1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

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1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:29 pm

Well, Ms Bangyai and I don't really want to leave but it's time to go. Having lived in Bangyai Nonthaburi for nearly nine years we've seen it change from a quiet city suburb to a busy city satellite with some new megastores and the BTS rail link nearing completion. A lot more westerners about too, from Harley riding hard men ( snigger ) to still green behind the ears ajarns ...all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

But that's all by the by now because the MIL is getting very old and long in the tooth and it has fallen to Ms Bangyai to do her share of looking after the old girl in her dotage. As commuting up and down to Petchabun is not really an option on a daily basis we are selling our place in Bangyai for 1,950,000 baht and planning to build a one bedroom bungalow on a plot of land Ms Bangyai bought about 20 years ago.

Because we have yet to sell our home in Bangyai to finance our move, this thread will likely be spun out over a long time but I thought I'd start it now in case we have to move of a sudden and I have no desktop access. Won't hurt to share some ideas and kick things off and add to the thread as things progress.

The last time I had something built was back in the 80's. A lot has changed since back then. In the past if you had land and wanted to build on it you just went right ahead. No permission needed or plans to get signed off. It was up to you and your builder to sort things out between you and you were the site foreman if you wanted things to turn out as you had planned. For those interested in how building in the boonies was back then I did a thread on it over on TD which you can find with this link :

http://teakdoor.com/construction-in-tha ... 984-a.html

Anyway.......without further gabble..............here are some pictures of the proposed build site for our new home :
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:53 pm

O.K. ....so the land was originally one plot , 31 meters wide by 40 meters deep.

After Ms Bangyai and her two sisters had divided it up we are left with a narrow plot measuring 10 x 40 meters. Not an ideal shape for a build but without going to the expense of buying land elsewhere it's too bad and we have to make the best of what we have. I should say right now that this is going to be a budget build . Nothing fancy . Just somewhere rainproof where we can hang our hats. I have read a lot of the builds on the forum and amazed at the size of many of them and the high western standards used. Nice to be rich ! Unfortunately , none of that with this buld. I'm hoping to bring in a simple but nice looking compact bungalow for around 800,000 baht all in ( excluding boundary fences etc.)

Fortunately, the plot is on a hard cement road at the end of a cul de sac with mains water and electricity available.

Here is what we are planning to build :
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:04 pm

I toyed around with a lot of alternative designs ( surprised at the variety I could make given the restrictions ) but with Ms Bangyai exercising her right of veto with frequent and gay abandon things were straight jacketed into this very simple and standard design which will hopefully be simple for the builder to understand and keep costs down. I know the standard grid is 4x4 but I am pretty sure a 3.25 x 4.5 won't present any structural problems for a bungalow as I plan to use lightweight materials where possible, the details of which will come next.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:39 pm

As can be seen above, the main part of the bungalow measures 9 x 6.5 metres. From a legal point of view , you are not supposed to build closer than 2 meters to the boundary line but as I have no windows planned on either of the sides of the house I have just left 1.75 to either side . In any case , both adjacent plots are owned by her sisters. The rooms may look small but they are all bigger than what we are using in our current 3 bedroom townhouse so to us it will be an improvement. The living / dining area was originally one long open plan room 9 meters long. The problem with that was that it would need a large air con unit to cool it. So, as in Bangkok, we have divided it in half and will have folding doors at the partition of two panels to each door so that they concertina down when open. This will give us a nice open plan space when its cool but if we want to watch TV in the evenings we can close the doors and turn on the air con.

It might seem that there are not many windows. This is true. I have often read about people planning homes with a lot of windows to provide
' ventilation '. Don't agree with this at all because you will be ventilating your home with the scortching hot air on the outside , not some pleasant cool breeze just down from a mountain meadow. Keeping a house cool is about keeping your cooled air in and the hot air out as much as possible. Windows are a weak point in this regard unless you have double glazing of some sort and even then I have my doubts. As there are sliding glass doors at both ends of the main room ( terrible fung shui ) there will be enough light coming in to not worry about extra windows , although I might add a couple of glass blocks somewhere just to be on the safe side. Not decided on that yet.

The house is raised up 40 cm from ground level , not that the area floods but Ms Bangyai wants it that way. Originally I thought to fill in the space with compacted dirt. Then I started mulling over cement planks. However, after reading several members views on this I have decided to go with the dirt except in the bathroom area where I'll put a cement planks. This for the reason that it will make the necessary plumbing under the bathroom a lot more accessible. On top of the dirt filled section not sure whether to lay some plastic down as a damp course / insect barrier or not. More thought needed here. I know insects find it harder to get at the floor if there is a cavity space but on the other hand , rats and snakes can move in so its swings and roundabouts.

And now for some controversy . I plan to use just one layer of 7.5 cm AAC blocks on all walls except around the shower area. I know this will freak some people out but I have been looking into it and it's more viable than it sounds. I was actually up in Petchabun last week and saw a whole small development doing just this. Have also read of others doing it without problems. And why not ? Most of the housing you see in rural areas is just build with one layer of rendered breeze block and it works o.k. The AAC blocks will be lighter and have better insulation properties. Saw some down at Thai Watsadu last week at 16.5 baht a block which is very reasonable. This is Thailand after all and although if you have the money a double wall with cavity is nice , it will also add a lot to the bill !

Columns will be poured cement type. Personally, I would have gone with the 8 inch pre cast ones for such a simple build but Ms Bangyai put in one of her vetos' so I dropped the idea. Windows and doors of sliding PVC type. Long lasting, no maintenance. Roof space to be heavily insulated with 6 inches of insulation on top of the ceiling. Ventilation of roof space will be by vents under the eves at both ends plus ventilated cement boards under the eves all around the house. Roof itself, simple cement tiles 50cm x 120 in a light colour. CPAC tiles look a whole lot nicer but weigh a hell of a lot more and cost more. In fact, apart from the fact that they look a lot more up market with better aesthetic
appeal , from a purely functional point of view , I don't see they offer any other great advantages when the extra weight and cost are thrown in the scales.

Finally......builders plans. Was up in the district office last week to look at the free government ones to see if they had anything that has not yet appeared on these ex pat forums ( crossy etc ) . As luck would have it....they did ! Not only that but found some similar to my own which I photocopied for a few baht. So there's a big saving in getting something drawn up and signed off. As far as I can gather, providing we are only building one story legal fees won't amount to more than a couple of hundred baht. Here are a couple of pages from those plans that illustrate the similarity.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:25 pm

Well, since the last post we managed to sell the house for 1,900,000 , ten days after hanging the price on the gate ! Deposit has been received and exchange of contracts scheduled for end of February with a back up buyer who has offered the full 1,950,000 being held on reserve.

So off to Petchabun this week to look for a builder , and get some quotes. Here is where a bit of advice would be useful from anyone who has built in the area. It seems there is a vast range in cost per meter you will have to pay for your build .Top end from around 20,000 a meter for top quality two story build to western standards using best available materials from an established builder . Bottom end ........... :( could be as little as 2500 baht for a three dimensional disaster build by a village crew of limited skills and patience.

For the simple build I have outlined , yet done to reasonably competent standards I was hoping to find someone for around 4000 baht a meter.
Is this a reasonable amount these days or am I being overly optimistic ?


In connection with this I still feel using poured columns will add expense and time to the build. Fine if this is really necessary but since I am using lightweight AAC blocks and standard coloured cement roof tiles , I'm not convinced the extra structural strength is needed ? Someone else mentioned that poured foundations and pre cast columns don't mate well since the later are well cured whereas the former are not. Any truth to this ?

Anyway, I have begun work in adapting the free government plans and hope that any builder should easily be able understand them. The builder will also get full elevations of all sides as they should look when completed . Any simpler and I might as well just buy a top notch tent ! :
( For anyone interested this bungalow has been loaded onto google sketchup )
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Marlon » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:46 pm

Thanks Bangyai. Interesting story on your link. Good luck on your build mate.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:09 pm

Bangyai wrote:
For the simple build I have outlined , yet done to reasonably competent standards I was hoping to find someone for around 4000 baht a meter.
Is this a reasonable amount these days or am I being overly optimistic ?


In connection with this I still feel using poured columns will add expense and time to the build. Fine if this is really necessary but since I am using lightweight AAC blocks and standard coloured cement roof tiles , I'm not convinced the extra structural strength is needed ? Someone else mentioned that poured foundations and pre cast columns don't mate well since the later are well cured whereas the former are not. Any truth to this ?

( For anyone interested this bungalow has been loaded onto google sketchup )
if you take a look at granmum's build you can see that SWMBO builtyour way. As to price optimistic is the word. I would guess that 50% over would be a very good price, or 6,000 sqm
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:49 pm

Bangyai wrote:In connection with this I still feel using poured columns will add expense and time to the build. Fine if this is really necessary but since I am using lightweight AAC blocks and standard coloured cement roof tiles , I'm not convinced the extra structural strength is needed ? Someone else mentioned that poured foundations and pre cast columns don't mate well since the later are well cured whereas the former are not. Any truth to this ?

Poured columns may add 3 days to the build, but will be able to support the weight of your cement roof tiles and all the heavy steel needed. Which raises the question, why use heavy cement roof tiles when you can use Colorbond instead?
It is impossible to predict what a builder will charge per square metre. It is impossible to predict what sort of finish you'll get for your money. If you're going to be there all day supervising then you might get a satisfactory build that will last for years, if you're not there then it's up to the builder what he does and doesn't do.
Poured foundations and precast columns will mate okay if you use Lanko or another bonding agent. You can also use steel straps as long as they are soaked in rust proof paint. I can't see from your plans the foundations or the columns, so I would be guessing, which is like guessing the price per square metre.
Personally I would use poured columns with deformed rebar in them, that way I would know the roof wouldn't suddenly crash in. Foundations and columns are not a good place to "save money" in, if either goes, the whole house goes.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:23 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. Sometimewoodworker ...............thanks for the links ! Great pictures. I can see you've put a lot of work into that pond. Looks fantastic..the perfect place for a beer when the sun comes up or an early morning coffee :)

I should mention that I am only looking for labour cost only as will be supplying the materials myself. Nonetheless, perhaps 4000 was too low end !

Roger....thanks for the knowledge. I've read a lot of your input on this forum and it's always been on the money. I'm not too familier with all the correct terms for roofing tiles so I probably got it wrong saying cement tiles when as you say, I probably meant Colorbond. What I had in mind was these ( see picture )

As for the poured columns .............music to the wifes' ears !! I guess we'll probably go that way then as if the house falls down I'll not only get it on the head but in the neck from her ! :(

From my experience all those years ago I have decided I will need to be on site every day. On that last build all those years ago if I went into town for a few hours I would normally come home to find some unwanted shortcut was in the making and I arrived just in time to put things on track.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Sometimewoodworker » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:38 pm

Bangyai wrote:Thanks for the feedback guys. Sometimewoodworker ...............thanks for the links ! Great pictures. I can see you've put a lot of work into that pond. Looks fantastic..the perfect place for a beer when the sun comes up or an early morning coffee :)

I should mention that I am only looking for labour cost only as will be supplying the materials myself. Nonetheless, perhaps 4000 was too low end !


For labour only 4000 is high SWIMBO paid 1,300 + a little food and drink for her build.

The total for the house was 6,500 sqm using the house footprint not the roof footprint if you-include the roof footprint then the cost was 3,240 sqm. About 32 days non stop work.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:47 pm

Bangyai wrote:I'm not too familier with all the correct terms for roofing tiles so I probably got it wrong saying cement tiles when as you say, I probably meant Colorbond. What I had in mind was these ( see picture )

Okay, they are what we call fibro sheets in Australia. Most of the old Snowy Mountains houses had fibro roofs and they are still going strong 40 years on. You're going to have to be very very careful when they are put on (screwed) and make sure you use stainless steel screws (not from China) and make sure they have the rubber "stopper" on them to seal against the rain. The problem with the fibro sheets is they get very hot very quickly and if they don't then they are asbestos sheets and you don't want them. You'll need two sorts of insulation under the roof itself otherwise you'll boil to death.
Colorbond is steel. It reflects most of the heat and under it there is factory insulation (foam) if you get it from Intertech Steel. It works out to be cheaper than tiles, weighs less and you need less steel holding it in place. Fred had it on his roof and so do many others here including myself. The factory fitted mine in under a day. Unlike using the stainless screws Colorbond is clipped down. There's a heap of photos on Fred and my builds.
Good luck with the build, it sounds as though your wife knows what she wants. :D :D
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:18 am

Once again , thanks for the info and feedback guys.

I will look into the colorbond this week as we are going up to Wichien buri on Wednesday to move some of our smaller items and check out a few house rentals that we will shortly be needing. Last few times I've been up there I've had a good drive around and it's a bit of a one horse town kind of place. The builders yards I checked out had very limited choice of stuff ( compared to Bangkok) so I might drive up to Petchabun town to check out Thai Watsadu. The mother in law likes a day out so we'll take her along to get her out a bit.

Also I'll have another look to see if there are any houses for sale as I'd prefer to just move in somewhere rather than face the trauma of a build.
The land is not in a bad place but I'm not too keen having relatives right next door, cheek by jowl. Some sort of fence or barrier will be a priority seeing as how landmines are still illegal.

And yes....Ms Bangyai knows what she wants. Unfortunately she ended up with me ! Still, as I tell her , for the big fish you need better bait love :)
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby Bangyai » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:05 pm

Just back from viewing our plot of land in Petchabun. The brother in law had a few rental properties lined up for us to view, both within 1 kilometer of the build site. The first, a detached house with parking for 4500 a month ( up front 3 months rent wanted ) and an even better one, a detached bungalow for 2500 a month, no key money. Unfortunately , the latter was already taken but should be vacant by the time we get there....fingers crossed and that. We also considered renting a brand new two story shop on the main road for 4500 a month with living space above but the owner wanted a years rental. Tempted to go for that and open a little business there but when you see all the other boarded up places you can see that business of any kind does not do well there.

As for the builders, spoke to two. First wanted 5500 a square meter for labor only. Would do everything except fit the PVC windows for which he would call in an outside specialist ( ? ) . The second builder asked for 4500 baht a meter and would do it all except the external water drainage system , for which he would find an outside contractor. Speaking to both they both seemed to know there stuff although the brother in laws opinion was that the second guy does a slightly better job being more thorough with his finishing. Didn't have time to view any of their builds bit will do so next visit. Both agreed to allow us to build in stages ( three in all ) We will contract for each stage and if everyone is happy, proceed to contract for the next. This allows both parties to opt out if things don't go smoothly.

They both liked the detailed plans I had drawn up and so no difficulties in the build. When we getting ready to return to Bangkok, the first builder , who had found out the second builders bid, revised his own down to 4000 a meter. A bit late though as we both agreed we preferred the second as he seemed a bit more up front.

One other development is that we are changing the plans slightly . On the drive up we saw several bungalows raised up and built on the foundation beams. We both liked this so will alter the plans accordingly. This will mean using precast concrete planks for the floor but will give better access and ventilation as well as help control insects and any possible rising damp. Something like the following picture.
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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby pipoz » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:11 pm

Hi and you might want to look at my post under Udon Thani Happy House Page 6, where I refer to a book that I bought in Thailand for only TB 300. Its has some 120 No House Designs in it (by the Home Collection Group) although some are quite lavish

I posted a few design examples,under my Page 6, but the book has other two bedroom styles, if you are interested

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Re: 1 Bedroom bungalow in Petchabun

Postby kalasiner » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:20 pm

Hi Bangyai
You wrote "I plan to use just one layer of 7.5 cm AAC blocks on all walls except around the shower area."

What walls will you have around the bathroom ? and will your interior walls also be AAC ?
Thanks and good luck with your build.
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