Retiring In Thailand House Build Project Finished – Photos Of The Finished Retirement House

At last Kanyah settles down to live in the retirement house she has built in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

Let’s Get Straight In With The Photos

Click On Any Image To See A Bigger Version

Nine Monks Performing The House Blessing Ceremony (Keun Ban Mai)

This photo shows the nine Monks perform the House Blessing Ceremony (Keun Ban Mai) presumably to bring good luck and fortune to those who live there. Until the House Blessing Ceremony (Keun Ban Mai) is done the owner of the house can’t move in to live there, according to Thai Buddhist Tradition.

View Of The House From The Road

How the house looks from the front – the road side. The new gravel drive on the left and the garden on the right yet has to have the landscape treatment.

Side View Of The House From The Neighbour’s Side

Here the shape of the house is clear. You can see the main house roof and the balcony roof. Looking at the detail the ant-burglar bars to the ground floor workshop and the second floor windows are visible.

The Utility Building From The Neighbour’s Side

The massive size of the Utility Building is clear to see. The narrow window on the left indicates the toilet and shower room and the large window on the right is to the ‘washing and ironing room’. (I have another plan for that room – so I’m not complaining too much.)

I can understand the window to the toilet being on the rear of the building but I would have thought that Kanyah would want to overlook her own beautiful garden when ironing the clothes… Strange.

Above, A Complex Arrangement Of Building Forms And Materials Combine To Generate Mystery And Architectural Mastery

I love this photo. If Kanyah took it knowing that it was a brilliant composition – an exciting and beautiful composition of shapes directions and materials – then I have seen a new side to Kanyah that I never knew existed. This photo could easily be part of any renowned Architect’s portfolio.

Another Great Photo Showing The Stainless Steel Handrails On The Balcony

This is more of an ‘informative’ photo than the ‘pure art’ photo above. Nevertheless notice how the view at ground floor level through the ‘car port’ to the front drive and gate adds interest to the house. That ‘car port’ space was intended to be used as a car port originally but now that Kanyah has paved it with marble terrazzo I don’t know what it will be used for. Just a collecting place for junk or a table tennis or snooker table maybe?

I designed it to be available for additional accommodation in future if we need it.

Natural Wood Lightweight Steps And Stainless Steel Handrails Leading Temptingly Up To The Balcony

I altered the original Architect’s design for these steps specifically to be steps and not the stairs that he designed. The difference between ‘steps’ and ‘stairs’? Steps have a vertical fill material between the treads. I took that out so that you get the gap you can see between each tread to make the steps look light.

Originally I wanted wooden handrails (balustrades if you like) and only agreed with Kanyah’s idea of stainless steel when she said it was cheaper than wood!

I’m glad I went along with Kanyah’s idea because I really do love the stainless steel handrails. They emphasise the ‘light’ look and help give the house a touch of the “Wow!” factor.

What do you think? Please feel free to comment below.

Rubbish All Around – Why Can’t They Tidy Up?

By the way – and this is something you’ll see in many of the photos – why do they leave bits an pieces of junk lying around. It makes the place a bit like René Magritte’s modern art paintings who put common everyday objects at laces in his paintings where you wouldn’t expect them to be, just to shock you.

Image of René Magritte's Man and Dove Painting

René Magritte's Man and Dove Painting

It’s like these Thai’s purposely placed junk around the house just to annoy you.

Don’t know what I mean? There is a plastic bottle at the base of the steps. And on the left of it is a Thai floor brush. Further over on the left is a Thai home-made ladder. You’ll see this junk in most of the photos.

Above, the stairs (steps actually) have that light ‘look-through’ feel.

The design intent of the wooden steps leading up to the Mai Malay wooden balcony was to make them look light and airy. This has been accomplished by leaving out the stair risers and using thin sections of wood.

The polished Mai Malay (Malaysian hardwood) floor of the balcony is well shaded from the sun and protected from the rain by the low overhanging tiled roof.

Another view of the wooden balcony floor but at low level which shows the full extent of the balcony and the beautiful red colour of the wood. Also clearly visible is the wonderfully workmanship of the polished stainless steel handrails locally made in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

Although the red coloured hardwood is from Malaysia (called Mai Malay in Thai) it makes a wonderfully warm and welcome flooring.

The hand made Thai teak wooden doors to the accommodation on the second floor level and the polished stainless steel security gates.

Beautiful hand made in Pakchong (Pak Chong) Thai Teak wooden doors and hand-crafted stainless steel security gate with the highly polished balcony floor make a very lovely view and easy on the eye when relaxing on the balcony.

The highly polished and ornate hand-made stainless steel balustrades and handrails together with the natural Thai wood of the stair landing and the white-painted concrete structural frame of the house make a stunning vision.

An optical illusion that takes a bit of mental dexterity before you realise that the wooden planks in the centre of the photo are actually the vertical wall of the house not the flat balcony floor.

Interesting view of the stairs showing masses of stainless steel on the handrails and lovely re-coloured wooden stair landing.

This photo shows the steel anti-burglar bars fitted to the second floor bedroom window. It’s not clear how the steel anti-burglar bars are secured to the window frame or wall of the house, and whether they are made from stainless steel or not.

It’s no surprise that the anti-burglar bars fitted to the ground floor model engineering workshop doors are made from highly polished and decorative stainless steel similar to all the other stainless steel handrails around the retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

This is the same white stone drive that runs all the way past the house to the rear garden. The drive is higher than the garden area and is held in place by a small brick retaining wall.

This photo of the white stone front drive is taken from further away from the road so that the full length of the drive from the road to the house can be seen.

The driveway is made from small white stone pebbles (I think marble chips) and passes beside the house into the rear garden. It gives access to the land at the rear of the house.

Proof that Kanyah has moved out of The Mansion in Pakchong (Pak Chong). A Pile of her things collected from her travels around the world and sent to Thailand from our house in the U.K.

80 Days To Fit This Ugly Western Kitchen!

Kanyah told me she had bought a kitchen for 50,000 Baht and they wanted another 40,000 Baht to fit it.

40,000 Baht to fit a kitchen! Taking a Thai craftsman’s wage at 500 Baht/day that’s 80 man-days!!

Nearly 3 months to fit a kitchen.

I later learned that she hadn’t bought it and when I saw this photo it’s obviously a shot of a show kitchen still in the showroom.

I quickly warned Kanyah that the bamboo mat lining to the walls of our house were not strong enough to support the upper cabinets.

She didn’t believe me but after checking with her Thai neighbour she agreed.

Hopefully this grotesque western monster is still in the shop.

Another finely composed photo from Kanyah showing the stainless steel handrail curving towards the house with the teak doors in the background.

View of right-hand part of the massive utilities building. This is the toilet and shower room side.

Left hand side of the utilities building. Note the lack of windows! Looks more like a jail than a washroom.

Why did she put the window at the back?

Notice the concrete forecourt in front of the building where the car is standing.

The photo of the shower unit in the utilities building shows again how much space there is in the shower/toilet room.

The WC in this photo of the inside of the utilities building is not the objective of showing the picture> The purpose is to show how much room – wasted space and expense – there is in the building.

As with the other photos of the shower room/toilet in the utilities room on the ground floor of the retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, this picture also shows what a huge room it is.

The roof water collection system comprises rain water gutters that collect the rain water from the roof and downpipes that then deliver the water to the rain water plastic storage tanks.

Storing rain water collected from the roof of the retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, is essential to be able to irrigate the garden in the dry season. This plastic water storage tank is one of two that we have to store the collected rain water.

This plastic water storage tank has the number 2000 in bold letters on the packaging so I assume it’s 2,000 l capacity. (2 m3)

Another plastic rain water storage tank to store the rain water collected from the roof.

The super-strong Thai Teak wood doors are enough of a deterrent to keep the casual burglar from trying to get into the model engineering workshop at our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, but these stainless steel gates will make breaking into the workshop virtually impossible even for the most determined burglar.

The strongest Thai teak wood was used for the hand made doors for the model engineering workshop in the retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

The massive electric water heater has been sized to suit the bath that Kanyah has had put in her bathroom. in our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand. In front of the electric water heater you can see the stainless steel sink in the workshop.

The stainless steel sink is to wash my hands and dirty metal model parts in my model engineering workshop in our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong).

Notice the tiles around the sink. Actually it’s a wash-hand basin. I wanted a massive industrial sink suitable for dropping heavy steam locomotive boilers about 2 ft (600 mm) long in for cleaning after they have been welded. What chance of that with this punitive little basin?

Have A Laugh On Me

Click on the image above. I mean it.

You’ll love it. Honestly.

That’s all for now. Took me 3 weeks part time work to put this Post together hope you like it.

Please leave a comment below.


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18 Responses to “Thailand Retirement House Build Project Finished – Photos”

  • Brian:

    I would like the cost of this house and I would like one built.
            Thanks brian


    admin Reply:

    Thanks, Brian for your question about how much it cost to build our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

    The short answer is about 3.6 million Baht as explained in the Putting The Boot In – The Email I Deleted Post.

    This is double our budget and more than double the quotations given to us by two builders. We signed a contract with the first builder for 1.7 million Baht. Then later when his performance and workmanship turned out to be so terrible, Kanyah sacked that builder and I Lost 355,401 Baht.

    There are other reasons our house cost so much – Kanyah kept adding to the scope and buying expensive materials for example.

    Some big-ticket items not in the original scope that Kanyah added:-

      Gravel driveway with retaining wall
      Vast concrete slabs at the front, side and rear of the house
      Terrazzo Marble flooring to the whole of the ground floor.
      Stainless steel handrails
      Stainless steel anti-burglar bars
      Heavy Teak doors
      External utility building with toilet, shower and separate laundry room
      Bamboo mat on the underside of the balcony roof

    Although I mentioned 3.6 million Baht it’s probably closer to 4 million Baht. But that is just the money I sent out to Kanyah. It hasn’t all necessarily gone on the house build project! I never get any receipts or feedback on where she is spending the money.

    If you want your own house built, Brian, you are better finding a labour only builder and buying all the materials yourself. that’s how we finished the second half of our house build project.

    One thing I would say if you want to control cost and quality is to get yourself a set of good quality and detailed house plans made by a Thai architect. I know several people who have built (or are building) a house from nothing more than sketches – but then you’ll get what they give you.

    If you need a good builder I recommend the second builder that we had.

    If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Best Regards

    and Chock Dii



  • mick gauci:

    what was the final cost of the finished house, its looks very nice, love the stainless and wood combo
    regards Mick


    admin Reply:

    Hi Mick,

    The final cost is 3.6 to 4 million Baht, as explained on the Putting The Boot In – The Email I Deleted Post

    Yes, the wood & stainless steel do go well together , that was Kanyah’s idea. (The stainless steel bit). I was against it at first I wanted wooden handrails to keep the old-fashioned rustic look but when Kanyah told me that stainless steel was cheaper than wood I was convinced!

    Chock Dii



  • Ed:

    It is looking fine, many congrats. We understand that things never finish as there will always be something else to do for any house. OK, gotta get mine started now!


    admin Reply:

    Hi Ed and thanks for the comment.

    I keep mentioning to visitor to this website that the retirement house build project in Thailand is not the raison d’être of the website.

    The whole project is retiring in Thailand of which building the house forms only a part.

    My retirement plan is building model steam engines in the workshop and running them in the garden.

    Kanyah’s retirement project is to grow things in the garden and to have some animals like chickens and ducks to get the fresh eggs and meat from.

    When you start your retirement house build project in Thailand, Ed, try to keep in mind that it just the start not the end.

    Chock Dii,



  • steve:

    rene magritte you can’t fool us pseudo intellectuals he was the cafe owner in HELLO HELLO !!
    SIMILARLY  he had people runniNg up walls as well
    p,s. you’ll have to get some seats fer all them monks !
    sandra says say hay me duk ter the wife


    admin Reply:

    Thanks Steve, always can rely on you for an informative and intellectual comment.

    Best Regards



  • Rolf:

    You paid toooooooooooo much, sorry for you. But I hope you still love your wife. I wish you a good retirement in your very expensive house and a lot of good time with your steam-machines… All the best and d’ont forget nobody can eat money…


  • Bill:

    I wish you luck in your new home. To me’ it’s a typical Thai depressing abode where the rooms are too small to be functional, the bathrooms are a horror and you have no a/c. For 4 million Bt not including land I’ve seen truly beautiful modern homes with oversize rooms and luxury amenities. I really think you need vision and the building will follow


    admin Reply:


    Thanks for your comment. Good to shear from someone with a different viewpoint.

    Our house is not for everyone – it was my design and to my Spec. What I strived to achieve was not to have one of those modern Thai houses that you mention that do their best to look like a typical Western estate house.

    Best regards



  • David Todd:

    Hi Alan,

    I like your drive. Did you put something down to prevent weed growth before spreading the stones/chips? If so can you advise what you used. We need to put down a drive and block pavers are a bit expensive.

    Congratulations for getting the job done!

    All the best,



    admin Reply:

    Hi David,

    As you know, I’m not in Thailand and Kanyah doesn’t give me any details about what she is doing in Pakchong – just a few photos now and again and “Send me more money”. So the answer is that I don’t know if she put anything under the stones to prevent weed growth but my guess is that she didn’t.

    In the UK it’s normal to put a special plack polythene sheet under paving slabs for that purpose.

    I do know that our friend’s drive also in Pakchong is similar to ours – in fact that’s the one Kanyah copied – and she has no problem with weeds growing through – but again I don’t know if she put the polythene under the stones.

    I’ll find out in two weeks when I’m in Pakchong for my holiday but that’s probably too late for you.

    Best regards



  • kS Pang:

    You keep telling people about your thai house, but i’ve seen much better built thai homes. yours more like a british design house which is dull like their weather and not exciting, just like british cars.
    every corner is so square like castle and colors are plain.
    anyway if u like it, why not. 


  • Tim:

    It’s a very nice house, I’m very happy for you.  The stainless steel actually goes very well with the rest of the house and you have a good balance of security and warmth (ie, all that lovely hardwood). And I think your wife has done a magnificent job to manage the project on her own while you were away. Don’t forget to show her your appreciation, Alan.


    admin Reply:

    Hi Tim and thank you for your kind words about our retirement house that we built in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

    I was dead against the stainless steel handrails when Kanyah first suggested it – I was in UK at the time and she asked me if it was OK to use stainless “like the gate”. I said no at first because I wanted the rustic look. Then, as soon as she told be that stainless was cheaper than wood (which is probably unlikely) I agreed.

    I probably also agreed because she was out there in Thailand running the house-build project all by herself, as you mention. She had sacked the first Thai builder and also sacked her nephew Jalan who was supposed to be our inspector.

    So she was under a lot of pressure to get the house finished and I didn’t want to put obstacles in her way.

    As it turns out I think the stainless steel fits in very well with the wood and I’m totally delighted with the stainless steel handrails, the house – and of course with Kanyah.

    Now she has to repeat the process with the landscaping and gardening. I’m sure she will because all her life she has been dreaming and talking about having a garden in Thailand. She was brought up on a farm and loves plants and flowers. She transformed our garden back in the UK and I’m sure she’ll do the same in Thailand.

    The landscape gardener is due to start on the garden today, 10 Jan 2011 as reported on the “Gardening Contract For Our Retirement House In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand” Post.

    Once again, many thanks for your comment and contribution.



  • Jim:

    I think the house is beautiful!  I built a slightly smaller one in Cambodia.  My wife is Cambodian..  I must say I feel really good as we spent about $6000 US dollars so far.  It might have been a little cheaper if my wife and I had been in Cambodia while it was being built.  I will send u a few pics if u want.

    Thailand is quite a bit more expensive than Cambodia.  But the life style is much closer to a Western one.  For example we have solar panels I put in my self to charge a car battery for a single light in the house and a second for the bathroom which is in a separate building just outside the house.  Also we have a hand pump for the 100 foot well we had drilled.

    I think its all about having fun!  Both building and living with the people there!
    How do u measure the dollar value of the quality of life with people u love! 


    admin Reply:

    Jim, am I reading this right? $6,000 for a house in Cambodia?

    Even if that’s a small house it’s a tenth of the cost of a small house in Thailand!

    And if houses cost so litle the general cost of living must be much lower too?

    I have thought about buying (or building) another house in Cambodia, mainly as a refuge local to Thailand. I’m not convinced I’ll be able to stay indefinitely in Thailand due to the visa restrictions so it would be useful to have a place in Cambodia I could nip across the border to when I have a visa issue.

    Please tell us more about your life and the cost of living or retiring in Cambodia. I’m sure many visitors to this website would be interested. I certainly am.

    And how did you drill a 100 foot well?

    Look forward to hearing more about living and retiring in Cambodia.



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