Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

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Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:53 am

Hi all. Time to start my story...

I've been living in Tha Sala, a small town just north of Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south, for about 8 years now. We've always had the plan to build our own house, and over the last 3 years have bought a couple of plots of land next to each other and ended up with a 30m x 20m plot in total which has cost about 1 million baht after fees and having the land built up.

It's outside from the centre of town, but realistically that's only 5 minutes away. It's on an underdeveloped soi which has 4 one-story townhouses...100 metres of grassland...big 2 story detached house on one rai...75 metes...old-style Thai house covering a rai and with more land used for crops and a 30m square lake...our land on the other side of the lake...75 metres...6 one-story townhouses. A small river winds along the back of these houses and it's about 100 metres from our land, across the Thai-style house's land. We're back from the soi by about 75 metres, but this is a designated public highway as confirmed by our lawyer, and we have a friend who knows the right people who will arrange for this to be paved when the time is right.

It is in a floodable area. During rainy season the surrounding grassland does get waterlogged in parts. In the 3 years since we've been looking closely at it, we've not had any real flooding - the river has not broken its banks and has not got very close to doing so when we've checked it after heavy rains. About 3.5 years ago we had bad floods in the area (tropical storm Nock-ten in March 2011), and the owner of the Thai-style house confirmed his house (slightly built up) was not flooded, though the land was. We've build the land up to about the same height as the land under his house, and we'll be up on 2.4 metre columns. We accept that in exceptional wet weather, that the garden may get flooded, and the surrounding land probably will get flooded.

20140317_174744.jpg
Land view approached from the soi


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Land view looking back at the soi
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:19 am

The house design

We found a few designs online that we liked the overall look of, but nothing was quite right for us. We ended up liking elements from both of these designs:

The layout of this one was pretty ideal
http://www.banpatan.com/onestoryhome/

But we liked the style and look of this one
http://is.gd/scwNBT

And we ended up finding someone who had done a very similar thing to what we were looking for
http://is.gd/T5kqNF

We shopped around from three architects and got quotes for the plan design from 12,000 to 18,000, and one who said he'd also be the project manager for a total fo 30,000. Rough costs for the build were suggested to be from 8,000 per square metre to 12,000 per square metre. Two of them stated that the raised floor was adding a lot of costs, and these both quoted 12,000. The one who quoted 8,000 didn't make this distinction. We weren't relying on the architects' estimates, but it showed that they understood certain aspects the build. And 12,000 compares with the sorts of quotes I'd seen in this forum, which seemed okay.

Worth mentioning a local house design service called PD House who quoting a whopping 23,000/m2, and gave us an example of a house they had just completed in our area, which has paint peeling off it about 3 months after completion. So they were easy to discount from the options.

In the end, we went with the recommendation of a friend of the family who had been the middle-woman in the dealings for us to buy the land and who has been a project developer in the area for 20 years. She uses the same architect for all of her builds, and he also happens to be the man at the amphoe office who issues planning permission for builds. Price for plans was 18,000 which we were okay with. End result is that the initial plans were done very quickly, and we agreed to pay the fee when we were down to just having some minot details to finish off. And a few weeks later we're still trying to get these finished off - going to his office with changes, then going back a week later and he's done some but not others because he's forgot. Telling us he'd drop the finished plans off at my wife's office that afternoon, then not turning up. Our mistake for paying him before he was finished, but frustrating nonetheless. But we are 99% complete now.

xsnap111353.png
Ground floor for parking and tool-shed (missing spec for stairs)


xsnap111327.png
First floor


xsnap111417.png
Front view (design for kitchen roof has changed but I don't have the new PDF to hand)
Last edited by somsip on Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:27 am

Google map of the position of the land. I can't edit the first post for some reason:

Black dots are other houses. Red dot is our land

xsnap112230.png
Google map
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:16 pm

Builders

One thing we were aware of is that neither myself or my wife has any experience of building houses. I can do a bit of DIY, but I'm not up to understanding the in-depth details of what is going to be happening over the next year or so, I've spent some time looking through the forums here and the level of techinical knowledge amazes me, and leaves me hoping that I don't have to make decisions at that level for every aspect of the build. We need a project manager. And, as mentioned before, we have a friend who has been doing this sort of work for many years. She has an excellent reputation locally as someone who cuts through the crap and gets things done, and she comes across as being practical and focussed on getting good results. The main concern is that she's done this so often that she might forget that we have never done it before and we need to understand what is happening and what it means. It will be a challenge for my wife to make sure the project manager keeps us informed about what we need to know, and doesn't make decisions for us where we really need to get involved. She's being very flexible about fees, taking the approach of "Let's see how much work I need to do". We do trust her, and so we're going with it.

She recommended two builders for a full quote. We went to see a house that one builder has just completed, and it's nicely done. I have a good attention to detail (only on the surface, admittedly) and could only find a couple of very minor things in the house, and could find lots that looked great. This is the builder that our project manager uses for all of her bigger builds. He's currently on a commercial project (some apartments) but will be free in Feb/March next year which is when we want to start. He's quoting 5% of the total build cost as his fee. The other builder didn't pan out. He didn't attend the initial meeting, so he's immediately discounted.

On typing this I realise we haven't got a second quote as a result of this and we're close to finalising with the only builder we've approached. He comes with a good recommendation, his work is good, and he comes across well in meetings - he arrives on time and isn't railroading us. He's aware of the plans in detail and has found a few omissions and mistakes which we've taken back to the architect so his attention to detail seems good. He's making sensible suggestions about saving costs on materials which have been okayed by the architect. We have confidence in him right now, but maybe we should be speaking to another builder too, just to get a comparison.

He has supplied us with an initial BoQ. The summary page is attached, but the original covers 6 pages of fully broken-down detail that only got translated yesterday and I will be pouring over this over the weekend, and taking it to HomePro to sanity-check some prices:

BoQSummary.xls
Initial summary BoQ
(7 KiB) Downloaded 112 times


So the total finished cost is projected at about 3 million. That's for 187m2 (square footprint), which is about 13,000/m2 before fees and tax, and 16,000/m2 for the total cost. This is pretty much what we were budgeting for, accepting a likely increase due to unanticipated issues, and that the builder has deliberately estimated high (as suggested by the project manager with our okay) on the standard of some of the materials to give us a 'highest price' figure, and to give a lower borrowing % for the bank loan. We're only planning to borrow about 30% on a loan, but we don't think the builder needs to know this.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:50 pm

For the second quote for the build, we've initially decided to go back to the architect who also said he could work as the project manager. He was going to produce a BoQ as part of this, so we can pay him to check the plans over to get another opinion on that, and to prepare a BoQ to compare against the one we've already got. If the figures are about the same, we're confident in going with the current builder we have in mind. If they're wildly different, we can look into why, and whether that changes our mind about using the current builder.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:46 pm

Final plans

We've now got the final plans from the architect with a few missing details added, with the main change being that the front stairs no longer ground immediately facing the pillar under the left balcony. Not quite sure how we missed that one when we reviewed the plans initially, but there it is. The front balcony is 0.5m longer as a result.

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Top view with revised stairs


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Front view with revised roof


We saw the other architect yesterday and he's agreed to give us a comparative BoQ by next weekend for 2,000 baht and sanity-check the plans. Which we're fine with. He's coming across as being competant and helpful, and we do want a fallback in case anything goes horribly wrong and we have to replace the builder or other such problems.

We also just had a meeting with the builder to give him the final plans and talk over a few points. He's got to revise the BoQ and check the new plans over to make sure there are no omissions or errors. Mainly he's very keen to take on the build as it will give him 8 months solid work next year, and he wants to (and we want to) get the contracts signed. But when we applied for chanote in about September, we were given a very fixed date of 23rd December, and there's nothing we can do until that is approved, and we've got planning permission. It should be a formailty, but it will be a case of getting those first, drawing up a building contract and getting it notarised (or overseen by a lawyer in whatever way is needed), and then applying for the mortgage for 'just in case' money. Which we'll probably use as it will leave us with a nicer buffer for if (when?) we do overrun on budget, and will leave us a bit more flush at the end of the build.

Next action is to compare the final BoQs and chase the date for the chanote to make sure it will all go ahead on the 23rd.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby pipoz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:25 pm

somsip wrote:Builders

The attachment BoQSummary.xls is no longer available


So the total finished cost is projected at about 3 million. That's for 187 m2 (square footprint), which is about 13,000/m2 before fees and tax, and 16,000/m2 for the total cost. This is pretty much what we were budgeting for, accepting a likely increase due to unanticipated issues, and that the builder has deliberately estimated high (as suggested by the project manager with our okay) on the standard of some of the materials to give us a 'highest price' figure, and to give a lower borrowing % for the bank loan. We're only planning to borrow about 30% on a loan, but we don't think the builder needs to know this.


Hi, you might want to have a look at my build out of curiosity, as I am 187 m2 under the Roof Line, with a 172 m2 of Concrete Slab footprint, pretty much the same shape and size as yours.

I am half way through my build at present (just doing the internal wet trades) and if your planned build is anything like mine, then your costs will be between TB 13,000 and 14,500 per m2 of Concrete Footprint, assuming you are not too extravagant with your finishes. Refer Udon Thani Happy House, if you are interested

pipoz
Attachments
Drawing No.1072-C R1.pdf
My Ceiling Layout
(168.42 KiB) Downloaded 77 times
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:22 am

pipoz wrote:
somsip wrote:Builders
Hi, you might want to have a look at my build out of curiosity, as I am 187 m2 under the Roof Line, with a 172 m2 of Concrete Slab footprint, pretty much the same shape and size as yours.

I am half way through my build at present (just doing the internal wet trades) and if your planned build is anything like mine, then your costs will be between TB 13,000 and 14,500 per m2 of Concrete Footprint, assuming you are not too extravagant with your finishes. Refer Udon Thani Happy House, if you are interested


Thanks very much for the link. You seem to have a much higher level of control on the fine details of construction than I expect to have, but it's helpful to get some pointers on the sort of things that can be considered. It'll all go into the mix when getting into the details of the build with the builder.

Overall prices/m2 are about the same, given that we've got the added expense of the raised floor, but you're upping the quality of construction from what I can see, with the cavity walls and some other materials (roof tiles) that are probably more expensive than we'll end up with.

Just off to get measured up for the chanote now. Hopefully the rain will pack in while we're doing it.

Cheers!
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:36 pm

The posts for the chanote have been set today, but the chanote itself won't be with us for up to 2 months. So we've had to go for planning permission based on the Nor Sor 3 documents even though it should make no real difference to anything else we plan to do. We've seen the architect today, who is also the man in charge of issuing planning permission at the Amphoe office, and those should be ready this time next week. We've also asked him to come up with a solution for the roof overhang leaving the front balcony exposed to rain, which was something picked up by the second architect who we asked to do a comparison BoQ.

And that comparison BoQ came in almost exactly the same as the original one provided by the builder. So we've got a new 'real price' BoQ at 2.9 miliion, the original at 3.0 million, and a new one for mortgage purposes at 3.2 million. Which gives me enough confidence that the builder is quoting a fair price and was well worth the 3,000 baht we ended up paying for them. And we've got a nicely packaged and printed BoQ for the bank now too.

The project manager was there for the chanote measuring and ordered the Amphoe officials about a bit, which was good to see :-) She also called the architect and told him to get the planning permission sorted quickly for us, and this is pretty much what we're wanting from her at this stage. She also told us about a couple of other projects the builder was involved in - a block of 4 town houses at the end of the road where we used to live, and the rather contemporary refurbishment of a townhouse down the soi from our new house to convert it into a bar with accomodation. Both are good jobs again, and so we're comfortable going with this builder.

He's confirmed a start date of 1st March for the build, but says he may be able to start a few days early which is fine for us. We have a meeting on Sunday to discuss minor changes to plans, look at the revised BoQ (though now we have the comparison BoQ this has become a bit academic unless we suddenly have a major change to the plan) and agree the content of the building contract. And we plan to get this drawn up and signed early in the new year.

So for now, progress is good. The only place we slipped up was waiting for the date for the chanote inspection to come around and only then finding out it will take 2 months for the chanote to be issued. We could have got planning permission sorted out based on the Nor Sor 3 ages ago. Still, nothing lost really.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:04 pm

Things have been moving forward recently coming into the last month before we're due to start.

The architect has made some 'final' changes to the plans, the main one being that we've decided that the floor level should be 0.5m higher than the current level of the ground to allow for back-filling with soil that will give plants some chance of growing, unlike the the clay/sand that has been used as the main filler. There are still errors on the plans, but after 5 months we've just talked them through with the builder and are making manual corrections to the printed master plan so we can just get it properly finalised. And we got the planning permission with no problem.

The lawyer has produced the building contract, a week longer than the quoted time of one week. And we've got an appointment with him and the builder to get this all signed up tomorrow. Then we can talk to the bank properly to see if we can get the loan to give us more breathing space with the money, should we need it.

We've also found a kitchen design service at the local HomePro which had a brochure with an example that was almost exactly what we're after, and cheaper than expected. After looking around I was expecting to hit 350k baht for this, but it looks like the units and cabinets could come in at under 150k, with the appliances about another 100k on top. We need this finalising before the builder is ready to allow for water/waste pipes to the kitchen which will be in month 3 and the design time is 6 weeks. So we've got 4 months to finalise this at the most. Should be okay.

A similar thing is happening with the bathrooms. Although they are small, the architect has gone with a very basic bathroom design on the plans, and we want something that has a bit more to it. After looking around a bit and playing with ideas, we've accepted we're not good at this, so HomePro are also doing some mock-ups based on the tiles/colours that we want. This will only take a week, and as the designer seemed very professional, we're hoping it will be more impressive than what we have so far.

Windows and doors have still not been decided on. uPVC has the benefits of low maintenance and security, aluminium is cheaper but I've not been impressed by what I've seen, and wood is prettiest but has high maintenance and will swell and contract with the change of seasons. We've got some quotes for wood from a couple of local places and they are comparable, but one came with the builder's recommendation and were much more professional. These are about 25k for the sliding doors, 4k for the front doors and 8k for the big windows (lung por wood, without glass). uPVC takes this up to 36k for sliding doors, 32k for front doors, and 38k for the big windows with standard glass and 10% more for laminated. All non-standard sizes, which makes it expensive. If we do uPVC it comes to about 200k more based on this, but we need to get prices on glass to make a proper comparison against wood and then decide from there. We may well change the sliding doors to French windows too, especially if we go with wood as I read that sliding doors are much less soundproof and windproof. Again, another benefit of uPVC over wood.

And that's about it for now.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby brianks » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:36 am

We built our house in Khanom and have been in it for a year now. Quite a process and I did and do have some knowledge of construction. I see your sources of information as far as vendors is rather limited from what we know the true resources are in the area. SCG Home Solutions has a newer building out on the main highway that could limit your travels to Nakon town and Home Pro. We dealt with the Home Mart in Sichon for most of our materials and the SCG Home Solutions is owned by the same owners. Had an account so we could just order up and pay off the balance periodically. Our cabinet maker is located in Sichon also and does very good quality work.

Would be willing to make the trip to sit down with you and answer any questions you may have and offer my advise and resources based on experiences with our project. You can call me at: 0884550817 and The Sala is not very far to travel. Again, only want to offer help if needed and hope all goes right for you.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby pipoz » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:23 am

Hi somsip

Re. "Two of them stated that the raised floor was adding a lot of costs, and these both quoted 12,000. The one who quoted 8,000 didn't make this distinction. We weren't relying on the architects' estimates, but it showed that they understood certain aspects the build. And 12,000 compares with the sorts of quotes I'd seen in this forum, which seemed okay"

Have a look at Galee's Build under New House Udon Thani, as he raised his beams off the ground, which appears to be a typical way that Thai Builders do build, rather than sitting them directly on the ground, like me.

I think the two Builders who argued that "it would add a lot of cost" where FOS, as 80% of you cost of your foundation-slab in the material cost and basically, Galee's design of his foundation pads, column necks, ground beam and slab, is not that much different to mine.

Maybe a few of his pad foundation column necks are slightly longer, but that is nothing in costs. The Concrete, Reinforcement and Form work quantities are near the same and his labour did not take very long or much time to form his beams up of the ground.

Galee's cost per m2 for his foundation t top of ground slab vs mine, I suspect are pretty much the same

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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby Rudi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:52 pm

Hello Somsip,

I understand you already have a builder? If not, do you know Lung Cham the builder from Tha Sala? He has build many houses in Tha Sala area (and the new hospital), he quoted us 3000Bht/SqM (work only)
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:52 pm

And, not been on here for a while and see some messages to reply to. Thanks all, and I'll do some individual replies after I've done this update.

Updates are that we have decided to go with wooden windows. They do have their drawbacks, but the decent uPVC turned out to be about 350-400% of the cost of the wood, and that's not a price we want to stretch to.

The mortgage has some problems in that the land is currently on Nor Sor 3, but we were measured up for a chanote at the end of December. Turns out it will take 3 months to actually get the chanote, and the banks won't secure a loan on land that is in the process of being converted. So we should get the chanote at the end of March, and we'll apply for the loan then. If it all goes horribly wrong and we can't get it for some reason, it will just mean we might have to save up to get the kitchen done after the build is complete, and the external work won't get started quite so quickly. If the loan all goes through okay, we've got plenty to get it all done as and when we want to. No big deal.

We'd agreed a provisional start date of beginning of March, and met up with the builder to do some marking out of the land at the end of Feb. The first work was to drive the piles, but a couple of the piles are non-standard and had to be made specially. These still aren't ready so the builder has had some of the team working on forming the rebar cages for the beams and footings so we're seeing some progress, but not in the order as expected. ETA for the custom piles is Thursday, so we might see the first ones go in over the next few days.

Overall, it's a bit surreal. It's been a long build up to this and now it is really, finally happening. We're looking at a piece of dusty land with some pegs driven into and bits of string marking this and that, and a bunch of guys are bending 20mm rebar into shape and wiring them together. And I'm not concerned. I know I need to be very accepting of some of the delays and issues that will come up, because otherwise I'll have 10 months of uninterrupted stress because it will almost certainly go wrong in some ways at some time. So it all feels okay. But I'm surprised it does.
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Re: Raised house in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Postby somsip » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:48 pm

Measuring up and marking layout
layout.jpg
Measuring up and marking layout


Bending rebar by hand
rebar.jpg
Bending rebar by hand


Rebar cages completed
cages.jpg
Rebar cages completed
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