"Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

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

Postby eyecatcher » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:24 pm

Chapter 14 day 18

At 7.20 Wasus phone was ringing; :evil: I wasn’t impressed because I had a sleepless night but I did ask if that was the guy who messed up yesterdays appointment?

I then said something to the effect that I hope he isn’t coming now :roll:

15 minutes later and two further phone calls she was on her bike going to meet the guy to lead him down the soi.

Whats up with these people, this guy lives along the main village road and takes his kids to school 800m from our house.

I had already primed Wasu with the instructions, full spray inside and out plus drilling into the base of 8 tree posts.

Having failed the initiative test of finding soi 4 off the main road he was already being judged. :wink:

He didn’t look very competent and I was watching his body language, actions and his eyes to see where he looked.

He started off well, :) he made a beeline to the right side of the new house and spotted the termite mound agin the plinth that I destroy every 2 weeks.

He was a talker and I don’t like talkers unless they have been drinking; I could sense he was a bull shitter. I can sense bull shitters with my nose and my experience of dealing with dozens before.

“Is he going to come upstairs and look at the house?...it might be a good idea”

Wasu brought him up and we said our hellos. I just kept quiet and watched him. He took a step..just one... into the house and didn’t appear to look up and notice three major beams half eaten away. He didn’t walk around, he didn’t touch anything….this guy is a dickhead and I am going to do the second spray myself.

He came outside and he and Wasu were chatting, well he was talk.. talk.. talk

“his price is 3k baht” she says, as he continues bullshitting

“erm….” I try to break into the bullshit, Wasu hears me….he carried on

“erm…….can I” he is still oblivious to me trying to speak :evil:

“Can I ask a question please?”….. he is still ckufing talking and Wasu stops him to allow me to speak.

“Can you ask him what chemicals he will use”

I am told chaindrite 30, the same as what I have just used and spent 600bt

“and how long does he expect the job to take?

“1 or 2 hours”

“Oh; 2 hours that’s how long it took me to do it quite thoroughly but I haven’t drilled the slab.

I am already one step ahead 3000bt, 600bt for chemical and 2 hours work, hmm…just keep smiling and act ignorant. “the greedy bastard.”

“And does he have any advice on what I should be doing with the half eaten timber or anything else”

“No; he says you can leave the old timber where it is.”

“Ask him if he works for a pest control company and is freelancing”

“He used to but has now set up on his own.”

“Tell him thank you but we have someone else to see later”

Two hours later KV PEST arrived. They installed the sub floor irrigation system two years ago. It was the same lad and his sidekick and I recognized him as having a bit of savvy about him.

He came in the company truck but this was a scotching job apparently. He always said he could do the same job cheaper, a bit naughty but everyone I am sure has done something similar, I have. :wink:

He was like a bloodhound and despite my spraying yesterday he quickly found some more and even located the access point into the building, through our downstairs toilet. :shock:

I had seen them in there before but the walls and floors are concrete. The poo pipes are all over the wc so it doesn’t stop them travelling. He showed me the door frame was just a shell, like the beams. He was walking about like a proper building surveyor.

In the old house he looked inside and outside and Wasu passed on those comforting words from him

“its quite serious”

:shock: :cry:

He was also quoting 3k baht but was indeed more thorough about what he was going to do. Wasu also mentioned that she thought it sensible to do the new house aswell at the same time. To refill all the sub floor irrigation and do the house perimeter, maybe even my new staircase and deckings. For the whole lot it was 5k

From out of the back of the company truck he brought me a large drum of the chemical they would use. It was the deadly “mazkem” chloropirifos, a proper industrial pest killer. :shock:

He warned us that after the spray we shouldn’t go into the house for a week, but preferably 2 weeks.,,which was sound advice.

I was researching this chemical and it attributes to 10000 deaths a year but of notable interest it refers to chloropirifos as some scientists reasons for the tourists deaths in a hotel in Chiang Mai circa 2011.

The Downtown Inn had a very bad name before this and never admitted to anything of course. Its very plausible though that this dirty hotel was refurbished and simply sprayed throughout. 4 tourists died in their beds soon after it reopened.

Following that incident no one would stay there, they went bust and it became abandoned, no one would take it on because it was full of ghosts so it was demolished two years later.

The Chiang Mai hotel at the centre of a scandal after four guests – three of them foreigners – mysteriously died there last year is being demolished.

The Downtown Inn, in the Chiang Mai tourist centre near the Night Bazaar, made headlines last year and was dubbed ''the death hotel'' as claims emerged chemicals used there might have caused the deaths, all of which happened over a two-week period.

The Disease Control Department's report –released after a five-month probe into the incidents – concluded that three of the deaths were probably connected to the use of pesticides, but many questions remained unanswered.
The hotel gained notoriety early last year when news broke that three foreign tourists and a Thai tour guide who stayed at the hotel had died mysteriously.

Three of the deaths occurred at the hotel, while the fourth guest died in hospital.

Chiang Mai's head of public health, Surasing Visaruthrat, who joined the World Health Organisation investigation team in their probe into the Downtown Inn deaths, said the four deaths were caused by poisoning.

''We could not determine which toxic substance killed them. It could have been food poisoning, pesticides, the result of fires to burn rubbish or it could be related to other toxins. The evidence we gathered did not point us to anything specific,'' Dr Surasing said.

Our man emphasized we should take the mattress out of the room completely.

So we need to clear the place out now and I think move our morning breakfast table onto the other decking for now and get some wrapping plastic to cover the old wardrobe and bed frame and other sundries.

I have continued progress on designing the steel and framing supports and giving consideration to the final design, plasterboarding, cladding, vertical or horizontal and using a plumb line its difficult to believe how they could have built the place leaning in every direction you can imagine.

I mean even without a level or tape measure you could make this house straighter.

Called at Gobal today to check out steel prices and also to see if they sell 3x1 steel. That question was answered, no they don’t, but I also got a bit of an edukashen on the mystery stainless steel they sell.

Well its labeled as IP, nice and shiny clean steel and only a few baht a length more than the dirty ferrous steel that needs red leading.

As I like to take the piss out of nitwits at the big box stores I was going to ask some of them what the IP means

Excuse me what does IP mean

“…..sorry, one moment”

Off he goes and comes back a few minutes later

“…….it means tainler”


“…..Tainler Teel krap pom”

Ok find someone else

Excuse me what does IP mean?


Looking dead between the ears, oh forget it :roll:

Next, a ladyboy aha :wink:

Excuse me what does IP mean?

…arai na?....pochee? (in deep husky voice)

Next….its like pulling teeth

“Excuse me……………”

“…..internet provided from China” :shock:

“So the steel is made in China and you order on internet”


“Is it stainless steel?

“…oh; tainler much better”

“Than….? Go on……ok thankyou.” :roll:

Now I have to admit I didn’t know what those initials stood for until I googled it but I certainly had serious doubts that it was stainless steel based on the price.

A standard 2x1 steel and a standard 3x1.5 steel is only 40baht more expensive per length for IP (than dirty greasy oily ferrous)

So it means Ion Plated, a chemical cleaning process that protects the steel but not to the extent of real stainless steel. Which is I understand an amalgam of chromium and nickel etc.

It looks like there is no need for primer, indeed a neighbour has used them for his roof and they are exposed, still as shiny 18 months later.

Just another typical grumpy old farang day :)
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:50 pm

Chapter 14 day 19+20

With the termite spraying team coming in a couple of days we made a very quick decision on where to move the wardrobe and bed to.
We initially moved the mattress inside as this was the most vulnerable item and perfect for harboring the chemical. I certainly don’t want my son dying in bed here nor indeed any other guests thereafter even if it is 12 weeks away. :shock:

It was never the intention to keep the wardrobe as I am building in a cupboard wardrobe now and we have a dressing table which doesn’t really fit with any décor we have.

So on the spur of the moment we agreed, lets sell the lot; it’s a decent Concept matching set and still in great condition (well that’s what we will say of course)Advertise it and get rid of it all in two days then we have a clear empty room to work in.




Thank goodness for the facebook buying and selling groups. Wasu took some photos in the morning and I did the same.

She asked me to write an advert and the sizes etc and she would copy.

By the time my “sale” was approved on the farang site Wasu had already advertised herself and got at least 20 people already fighting for it. :)

Infact by 7pm after a days work, I was relaxing, drinking beer and she said someone wants to come and look now. I said no its not convenient, its dark.

An hour later she said ok someone has paid a deposit already and will collect tomorrow. She had about another 6/7 people wanting her to call back if they didn’t collect.

As for my advert, well it appeared to have been seen by 1 person, who wanted to cherry pick and ask how much the bed was.

This is very typical farang behaviour. Don’t want the set but just this or that. Really farangs are complete waste of time in pretty much anything like this, always looking to cheapen down. :evil:

The next morning we were quite happy and lucky that we had managed to sell the bedroom set. It was like having a load off our mind and allowed me now to really go to town and get some style back into the old house. :)

Its gonna be a homestay, well that’s the plan; for couples who want to experience some rural life with a mix of grumpy old men. Its all to be planned really but I can see myself taking them out on bike rides around the paddies in our area, maybe a mountain hike and perhaps taking them to a rendez vous point for a cooking school whereby we take loads of commission.

Quite simple, and relaxed I hope because I don’t like people!!! But I like money. :)

At midday the people arrived who had bought the bedroom set. I did tell Wasu to advise that they needed a pickup and maybe a couple of men as the wardrobe was very very heavy and couldn’t be dismantled easily.

The pick up arrived, one guy, two really overweight lasses and the ugliest little two year old I have ever seen.

Of course I have only said what everyone else thinks when they see the same things but you don’t say it out loud do you?!

Anyway, I can tell you, its a good job I am as fit as a butchers dog, not quite strong as an ox but it meant two of us, me and the lad carrying the wardrobe which was possibly 150kg in one piece apart from the doors. :(

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We moved it about 1m then had to put it down and rest. Its not easy getting it out of the old house, then negociate the balustrades, then onto the decking then down the staircase. We thought it easier to offer it up over the handrails. It was heavy and dangerous. Wasu did her best to help, quite often in the way but the two fat ducks did nothing but block out the sunshine.. :roll:

We did manage it though but an effort it was.

The bed was much easier as a few screws taken out made it a very manageable job.

The mattress was a pain. A king size but no carry straps and very awkward to handle. It nearly ended up in the mud three times including twice when it was already on the truck .

I did say to Wasu, shall we burn the mattress and not sell it…for health reasons. You wouldn’t get someone in the west buying a second hand mattress with all the potential piss/poo/blood/jizz and slaver stains all embedded.

She said no, it will cost someone more than we are selling the whole set to buy a new mattress….urgh

Would you buy a secondhand mattress? no……only if you were desperate………but then again every mattress in every hotel room is the same isn’t it?


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

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:12 pm

Chapter 14 day 21

Easy day today but last night I decided to prepare a building programme for the refurbishment work. I have re costed the job. A few weeks ago it was just going to be a couple of tubs of paint but now the cost is likely to be in the region of 80k baht. :shock:

This does of course doesn’t include a new bed, tables, curtains though.

With son number two arriving in 13 weeks I could see the job was going to be tight especially now that the termite sprayer advised that we couldn’t go inside for upto 2 weeks.

I need to find external things to do for the first two weeks. My programme shows a 11 week time span and that without a single day “off” giving me two weeks to take the odd days. :(

I need to crack on; and of course my programme is geared to me doing everything so my steelwork times maybe generous.

The plan is to get the steel ordered and try to progress the cladding on the outside, including the balustrade stud wall.

Today I filled in some more termite eaten timbers that were supporting the window frames. There is no way I can infil with more wood or even steel so mortar seem the most sensible way to give some support and strength.

I also grouted a couple of internal beams that sit inside an old tree post. It only takes a termite to get inside there and two sides of the roof could collapse.

Final small job for today to remove the original balustrade from the end. I did buy enough new balusters last year to replace this one but we realize that sometimes we get driving rain and wind from that direction and we can also see the neighbours lovely kitchen lean to so for a bit more privacy I will raise the balustrade, clad it right through on both sides and maybe add a trellis screen on top for some plants etc.


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

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:23 pm

Chapter 14 day 22

We are expecting the pest control team this morning so we have some final items to move from harms way.

I bagged up the wifi that’s in the same room and covered the plug sockets expecting them to get soaked and Wasu decided to move about 50 pairs of shoes from outside to inside our house. Only four of those pairs were mine. Ones I wear regularly and there were some of my respectable shoes that had gone all mouldy!! Urgh! :(

Prior to them arriving I decided to steal a march on the balustrade wall. After removing the old handrail last night this morning I lifted it a few inches higher to match the adjacent balustrade and use some old timber blocks as supports.


I have the old softwood battens that I removed from the doors inside to make new cladding supports.
I know using softwood is asking for trouble but I have more than enough and I can double them up and stain them so they should hold firm for at least 5 years and should be more.

Ok it was time to stop, they have arrived :)

“Wasu; they are here, you had better come to talk to them and find out their plan”

The plan was that we get the hell outta there :wink:

Early morning I had started the bonfire. It was a pretty big bonfire albeit half of it was plasterboard so I wasn’t expecting a great fire but there was a lot of old wood and of course everything was covered in termites.

So as these two pest boys arrived it was quite funny/ironic to see them coughing and pulling their jumpers up their eyes to avoid the smoke. :roll:

They unloaded the generators, the big water drums and the pesticide and the drills, water hosepipes and set everything up.





The first job was to drill and pump pesticide around the 8 tree posts plus an extra one through the new concrete slab adjacent to the shed door.



The drill was a bit of a monster as was the lance that was driven into the ground. It appeared to be about 800/900mm long and during the pumping process they were lifting it up and down to ensure the full height of the 900mm was flooded.

The same lads installed our sub floor irrigation system two years ago and they pumped it again plus gave the side of the house where were are experiencing termites a good ground spray.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:37 pm

Chapter 14 day 22 contd

Final job was the house spray. I thought they would be going in with just a hand held steel 10 litre sprayer a bit bigger than my own but they rigged up the hose pipe with a long spray lance and used the generator pump.

Oh; it was like a firemans hose, like your patio grime blaster. They sprayed the concrete floor?....or was it simply the 8 tree bases and then he took it into the house.


All the decking outside was wet, the pesticide was dripping through the floorboard and onto the concrete floor below and the smell was pretty bad.





Now I was outside with the camera. I was wearing a mask but throughout……..you know I am going to say……….. :roll:

….these two lads had no mask, no gloves, no protection glasses. Yet as I said previously at least 10000 human deaths a years are attributable to this pesticide. :shock:

He had just sprayed the house; so he was inside there maybe for only 2 minutes and he came out with his jumper pulled up over his nose. He waved his hands to signal me not to go in…… :lol: :lol: I wasn’t going in anyway. I have researched this chemical pal unlike you, I think.

At this point I would say that I am thinking my spraying a few days ago has already done the job much more thoroughly than they have done today. I was quite conscientious where I sprayed just for my own peace of mind.

Whilst a lot of places looked wet, I can see from the windows that the underside of beams and rafters is where the little buggers go and they haven’t paid much attention to those area.

Well maybe its the fumigation that draws anything out and kills it not the soaking.

There is no doubt though, the concentration of what they have used today is a lot stronger; the smell is strong and lingering and we have now decided to use different entrances to the house to avoid going under the old house.

They were here about an hour that’s all but we decided it was going to be lunch out somewhere rather than suffer in the fumes. :?
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:23 pm

Chapter 14 day 23

The smell this morning is still quite strong. I have not opened the doors and window but last night I “had to” go in with mask on to quickly re connect our wifi system. Life just cannot go on without an internet connection can it so I risked my life for 3 minutes. :(

I continued with the balustrade. I have cut some of the old battens and screwed them together to make strong 2x2 studs, chaindrited them and fixed them within the handrail. They are simply going to be fixing positions for the horizontal cladding that I will continue to run through from the back of the house.


I have also found an old 25mm off cut from a floor board or something. In fact we used similar ones to frame out the windows before cladding upto them on the new house.

I found this slightly bent piece but as a stop end its good enough. I planed off the rough then sanded all 4 sides. Cut it to length and chaindrited it. it’s a pretty robust hardwood actually so hard as nails.

Set that one up with a couple of screws and few nails we are almost ready for cladding.

Final job of the day, I chaindrited what was left of the roof plate at highlevel on two sides of the house.

I am thinking to sheet the wall first with polythene as a protection barrier against any driving rain through holes in the cladding and of course just incase any flying insects do decide to check out the aforementioned holes. As long as it doesn’t allow any water to stand and collect it should be ok….condensation on the back? Maybe but highly unlikely I should think.

A few casualties of war today. Inside the house just one jingjok dead in its tracks on the floor. A large flying cockroach thingy and another jingjok outside on the decking.
Then as I was building the balustrade a teeny tiny baby jingjok came wobbling by.

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Its nervous system obviously conceding to the poison sadly. I tried to rescue him by carrying him into our kitchen where it’s a bit healthier. He kicked about for a while but he died within an hour. :(

We have about 30 jingjoks living in the houses on the ceilings and I uncovered a similar amount of jingjok eggs hidden behind cladding board and the window frames. I just hope that when I did my first sprayings they decided to move on otherwise there will be more casualties.

But this fella was still flying high. A moth but what a big one spanning the timber grille over our bedroom doors with a wingspan of about 150mm.

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

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:28 pm

Chapter 14 day 24

I made a start on the external cladding today. My first task was to pin some polythene membrane to the existing structure.


I decided to follow the same line as the existing cladding, just the bottom 5 rows. It wasn’t level, it runs out by 50mm over 5m but its still parallel to the wallplate so it was either built on the piss which is very plausible or it has settled….or both. :roll:

Not easy on your own but easier than hardwood as I probably couldn’t have lifted it at one end whilst nailing at the other.

I have run the cladding through onto the balustrade area and I have also fixed another stop end timber.



Only fixed about 12 lengths today but the slow bit was the balustrade as it needed short lengths and some packers behind.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:42 pm

Chapter 14 day 25

I fixed another dozen lengths today and have taken the balustrade upto its final height. :)

Again using salvaged timbers I made a corner transition piece come stop end for the cladding as it meets the decking.


One thing about using long lengths of secondhand cladding is that its not as straight as it looks. Several appear to have been jigsawed in the past or maybe the heat has caused them to shrink/expand on certain faces.

I fitted one length nice and level then 3 boards later I stood back to look at it and this board appears to have a 20mm camber. No biggy but it looks a bit odd that more of the previous board is showing in the middle than the ends.

This side of the house is never even seen, only by the neighbours who have had to look at old windows for years and now
I have spent twice what I wanted to, just to get this side recovered. Hope the neighbours approve anyway.





I should get somewhere near the top tomorrow at which point I have to decide how I will approach the beam that is no longer there.

I expect I will be refitting the original trim piece and then overcladding that.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:24 pm

Chapter 14 day 26

A good run today in the blazing sun and I would have completed had I not run out of nails. :(

I have completed the cladding apart from 1 piece and then another two that I will notch around the rafters and I think incorporate some insect mesh also.

I am glad I can only see what I have done from a metre away. :wink: Despite trying to level up each cambered board I started off following the original cladding plank which were running 50mm downhill, I seemed to forget when it came to the window area and started to level them up….then as I approached the roof I could see I would end up with a final tapered board.

If I kept them level, then it would be obvious looking at the eaves. So only to be seen by my neighbours they are probably thinking wtf, he is leveling up every board and its up and down like a bumpy road.

I am at the top now and the boards are again following the roof structure…50mm downhill…..lets call it an illusion of perspective. no one knows...only you :wink:



Certainly easier to fit boards vertically and I will be doing that inside.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the cladding and then will chandrite it. It may spoil the appearance of my nice clean wood but I can always clear varnish it afterwards.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:42 pm

Chapter 14 day 27

I just had one board to take it up the height and then two more which I had anticipated having to notch them around the rafters.

However it transpired that I would only need to be notching out 25mm so I thought it wasn’t worth the effort and I would simply run the top two boards to the underside of the rafters and then think about insect control netting later.


I ripped down some old floorboards to make a new handrail capping for the balustrade. By the time I had run the cladding through, it was protruding the old handrail by 30mm in some areas and then I anticipated another 5/6mm on the inside.
A quick sanding and planing a small bevel on the two leading edges and I fixed the capping

I was a bit unsure as to how to stain the boards. The floor stain I used before is expensive for a first coat so I risked using the light brown chaindrite. It went on very easily and soaked in very quickly.



At least all the cladding is a uniform colour now and I may give the good stain an outing before I drop my scaffolding.

Final task to complete is the cladding on the decking side of the balustrade. I decided to use a few of the offcuts I had leftover and fix them vertically. I had thought about overlapping but I realised my capping didn’t accommodate the extra thickness so I have just butted them up to each other.


After fitting all the vertical boards I used some salvaged trim that I pulled from the inside windows and it made a nice profile to hid my screws at the top and at the bottom I was going to make some skirting but I had a perfect length of teak, an inch higher than I wanted but hey it looks good and finished that small wall off nicely.




Very final task, just to chaindrite this last section of woodwork. It should soak in nicely and lighten up in a couple of hours.

Tomorrow marks a week since the exterminators were here and my next task on my programme was to refurbish the windows. Really don’t know where to start. Typical Thai windows all hinged on the same side. No vertical supports and all glazing rails deflecting with the weight of the roof.

I am going to see if I can fit a mullion and put traditional hinges on the windows.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:31 pm

Chapter 14 day 28

My 31 lengths of structural steel arrived this morning. :)


Theres a big pile of it; have those termites created this?.....yes; 6500baht I just spent on it plus 2000 on chaindrite sprays and woodstains plus 5000 for the extermination team. Kcuf!! :cry:

I dont want to be doing this again so I need to be thorough.

Despite it only being a week since they sprayed I don’t want to mess with the windows today, I want to get on and start chaindriting all the exposed timber internally.



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Pretty much most of the rafters are intact and it’s the longer wallplate beams that took the brunt of the termite feasting but my intention is to hand brush every timber I can see.

I did two sides of the house with a brush up the ladder but I was getting drowsy. You don’t notice the smell when you are on top of it but go outside and put your head through the window and it stinks.

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My mask has gone awol and the last gloves I was using have now got chemical burn holes in them! :shock:

This chemical is making me heat up, I am sweating and I can feel my heart racing a bit. :( This isn’t good. I had noticed even when I was staining outside yesterday on the cladding that I was falling asleep and have been overcome with a depression that has made me lethargic and living in a trance.

I have the two easier sides to do so I am going to slaughter it quickly. Ill advised without a mask but 10 minutes and I should be done or dead. I am going to slightly dilute it and put it in my sprayer. :)

:cry: :cry:

Ok, I just learned that it doesn’t mix with water, that’s what you get for being frugal, so a few minutes of spraying water before the stain arrived.

Quite effective though, its coated almost everywhere and even those hard to reach places.

I don’t like waiting to progress a job and now the house stinks again. Will it be another week of waiting? I say this because what I have introduced today is very flammable and I worry that if by tomorrow I start burning steel I not only have the risk of burning the house down but maybe blowing it up as well….with me inside. :lol: :lol:

Perhaps I should start by propping the house up first..outside?
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:06 pm

Chapter 14 day 29+30

I decided to drop my scaffold today. When I say drop, its not as easy as dropping real scaffold, unlocking a nut with a spanner.
I had nailed 6 old floorboards into the old beams. I used plenty of nails as I didn’t want it collapsing but they were a sod to remove. The main floor beams are ridiculously hard and refused to let me remove the nails so in the end I needed to use the steel crow bar.


It makes sense for me to progress the external steel supports while the house is still toxic and its better to load up onto a support rather than try to push an even greater load back up…..as I now have to do with the roof.



I am going to do a similar principle to my scaffold; to fix some steel beams to the main floor beams, then run a 4x2 steel directly underneath the edge of the floor and underneath the new steel wall internally.

I will drop three steel props down from these cantilevers onto a bucket of concrete foundation either at the end or somewhere in the middle as I don’t want adjacent trees to be interfering with it.

This structure is also going to double up as an access walkway, a balcony to carry an aircon condenser unit and maybe to hang plants from.


I cut the 4 steels that will be bolted to the floor beams and gave them a waste of time coat of platong and moved onto my next task.


For every steel stud inside the house I am going to support each and every rafter individually. It would have been nice to run a steel across the underside of all the rafters but they are at different heights/angles due to the slight slope and also the walls were never even straight anyway so it looks like propping each one individually.

That means I need to cut all the steel at 35 degs or whatever the roof pitch is at individual rafters. If I make some short straps and screw them the underside of the rafter then I can burn them together.


I cut 21 straps; and drilled and countersunk them to take the screws.

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

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:16 pm

Chapter 14 day 29+30 contd

It was always going to be a diy job again was this steel and whilst my welding abilility is graded at “s**t” level I am going to get the hang of it. :)
Its only a skill and skills are learned. Did it with the rendering, did it with sex it just needs practice...(though the sex is now getting a bit rusty :? )

I have every confidence that I can make the house stand up…but having said that Wasu had spoken to a welder a few weeks ago.

I forget where she came across him but she suggested we get him along to give us a quote to do the welding.

It would be a help if I am doing the outside propping works and someone was inside at the same time.

I had already made an estimate of how long it would take me on my own; 2 days for the long wall, 2 day for the patio door wall, 1 day for the old door and 2 days to build the wardrobe and fir the angle irons and main support beam… 7 days

Chappy arrives today, seemed a nice fellow; he listened to my wishes for each wall and I gave him some drawing notes to remind him. Wasu was on hand to translate.

After showing him that I will fix straps and I want all the steel cutting to an angle he of course could see the easy way to do it……………

“ I can just run steel all the way down” (or the Thai equivalent)

……well; I could see the easy way to do it last month but after spending time measuring, plumb lining the easy way doesn’t work. I would hate him to lose face if I allowed him to press on the easy way. :wink:

Really I need a welder only, but I will be the assistant to the welder. He said there are two of them.

He totted up each side like I did and decided it would take him 5 days maybe 6

Hmm, similar time to me doing it on my own.

Then Wasu gives me his stipulations which I was not enamoured with.

He came to see us at around 11.30am the reason being he is a newspaper delivery boy for the Bangkok post so he is usually busy in the mornings.

Ok so it’s a midday start; no different to everyone else. I can live with that.. :roll:

He left us and called Wasu back with a quote a few hours later.

I was already pre empting the quote. So 5 days for a pairing I am expecting 10k. any more and its greedy.

His quote was 16k!! :shock:

I said to Wasu “that’s more than I expected, I don’t understand that. He wants 3k a day and he has an assistant, that doesn’t add up.”

“And will he work a full day?”

“Oh no, he cannot start until 11.30 and must go by 3” :?

“Why….does he have to collect kids from school :?:

“No; he has a bar somewhere and he has to open his bar.”

“So he is paperboy in the morning and runs a bar from 3pm, he doesn’t sound like a professional to me and if he can still get it done in 6 days of 3.5 hours a day then his quote stinks.” :evil:

“Shall I negociate with him and tell him you only need a welder”

“No, don’t insult him by asking for a 10k quote but really I don’t need two people I need one and I will be the assistant…..

Forget it, as usual I will do it myself; we cant afford to throw 16k away on something I should be able to do myself.”

“I could ask my brother in law to come and help, he needs a job………..” (i knew that was coming)

“That will cost me the same, 2k for the bus over and back, then some payment then his food and drink….. (actually, I may get better value this way.)

Only had 4 steels to fix, but a lot of messing about, drilling holes, then bigger holes on one side, then piloting the beams then realising I haven’t got enough 2 inch screws so tootling off to buy some.




But finally, I have 4 steels screwed on, level and awaiting the next task. :)
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:05 pm

Chapter 14 day 31

I had a further conversation with Wasu last night about the possibility of her brother in law coming over to be my assistant and it wasn’t long before she moved the goalposts completely :roll:

I had assumed he was working in their fields but she said there is nothing to do?..37 bloody rai and nothing to do.?? :shock:

I have a garden as big as a postage stamp and I can’t keep up with it. :wink:

“So whats he doing then?”

“He is fishing”

:roll: :roll: Fishing? All day?”

“Well depends if someone wants him to do a job, but sometimes his job is fishing”

“So he gets an order to catch a fish for someone :wink:


“Well I am quite happy to use an assistant for a week and there are lots of other jobs I can find him to do, like climbing all the trees and chopping them down, gravelling around the pond, clearing the paths at the back;…. see if he wants to come”

“I don’t think he will come on his own; can you use two of them”

I knew it wouldn’t be long before she starts to weedle the rest of the family in and expect twice as much money plus extra bus fares, food and now accommodation

“No I don’t want two because we have no where for them to stay, not even a tent and the job doesn't need two”

I didn’t even mention pay but he is only worth 3k a week to me as a labourer plus the other expenses makes it meaningless. Double it for his miserable attitude filled wife, I really don’t want her here at all. :(

This morning Wasu didn’t even mention it so whether the question was asked I don’t know but if someone is offering you a bus ride to somewhere, food and 3/4k a week as an “oily rag” then most people would take it…..if they had no other income.

For me I don’t give one. :) Of course I have done my bit and offered to help the family but just because a welder wants 16k it doesn’t mean that instead we have to spend it on the family.

Today I cut the steel for the underside of the house. I used the two year old rusting 4x2 steel that last month was being used as my scaffold.
It just needed a wire brushing down, then I cut it to length, pre drilled some screw fixing holes and then platonged it.


Whilst waiting for that to dry I have fixed most of the steel straps to the underside of the rafters so we are almost ready for the steel studs now.



From that job I moved onto the old door wall. The roof beam had only superficial termite damage but I decided to strengthen it none the less.


I fixed a 2x1 steel over a length of 2m to the beam and to the u/s of the rafters and then proceeded to notch out the door frame to recieve4 steel studs.


I just fitted a steel angle bracket at the bottom and I will burn the top. So that task is done and in good time.



I have another concern and its one I thought had been addressed. The water loss from the pond. I think I recall making an improvement of the water loss from 80mm down to 40mm by tiling the walls.

Well now something has happened to cause water loss of 170mm in a 24 hour period and I am not sure what. 40/50mm a day was acceptable but this is ridiculous. It looks like I am going to have to do the tiling to the floor now. What a pain but maybe its karma for me not doing the job right in the first place.
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Re: "Baan Thai"- My battle against Time and Termites

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:31 pm

Chapter 14 day 32+33

Overnight and after 36 hours the pond is dry. :( Where has 50 litres an hour disappeared to? A month ago the water loss was reduced by half after I tiled the sides.

I have noticed that the original readymix concrete base is still holding water as its at the low point so my water is disappearing through the new concrete I installed…..with polythene barrier, with waterproof epoxy. :shock:

It was an opportunity to wash the bottom of all the mud that has come out of the timbers and from the 5 plants that I once knocked over into the pond with soil everywhere.

My detective work goes further, the sump which I tiled I have found is the problem as it loses water through a piece of hard wood I used to shutter some concrete and couldn’t remove it.

So retile one side of the sump and test again or bite the bullet and tile the whole of the base again. Probably my fault for cutting corners. :oops:

A steady weekend on the house because I am physically wrecked again. Its 12 days since they sprayed so I am going inside to do some preparation works.

I wanted to fix some plastic sheeting over the lower lean to roof as there is some rain getting in from somewhere and it made sense to double it up as an insect guard.

Wasu suggested that using plastic wasn’t going to last and it will break down and for me to use the leftover zinc alloy sheet.

I agreed as there was enough to give us a 300mm wide run the full back length but it meant removing the straps I fixed yesterday.



So awkward, but that jobs done now, I just hope the stuff doesn’t heat up like on the main roof when I expands and contracts every day and makes a right noise.

Next job is to try and infil the eaves with insect gauze, not only that I don’t want the squirrels and tokays getting onto the plasterboard ceiling as they can also be a nuisance.



Then; damn me whilst with my nose between all the beams I find Terry Tokay keeping an eye on what I am doing



Its not completely insect proof but it should cut down on anything trying to fly in and start a new colony. :)

I decided to replace all the aluminium foil insulation to the window areas. I thought I may as well replace it as it did reduce the heat transfered by the glass by quite a lot.

Previously you couldn’t put your hand on the glass it was so hot. Hopefully, now with new cladding on the outside, the plywood and the insulation foil and another skin of cladding there should be no heat.

Infact I think now I will install half a dozen rolls of insulation behind my metal studs with a couple of rolls in the small roof space. Just 2 inch or 3 inch should suffice for the walls. :)
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