The New Thai House Builder Starts Tomorrow As Jalan Is Sacked

Will Construction Of Our Retirement House Re-Start With The Appearance Of The New Thai Builder?

Kanyah has called me just this minute (1230 hours GMT Monday 20 June, 2011) and advised me that the new Thai builder will certainly start on site tomorrow to finish off the construction of our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

Thailand truly is a “Land Of Miracles”!

She has agreed the price with the builder which will be 260,000 Baht to finish the house build project on a “Labor Only” Contract. (When I say ‘Contract’ this will at best be a payment schedule adding up to 260,000 Baht, or more likely knowing Kanyah, just a verbal agreement.

(The ‘Contract’ with the previous builder was simply a payment schedule and a BOQ (Bills of Quantity) document both adding up to the total contract value. Both documents were in the Thai and English languages but the English version was produced using Google Translate so was not very accurate!)

Kanyah told me that the payment schedule for the house build will be 10,000 Baht as soon as the scaffolding has been erected followed by 5 payments of 50,000 Baht. (I hope those are fortnighly payments and not monthly payments!)

Now It’s Jalan’s Turn To Be Sacked!

Yes, now Kanyah has sacked Jalan, our ‘inspector’ and sent him packing back to his own house at Kamphaeng Phet.

In case you aren’t aware, Jalan is Kanyah’s nephew and we were paying him to help her by acting as an inspector and check the builder’s works. As I complained heavily to Kanyah when I was in Thailand last April Jalan was completley innefective. he was just watching the builder, not checking what the quality was against the drawings or even common sense.

Just look at the mess he has left us with while he stood by and let the builder get away with it. Wouldn’t be surprised if the builder was paying him to keep quiet.

I was having a good rant and rave in Thailand last April (see the “Thailand Retirement House Build Plans Dashed” post)  and was completley dismayed by Kanyah’s attitude that she swallowed the builder’s line of ‘It’s not finished yet and it will be fine when it is’. I told her then to get rid of Jalan, but nothing happened until now.

Perhaps My Rant And Rave Had Some Effect

Perhaps my ranting last April in Pakchong (Pak Chong) has had a delayed affect on Kanyah. She is certainly taking a great interest in the retirement house building project right now.

I do concern, though, how she will manage the technical aspects of the build. Admittedly Jalan was useless but now she will be completely alone. I will try to monitor the construction works from here by email but Kanyah is not forthcoming with sending me photos in a timely manner and in the past has often ignored my emails.

Here is a typical quality control scenario:-

Wood Wall Frames to Be Replaced

Kanyah told me by phone that the wooden frames supporting the planks forming the the house walls were wrongly constructed by the previous builder and have to be repaired or replaced. (I don’t know which).

I checked the photos she sent me against the Thai Architect’s Construction Drawings and they looked OK to me. I have marked up the photo and written about the issue which I’ll send to Kanyah by email. As I said before, though, I’m not sure how she will react to the email.

It’s very difficult trying to communicate like this. It would be easier if Kanyah had her own computer and knew how to access the Internet and Google Mail, I could then send her videos explaining what I am meaning, and we could converse on Skype. As it is our communication comprises of a short two or three minute story from Kanyah by mobile phone and as soon as she has told me what she wants me to hear, she closes the call.

I rarely get the opportuinty to explain anything. At the best I am able to refer her to an email I have sent.

So on the subject of the Wooden Frame for the Wooden Walls and other topics relating to starting the retirement house build again under the new Thai builder in Pakchong (Pak Chong), I have just sent her an email, the detail of which you can see below.

Here Is The Email I Have Just Sent To Kanyah In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand

Other Things
20 June 2011

Red Colour means that you should look at another document for the detail. I will send this later.

1. Frame For the Wood Walls

A) You said that the wooden frame for the wood walls was wrong and had to be taken down.

B) Also you said that the wooden frame for the walls was bending.

C) And you said there was something wrong with the windows.

I don’t understand what you mean. Can you please explain to me?

I checked the Architect’s drawings and the photo you sent to me. It looks like what the builder has installed is OK. Please ask the builder to check that the wood is 1 1/2” X 3”.

What do you want the new builder to do? Here is the Architect’s Specification from our house plans Drawing Sheet A-02:-

Image of Specification Details Wooden Wall Frame

Specification Details of the Wooden Frame to Support the Walls

The wood frame for the walls looks OK:-

Image of the Wooden Frame to Support the Walls

Photo of the Wooden Frame to Support the Wood Plank Walls

Above, the wooden support frame for the wood walls is the same as the Thai Architect’s Specification.

2. Leave The Small Roofs To The End

We don’t need to do the small roofs yet. Let’s wait until the end when all the house is finished.

How much will it cost to add these? I think we have some tiles left from the other builder?

Can the new builder check how many tiles we have and how many more we must buy, if any?

I want to know how much it will cost to put these roofs on.

Image of Leave These Small Roofs To The End

Small Roofs to Be Left Until The End Of The House Build

3. Construction Sequence (What To Build First)

You should get the main building finished first before starting the fit-out inside. The bamboo mat is the last thing to do!

The other builder’s program was wrong.

Discuss this with your new builder and ask him to make a program. This is how it should be done:-

Step 1- The Main House Structure.
Step 2 – Internal (Inside) Works.
Step 3 – External (Outside) Works.

Step 1- The Main House Structure

1. Remove wood walls
2. Cement plaster all columns (posts) and beams. [*Protect the wood and concrete floors*]
3. Paint columns (posts). (Maybe paint the beams as well. [*Protect the wood floors*]
4. Paint the wood planksfor the walls on all 4 sides!
5. Put back the wood walls. Fix the ventilation louvres.
6. Paint wood walls again.Finish the roof works that the old builder didn’t do:-
7. Wood under roof tiles at the eves (outside)
8. Roof Eve Fillers

9. Finish the concrete block walls to the Workshop.
10. Clean all the concrete droppings from the ground floor. [*Do not damage the workshop concrete floor*]
11. Fix the Workshop door and second floor main folding doors.
12. Fix the windows and shutters.
13. Fix the gutter and rain water drain pipes. [Add one more gutter to the back of the house – total 3 gutters]
14. Fix the balustrade (Balcony handrails)
15. Fix the stairs.

Now the main house is finished.

Step 2 and 3 can be done at the same time. (Almost)

Step 2 – Internal (Inside) Works.

1. Finish Brick Bathroom walls
2. Main Drainage pipes
3. Floor tiles in bathroom
4. Bathroom fittings (bath, basins etc)
5. Kitchen counter and sink
6. Hot, cold water and drainage
7. Conduit for all electrical cables
8. Tiles on bathroom walls
9. Wood Frame for Internal walls
10. Electrial wiring
11. Add rafters to suit Bamboo Mat
12. Bamboo Mat
13. Light fittings and power outlets
14. Finish wood floors
15. Inside Now Complete

Step 3 – External (Outside) Works.

This is all the outside work, water supplies and drainage. No need to detail it here.

That’s gone to Kanyah in Pakchong tonight. Let’s see what response we get.

I’m guessing but I can imagine that she’s so excited about the new builder starting to complete the Thai retirement house construction project she will be spending all her time on the site and ‘won’t have time’ to go check her emails.

How To Improve Communications With A Thai Builder Who Can’t Speak Or Read English

Although I have sent the email to Kanyah, it is really the builder who can provide the answers. The new builder can’t speak or read english and Kanyah would be struggling to translate the email and to explain it to the builder.

So I’m going to get it translated into Thai and send the Thai version to her. I know an excellent translation service in Thailand and I can simply send an email to them and get the translation.

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