The Construction Of Our Retirement House In Pak Chong, Thailand, Is Nearly Complete

Photos Of Our Retirement House Construction Page 1

These photos arrived 15th August 2011 but until now I have not had time to post them to the website. Kanyah sent me 71 photos all at once in one email! I have sorted out the best ones to show you and they will be posted on the website over about 4 posts.

Pakchong House Nearly Finished Page 1

Our retiring in Thailand dreams are coming tue as our retirment house build project in in Pak Chong nears completion.

The Paralysing Fear Of Feeling That You’re Being Criticized

Nobody likes criticism and the Thais are very sensitive to it. I think this is why Kanyah has not been sending me the photos every weeks like she used to.

My idea was that she should send my the photos as the work progresses so that I could do a quality check and tell her what’s wrong – if anything – so that she could get the builder to correct it.

But when I started pointing out the mistakes, and there were some very serious ones, they didn’t like it. (‘They’ means Kanyah, Jalan our now deposed ‘inspector’ and the builder.) I think that’s why she is very reluctant to send me photos. She keeps telling me to ‘wait until it’s finished’. She just wants to send me photos of the finished article so that I can say how nice it looks and she can feel proud. Nothing wrong with that but by her own admission she knows nothing about building (or didn’t until she took over this house-build project herself) and in her position i would have appreciate some technical support.

Anyway I think this is why she isn’t sending me regular in-progress photos.

Even on these latest photos there are mistakes – or things done wrongly or at least not to the Thai Architects drawings. I will point thenm out to you on the website but (with one exception – and that caused an upset) I have not mentioned them to Kanyah.

The Stresses Of Running This Project Are Starting To Show In Kanyah

Kanyah used to phone me daily but now its not daily. More like avery three days. But on those days she’ll call me perhaps three times to tell me her problems and how tired and lonely she feels.

It’s a bit strange that she should complain about being lonely. She is Thai living in her own beloved Thailand – and she feels lonely!

All the time we have been married – and any farang married to aThai will resonate with this – I kept hearing the matra “I want to go back to Thailand”. Used to drive me mad.

Now she wants to come to England to stay with me but she can’t because she in locked into that house building project in Pakchong.

Anyone contemplating building their retirement house in Thailand should consider the stresses it can put on individuals and their relationships and whether the people concerned are liable to overcome the difficulties or suffer from them.

Here Is The First Batch Of Photos Of The Retirement House In Pak Chong Nearing Completion

All these photos are of the exterior of the house showing off the lovely wooden walls and the feature created by the exposed cement-rendered structural concrete.

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand View From Roadside

Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand View From Roadside

Above, the house from the roadside. Looks nice but also look at that lush green vegetation on the right. Apart from the blue neighbours house on the left, not another building in site.

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Closer View From Roadside

Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Closer View From Roadside

Above, a close-up of our retirement house in Pak Chong, Thailand. Left-to-right on the first floor (Thais call that the second floor) you can see the bedroom with the lovely brown coloured wooden walls, the the bathroom and shower room behind the white-painted rendered-brick waal, and another bedroom on the right.

All rooms are 3.5 m x 3.5 m so the house is 10 x 10 m = 100 m2 floor area per floor x 2 = 200 m2. (About 2,000 square feet)

On the ground floor, left-to-right is the car port which can be converted to accommodation if necessary, then my huge workshop where I will be making live-steam models.

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Close Up View From Roadside

Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Close Up View From Roadside

Above, closer up you can see the huge car port. Kanyah is having the whole of the ground floor laid with marble. That blue vertical line are the water pipes. these will be boxed in and invisible when complete.

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand View From Neighbour's Side

Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand View From Neighbour's Side

From this view you can clearly see the size of the balcony and the balcony roof.

Left-to-right on the second floor you can see one bedroom and the lounge. On the ground floor my workshop takes up two bays and the area under the balcony will be paved with marble. (Kanyah tells me)

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Balcony View From Front

Retirement House Pak Chong Balcony View From Front

Above the view from the front. (Our house is built back-to-front with the front of the house facing the rear garden and the rear of the house facing the main road.)

You can see the huge balcony, access steps and the handrail.  The handrail is supposed to be wood as shown on the Thai Architect’s drawings and in keeping wit the rustic nature of the house.

A few weeks ago Kanyah phoned me up to ask if she could change the handrails from wood to stainless steel like the gate. Of course I said “No, we must keep the rustic look of the house. Stainless steel would be out of place”. I had already complained about the stainless steel gate.

And what do we have? Stainless steel handrails! I must admid, though that they do look noce. Wait until the next (or next after next) post when I show you some close-up photos.

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Showing Carport

Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Showing Carport

Above, just another photo of the car port.

Image of Imagine Retiring In This House In Pakchong, Thailand

Imagine Retiring In This House In Pakchong, Thailand

Above, a good shot showing the Bamboo mat ceiling to the balcony roof. Also you can appreciate the clean lines of the house – and the way the concrete structure and wooden walls contrast. Not sure if I like those white stripes above and below the windows though. They aren’t on the thai Architect’s house plans. I think Kanyah called them “Kiew” or something like that. “Kiew” in Thai means “Eyebrow”:-

Image of Thai Language Translate Eybrow

Image of Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Lush Foliage

Retirement House Pak Chong Thailand Lush Foliage

Above look at the lush green vegetation to the right of the photo. In the middle, the blue vertical line comprises the incoming water pipes.

What To Look Forward To In The Next Posts

  • Some Internal Shots and The Teak Wood Doors
  • The Beautiful Stainless Steel Handrails and Lovely Stairs
  • The Bathrrom and Shower Room
  • The Hidden Steel Gutters

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13 Responses to “Thailand Retirement House Build Nearly Finished Photos Page 1”

  • wow      no pain no gain    is it worth it id say yes mate the  house looks great

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Thanks Craig for you compliment.

    Not sure I agree with the “No Pain – no Gain” philosophy i.e.e that in order to get something you have to endure pain.

    For example in this case all we would have had to do to avoid all the pain, grief and lost money cause by the first builder was to have hired the second builder first time round, if you see what I mean.

    In fact, we had only just signed the contract with the first Thai builder back in January 2011, when two days later we had a much better offer from who is now our second builder.

    We would have had the house finished 4 months earlier, at a quality we want, 200,000 cheaper and using better materials and I would not have lost the 355,401 Baht when Kanyah sacked the first builder.

    Much as (at the time in January) I wanted to change to the second builder – even buying off the first one if necessary – I had no time left in Thailand to do that, because I had to come back to my job in the U.K.

    In retrospect I should have told my company back in U.K. that I would be a week later, changed my air ticket and stayed for another week to get the contracts changed. But I didn’t and as they say “we are where we are”.

    The lesson is – and this applies to the whole project, not just choosing the builder – if you are thinking of building a retirement house in Thailand then be patient and stay in Thailand until it’s complete. Not having the time to shop around and not being on the ground in Thailand has cost us dearly.

    But, as you say Craig, we now do have a great house.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • Dudley carelse:

    The house is beautiful. You have a lot to be proud of. Certainly make all that effort and stress well worth it.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Dudley,

    Thank you for the compliment about the retirement house being built (nearly finished) in Pak Chong, Thailand.

    Kanyah is the one to be proud.

    She is the one who – all by herself – is pushing this forward out there is Thailand after she got rid of the first builder for shear incompetence and blatent fraud.

    Once again thanks for taking the time to post your comment – much appreciated.

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • kS Pang:

    like the photos, but the garage i still cant make up. the columns and wall cladding are very contrasting and they gave size to the house.
    by the way where is it located, not sure of this town, maybe we could drop by for the  house warming,,,lol.
    Regards,
    Pang 

    [Reply]

  • Rizal:

    Alan is a beautiful house,
    After read through your experience with the builder i feel fear to choose builder for my house.
    after so many thing happen during your project at last your dream house nearly finish.
    Alan i am waiting you to publish finishing inside the house
    I feel happy for both of you..

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Rizal,

    Thank you for your nice comments about our house.

    There is nothing different about appointing a builder than there is about everything else you do in life. Life is full of challenges – and risks.

    Look, Rizal, our latest builder is great. Many other people who have posted comments on this website have managed to find decent builders.

    The main problem I had was that I did not have enough time to spend in Thailand to choose the right one. Take your time and be there when the build is going on and you should be OK.

    The interior photos are online now on the Thailand Retirement House Photos Page 2 Post.

    Hope you enjoy them.

    Hope to see you in Thailand sometime.

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • Alec:

    Hi Alan,

    Sorry to hear about the problems with your first builder.

    Nong and I were married 5 years ago next April and she has been to stay with me in UK several times but now stays in Thailand as she prefers to be with her family and grandma.

    We built a new single storey house here 2 years ago and went to look at other houses built by the same builder and got opinions from the customers (mainly Thai) before agreeing to employ him.

    The whole job cost us 700,000 Baht but grandma owned the large plot of land already so we didn’t have to buy any plot we also have a second house on the large plot which I am about to buy for use as my workshop in Thailand.

    The only trouble we have had with the house was with the water pipes which were submerged under concrete and just now I had to have them all replaced by above ground pipes so maintenance is easy and this cost 700 Baht for the pipes and fittings which we bought from Home Pro and 1,200 Baht for the guy to come and refit them all to the 3 toilets, and 2 showers and 1 kitchen.

    We have had a couple of small roof leaks but I propose to use a foam spray treatment to seal and insulate the roof.

    Best wishes Alec

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Alec,

    Many thanks for your interesting and informative comment about building a house and retiring in Thailand.

    You seem to have been lucky with your builder. Shop around and take your time before appointing a builder seems to be the best advice.

    I didn’t do that because I only had a couple of weeks in Thailand to decide on the builder and get the contract set up. Admittedly, Kanyah could have done more homework by looking at some of the houses the first builder had constructed. I’m sure then we would not have signed the contract with him.

    Also I could have stayed in Thailand another week to arrange a contract wit the second builder but since I’m paid in UK on a daily rate I didn’t want to stay longer and lose money. by not doing that I have lost about ten times what it would have cost me to stay for that extra week.

    Don’t be in a rush to go to contract with a builder in Thailand!

    On a different topic and one which I see very little mention of, I not you are setting up a workshop in Thailand. Do you know where you can buy metal-working machine tools, like a lathe, milling machine, bandsaw etc in Thailand. I’m talking about small ones, here, not big industrial machines, though I would be interested in those if they were cheap enough.

    Are any machine tools made in Thailand?

    I should think they all come from China, but who imports and sells them?

    Just a long shot – you might have some idea.

    Good Luck

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • PJ:

    Hi Alan,
    My wife and I are appreciative of your Thai building website.  Your writing is informative and frank.  As some of the other commentators point out, it does seem that angst is a frequent companion.  Because we are in the middle of a similar project in a 3rd world country, your difficulties are understandable.  That said, you will eventually live in this paradise and be housed in a pretty special building.  We hope that as your project gets completed, knowledge of this will slightly temper the building pains. 

    I think that parts of your blog are self-theraputic (I mysef have had similar rants - delivered to family members).  The hope is that your wife doesn’t feel their full force.  If she does it will probably be painful given what she is trying to accomplish on the ground.  As outsiders, may we be permitted to encourage a ‘gentle’ filter.  Perhaps this is already the case and we are not aware. 

    Regardless, best wishes with completing and setting up your retirement in Thailand. You are closer to this goal every day.
    Cheers,
    PJ

    ps. We are installing a very similar (identical?) steel roof.  However I noticed that your design did not include trusswork (maybe it did).  Not necessary?  Now that the roof is on how cool is Kanyah inside? Just checking.     

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi PJ,

    Sorry for waiting so long before replying. I am so busy working on two jobs to send money out to Thailand and to try to save for my retirement that I can scarcely scratch the time to answer these very helpful and kind comments that good people like yourself post on the RetiringInThailand website.

    And yes my writing is frank as you say and hopefully informative. Apart from being a useful resource for other people intending to build a house and retire to Thailand another reason for writing this blog is to create a personal diary.

    How may diarists lie to themselves when they write their entries? The truth is the truth and the closer you can come to the truth the cleaner and more powerful you become.

    Kanyah appreciate me being truthful. And I her.

    She is as tough as nails – the titanium plated cobalt nails – not the common or garden variety! A gentle filter? No way. Wait ’till I you see the email I have just sent her. I am not happy and that email pulls no punches.

    And PJ, talking of honesty, you mention “you will eventually live in this paradise”, you obviously haven’t read my writings on the Dont Retire To Thailand page. I’m certainly not of the opinion that Thailand is a paradise, and neither is Kanyah.

    Thailand has it’s problems as does any country. When you move from country to country, as I’m sure you know, PJ, you just swap one set of advantages/disadvantages with another.

    It’s just which country has the best balance for you. “Paradise” doesn’t exist.

    PJ, sorry if it sound like I’m lecturing you. Maybe I am. But heh, I’m just being honest.

    That’s me!

    Chock Dee

    Alan

    [Reply]

  • jason:

    hello Alan im also from the uk, my wife she lives in pak chong with family im just trying to find some land here not having much luck, i keep getting stupid prices like 1 million 5 million 10 million. do you have any good advise or any decent contacts for that area. im looking for maybe 1-2 rai of land. if you have some good advise for me you can email me at j450n87@hotmail.com thank you jason thompson

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Jason,

    Sorry to dissapoint you but my Thai wife and family members spent two months early 2010 looking for land to buy in Pakchong (Pak Chong) on which to build our retirement house.

    The prices for land in Pakchong (Pak Chong) ranged from around 1 million Baht/Rai up to 6 million Baht/Rai, with more prices tending to be in the 2 to 6 million than 1 to 2 million.

    After some negotiation the land (1 Rai) we eventiually settled on was offered to us for 1 million Baht. That’s 1,000,000 Baht for 1 Rai.

    There are details of the costs of other plots of land we looked at buying in the Pakchong (Pak Chong) area on the Cost of Buying Land In Thailand Post.. Some of these plots were offered for 750,000 Baht/rai, but they only had a Nor Sor Saam Gaw Title Deed, not a Chanodt (Chanote).

    You must make sure you get a Chanodt (Chanote) which is the only Land Title Deed in Thailand worth having. Without the Chanodt (Chanote), land prices are much lower. More Information About Buying Land In Thailand And Thai Land Title Deeds

    There is more information on land prices in Pakchong (Pak Chong) on the How To Find Land For Sale In Thailand post on this website.

    And all those prices were in early 2010. Land prices in Pakchong (Pak Chong) have shot up in the two years from then. I really do expect to have to pay 3 to 5 million Baht per rai for land with a Chanodt (Chanote) Land Title Deed

    A Good Contact In Thailand To Buy Land And Build A House

    I’ll send you my wife’s phone number in Pakchong (Pak Chong) and you can call her or get your wife to call her from Pakchong (Pak Chong). Those two can then get together and my wife, Kanyah, can tell our story about buying land and building a retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

    Other Sources Of Land Prices In Pakchong (Pak Chong)

    I did a few searches online and came up with a few other pointers to the cost of buying land in the Pakchong (Pak Chong) area. Here they are:-

    Land for Sale Khao Yai Pakchong (Pak chong)

    Location: Khao Yai, Moo si, Ban Rai

    The total property is 8 Rai (Cha Nood)

    Price/rai: 1.2 Million Baht/Rai (Note by Alan. This is Khao Yai, not Pakchong)

    Total Price: 9.6 Million Baht

    Land Costs in Khao Yai (2010)

    Prices in these projects now going at 15,000 per sq wai, but careful though, they tend to become ghost towns during the week. Outside of these land prices now typically tipping two million baht a rai.
    Posted 2008-05-21 15:03:48

    On land prices we were looking at 1.2 million per rai which seemed to be the dealers pricing ,anything much cheaper seems to be in very large lots—

    Note by Alan: They don’t give the Type of Land Title Deed.

    That’s all I can say at the moment Jason. I hope it helps.

    Pakchong (Pak Chong).

    Good Luck and Chok Dii.
    Ask you wife to call Kanyah and you can get some uop-to-date information about land costs in

    [Reply]

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