My building story:

Any story related to building in the LOS, whether everything turned out hunky dory or not!

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:40 pm

Er, no.

We held a final meeting to seal the deal at our house on the Wednesday before Songkran; they had a delegation of 5 people in attendance. Jan informed the salesman that she would transfer the deposit of Baht100k on Friday as we had some other business to attend to on the Thursday. The rep said that as we had already signed the quotation, the money transfer would trigger our job in their books, but he'd already reserved the blocks and spoken to the installation team who confirmed their availability as promised. Jan transferred the money on the Friday and tried to call him a couple of times to confirm the money transfer but without success. I said maybe they'd started their celebrations early so let's leave it until the following Thursday when they'll be back at work. So she called on Thursday and the salesman wasn't there. He'd left word with some minion to inform us that 'someone' had commandeered our blocks for another job so it would now be between 4 to 6 weeks before they would have them back in stock. And only after the blocks had arrived could they book the installation team. I was livid. I told Jan to contact the company and insist that they transfer the Baht100k back into our account, which they have now done.

Jan has family commitments this week, so we've not yet discussed where we go from here. It may feel like a pyric victory asking them to transfer the money back as this has put us back at square one with nothing actually planned, but I was so angry. Maybe I'll have to put down 10 cubes of gravel until we mend our fences with SCG?

This is the design that we signed off; I just hope that we can still make it happen. We'll see once Jan gets back from her mother's village.
20150410_111444.jpg
plan
20150410_112032.jpg
visual


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Re: My building story:

Postby MGV12 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:48 pm

jomoblues wrote:Jan and I have deliberated over the type of driveway that we want for quite some time. Indeed, our conversations stretch back to the rains of last year when our land was a quagmire. Having to cope with all of the mud for weeks on end brought us to a resolution to have it sorted out before next year's rains. Well we're there now and we still haven't sorted it out yet! Initial delays were understandable as we were in the middle of building the house at the time, and our land was a building site with two teams of workers living there. So we kicked around design ideas in a very nebulous sort of way but with a commitment to sort it out as a priority once the house was finished. Unfortunately we stalled for far too long, and after the house was completed we changed our minds and again decided to delay it until after the car port and tank room were finished. There would still be time. Well we now find ourselves right back where we were last year---viz; muddy ground and still no driveway. The rains are due anytime now, in fact we had a torrential downpour yesterday and we still haven't actually made a start yet, although we did get close.

Thinking about the type of driveway we wanted we considered a number of options in our attempts to arrive at a point on the cost vs quality graph where we were both comfortable. First consideration was just putting down concrete in straight lines to the house and garage as the cheapest option but we weren't at all pleased with the thought of that once we saw it on paper. So we thought about putting down concrete for now and tiling on top at a later date, but that would double the cost and we'd still have to live with the bare concrete until such time as we could afford to tile it. So the final idea we had was to use block pavers, although we knew this would be more expensive and by this time we had also decided that we didn't want straight lines. To our minds they looked terrible.
JoMo.


Just change the names and the specifics of the project and the first part of your post describes the path most of us end up following!

With the Songkran holidays now over surely they should have commenced ... so where are the pics? :P

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:10 pm

MGV12.

You're too quick off the mark. It took me a while to compose the second part but you've probably read it by now.

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Re: My building story:

Postby MGV12 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:22 pm

jomoblues wrote:MGV12.

You're too quick off the mark. It took me a while to compose the second part but you've probably read it by now.

JoMp


Sorry about that ... unusual for me!

jomoblues wrote: It may feel like a pyric victory


That will get a few members heading for Google ... other solutions that are still focused on just being a search engine are available :)

Hope it works out well in the end.

“Some days I am an optimistic pessimist ... other days I am a pessimistic optimist”
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:57 pm

MGV12 wrote:

jomoblues wrote: It may feel like a pyric victory


That will get a few members heading for Google ... other solutions that are still focused on just being a search engine are available :)

Hope it works out well in the end.


MGV12

Thanks for your comments. I'm sure we'll get there eventually.

(I just need to learn how to spell!!! Pyrrhic, ahem.)

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sat May 16, 2015 1:11 pm

It's three weeks since I last updated my thread as there has been little actual work on the ground to record.

However, the good news is that SCG solutions called round to the house as I had anticipated/ hoped for and asked if we could put the deal back together for the driveway. So, after clearing the air and receiving a guarantee that there will be no more hi-jacking of our materials once they arrive at the local warehouse, we agreed to proceed. I pressed them on the materials lead time but they were adamant that there was no way to shorten it, and it would take 45 days from confirmation of our order to delivery. So we signed a new agreement and paid the deposit, which was reduced to Baht10k from the Baht100k we were required to pay the first time. Later on that week they phoned Jan to confirm that our order had been processed and informed her that they would keep us posted on any developments.

This all happened during the final week of April, so calculating the 45 day order lead time it will be early-to-mid June before we can expect them on site. Of course by then we will be at the mercy of the weather, but I'm resigned to that.

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Re: My building story:

Postby pipoz » Sat May 16, 2015 3:04 pm

jomoblues wrote:It's three weeks since I last updated my thread as there has been little actual work on the ground to record.

However, the good news is that SCG solutions called round to the house as I had anticipated/ hoped for and asked if we could put the deal back together for the driveway. So, after clearing the air and receiving a guarantee that there will be no more hi-jacking of our materials once they arrive at the local warehouse, we agreed to proceed. I pressed them on the materials lead time but they were adamant that there was no way to shorten it, and it would take 45 days from confirmation of our order to delivery. So we signed a new agreement and paid the deposit, which was reduced to Baht10k from the Baht100k we were required to pay the first time. Later on that week they phoned Jan to confirm that our order had been processed and informed her that they would keep us posted on any developments.

This all happened during the final week of April, so calculating the 45 day order lead time it will be early-to-mid June before we can expect them on site. Of course by then we will be at the mercy of the weather, but I'm resigned to that.

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That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Wed May 27, 2015 3:55 pm

Jan received a call from SCG on Friday informing her that the blocks for the driveway were due to arrive at their Udon warehouse this week-- w/c 25/5----(a couple of weeks earlier than expected). The rep asked if they could make a start on Monday, which Jan approved.

The news of the earlier start spurred me into action as I still have my ground rainwater drains to complete and although I've already determined where they are to be located, I haven't actually put them in yet. I had a mind to do them once the driveway was completed, however there are a couple of locations where they will pass under the driveway, so it was now imperative that I got on with this part of the work, ahead of SCG's arrival on site.

We use a triumvirate of tuc tuc drivers (not sure that's the correct collective noun for them, but it'll do) for all the heavy digging. So, one call from Jan and they agreed to come round on Sunday and complete the necessary work. Jan and I were then off to Thai Watsadu to buy the pipes plus a quick stop on the way back home at one of the concrete vendors on the ring road to buy 2 service boxes. There's one section of pipes to lay measuring 14 metres and another of 8 metres. We purchased the blue 5 inch pipes, 8.5mm thick by 4 metres in length. Plus two 45 degree elbows and two concrete service boxes. The guys had it all wrapped up by lunch time.
1.jpg


The top of the pipe is 20cms below the soil level, plus there will eventually be another 12cms or so on top, made up of 6cms sand and a 6cm concrete block, so deep enough in my estimation.
2.jpg
3.jpg


I intend to run concrete box shaped drains down the sides of the paths around the house. 30cms wide and 15cms deep. They will connect to the service boxes on either side of the house and then into the blue 5inch pipes, which will take the water to drains that run the length of my perimeter walls and eventually out the front of the property.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:27 am

On with the driveway story----

Monday 25th May the team arrived bright and early. The SCG Rep Winai, was to be the project manager, and as we had worked with him before when Top Hat/ SCG fitted our roof, we were pleased to know that he would be in charge once again, as he did a great job for us on the roof project.

The team assembled on the waste ground opposite our property and Winai conducted a lengthy team briefing. It soon became evident to Jan and I that unlike their roof teams, which are comprised exclusively of SCG employees, these guys were sub contractors. When the opportunity presented itself Jan went and had a word with Winai, who confirmed her suspicions, but he was keen to reassure her that this team had worked with SCG on a number of previous projects already and notwithstanding, there would be sufficient oversight from him and other SCG folks to ensure that standards would be met.

I decided that, for my own peace of mind I would set up camp on the balcony and observe proceedings. They are a fairly typical group. Supervisors are a husband and wife combo, plus extended family of two sons, one superannuated relative (I think) plus a couple of big lads for the heavy lifting.

First job was for Winai and the inveterate chain smoking supervisor to accurately mark out the shape of the driveway in chalk.
1.jpg

Detailed measurements were taken from the plan to guide them on the shape and dimensions of the driveway. The left 'spur' leads to the front door of the house and the right 'spur'
2.jpg
swings round to the car port.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:16 am

They borrowed a couple of my 50mtr hoses to sketch out the shape of the driveway and once they were happy with the design, they asked Jan and I to check it out and give our approval so that they could start the actual work. Jan spent some time fiddling around with the circular shape which is to be a motif---right a bit, no left a bit, up a bit (Heinz, the bolt!) while I ran the tape across from one side to the other at a few key points checking the width. It's only 4.2 metres wide at its narrowest point so I was keen not to lose any centimetres there. Actually with the kerbs it will be 4.4metres, so that's fine. Then up to the second floor balcony to get a better overall view----all checked and approved, work could proceed.

Winai had to visit another site for the afternoon. The supervisor was off to buy materials for the form work for the kerbs, (and a few packets of cigarettes, no doubt) and the rest of the team were tasked with cleaning up the work area. Mainly digging out the weeds, levelling up the odd low point and digging out the soil in preparation for the kerbs, plus receiving the deliveries that were scheduled for the afternoon. Several cubes of sand, and gravel plus bags of cement and 6 pallets of the red blocks.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:40 am

Over the next couple of days there was a flurry of activity, although work was interrupted from time-to-time with intermittent showers.

The car port floor is actually 22 centimetres higher than the surrounding soil level, so it necessitated work to form a gradient to ensure that the finished driveway will meet flush with the car port. Base to be made of reinforced concrete, then overlaid with gravel and sand well vibrated. Kerbs for the slope will extend further down into the soil to avoid any lateral shift.
1.jpg


There was some settling of soil due to the rains where we had laid the drain pipe across the driveway previously. It's noticeable on this photo, just where the left side coil of my hose pipe is lying. They vibrated it well and added some soil and gravel which again was vibrated to bring it up to the same level as the surrounding soil. It's at that point where the gradient will start.

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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:10 am

KERBS.
Hmmm! Not a pleasant experience.

I'm at my observation post with all my essentials. Cool box with water and coke zero, French press full of Starbucks ground coffee and biscuits, cell phone to catch up world news, fan. Four hours before the sun comes round this side of the house. All good.

Winai is in Loei but never mind there'll be an SCG guy over later in the day to check on progress.

The supervisor delivers the form work materials for the kerbs. Cut up strips of extremely flimsy 8 x 4 sheeting and purloined bits of bamboo cut into the shape of pegs. Using these materials they describe the kerb shapes. No measurements are taken, just using eye line instead. And as they proceed, another team follow behind. They cut rebar into 30cm lengths which they tap into the ground at intervals along the line of the kerb, and then tie long lengths of rebar to them to form the reinforcement for the concrete. Mother and younger son have helped themselves to one of my wheelbarrows and a large black tub to mix the concrete in--thai style, i.e. wet, which they do and then slop it into the trenches, superannuated guy then smoothes it with his trowel.

I'm choking on my McVities but I'm under orders from Jan not to interfere, if I have any problems, she'll call Winai.

Break for lunch. After lunch they remove the form work and proceed with the next section. SCG guy comes along, wais, smiles, has a word with supervisor and leaves before we can collar him. We were distracted by the unannounced arrival of Jan's Kasikorn personal banker wanting to sell her some insurance---no thanks.

I take Jan to review the kerbs. Rather than my sensuous snaking curve, we are looking at a line of concrete with more joints in it than an Amsterdam coffee house.
2.jpg
Jan can you please talk to the supervisor and ask what's going on. Oh, mai pen rai it'll look OK when I chaarp (render) it later. That won't do, call Winai.
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:21 pm

Jan called Winai and he said he'd be over once he got back from Loei later that evening. She said it could wait until morning.

Jan and I talked through our concerns over dinner so that rather than us both going through it with him she could have a one-on-one with Winai the following morning. We didn't want to appear to be 'beating him up' and better that they could just talk Thai to Thai. Winai took all of our concerns on board. Mainly we were concerned that the sub contractors appeared not to have their own tools; they did not seem to be applying enough care to their work and not too concerned about whether the resultant driveway was going to be fit for purpose. They appeared to be in a rush to get it done and move on to the next job. With a 16yr old and a 13yr old counting towards the team, we were not too confident that they were sufficiently experienced to complete the job to the required standard. Our demands were ----We expected the same care and attention that we had from SCG when they completed the roof, and the same standard of work; we expected someone from SCG acting as operations manager to be on site throughout the working day, not just popping in from time to time, and given the performance so far we wanted a written guarantee not just covering materials but also protecting us against any defects such as subsidence that may occur over the first year, as a minimum.

It was also obvious that Winai was being stretched by his company as he was covering several implementations and call backs simultaneously. He went away and talked through our concerns with his boss and he rang Jan back to say that the engineer would be out later that day and his 'big boss' was flying up from Bangkok in the next day or so.

Long story short. The team had some sort of epiphany as work from then on improved vastly. They agreed to scan out some of the kerbs and do them again. Winai's duties were to be pared back so that we could have continuous SCG on site management, and the English educated 'big boss' from BKK gave Jan the guarantees she wanted, with an additional promise to provide on going (paid for) support for any problems we had with the driveway after the guarantee period expired.

Fair enough. JoMo
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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:32 pm

Winai reviewing the work and talking through our concerns with the supervisor and main hand after his conversation with Jan. Jan's by the gate with shovel in hand working, but really listening in to the conversation!
3.jpg


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Re: My building story:

Postby jomoblues » Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:54 pm

Over the next day or so things moved forward really well. Motivation levels were up and morale improved with the secondment of additional labour.

We had 2 deliveries of blocks, 12 pallets of red blocks plus the 3 of the 'cobble stones' for the motif---happily we had the space to accommodate them adjacent to the working areas.
20150531_093433.jpg

Plus a delivery of gravel and several of sand and a team set about tidying up the driveway by using the gravel to level off any remaining low spots and then they laid down a liberal coating of sand which was then well vibrated in preparation for the block work. The original supervisor and his cohort remained responsible for this aspect of the job. Additional equipment also arrived from SCG including a block cutter, an additional vibrator and a couple of heavy duty angle grinders.

Everyone was keen to make good progress while the sun shone because the weather forecast did not auger well for the days ahead!

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