Archive for the ‘Thai House Plans’ Category

What More Can They Get Wrong With This Thai House Build Project?

How They Covered Up The Ugly Electrical Wiring By Trashing The Concept For The Vaulted Ceiling

What are those idiots up to? They have a set of construction drawings produced my our Thai Architect in Bangkok which they are supposed to be following. But – yet again – they choose to ignore the drawings and do what they feel like. At the expense of the lovely high and open feel the house would have had if it had been contructed as designed and also at the expense of thousands of additional Baht for the wood they used which is not needed by the design.

How The Ceiling Should Look

If you are a regular here, you will know the picture below which is the design concept for the house ceiling (i.e. there isn’t one):-

Bamboo Wall Mat Between The Rafters Of Our Thai House

Concept For The Vaulted Ceiling

Above, the concept for the vaulted ceiling in our retirement house under construction in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

You can see what a lovely ‘airy’ feeling you will get as you walk into the room. It’s beautiful.

And They Have Ruined It

Look at the same picture below, where I have marked up what they have done with the ceiling:-

Image of Where They Put A Flat Bamboo Mat Ceiling

Where They Put A Flat Bamboo Mat Ceiling

All that lovely high level space thrown away. And the detail of the vaulted ceiling (like the above photo) was clearly shown on the Thai Architects house plans we commissioned.

Extracts From The Thai Architect’s House Plans Clearly Showing The Vaulted Ceiling With Bamboo Mat

Below is one of our Thai Architect’s house plans for the retirement house now being built in Pakchong (Pak Chong). This drawing is actually a cross section through the house and I have marked a rectangle in red colour that is shown in close-up in the next image.

Image of Thai Architectural Drawing - Check Out The Detail Indicated On The Next Image

Thai Architectural Drawing - Check Out The Detail Indicated On The Next Image

Below is the close-up taken from the construction drawing above and you can clearly see the text “4mm Thk. Plywood finish with bamboo mat” together with an arrow from the note to the ‘herring-bone’ cross-hatching that represents the bamboo mat in the vaulted ceiling.

This is a clear description of the requirement for the house to have a vaulted ceiling and not a flat ceiling as the builder has now installed.

Image of Thai Architectural Drawing Clearly Showing Bamboo Mat on 4 mm Plywood

Thai Architectural Drawing Clearly Showing Bamboo Mat on 4 mm Plywood

In case you are thinking that the above note is only in the English language and perhaps the builder can’t read English (which is true, but Kanyah can) I’ll refer you to a Thai language note on another construction drawing made as part of the set by our Thai Architect in Bangkok:-

Image of Thai Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

In the image above (an extract from the Thai house plans made by our Thai architect), note the Thai language note circled in red colour and the arrow clearly pointing to the ‘herring-bone’ cross-hatching that represents the bamboo mat in the vaulted ceiling.

Below is  a close-up of the Thai language note:-

Image of Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

Thai Thai Language In Bamboo Mat Architectural Drawing

Above, I think this refers to the bamboo mat in the vaulted ceiling. I’ll get it translated and put the English language translation here.

Now For Some Photographs Of  How The Bamboo Mat Ceilings And Bamboo Mat Walls Were  Actually Installed On Site In Our Pakchong (Pak Chong) Retirement House

The first photo (below) is a photo of the bamboo mat flat ceiling I drew attention to in the marked-up photo above.

Image of Bamboo Mat Ceiling 08

Bamboo Mat Ceiling 08

Above, I must admit that the bamboo mat installation is very neat and clean. I like the wooden trim in the corner between the wall and ceiling. What a pity they didn’t follow the vaulted ceiling concept.

This Is How They Hid Away The Ugly Domestic Electrical Wiring

In the Post “Don’t Let Them Wire Your House In Thailand Like This I showed photographs of how the builder’s electricians had installed the domestic electrical wiring and electrical conduit in areas where it would be visible. I complained of this to Kanyah and after talking to the builder she gave me a list of reasons why “I was talking rubbish and the Thai builders know best” or words to that effect.

Well now I know why they weren’t concerned about the wiring being visible. Look at the photo above or below and behind that flat bamboo mat ceiling lies hidden the ugly electrical wiring.

Next is a photo showing the bamboo mat ceiling and bamboo mat walls.

Image of Bamboo Mat Ceiling and Walls

Bamboo Mat Ceiling and Walls

Above, this is a view inside the house in the Kitchen looking out onto the Balcony. In the corner the concrete column is exposed. This was supposed to have been painted before the bamboo mat was installed and failure to do this was one of the reasons why Kanyah sacked the previous builder!

Next picture shows the bamboo mat walls and the wooden floor.

Image of Bamboo Mat Ceiling Walls And Wooden Floor

Bamboo Mat Ceiling Walls And Wooden Floor

In the photo above you can see the bamboo mat walls and the wooden floor. At high level are the wooden joists to support the flat bamboo mat ceiling. Also visible is the unpainted concrete column in the corner of the room.

More detail on the wooden frame to support the bamboo mat ceiling in the photo below.

Image of Wooden Support Frame For Bamboo Mat Ceiling 01

Wooden Support Frame For Bamboo Mat Ceiling 01

In the photo above you can see the wooden frame they have installed to support the flat bamboo mat ceiling.

This was never intended, never in the design and never in my budget. I have had to pay the full cost of this wood on top of the cost of the original house just to get something I don’t want!

One thing to notice is the white concrete beam running left to right above the ceiling. With the vaulted ceiling this would have been visible. Perhaps that’s why Kanyah decided to go for the flat ceiling – to hide this beam.

I should add that the provision and position of this beam was an oversight by the original Thai Architect, in my view. (He would no doubt have a different view)

The beam is not shown on the Architect’s house plans, but is shown on the structural engineering drawings. Of course, I checked the Architectural drawings quite carefully, but paid less attention to the structural drawings expecting them to be in harmony with the Architect’s Drawings. Big mistake.

Don’t Expect The Thai Architect To Check The Work Of His Sub-Specialists!

By sub-specialists I mean the other engineering disciplines who contribute their expertise to the overall house design and these are mainly the structural engineer and the electrical and mechanical services engineer.

There are several instances where our Thai Architect did not show or check the detail of the structural engineers drawings and these were not spotted either by myself or by the previous builder. Also, there were items in the electrical and plumbing drawings that were incorrect and had to be put right by the builder.

I’ll not go into the detail here – this page is about the bamboo mat ceiling and walls – but maybe make a feature page of all the design errors separately.

Next, a view looking towards the bathroom doors from the Dining Area.

Image of Red Brick Bathroom Walls 02

Red Brick Bathroom Walls 02

In the above photograph above the two white rectangles are the door frames to the two bathrooms.

In the foreground where the worker is standing, this is the Dining Area. Again, you can see the flat bamboo mat ceiling instead of the vaulted ceiling.

Next, a  close-up of the bathrooms.

Image of Red Brick Bathroom Walls 01

Red Brick Bathroom Walls 01

In the above photo, you can see my shower room where the worker is standing and Kanyah’s bathroom to the right.

Notice the grey coloured vertical strip to the right of the picture in the red brickwork and then look at the photo below.

Image of Hidden Electrical Wiring Near The Red Brick Bathroom Walls

Hidden Electrical Wiring Near The Red Brick Bathroom Walls

Above, the grey coloured strip is where they have cut into the red brick wall of the bathroom to bury the yellow conduit for the electrical wiring.

At the top you can see the yellow conduit rising past the concrete beam. As it happens, I had agreed with the previous builder that this half of the house could have flat ceilings (as a cost saving measure – but obviously now its costing me more than the vaulted ceiling if they are putting in the flat bamboo mat ceiling requiring the wooden support frame).

How The Flat Ceilings Were Supposed To Save Me Money

The vaulted ceiling concept was originally applied to every room in the retirement house except for the bathrooms and the small lobby outside of the bathrooms. These were to be flat ceilings made from gypsum board suspended on steel wires.

The original builder’s quotation was above our budget and so before we signed the construction contract with him we went through a ‘Value engineering’ (VE) exercise to get the cost down. (VE – AKA Cost Cutting)

The original builder offered a considerable cost saving if the bedrooms could also be flat ceilings made from gypsum board suspended on steel wires.

I don’t think that Kanyah was up to speed with this, although the previous builder was supposed to mark up the original drawings to show all changes agreed as part of the VE exercise.

So we might have flat bamboo mat ceilings in the bedrooms with the expensive wooden support rafters that you have seen in the photos above.

By the way, strange that Kanyah has not sent me any photos of the bedroom areas. Wonder what she’s up to in there….

In The Next Post We Move To Photos Of The Outside Of The House

I have today received a whole stack of photographs of the external of the house, and oh boy has it moved on. Now you really can see the end in sight.

The photos include:-

  • Massive beautiful (and expensive) Teak double doors to the ground floor workshop (another change I wasn’t asked about)
  • Bamboo mat applied to the underside of the balcony roof. (Despite me telling Kanyah I didn’t agree to the builders price she did it anyway)
  • External views showing the finished wood walls – and how nice it looks.
  • The steps up to the balcony (including a departure they made  from my very detailed design that they should not have made)

And of course you get my usual complementary (not complimentary) commentary!

Don’t Miss it.

Double Rainbow, Gate Runner Concreted, Wooden Floors Complete, But Folding Doors Problems

A Double Rainbow Over Our Land In Pakchong – Is This A New Start?

Does this double rainbow(see the second one above the main one) right over our land signify a new start for our retirement house build project in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand?

I would like to think that our builder has changed his ways and all is now going to plan and with good – or at least reasonable – quality.

But something in my bones tells me it won’t be like that. I fear that our prospects of getting this house finished to good quality and an time are pretty slim and explained on the Thailand Retirement House Build Plans Dashed post.

Gate Runner Concreted

On the previous post I showed the picture below depicting the ground runner for the 6 m stainless steel gate:-

Image of Thai House Gate Runner 2

Thai House Gate Runner 2

Above, the the stainless steel gate has wheels at the bottom which run along this track. The gap between the ground and the runner has to be filled with concrete to support the track when vehicles run over it. If you have seen the Stainless Steel Gate Runner Ruined you will have read how our builder ran over the track before it was concreted in an bent it.

The concreting has now been completed as you can see in the pictures below.

Image of Stainless Steel Gate Runner Concreted

Stainless Steel Gate Runner Concreted

Above, it is best not simply  to put concrete under the runner but to excavate down by at least 300 mm, put reinforcement steel in the excavation and then fill with concrete.

Image of Close Up of Gate Runner Concreted for Stainless Steel Gate

Close Up of Gate Runner Concreted for Stainless Steel Gate

A close-up view of the concrete supporting the gate runner.

Wooden Floors Complete

Image Of Wooden Floorboards on The Balcony Floor

Wooden Floorboards on The Balcony Floor

Above, the balcony floor looks quite reasonable, unlike the main accommodation floor which is terrible as you can see in the movie here.

Image of Main Living/Dining/Kitchen Area Wooden Floors

Main Living/Dining/Kitchen Area Wooden Floors

Folding Doors Problem

This problem is how to fit the lower door runner for the wooden folding doors.

Issue 1 The External Security Doors

Our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, is designed to have two sets of folding doors located as shown on the Thai Architect’s house plan below:-

Generally folding doors need two tracks (I call them runners) in which the door sliding gear runs, one is at the top of the door, the other at the bottom.

Here is a photo showing the top and bottom runners:-

Image of Sliding Door Runners At Top And Bottom

Sliding Door Runners At Top And Bottom(Alan's comments)

Above, you can clearly see the top and bottom runners for the folding doors. By the way, this is not our house, but I wish our wooden floor looked as nice as this one.

Here is a detail of the top runner (typical):-

Image of Detail Of Typical Sliding Gear At The Top Of Folding Doors

Detail Of Typical Sliding Gear At The Top Of Folding Doors

This can be provided in the frame for the door (somehow).

However it is more difficult to provide this in the bottom of the door. Here are the details of the doors from the Kensington Architect’s drawings:-

Image of Thai Architect's  Elevation Drawing For The External Folding Doors

Thai Architect's Elevation Drawing For The External Folding Doors

Image of External Folding Doors Section View

External Folding Doors Section View

Another Builder’s Mess Major Up – Floors On The Wrong  Level

The wooden floors in the Thai Architect’s design for this house are on three levels as you can see in the image taken from the Thai Architect’s house plans:-

Close-up view of the Thai Architect’s house plan showing the difference in floor levels for this Thai retirement house.

Image of Pakchong House Floor Levels 2

Pakchong House Floor Levels 2

Above, the steps in level are a convenient location for the lower door runners in the Thai Architect’s design for our retirement home.

Issue 2 The Internal Glazed Doors

This is the same issue as the external folding doors issue – the lower runners – but the problem is made worse because the builder put the Kitchen/Dining area on the same level as the Living Room. In the Kensington design there was a 50 mm step, similar to that between the Balcony and the Kitchen/Dining area.

That step would have provided a natural break line to put the lower runner for the doors.

See the photo of the Living/Kitchen/Dining area floor as constructed:-

Image of Wooden Floors Showing Locations Of Folding Doors

Wooden Floors Showing Locations Of Folding Doors

There are several difficulties with installing a lower runner for the internal folding doors:-

  1. If it is to be cut into the floorboards there would be no support for the floorboards at that point. Subject to actual situation on site, the support may be provided by installing two additional joists, one on each side of the runner.
  2. Since all these areas are now combined with a single flat floor (which I think will actually look very nice) I don’t want ugly slots across the floor to carry the runner.
  3. I don’t want a permanent runner above the floor. This would look ugly and is dangerous because people would trip over it.

Thai Websites For Folding Doors

Here are the website details of some companies selling folding doors in Thailand:-

Many Folding Door Companies In Thailand:-

http://www.alibaba.com/countrysearch/TH/folding-door.html

Good Quality Folding Doors In Thailand – I Like These:-

http://www.auseco.com

Folding Door Sliding Gear (Top):-

http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/242283684/Tangent_290_Standard__Sliding_Door/showimage.html

General Information About Folding Door Companies:-

http://www.alibaba.com/member/th106190841.html

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