House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:12 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:
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.


Roger
Whilst I would rate the shuttering as below average I have no qualms about the result of the concrete.Yes they do vary in width, and that's due to inadequate bracing where the pegs have conceded as well as slapdash shuttering. But leveling is something they are going to get right first time on the next lift.
There are some narrower columns that I asked them to align left or right with the wider columns so they do look off centre.

The crumbling concrete is not what it seems.; due to the top edge of the different shutters used not being level some of them are a tad low so the crumbling is the 5mm or so of concrete on the pan edge. The broken concrete within the column area was subject to the bolster treatment, a lack of care tamping in an awkward position.....I mean not even attempting it... left a raised mound which they asked to bolster out. Sloppy buggers.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:34 pm

Day 15

We started this morning with a set back. :( The missus yesterday decided to check the progress of our mortgage application. Apparently her “statement” doesn’t meet the criteria to loan any more than 1.5 million. So to refinance the existing property and land we need 1 million to pay off the SCB and that leaves us with 500k towards the new build. :(
Despite the business account looking healthy every month It didn’t help that we only started pooling all the money into the spa account 3 months ago. For 4yrs my personal account was the vehicle for the business income and of course all the credit card transactions directly to myself also.(which was/still is the safest way to run your business) :wink:

Ok so I did my bit of moaning, and the wife was all positive. The advisor at the bank suggested we get the builder not to inflate his quote for the next stage ( which we asked him to do originally…as everyone does!) but now make a realistic quote and tailor the quote which wife thinks we may squeeze 2 million out of them instead of 1.5 million.
I reassessed my budget today in line with the structure price and what is left to do and we are at 1.2 million. Really need to keep the next section tight as the builder overpriced my structure costing by 300k (unless that was his OHP for the job) Its looking like the 500k we have to play with is coming down to diy /labour only that’s what I want really but she will not tolerate me being injured, and too tired to fart. A bit of catch 22 not sure if its BS but I can do a better, cheaper job myself and a subby team yet the bank prefer to loan with a builder who can write a quote with stage payments, even if he is the worst builder in the world. Its looking unlikely that I will be reimbursed for phase 1.
Lets see how we go.


Just the boys arrived today,to start preparing the timber supports for the first floor ring beams. They appear to be eucalyptus trees very straight and strong for just 2 or 3 inch diameter. So they re used the column supports. The boss arrived back so I guess he will be coming with more steel later..
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I reiterated this morning that the column shutters remain in place until tomorrow. The boss brought the team a new toy today. After me insisting they use mine, they were presented with a new spirit level; so I was very pleased with that. :lol: :lol:
Surely nothing can wrong today, need to do a shopping trip and some afternoon sport recreation. So I will take a risk and leave them. If those shutter boxes come off its going to piss me off. :evil:
Came back and saw the answer to our financial set back .
DSC_0439.JPG
digging tomorrow!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:53 pm

Day 16
Column shutters were removed this morning after 45hrs; acceptable and were promptly re-watered and cling wrapped. Most of the beam supports were set up and they continued fabricating the rebar cages.
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Following the set back with the bank, this morning we spoke to the builder and stressed that as we stand the budget is going to be 1.2 million so we need him to re quote to that amount. Whether we get a “turnkey” job out of that is questionable so I will need to be looking closely at where we can reduce the cost but keep the quality high. (offload the builder comes to mind) We also have the option of my diy input for certain parts, for example I can make the kitchen my job; and I can do all the first floor tiling,joinery work and organise the sparks ex contract.
What will not happen is that we fit inferior doors, ironmongery, sanitaryware, floor tiles for the sake of finishing the job. If we don’t have the money to get what we want then I will wait despite what the other half says.
But as luck would have it, I saw the rainbow last night so today I am going digging.

Nice to see them using the new spirit level……….well actually they are using it to draw a pencil line. Still shrink wrapped in plastic I wonder if they don’t want to scratch it?
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new toy
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In the event of us employing the builder to carry out the finishing trades we went to view the house 25m from us that he is currently building and is at wall tiling/sanitaryware/2nd fix stage.

Very happy with the standard of tiling, done by his own foreman,(he is the best of a motley crew; average I would rate him )plastering and joinery work equally acceptable which is a positive.
Having said that; the client from Bangkok obviously with more money than sense; who will visit Chiang Mai maybe for 10 days a year has 3 different wall tiles in each of 4 bathrooms…..that’s 12 different tiles and they look a dogs dinner. Get this, they have wide windows, the head being set in line with my eyebrows. The builder didn’t see the joke when I peered through it to order an Americano hot, Then he has 3 doors to bedrooms the height of which I have never seen before. 7 foot 6” high.; made to order at 8k bt each in teak. Should I criticise? Maybe not, its not my business but hey; I did.
As you know Thai people will avoid saying what they think so put it down to the client having half a day to go and choose all the tiles. Not sure if their family plays for the national volleyball or basketball team but you never know folk do you?
We were then advised he is building a small house for the maid.....for those 10 days a year. How the other half live eh......I have never been there myself. (I couldnt possibly post some photos...unless you want)
lets be positive tomorrow; positive about everything. Pigs might fly!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby pipoz » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:11 pm

Hi

Can I ask what you paid per m2 for your precast slabs, please

Also how many m2 will your new build work out to be for both levels

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:41 pm

Day 17
Today we progressed the fabrication of the 1st floor ring beams. I made one or two minor amendments to the details of how they were running cages into the columns. Taking them inside the column rebars throughout .Taking them on the outside is only going to make the column boxings impossible to fit. A bit more cage pulling from me as each end not even parallel. A bit of awkward bending to come as they will soon realise some of the shutters will not fit because steel too long.
Yesterday the boss asked me to re iterate the extent of the concrete floor and the steel floor. I think he has become embarrassed that he doesn’t even read his plans and thinking ahead. So I marked up another drawing for him.. There was also a mistake on the original CAD drawing where I designated a wardrobe area (with 4 doors) When the drawing was reproduced; it implied that my wardrobe doors were actually another set of doors with an outside balcony. Then this lead to extra ring beams underneath….etc etc.(only on the CAD details)

So today they began setting out timber props for a new ring beam to carry my wardrobe doors and also setting up for a concrete ring beam to be carried by my large timber posts!!!! (that was pure sarcasm and the reason I had to tell the builder where the beams are, where the steel is where the timber is where the decking is; f.f.s)

It’s a good job I am here pretty much full time.

Then I have the bedroom doors set back only 600mm from a ring beam.at the front of the house; how is he going to deal with this anomaly?
The load on the floor at this point is maybe 1.5m of blockwork and a screen door about 3m long. So without consulting off they went again using their initiative perhaps to set out for another 400 deep ring beam, 600 from the main beam.
I suggested that all we need at this point is just a little bit of extra support in the concrete. So we will simply bend some 12 diam at right angles and tie it into the adjacent cage at 450c/c, and take the bar say 400 beyond the door frame, and say another 3 closer together running the line of the “wall”
With his concrete beam rate at 1100bt/m, that’s 5000bt saved.
He told me it a good idea; whats the betting they now forget to do any of it, despite the sketch I drew for them.

I wanted a positive day; was there any hint of it? Suppose I was happy with the progress today; like trying to reign in a galloping horse.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:58 pm

pipoz wrote:Hi

Can I ask what you paid per m2 for your precast slabs, please

Also how many m2 will your new build work out to be for both levels

pipoz


The floor planks from a couple of companies here were 360bt/m2 as a supply and fix rate.(to buy supply only 200bt/m2) same rate for ground as first floor and included the crane offloading etc.
When I originally costed the floors they were coming out at just over 600bt/m2, that included the concrete topping and reinforcement mesh and a bit of a guess for the labour aspect.
I am paying for the structure only at this stage so we had to go with the builders "rate" of 1100bt/m2.for floors
now that may look expensive, but he included (relunctantly) almost the same amount of shera decking and associated steel framing which was close to 1400bt/m2 when I priced it; not only that I mentioned he decked out and concreted my front stair area another 15m2 so I am happy about that all in rate.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:04 pm

pipoz wrote:Hi

Can I ask what you paid per m2 for your precast slabs, please

Also how many m2 will your new build work out to be for both levels

pipoz


Sorry missed that second bit. Its approx 80m2 over two levels and then 55m2 of new adjoining deckings. Much too big now I see it.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby pipoz » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:07 pm

eyecatcher wrote:
pipoz wrote:Hi

Can I ask what you paid per m2 for your precast slabs, please

Also how many m2 will your new build work out to be for both levels

pipoz


The floor planks from a couple of companies here were 360bt/m2 as a supply and fix rate.(to buy supply only 200bt/m2) same rate for ground as first floor and included the crane offloading etc.
When I originally costed the floors they were coming out at just over 600bt/m2, that included the concrete topping and reinforcement mesh and a bit of a guess for the labour aspect.
I am paying for the structure only at this stage so we had to go with the builders "rate" of 1100bt/m2.for floors
now that may look expensive, but he included (relunctantly) almost the same amount of shera decking and associated steel framing which was close to 1400bt/m2 when I priced it; not only that I mentioned he decked out and concreted my front stair area another 15m2 so I am happy about that all in rate.


Thanks for that

How many m2 is your build :)

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:22 am

eyecatcher wrote:Day 17
With his concrete beam rate at 1100bt/m, that’s 5000bt saved..

Is that a labour only cost or labour and materials cost?
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:50 pm

Sometimewoodworker wrote:
eyecatcher wrote:Day 17
With his concrete beam rate at 1100bt/m, that’s 5000bt saved..

Is that a labour only cost or labour and materials cost?


Thats his all in rate. When I measured this item originally the nett price for the concrete and steel worked out at around 550bt/m run. I then established a labour rate of 200bt/m run for labour to fabricate the steel cages and set up the shutters and props. On top of that sundries such as the hire of the pans, and the timber props So I can see fair all in rate for concrete beams being somewhere between 900-1200bt/metre run.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:58 pm

Day 18
The shutters for the first floor beams were completed and braced. More timber involved than in a forest. I did my bit and went around lifting the cages clear of the underside shutter with my homemade plastic cradles.
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bracing continues
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When the builder arrived we had a few items to bring to the builders attention.
The single bent rebar I had requested be provided to support the front door screens had not yet been addressed.
The external cantilevered path running down the side of the house, which we thought of as an afterthought, necessary to enable us to trim the adjoining trees, sit any air con boxes on and also to give us maintenance access did not appear to be set at 50/100mm lower than the house floor. Not sure what piece of engineering he will do to create that; just hope it doesn’t mean adding another 100mm concrete to the floors.

But the big issue was the rear staircases. It really is a simple concept to understand but the builder did not understand any of the drawings. Even my hand drawn 3d perspective to make it as obvious as possible wasn’t clear. He had kind of set out 6 steps at the rear leading to a patio door but the steps finish 1200mm from the patio door.
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stair sketches
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stair sketches

We attempted to set out the staircase against a ply backdrop, a few nails, and string line marking the pitch line. I then indicated where I wanted the bulkhead set at the farang height of 2m.

The existing house is not as high as the new house. The new house had a ground floor 400 higher; then a storey height of 2800mm. so that means from the existing adjoining decking we need to climb 5/6 steps to the new bedroom and go down 9 steps to the kitchen, Both flights adjacent to each other with a “half landing” between.
Structurally we have a beam at ground floor level underneath tread 5+6 to carry the stair load and I suggested a steel trimmer at the head. A concrete floor beam is already running beside the stairs that can be taken up in masonry underneath the stairs.
So I suggested they build a small wall only 900 long and 1m high in a block or bricks as temporary support for the reinforced stairs. After all if its done correctly the staircase only needs support at the top and the bottom.
However what they seem to want to do is to chop out the two structural columns exposing the steel and then to make another reinforced beam just 600 above the floor beam.
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not happy with this! very not!!


Ok keep calm; keep calm. What are the implications; well to me its obvious. I don’t want a horizontal beam showing at waist level in my kitchen looking like a complete balls up.
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stair beam-ridiculous


I went to try ask why they are creating so much work for themselves? I said I have two ideas. Firstly just build a simple brick wall, which can be adjusted up or down if the staircase meets it at the wrong point. You cannot cut out concrete if its too high. My second idea was to simply stretch a 4x4 shs between the two columns to do the same job as the heavy beam they were creating. No chopping out concrete; simply drill and fix and burn and infill with block afterwards.
I could see the penny dropping, the young girl realised immediately the beam would be in the kitchen.
In the end the damage couldn’t be undone so as a compromise I asked them to reduce the width of the beam simply by using the smaller links.

I always remember an old saying from a woodwork teacher of mine. He used to say to our small group of 12yr old “gentlemen; there are 3 ways to do any job; there is the right way; there is the wrong way and there is the my way;…the better way” how that phrase has stuck with me for over 40 years. He will be long dead by now.I bet he made his own coffin.

And we haven’t finished the day yet……
DSC_0471.JPG
bathroom floor steelwork
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:46 pm

Day 18 contd

Waiting for concrete delivery now, shutters all braced. I estimate we need about 4m3 concrete to fill these boxes and concrete the bathroom floor. That’s going to be 8 tonnes of connie. I have seen shutters blow out under the weight of concrete before. I hope the 4m3 doesn’t come in one delivery, the khlong drain will collapse, :( and my drive already has some wheel tracks scalloped in.
And hand bucketing to the first floor will be donkey work. 2 today, 2 tomorrow would be my call, but I am not in charge am I? hahahahaha :lol:

The concrete arrived at 5pm, this is going to be a long day for the team. I think 12 of us, forming a human concrete pump with buckets going in a circle. A few spillages as the buckets were thrown between 4 people to get to the top and two onsite accidents. One of the guys got a wet concrete splash in his eyes and one of the girls had a pile of 6 buckets land on her head. She thought it was hilarious; I didn’t see the funny side actually. :shock:
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concrete delivery
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My earlier advice about strengthening the concrete area under the bedroom door screen was again ignored/forgotten about even up to the concrete pour. I asked them to fix some steel to the ring beam and bend it over about 1.2m into the room, then run 2 or 3 bars the opposite way.
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I am not going to say anything, because if they forget them I am going to give them a hell of reinforcing project to do when the planks are fitted, to compensate.
At the death, the beams were filled and the builder arbitrarily stuck in about 20 random lengths of rebar some 2m long some 600 long?? and 4 in places that I didn’t need and none in an area I did need. Aaarrgghh!
Why is the guy doing this, to test me, wind me up or what? He knows full well, and so do his team that I pretty much know what I am talking about; I know every dimension and level in my head and I know what I want and I know what constitutes good quality which the wife keeps banding about.
I try to say to her good quality materials doesn’t make a quality job. For that you need attention to detail, care; good building practice and pride in what you do. Using high strength connie or using a 12mm rebar when a 6mm will do doesn’t wash with me.
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They left; and I risk life and limb climbing across the wet concrete to pull out 6 steel rods and set them elsewhere.
Its not a major issue actually, they will simply be bent over, tied to the structural fabric and just offer a little more support under two small wall cheeks and the door screen. :|
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:41 pm

Day 19
This morning the full team arrived to start removing the beam shutters. :lol: :lol: The wife gets stressed when I get stressed so I calmly asked her to tell the team that I don’t want the shutters removing today; and explained to her that the concrete isn’t strong enough yet to carry its own weight.
On receiving the news, the team stood there with gobs wide open. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: or was it their eyes?
They claimed they only wanted to remove the top braces spanning the tops of the shutter boxes.
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the morning after


Next question, when did they order the concrete planks for?.....today!! I had to laugh out loud in disbelief. :lol: :lol: :lol:
The boss arrived shortly afterwards to meet his team sitting around. It reminded me of my days on site when the guys would sit around and expect to get paid because they say they are waiting for someone to make a decision on how to proceed. The buzzword was “daywork”; but that word didn’t exist in my vocabulary. Meaning they wanted me to pay them a standard hourly rate for non productive work. They generally got two words in return; the latter being “off”
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saved 5000bt and spent 200bt instead???


So the missus, explained to him as best she could that I preferred the shutters to remain insitu for at least 2 days before they removed them and I suggest he cancel the concrete planks until the 3rd day, preferably 4th,5th, or even a weeks hence.
We got the small plea in return, that they only wanted to remove the top braces; and the shutters would remain in place and if we cancel today it could be a week as they were in a queue for the crane presumably. That’s just perfect for me.
That really doesn’t concern me, I can wait a week or even a month because as soon as the floor is complete I am due to pay him 170k baht!!
Despite the fact that they are supposed to have the boss as their project manager; I trump him; I am the Construction Director and I am the client and I just wonder why its taking him so long to realise this?

Oh well so be it; half the team buggered off and I suggested that boys remain to continue setting out the most complex part of the job; the back staircase area. This area will test their competence and skill and ability; lets see how involved I need to get. You see if they had planned this properly they could have concreted the rear decking at the same time as the bathroom floor. Lets see how long it takes them to realise their shortcomings. :wink:

It has a flight of 8/9 steps and a return flight of 5/6. I am a bit vague on the number of risers because they managed to set out the ground floor 150mm below my original level so who knows what the tread rise will work out to be.
So the idea is I can come out of our bedroom onto a small seated decking area with fantastic views of Doi Suthep and then drop 5 steps onto my original house decking which then goes down to the kitchen.

Its complicated because we don’t want a staircase inside the house. We don’t need a staircase inside the house. If I want to go from the living room to the bedroom or bathroom I have to go outside. If I want to eat outside which I do; as we have done for 2yrs already it will mean carrying 2 plates upstairs; same as we always do. Perfect….for us! Unfortunately I was asked to design in a dining room; which to me is a waste of 14m2 of space

There are also a couple of trimming beams to fit and a concrete floor to lay. Because it will be over the kitchen.
As with all my ideas; it was detailed and drawn out a long time ago, and the builder has a copy.

No one gets it, like women, seems they have no 3d vision, no imagination. I marked out the pitch line and gave myself the UK Building Regulations bulkhead minimum line of 2m (unless it has changed?) and marked the trimmer position. They understood that. The same trimmer will be carry the head of the upper flight’ and they got that also.

I said to make life easier we can set the out side floor 100mm below the house floor just “same same” bathroom.
And then he (the working foreman who I can actually communicate with)came up with his very good (NOT!!!!!) idea; or maybe the only idea he had. An idea to create at least a full days extra work and completely **** up 3 reinforced concrete beams only poured last night. :evil:
His idea was to hack out (like now while the concrete was green) in the 3 surrounding ring beams and expose the rebar. Then to make a new reinforced beam; God knows how deep to create the bulkhead and then make a suspended concrete floor in a lattice of rebar “tied” into 5m length of existing beam rebar and presumably 2.5m of new trimmer.

The more he tried to explain to more stupid his idea was; and then he said I can start now when concrete still soft.
Ok; I asked him to think about my idea. :idea: Tomorrow “wan yut” take day off, the concrete beams get stronger. Then next day buy 2 length of 100x100 steel angle iron. We bolt the angle to the beam OR we burn two angles together in “z” shape and then when floor plank arrive we simply fit 3 planks and then concrete over.
What does he think, collect some steel; either no drilling or just a few bolts to drill, job done in an hour? :|
I think he likes it……..consults with his 2 colleagues…..they like it? Am I maybe useful? Hmm lets see.

An hour later, I hear ”boss” they want me to check the staircase setting out. Well there were a lot of lines on that plywood all nicely drawn; yet on their final attempt somehow the last riser ended up 100mm above the level of my decking.!!!!!!. They were scratching their heads, calculators comes out, then they blame the new spirit level for not being level. (which is actually true for most of them here) Then they ask do I want 8 risers or 9.
I couldn’t watch any longer; thought it was best not to request a maximum angle of 42 degrees.

I will spare you the simple sequence of working out total rise and total going but it worked out 195/225 textbook perfect. I am not going to attempt the trigonometry but I am willing to bet its 42 degrees, UK building regs standard for private staircase.
It was very apparent that the way I drew out the steps they have never seen before. Twice in the same day I think I have actually been useful ……despite the early morning sulking from everyone.
I tell them they can have holiday tomorrow and I will set out both stairs for them. I will jig saw the profile in some ply if I can find enough, although the 6mm ply they have here is useless hahaha.


Regarding our financial set back, I have been banned from even mentioning the money now because I ask so many questions about why cant they do this or that, or did they ever run a business before; you don’t take your daily income to the bank every day, why cant they look at a joint income, blah blah. I am frustrated yes but it simply stresses and annoys the wife.
So she told me to leave that to be her business.
She has been speaking to the builder to request a quote tailored to our budget (so he is going to get a shock when I ask for that teak staircase and Villeroy and Bosch sanitaryware)., which he has obliged us with so that will be heading to the bank after the weekend.

stress level 9/10 :evil:

sorry guys, ....I think it was Roger mentioned to me that this splurge on writing is actually an outlet for stress....thats pretty fair. we all deal with it differently; I seem to carry it around with me and combine it with worry and negative outcomes.

holiday for the team tomorrow.....yaahooooo!!
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby BKKBILL » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:00 pm

eyecatcher wrote:sorry guys, ....I think it was Roger mentioned to me that this splurge on writing is actually an outlet for stress....thats pretty fair. we all deal with it differently; I seem to carry it around with me and combine it with worry and negative outcomes.

I found your build story interesting at first unfortunately it seems to have dissolved into a continuous put down of how Thais think and work which never sits well with me. One thing for sure is if you keep having them lose face on the site it will cost you dearly one way or another, Relieving stress at the cost of others on the job will prove to be unproductive and costly as you are starting to find out.

Sometimes taking a laissez-faire attitude can pay big dividends, since most of the small things will be covered and strength isn't being compromised most of your stress is not their problem but yours. Writing to relieve stress is probably good taking it out on them on the job is not.

Well that is my opinion anyway.
It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby kiwimartin » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:59 pm

I have to disagree Bill. I think this is the most interesting building thread currently running. I find Eyecatcher completely self aware and self deprecating...and the evolving relationship with his team is fascinating...at least for me. Its the first thread i open each day, and i check for updates! Thanks Eyecatcher, i for one am both educated and entertained . A first rate yarn in the making mate!
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