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Rise Your Happiness

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Lot of building going on right now in the Pattaya, Thailand area. Subdivisions are springing up like crabgrass after a good rain. Here was a caption of a billboard around here that caught my eye, ‘Rise Your Happiness’. If this is your motivation for buying a pre-built subdivision house, you might take a cold shower and think again in the morning. Plenty of less expensive alternatives along those lines can, fortunately or unfortunately, be found in the land of smile.

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If you drive around the Pattaya area (and likewise other resort areas within the kingdom) you can’t help but run into dozens of large scale housing developments currently going up. Houses go up in rapid assembly line fashion. Forget about corner cutting for a moment. A number of these projects are high end well financed affairs that won’t ‘forget’ to put rebar attachments in the wall, dig the foundation hole only 60 centimeters instead of a meter in depth, or use low grade cement to save 500 baht on the overall project. That being said, there is a striking similarity to the way these houses are constructed.

The main similarity I notice is that of foundation column construction with the non load bearing red brick as the main building material for the walls. There isn’t anything wrong with this on the surface, but it would be on the bottom of my choice of wall materials for a house I was building. The prices for pre-finished houses vary depending of course on size and materials, but many of the East Pattaya houses (and other resort estate areas) are ‘pricey’.

The reason I point this out is because ‘housing estates’ are very popular. They have a lot of nice amenities you don’t get in a self-build out in a ‘neighborhood’. For starters, security guards and some common area for example. As a given, you pay a dear price for these amenities, normally a price of up to twice what it would cost you to build it yourself, and of course your house will be jammed packed (like fitting sardines in a can) with little breathing room.

If you are just absolutely convinced that a new housing estate is the way to go I would look at either buying an individual plot within the estate and having a house built to your specifications (understanding that the developers will need to approve your plan), or have the developers agree to build your house for you to your specifications.

One common problem which seems to occur during the home buying process is not seeing the forest for the trees. In this case the forest would be the early construction process, the building materials utilized, the foundation method employed etc. The trees would be the ‘finishing touches’ and the ‘wow’ effect. Of course if someone is building 300 houses they will get pretty good and making sure that the end result is ‘pretty’ and the light switches don’t have paint on them.

The price of upgrading some of the materials used in the construction process will be a minor percentage of the overall project cost and you’ll then you won’t be driving a Lexus with a Chevy engine. The developer would easily agree to use Q-Con block for example, or use an upgraded cinder block double wall construction methodology. For examples of these techniques and more ideas, before you lay down your deposit thourougly check out this site.

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