wastes shouldn't be too hard to position fairly close to where required. Drilling holes afterwards invariably hit steel. More important would be to make sure they put S traps in under all wastes, lack of is the reason for the smells in lots of places.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:13 pm

From my perspective, I really dont like seeing the columns visible, either inside or out. Especially when they are painted hot pink, baby blue, or rainforest green to stand out - but thats a different topic. Thats one of the reasons we went with all double walls. Since the columns are 20cm square, and the superblocks we used at 7.5cm wide, that gave us a cavity of 5cm for insulation, and also routing services (water, electricity, tv and internet lines).

Going for double walls makes the house much cooler, much more quiet, and gives you a feeling that its built strong and correct. I strongly recommend superblocks, they have great properties, and are so much quicker and easier to build, plus you use way less cement bags and sand. You have to use a special glue, and special render, however its available everywhere.

The columns around the windows you mentioned are probably just the concrete frame for the window, its not structural unless the rebar penetrates into the horizontal beams. Thats what they drill the aluminum windows into. I like modern design, so I only go for aluminium, the bigger the size of the window the better. Good strong concrete frame all around is critical to keep the window in place, and especially if its a sliding glass door.

For the roof trusses, for the bottom beam of the truss, I would go for the heaviest/strongest spec metal you can get. To prevent any sagging across the 7m span.

I would not drill into concrete, just makes extra work. Generally pipes are put in before the pour, if you like you can encase the 2" pipes in a small section of 4", readily available. In this way, the concrete will not touch the 2" PVC, and gives you a cm or 2 of wiggle room.

One other thing to consider generally, is who will supply all tools and sundries and expendables. We went through several angle grinders, 2 or 3 drills, hammers, picks, shovels, all sorts of tools for bricklaying and rendering, welding grips/handles, about 8 wheelbarrows, countless pieces of small metal, rebars, nails, strings, etc, etc. Also all the wood for building and securing molds. Make sure its 100% clear with builder dad if he will have expense account, or you will reimburse receipts, or you are paying for labour and he supplies all equipment. It adds up to over 100,000k baht for our build, so its a nice chunk of change that everyone needs to agree who provides to avoid family issues. Don't forget petrol for hundreds of trips to the bak-soi shop for supplies - I know its not a big thing, but adds up to several thousand baht of petrol over the build, which can be an issue for some people.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Paul039 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:52 am

Thanks. Lots of good advice. The wife and family and I are already "discussing" the walls. I want the double block. I agree completely with the insulating and wiring advantages. I think I can talk Dad into this but the wife wants the exposed beams! I don't, but you guys know who the boss is. I do like the concrete frames for the windows. That should provide a very secure mount and wind resistance. I have been trying to draw where I feel the columns should go but I have a feeling they will end up where ever Dad puts them. I tend to over engineer things sometimes but hate to run into the kind of problems the plague us from lack of planning. I am very afraid of the comodes not lining up with the floor holes once the walls are built. The Asian floor commode would be fine offset, but we will use Western type flushing comodes. Too far from the wall and we need spacers behind the tanks, too close and they will never fit. I will have to trust him to get the position right. I already knew it but Dad said last night we will need a water tank for the comodes. I believe we need a pump set up also. That will depend on the tank location and height. The local water is shut off at night and restarted in the morning. Everyone's house has the open tank and pot of some sort in the bathroom for cleaning and bathing. We don't want that.
I really want the wiring inside the walls also, but I think it's going to be exterior and covered with a plastic type cover. The wiring will most likely be run thru the roof trusses and dropped where needed. Easiest way but not the prettiest.
This is going to be an adventure. Dad welds with sunglasses for eye protection and I have already told the wife we will get him a good helmet. She says he cannot use this he will fall. I have auto lenses in my hoods and will try to get him a solar powered one, no batteries required. His tools are his pride as are mine but Holy Cow! His stuff would never hold up to my use. I have to tread lightly with a lot of this and not insult anyone. I plan to get him a battery operated drill and check some other things during our visit. We just bought him an air compressor for his nailers. He wanted a used one and we talked him into a new one. The wife and I just "bought" a truck. This is our new Toyota Vigo to use when we visit rather than blow a grand on car rental. Dad takes care of it! Its now pimped out with chrome junk I would never use. I told them he can have the truck for building the house. It seems to have become a family possesion anyway. They will make out on this one big time, but I expect to dampen the nickle and dime stuff this way. (I hope) lol
Awwww well, life is an adventure and marriage is compromise. As long as everyone ends up happy, we will be successful.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Mike Judd » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:56 am

I would follow the advice given with the pipes in the slab, and with the toilet ones if you measure the ones you are going to buy ,centre of hole to the finished wall , you should be right,plus you could always put in a bigger insert to allow adjustment, and as I said there are toilet pipe fittings that have up to a 50m.m. adjustment in or out by rotating it. I brought all my electric down from the ceiling in conduits chased into the blocks, which then were covered with strips of mesh before rendering . Q-Con have a booklet in Thai showing all the correct procedures which is very handy for the first time users.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby unclezillion » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:53 am

welcome to the world of house building frustration
i would also think very carefully about letting her familly anywhere near your build.
it is easier to keep family away than to kick them out for being incompetent idiots: which is generally par for the course in Thai house builds. I'm not saying it is sure to happen but it is a possibility.
Water services should be put in before concrete: this the normal and correct way of doing things.
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Makmak456 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:17 pm

You seem to have the right idea and attitude. Try to be there for the most important stuff. For me that was the post and beam reinforced concrete frame part of the build. My concern was the rebar ie proper spacing and tie. Unless YOU cook a lot you might rethink he euro/american style kitchen, unless your wife is now used to cooking that way. Kitchens in the country are usually outside or even stand alone and are a meeting place for the ladies.
Just my 2 satangs worth
Good luck !!!
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby terp80 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:23 am

Hi Paul: I wish you the best of luck with your build. My only observation (not having any building expertise myself) is that it appears that you may be the odd-man-out, with your wife and her family on the other side. As others have already pointed out, family and building don't always go well together. Only you know where that really puts you. But, having said that, as long as you are prepared to live with what they may eventually decide, then go for it by all means! And I would surely listen to, and solicit advice from, the very experienced CTH builders on this site. Again, good luck! . . . and be sure to post pics - lots of them! :)
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Re: In the Beginning.....

Postby Tommy » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:06 pm

All the best and good luck with your build. Look forward to reading it and hope you will have better luck then me with having dad managing the build
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