First week of construction

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First week of construction

Postby Glenn » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:11 am

The original engineer specified pilings sunk 18 metres. I think that he thought that we were building a high rise.

My wifes uncle, a C-11 at the Thai Electric Company, and an engineer for the past 25 years, said 10 metres is fine. We ordered 10 metre piles, they were able to sink them only 5 metres. We cut off the tops and used the 15 5 metre piles as a retaining wall to extend our road.

We got a call from the 18 metre engineer, complaining that he had not been paid by the architect that we had fired previously. Too bad ! The architect, by the way, never finished the drawings. Earlier, we had fired her by deleting her telephone number from our cell phone.
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housefirst week 002.jpg
housefirst week 007.jpg
housefirst week 001.jpg
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Postby Itchy » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:08 pm

Glenn,

Do keep adding regular updates, I love reading about other people's projects.
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Postby jazzman » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:05 am

...and problems 8)
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Postby jazzman » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:12 am

Glenn,

I would mildly suggest you have certainly been taken for a long ride by that first architect. Maybe she owns the pile driving firm. As you said, you are not building a high rise, and you would not even need 10 metre piles unless you are building in a swamp or the middle of a lake. Most of us only need 1.5 (that's right: one and a half) metre foundation holes digging out for the posts which we pour in situ in formwork like this:
http://coolthaihouse.com/cthpics/displayimage.php?album=6&pos=8
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Postby rosegate » Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:32 pm

jazzman wrote:Glenn,

I would mildly suggest you have certainly been taken for a long ride by that first architect. Maybe she owns the pile driving firm. As you said, you are not building a high rise, and you would not even need 10 metre piles unless you are building in a swamp or the middle of a lake. Most of us only need 1.5 (that's right: one and a half) metre foundation holes digging out for the posts which we pour in situ in formwork like this:
http://coolthaihouse.com/cthpics/displayimage.php?album=6&pos=8


I agree another set of Thai conmen or women, whatever the case, looks as if your piles have only gone 1 or 2 metres, if your only building a small bungalow piles were probably not even needed
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Postby jazzman » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:34 pm

There is no probability factor. A house like this (below) will NEVER need piles if the land is fairly well drained, and if filled has been compacted and allowed to settle for a year and compacted again before digging out the foundation holes. The depth of the holes (eg. 1.5 m) should not be calculated to include the layer of infill.
Attachments
mixer gone.jpg
A 156 sq,m bungalow built on 40 - 50 cm of infill. 18 concrete columns on 1.5m deep foundations below the infill. The coluns and their foundations are interconnected by a 4m x 4m matrix of 20cm x 40cm footings with brick formwork left in place.
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:56 pm

Thanks for all the feedback.

The architect was a real piece of work. But we got rid of her fast, and we only wound up paying 35,000 baht of the total fee. Once we saw there were problems, we stopped calling her and she never called us again. We never paid the balance but we got a set of working drawings that only needed a little help. So we really didn't do too bad on that transaction, other than the aggrievation. I live here and I do business here, she wasn't a surprise to me.

The piles went in from 3 to 5 metres and although we filled the land about 1.5 years ago, the water table does seem to be pretty high, so I think the piles were a smart way to go. Everyone now agrees that building on concrete piers instead of pilings would have been a mistake.

The house is actually quite large. The footprint is 12 metres by 18 metres, with about 290 square metres of living space. We built the master bedroom suite upstairs, it's about 80 metres and then the balance of the upstairs is all deck with a roof covering about 80% of it. We put in a steam room and sauna upstairs and we also built a hidden room behind the walk in closet.

The house has a guest room and a den downstairs, 1.5 baths downstairs, living room, thai kitchen, western kitchen and a maids room with bath, there's also a utility pantry behind the kitchens.

Another important thing that I want to mention. My wife's uncle, wissawat (engineer in thai) is acting as a construction manager. We're paying him a token sum of money and he's always available by telephone and visits the site at least once a week. So far, his assistance has been invaluable.

I'm taking pictures everyday and I've started an album here on coolthaihouse. I'll keep on uploading. Any comments are greatly appreciated.
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Postby jazzman » Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:27 pm

Certainly is quite a big house from your description, Glenn. Can't wait to see the finished building on your album.

BTW you can also include a direct link to your album in your postings.
This is yours: http://coolthaihouse.com/cthpics/thumbnails.php?album=20

and this is Jazzman's modest contribution: http://coolthaihouse.com/cthpics/thumbnails.php?album=6 :)
- never did find out how to put the pics in the right order :(
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Postby dozer » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:52 am

never need piles if the land is fairly well drained, and if filled has been compacted and allowed to settle for a year and compacted again before
The one caveat I would add to this is it depends on general soil conditions in the area. Piles are generally not needed for bungalows (assuming soil is as jazzman states) BUT there are some areas with substandard soil conditions that do require piles, some of the costal areas around Bangkok for one. It is the exception rather than the rule, you will probably know if you are in one of these areas since everyone will be using piles there.
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Postby Glenn » Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:50 pm

Actually from what I understand, there is a fault running through Kanchanaburi.

If Thailand ever has an earthquake, it's going to be in our area.

If you're ever in the neighborhood......
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Postby Glenn » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:36 am

Well, here we are about 4 months later. The house is about 75% completed.

The builder has been a pleasure, every step done on time, with no major issues.

He seems to be very honorable, follows instructions, eager to please us.

As we've been building, I've been posting pictures in the gallery. Please take a look as any comments or feedback would be appreciated.

I'd like to thank the members of this forum for their support. Throughout the entire process, I've had this site to refer to for guidance.

The site gave me the opportunity to ask the builder questions that I already knew the answer to.
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DSC00779.JPG
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Postby Nawty » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:39 pm

Glenn, what is the 'secret' room behind the walkin closet for ?? I kind of like that idea, could be a kinky room, or could even make it fire proof for all valuables and such, or just somewhere to lock the kids away....out of sight out of mind :wink:

As for piles, totally depends on the area. We had piles sunk here in Bangkok, but Bangkok is a swamp and they were 26 gauge sunk 21 meters and the first 15 odd meters they went in like knife through butter.

The house is also 2 levels and kinda big at 430sqm.

Your piles do look awesome sticking out of the ground that far.

I had also heard about Kanchanaburi on a quake line, I also heard that there was concern about the dam built nearby and with possible questionable building techniques or materials and being on or near this fault line.

Have you heard any local info about this.

I want to eventually settle in Kanchanaburi area also.
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