Posts Tagged ‘House Building’

Kanyah Is Now Living In The Newly Complete Retirement House In Thailand

Kanyah Is Too Lonely In Her Newly Completed Retirement House At Pakchong (Pak Chong)

Now all the building work is complete and the shock of living on her own is too much for Kanyah.

A sobbing Kanyah phoned me three times in the last few minutes to tell me how lonely she was in the house all by herself. Yes, yesterday they had the house blessing ceremony (Keun Baan Mai) and her sister and nephew’s son came to visit her from Kamphaeng Phet. The had her family with her and all the monks performing the ceremony.

Her sister and nephew’s (Jalan’s) son stayed overnight in the house but now (now it’s mid afternoon in Thailand) they have all gone home and she is alone by herself and very lonely.

A Lifetime’s Dream Come True And She Doesn’t Like It

After spending a lifetime waiting and fighting to get her own house in Thailand and spending nearly a year putting herself under great stress building one in Pakchong (Pak Chong) the truth come home to hit Kanyah hard. She doesn’t want to live there because she is alone and too lonely.

Well, I can imagine her feelings at the moment. I had a great sense of ‘loss’ when I finished my degree exams many years ago. After all the stress and being busy, working hard and being surrounded by builders, suddenly all the people are gone, all the work is complete and there is nothing left to do an no people around.

Kanyah just has to focus on the next stages of the retirement project. For her it’s getting the house furnished and sorting out the garden. She has got to learn to slow down and relax and to be comfortable with her own company.

Unfortunately it’s one of the great challenges that people face when they retire. Not many can cope with it very well.

A Few Bits And Pieces To Finish Off And Send More Money

Kanyah told me that there just a couple of things to finish off at the house:-

  1. The water tanks have been delivered and the builder has to finish them. Kanyah didn’t explain what that meant but I assume it’s providing water pumps and maybe a downpipe from the gutters.
  2. The water supply to our house is (if I am understanding what Kanyah is telling me) is not from a municipal water supply but is a local supply from a well set up by the local people. Hence the water is not clean and the builder told her she should fit a water filter. She mentioned 20,000 Baht but she’s not sure about that.
  3. Also it seems the fitting of the kitchen is not quite complete.

Buying Furniture In Thailand

When I asked Kanyah if she had anything to sleep on last night, she said no, she just slept on the floor as did her sister and Jalan’s son. That’s OK for Kanyah but not for me.

(She just phoned again, with the same news: Her sister has gone back home to Kamphaeng Phet and she is all by herself and lonely, etc, etc.)

Anyway she asked me to send more money to buy furniture, so I guess I’ll do that. The last thing I want is to arrive in Pakchong (Pak Chong) to live in a bare house and then to spend my time on holiday chasing round furniture shops.

Apart from the fact that I hate shopping, I just know we would be arguing about whet furniture to buy.

Setting Up My Workshop And Buying Machine Tools

No, let her buy the furniture and I’ll spend my holiday setting up the workshop, including buying some machine tools from Bangkok. (More on buying machine tools in Bangkok on the Retirement House Finished – Today Post)

Stop Press – Changed My Mind About The Furniture And Garden

Kanyah just phoned – again – and we discussed buying furniture and sorting the garden.

Starting with the garden she said that she wouldn’t do it until I came because it would be very expensive and we have to design it together.

Then she said she wanted to buy marble stones. (I guess she means paving stones to cover that mass of concrete she has had laid.) I said NO to that. I’m sick of throwing money away on non-essentials.

Next I mentioned buying furniture. Of course she would need more money but I was thrown back when she mentioned how much she wanted.

500, 000 Baht!. That’s £10,000 or $15,000!

I can understand spending that much in the West (e.g. in the UK) but I’m not spending that much in Thailand.

So I told her to buy the basics only. Basics being a fridge, freezer, bed and chair and table (for me)

That’s all for now. Now the retirement house really is officially finished. But still the pain and the spending goes on…

As The Retirement House Build Project In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand Is Reported “Finished”, Alan Delves Into Electric Fishing Machines, SEO School, And Others

From Alan
Tuesday 11 October 2011: 0630 AM

I came in to the office especially early this morning to send you a very quick update with the news about our retiring in Thailand plan and the retirement house we are building in Pakchong but the email I typed became too rambling so I’ve posted it here online instead.

The House Is “Finished”

This is the latest news by phone from Kanyah in Pakchong. According to her the house is “finished”.

After much cajoling by me she even eventually got all the light fittings put up and has had the lights switched on. “It’s beautiful” she says and “I’ll send you some photographs”…

That was a few weeks ago and guess what? No photos.

I used to love coming in early to work and excitedly switch on the PC to see what new photos I have from Thailand. Not any more. I don’t raise my expectations so high – then I don’t get disappointed when I see nothing in the inbox.

She’s Still Not Moving In

Although the house is “finished” Kanyah still refuses to move in and occupy it. She’s having other works done like some massive concrete slabs around the house and an outside toilet built.

And before she can move in all that has to be finished, the builder’s debris removed from the garden and there has to be a special ‘house blessing’ ceremony on a date set by the monk according to her birthday.

The Next Set of Photos

I did upload a set of photos to the website and added the commentary – that took me about 2 weeks to do – and I was just about to push the publish button when a creeping doubt came over me.

As I was uploading the photos I kept being niggled by a thought that there was something missing. Checking the previous two Posts told me what I was thinking.

There was another set of photos on my PC earlier than the set I had just uploaded!

So in order to keep the story in the right sequence, I’m afraid I’ll have to upload the previous set before I can publish the current set.

Getting Websites Ranked High in The Search Engines

I really seem to make a meal out of posting photos on the website. But a large part of this is because I am careful to make sure that when the Post goes live it is going to help get the website ranked highly in the search engines.

I could just throw a bunch of pictures up here and it would only take a few minutes but that doesn’t give the reader any narrative and add any value to the photos, nor would it help the search engine results.

It’s the text that takes the time. Just to satisfy the Search Engines, each photo needs a descriptive Filename, a Title, an Alternative Title, a Caption and a Description.

After I have done that for the dozen or so pictures I want to upload, I then have to write the narrative around the photos to explain what is going on out there in Pakchong.

Anyone interested in getting websites ranked highly in the Search Engines could do worse than see how I do it by watching the movies in the free SEO School on my other website. Here are some examples:-


Yes, I probably am. And it does get in the way of doing the things I like, like building my steam engine, updating this website, communicating with my fellow online Thailand friends.

But look – I’m planning to retire in Thailand soon. To do that I need to get my hands on all the money I can and at the moment – in this recession – I’m not turning down any opportunity to earn it. Building up this nest egg is made more difficult by the fact that as soon as the money comes in out it goes again the Thailand. Oh boy! Will I be glad when the house is really finished and the spending has stopped!

So I’m working 12 – 14 hours a day including weekends and tying to fit in a bit of updating the website and steam engine building just to keep my sanity.

As you may know, I work in the construction industry and I have just posted a few photo of some of my projects on the website here:-

I did that in response to a question from a website visitor, Dr Wortley, about what I do who is an expert in the field of electric fishing machines!

Electric Fishing Machines

Apparently these machines momentarily stun the fish in a river or pond and they can be selectively collected for e.g. research, transfer to a better waterway, or just for eating.

The remaining fish soon recover and swim away unharmed.

So, a question to anyone reading this. Have you any idea about using electric fishing machines in Thailand? If so, please leave your comment below or wend me an email via the Contact Us form. I’m sure Dr Wortley and our other reader – plus myself of course – would be very interested in what you have to say.

An Apology To My Followers

Thank to everyone who has contacted me and/or posted a comment on the RetiringInThailand website. I appreciate all of your observations and I’m acutely aware that I owe a response to many of you.

So please accept my apologies for not getting in touch already and be assured that I’ll get round to it – time permitting – as soon as possible.

I’ve rambled on for far too long so I’ll leave off now and speak to you later.

Thank you for visiting


This Thailand Retirement House-Build Project Is Really Getting Me Down – I Seem To Have Hit An All-Time Low

Day 9. Saturday 30 April. (Written in Thailand, Posted in U.K.)

The Mansion Internet Connection Is Too Unreliable Today

The internet connection was switching itself off and on like traffic lights, only more off than on. Hence I couldn’t receive or send emails or update the website.

Gate Is Being Fitted

The front gate is being fitted by the gate company and they seem to be doing a decent job. The gate itself is a lovely demonstration in the art of stainless steel pipe bending and welding workmanship. Seems Kanyah likes it which can’t be a bad thing. It will also do a useful job.

Image of Stainless Steel Gate - General View

General View Of the Stainless Steel Gate

Above, a photo of the stainless steel gate at the front of our retirment house.

Image of Stainless Steel Gate Detail 2 - The Bolt

Stainless Steel Gate Detail - The Bolt

Above, details of the locking arrrangements for the gate. See the next post for a photo with the locks in place and the story about why we put the locks on.

image of Stainless Steel Gate Detail - Welding Detail

Stainless Steel Gate Detail - Welding Detail

Above, lovely clean welding. Attention to detail and craftsmanship is clearly evident. Why, oh why, can’t our house be built with the sane care and attention?

Image of the Stainless Steel Gate Detail - Hinge Welding At The Personnel Gate

Stainless Steel Gate Detail - Hinge Welding At The Personnel Gate

Above, another example of attention to detail on this beautiful stainless steel gate.

Image of Stainless Steel Gate Detail - Personnel Gate & Runners
Stainless Steel Gate Detail – Personnel Gate & Runners

Above,  The main gate has an additionl personell gate built into it so that people can enter via the personell gate without having to open the main gate. Also, the personell gate can be left unlocked for people to enter whilst the main gat remains locked to preent vehicles from entering.

Thai Retirement House Building Project From Hell – And I’m Sick Of It

At this stage I tell Kanyah exactly how I feel about this retirement house build project (as I have hinted at in previous posts):-

  • If it’s not the worst building project in Thailand then there can’t be many worse than this.
  • Builder now claiming that items on the Tender Drawings are ‘not included’.
  • The builder lowered the balcony roof of his own accord without anyone telling me about it.
  • The roof had to be extended by ‘bolt-on’ ridge beam and rafters because of the builder’s mistake.
  • The woodwork is generally of poor quality and rain protective finished not properly applied.
  • The wooden floor issues I mentioned in the last post.
  • The build is going too slowly and the builder does not show up every day and when he does it’s always late in the day. The program (construction schedule) shows a finish date of 22 June 2011. My guess is we’ll be lucky if it’s finished by the end of August.
  • The builder now wants us not only to pay for the materials up front but to provide his with an advance for each stage – in spite of us making two hefty up front payments at the start of the project and always making the stage payments on or in advance of the due time.
  • Communication between the builder and ‘my team’ (Kanyah and Jalan) is of very poor quality and infrequent. Similarly (as I have moaned about in other posts) Kanyah doesn’t tell me what is going on on site.
  • In my opinion (as I have just relayed to Kanyah about three times) Jalan is not inspecting the works – he is just watching them – and he certainly has added no benefit in terms of quality control.
  • And to top it all Kanyah and Jalan take the builder’s side in everything – even though it’s Kanyah’s house that’s being built!

Oh and that’s not the end of it. It’s too hot, I hate the beer, my legs and arms are covered in stinging mosquito bites, the food has given me a good dose of the (you know what) that I can’t shake off, I can’t sleep at night (for a variety of reasons) and there’s nowhere to sit at a table with my laptop, a power supply and an internet connection, and I can’t find any energy to do anything. Oh, I forgot one, my feet have swollen up like hot water bottles (for anyone who remembers them!) and it takes 5 minutes to force my shoes on nearly breaking my fingers in the process and as you know, in Thailand, whenever you go indoors you have to take your shoes off.

In short I can’t wait to get home to U.K. and forget about the whole mess.

By the way, I was getting so fed up on site today, I told Kanyah I was going to walk to a nearby roadside food stall where they have a table in the shade so that I can work on the website. That’s where I am now typing this. And I didn’t have to walk – Kanyah dropped my in the pickup. Hey things are looking up!

Funny Shoehorn Story

Just writing that bit above about swollen feet and getting my shoes on reminds me of an event in Daeng’s house just after I had arrived in Thailand. By then my feet had aready swollen up in the ‘plane. When I came to put my shoes on when leaving Daeng’s house to come up to Pakchong, I was looking round for something like a shoehorn to ease my shoes on and help avoid breaking my fingers.

I remember when I was a kid, we used to use the back of a spoon to do the job of easing the heel of the foot into the back of the tight shoe. I knew of the Thai reverence of the head and low esteem of the foot so I though better not try a spoon.

Looking round the house and in the kitchen draws I was drawing a blank on finding a suitable improvised instrument. In a hurry I picked of a knife and started to use that – only to be greeted with hails of sarcastic laughter “Can you eat with that now?”, followed by “You can take it with you” from Daeng.

So now I have a table knife that can only be used for putting shoes on…

Today’s Visitors To Our Retirement House Building Site In Pakchong (Pak Chong)

We are expecting a few people to visit the construction site – the boss from the gate shop and Richard P and his Thai wife Lisa from Bangkok who are planning to build their own retirement home on the land they have bought in Pakchong.

Richard and his wife Lisa arrived so I was collected from the ‘restaurant’ by Kanyah and whisked back to the site (a 5 minute drive) and we chatted about our retirement house build project, the problems I was undergoing, about Richard’s forthcoming house build in Pakchong and living in Thailand in general. Richard is an American living and working in Bangkok (20 years) and has completed several apartment renovation projects.

Richard explains that the cash-flow issue our builder has is typical and he has experienced it many times in the past. It seems you just have to ‘go with the flow’.

Richard assures me that all my problems are ‘normal’ in Thailand and everything will work-out allright in the end. He does however warn me to be on site for the final finishing.

Richard invites us to a barbecue at his house in Pakchong in the evening but we can’t go because we have to go to Udon’s funeral.
I’m not sure if the gate boss arrived or not but it looks like the installation of the gate is going well, if slowly.

Later On I Realise Some New Blunders By Our Builder

Wrong Levels of the Kitchen And Lounge Plus Door Sliders.

Looking at the drawings and thinking about what I had seen when I ventured up to the second floor, I realised another two mistakes.

Mistake No. 1

The Lounge and Bedroom floors are supposed to be 50 mm higher that the Kitchen floor to stop rain water coming into the Lounge and Bedroom from the Kitchen in heavy rain when we keep the main doors (leading to the patio) open. This is clearly shown on the drawings put the builder has put all these floors at exactly the same level:-

Image of Pakchong House Floor Levels 1
Pakchong House Floor Levels 1

Above, the Thai Architect’s second floor plan for our retirement house under construction at Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, clearly shows the difference in floor levels between the Balcony, Dining/Kitchen and the remainder of the house. Below is a close-up view of the Thai Architect’s drawings. Click on the images to see a bigger version.

Image of Pakchong House Floor Levels 2
Pakchong House Floor Levels 2

Above, the different floor levels are clearly shown on the Thai Architect’s construction drawings. To see a full set of these drawings go to the “My Construction Drawings” page.

Mistake No. 2

This has created another problem because in the house design the step formed at the change of level from the Kitchen was a convenient place to locate the lower slider for the folding doors leading into the Lounge. Now that the Lounge Floor and Kitchen floor is all one floor with no step, there is nowhere to put the lower slider.

It can’t just be run across the floor where the door is because:-

a) if it is above the floor i.e. in a raised step this will just form a trip hazard and look stupid when the doors are open

b) the slider can’t be recessed into the floor because that would mean cutting through the floorboards which would then have no support.

Udon’s Funeral In Prungsai, Thailand

Went to Udon’s funeral which wasn’t quite as traumatic or dull as imagined it to be – based on my experiences of funerals in the U.K.

Constuction Work Stopping Again

Tomorrow is labor day so the builder and workers will not be on site.

We Started Building Our Retirement House In Thailand Today

Thursday 06 January, 2011, construction started at last on our retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand! 

That’s quite amazing considering we only signed the contract with the builder on Saturday 1st January. 

This is the culmination of a years work almost exactly to the day looking for and purchasing the land, designing the house, finding a Thai Architect to make the construction plans, finding builders and obtaining quotations and finally agreeing a price with our preferred builder. 

Our builder has given us a construction program showing a build period of 6 months, finishing in June this year. 

Construction Works On Site Today

The builder arrived on site at 1100 in his pickup with 3 labourers and a pile of construction ‘items’ which they promptly unloaded. They then roughly marked the position of the house with twigs at two corners and we agreed the position after making a change from the drawing. 

Image of Construction Material

Start Building Thai House - Construction Stuff


Off they went and returned with a pile of wood, presumably to mark out the house position ‘properly’ and then went off to lunch at a nearby eatery. 

Image of the First Wood Delivery

The First Wood Delivery - For The Setting-Out Frame


After they returned the wood was used to set out the house. Levelling was done with the traditional level made from a length of transparent plastic piping filled with water. 

We went for a trip around nearby to take some photos of the hills, had some lunch and returned at around 1530. 

The builders had finished for the day and accomplished the setting out of the house. You can see this in the pictures. Each of the short branches of wood is the centre of each post 4 x 4 = 16 posts. 

Image of the Setting-Out Frame (1)

The Setting-Out Frame (1)


Image of the Setting-Out Frame (2)

The Setting-Out Frame (2)


Image of the Setting-Out Frame (3)

The Setting-Out Frame (3)


Digging holes for two posts will start tomorrow. 

Electricity Connection Started

And, the electricity company arrived and installed the ‘temporary’ electricity meter. That was complete by 1030 when we arrived after receiving a telephone call in the Internet/Copy shop in Pakchong where I was having some documents relating the house build scanned to put on the website. 

I took a look at the meter and saw that the rating was 15/45 A. (15 to 45 Amps). “Ah, good, I thought we can get a full 45 A from day one.” When I asked what current the cables would be sized to carry I was told 15 A only and that 15 A was all I could have for construction. The cables would be changed for bigger ones after the house was completed and we had the ‘permanent’ power connection. 

Image of Electric Meter for temporary power

Electric Meter for Temporary. Power


Looking at all the ‘permanent’ meters in the vicinity and comparing it with our ‘temporary’ meter installation I could find absolutely no difference! So why ‘temporary’ and ‘permanent’ I have no idea. 

The route of the incoming overhead wires was agreed and the number of posts to carry the wires was decided. The installation cost was estimated to be a total of 20,802 Baht, made up of:- 

  • 6,802 for the meter
  • 14,000 for the electric posts and cable connection.

Kanyah paid 7,000 Baht cash on the spot and has to pay the remainder tomorrow when the electricity company will have returned to site and installed the posts and cables.

Getting the Permanenet Electricity Connected – Update 06 February 2012

In response to a question from a reader I have described how just over a year later we chnaged over from the temporary electricity supply to the permanent supply. You can read all about that on the Getting A Permanent Elecrical Power Supply Connected In Thailand Post.

The “Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor” Ceremony

I’m told by Kanyah that this is the ‘blessing’ of the house and can only take place on certain dates as decided by a Monk based on her birthday date. For the ceremony, two posts of the house have to have already been built. The dates set by the monk were 13th or 20th January or 14th or 21st February. 

Not wanting to delay construction, Kanyah decided that the ceremony would take place on 13th January, hence the builder had to get his skates on to get the two posts built in time. that, apparently, decided the start date of today. Privately, I don’t see how the excavations for the foundations, the foundations themselves and two posts can be complete in the 7 days remaining. Remember the foundations are 2 m deep! 

When I raised this point with Kanyah she poo-poo’d my suggestion and said it was easy for them. (The builders) 

Back to the ceremony itself, which so I am told by my wife includes:- 

  • Wrapping Green, Yellow and Red material around the two posts.
  • Putting Banana and Sugar Cane trees on the posts.
  • Putting a number of leaves on each post, the name of which escape me.
  • Lighting ‘the smelly stuff’ (I think she means Joss sticks).
  • The blessing by a special person. (Not a Monk, just someone who knows the words).

What Does “Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor” Mean

(Added 23 March 2011) 

I’m taking a flyer on this one and I may be a mile of the mark, but this is my best explanation. “Yok” I think, means “to lift up”. “Sow” is definitely the Thai word for “post”. Not sure about “Eg”, maybe it should be “Eek” which means “again”. By the way, I have not seen this written anywhere else in a Thai tansliteration, nor even Thai, come to that, these are my words based on the way Kanyah says it. I can only think that “Tor” means “ceremony” but I’ll go and check that out on a Thai dictionary. If all that is correct then “Yok Sow Eg Sow Tor” means literally “Lift post up another post ceremony” or “Two post ceremony”. 

That’s it for today. I typed this post at the site of building the house and now I am back on the hotel balcony hooked up to the ‘net and will simply post it onto the website. 

Bye for now 

Alan and Kanyah

Finding Builders in Thailand To Build Our Retirement House In Pakchong

Just A Quick Update On Our Thai House-Build Project. 5 October, 2010

Now Kanyah is back at Pakchong with the Thai House Plans (construction issue) and is looking again for builders to build our retirement house. But just as it was difficult to find a builder last year when we only had the house drawings that I made (not those produced by our Thai Architect which we have now), so this time it is not so easy also.

You maybe be wondering why we did not ask Kensington to build our home. I did ask in the beginning but unfortunately the location of our land is too far out for them to build. It is a shame as it is so difficult to find good reliable builders that do a professional job.

Kensington can build homes of all sizes, shapes and styles in many locations but Thailand is a big country and they cannot build everywhere.

It is always best to ask them and let them know your location as they can build in Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok, Hua Hin, Ko Samui and many other areas. A lot depends on the project and the location.

However even if they cannot build your home I am sure one of their excellent architects can design it.

Anyway, Kanyah phoned me yesterday (I am still in the U.K., working) and gave me the following update.

Building Permit Application in Thailand

Kanyah has visited the Or Bor Tor office, which she says is close to our plot of building land in Pakchong and they have told here what documents are required to apply for the building permit. There are some documents she does not have at the moment and these are:-

A) The Signed Construction Drawings And Calculations

Although the construction drawings are finished and Kanyah has printed off a few sets we don’t have the sets signed off by the Thai Architect and the engineer together with the calculations. I have asked the Architect when she can receive them and he replied that since I had just issued some comments on the constrution drawings he would wait until any necessary changes had been made to the drawings and then issue the signed set. That may take a week or so.

B) The Thai House Registration Papers

Every Thai person should be registered at a house in Thailand and have their name entered on the house registration papers. The Thai house registration papers record the births, deaths, marriages and names of all people who are in residence at that address.

Kanyah’s name is registered at a friend’s house in Bangkok and she has asked her friend to send a copy to her in Pakchong. that should take a few days.

Once all these documents are received Kanyah will apply at the or Bor tor office for the Thai house Building Permit.

Finding Builders To Build Our Retirement House

As of today, Kanyah has given sets of the construction drawings to two builders in Pakchong. She is looking for more builders.

Small Builders And Labour Only Construction Contracts In Thailand

It seems, she says, that the local builders in Pakchong do not have the capital to make all the purchases of the materials when they build a house. (i.e. they can’t afford to buy the materials) Instead the Client (in this case us, or more accurately Kanyah) would have to purchase all materials.

This means that the build would be via a labour only contract. This has advantages and disadvantages.

The Advantages Of A Labour Only Construction Contract In Thailand

1. Lowest Material Costs

Assuming for a moment that the Client is a Thai national, like Kanyah, then by purchasing direct the Client can avoid mark-ups on prices put on by a builder if he does the procurement. Also Kanyah is good at negotiating when shopping and always manages to get a discount of some sort. So if we go the labour only route then we can be sure that we get the lowest materials costs.

2. Quality Control

By making the purchases directly, Kanyah is able to ensure that she gets the quality of materials that she wants. Unless every item in the build is specified beforehand a builder making the purchases would often be liable to locate the cheapest materials available, not necessarily of the right quality.

The Disadvantages Of A Labour Only Construction Contract In Thailand

1. No Idea Of Final Cost

If the builder is buying the materials he will include tha total cost when he submits his tender. We will know the final cost of the project before we start building.

If the cost is outside our budget we would be able make changes to the building and/or the quality of the finishes to reduce the cost.

If we are purchasing the materials ourselves, unless we spend weeks getting quotations for everything before we start, we will not know the final build cost until the house in fully constructed.

2. No Experience Of Procurement For Construction Material

Although Kanyah does know what concrete and re-bar is she does not have a detailed knowledge of building materials and the construction process both of which are needed by anyone undertaking the procurement of all the materials themselves.

3. Time, Effort And Management Systems

If Kanyah is procuring all the materials, she will have to spend all the time and effort necessary to do so. On a live construction project with a fixed construction programme this can be a stressful job, especially for a novice.

Also, strict management systems are needed to record all the purchase transaction, chase and check deliveries and control the costs. As a minimum computers skills and ability to use spreadsheets and understand Bills of Quantity. All this extra work on top of controlling the quality of the works is just too much extra effort for Kanyah and she does not have the necessary computer skills.

4. Responsibility For the Programme (Construction Schedule)

The purchase of the materials must be made in a timely fashion if the project is not put on hold awaiting for materials to arrive. If the project is halted awaiting material deliveries, then there will be extra costs of paying the builder for standing costs. By this I mean that the labour is not working but still has to be paid.

Turn-Key Building Contract

Having written all the above pros and cons of a labour only building contract it becomes clear to me that unless I go to Thailand to oversee the build then a labour only contract is nor suitable for us.

I need to explain all the above to Kanyah and then she needs to find a builder capable of making the materials purchases. In other words we need a turn-key building contract where all e do is pay the builder in stages for the completed work.

Bills Of Quantity (BOQ)

If you don’t know what a BOQ is then let me explain.

A Bills Of Quantity (BOQ) document is a list of all the different types of materials and components used in the construction of the building. Each item in the list is called a Line Item.

There are columns where for each Line Item in the BOQ the following information is entered:-

The Quantity. This may be m3 of concrete, square metres of roof tiles, or number of windows.

The Rate. This would be the cost that the builder would charge per unit of the materials. For example, X Baht/m3 for concrete Y Baht/m2 for roof tiles and Baht per window. It would include the cost of supplying and installing the item. (but see below)

The cost of each line item is then calculated by multiplying the rate by the quantity. The sum of all the costs gives the final cost of the project.

Sometimes the cost of installing or fixing the materials is shown separately from the supply only cost of the materials.

In this case there would be additional columns for labour cost per unit, total labour cost and final labour cost for each line item.

Obtaining A Bill Of Quantities (BOQ)

I want to get a BOQ made for our Pakchong house that Kanyah can give to the builders preparing quotations for us and I am in discussion with the Kensington Company to have that done. The person making the BOQs is called a Quantity Surveyor. (QS)

If I have a BOQ with quantities measured by the QS from the construction drawings and I issue to the builder without the quantities I can use my version to check what the builder is offering when he submits his completed BOQ.

It will take a couple of weeks to get the BOQ made by Kensington’s QS in Bangkok, so that will delay the obtaining of quotations from builders for a bit. Also I have to explain all this to Kanyah.

That’s all for this update, see you in the next post where hopefully I can report on some real progress on finding builders in Thailand.

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