House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:29 pm

Day 10
The builder must be very happy also this morning. I have not accosted him with a new list of comments; so everyone is all smiles.
The truth is, I have a new tactic to minimize the stress for everyone. Last night I did a visual recce over the all the beam cages, not sure why they want to set up certain cages at an angle other than 90 degrees to one another. A few other cages really needed to be re set as they looked like a dogs back leg.
So this morning I was up at 6am and untying the cages, moving them into the position I wanted and tying them back together and lifting a couple more. Don’t they say “if you want a job doing right, do it yourself”? Its true. So I did. No one will be the wiser, and everyone is happy; most importantly me.

The morning progressed smoothly, the team were fabricating more cages; another 4 concrete piers were being “bolstered” away because they were too high. Bolstered! Haha, if you could guess what the girl was using to bolster away 2inch of concrete I will give you 10baht (sorry that’s all I can afford)
Ok answer coming up. She took a two foot length of old green hosepipe,,,,any ideas yet?..........then she chopped it into a 8 inch length. Then she banged a 3 inch nail into the end of it. Finished. That was her bolster. She used the hose to grab hold of and then used a normal hammer to bang the nail into the concrete. The smiles I got when I passed her a steel bolster from my toolbox were worth a photo but I wasn’t prepared.
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"bolster"


Most of the cages were finished now but still they managed to make extra cages in positions I didn’t want. Really don’t understand my builders thinking in many aspects but there is no way I am having two 300mm high concrete plinths projecting from my garden wall.
I learned a new word today “wit sa wa gawng” I hope it means structural engineer; so in my conversation to tell them I want them to cut here and here; I told them I was the wit sa wa which they though was hilarious; probably my accent; no other reason they would laugh!
Tomorrow I will tell them I am the Architect.

In the afternoon the shutters arrived; and not long after I could see them all pulling the steel over, pulling the column cages one way and then the next, and trying to bend protruding steel ends to enable the shutters to sit flush.
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pans arrived

Not once have I seen the string lines out to line up the shutters and never have I seen them measuring the diagonals. For all I know the building is on the piss and I don’t want to be tapering my floor tiles against every wall.
First job tomorrow morning before they arrive is to cross check the diagonals measurement and find the string lines again other wise its going to be a nightmare making anything fit.
I feel for those who bought an old windmill not realising the consequences!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:56 pm

Day 11
I was up early to check the column centres again and the diagonals. There were some discrepancies maybe to 50mm but I have given up watching them bending steel back into position. The amount of effort I went to aligning the foundation pier and yet somehow we have cages not even over them.
They completed the shuttering this morning; it was I have to say as rough as old boots; they used some proprietory shutters, some salvaged 6mm ply; and a lot of home made shutters by cutting up scant. In my experience all tops of the shutters were normally set at the level of the top of the concrete surface, and then you cannot go wrong with overfilling or underfilling.
Here; well; they were up and down like a bridesmaids knickers at a wedding; but of course that’s because they have “self levelling concrete!” It flowed like water; in fact had I not asked the driver if it was ST240 I would have thought it was grey water. Now I see why they have no use for a vibrating poker and the only tools I have seen so far is a hammer and a machete.
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The brides knickers
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This morning they were cutting the new shutters with a blunt hand saw, it looked so slow and just as painful for me to watch. Not too soon afterwards the boss arrived with a tool to make life easier…..an angle grinder….. to cut the wood.!!! OMG am I going to have to introduce them to another tool.
They already use my 5m extension heavy duty cables because I don’t like to see to exposed wire ends just poked into a broken plug socket, they now have my mattock and my bolster…..now I am going give them an orgasm….not literally of course. Next tool; my Makita reciprocating saw. I don’t think they have ever seen one before judging by the reaction. So a quick lesson in how to hold the tool correctly and they were away; but not before the lad decided to strut around like a commando with an AK49 and show off to everyone.
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altering and adjusting
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almost ready for concrete


I mucked in with the concrete spreading, and set up a few of the stepped shutters but one thing is now puzzling me/annoying me.
I was at pains a couple of days ago to ensure my concrete beam level was set at 0.40 for the house floor, 0.3 for the veranda patio and 0.0 for the external staircase. After my concerns they bent the steel to create the 100mm step, yet now they have filled the shutters with the concrete at the same level for the house and veranda.
I am thinking, ok are they now going to lay a course of brick to sit the concrete planks on? I am only speculating but if that’s the case they have lost my respect. Why did they create a step in the rebar and then keep the concrete beams at the higher level.

I had mentioned to them 2 days ago that I want the timber post base plates casting into the concrete for the ring beams and if they didn’t want to provide them I will go and have 5 plates made. They duly obliged with some 10mm plate came pre drilled which was abetter and easier idea than mine and were just going to drop them over the 4 rebars on the column., cut off and burn. So having established the level I wanted them set at, they were ok.

I noticed last night they had missed setting up one of the inner columns but realised it was because they had run out of steel. It was something I needed to remind them before the concrete came; of course due to the onset of alzheimers (or so everyone keeps telling me) I forgot, and they forgot (young enough for that excuse to be low IQ) and we all merrily got on our way filling the beams. It wasn’t until after the concrete had been levelled off that I saw one of the team quickly making the short cage that was missed. Who had spotted it? Wasn’t me; That cage was then hastily hammered down into the concrete.!! (sneakily maybe?)
Fortunately eagle eyed eyecatcher spotted it. I simply beckoned over the team boss and pulled the rebar cage up. It was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat….albeit he didn’t applaud. “mai dee; khun hen duai mai” not good do you agree? in my really crap Thai language.
I took a trowel and scraped out the concrete to find the vertical rebars and they came back with 4 new pieces duly bent at the ends, and tie wired it to the footing column.
So now I have 15 steel cages flapping about 6m in the sky; exactly what I need to see.

My earlier concern about the missing step miraculously revealed itself, They actually created a rebate in the concrete top surface. It didn’t look like 100mm; infact it was barely 50mm but hey they made the effort to get it right and I doubt that we will be getting 50mm of rain here per year let alone a torrential for 3 days days
So early finish for the team we had two concrete deliveries amounting to 4m3 and then they had an early finish.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:07 pm

Day 11 contd
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concrete fill
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Good day all in all, no complaints; just the usual clerk of works finger pointing from me.
Actually very pleased with the progress. I am breaking the ice with the team with my attempts to speak Thai which always gets a laugh and of course they are telling each other to check centre now so something is sticking.

Two off the team told me they were going back home to Ubon for the weekend, and the ladies were just going to rest; but there is still drama to come. I popped out to the local shop for a couple of beers and came back and prepared lunch. The omelette; and it was a beauty was onto the plate and the pan in the sink………..no water!!. Went to investigate and outside the main connection actually inside/crossing the khlong had come apart; quite obviously by the collapse of the surrounding soi road due to the weight of the concrete wagon.
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water supply blown apart
Fcuk. It wasn’t just my supply; the pipe feeds two properties. The 45 to 18 reducer had pulled apart and there was no way I could push them back together. The team had already taken leave so I decided to persevere alone. With luck I had another reducer the same size and a few end to end connectors. In fact I have so many bends and straight connectors, and offcuts of pipe of differing sizes for that emergency; and now was that emergency. Only yesterday I wnet to buy a tin of cement solvent glue to repair the garden supply they cut off and decided to plug with a stick and plastic back!! So I had all the kit necessary. One hour later job sorted……….I hope.

This reiterates the fact; after having a conversation at home a few days ago with Chiang Mais’ “Kaptain” that I need to upgrade my supply to a ¾” pipe running parallel to my existing ½ “ pipe and get a bigger meter fitted.
And finally; managed to eat a rancid cold omelette but enjoyed the Chang immensely.
Looking forward to tomorrow.!!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:45 am

eyecatcher wrote:
Sometimewoodworker wrote:
eyecatcher wrote:
No chairs on site but I improvised(naughty naughty) with some half bricks; certainly better than nothing. The concrete certainly doesnt need a poker!! I read a few posts on here about concrete slump and I am surprised that 100mm slump is even achievable.
The concrete we ordered in the uk was generally 50/70mm slump; quite stiff and you did need a poker to get it flowing. Here its self levelling! However if I get my 30kn UK strength then its fine.


You seem to have forgotten that only one of the functions of the "poker" vibrator is to level the concrete. Another, and more important function is to avoid voids specifically beside the form work. There are quite a number of examples of poorly or un-vibrated beams and posts showing significant holes on the surface.

The usual Thai way is to use concrete with so much extra water there that vibrating it would be a very bad idea, but also reducing the strength to that of wet sand.

If you are getting a 100mm slump and not using a poker or hammering the form work you will have voids. DAMHIKT :D


Thanks STW. I didnt intend to give the impression thats I thought a poker was levelling.....in fact that's the last thing I would have thought of as thats not necessarily critical. I did think (and for 35yr I could have been wrong) that it was for vibrating the concrete between a heavy matted network of reinforcement which would normally not allow the concrete to flow freely.

again that is one of the functions but not the main one. The main one is to release air from the concrete that is trapped when pouring it

When a bucket of low slump concrete is dumped into a form, the concrete is in a honeycombed condition. From 10 to 30 percent of the concrete is in the form of irregularly distributed entrapped air depending on the mix, size and shape of the form, amount of reinforcing steel, and method of depositing the concrete in the form. Contractors know they must overfill a form because concrete should shrink when it is compacted. The problem is to get this heaped up, honeycombed mass to subside into a dense concrete without the entrapped air. How does a vibrator fit into the picture? A vibrator causes a violent agitation of the particles in the mix. This eliminates the friction between the particles which enabled the concrete to support itself in a honeycombed condition. The mix now becomes unstable and starts to flow under the simultaneous effect of vibration and gravity. The concrete moves tightly against the form and around the reinforcing steel. The mix particles rearrange themselves. The mortar fills the voids between the coarse aggregate particles, and the entrapped air rises to the top of the layer. There are two basic ways to vibrate concrete: internally and externally. In internal vibration, the vibrator is immersed in the interior of the concrete and the vibratory waves carry outward to the surfaces. In external vibration, the vibration is applied to the surfaces and the vibratory waves penetrate the interior. On any construction job the vibrators should match reasonably well the concrete mix being vibrated. A 2 to 2 and one-half inch diameter vibrator is suitable for most building concrete, but larger vibrators are needed for stiff mixes and where the aggregate size is more than about 1 and one-half inches. Too often workmen are forced to struggle with vibrators poorly match to the concrete. In general, vibration should be carried out with the vibrator completely immersed in the concrete. If the vibrator protrudes through the top surface, some of the energy normally transmitted into the concrete will be lost. Additionally, the large force exerted at the surface causes a violent turbulence there. This results in segregation. Vibrators may also get overheated when they do not have the full benefit of the concrete's cooling effect.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:07 pm

Day 12

Yesterday was a good progress day; :) a concrete pour makes the job move along and the progress is there to be seen.
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pans removed
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kitchen end-yes it does slope!
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soil levelling

We had talked about the need for termite control; shall we, shan’t we? Having read other threads about the random way some companies set up the sprinkler heads I had considered doing this part of the job myself. On reflection the cost involved meant really if I can get them to test the sprinklers and approve them, then it was a no brainer.
We asked our regular ”contract” pest control company recently at the end of our 12 visit contract for a quote to set the sub floor piping system up. No interest or response. We asked them again a couple of weeks later. No response. They then called us back to see if we wanted to renew our 12 visit contract for regular spraying. I said no thanks.
We managed a telephone quote from Global Treat based on 50m2 which was 5000bt just for the set up and initial sub floor spray. So 100bt/m2
The next company was suggested by the builder as he had used them on his previous job. They came yesterday and based a quote on 70m2 at 50bt/m2. That included all the set up, a chemical injected spray and a perimeter spray. Then after 6 months the surrounding area of the house again.….. and, wait for it… a “3yr warranty” which I had to laugh at. Are they guaranteeing the pipes are not going to perish or my house will not be eaten away from the foundations. Honestly I don’t know what use a warranty is?
The guy was quick to try and negotiate a 3000bt deal for himself to do the job freelance and also come himself for the following year but I think the company is likely to stay a lot longer than an employee. So we booked him “the company” to arrive this morning.
After a bit more discussion we agreed the area of the house was nearer to 50m2 so we have the job set up now for 2500bt.
They didn’t take long to set up the pipes mainly because the concrete floor planks arrived at the same time. So much for my idea of testing the sprinkler heads.
They set off pick chiselling a groove on the top of the concrete beam!!!!! If they had said yesterday, I could have, in 5 seconds placed a 200mm piece of pvc pipe in the wet concrete then today they would have a perfectly formed recess for their pipes. Isn’t that just obvious or what??
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pest control with pick axe
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setting up the termite pipes


I am now thinking the termite control system is going to be useless. The tiny sprinkler heads have been set at 1m centres onto soil that is actually piled up in the middle giving support to the concrete planks.
So now potentially we have already mounds of soil out of reach of any sprinklers that is touching the ground floor. For now I am considering this money “not well spent”

Just explained my concerns to the wife and surprisingly she is telling me about how termites die, only taking a few to ingest the chemical then the others come and eat them or re feed the colony? Not that we will ever know. But anyway she told me to stop worrying and stressing out.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby MGV12 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:45 pm

eyecatcher wrote:
Just explained my concerns to the wife and surprisingly she is telling me about how termites die, only taking a few to ingest the chemical then the others come and eat them or re feed the colony? Not that we will ever know. But anyway she told me to stop worrying and stressing out.


Termites have an agenda ... quite a basic agenda as they simply wish to survive. The footing/foundations of most western-influenced houses generally have nothing that attracts termites [cellulose] under them and therefore there is no real need for preventative measures. I did have a 'termite control system' installed under my house ... it was inexpensive but we never needed to use it. When the little buggers take to the wing [after heavy rain/storms] is usually the more significant problem.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:02 pm

Day 12 contd

Concrete planks arrived. Quite a slick operation; :o they are “hiab” ing……oh sorry no it’s a “unic” unloading the planks two at a time in a steel cradle then 4 guys carry them and drop them.
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floor planks arrive
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They will have the floor completed in an hour I reckon. Lots of cutting already, the planks appear not made to measure, and that’s fortunate after the amount of measuring I have done and those internal beams that are not at 90 degrees. They appear to be a few planks short but I suspect they were unable to get them on the wagon; no doubt they will arrive when they collect the guys here.

They are expecting another concrete delivery this afternoon and started fixing the perimeter shutters. After watching the kitchen area ring beams sloping down two inch followed by the floor planks sloping down two inch I am not having the final concrete topping anywhere other than level throughout.
The shutters were already well below what should be the surface of the concrete so I established a finished floor level at 330mm above 0.00. Remember from day 1 I wanted the floor at 500mm and the outside decking at 400 so; they were going to put 170mm concrete on top? I think not.
Just goes to show no one is reading my plans, no one is listening, they are farmers and I hope they are better at that job.
I introduced them to another tool, a spirit level, and re introduced them to the string line and levelling with a plank. The edge shutters were all set up now at the same level as the top of the floor. So they cant go any higher and any low points can be seen. After a few minutes they quite enjoyed banging pegs in, up and down and amused by that bubble moving left to right.
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concrete floor, my shuttering working a treat.


The team boss arrived during my training session, I don’t think he was too happy, most likely me taking over again; then again perhaps he was worried I was going to mention what happened to 170mm of height in the building or why the kitchen area needs 4” of topping and the lounge only needs 1.5”. The height actually is better; I always thought 500 was too high in the first place.

I was surprised at the extent of the concrete planks. I didn’t want them under the staircase and over a future path but they have set them up. Planks at ground level covering another 20m2. It certainly is preferable and saves a lot of work later on so good decision by the builder there.
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floor planks under path and staircase


They are realising now that not all the columns are in alignment so there is some frantic bending and twisting going on. They tried to ridicule me for checking and checking but now its wasting their time.
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One that got away...and they wonder why I insist of measuring everything.

In my time in construction the 7P’’s played their part…..as they do in most things. “Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance.” How true is this ?

Floors concreted; just one fly in the ointment; some of the wrapping mesh is protruding above the concrete surface, it comes in a roll and just wants to keep bending up. Then again if the floor beams were level the concrete wouldn’t be so thin in places. No doubt it will be cut off tomorrow.


Today we had more people on site than have ever visited us in two years. We have 8 of our own team; 3 guys installing the termite control system and then the pre stressed concrete planks arrived with another 5 guys. To add to that we had two guys and a truck arrive to deliver the column shutters and to take away yesterdays beam shutters. Plus the wife who was unable to leave for work because her bike was landlocked, she regretted that, and locked herself away to escape the cement dust.


The team deserved a well earned beer. I was invited to join them but I have a beer appointment a little later so better give this one a miss.
So great progress after 12 days. Looking at the floor area now, a bit concerned I made the house too big. I was struggling for space and now seems I am going to have too much.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:14 pm

Day 12 contd
more photos from the day

no blurb; I think I write too much; :lol: should I make my reporting more brief?
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floor planking
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structural fabric
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and we are not having that!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby Roger Ramjet » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:29 pm

eyecatcher wrote:no blurb; I think I write too much; should I make my reporting more brief?

If you suffer from stress which you said you do, there is nothing better than writing it down and "giving it to others". It also serves as a record of the build and the problems you encountered.
Personally I would have sacked the builder after his pathetic effort with the beams and keeping the rebar straight in the columns.
In one of the photos it appears the concrete doesn't have enough cement in it and has started to crumble, or it may have been caused by the "builder" taking the shuttering off too early and his workers bashing the "keys" that lock the shuttering together. Whichever happened I would make him do the whole thing again. Shuttering should be left for a minimum 24 hours and in most cases 48.
Do not let them pour more concrete near/over the beams for at least a week, but it would appear they've just gone ahead and done it. Get those reinforced planks off the beams they haven't cured enough yet!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:49 pm

MGV12 wrote:
eyecatcher wrote:
Just explained my concerns to the wife and surprisingly she is telling me about how termites die, only taking a few to ingest the chemical then the others come and eat them or re feed the colony? Not that we will ever know. But anyway she told me to stop worrying and stressing out.


Termites have an agenda ... quite a basic agenda as they simply wish to survive. The footing/foundations of most western-influenced houses generally have nothing that attracts termites [cellulose] under them and therefore there is no real need for preventative measures. I did have a 'termite control system' installed under my house ... it was inexpensive but we never needed to use it. When the little buggers take to the wing [after heavy rain/storms] is usually the more significant problem.


Yes I agree,its a luxury that isn't worth ignoring for the price.(or is it?) I couldn't even floor tile the bathroom in a wood effect tile for that price. I have done a fair bit of attention to detail with the team, with setting out and attempting to show them how to set up reinforcement "textbook" fashion and no doubt it will continue when I show them how to bond block work at junctions and tie it to concrete columns. setting up the pad foundations with rebar at 150c/c and ensuring a good 35mm cover. keeping the shuttering on for 48hrs and the cling film for 14 days blah blah blah.

We all know that issues rarely if ever occur with any of the above; even WITHOUT that attention to detail.
If if look back over my last 35yr in construction and try to remember the issues that were prevalent (and I mean generally in the UK) I would say they were based mainly on water penetration.....condensation; wet rot, rising damp, blocked guttering. Structurally I would say rarely had I seen any issues to remember them.

But going back to potential issue in Thailand, namely termites, longhorn beetle, wood wasps. I live in a completely wood house as you can see. it was obviously treated with a preservative stain 3yrs ago because I have had no issue with any infestation only wet rot on my decking which was exposed to the elements for 2 yrs.
However my decision to plough ahead with it is because I have some superficial (i think, hope, pray) cracks in the concrete slab under the old house and I see quite often armies of black ants/carpenter ants? exploiting those cracks. small piles of sand from the concrete along the length of the crack. I know that termites like to do the same, eat away the sand if there is a crack.................but to eat through a 400mm deep reinforced concrete beam and weaken a further 100mm of concrete slab; well not in our lifetime I can be pretty sure on that one.
So; 2500bt invested or wasted. The balance possibly tipping towards the latter.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:00 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:
eyecatcher wrote:no blurb; I think I write too much; should I make my reporting more brief?

If you suffer from stress which you said you do, there is nothing better than writing it down and "giving it to others". It also serves as a record of the build and the problems you encountered.
Personally I would have sacked the builder after his pathetic effort with the beams and keeping the rebar straight in the columns.
In one of the photos it appears the concrete doesn't have enough cement in it and has started to crumble, or it may have been caused by the "builder" taking the shuttering off too early and his workers bashing the "keys" that lock the shuttering together. Whichever happened I would make him do the whole thing again. Shuttering should be left for a minimum 24 hours and in most cases 48.
Do not let them pour more concrete near/over the beams for at least a week, but it would appear they've just gone ahead and done it. Get those reinforced planks off the beams they haven't cured enough yet!


Thanks Roger;
Interested to know which photo you think you spotted "doesnt have enough cement/started to crumble. I didnt see anything of major concern "on the job" other than their lacking use of a level.
I would agree with you about giving the concrete time to cure, and on bigger jobs, in fairness a footing could take two days just to pour it, and then you have the bollocks of setting up a perimeter foot scaffolds for the health and safety of the floor plankers! and other superficial works.
I think if you look at a small house build here, there is no health and safety matters to take care of, no masonry infil work and the team want progression every day.
Personally I dont have issue with floor planks being laid the following day. The concrete should be at 40% full strength and 60% at day 3. not much difference between the two days. I am not making light of it but I am happy that the 10 tons of loading carried over 50m of beams will not be an issue but I will keep an eye on it; in between an eye on the builder.

I have not suggested dumping the builder(it took us a good 6 months to arrive at this builder) but i already have issues with his competence and knowledge. I am sure his technical knowledge was there at one time, but with age and time and working with non descripts; that short cuts have crept into his build process and he hasn't educated his team. He doesn't skimp of materials, his concrete has been top strength, he uses the HD rebar although he got a right team of scallys to deliver that rough shuttering. It doesn't help with me challenging his ability also with my knowledge, and that's not good for him,
Its still an option that he finsihes his contracted section at the roof and I take over myself thereafter so you would think he would be trying to making a good impression to continue the project.
Lets see if there is any improvement ; 2 weeks to go.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby Roger Ramjet » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:15 pm

eyecatcher wrote:Interested to know which photo you think you spotted "doesnt have enough cement/started to crumble.

The photo is the first one on day 12. Thai builders normally use wood to brace the column rebar so that it stays in place in the center of the beam.
When they do the columns make sure they use cement spacers to keep the rebar away from the column shuttering. Her's a photo of the spacers my builder made just using sand, cement and tie wire in the center. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1864&start=345 These are for columns only, they are not used as chairs to keep the trench mesh and rebar level on the reinforced planks. Don't listen to the builder if he says the chairs are not needed as they lift the trench mesh after the concrete is poured, they also walk all over the damned thing.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:36 pm

Day 13 D-Day!
Hope its lucky for me today. :D Its got to be an easy day for the team. Simply bolt together the column shutters. They can easily string line across the new floor. It’s gonna be plain sailing today. Nothing can go wrong. Time to start designing the drainage and water services me thinks.
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erecting the column shutters
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Column box shutters, promptly erected. I think they like this part and the string line, the tape measure and the plumb bob are in abundance today. :D I wonder if this is their forte or are they showing me they have learned something about the value of measuring and checking. I hope it’s the former.
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Thats what I like to see!
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Surely not twice?


Certainly a few of the steel bars needed a good bash with the sledge hammer to get the shutters around but they are being careful, methodical and now they keep asking me “everything ok?”
I say “if everything ok tonight I buy you all beer. If not ok, I drink the beer” :wink:

Day 13 wasn’t a good one for the builder; his ailing mother slipped into a coma :cry: and his wife who works as part of the team received news that one of her family had died; :cry: so they promptly got in the car and headed to Singburi; leaving the team in the capable hands of……….you guessed it. :D
Actually not sure what instructions he had given the team as we will need concrete tomorrow for the columns; no doubt he has already ordered it and his other foreman will be supervising the team for the next 3 or 4 days

I feel the relationship has been better today as I was mucking in with the setting up the shutters; they borrowed my bike to run an errand and I treated them a 10bt bag of ice (that’s a big bag!) and a “limited” (read 2) amount of beer after an almost perfect day save the sad news about the builder.
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They finally had a day off, so I had a day to re check all the shutters, measure diagonals and verticals. I have already forewarned them that a few are not in the correct position and via the mrs they are trying to fob me off by saying they have to recheck everything again. Yet why didn’t they check again before they nailed all the bracings into the floor and across the column tops. It seems they are like my tenants, always making excuses and that they will eventually catch up.
My approach will be that all the columns will be exposed on the external walls so the verticals have to be aligned over two floors and tomorrow the big hammer will be out again and I will be the miserable pedantic customer.
The diagonals are quite good, within 30mm over 9m yet I have columns spaced at 2.5m centres are there is 50mm difference.
So 30mm here and there doesnt seem much but when you sit in a room and see that row of floor tiles tapering away to nothing then it’s the tiler who leaves embarrassed., and I become embarrassed when my visitors arrive,
They spent some time the day before yesterday setting out 3 steps into the house. Now that the floor level has miraculously been lowered from 500mm to 330mm its meant a rethink on the steps. I had worked on 3 at 165. so they decided to do 1 at 100 rise; 1 at 90 rise and the final 140mm jump into the house. The two treads were 200mm and 300mm. :lol: :lol: hahahahaha, you should see it; its like an adventure course for ants.
I have an 800mm recess the idea was to set two 400mm paving steps. So I have re shuttered them and I think I will lead this task tomorrow when the concrete arrives. Not too early I hope as I will be asking for 6 shutters re setting. I cannot lower that top step but perhaps I can get 2 steps at 125 rise and mitigate the current set up.
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starting the steps again
eyecatcher
 
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:30 pm

Day 14
In readiness for the news I was…ok the wife was going to present to them. Yesterday I had taken and recorded 48 dimensions so my facts were drawn out for them to see.
They arrived this morning at 8 and the first question that was translated for me was “when is the concrete is coming,” they said “now.” “ Well you better stop it coming until we have repositioned the 5 columns that are to me unacceptable.”
Their working foreman actually has a brain and could follow my measurements. There was a heated discussion;(not involving myself) a bit of moaning; obvious excuses being thrown into the mix and then the excuses trying to convince me that they are working to centres. That didn’t wash as you cannot have all the centres correct if I am seeing gaps between columns “parallel” columns ranging from 430mm to 490mm and the back of the house 60mm wider than the front.

Well for 15 minutes I felt like I had spoiled their day but that passed; frequent use of the word nitnoi from me was encouraging; I didn’t want to fire the bullets and then run and hide, I needed to help them. However all the braces came off 6 columns and some of the steel had to be sledged over by just 30mm.
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re adjusting the boxings
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thatt tree is causing some headaches

At this point I noticed they have upgraded their concrete bolster from “hosepipe with nail” to…..”hosepipe with screwdriver.”
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their upgraded bolster

There were 4 guys that spent a full 3 hours adjusting the boxings for my approval. The girls couldn’t do much so they just disappeared.
The connie was due to arrive early afternoon; and I think they now understand that double and triple checking takes no time but is important to save wasting time and effort thereafter. I was asked to advise how high to fill the columns. I think I have made another break through.! (I know the future already and I haven’t)
I set the column height for them, the underside of the beams, and the floor levels in the bathroom and outside decking area.
I have done what I consider an unnecessary amount of measuring by comparison with what is normally required but here even I accept now, its not enough. I don’t mind doing the checking, I want it to be correct as as near as.
“can order concrete now?” I was asked “yes lets go” fortunately we have probably 3 or 4 concrete plants within 1km of the house so I can see from the tickets it arrives within 10 minutes of being loaded.
Out with my peace offering; 8 bottles of carabao which raised some smiles. Not exactly healthy but if they think its going to give them super human strength before the concrete arrives then that’s fine by me?
Yes we are fortunate with our location, just as any particular floor in a shopping mall is zoned for mobile phones, or banks just along the road it seems to be readymix concrete zone. We have CPAC, SCP; Siam city(the eagles head) possibly Nakornping Conc, but we are using P-mix. The “P” being short for piss as its that’s wet.

The bigger companies are running the 6m3 and 5m3 trucks and the smaller associates are running the 4m3 and 3m3 trucks………anything less and its simply done by hand. Actually my deliveries have been 2 or 3m3 at a time. Any more and that truck will make headline news trying to be rescued from the collapsed khlong.
eyecatcher
 
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:42 pm

day 14 contd

Enjoyed this afternoon, :D concrete arrived and I was straight into the mix literally. The guys were on elevated stagings and the girls were at the bottom struggling to lift the buckets up. My height came in handy, so the chain of buckets came along from the bath at the end of the chute to me who would swing them up to the guy on the staging and he would pass to the guy at the head of the shutters. I think they were quite grateful that I wasn’t afraid to join in and get really blathered in concrete. It was a slick operation, 50 to 60 buckets hand filled per column to a height of 2.4m
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concrete pour
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The slab under the staircase and path area was poured, no level set out but I would guess its thicker than what went on the house floor? and that was it for the day.
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staircase area and path poured


So as I noted a couple days ago, the team boss had left on a personal upset and of course taken his truck with him. Aware that the next job is to fabricate the first floor ring beam cages and the fact that we have only 5 lengths of bar on site I asked when the boss was returning. Tomorrow morning was the answer. :o Personally I doubt it and I said ok I give you holiday tomorrow. I also said that I want the box shutters keeping on for 48hrs which he was eager to remove. He knew the time limit should be 2 or 3 days because he suggested 3 days after I suggested 2; so there is no need to remove them until all 11 cages are pre fabbed.



Those who say you have to be on site full time are correct. What I have learnt; these teams work at such a pace without any thought of what they are building; without any thought of the next stage and the implication a cock up may have. Its not entirely their fault, they have just picked up their knowledge from simply copying someone else who copies him and so on. They have not been educated in construction formally.
I really do admire you guys who haven’t even had any building experience, because for those of us who have; its soul destroying. :cry:
I have 14 more days to see if they are worthy of continuing beyond the roof work. 14 days before I run out of money. Well at least I will have the most expensive 2 storey car port in Chiang Mai…….for my motorbike. :!:
eyecatcher
 
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