Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

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Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sun May 02, 2010 10:30 pm

Dear all,
Firstly let me thank one and all for your experiences posted here. I have been poring over the build stories and other topics and scribbling notes for the last few months, cheering some and damning others for being totally nonconstructive and I have learnt, which is what it is all about. I have lived in Bangkok and surrounds for a number of years (I really can't remember how long, over 10 though) and during that time I have moved from just behind Siam Commercial Bank head office in Soi 36 Lad Phroa (rented house), to Pak Kret because of pollution problems that effected our health.

My wife and I first purchased a small 22 sq wah secondhand 3 bedroom townhouse in Pak Kret for 1.1 million baht. A front veranda had been built out from the second floor and acted as a garage/carport. It was in a dead-end soi inside a "locked" village. The back of the townhouse looked over a vacant block. All the financing, in my wife's name, was done by the Commercial Section of Siam Commercial Bank without fuss or bother, all I did was become guarantor of the loan, even though at the time, I didn't have a retirement visa. (This may help some people who enquired about banks and loans). My wife works, and the loan was based on her monthly income, which at the time was about 25,000. The repayments were 7,000 baht a month over 12 years. We used a real estate agent to find us the house and it took about 12 months before we were satisfied. When we closed the deal, the real estate agent and the previous owners met us at the Land Department with an agent from SCB. I signed that I was not interested in the house and the all paperwork took half a day.

Instead of paying just 7,000 baht a month I paid 14,000, which is all the bank would allow. Within a few years we had the loan down to under 500,000 baht and the bank offered us 170,000 baht for renovations and improvements. We took it because I wanted a real kitchen with gas oven, cabinets and a flat floor and we also wanted to destroy the shower and toilet on the second floor, extend the small bedroom over the kitchen and connect the two bedrooms with an en suite with bath, toilet and washbasin that would serve both. We searched the internet for a few months and finally settled on two companies to give us a quote. I would supply all the fixtures and they would do all the construction. I had drawn up plans which I showed both and asked for quotes. The first company did not get back to us, the second quoted 160,000, which we agreed to.

We signed contracts with the construction company, I gave their "foreman" a copy of my plans with the proviso that I would approve/sign off each step before paying. Nods all around. I do have some photos of the build left if anyone is interested but I will have to get my daughter or wife to post them because this is an iMac and I'm computer illiterate, and I am going to do a Reader's Digest version of the renovation. I had already spoken to my next door neighbours, shown them the plans and told them what to expect. (Noise, noise and more noise). No problems. In fact I never know if they understand or not!

The first day was brilliant, the old kitchen roof came off, the columns were extended, and bricks lade to the second floor where the slab would be poured. The second day they destroyed the wall of the bedroom (facing the vacant block). The third day they destroyed the old toilet and shower, removed all the old tiles and sealed the hole where the toilet had been. The third day the reinforced concrete slabs were lade over the kitchen and the wall started with blocks. The next day the concrete was mixed and poured on the slabs and the wall finished. The roof trusses were also finished and the roof extended. The open window was covered with a tarp and everyone was smiling. At 0300hrs we had a storm that blew off the tarp and flooded both the second floor and the ground floor. It was a sign of things to come. My wife and daughter threatened to sleep in the new bath on the front veranda. The "boss" of the construction company was called. The whole day was spent cleaning our new carpet, sweeping out the water and saving furniture. Luckily nothing was permanently damaged. The "boss" said they would pay for all the cleaning/damage and finally my wife was palliated, well sort of, possibly, perhaps. My wife is an accountant after all, even though she is Thai, and she not named "sticky" Tik for nothing.

I went over the plans once again with everyone, got them all back building and gave the foreman and his workers a crate of beer and a couple of bottles of whiskey when they knocked off. They would be building the new inside walls for the en suit the next day and then rendering all the walls. There was a new tarp over the open window, this time nailed down. The tiler was due in the following day and would lay the tiles for the kitchen and then start on the bathroom. The doorways would be put in and the sliding doors from the two bedrooms put in place. I marked everything with the foreman. I double checked all measurements. I marked where all the electrical wiring would go before they cement rendered. I had to go on a visa run at 0400 hrs, so I wanted everything to run smoothly.

I arrived back from the visa run at 1700 hrs after being stuck in traffic for three hours at Don Mueang. There were no workers but I could see what they had done. Wiring down the walls instead of inside it. The toilet moved to a new place, wrong tiles on the floor, wrong tiles on the walls, kitchen with a 9 inch slope over a 12' length, the drain holes all moved so there was only one and the slope the wrong way. My wife was furious and I was just a little bit miffed to say the least. A conference was called at 2100hrs at night. Everyone blamed the tiler. Then the laborers. Then the "loss" of the plans, even though they were pasted on every wall. Another meeting was called for the morning. I showed them what I wanted and then the excuses came. They refused to change the drain hole because the tiles had been lade over the top. I listened to all the bullshit for 30 minutes, then I said, "No problem". I went downstairs, got out my trusty Makita, went back up, plugged it in and said. "That's where the drain goes" and hammered my way through the tiles, concrete, reinforced concrete slab until I saw daylight. I smiled at all the shocked faces and said, "Easy, no problem, I'm an engineer, I'll do it myself". A hasty conference and they decided they would go back to the original plans and from there on it was plain sailing, except for the camera, a watch and some other small things that were stolen. That is why I only have a few photos from the camera they didn't steal.

Finally the sheetrocker did an excellent job, the people who lade the wooden floor were brilliant, the people who did the wallpapering were spifflickating and the air people equally as good. All were rewarded with a cash bonus, beer and whiskey. They were all from the same shop at the five junctions at Pak Kret. The owner was with them the whole time. They even fixed the poor wiring job done for free. I have no idea why the "foreman" and tiler from the company doing the build changed the plans, but I do know the last payment of 50,000 baht was delayed for two weeks until I was totally satisfied.

I have just come back from Muang Thong Thani builders fair and will be going again tomorrow. I have two architects from two different companies doing first drawings from the rough plans I gave them (which I will attempt to post here). Both know they are in competition with each other. Both said they will have the plans drawn within two weeks and that the budget for the house is from 2.4 million to 3.4 million, both think their companies can do it for less on our land. I shall keep everyone posted as things progress.
/Users/bernie/Desktop/My new house/Rough Design 2.jpg
/Users/bernie/Desktop/My new house/Rough Design 3.jpg
/Users/bernie/Desktop/My new house/Rough Design.jpg
Now let me try and upload the draft plans so everyone can comment and or ask questions.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Tue May 04, 2010 9:05 am

I apologise for not being computer literate enough to post the draft plans. If anyone has an iMac I would appreciate their help, otherwise I will just have to swallow my pride and ask my 16 year old daughter for assistance.

Yesterday my wife and I purchased 100 wah of land just outside Nontharburi. It measures 13 mts by 31 mts. It will be just enough to put the house on with a metre free each side. The same at the back of the house, but at the front there should be about 4 metres left for a small waterfall, fish pond and grassed area. There is vacant block on one side of us and one behind us. I may have to buy one of them... I hope not.

The house will be about 2,500 square feet with an indoor swimming pool and 2 1/2 bathrooms. The four rooms will be on the second floor. The ground floor will consist of a theatre, kitchen, dining room and living room that will be separated from the pool courtyard by a textured glass wall... well that's the plan anyway until it is all costed. My budget is 5 million, but I have been assured it will come in under 3.4 million

I have some photos to post (when I learn how to do it) and the company who sold us the land says it will take a "few weeks" for the land to be transferred into my wife's name. It is a chanote title which we have a copy of. The new "purple line BTS" will end about 4 kilometres from our house which will allow my wife speedy travel to Bangkok's central business district where she currently works for a dreaded "farang" company.

Roger Ramjet
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Tue May 04, 2010 9:40 am

Roger Ramjet wrote:If anyone has an iMac I would appreciate their help ...

Hi,
Using an iMac to upload scans and photos is no different to the 'lesser-pc'. :wink: Get what you want to upload onto your Desktop. It makes them easier to locate.
Below the text you are adding in "POST A REPLY" you will see a tab "Upload attachment". Click on the tab and you will see a button "Choose file".
Click on the button and your finder will appear. Navigate to Desktop, click on the JPG or PNG you want to upload and then click on the highlighted button "CHOOSE".
Now you will see the name of your file below in the Filename section and you click on the button "Add the file".
Wait a while and you will see your file listed below your text box.
Place the cursor on the position in the text where you would like the photo and click the button "place inline".
Click "Preview" for a preview and when you're satisfied click the button "SUBMIT". And Fred's your uncle! :lol:
If this is still not clear, ask Dozer for my email-address and we can sort it out offline.
Good luck.
Fred.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Tue May 04, 2010 1:33 pm

dear fredlk,

Thank you for your assistance, it was short and simple even for this old "grunt", which proves that even a retarded 3 year old can use an iMac. However, I keep getting the message "file is too big, maximum only 256 kb allowed" or words to that effect, even though this is only a very small drawing 4" X 3" with little or no detail. I actually cut it off page one of the original page it was on and scanned it to keep it's original size. (4" X 3"). I did the same with the two floor plans which are 3' X 4".

Actually, my uncle Bob Hawke, Labor Prime Minister of Australia for many, many years, warned me about "uncle fred's" using his name and would say to me, between drinking schooner's of Foster's or XXXX in our local pub, "Never trust a "Fred" to get the whole thing right, they're just flash in the pans, they'll always get you most of the way and then keep you hanging, it's us "Bob's" that'll never give you the bumb steer". I think my uncle Bob was a bit of a philosopher (reads bullshit artist in Australia) to tell you the truth and as a labour unionist he would be the ideal candidate for the local "red" shirts.

I shall wait with bated breath for the next installment.

Roger Ramjet (Just an old cartoon character).
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Tue May 04, 2010 2:10 pm

Just to prove that you CAN trust a Fred, here's the next installment. :)

Open your original file - the one with the original quality - with PREVIEW.
Click on Tools in the menu and then on Adjust Size.
On the right you can choose between percent and pixels. I think percent is default.
On the left make sure that the 2 boxes are ticked for Scale proportionally and for Resample image.
Change the Width: 100 to 80 for starters.
Underneath you will see Resulting Size.

For inclusion in the upload it must be less than 700 pixels and smaller than 256 KB.
If it's satisfactory, FILE / SAVE AS ......

Photo's taken with my camera I have to reduce to as little as 15% while some scans I do at about 78%.
Good luck.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Tue May 04, 2010 5:53 pm

Rough Design.jpg
this is what the house will look like
Rough Design 2.jpg
second floor
Rough Design 3.jpg
this is ground floor with pool

Dear Fredlk,
Thank you for the crash course on an iMac you have saved me from ridicule from the peanut gallery (my daughter). Let me now see if this retarded old fart can post a picture so that everyone gets an inkling of what is proposed.

The house will just fit on the 100 sq wah block with very little left either side. The front should have 4 metres, possibly, perhaps, maybe. Anyway the beer garden and wine bar will be on the roof above the pool and garage. I never really liked mowing lawns anyway. I am in the hands of the two architects at the moment.

And for all you critics and armchair warriors out there; no comment about the straightness of the picture posts or you will not be invited to the house warming.

Roger Ramjet
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Tue May 04, 2010 6:02 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:Thank you for the crash course on an iMac

Pleased to have been of assistance.

The house looks quite spectacular. How big is the pool exactly? I couldn't make it out.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Tue May 04, 2010 9:13 pm

Dear Fredlk,

The pool will be 20' X 17' X 4' with steps at the northern end. It will be surrounded by wood decking for about 3' and outside that the rest will be done in flat stone work. Because it will be warm I am considering tropic indoor plants along the glass wall either side of the sliding doors, but if I do it they will be in wooded flower beds. I have already binned the idea about the waterfall down the outside wall, it might look spectacular but I don't believe there is a Thai builder who would know much about the system and I certainly don't, being an explosives bloke. It looks good on the plans though, but would take far too much sealant that would have to be checked and replaced far too often.

As an old professor used to say, "KISS it"; (Keep it simple stupid) and that is what I hope to do. I have already talked with both architects and told them the pool will be done in tiles. One of them agreed that is the best and easiest way to go and will be easier to maintain, the other was waffling about terrazzo pools for as little as 250,000 +++ until I asked "What happens if it cracks"? and I get the impression he's trying to bump up the final costs. I play them off against each other which I shouldn't do, but I did advise them at the start. I think my wife and daughter have settled for the second architect already and I always listen to what "big boss" and "mini boss" says. Lucky I'm nearly deaf!

Thank you once again for your kind assistance with the posting of pictures, if all my problems are as simple to solve as that it will be a dream build.

Roger Ramjet
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby BKKBILL » Wed May 05, 2010 1:05 pm

RR that really is a nice looking house. Sure glad you got the picture posting down. One nice thing about the iMac or any Mac is by just holding down the command key and pressing + you get a decent look at your plans. :D
It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Wed May 05, 2010 3:09 pm

Thank you for the tip. I used to be fairly proficient with the mac and iMac having bought my first one in the 80s (color classic) when 1/2 megabyte of RAM was sufficient for programs like mini-cad +3, but how things change when you retire and play strategy (war) games.

Here are the photos of the land we just purchased. I have had my eye on this land for over a year while it settled.
Attachments
land.9JPG.JPG
the edge of the sale's "house" on the left. The "boss" is just 19, the land all around was a gift from his parents. His English is excellent, he can read plans, has lived in Australia for a while, will be onsite everyday and when I told him he was full of bullshit he thought it was hilarious.
land.8JPG.JPG
to the west is all storage warehouses in various build stages. There are three separate building companies involved and all will get the chance to bid.
land.5JPG.JPG
southern edge with view across the paddy fields
land.4JPG.JPG
the soi to the main road. Electricity and water are "on site" as the sales office is just across the road
land.3JPG.JPG
view to the west. All the buildings are storage warehouses, so no noise
land.2JPG.JPG
the actual land with big boss and mini boss with my gun dog
Land . 1JPG.JPG
looking out over the paddy fields at the south end
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Wed May 26, 2010 3:08 pm

I am going to ask this question here because there is absolutely no thread on it anywhere. Going over the plans with the architect I told him I wanted a "dog door" that leads from the covered front porch to the garden. It was the worst thing I ever did. The whole office took part in the subsequent dumb charades with some hilarity. In the end, by phone, my daughter told them what a "dog door" was, then explained it would actually be in the wall.

Can someone please suggest where I can buy double hinges that open both ways. That is, after you pick yourselves up off the floor from laughing.

Roger
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby fredlk » Wed May 26, 2010 3:28 pm

I don't mean to be rude, but if it is for "the savage guard dog - pomeranian", wouldn't you be better off with a cat-flap? :wink:
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Wed May 26, 2010 4:04 pm

Fred,
I am indignant with rage, how dare you call my personal gun/guard dog anything but that, even if he is a pomeranian. No a cat flap will not do, my fearless dog gets beaten up by cats, he has a pet aversion to cat flaps. And further, I'll have you know my dog is the hero of the village we live in. He is the only dog here that blatantly walks up to soi dogs and smells their arses, but only when I have him on a leash, with me, and carrying a big stick. In fact, come to think about it, he might have been the cause of the builders being a bit pissed off when I expanded this house. He did like to cock the leg on theirs.
I take it from your reply, you have no idea where I can get double hinges.
Roger
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby pklongball » Wed May 26, 2010 4:40 pm

You might try the vendors of Hafele hardware and door products. I can say its a good start.

http://www.hafele.com/th/en/
The complete picture story of our house build can be found here--My Gallery!
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Re: Building in Nontharburi/Pak Kret

Postby Roger Ramjet » Wed May 26, 2010 5:25 pm

Thank you pklongball, I'll keep them in mind.

Roger
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