Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Time

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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Greenside » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:38 am

pipoz wrote:Hi Greenside,

How much were your red clay bricks per thousand and how many bricks to the square meter?

Thanks pipoz


They tell me that you calculate 40 bricks psm and I think the price is about 3500 per 1000. They are doing a nice job of building the walls by the look of it but it would be better (and easier for them) if there was a way of breaking the bricks more cleanly. They just use a hammer but I'm sure there are neater solutions.
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby MGV12 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:09 am

Greenside wrote:
pipoz wrote:Hi Greenside,

How much were your red clay bricks per thousand and how many bricks to the square meter?

Thanks pipoz


They tell me that you calculate 40 bricks psm and I think the price is about 3500 per 1000. They are doing a nice job of building the walls by the look of it but it would be better (and easier for them) if there was a way of breaking the bricks more cleanly. They just use a hammer but I'm sure there are neater solutions.


Four inch angle grinder and diamond disc. They are bound to have the former and if not the latter then a cheap version [100+THB] will last the build on those soft bricks.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Greenside » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:27 am

They've got several on site. They don't seem to use them for the wall bricks though.
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby thailazer » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:33 am

Greenside wrote:They've got several on site. They don't seem to use them for the wall bricks though.

I was impressed how our crew could hit one brick against another and cut it fairly clean. No need for a clean cut when you lots of mortar to fill in the voids. We laid our bricks flat rather than on end....Helped the electrical conduit routing and gave us two air pockets on the outside walls rather than just one.
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby schuimpge » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:59 pm

thailazer wrote:
Greenside wrote:They've got several on site. They don't seem to use them for the wall bricks though.

I was impressed how our crew could hit one brick against another and cut it fairly clean. No need for a clean cut when you lots of mortar to fill in the voids. We laid our bricks flat rather than on end....Helped the electrical conduit routing and gave us two air pockets on the outside walls rather than just one.


It's not difficult to get a clean cut on bricks by hand...just cup your hand a bit, put the stone to cut on it.
Then with a quick knock of another brick (not flat, head on, but angled so only the corner hits the other stone)..you'll break it clean. Done many like that myself.
Back in the Netherlands, builders use the side of the trowel to hit the brick at the cutting point.

You can also lay the stone against another so there's empty space under the point where the cut will be and use a hammer and chisel to cut it with one quick tap.
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Roof Insulation

Postby Greenside » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:01 pm

OK. I need to buy about 30 rolls of reflective foil to put directly under the roof tiles that they will start to lay towards the end of next week. I thought these were already ordered but seems I was wrong. :(

On the current house we used the Chang brand which is SCG and was very expensive, but we didn't need many so I wasn't quite as focused as I am this time round! There seems to be a lot of choices but not much help from the retailers as to which one to choose.

Global House in Chiang Mai has the following on the shelves (prices are for a standard size roll of 1.25 x 60m)

Coolguard Double Sided Bt1490
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OHO Cool 101 M-2 Bt1550
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Space Foil Bt1640
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Pro-Tech Bt1750 (This picture was of a smaller roll)
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OHO Cool 101 F-2 Bt1750
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Does anyone know the differences between this lot, specifically between the two OHO offerings which had identical properties listed on the label - close up above - GH just waffled and it was clear they really had no idea why one would cost 200 baht a roll more than the other? They all seem to claim the same properties so I'm thinking that maybe some are easier to fix than others (although the expensive Chang brand we used before was ripped in numerous places and I had to insist it was fixed before we OK'd the roof).

In addition, there was another CoolGuard product that was clearly aimed at better handling as it was made from woven cloth. Same insulation figures though as far as I could see and selling at about 2300 baht per roll.

Obviously I'd like to use the best value foil - your comments appreciated.
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Mike Judd » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:02 pm

As you said there dozens of Foils to choose from. Usually price will give you an idea of their properties , the dearest and best ? has a corrugated space between layers of foil ,which again can be of various thicknesses. It's entirely up to you and how much you want to spend.
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby pipoz » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:16 pm

Hi and I would pay a bit more and use the one with the best proven thermal insulation properties, over the others.

Consider paying say TB 500 more per roll at the outset, (i.e. say one that cost TB 2000 per roll over that which costs TB 1500) and getting one that actuall does keep the inside room temperature down by another few degrees. The 30 rolls (at TB 500 extra ) will cost you TB 15,000, as initial extra expense.

If its properties are such, that it can reduce the inside room temperatures by a few degrees over its rival insulation, and presuming you wish to live in an AC controlled / cool environment and are looking to cool around 200m2 or 500m3 of space), on average for some 8-10 hours per day, then you will recover your TB 15,000 investment within a four year period, with lower power bills. Remember, its one part of the house construction you can change later, although granted you can do other things if the house gets too hot, but these will most likely cost you more than Tb 15000.

Choosing the roof system, roof tile thermal properties, roof tile colour and roof insulation, in a sometimes prolonged hot and sticky place such as Udon Thani, is probably one of the most improtant house construction decissions. Granted you have some advantage, being in Chang Mai over Udon Thani.
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Insulation Indecision

Postby Greenside » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:50 pm

I am in complete agreement with your advice to insulate to the max (we'll have 3 and 6 inch microfibre insulation on top of all the ceilings and in some cavity wall too) - it's the differences between the various brands most of which claim to have the same levels of reflectivity and water resistance that I'm trying to determine.

For example, Coolguard (1490 baht) lists 98% reflectivity while both the OHO products show 95% and are slightly more expensive at 1550 and 1750 for the same size rolls. Now I doubt the 3% is detectable but the OHO labels list an impressive table with the testing standards used which would probably make me inclined to buy the more expensive of their offerings. Get this though: the SCG brand "Chang" is a staggering 3900 baht for the same size roll and we know it can't be 100% reflective so what's the extra money buying?

Easier to work with?
Tougher in some way?
Longer lasting?
A better dividend for shareholders and a newer Benz for the CEO??

I was hoping to hear from someone with experience of one or more of the actual brands listed. Turns out that I read a BOM wrongly and I only need 22 rolls but if I play safe with Chang that's an extra 45,000 that I really can ill afford.
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Insulation Decision

Postby Greenside » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:36 am

I posted the same request for feedback in several other places and after some more research my conclusion and advice for anyone else doing a new build is:

    Double sided reflective material is an essential component of a good insulation strategy

    It acts in two ways: (1) the side facing the roof reflects a proportion of the heat that builds up in your roof material and (2) the side that faces into the roof space emits less radiant heat because it is shiny.

    In order to work properly, there must be an air gap between the tiles and the reflective material. Where the hot tile touches the foil, heat is simply conducted and the benefit of the reflective surface is lost although it will still emit less than the tile would alone.

The last point is the tricky one, given Thai building techniques, and my guess is that the vast majority of installations get much less value for their spend on this material than if the contractors, owners and architects really knew the principles of radiant barriers (that's the thing to Google, btw). I have spent much of the last couple of days trying to devise a workable way to apply the material to the underside of either the purlines or the rafters (preferable) but so far without success. I can figure out how you could do it on a simple roof but ours is complex and I don't see the contractor's people being able to cope.

SCG has tackled this issue in two ways. Firstly, if you buy their expensive but attractive galvenised bolt together roofing system, the foil is placed over the rafters and the purlines bolted on top, leaving a very nice gap of about two inches. True, the part where the purline touches the foil will be ineffective as far as reflecting the radiant heat goes but then the rafter is directly below so it's really out of the running anyway. If you want to see this, go to your local HomeExpert branch and take a look at the mock up of their fancy roofing system. The second way is something I've not actually seen but I understand they have launched a foil product which is shaped so that it hangs down between the purlines in a controlled way, rather than just being fitted with a sag to try to create the air gap. I'm told this is even more expensive that the Chang brand reflective foil - more of this below.

Image

Which type of foil got my vote? I took samples of the SCG Chang foil from our loft and and noted in passing that the bags that StayCool fibre looks like the same foil but single sided so cut a sample of that too. I bought a roll of OHO Cool 101 F-2 and a roll of Cool Guard Woven Cloth from for 1750 and 2250 baht respectively. The latter didn't figure in my earlier post because first time round I missed the significance of the woven bit - on a second visit, someone had kindly ripped open one of the packs and I was super impressed to find that it wouldn't tear without real effort and given how easily the regular foil is damaged it leapt into the lead.

Image

We examined, tore, ripped, stretched and burned the samples from Chang and OHO and could detect no difference at all between them other than the 2000 baht price. They really do look as if they came off exactly the same production line and I can't think of any way to justify buying the more expensive of the two.

The Cool Guard was so much stronger and easier to handle that it was the clear winner so that's one we're going with, although I think we will end up fitting it over the purlines and letting it sag between them as much as is practical to provide the air gap.

The excellent diagram below is how I would like to have arranged it but it will have to wait for the next project!

Image
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Greenside » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:59 pm

The roof steelwork is still in progress, meanwhile the tile laying crew have shown up a couple of times and moved quantities of tiles to what I assume are strategic locations. The reflective foil is ready and waiting but the welds at the end of the building that I expect them to start tiling are still not checked and painted to my satisfaction - we have a site meeting in the morning and this will top the list as our luck in having very little rain can't hold out much longer and we're all anxious to get waterproof ASAP.

The welding is tricky to photograph without scrambling about in the roof so the pictures are pretty rather than very informative.

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First fit electrics next week...
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Mike Judd » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:28 am

With welds, it's all about penetration of the two metals with the welding. Just the small weld done properly is tremendously strong as long as it is not under any tearing action. So a Tack or weld on all sides that a tear could start from will fix that possibility. Get your welder to just Tack two pieces of metal together on one side only , you will not be able to break that weld in sheer no matter how much load you put on it, but lever from the open side and it breaks easily. "Trust me" :roll: :roll:
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Greenside » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:06 am

As the discussions about the size our power cables rumble on in the background, I think we're about to face the first contentious issue of the build. The welders have been hard at it for about two weeks now and have finished the assembly work. The contractor and my architect reviewed the work last weekend. agreed on the welds that still needed priming - in particular where the purlines are joined to the top of the rafters - and set tomorrow as the date when the tiling crew would start work. I had to be out all day and have returned home to find this hasn't been done and given that we went to lengths to do a good thorough job on the priming (closed sections were dipped rather than sprayed) it seems to me that these are pretty clearly vulnerable points for rust to develop.

Here's where I mean, and although the picture is pretty rubbish you get the idea.

Image

Every joint is primed on the top but the bottom inside the C section they are left without protection.

What I suspect is going to happen is that the tiling people will turn up bright and early in the morning and I'll be forced to call the architect over and call a halt until it's sorted out. I have no qualms about doing that but I thought I'd like to get other opinions as to how critical priming these welds really is or whether you think I'm creating a storm in a teacup.
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby gliffaes » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:57 am

Id prime everything just to stop them being lazy and show them you intend to check everything...and twice too, it dries fast so you start one end go back an can then do it again
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Re: Building A House In Chiang Mai At The Worst Possible Tim

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:08 am

Greenside wrote:As the discussions about the size our power cables rumble on in the background, I think we're about to face the first contentious issue of the build. The welders have been hard at it for about two weeks now and have finished the assembly work. The contractor and my architect reviewed the work last weekend. agreed on the welds that still needed priming - in particular where the purlines are joined to the top of the rafters - and set tomorrow as the date when the tiling crew would start work. I had to be out all day and have returned home to find this hasn't been done and given that we went to lengths to do a good thorough job on the priming (closed sections were dipped rather than sprayed) it seems to me that these are pretty clearly vulnerable points for rust to develop.

Here's where I mean, and although the picture is pretty rubbish you get the idea.

Image

Every joint is primed on the top but the bottom inside the C section they are left without protection.

What I suspect is going to happen is that the tiling people will turn up bright and early in the morning and I'll be forced to call the architect over and call a halt until it's sorted out. I have no qualms about doing that but I thought I'd like to get other opinions as to how critical priming these welds really is or whether you think I'm creating a storm in a teacup.

Your house, your money, your choice. I would be insisting that they put on 2 coats of primer on the weld area as it's more prone to rust.

Also it's easy to get to now but impossible once the tiles are on.
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