Archive for August, 2010

How To Succeed In Business And Leisure In Thailand

Are you considering doing any kind of business in Thailand? Thinking of retiring in Thailand? Considering building a house  in Thailand, or simply just want to enjoy a holidy there?   

The way you go about any of these activities can substantially alter the outcome for you. The manner in which you interact with the Thais is very important and here are some words of wisdom from a person who has been very successful in business in Thailand for may years.   

I received this in an email yesterday and realised that it may be useful advice to visitors to this website so I decided to post it here exactly as it was written:-


Dear Alan,   

Thanks very much for your kind words again.   

As my father says ‘it costs nothing to be nice and good willed !’ Okay lets me go through your e-mail and answer various points.   

Thanks for your enthusiastic and positive approach to working with us Alan.  

Over the many years of helping people design and build homes, it is very noticeable that people with a good attitude are always the ones who benefit far more. Not just with our company but overall with doing business here in Thailand.  

They are the ones who get best help, and they are the ones who get better prices. I see this so many times and not just with our company.  

People who are rude, arrogant, think they know it all, or are overly demanding, always end up with problems in Thailand. They get less and they create far more problems for themselves.  

That attitude does not work here and only creates negative results.  

The polite, calm, positive and understanding way is without doubt the best approach here in Thailand.  

We have been very lucky over the years and all our customers have been exceptionally nice, positive, understanding and willing to listen to good advice.  

Over the years we have built a reputation for customer care, quality and excellent value for money, so we are always happy when customers reward us with kind words and compliments.   

Yos and I are enjoying working with you Alan and the architect looks forward to completing your designs. Any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here to help.  

Kind Regards,  

Chris Clayton  

(Managing Director)
Kensington Company Limited  


That email was sent in response to one of mine to Chris with regards to the Thai house they are designing for our retirment to Pakchong. 

I can really recommend the Kensington Company Limited to you for many reasons if you are looking for a Thai Architect to design your future retirment home. Some of the reasons for recommending Kensington are in another post of mine called “A Thai Architect In Bangkok Is Making Our Retirement House Plans “. By the way, if you do go to Kensington, please let Chris know who recommended you to them because you will then get special treatment and perhaps a discount on their fees! 

Well, I hope you can take that advice from Chris and put it to use. I do in fact work as an engineer in the construction industry and deal on a daily basis with subcontractors and designers. I find that, as you suggest, I get better results from them than other people do because I win their respect by being honest, considerate and knowledgable. 

How To Work Successfully With A Thai Architect

Kensington, and more specifically, Yos, their Thai Architect are making an excellent job of translating my concept for our retirment house for Pakchong into real working drawings that can be used for a construction contract with a Thai builder. And all this design process is carried on with me and my wife here in the U.K. (Great Britain) and Yos being in Bangkok. Communication is by email with Kensington sending me drawings at various stages and me sending our (me and my wife) comments back.

I have started posting the drawings and our comments on the website. You can see one set of comments on the Comments On Thai Architects Preliminary House Design web page.

If you want to see the first concept drawings I made for our retirment house go to the How To Build A House In Thailand web page.

To see the plans made by the Thai architect based on our concept drawings go the the House Plans For Our Retirement House Produced By A Thai Architect web page. In addition to the plans (drawings) of our Thai house you will see perspectives of the house. these look like photograms of the house taken from different angles but they are in fact screenshots taken from a 3D (three dimensional) computer model of the house.

A Thai Architect In Bangkok Is Making Our Retirement House Plans

On 14th July 2010, we gave the go-ahead to a Bangkok-based Architectural design-and-build company to proceed with producing the construction drawings for our retirement house we want to build in Pakchong, Thailand.

The company is called Kensington Company Limited and according to their Thai Builders website they have designed and built many beautiful and prestigious properties and won several awards including the Conde Nast Hottest 100 Asia Hotels Award May 2008 for designing and building “The Villa Water Orchid”.

Although I was a bit apprehensive at appointing the company from arms length i.e. from U.K. via email and not having met them in Thailand, I must say that to date I am very impressed with their service and the quality of their design work. The architect has now produced the final ground and first floor house layouts which I have now approved. Also, he has produced some very nice perspective views of the house obtained from a 3D computer model he has made.

I have posted some of these drawings on the website on the Thai Architects House Plans page at http://retiringinthailand.net/house-build-thailand-2/thai-architects-house-plans. I have some more perspective views which I’ll post there in a couple of days time and as I receive more details I’ll post those on that page also.

In addition to the high quality of the drawings, plans if you like, the architect is producing I want to mention other things that has made me very glad that we chose to proceed with the Kensington Company.

Excellent Service. I deal exclusively via email with Chris Clayton the Managing Director of the Kensington Company. Chris is always quick to respond to my emails usually within hours and always on the same day.

Further, both Chris and Yos, the Thai Architect, keep telling me that they want me to be happy and nothing is too much trouble. If I want to change something or don’t like what Yos has proposed for a particular situation, Yos will change it if I ask for it to be changed. Here for example are typical snippets from some of Chris’s email:-

“I am glad it all seems clearer. I know it can be difficult doing it thousands of miles away by e-mail. But have no worries. Yos and I will work on this design until you are happy which I think will come together fairly quickly now. Now things are clearer to all.”

“No problem at all. It’s my pleasure and also my job to help. Yos will happily make whatever changes you ask for.”

Quality Assurance. Another concern I had was that I had produced sketches of my concept for the house and knew that there were certain areas where my concept needed some development to make it work. One example is the roofs. My concept is visually pretty but as Yos pointed out for several reason is unpractical and would lead to leaks and difficulties in construction. Hence the architect’s roof solution is different from my concept and I have to accept this. At every step of the way Yos is checking my concept to make sure that what he delivers is practical and complies with the Thai building regulations and standards. This is from one of Chris’s emails discussing my concept for the roofs:-

“Dear Alan,

Thanks for all the comments and ideas.

Yos has gone over them carefully. He is happy to help you in anyway and try to come up with solutions. However he is particularly concerned with your desire for this roof design you have created. Naturally he wants you to have the home as you like it but as an architect he has to point out to you and make it clear if your choices are potentially going to cause problems to you, the home or the construction contractor. He was worried about this roof and asked me please to point it out again to you. He suggested the roof style he did because it is practical for construction and Thailand’s weather. Whereas if he does it as you want, you will have problems with leaks and practical issues to be concerned about.

He has written a explanation with drawings to try and help everyone understand what he means. He is happy to do as you ask but wants you to know it could very easily cause you problems with the house.

Look forward to your comments and resolving this issue. If you have any thoughts or ideas please forward them. Very important you the customer is happy but at the same time the home will be practical.”

And this is an extract from Yos’s messages to me:-

“Dear Alan

What we are most concerned about is the house has to be comfortable for living, be suitable for the Thai weather, and be in line with Thai construction methods and practical. So as an architect I may make comments or observations that from experience in both design and construction I feel are necessary and the best advice for you as the home owner. I hope you do not mind me doing this but I would like to explain one more time perhaps better than before so it is clear regarding the roof. I can do whatever you ask but naturally I am responsible for the design of the home and I need to make sure everything is clear, in case something asked means the house will have problems or not be practical. Here are my thoughts and comments:”

Ease of Communication. I was again concerned about the ability to communicate ideas and thoughts across the world to a Thai company in Bangkok from my home in the U.K. In fact this has turned out to be very easy because as you can see in the message from Yos above, Yos has an excellent command of the English language.

In summary, therefore, we are very happy with the way the production of the construction drawings is progressing. Although the process is far from complete, the service we have received from the Kensington Company to date gives us confidence that the final set of drawings will be perfectly acceptable.

Assuming that will be the case then we will have proven that you can commission a Thai architect in Bangkok, Thailand to design your retirement home in Thailand even if you live half way round the world and never even visit Thailand.

Having said that, the drawings are not yet complete, there is still much work to do, and only then will I be able to give a 100% recommendation of the Kensington Company.

More Information And Thai House Plan Drawings

Please make sure you visit the web page Thai Architects House Plans  periodically to check out the latest drawings and perspectives of our planned retirement house. In fact, to make sure you are alerted whenever I post new information why not join the Announcement List by entering your name and email at the top of this page? I will then send you an email whenever anything interested is posted on the website.

Get A Free Consultation For Thai House Plans – Have Your Retirement House Designed Or Built In Thailand

Chris, Managing Director of Kensington Company will be happy to meet with anyone who contacts him from this website or from my recommendation and he will provide a personal service and a free consultation. If you do contact  Kensington Company mak sure that you ask for Chris. To make is easy for you I have put a Contact Kensington Form on the website for you to use. 

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