"Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:36 pm

Chapter 14 day 7

I was out of the house by 9am on my way to Ban Thi to try and get the pickings of the new house coming into stock. :)

Wasu had left before me on another coconut delivery round. :)

She was under some pressure last night because she had already sold 10kg of peeled plain and peeled pandana coconut and already got a customer delivery time set up.

The plan was that the products were going to arrive at the spa midday so she had the afternoon to re pack them into ordered lots.

Typically Thai though; promised deliveries never happened so at 7.30 pm we had to go to the Kelly s**t logistics delivery and distribution depot with the car to it collect ourselves. :(

Last week was similar; the coconuts were coming from Phitsanoluk on the bus because the Kelly s**t logistics didn’t work over a weekend so we had to be at the bus station at 8am to meet the parcel.

These so called simple buy and sell businesses are a pain in the arse. In fact I have said it before a million times, don’t ‘king trust anyone to do anything, there is too much stress involved with relying on other people to do a job.

At some point I will tell Wasu that her sandwich business was the best. She goes to Macro, buys food, comes home makes sandwiches…finished and no one else involved.

A couple of days ago she wanted me to go and buy her some 2kg scales because she was busy at the spa. I asked why she needs the scales when all the bags are already weighed out and nicely sealed. :?

Next thing she buys a bag heat sealer, both items 300bt each. I asked why she needs a bag sealer :?

Yesterday she asks me to go down the soi to borrow a bigger bag sealer from the laundry lady. :shock:

“You just bought one yesterday

“Yes but it doesn’t work continuously it cuts out after a bit and you have to wait”

“Ok but why the scales”

“Well I made a mistake when I advertise first time”

:roll: :roll: f.f.s all this work and extra expense because of her carelessness, she has learned now.

She bought 3 bags for 100bt and guess what…silly girl then advertises them 3 bags for 100bt. Its beyond belief but I am not surprised by anything here.

She realised that she is running a business at a big loss before she even sold one bag

“So just change the price”

“Cannot, I advertise already”

So her cunning plan which now needs the expense of new scales and bag sealers is to remove a couple of flakes the size of a crisp from each bag to make another bag or two or three….. :roll: :roll:

“If you were in England you would be sent to prison for doing that”

“I am not in your country”

So on one hand she is trying to manage 20 deliveries in the hope of making 400bt and me on the other hand is spending like I have money to spend…………which I can assure you I don’t


An early ride back out to Banthi…as lovely as always out there, and always nice to see some new construction in the countryside.

I arrived at 9.30 and the staff looked busy already denailing flooring similar to mine.

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Khun Aey said that already farang has been and bought all the teak floor boards, and he was going to send it to Switzerland for him.

Wow, difficult to believe. Teak isn’t cheap here but then to add on the cost of shipping to a country with a massive abundance of (albeit) cheap softwood with not a termite in sight for 5 thousand miles I am at a slight loss of why someone would do that. I mean there wasn’t anymore floorboard than I had off him to cover my bedroom and the decking and it will still need stripping and re finishing.

Quite sure he could have bought new teak there for the same price.

There was also the big pile of cladding that was there for my inspection but it was a disappointment. Very random lengths indeed, varying thicknesses and the quality looked generally crap.

“Im sorry but this is not good quality compared with what I have before and not long enough for me, is this all you have?”

It was obvious there was no where near enough for my needs and I was left looking at the tidy pile of teak cladding that I saw a few days ago, and pretty sure it was the same pile that was there a year ago.

It was all the same length at 5 sork which is what I want and it was already tied in piles of 10 lengths……but it was double the price I paid for all my previous hardwood cladding. That’s the painful thing.

Its unlikely I could get a better deal from any of the 30 other woodyards because they buy from Aey in the first place.

Who knows when another house is coming in to check; well he did say next month but it’s a lottery what you get.

I wanted to check it all, every length. If I am paying 17k baht then I want to check and choose each of the 100 lengths.
Out they all came, 10 at a time.

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He said I am only person he allow to check and choose…but I think no one else has the balls to ask.
Glad I did check because I discarded about 30 lengths that were either damaged along the edge, just too old or painted with some hideous stain or split in many places that they have tried to glue together.

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I selected 100 lengths and it was delivered to me 2 hours later.

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I spent the following three hours strapping my scaffolding and tying some old boards onto it to make a really professional working platform and then cleaning the cladding one at a time.

My multi sectional ladder came in handy as a table to clean the timber. Just perfect height for me. So initially I used a wire brush and water and scrubbed them. :)

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Judging by the colour of the water they were engrained with dirt but after 10 minute a board they are almost back to their original golden colour. :)

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At 10 minutes a board, I think I will be cleaning them for the next 3 days…hope not because I need to get the sander out again next.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:47 pm

Chapter 14 day 8 +9

My teak needs preparation; washing, and staining before it goes anywhere. I have spent 4 hours a day for two day just cleaning it and I have only done 60 lengths out of 100.

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But those that I have cleaned look completely different. Some of these boards are over 60 years old and on some you can see where the exposed part of the board has been weathered away over time. Maybe only 1mm but the detailing on the wood has been exposed and the inch that was lapped is still smooth.

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I think a bit of sanding is required on some of the heavily stained boards but so far so good and my left arm is building up like Popeyes after 10 hours of pressure rubbing.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Chapter 14 day 10

Another 4 days have passed, one of which was cleaning the cladding and two further days with the sander cleaning up my proposed outer face….I think I had a day off with Wasu at some point also!

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My fingers have repetetive strain injury but my physique incredibly is looking half decent. I have actually got some muscle pumping in my arms :lol: :lol: .

I was so looking forward to making a start on fixing some of the cladding tomorrow however that ideal has changed and I fear its gonna be another three days.

After seeing off the last of the cladding I thought it prudent to have a stroll along my scaffold platform to take a closer look at the old window frames, and set out some verticals and horizontals.

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The house isn’t level at all. The cladding is sloping about 75mm over a 5m length but according to my measurements it’s the same height to the underside of the rafters so the roof is on the piss also.

Each opening window has been forced into a shape it doesn’t belong and I have to leave them alone.

The bathroom extension at the back has been built and subsequently settled too much so it leans 100mm out of plumb over its height and I can get my fingers in between the original joint.

I don’t think its moved any more since we were here so its an opportunity to fill it with mortar.

On closer inspection I suspected termite damage over the window head and decided to remove the piece of cladding board.

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Omg……… :shock: :cry:

At the point I opened up the board the 125x50 roof plate bearer was eaten away 75% or even more over a 250mm stretch.

As I peeled away more of the cover strip, debris fell out and those all too familiar signs of the poo tunnels were there fully on show with part of the cladding boards backing already eaten away.

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This 7m long bearer, probably 2 of them was well under attack and very concerning.

With a can of quick fix chaindrite in one hand I was clearing out and spraying at the same time.
Where else have the little buggers gone. My roof is inaccessible so I cannot see or even spray up there.

Its giving me a bit of a headache now because I need to try and repair it before I even start thinking of re cladding.

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This beam is carrying a lot of short rafters, so the better news is that its only carrying a lesser load.

I cannot replace the beam, that’s physically impossible and I cannot pack it with more timber, that’s just gonna invite them back in but I could fill the devoured voids with mortar. It has some strength and it will not be eaten.

But before that I will need to give this whole area a chaindrite spray and then perhaps try to spray on the chaindrite wood protector as I am unable to reach high enough to brush it on.

Thereafter my plan was to fit a polythene membrane to seal any rain or termite access should it penetrate the occasional hole in the cladding boards.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:02 pm

Chapter 14 day 11

Well; yet again my plans are drifting from simple to complex. :(

The beam I scraped out what was left of it yesterday was going to be the subject of another spraying this morning followed by a liberal brushing of further chemical and I thought some mortar mixing to prevent the situation worsening.

I pulled off the narrow cladding boards at the point I considered they were originally getting in….and theres the answer.

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But of course I decided to have another poke around outside on the back side of the house. It was the same again; over the back window the cladding piece was simply nailed on to cover up the heavy timber beams but I could see this cladding piece was soft at the bottom.
It didn’t take much effort to remove it and reveal another 2m length of beam with a 90% destruction rate. After cleaning out the debris I have 30mm at the top and 100mm eaten away from the 130mm deep beam. The plasterboard on the inside wall is now completely visible.

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From here I went inside to open up the rest of the beam. I could see the plasterboard coming apart on the corner and likewise the corners of a beam tying the two main posts together. I was pretty sure we had more devastation.

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Indeed the removal of the plasterboard exposed the remainder of the beam about 50% destroyed but I was unable to clear it all out as I have the main electric cable consumer unit on a box I assume fixed to the beam that is no more.

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I opened up the board on a main beam across the room and noticed it wasn’t a beam but two 75x50 stud framing timbers. Non structural but acting as a tie between the two main posts. Damage was a bit less, maybe 30% so happy to have caught it early.

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So I am under some stress now. I have my son coming to stay in about 14 weeks and this is his room! :shock:


What we don’t want to do is to just cover up everything again and hope for the best because that will not work.

Having termites is like having a terminal illness in that its probably never going to fully recover only delay the inevitable.

Wasu thinks we should open up all the plasterboard as do I but I wouldn’t even know how to mention the extra mess and expense to her so I have nicely agreed with her and suffer in silence.

Where I do differ though is she thinks the whole ceiling should be removed and the timbers exposed (permanently)…which means the roof tiles exposed, that I don’t agree with as we will forever be getting insects, possibly rain and wind driven dirt inside the house.

Yes it may look nice but perhaps I can try a different tack on that one and have it both ways.

I will continue slowly removing plasterboard and hoping that I don’t see further serious damage. I fear the roof will become unsafe if I don’t get it propped or supported. I think those old fence posts are going to find another use soon. :roll:

:cry: :cry:
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:10 pm

Chapter 14 day 12+13

Two more days of misery and stress; my simple re cladding job has now been put on hold for weeks possibly because every time I remove another piece of plasterboard I find more devastation. :(

After poking around and removing the boards at the back of the beam I exposed yesterday there is not much left of it. 1.5m of its length is gone 100% and the remaining 3.5m is 80% gone….whats holding the bloody roof up ????

Same with the beam at the back over the windows. After removing plasterboard on the inside the whole of the beam over the window has gone completely and I can now understand why the roof has a hump in it, because the hip load is bearing down onto nothing….well maybe the window frame.

The said window frame actually fell out today so I have had to wedge it back in place. Outside I thought it was prudent to prop the rafters that are floating in mid air…well the truth is they are now only self supporting with nailed tiling battens.!

It’s a nightmare now…

I exposed another boxing that I could see the termites cracking the paint. It was a pair of 3x2 timbers spanning between the two main posts. Every piece of plasterboard I broke off sent dozens of termites into my hair, they were everywhere the little bastards, but I had my sprayer on hand to exterminate every foot or so, before they jumped onto the floor and started a new home. :cry:

My main concern is the structural timbers of course, these boxing timbers don’t really matter other than harboring more termites ready to move elsewhere.

So far the beams for the main roof that I have exposed have only received superficial damage, the beams that I have lost already were carrying the short lean to roof, maybe 1m long so there isn’t a big load on them that will will cause them to collapse…….just yet. :shock:

Wasu keeps saying we can remove all the plasterboard and have the beam exposed. The only advantage I see in this idea is that we can easily spray and treat those timbers but then having the underside of the roof tiles to allow any matter of critters in, dust in, driving rain in, and extra heat, unsightly noggins and the rest. But yes it would look quaint I suppose.

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After an initial major money stress over this that involved Wasu with her own money worries the way forward is going to involve some steelwork. Certainly 3 new steel corner posts and certainly two long steels in lieu of the two beams that have disappeared.

The steelwork then gets me thinking about framing the whole back out with steel and fixing the cladding to it.

I cant fix big steel by myself but if I use 2x2 and 2x1 then its feasible that I could have a go……..but do I want to?…..no

I will also need to move the consumer unit, don’t want to do that….and I have already pulled away a load of electric cables feeding sockets and lights so they need to be addressed…..oh no :(

I will continue stripping and clearing out for two more days I think.

Thereafter I can decide what can be salvaged and what must be pulled away. I will ask Wasu to contact the two termite companies we have used before to get them to visit us and quote for a whole house spray. I am doing it myself along the way but I want someone with a proper mask to go and pressure drench it all even the roof.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:19 pm

Chapter 14 day 12+13 contd

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I have always been interested in wood boring beetles and funghi and the like and in the uk regularly used to commission companies to do the sub floor strip outs and replacements. The replacement timbers were of course pressure impregnated; vac vacced it was called then and probably now also.

Back in the day everything was creosoted until it was banned, for domestic use and of course the chromium copper arsenate (green tinted timber)is now under investigation in some countries.

I digress, however I have always doggedly believed that spraying the ground or a property only kills whats there at that time.

Ground treatments may involve baiting products whereby the blighters take the food back and kill the rest but they are one time treatments and offer no long term solution what so ever.

In my opinion there is only one way to rid yourselves of termites and thats to rid yourself of their food; remember this “my home is my dinner” that’s the termites mission statement.

The next best way is to treat the food…the timber, don’t allow them to start eating instead just poison them.

Anyone who understands the life cycle of termites will quickly appreciate that all those millions of flyings termites that come out during or after a rain storm are the kings and queens. When they lose their wings you are at risk because they mate and give rise to a new colony. If they do that on your property then potentially you are in trouble and all that money you spent spraying the garden and perimeter fence is superfluous now.

Knowing that they can access gaps in your property of just 1/32 of an inch is worrying!! But in my case I was asking for trouble.
All our eaves are open and we get squirrels fighting with Terry Tokay occasionally along the ceiling so access for a few hundred flying kings and queen is easy.

So on my list is to close up the access into the roof…my estimated cost on this refurbishment started at 25k, then it went to 40k after I bought the teak and now another 10k for steel and if I have to get a team in to fix the steel, plasterbaording electrics plus new patio door at the back in lieu of the fallen out window etc it will be approaching 80k; plus beds, furniture and the bathroom its going to be 115k :cry:
i can see Wasu working until midnight now to pay for this lot. seriously :roll:

But I am still remaining positive that this set back will enable me to be a bit more creative with the finished look.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby Kolac » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:46 am

sorry but your pics don't work. I try about 7 methods
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:09 pm

Kolac wrote:sorry but your pics don't work. I try about 7 methods


I guess you are referring to using this site on a smartphone. I also can not see any pictures via mobile. its fine on building story but this forum seems restricted for some reason. is it about logging in I wonder?
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby schuimpge » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:52 pm

logging in is indeed the only way to see it on a mobile..
funny thing though, my 2010 iPad has no problem, my 2016 iPhone has..

Cheers,
Luc
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:42 am

schuimpge wrote:logging in is indeed the only way to see it on a mobile..
funny thing though, my 2010 iPad has no problem, my 2016 iPhone has..

Cheers,
Luc

your iPad may well have the pictures cached or you are still logged in. Your iPhone may not have the capacity to cache the pictures.

Also if you get the message
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then you are not logged in and when you do they will be there.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby schuimpge » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:23 am

Hello STWW,

Indeed, for the iPhone, logging in solves the problem.
Have tried many times to click the button "Keep me logged in", but now realise it might be that the iPad is logged in hence the iPhone doesn't do that. Wonders of connected devices..sigh.

As for caching the pictures, don't think that's the case for the iPad, unless it uses permanent storage for that. But as far as I know, caching is done in ram, not rom, and the iPad has not even enough ram to cache 2 webpages at the same time it seems, continuously reloading when switching between tabs.

Anyhow.. not a big deal for me, I just log in and see the pictures again.

Cheers,
Luc
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:07 pm

schuimpge wrote:Hello STWW,

Indeed, for the iPhone, logging in solves the problem.
Have tried many times to click the button "Keep me logged in", but now realise it might be that the iPad is logged in hence the iPhone doesn't do that. Wonders of connected devices..sigh.


The iPad being connected has no effect on the server side, it's more likely to be an iOS issue, though I usually use my iPad I will have to login randomly every couple of days


As for caching the pictures, don't think that's the case for the iPad, unless it uses permanent storage for that. But as far as I know, caching is done in ram, not rom, and the iPad has not even enough ram to cache 2 webpages at the same time it seems, continuously reloading when switching between tabs.


iPads never use ROM for anything other than about a small amount for the system, they have a modest amount (500k to about 4gig of system reserved SRAM and the rest is for programs and data storage. In my case 119.2 of 124 gig

They do not have any dram it is all sram

The reason for your refresh is more likely to be the model iPad, the total memory or the version of iOS that you are running
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:54 pm

Chapter 14 day 14+15

Its another two days of strip out; one board removed turns to the next and the next. No area seems to be termite free except believe it or not, the wood that is outside, exposed and not hidden. :shock:

My knowledge on termites is deepening. They will eat anything but like us prefer favourites. They prefer the sapwood, its full of cellulose and whilst heartwood is more of a deterrent, as is teak they will eat it if there is nothing else around…..like when you feed a kid broccoli or sprouts, he turns his nose up but after a week its sprouts or nothing! :wink:

The don’t like the sunshine, uv light disrupts their nervous system hence you don’t ever see termite damage externally; but if wood is subject to dampness they prefer to get a head start into some soft wood.

They don’t like salt but what do I do with salt!! And aloe vera gel which I have loads of needs manually pasting on….not a job I want to do.

So for now I am breaking off plasterboard in 300mm pieces and have the chaindrite can handy for a quick blast before they hide. :evil:

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I now have only the ceiling boards left and should I take them off or not? Most of the rafters appear to be sound, previously treated ones have not been touched but I can see where someone may have added in new timbers and cut it up for noggins or plasterboard framing out, very evidently untreated softwood which you can put your finger right through.

Just annoyed that the two of the main purlins were not treated but we are here with it and must address it.


Today I removed all the thin ply that I underboarded the floor with 4 years ago. I fitted it because the floor boards internally were just butt jointed, obviously never planed to fit correctly and so you can get your fingers between a couple but certainly a 2/3mm gap between many more.

Around the tree posts the floor was cut so bad it offered no resistance for a nosey snake or a tokay into the house.

So with the excuse of dust, insects and noise I clad it with ply. Wasu was always against it and said Thais don’t ever do that, they just fill the joint with strips of wood of sometimes a thin lath underneath.

She was correct of course and now I regretted doing it because as I removed the unscathed plywood the termites have been busy nibbling the timber floor from underneath. The decking boards completely untouched because I didn’t cover them but elsewhere they appear to have been at it for maybe a year so not too much damage, maybe 10% of the area was starting to go.

Having stripped off most of the plasterboard I decided to do a complete spray myself really to arrest any further damage and to bring those buggers out of the woodwork that were on the move.

I sprayed everywhere I could reach in an hour, 5 litres of chemical though I am not sure chaindrite 30 is as strong as the professionals use.

After my initial full house spray I have asked Wasu to contact the two companies we have used before to get them to come and do the same again. Whilst my 8 litre sprayer is quite good I think the pressure that they can achieve in their steel canisters can drive the chemical in to the roof areas I cannot reach.

I need to think about how I can put this back together now, I am thinking steel and then thinking I need to transmit the loads to the ground and not the existing tree posts. It could be a case of being practical now rather than the aesthetics.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:14 pm

Chapter 14 day 16

Wasus secondary businesses to keep “her” income at a level are taking on all manner of shapes.

She already has the intermittent dried bananas selling well and now the coconuts are really popular but she went to sell some of her old clothes on a market a couple of weeks ago and ended up with two orders to make clothes for people.

Our lounge is more untidy that my building jobs, material and offcuts, patterns, pencils tape measures, two sewing machines all on the go…I cant hardly see our new table or the floor tiles under the activity.

Now she tells me she has reserved a stall for a months time at a new walking street market, an evening market so she now has to completely re structure the spa staff until she gets someone managing the stall for her.

She hasn’t thought it through at all and thinks a heavily pregnant therapist of ours will appreciate the job,, :lol:

"Who will manage your stock? ....They will have to take it home every day, ....have they got a car? And your small profit will be paid to the staff will it? did you think about this?"

“Yes of course”

Yes my arse……………….thats another venture I can see lasting 5 days (it wasnt worth saying that aloud)

Simple day for me today, just going around and filling some of the severely eaten voids with mortar. If I don’t, they will collapse.

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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:31 pm

Chapter 14 day 17

I got that déjà poo moment again today….when you feel like you’ve heard this s**t before.
Yesterday Wasu had made an appointment for one of the pest control teams to come and visit us. The variable appointment time was “sometime before 1” :roll:

Of course it gets to 12.30 today and she has to phone them to find out if they are coming; at that point they have been caught out and decide they cant make it today and will come tomorrow morning instead.

That’s very typical and I said as much to Wasu that even after 18 months of banning all tossers from our house the minute you think you need some help it all comes flooding back, the rudeness, the lack of commitment, the apathy.

I have already given the house my own full pesticide spray and this morning I carried out the spraying externally to the underside of the floorboards I exposed yesterday. I was dearly wanting them to arrive as I was doing it just to show them that I take no s**t off anyone. :lol:

Tomorrow will be fun because she had already made a second appointment with another company to come early afternoon……….its gonna be a blitzkrieg when the first dickhead arrives late and the second one arrives early, a proper head to head. :lol:

I reckon, and I am trying to be predictive here that both of them will quote in the region of 3-5000 baht and at that point I will be going back to global and buying more chaindrite and doing it the once over again.

I have used up 2no 500ml cartons of poison at 350bt to do all the inside of the house and all the outside but another carton will do it all again easily I think.

After a few days now, I don’t see much activity in the timbers, I am looking carefully, activity is not too difficult to see now, that most of the timber is gone!

After the underside of the floor spraying today it was a measuring and design day.

I will need lots of steel and I am looking at each wall as a separate entity.

My long West wall where the main damage was done, I will frame out inside the windows and support each rafter with a steel stud. I cannot replace the wallplate which is almost gone but I can provide support internally and try to protect and retain what is left of it with lots of treatment. For this wall I will be using 2x1 steel framing studs and noggins.

The rear north wall is also in a bad way. The 130mm deep wallplate has gone completely which was outside and on careful investigation I can see the hip and 3 adjacent jack rafters had dropped by 20mm. It is possible to jack them up a tad but is it worth it and how do I manually jack a roof back up?...I have no acrows, but I have steel to lever it up.

The bathroom extension is leaning away from the house quite a lot, who knows if it was built like that or has it just settled but almost every post and window jamb seem to have been pulled over by 50mm.

Anyway, I now plan on incorporating a 1600mm wide patio door frame instead of the window that is too long for the wall so I am thinking about framing out with 70x50 or 70x38 steel. The bigger size helps with fixing a patio door frame and allows for a plasterboard or cladding depth on each side plus the heavier duty steel can carry the rafters over the door head.

I have not yet considered the main beams internally that have “gone” and I think I may have to be contemplate some ground posts, additional ties, angle cleats….but can I do this myself?? I dearly want to but I have external cladding to do, beam filling with mortar, some grouting to open joints that are invitation to termites. :?

Tomorrow another design day before I order the steel.
eyecatcher
 
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Location: Chiang Mai

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