Our house at Wat Sing

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

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Re: Our house at Wat Sing

Postby planemad » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:01 pm

It is now early April, I am not due back for another 2 weeks, lots can happen in that time!
N April 2 2013 (1).jpg
Early April and the rendering is underway

N April 2 2013 (5).jpg
The rear is being prepared for rendering

We now move forward a couple of weeks, I am back in country and here are the views that greet me.
Na April 23 2013 (1).jpg
Side and front now rendered and first coat of primer goes on.

Na April 23 2013 (2).jpg
The front, rendered and primed. I like it!

Na April 23 2013 (13).jpg
From the rear...

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Living room and entry on the left to the kitchen

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The small Thai style kitchen, mainly for smelly fish!!!

I had hoped for a little more progress than I found, but not too worried about it. As mentioned, we were not expecting to move in just yet, anyway, I was home for 3 weeks so I was sure I would see a big difference by the time I had to leave again.
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Our house at Wat Sing

Postby planemad » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:04 pm

Wow, sorry about the delay, had to answer the phone!!! OK. so 14 months have passed since last update and have to admit to become somewhat jaded with lots happening at work, but not for too much longer!!!

I left the story around May 2013 when the rendering was well under way, this was closely followed by paint and completion of the internal decor.
Pc may 14 2013 (10).JPG
We did not want to be too garish, but we liked the way it looks.

Now that the outside was pretty much completed, time to concentrate on the inside. The living room and both bedrooms all use the same tiles, saves money and makes the job a little easier for the tiler.
P May 2 2013 (11).jpg
The living room. At 9+ metres long must have been quite a chore!

As you can see, the windows are yet to be installed, but that will be one of the final jobs. All the workers have commented on the cooling breeze that flows through the house, so at least we got the position right.

I said earlier (like last year), that the builder had not followed the floor plan quite as well as I would have liked. The bedroom is about 1 metre shorter than planned, not a major problem but the wardrobes which we planned to move from the condo will not now fit, so, off to the furniture shop im Uthai Thani and spend some more beer coupons. The other problem was that the shower area was designed to over hang outside the main building by 1 meter, the builder gave us less than half that! The shower area now is rather bijou to say the least. If I was one of those who support the idea that the bathroom is the new.....whatever, I would be peeved, however, for me the bathroom fulfills the required objectives, i.e. the 3 three "S". So again not something to spit the dummy over.

Once the living room had been tiled, the lekkie stepped in to install the lighting. We wanted 2 fan/light units which is what we bought and he fitted. When I went to try them out, I tried all of the switches but nothing caused them to operate. Check the circuit breakers, we all know that Thais use the breakers rather like ordinary switches, but everything was fine, so, find lekkie and see what the problem was. He looked me as if I was stupid and pulled one of the chains attached to the units and you know the rest. It was too late to have switches installed so it is one of the little tribulations we have to live with. To make matters worse, having raised the ceilings as advised by the builder, the chains were too far from the ground for my 160cm (5`4") wife to reach so we had to find extensions. This has caused some frustrations, but I suppose we dont notice any problems now.
Pc may 14 2013 (8).JPG
Before extensions added. By the way, original chain is silver colour, but we could only find gold, oh well!

Now we turn to the area which has caused me the most agitation, the kitchen! I had it all sorted out and even drew a plan for the builder as to what went where, well, it didnt! The wife had found some nice kitchen tiles with cooking scenes on them and they looked good on the wall. Of course, we had decided where to place the pots and pans drawers and the single door unit for the gas bottle to fit. In the end, he ignored the pots drawer altogether and just left a large tiled space and the only place for the gas was now almost 4 metres away from the burners. Not ideal!
R Aug aj.jpg
Originally, this space was for the gas bottle, now it will have to fit the pots drawer (awaiting fit)

Pc may 14 2013 (1).JPG
Note the nice pictured tiles. The small door in the centre was supposed to be for pot drawer, not anymore!

Finally, the wall mounted cupboard unit, as originally planned, now covers the picture tiles, so kitchen build, 6 out of 10, could do much better. Again, we have learned to live with it, and the vexation it originally caused is now well behind us.

Cannot add anymore pics right now, so will return very soon with a few more (talking days not months this time).
R Aug ah.jpg
Looks OK now, but first impressions were somewhat mooted.
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Our house at Wat Sing

Postby planemad » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:55 pm

My last update was mainly referring to the kitchen, there was quite a bit of re-work to do to get it the way we wanted. The builder had not come up against a built-in fan oven before, so I had to sort that out. Anyway, before we left last May things had been squared away, albeit not exactly as planned, but perfectly functional and, we think, good looking.
May  (23).JPG
Blinds fitted, pot drawer in place, and not a single tile broken that shouldnt have been.

Whilst the pictures might look somewhat unruly, they were taken minutes before we left so furious final clearing away was going on behind me.
May  (24).JPG
Imagine this without the clutter, works for us! I know, the wood doesnt match, call it the eclectic look.

All the other rooms were now fully furnished and the house was completely habitable. All the little complaints we has by now had been ironed out. The worst was the waste pipe in the master bathroom, the place stank! We assumed it was something we were doing wrong as there was no extractor fan, just a small window through which the stale air was ventilated. The builder came to have a look and decided the pipe did not have enough drop on it and that the pedestal needed sealing. He fixed the lot in 30 mins and problem solved.
At this point we turned our attention to the outside of the house, it did rather look like a wilderness and division lines between SIL and MIL's house did not exist. We thought about a perimeter wall, but at over 300 M long, the cost was too much. A simple angle iron post with chain link sounded OK, but er'indoors was not keen. She then suggested a hedge, practical, reasonably cheap, looks nice and reasonably easy to maintain. So, off to Chatuchak market any midweek (Tues, Wed or Wed, Thurs I can never remember). I was looking for privet but could not see that but did find "red robin'' which, if you have never seen it before is a thick growing dense green foliage bush capable of growing to over 2 M high and quite thick. What makes it look different from the other hedge plants is that all new growth is a burnished burgundy colour, and fast growing! We ordered 100 plants (@ 150 baht each), just to see how they grew in our soil.
R Aug ap.jpg
Just finished planting, give them a good watering-in and hope for the best, ohh, and a few handfulls of buffaloo "poo".

The next job was to create a gateway for the slope at the back of the house through which we could bring the car (the builder had already extended the concrete at the rear of the house to 4 M and made an access slope for us). This was an exercise in ingenuity to behold. He used 2 pieces of broken pilings, each about 2.5 to 3 M long to become the posts, so, he and a couple of his lads dug a couple of holes with centres about 5 M apart, then, with his little tractor he towed the pieces of pilings into place and with a simple ''A" frame, winch and pulley and a crow bar, he placed them in the holes and filled them with concrete. Most of the time they were positioning the posts, I was paymaster to a shopping trip for the wife, so did not see exactly how they achieved their objectives. Anyway, 2 hours after start, they were off, job done, so I went to inspect, wow. What a job, the faces of the posts were perfectly parallel as was the distance apart, but what shook me the most was a straight edge and spirit level across the tops of the posts showed them to be exactly the same height. I will never again question Thai workers ability to do a good job. I then constructed a pair of gates to fill the void expecting them to be nothing more than temporary.
May  (11).JPG
Voila, a working pair of gates on a pair of carefully positioned posts, A job very well done.

The back of the house was now nicely secluded and an ideal place to knock the froth off a few at the end of the day, with the locals of course!
May  (7).JPG
End of the day retreat, missus can dry her washing, what could be better? Mosquitos, what mosquitos? Did I mention that next door had a hugh pond (small lake).

Whilst the builder was laying the concrete at the back of the house, he was also making a hard standing at the front for the aviary. A bare patch of concrete does not make a good pic, so here is one with the complete aviary (before paint etc.).
May  (14).JPG
The area behind the aviary will eventually house the fruit trees, not decided which ones yet, but that is another matter.

Still got quite a bit of work to do at the front of the house, but it will come in time. We have some simple but colourful plans in this area.
May  (3).JPG
Under construction (consideration more likely).
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Our house at Wat Sing

Postby Thaipete » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:29 pm

That looks like a really nice house - congratulations!

As yet, I haven't had the spare time to read a lot of your thread - will try and get around to it bit by bit - and looking forward to that, as well. It's nice to see the finished product before starting to look at the beginning (and maybe all the problems that go with that!). :mrgreen:

Cheers :D
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:34 pm

Re: Our house at Wat Sing

Postby planemad » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:15 pm

As you can see, I am a frequent corespondent :D , so I thought it was about time to complete the story (well, maybe). Much water has passed under the bridge since my last posting, I have no retired and we are living here permanently now. So, from those days which seem so long ago when we first considered the build, it is now complete and lived in, this however does uncover some of the little oversights when first we approached the project.
All the cupboards in the kitchens are now fixed and in place with plenty of storage, the Thai kitchen does not get used that much, so it has become the utensil storage room.
6 Sept 2014 (15).JPG
Pots for everything, yet we go to the market for poly bags full of stuff, oh well!

There is nothing much to say about the interior of the house except it is fully functional, though with hindsight, the guest bathroom would have been smaller and the en suite larger, but we have learned to live with it.
Since my last posting, most changes have taken place to the outside, the aviary did not look as if it would withstand a serious weathering, so it has been clad, inside and out with "smart Board" (subject to another thread about fences etc.), and painted, it now looks really good!
This is now quite strong and has withstood some might storms so far.

I said earlier that I wanted to grow some fruit trees, limes (lemons to the Thais) seem readily available so, with a few concrete rings placed behind the aviary, we make a start.
These rings cost 100 Baht each! How do they do it?

Over the months, the area around the aviary has seen quite a lot of concrete added, by the side of the birds site, I aim to build an Orchid growing area and next to that we bought a Gazeebo type tent, it quickly showed signs of aging, so 10 mm plywood clad with Smart Board again has done the job, it has a dried grass roof now and all the window openings are mozzie netted, when I get the electric in, it will be a nice place for a quiet sun downer or 2!
Yes, I would have put the metal work under the grass as well, too late now.

The wooden gates have also taken a hit, actually, I don't know why we bothered, family just comes marching in anyway. However, they have been very good to us, never once have they asked for anything and they are very quick to come forward with help and advice. Wouldn't change them for the world.
6 Sept 2014 (2a).JPG
They look good don't they? Never closed however so they are nothing more than a feature.

That really is about it, we learned a lot on the way, made quite a few mistakes some of which we have to live with, others have been sorted. I really have to say that whilst this is hardly a dram dwelling, it is comfortable, spacious (mostly) and bright, I love it here.
Just one more point which I would like to share, the aviary looked rather bare as it was, so needed "something" to tart it up. The wife suggested growing grapes, so we got another 5 of those expensive rings and I have built a matrix for the vines to grow over, even if we don't get grapes, the leafy cover afforded will be most comforting whilst sitting and observing the birds.
Just over a months growth, although there is a large area to cover, I have patience.
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:18 pm


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