*from Grahame L*
Very informative site and have found what you wrote about planning Czars completely true. I would like some pointers in prepaying/deposits. I’ll give you some background. I lived in Bangkok for 8 years, married a Thai, had a family and then moved back to Scotland where we are now. My wife already has land and a house in the area of Bangkok near Don Muang but the house is “tired” and certainly needs rebuilt.
The plan is to knock down the existing structure and put up a new build. Probably a daunting enough task but even more so when you are based in Scotland and relying on in-laws to over see everything.
The drawings have been done and approval been given. The in-laws have sourced a contractor who they believe is trustworthy and skilful as he has done various other new builds in the immediate area.
He has quoted 1,100,000 baht and is wanting 369,000 baht up front payment which makes me nervous. The other payments are also up front before the next stage of work is carried out.
Can you give me any advice in how to set up safe payments or what is the norm in contractors demanding payment? We will be in Bangkok for the whole of April and would like to get things tied up then. Any advice would be great.
>editor: First off, you are very right to be concerned. One good thing about contract negotiations here is that normally the bulk of payments are paid after the contractor has completed work. There is always some up front payment, but normally it is minimal. The up front payment is only to protect the contractor from digging in to his pocket to get materials. So, lets say there are 5 payment milestones of 200,000 each. For the first milestone there will be about 100,000 material and 100,000 labor. The contractor would want at least 100,000 bhat up front, which will be used throughout the entire contact as a buffer to buy the materials.
>The fact that the contractor is asking for so much up front makes me very nervous (and it isn’t even my money!). The fact that the other payments are up front before work is done is the opposite of how it should be. I would never enter into any contract here under those circumstances.
>One thing you have to appreciate here is that we (farang) are considered soft touches when it comes to business matters. Certain circumstances come up which, unfortunately mean we lose our money. The Thai saying is ‘mai pen rai’, no problem, which undoubtedly you will hear over and over again.
>You are at a distinct disadvantage if you won’t be here. The fact that the contract includes materials means, almost with certainty, that the quality of the project will suffer. Contractors I know that are trying to get my business even admit this…… (saying that if you go labor only and buy the materials yourself the cost will work out about the same but the quality will be better).
>The other thing is you can’t really expect anyone else to keep an eye on things as you would expect. If you’re around the ‘farang’ eye will prevent many really atrocious things from being done.
>I see this as a potential recipe for disaster, if there would be anyway you could postpone upgrades until you are around personally you would have a much better chance for a pleasant outcome.