House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:04 pm

schuimpge wrote:
Roger Ramjet wrote:You've just poured concrete on un-chipped, unpainted, soft, cheap mean and nasty grade 3 steel and you expect it to hold up concrete and the weight of people.

Got to agree with RR here. That's sloppy work, which I'm not used too when reading your building stories.
At the very least, you should have cleaned up the welds and give it a good coat of primer.
There's a good amount of water that went inside the steel beams and between your supports and the beams.
That's all going to rust very fast and will give you lots of problems over time. Hope not, but wouldn't bet on it.


Luc I'm With you on that. Also don't forget that the plywood support will keep it nice and damp too.

If any tradesmen had come up with the work you've shown you would have made them rip it out and fired them. Your "welds" might be good enough as tack welds but certainly not as finished work. Uncleaned, unpainted and with the water that is going to make its way down inside when it rains I wouldn't be laying bets on the life span of that work.

I can only think that you are going to sell the place so don't give a monkeys about the long term, or that it's another of your jokes and it gets ripped out and done correctly later.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:04 pm


OK that’s fair enough. I accept that for presentation it was shucking fit and by God yes, if I had been paying someone to do that then yes it would have been D.C.M(Don’t come Monday). :wink:

However there’s a difference between knowing the reliability of the job you have done yourself and not knowing the reliability of a job done by someone else...who would you trust?

I know 100% that my welding joints are fit for purpose. :) Untidy but tested. :) Braced with hammers and wedged with ply. Nothing will ever fall through; impossible. Mesh over the whole area and small concrete panels. Even a floor tile of 40x40 on a mortar bed can take so much weight, which actually is carried mainly by the decking steelwork.

I don’t follow your un primed steel scenario, all the steel is primed,the unpainted steel is the slag protected welds. :? No water could have collected on the plywood and even if it had, with the heat we have that 60mm concrete would have dried completely in 3 days.

To repeat myself, two months on, my steel is still solid, :) no damp plywood, :) no movement cracks; :) the story will be same in 12 months no doubt when I develop the underside further.

I really don’t know why I am justifying myself to anyone; its only myself I need to justify it to. :wink:

I can take criticism, not very well and will of course remember all this slagging off but technique is learned, not in two days though; my judgement here required years of hard work and experience, and that’s good enough for me and the (current)wife. :)
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:49 pm

Chapter 12 day 9 and 10

Its actually a two day leisurely break from my decking work. I have enjoyed the last two days so much I am feeling lazy to make a start on the floor tiling.
The truth is, its not as straightforward as I would have hoped. The welding was a pissball :wink: , a bit unconventional and apparently quite controversial but there is no danger of any of it collapsing now or in twenty years time.

Anyway on Wasus day off we started with a tad of man shopping, just two pairs of new shorts is all I need so I know the mall, I know the shop as I go for the same thing every year. No need to fanny about anywhere else; in and out and done. 30 minutes and back on the bike. :)

Next stop we are going to lake Huay Tung Tao.


Its just 10 minute out of the city, and its nice to go once a year as well if you get the chance. I have started many a mountain climb from this lake but today we have no rush so it’s a case of finding a bamboo shelter on the lake, ordering the food and having a couple of beers and doing nothing apart from dreaming about my future welding career.

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Wasu was doing what everyone under 50 does, lives and breathes the bloody fone.

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Enjoyed it there but to finish the day off I thought we could drop into the Promenada mall where our immigration office is and see what was showing at the cinemas.

Sadly we were there are totally the wrong time. It appeared that 3pm was the start time of late afternoon movies and 7pm was the start for early evening movies so we decided to forget that idea. I wasn’t bothered about what was showing, I just wanted a sleep as I was shattered drinking beer in the sun.

We came across this zen art shop in the mall.

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what a load of rubbish, kiddies stuff with a ridiculos I stood there staring at....well nothing, out he came, zen master.
if he calls me grasshopper I will use my only aikido technique on him.



"can i help you sir"

"no thankyou I am just looking"

"do you like"

"well, I like the idea of your ideas more than your actual ideas"

"thankyou sir"

"sorry gotta go, my wife is waving me, goodbye"

Well that was a fair enough way of saying his kiddies paintings are crap and best of all he is happy for my compliment :lol:

.....thats the art of sarcasm.

i should open a shop next door to him :wink:
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:21 pm

Chapter 12 day 9 and 10 contd

The next day I had planned on batting on with the floor tiles but an invitation for a beer meet up with a mate and me taking Wasu to work seemed like it was going to break into my work time at both ends of the day.
So I decided to make use of the free time, a makro trip, a haircut trip; and a trip to watch them put the final beams over the bridge.

The small local road adjacent to the main bridge was complete enough to enable the draw bar units to park up at the desired position for the cranes to unload.


The two cranes were berthed in the river itself; ok they had blocked it with tons of soil and there was a 360 on hand to push spoil under those outriggers where required.

Its been about 4 weeks since I was watching them make these concrete beams so I reckon they have been parked up and strengthening for at least 28 days before they were even moved.





that hook is almost as big as the man

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:33 pm

crane lifting beams contd:







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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:48 pm

Chapter 12 day 9 and 10 contd





Not long after I was on the small bridge one of the workers approached me, said hello and then started up a conversation with me.

I think he was one of the shuttering joiners but today was a day off because the crane crew were here instead.



Lovely little fella, he was from Myanmar and spoke pigeon English much better than my Thai. He was employed by the main contractor Ital-Thai and gets paid 360bt/day ($10 I think he said)

He was a bit shocked when I told him a typical shuttering joiner in the UK would be getting 10,000bt a day; and immediately said he was going to the Uk tomorrow. :lol:

I really enjoyed his company. He was telling me all about the cranes and what all the hand signals mean and each crane is charged out at 7k baht per hour but normally about 30k baht for the day. :shock:

What a font of knowledge….then he said he was going to get me an iced tea. :shock:

Back he came carrying an iced tea for me and he had also bought me a sun hat. How very kind of him.

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:59 pm

Chapter 12 day 9 and 10 contd







and now the next one...

I had to push off just as beam number 4 was arriving so I said my goodbyes. I will try and catch him again if only to repay him for the tea and hat; maybe a bunch of bananas from my bananaman friend.

I really should make a start on the floor tiling tomorrow before er indoors starts commenting.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:50 pm

Chapter 12 day 11

My tile cutter came out of retirement today. It was last in use in 2013 when we bought the house and I had to renovate the bathroom.

Before I could even start on the tiling though I had to remove the half tile at the top of the stairs so that I could run a full tile upto the metal sill. Not sure what mortar mix they used but it was like concrete. My hammer and bolster barely made any headway so I needed to get the grinder out. Evidently a 1:4 mix has become a 4:1 mix! :?


…but not before Wasu has buggered off,; when she sees the dust created by the grinder all hell will break loose. I just need to remember to spend some time at the end of the day out with the duster. :(

Starting with a full tile means I can just get 4 tiles exactly to fit ag’in the house. :)

My mortar mix was a strong 1:3, I don’t want to be taking any chances even though I fully expect the tile joints to crack on the deflecting steelwork. There is a bit of bounce on it; but then again there was on the main concrete planked floor in the house but that’s dissipated now.

I have set out for a 1cm fall over the 1.7m wide exposed decking area; enough to send the rain off but not enough so you would even notice a fall.

After setting out the four tiles to create the fall it was easy enough then to follow that row and so on.




By beer time, I had used up 7 bags of sand and laid 21 tiles and I have about 26 to finish off.

I need to get more sand for tomorrow, 8 bags should suffice, and another cement.


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Happy with progress today, it looks ok and hopefully will do the job its designed to do.

Not finished for today yet…the clean up… :(

Believe me when I say grinder dust gets everywhere even with doors shut.

In the dining room there was the profile of my new sun hat on the table, the table mats and my mobile phone was on a small table at the front…again dust everywhere. It was all over the hob and when I walked on the floor my footprints are everywhere!!

I have some more work ahead of me it seems.....

She will notice but maybe not tonight, I will get a lecture about not covering up for sure. :oops:
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:45 pm

Chapter 12 day 12

I started my day with fantastic English greasy fry up; :) its normally described as a full English but thats just a cover up for tourists.
Wasu enjoys a fry up also and tries to claim that deep frying a tomato makes the dish healthy!! :lol:

My target today is to finish the tiling on the decking. I had a count up and it looked like I may need to use some of the 4 spare tiles I had left over from the previous tiling job.

Before any of that though, my sand ran out, as did my cement last night so I will go and turn the car into a speedboat.

using masonry nails as spacers



All went well today, but it was 50/50 full tiles and cuts. As I was approaching the handrail and already 85% complete I was aware that my setting out lines were off…and I mean well off…bollox :(

I did mark out one line that followed the existing joint on the top decking and it was equidistant to the edge of the floor deck.

But what did I do? I started at the top of the steps and lined everything up with the cill on the top step.

Both steps are parallel but not at 90 to the decking (apparently)

Had I followed my original setting out line, I would have had a big taper at the top of the steps, which I could have cut!! now I have a taper on the decking tiles when you follow the handrail.

That was careless and I am annoyed with myself; though a cut at the top of the steps would be noticeable every single visit; the decking edge actually never gets seen.

The easy answer would be to take them all up and start again. The difficult and expensive task would be to take them up and the answer for now….its true that the old wooden house is on the piss anyway and if someone clever asks then I will say it appears to run off yes but actually that’s perspective!

Apart from that hiccup which to be honest wont really be noticed the finished job looks fine.



Its not finished really, tomorrow I will grout it and then at some point I need to make a transition strip between the tiles and the timber decking.

That last boards actually looks a tad thinner than the others so I may get away with swapping it for a thicker board.

With half a bucketful of gobo left and some tile off cuts I decided to plant them on the two shelves. Both cock ups by the first builder, the small ledges being the result of them setting out columns at ground floor and not plumbing them up properly.


The ledges were fashioned by the renderer who needed to dub out the walls to such an extent. :(
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:57 pm

Chapter 12 day 12 contd

In the end I was just one tile short. My 9 boxes were completely used up. Probably expended two tiles in offcuts but that was all so I had to find one extra tile; “jobs a guddun.” :)




Albeit I haven’t finished yet I can tot up the total cost for this decking.

All steel shelf angles free, off cuts and spares from the handrailing steel last year, wire mesh free roll from before……concrete infil, stone, sand, cement 938bt; floor tiles at 199bt/m2 1791bt cement 2 bag 170bt I mixed soft and sharp sand 14 bags 420bt. Grout maybe 21bt
Total 3340 bt.


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Wasu wants me to make the renovation of the old house a priority so that we can advertise it as a homestay bed and breakfast sort. It does need an overhaul despite me giving it one only 3 years ago.

My attempts at lining the rear wall of windows with mdf wasn’t a great idea. Well it was but then last year driving rain on these windows managed to let water in and over time the mdf has expanded to double its thickness; well it has where I screwed it. :(

The answer really is to do some timber cladding like the house over the windows and then re line the internal face again with something. same again or plasterboard.

I also built a boxing in the bathroom to hide the basin pipework, and to make a shelf, tiled it and it looked great. I have a suspicion now that ants have been eating the tile mortar as the tiles are now squelchy??...then agan it just may be dampness in the mdf that has expanded the mdf and broken the mortar bond;or termites eating the battens. Could be anything.

Lots to think about but I am thinking of getting away on the bike for a few days, maybe a week. :)

I haven’t done a decent bike ride for over 2 years now when me and my mate cycled all the way down to Chumpon and then threw the bikes on the ferry to Ko Tao.

This time its probably going to be a northern circuit, up to Thaton and then along the Mekong. Early stages yet but we want to be off in a 10 days or so. Not mentioned it to Wasu yet....but thats no promprem :)
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby ajarnudon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:22 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:To add:
Make sure you have the welder set at about 80 for soft metal.
If it doesn't ark then you have a bad earth. Drag the rod along the area you want to weld, nowhere else, to see if it arks. Clamp the earth as near to the area you are welding as possible.
You are welding in the easiest position (downwards) so make sure you don't stay too long on each U you do or you'll burn through.
Never try and weld on slag.
Make continuous runs with each rod.
Make sure the rod is clamped firmly.
Practice on scrap before you start. The objective is continuous U's.
Japanese rods are more expensive but superior.
The difference between a bad welder and a good one is an angle grinder.
But as you have already done this weeks ago you should be an expert by now. Currently you would get nothing out of ten for any of your so called welds

I think RR has given you, and I, a lot of excellent, practical advice here. I am also about to teach myself how to arc weld (I did a bit of oxy-welding about 50 years ago). I bought a new 200A inverter welder at Xmas, but it is yet to draw an arc. I am not as adventurous as you though, and will practice on scrap off-cuts until I get it right. There will be a lot of welding on my build, but I will leave it to an expert. My work will be non-structural, and the first project I have in mind is a frame to fit inside the the bed of my pickup to carry things like ladders, conduit, steel etc. Don't be discouraged, but practise whenever you get time on some scrap (as Roger suggests). I will be. And yes, there are hundreds of instructional videos on Youtube.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:04 pm

Chapter 12 day 13

Final task on the new terrace; grouting. My bag of spares had 3 full bags of slate grey, half a bag of chocolate and quarter bag of cement grey.

These tiles had been grouted with the chocolate but Wasu said it doesn’t matter just mix it all together!!!

So that’s what I did. :)


It mixed well and actually looked brown still so that’s was a great start. :)

Like most jobs, if you have the right tools it makes life so much easier. I have this grout float with a rubber sponge face. At one end the corners are at 90 degrees and the other end they are rounder corners.


The only concern I ever have when grouting is that you have enough grout to keep adding. You mix grout by adding it to water, so if ever you feel you put too much water in you do tend to panic a little if the grout is running out and its still like piss! :shock:

When you mix grout to that consistency of treacle you must let it stand and set for 10 minutes. Its always tempting to miss this stage and just bat on but slaking is important. It allows the water to completely soak into the dry powder. Remix again after the 10 minutes adding more water or grout to get it flowing like mayo’

It does go off fairly quickly here in these temperatures so a 2/3kg mix needs to pressed home within 30-45 minutes.

The process is a piss ball really and the rubber grout float really gets the jobs done quickly. Thereafter the excess is scraped away and you are ready for tooling the joints.


To be honest I have always been a finger man :wink: but I have realized more than once on this build using your finger to press in grout, or mortar usually ends up with a layer of skin missing on your finger end and a sticking plaster by the end of the day because you have sliced the end of your finger with a chard of broken tile or grit. :cry:

I wasn’t always keen to use a grouting tool, you need to get a feel for what you are forming.

My joints are probably 5mm, the thickness of the masonry nail plus a slight taper on the tile surface. One common method of tooling is to use a toothbrush. Well yes, back in the old days maybe when toothbrushes were all identical, hard plastic and simple.

I looked at toothbrush spares I have (and Wasus for that matter) but now the damn things are ergonically designed. :lol:

They bend and curve like a chez long and are tactile in that they have ridges and bumps and dots.

Well hasten to add, you cant find a toothbrush nor anything else to think of it with a nice round bottom to get a good tooling. :shock:

Plan B, you can actually use the rounded corner of the grout float. I did try it but the radius on the float was a little but too tight with the joint width so it was dragging out more than I wanted it to.

Plan C; this is by far the best, the quickest. I tooled about 40m of joints in less than 2 minutes. :)

I used a short length of blue water pipe. It has a shallow curvature so doesn’t remove much, its firm and rigid so it presses the grout home on its travels and being plastic it doesn’t damage the tile and it doesn’t damage your fingers :)


Cleaning off wasn’t so easy; but first I had to let it all set and dry in hard otherwise cleaning off will remove the new grout.



I had to come back to it.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:34 pm

Chapter 12 day 13 contd

One job that needed completing was a second coat of stain on the front timber decking. It had its first coat applied about a month ago; or did I do 2 then?, I forget.


It had dried in well, maybe too much and had already lost its sheen but a further coat should build up some water resistance at least.

I will make a note to reapply a further coat over the next week it doesn’t harm to keep adding

A trip out to see my banana man again and he ended up inviting me into his yard to show me his banana stock. :) It’s the Chinese New Year coming up and he had already taken a massive order of bananas which he has bagged up and tells me they are collecting tomorrow. :roll: i hope so for his sake :wink:




And now to finish the tiling. The clean up, the wipe down and the water test.

After all, this whole project has been done with the sole purpose of dissipating rainwater off the decking without damaging any of the fabric.

The clean off, usually involves a dry sponge….and I bought one especially a few weeks ago just for this job…but…. :lol: :lol: ……

I put it on the pile of wood under the decking. One afternoon when I was welding I became aware of smoke rising from below. :shock:

When I looked molten globs had fallen onto the sponge and half of it was melted away before I reached it.

I thought that was the end of it but no; as I continued welding I could see yet more plumes of smoke coming up from below.

This time the real danger was a bucketful of sawdust I had collected when sanding the deckings. A glob or several had fallen into the full bucket of sawdust and started smouldering and burning it.

Removing a molten glob wasn’t even half the story. I was removing globs for the rest of the day as one followed another. I was of course trying to rescue the sawdust but in the end I had to pour water in it.

The damage was evident by the next morning. Those globs had simply melted their way right through the bucket of sawdust and out of the bottom of the bucket.


My clean off was improvised again but because of the riven effect tiles I was out with sandpaper rubbing away grout than had collected in the indents.


Now the water test, I am going to be wholly pissed off if water doesn’t depart over the edge.

I started pooling water 4 tiles back. It was finding the grout joints and off on its travels. Yes happy to say it was nicely and slowly finding it way off but the real test will be when we have a heavy downpour. Bring it on!! :)



Not sure what my next small task will be although Wasu suggests I get on the old roof and cover up the tiles with the spare vinyl canopy we have.

When it was raining heavy; and this after myself and Thong re laid all the roof tiles and added about 50 new tiles, driving rain is still getting through and allowing drips and puddle onto the decking.

The only way to protect it now is to almost tarpaulin it. No one will ever see it so if I can fix it to the old fascia and let it drape into the gutter then it should improve things. :)

I mentioned about another bike trip. Well it looks like I will be going on an adventure in a weeks time.

My plan is to cycle up the Chiang Dao, then Thaton and then along the Mekong and golden triangle area, Chiang Saen; Chiang Kong and back to Chiang Rai. Probably chuck the bike on the bus at Chiang Rai to come back. Maybe 5 or 6 days. :)

So far no training. Last time I was on the bike was a ride to Chiang Dao 9 months ago. I really should make an effort to burn some k’s in the next few days just to get those ankle and knee muscles turning.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:50 pm

Chapter 12 day 14

I asked Wasu to call and speak to Mr and Mrs pair of wall builders who are building a short boundary wall for one of my neighbours.

I have two more boundary walls I would like to do, these both about 25m long.

The job they had done on the roadside looked reasonable and although not as long as the one I built they rattled it up fairly quickly and fairly typically with a concrete plinth, insitu reinforced columns and cheap blocks.

I was interested in a labour price. They told Wasu 600bt per metre run for a wall 1.5m high (7 courses, plinth at top and bottom, rendered one side)

I have been doing some costings to find out again how much it will cost. I am still convinced the q con blocks whilst twice the price per m2 are still favourable because of the speed, and no need for sand and cement; even the rendering on my wall I used 2 bags of mix. For a wall 25m long walling blocks; the sand and cement mortar will cost 2100bt; the q con adhesive will need 2 bags at 140bt/bag.

My estimate for the wall is 10,720 in q cons and rendered with same; 10755 building in blocks and rendering sand cement. My wall say 1.6m high as the back.

That’s 430bt/m run.

These guys want 600bt/m run so we have total 1030bt/m run

If you recall(which you don’t) when I was totting up my costs on my wall charging myself at 1000bt per day I arrived at a total of 1065bt/m run

Same price exactly, which means….nothing really!! Well it means two people are probably charging about the same as me and they are quicker obviously.(and better I would say)

So do I build another wall on my own, this time for 6 weeks or do I spend 15k on someone else doing it.

Of course I am just waffling now; the foot is off the pedal and I am looking forward to placing it on two different pedals in a few days. :)

I went to buy a length of architrave as a transition strip on the decking/tiling so after cleaning out the gap it was simply a case of trying to level it up the best I could before nailing it. All it needs now is a coat of stain in conjunction with the rest of the decking.

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:29 pm

Chapter 12 day 14 contd

No point starting another task until I get back but that doesn’t mean just tossing it off!.. :shock: ..oh no, I mean I was invited for a game of snooker by one of my badminton colleagues.

A couple of hours turned into four hours simply because I didn’t want to lose. At 3-0 down I was beginning to think my snooker skills had ‘ucked off but I was doing my best not to blame the cue.

Was it the English who invented snooker? you would have thought the French with all those double entendres. "screwing" "his balls in the pocket" "put a bit of bottom on this" "they love it when balls drop" "im looking for a plant" "a lovely touch into the balls"

Those first three frames were actually the worst three games I have ever played, I tried desperately to get into double figures and when I did I conceded. Three frames and I had conceded before we got to the colours. :cry:

I tried some dirty tactics; to start talking to my opponent, telling him what he could do if he was twenty years younger, a few crude jokes just to lose his concentration :)

Then my form came back and leveled it at 3-3. :)

The decider was pretty much like the first three; I was annihilated!! Oh well I will have my revenge on the badminton court.


I have also been down to the flower market again; not looking at flowers but getting an idea of costs for boulder stones, pebbles, slates and pond liners.

I can see this pond idea is not going to go very far on my 10k baht budget. :(

Pond liners for some inexplic…stupid reason were only sold in 2m wide pieces, that’s a poxy pond if 2m has to cover a bottom and two sides!

75bt/m she wanted and when I said its not wide enough, she thought gluing another piece was easy………..not I think!! :?
The underlay came in 1.75m wide strips and was sold at 40bt/m2.

So one is priced linear metre, one square metre…w.t.f??

I went to see the stone man. Lots of lovely pieces of rocks, boulders, concrete wood effect rocks and beach pebbles.


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Everything was 10,15 or 20bt per kg. I picked up a small rock in one hand and weighed it to get an idea. Seriously I thought this rock weighed about 2kg….dont you always judge by bags of sugar????

I put this small rock on the scales…8kg!!!! ;

‘ king no way. :!: I can lift a 8kg rock in my hand easily???? I think not. The 18kg water bottles we have are pretty heavy….hasten to add I was immediately on the suspicion side of his scales. :?

So that poxy piece would have cost me 160bt…..a cube of rocks is going to be somewhere near 30k baht!!!!!!

Lots to think about.
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