Building in rural Chonburi

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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Max&Bee-in-CM » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Rick Bradford wrote:The more I look into this, the more confused I get; everything is being done on the need-to-know basis -- if I need to know it, nobody tells me.

1) The reason for the piles is that the original land is rice paddy, on top of which is 1 meter of newish fill. Not good foundation material.

2) The aim then seems to be to have a raised concrete slab (sitting on the piles, presumably), elevated about 50cm above the new fill. The piles would be laid out in a 4x4 meter grid, and go down 4 or 5 meters

My question is simple; is this an accepted way to build a house? My ignorance, and the low level of credible information I am getting, are threatening to turn this into the project from hell even before it has started.... :(


My land is the same - rice field with 1m red soil on top. Normal foundations are dug to a depth of 2.5 metres or so, so thats 1.5 metres inside the original soil. My house seems strong enough, no cracks, and it hasn't floated away to the
next door rice field as yet.

My understanding with piles is you use it if you build near Bangkok, as its all a swamp, you build close to a river which always floods, as the top soil will keep getting eroded and deposited, sort of like the ancient Egyptians and the Nile,
or you dig 2-3 metres and its all wet and juice down there, or lastly the house is on a hill or mountain, so you want to make sure you pile foundations in deep. If you are not sure, get a soil test done, although I have no idea how ad who,
I wanted to do one, but asking for something "out of the ordinary" is sometimes easier to go to the closest wall and give your head a few good thumps against it.

So is piles a normal way? Yes if you have flooding, sloping land, or swamp, or building many floors. If you are making 1 floor, small house, and its stable solid land, probably dont need piles. Piles are notorious for sucking money out, they
can be very expensive, my house would have been an extra 700,000 if piled by a builder, or perhaps 300,000 if piled DIY.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Roger Ramjet » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:34 pm

Rick,
As Max has stated it depends on what you are building and where. The fact you are building on old rice paddies says to me that piles will/may be required. If it floods or has flooded then you will definitely need piles. I would also suggest that you build the house a further metre off the ground above the highest recorded flood level. Which piles you need depends on the weight of the house above the piles. There spacing also depends on the loads the house will carry. A two storied large house will require more piles. If you intend later to extend the house to three stories, then you will most certainly require bore piles. The load approximately for "Bang Bang" piles is about 12 -15 ton. How deep they go is dependent on where they strike the rocky ground. Some go down 10 metres, others 20 metres, you won't have any idea until they hit the fairly solid ground and the pile stops. Bore piles are "dug" out and then rebar and concrete are poured down the hole. Each bore pile can support about 40 ton.
We can't answer your questions from afar, you need to talk with a local engineer (a real one), so a trip to the Tesaban or Or Bor Tor engineer's office will help and they'll be able to supply all the information you need. It's free and you can also ask all the questions you like there. We can only give advise after you have an idea of what you want built.
Good luck.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby geordie » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:07 pm

So now you are no further ahead :( :(
Get a hold of a mackro (jcb or similar) dig down and see what the ground is like there is no other way you will be out of pocket 5000 baht for the hire (aprox) but you could get him to go down to his maximum and get a groundwater well out of it for your building work/garden supply also you could get him to dig your cess three people can make a decision on the piles
An engineer the builder or you but no bone,s about it the cost will severely effect your budget
You could look into raft construstion another way to build on soft ground
one of the points you were worried about earlier in the thread was the grid if you build on piles do not worry you can add beams to cross between beams to spread the load for intermediate walls to be supported so your design will be unefected you just need to plan ahead a little (no chang there) ask around the area and see if anyone else has put in pile,s a good indicator but not 100% the only 100% method is dig down and take a look the problem being ground conditions can and do vary over a couple of meters anyway you may find that one edge of the house is on rock the other on marsh without a hole you will not know do not let it put you off do not let it worry you
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Rick Bradford » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:29 am

UPDATE: (And as usual, thanks for all the helpful comments)

I've had another word with the builder, and what he is proposing is this:

1) Hammer in piles which are 0.26 x 0.26 x 6 metres as far as they will go in.

2) They will be placed every 4 metres, in a grid pattern (on my current design that would mean 21 piles)

3) If a particular pile doesn't go in the whole way, they will simply saw it off just above ground level.

3a) The quote for this part of it is ~3,000Bt per pile.

4) In between the piles, they will then build 50cm-high forms (??) with rebar to tie all the piles together.

5) The intervening ground areas will be filled with extra earth to a height of 45cm or so, and compacted

6) A 10cm concrete slab, strengthened by a mesh will then be laid all over, giving a floor which is 50cm above the land (which has itself been raised 1m above the surrounding paddy)

What happens from there on is less clear, but the important thing seems to be that the columns that support the roof won't necessarily have to sit directly above the piles, which enables a more flexible design.

EDIT: I've been thinking about the above statement, which may be wrong. I assume that internal walls won't need to sit above the piles, but perhaps the roof-supporting columns, which will have to support an iron truss, will need to be above the piles.

Or am I getting confused here?

Once again, thank you all for your interest and comments, as I try to retain my sanity.... :wink:
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby splitlid » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:02 pm

me finks you need to get a proper set of drawings made up, this will solve all problems and clear everything up for everyone.
get then signed off by engineer, and you shouldnt have anymore pre start headaches.
8)

until you do it properly, you will find continueous fu@kups.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:07 pm

Rick,
You are confusing yourself. The piles are there to take the weight and distribute it evenly over a large area. The columns go above the piles and are joined by rebar. Your builder has it all down pat and appears to know his stuff. The roof had to be supported, so you use the columns to take the weight and distribute it evenly again.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby geordie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:20 pm

Well a lot more info to work with now its the builder pushing for the pile,s He should have a good idea of ground conditions ? its up to you to trust him
Once the piles are hammered into the ground two things will happen they will hit solid ground and stop ! or they will build up so much resistance in the material they are passing through they will stop the same !! meaning they will not hammer in but will start to break ?
When the piles are in it becomes a normal build the beams between the piles are as you would have on a normal build !! the floor is as a normal build !! the placement of colums is as a normal build !! everything above the ground is normal
The builder will aim to put the piles under the roof support colums to transfer the weight onto a solid footing=good practice
I think your issue is you want flexibility on design which is not a problem you would have had to plan windows doors ect; to avoid the colums anyway so you carry on with the same design
get your design on here so we can have some input the thing is you can add extra beams to suport walls that do not fit onto the grid simply add a cross beam between two of the others
The difficulty will arise when you want to pass the 4mtr span with a beam this requires engineering input with calculations as to the amount of steel the roof is not too much or a headache you design a truss and can acheive larger spans that way
cross beams will get their suport from the grid so need only to be as strong as them
I would still be inclined to dig a few test holes to satisfy myself the ground was soft :roll:
Another point that of raising the house above the filled ground ? using forms/ forms are simply metal or wood containment for the concrete ! blockwork can be used also i think i prefer to dig down into the fill and cast these level to the ground rather than put above ground and have to fill ? its a personal choice (steps) and has to be weighed against the risk of flooding :(
Take a look at waffle pod by developer 3d !! go to advanced search top right hand corner of this page and type waffle pod foundation
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby pattayapope » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:31 am

Rick Bradford wrote:The quote for this part of it is ~3,000Bt per pile.


Rick

3000 baht a pile must just be the cost of hammering in and will not include the cost of the pile which I would expect would cost 3 times that price (best guess). Builders make money by building fast so the get their profit quickly and the method your builder is planning to do makes the initial work a lot easier, are you happy with the price he quoted, it should be aound 10 -12,000 baht a m2. If it is significantly higher than this then I would have some reservations. Do you have a basic specifications for your build i.e materials used?
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Rick Bradford » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:54 am

^^
I have checked this again and am told again that the price includes everything -- 24 piles, hammered in, and cut off (if necessary) to ground level for 65,820 Bt total. It does not include any subsequent work on the floor/foundation.

If this is ludicrously cheap in the opinion of posters here, then the builder and I have had a serious misunderstanding which I shall have to get to the bottom of.

And yes, I do believe the ground is soft enough to need piles, and I am prepared to do a bit more raising of the house to avoid flooding-related problems.

I am tweaking my design a bit -- after all, if I have a 16 x 16 grid to work with, I might as well exploit that.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Rick Bradford » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:45 am

I can't edit the above post, so I will add that I have now seen the quotation, which reads:

Concrete piles 0.26 X 0.26 x 6 meters - 21 units @ 1,680 Bt/pile = 35,280 Bt
Driving the piles (total) = 25.500 Bt

Sum = 60,280 Bt

The piles are prefab reinforced concrete conforming to the Thai ISO equivalent (ม.อ.ก.)

Am I missing something fundamental here?
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Roger Ramjet » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:05 pm

Rick,
The price seems about right for the number of piles. Your builder seems to be very fair on prices.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby elgato » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:03 am

Rick: Anything new on your build?
I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken.
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Rick Bradford » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:17 am

I'm adding a belated update to this thread at the prompting of one of the members - last post was Oct 7 last year -- seems like a few dynasties ago.

Anyway, perhaps some of my observations, as a newcomer to building in general, may be of use.

1) The house is finished, and has turned out well. It went 100% over budget and 100% over time (1.6m instead of 800k, 8 months instead of 4.)

Image

2) Much of the character of the house was locked in by our agreement with the builder -- we bought the materials, he charged a fixed per-square-meter price for labour

3) That meant:

i) The builder didn't cut corners on materials -- quite the opposite. If there was a brick or a tile that wasn't quite 100%, out it went and we had to buy some more. There is consequently enough material left over to build the Arc de Triomphe.

ii) If there were 2 ways of doing something, the builder would suggest the more lavish and expensive (the house is a showcase for him for other clients, after all), and expensive decisions made early on tend to snowball into other forced expensive decisions later on. For example, when you have gone for a 2.5-meter pitched steel truss roof, you are pretty much forced into buying proper roof tiles, and not the corrugated stuff.

iii) He felt no pressure to complete the job within any timeframe, and would often disappear (along with the Cambodian workforce) for a few days on other jobs.

iv) He felt no need to do any clean-up whatever, so when we took possession, the site was in a state that any Australian builder would be charged for creating a public hazard. Added to that were 8 months of the cast-offs of the Cambodian workers who had been living onsite. Plastic bags, rusty nails, wire, concrete cooking areas, underwear, old cans and bottles, birth control pills, smashed roof tiles, old work gloves, shattered bricks, metal offcuts .......

Truly filthy. It's been a month, and I still haven't finished cleaning up.

Image

So, in sum, I'm fairly happy. It was a very stressful period, especially not knowing when the thing would be finished. The pressure from the Thai side was always to make the place bigger and more lavish (in keeping with their tacky bling-driven ideas of status), while I was always trying to keep costs down and keep a modest look to the place.

The place is robust thanks to the deep piling, the electrical and plumbing are good (one of the reasons for the delay and cost is that I belatedly decided to build a well and water tower. )

By some stroke of luck, the house seems to be several degrees cooler than the outside -- good airflow, 3-meter ceilings and some aluminium roof insulation (also used by the Cambodians as a cooking device). This means that we have not needed to install air-con -- the ceiling fans and general airflow are enough. Perhaps the light-brick (อิฐมวลเบา) construction helps, something to do with thermal mass.

Image

Outside, I'm learning a lot about clay, particularly with respect to drainage. The sides of the property, where the extra land was added, are firming up well as grass colonises them; and when plants are able to get a foothold in clay, they really grip strongly. As no rainwater gutters were installed, I have dug a few French drains to channel run-off away from the house (much to the amusement of the locals -- I could sell tickets for when I am working with a pickaxe).

With the building done (with many thanks to posters here for their helpful and calming comments when I was losing the plot), I now have to learn new skills, that of the horticulturalist and botanist. The good news is that clay is so fertile that you just have to give a plant half a chance and it grows like crazy. I just need to know what trees, bushes and flowers I want.

Thanks again for the help from posters on the forum.

Image
Bucolic view to neighbour's house
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby geordie » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:41 am

Turned out well pretty little house how much was the well and water tower ?
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Re: Building in rural Chonburi

Postby Rick Bradford » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:03 am

All up, the water tower was 40K baht. The bottom of the tank is 7m above ground level and gives adequate water pressure for the shower, although I confess I like a really strong shower which this doesn't quite deliver.

The well was 12K baht, nobody seems to know how deep it is - 8m or 10m, something like that, with concrete rings lining it. We managed to get an auto-float pump going (pump is located in the storage room of the tower) so that the 750-liter tank automatically fills when the water goes below half level.

"Little house"? It's over 2000 square foot under roof, I had to clear out all the shops to get enough floor tiles...... :)
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