Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:53 pm

A while since the last update that's included a slow period and a couple of bursts of activity.

After the initial work on the roof, progess stalled on the roof for a week or so. The front and back stairs were levelled and tidied up, and some work done in the bathrooms. But the main other work was the electricians pulling the cables and setting up the main wiring system.

My wife was especially wary of this, having read online about shortcuts that were often taken with this and had been checking spec on cables and suchlike to make sure it was of a decent standard and amperage ratings were correct to the usage (as I understand it). The initial inspection on the first day looked good with nicely laid conduit and junction boxes, and wires labelled. So she popped a junction box cover to find the wires twisted together and covered in electrician's tape...not good. The builder arrived a few minutes later as we'd got there before he'd done his inspection and confirmed that wire nuts should be used throughout, and by the next day they were. So the contractors were cutting corners and got caught, but the main thing is that we caught them and it got fixed.

We queried about the roof progress and got confirmation that it would be done by the end of the month. We know the builder has other jobs on and his contract with us is to get our build finished by the end of the year, give or take a reasonable delay. Part of me expects people on site working flat-out all day every day, but I have to accept that he manages the builds so he meets his commitments to all his customers and this, though frustrating in a way, is reasonable. But when nothing had been done by the 30th and the roof still had a big hole in it about 10 weeks after being started, both my wife and I were getting stressed over the lack of progress and communication. We met the builder on site the next day and told him he'd missed his own deadline and done nothing on it for 2 weeks. He confirmed he was juggling his team, and he was reminded that communication has been good between us previously and all he needed to do was to call us and explain the delay. He got the message and assured us that work would continue on Thursday and would take a week. It did start on time, and it has been completed today. There was a tricky corner they messed up, but that was fixed today and I'm pleased with the final result. The inner gable-end things will get done over the next few days, but we are now mostly watertight at last.

We've also had the electric board come and drop two lamposts with supporting guy wires up the path to the house, and there is a cable between them but it looks more like a guide wire than a live one. No matter as the electric needs to be finished and tested in the house before they connect us up, which will be a while longer yet. But that was about 2 weeks from ordering to installation which was about 3 months quicker than I expected it to be :-)

The kitchen design has been reviewed after a site visit. We lost about 120mm off the length of the smaller wall after deciding to double-brick the longer wall to avoid visible columns so we lost a small cupboard extension at one end and have a slightly more limited choice of widths of sinks. No biggie. More important was that the final render showed the higher cupboard nearest the window was well over the window which we'd just not realised in planning. So that cupboard is gone too. Final decisions on wall and floor tiles are still being made, but the builder knows where plumbing points are, and has a couple of changes to make to the power points for the extractor fan and oven.

The other overly-long-and-drawn-out designs have been for the bathrooms. But we finally made our minds up and confirmed spec for the tiles and main fittings. Then found out that I'd wrongly assumed that wall tiles are a standard size, so the 8x16 white tiles from the local SCG where we're getting most of the stuff don't line up with the 10x16 bold blue tiles we found from Yui Long in town. So the SCG tiles have been returned and correctly-sized white tiles found in Yui Long. Fiddly stuff that was easy to get right, but we didn't.

However, the exceptionally nice (and expensive) tiles we did decide on for the en-suite bathroom are going up and it's looking good. We've been unsure of the size of it on and off, but now we can get a better feel for it and it feels roomy enough. Not huge, but I don't think it will feel pokey at about 2.9m x 1.8m built size. The other one is 2.9m x 1.5m and this has more white tiles on the walls to give it a bigger feel even though it's smaller. It should be okay too. But they're not going to change size now so they will be how they will be.

Next is for the gable-ends to be finished, then internal ceilings and lights. Tiling and fitting of the bathrooms will continue.

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Wiring down the hall to the fuse box


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Wiring in the main room


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Front stairs


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Telegraph pole with guy wire


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Mmmm...porcelain tiles...


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With a roof!
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:09 pm

A steady 10 days with good progress. We're coming into the final few main jobs now, and with workers constantly on site, we're able to review last week's work with the builder, preview next week's work, and cover any issues as we go. This is mostly how it was before the roof when communication fell short, so the build is feeling good now.

The electricians have wired up for the ceiling lights, fixed switches and plugs, and done the tidiest job routing the conduit for the ceiling lights downstairs. And the fuse box is up, with the incoming power cables ready to be connected up once we're more finished and have passed inspection.

The internal ceiling supports are all up and look fine, and about 50% of the outside ceiling supports have also been done, and have been covered with SmartWood ceiling liner ready for painting. The roof supports are being put in as part of this, and we have ended up going with steel rather than wood. I wanted the joins to the wall to be more pronounced than they are, but my wife likes them as they are so they will be filled and painted a wood color in due course. A very decent job that we're happy with. And the gable end thingies have ended up looking very nice too. The air-flow doors need to be made as the ones from the store are too big, so there is some finishing needed there, but it's looking great.

The tiler has done a very nice job in our bathroom too. However one vertical strip of mosaic tiles is out by about 1/3rd of a tile, and I can't quite understand how he could do the rest of it almost perfectly, then be out on this one. However, for such a minor thing and for what would be involved in ripping out the tiles and redoing it, we're going with the slight offset. It's easily something we can live with :-)

The outside ceiling will continue and should get finished this week, and tiling on the second bathroom should start too, though the tiles are on order as someone else had just bought up all the stock of the ones we wanted. So either this week or next, which is fine as long as we know why the delay is happening. Window panels and external doors should be featuring soon, along with locks, hinges and glass. I want friction stays in all window panels, with a central vertical handle and two hex key locks at top and bottom, but we need to see if those locks will fit. And we're going for laminated glass for the extra safety, slight security and soundproofing benefit, and UV protection. But that will be a few weeks away yet.

Good progress. Good communication. Good week :-)

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Ceiling light wiring


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Fuse box


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Rear outside ceiling


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Tiled bathroom


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Balcony celiing and gable end
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby chippy72 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:06 am

Can anyone tell me the going rate form2 of rendering for labour or labour and materials. Many thanks
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:34 am

Can anyone tell me the going rate form2 of rendering for labour or labour and materials. Many thanks


It's usual to start your own thread rather than use someone else's. Post your question in one of the main forums.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:49 am

Going well again for the rest of this week, with the outside ceiling being finished all the way around, and a very nice job has been done on that. It looks great :)

The bathroom floor tiles have gone down, and although the colour that seems slightly off in the photos, they go fine with the wall tiles and it's another neat and tidy job by the tiler. We've still not heard that the tiles for the other bathroom are in stock yet, so maybe we won't see anything happening there for a week or two. It's in hand though, so no concerns there.

The big surprise was the interior ceiling going up, as I went for a look round one day and it was about 80% done. Totally unexpected and, again, a nice job done. That was finished in all rooms in a couple of days, including bringing the kitchen ceiling down by 20cm as it was at 3.1m and we wanted it slightly lower than the main rooms which are 3.0m. And an access hatch to the roof space in the second bathroom. We have also had to accept that a design fault meant that two rear walls that protrude 1 metre further out from the house meant that there was insufficient ceiling space to have flat ceilings. So they've had to step down for the final metre. This was a slip made by the architect that we didn't pick up, and it was only noticed once the roof and the walls were up. There was no choice but to shrug and go with it. And they've done it nicely enough.

We paid for the kitchen this week too, as the 30% discount promotion was due to expire on Wednesday, and though there will probably be another 30% discount for the next month, it would've been annoying if it was only 25%. We'd decided on what we wanted, so it was a case of finalising paperwork. The expected delivery date is 19th November and the builder says he can have the walls, ceiling and floors all done in time for that. Though we now really do need to make decisions about the floor tiles and wall colors so he can get on with those.

And we've chosen inside lights (white rimmed recessed downlights throughout) and some outside lights, and chosen paint colors for the ceilings (white outside, very light grey inside) and walls (very light cream inside, slighter darker cream outside). So the next jobs will include fixing ceiling lights and painting ceilings inside, and prepping and painting walls.

The builder has also said that if the rains are very kind to us and everything goes well, it could be ready by the end of November. Still no rush on this, and to be in by the end of the year will be great :-)

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Bathroom floor


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Ceiling


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Stepped down ceiling


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Outside ceiling finished
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:01 pm

Some good progress in the last few weeks, with a holiday week off for most of the team so only 2 week's work done over the three weeks.

The downstairs tiling has been completed, and to a nice standard too. We're very pleased with how it's gone, and with the choice of tiles - it's just the effect we wanted. The wall tiles in the main bathroom have steadily been completed, and now just need grouting, so that should only be another day, though the floor is still to be done. A different tiler this time, but a nice job done again so no complaints there.

Downlights have gone into every room except the bathrooms and, though simple, we're fine with how they look. And the ceilings have been primed and painted with a light grey/mushroom colour everywhere, except the bathroom where the tiler was working, and it all goes nicely and looks good. We're wanting a combined light/fan in the bathrooms, though we're a bit unsure about the only style the builder has been able to get, so we'll see how one looks before installing the other. And we're probably going to have to review the sink being used in the narrower bathroom as the one we've chosen to go in both bathrooms may be a bit too big in the smaller one.

The inside walls have also been primed and 2 or 3 coats should go up this week depending how well the chosen colour covers. A bit of the final colour has been done, but just around window/door frames and switches/sockets. Some of the outside has been primed, including the outside ceiling, but this is only partway done. The plaster mouldings are also going up, with just one stretch along the kitchen wall to be finished. Gaps in the eaves have been filled ready for painting, so overall this week should see lots of painting everywhere.

As as we potentially come into the last 10 weeks, I've drawn up a full to-do list, and it's not that long. Some items are very small (one floor tile downstairs has not been grouted), but some are pretty big, like 'Parquet floor'. Other stuff will come up over the next few weeks, but this is going to be the base for the weekly meeting with the builder. Both to make sure that any missed items don't get forgotten, and to make sure the expected completion date is realistic. I'm still fine if we're in any time in January, as long as I know what's what.

So, site meeting tomorrow, but as long as we see a couple of jobs in progress constantly for the next few weeks, we should be fine.

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Downstairs tiles


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Bathroom tiling


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Painted ceiling with lights


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Final colour over primer


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Mouldings
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:19 am

Some slowish progress since the last update. We had a local holiday for a few days so lost most of a week except for the tiler who's not had any time off at all. This means we've got the bathroom floor done (though some grout still needs doing on the walls), and the two walls in the kitchen that we're tiling. The week after the holiday saw the subfloor being floated, and though there are a couple of places that need levelling, it's pretty good as it is.

The mouldings on the outside of the house have been completed, though there is some pointing to be tidied up that is going to be difficult to do now as we've had rain for a few days and the forecast says we've got about another week to go before it clears. Which also the painting will be difficult too. Downstairs is now primed, and the outside walls except where the mouldings need tidying, but I doubt we'll see much progress on this because it's just too damp.

We had a long meeting with the builder on Sunday to plan the next few months and find out what's happening with some of the outstanding tasks. We're into the last 3 months or so of the build, with 3 stages left to pay, and it looks like we're not going to be in for the end of the year unless the weather suddenly turns very much in our favour. No big issue as I was working towards the end of Jan to be in, but it would have been nicer to be in earlier. Not much we can do but organise what can be done as best as we can. So:

Windows and doors - the order had been put in and partially filled, but the supplier forgot about the rest of the order so we're now looking at 25th November for delivery. This is about 4 months after the initial order, and the builder is clearly not happy. It should have been chased earlier, and it wasn't, but that's how it is now.
Glazing - maybe a week to fit the windows and doors, and a week or two to measure, order and fit the glass.
Parquet floor - is not being fitted until the windows and doors are in
Kitchen - we could have gone with the original date of 17th Nov, but it would've meant having lots of expensive stuff in a house we couldn't secure, so we've put fitting back to 19th Dec.
Painting - totally dependent on the weather. The builder knows this is priority and is under instructions to paint whatever he can, whenever it is possible. Best would be if we get a week of dry weather so it can all get done, but otherwise it might be done as-and-when.
Plumbing - sewage tank is on site with plans to set that, and a wet sump. But this one also depends on the rain. Water tank and approach has been decided on, and the order to supply water is with the Tessabahn. This can be done if it's raining.
Bathrooms - sinks and toilets can go in at any time, though we've looked again at the sink for the smaller bathroom and might have a slightly smaller one. So we're doing the ensuite first, getting a feel for how well it fits, and will decide from there. Other bathroom fittings can go in later.
Electrical - plumbing needs to be in so some false ceilings can go up downstairs to cover the pipes, so the last lights can be fitted, and all switches finished off down there, as well as supplies to the water pumps. Bathroom lights/fans to go in. So some work can be done now, but some is waiting for the water system to be finished and checked.
Balconies, stairs and railings - not waiting for anything, so can be done anytime. Not a priority but if we're waiting on weather for everything else, this might get done early.
Roof - the gable vents have still not been fitted, nor the lightening conductor. The roof engineer fell off the roof on a different site and broke his leg a month back. They'll get done, but now we know why they're outstanding.

So mostly, it'll be down to rain. And when they windows and doors are in, they'll need to be stained which will also be affected by how damp it is. It could turn to be a frustrating month or two, and the stress levels have been getting a bit higher more recently anyway because we'd not been digging deep enough to establish reasons behind lack of progress on some areas. The meeting on Sunday cleared that up, so now we just need to get into the right frame of mind that there is absolutely nothing we can do about the weather, and make sure that other work continues even though it's being done very differently from the order laid out in the building contract.

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Sub-floor


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Bathroom floor (finished since this photo)


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Downstairs is primed


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Mouldings and lots of primer outside


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Kitchen wall tiles
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:10 pm

somsip wrote:
So mostly, it'll be down to rain. And when they windows and doors are in, they'll need to be stained which will also be affected by how damp it is. ]


I would recommend doing the chandrite and stain before you put the windows and doors in. You may need to do a little touch up afterwards but you will avoid most of the problems of the stain getting onto the surrounding surfaces.


You are using Chandrite on the wood aren't you?
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby pipoz » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:40 pm

Sometimewoodworker wrote:
somsip wrote:
So mostly, it'll be down to rain. And when they windows and doors are in, they'll need to be stained which will also be affected by how damp it is. ]


I would recommend doing the chandrite and stain before you put the windows and doors in. You may need to do a little touch up afterwards but you will avoid most of the problems of the stain getting onto the surrounding surfaces.


You are using Chandrite on the wood aren't you?


I did that. Used Chandrite, painted it on my internal timber frames and doors, before I stained them with JOTUN. It only took 30 minutes to for three frames and doors. Its pretty much a clear type of finish, soaks into the timber and drys in 30 minutes. Bought a 2 or 3 Lt tin of Chandrite from Thaiwatsadu, for around TB 600, I think

Regards

Phil
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby Bangyai » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:02 pm

Beautiful looking house Somsip. Can't wait to see it all finished. Love your interior choice of materials. Very easy on the eye all nice to look at. I wish we had built our home up higher like yours since the space created underneath is very useful and a nice place to sit. Unfortunately my wife doesn't like stairs so she vetoed it.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:13 pm

Sometimewoodworker wrote:I would recommend doing the chandrite and stain before you put the windows and doors in. You may need to do a little touch up afterwards but you will avoid most of the problems of the stain getting onto the surrounding surfaces.


That's the plan. The windows are now ready, but couldn't be delivered today as due because of the state of the driveway up to the house. But soon.

Sometimewoodworker wrote:You are using Chandrite on the wood aren't you?


And after reading up on this, I need to check with the builder exactly what is being used. Thanks for the tip off.


Mark...
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:18 pm

Bangyai wrote:Beautiful looking house Somsip. Can't wait to see it all finished. Love your interior choice of materials. Very easy on the eye all nice to look at. I wish we had built our home up higher like yours since the space created underneath is very useful and a nice place to sit. Unfortunately my wife doesn't like stairs so she vetoed it.


Thanks for the compliments :-) We're happy with it so far, and I'm hoping the parquet floor really sets it off when that goes in. A little way off yet though.

The higher floor was mostly necessity because of the closeness of the river, though it would have to be a very bad flood for it to get much above the ground level. We have options with it too, like it will be the place to park the bike and car, and I miss my hammock so a place will be found to swing and chill, and maybe one of those heavy, solid wood tables and seats.

I'll see how I feel about the stairs in another 20 years :)
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:19 pm

pipoz wrote:Bought a 2 or 3 Lt tin of Chandrite from Thaiwatsadu, for around TB 600, I think


Seems kind of silly not to then. I'll check into it, thanks.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:37 pm

Rain, rain and more rain. And the builder's mother-in-law died suddenly so he had lots to do for the funeral and other arrangements for a week.

Since we agreed a plan of action with the builder to get as much painting done at every opporunity, it's thrown it down almost every day for 2 weeks. We've been on site twice when there had been a couple of drier days so the painting crew were there and ready for a full day's work, and each time the skies opened about 10:30am and that was it. So we've had the second coat inside, and a bit here and there on the outside. Which is frustrating.

The kitchen wall and floor tiles are done, except a bit which is waiting for the plumbing to go in. Which is dependent on digging a big hole for the sewage tank and soakaways, which has depended on the weather too. However, the sewage tank went in this morning, and the concrete rings for the soakaways were being rolled in when we left mid-morning, and it was dry for the rest of the day so we might be at a stage to get some pipes in and check for leaks, which will allows us to finalise the kitchen and get the bathrooms fitted out. The shelves for the sinks are in, with one sink just rested in place to see how it looks. The water tank has been placed, and we've agreed on this to be fed by the tessabahn supply with the borehole as a backup, and a quiet pump giving us enough pressure up to the outlets. I had juggled the idea of a pump feeding to a pressure tank so we'd have water if the electric cut out, but we decided this is something we can easily do later if we want to.

Otherwise, the mouldings have now been fully finished in a dry spell at some time, everywhere is very tidy. And the river isn't at all alarming even after all the rain we've had. It has meant the drive to the house has been badly churned up so we told the builder to get it topped up with stones so it can start settling before we have to drive the car up it to the house, and to help the builders and various delivery people get access.

I think I had my worse week just after the last update. I was frustrated, and disappointed that so little was happening and all we needed was a few days of sunshine. But then the builder MIL died, which made me realise there are more important things in life than getting the house finished quickly, and I've shifted my attitude a bit. I'm still checking Wunderground about 5 times a day to see if we've still got a window of opportunity for painting early next week, but I've got a bit of mai bpen rai back. Which was needed as there was a bit too much stress being felt when really, it didn't help in any way at all.

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Second coat of paint inside


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Light and fan/light on separate switches in the bathrooms


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Kitchen windows ready to go in, walls not painted yet


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Sink plinth


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A non-too-scary river


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A new view from across the field


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Digger not sliding off and falling into the pond
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:09 pm

Sometimewoodworker wrote:You are using Chandrite on the wood aren't you?


And just mentioned this to my wife who confirmed it is being used. So that's all good :-)
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