Micke M’s Low Cost Retirement House Build In Pakchong

Micke is from Sweden and has been very fast in starting off his retirement house build project in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

I helped Micke in the early days of his project with answers to his questions when ho was looking to build a house in Pak Chong (Pakchong) so that he could retire to Thailand. Micke hasn’t yet told me how much he has learned from this websiteabout getting a retirement house built in Thailand, but when you see the photos and read the narrative below you will see a familiar pattern.

I just received this email from Micke:-

Micke M <email removed>

Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM
To: “Alan at RetiringInThailand.net” <alanAT etiringinthailand.net>
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Delete | Show original
Hi Alan, Just got home yesterday from almost one month over there in Pak Chong. We managed to fix everything at the Bor Tor office, find a builder, negotiate the house build prices and start the retirement house build project.When we left they had already come so far that they were about to slab the floor… house should be ready according to plan in June.They seem to be before schedule – amazing. Have a lot to do – will tell you more later on. Also got some pictures with me… Looks like I will escape with something like 800K (Baht) for the house in itself. Though then you have do remember that I have bought the land separatly before and also about 70 trucks of stone, sand and ground material that is not included.

It will be a three room house with parking space and a quite large outdoor veranda. Will construct an outdoor Thai kitchen later on with a barbeque grill as a western add-on…


Let’s get straight on with the photos and first I’ll show you a Gallery of the architectural house plans that Micke was thinking about before he finally decided what to build. The architect’s Thai house plans in the gallery below are typical of the house design drawings you can download free from the Thai Government website. (Full details of website where you can download Thai house plans are on the Free Thai House Plans web page)

Those were just Thai Architectural house plans that Micke was considering. Soon after he selected a slightly different house plan and decided to build this one. It is referred to as ‘House Plan SN-01′. (I’ve not checked which website this was downloaded from but clearly it is on of those mentioned on the Free Thai House Plans web page)

Here then is an Architect’s plan of the house Micke has started to build in Pak Chong, Thailand for his retirement house:-

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Actual Drawing Plans

Actual Drawing Plans

Above, the actual Architect’s Thai house plan that Micke is following in his own retirement house build project in Pakchong (Pack Chong), Thailand. (Click on the image to see a larger version)

Micke’s Plot Of Land In Pak Chong

Micke posted this video of his land on Youtube:-



The two houses that will be taken down is the big one to the left when the movie is starting (you don’t really see it in the beginning (that one is between the property and the road and the smaller (to the left) today “toilet area” which partly is orange today.

Now, let’s see some Thai house build progress photos.

Above, you can see steel reinforcement for the concrete columns (posts as they call them in Thailand) in typical Thai house configuration. This house has 12 ‘posts’ 4 x 3. In the photo you can see two rows of 4 posts.

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Posts


The “Two Post Ceremony”, (“Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor”) Ceremony

It seems every house build project in thailand must have the “Two Post Ceremony”, (“Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor”) Ceremony for good luck as soon as two (or more) posts have been erected and before the rest of the house build can continue. As I reported on the Retirement House Build Started started there are only a certain number of dates that the ceremony can be performed and the dates for each house are chosen by the Monk, I think based on the Thai wife’s birth date. Everything I know about this ceremony is on the Retirement House Build Started page.

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Two Post Ceremony

Two Post Ceremony

On the steel post above you can see some plant leaves and coloured cloth. What is going on in this photo is the “Two Post Ceremony”, (“Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor” Ceremony). The photos are very similar to the ones taken at our own “Two Post Ceremony”, (“Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor” Ceremony) as seem on the House Build Posts & Concrete page. I can’t image why those two Thai ladies can’t bear to watch the post being lifted up!

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Two Post Ceremony 2

Two Post Ceremony 2

Lets make this clear. In the photo above, you can see the post (steel reinforcement for – no conrete) with the coloured material and some plant leaves tied to it, ready to be lifted up into the foundation hole. Nest to it on a rug are some offerings to a spritit or other ethereal entity. The rug is not tied to the post and does not get lifted up with the post!

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Two Post Ceremony 3

Two Post Ceremony 3

Although the photo above is captioned “Two Post Ceremony” and you can just see the coloured material on the steel post, there are a few other things in this picture to note.

You can see that the steel post is sticking out from a vertical concrete tube or pipe. The concrete pipe will be filled with concrete and left in place permenantly. it’s called “permanent shuttering” and is a fast and good way to make concrete posts. Of course you will have a round and not a square post but if you can live with that then fine.

Over on the right where the man is standing you can see more of these pipes on the ground. Closer to the forground you can see a horizontal run of wooden board. this is the frame they put all around the site of the house and use it to set out the house from. More on this and the truck in the background in photos below.

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Truck Delivery

Truck Delivery

I thought, “I wonder what’s in that truck” so took this close-up from the previos picture. I still can’t make out what they are delivering. Those flat packs wrapped in polythne don’t look like any kind of building material that you would use at this stage of constructing a house in Thailand.If Micke can enter a comment below then the mystery might be cleared up.

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Columns Permanent Formwork

Columns Permanent Formwork

The above picture is a close up of the permanent formwork (conrete pipe) and the wooden plank used to set out the building. That red thing in the middle of the picture is a grinding disk used to cut the steel re-bar. (Steel reinforcement bar for reinforced conrete)

The grinding disk is electrially powered hence an electrical power supply is needed on site from day one of construction of your retirement house in Thailand.

Image of Micke M House Pakchong Post Excavation

Post Excavation

The Thais do make very neat holes for foundation pads. The soil in this area is clay and it is very hard and still, particularly when dry. This has two effects:-

  • It allows holes to be dug with almost vertical walls. In the U.K. where the soil is generally weaker, the ‘walls’ of the hole would have to be at an angle of around 30 deg to stop the soil falling into the hole. (This is called the ‘ angle of repose’).
  • It is very hard to dig into when dry. Often the Thai labor will start one hole and take a few cm down then fill it with water and start another anf fill that with water and so on until all the holes have been started. Then it’s back to the first hole, dig a bit more which will be easier now that the water has softened the clay, and when the dry clay is hit fill the hole with water again and move on to the next.

Hence a water supply is essential on site at the beginning of the foundation works.

Updated 30 May, 2011 – House Build Is Finished!

Can you believe it – this picture of Micke’s house was sent to me on 29 April 2011:-

Image of Micke Ms House Pakchong Finished 9 May 2011

Micke Ms House Pakchong Finished 9 May 2011

This is the email I received from Micke on 9th May, 2011:-

Mon, May 9, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Subject SV: Michael, More bad News from Thailand – It’s Getting Worse…

Hi Alan,

Really sad to read the reports. I wish you all the best and really hope you manage to turn things around.

Our house is amazingly already finished. The garden and out-door kitchen remains, but that will be next year. I bet I want to do some things with the electricity as well, but since I have that knowledge myself I guess I will do it when I’m there.

Best regards,


PS! Did you get my last photo when it was half-done? I attach it.

8 Weeks to Build This Small House In Pakchong

Now that is an amzingly fast build. If you look at the first email from Micke at the top of the page you will see it is dated 23 March.

Now they did start building a bit before then, but if we say 9 March, from then until 9 May is only 8 weeks to build the house!

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One Response to “Small House Build Pakchong”

  • Hi Alan,

    It´s a  nice post, I heard that they just drove in another 10 truckloads of ground material… .

    Regarding the truck on the photos – I think most of it was cement or mortar. 

    The direction of the house is Wang Sai. So more or less some 20 km North-East of Pak Chong.

    There were a lot of ceremonies as you pointed out, including the head of a pig, Lao Kao, throwing some 3 THB coints in every hole etc…quite funny. However I have stopped being surprised when it comes to ceremonies, especially these religious ones – anything can happen…


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