Posts Tagged ‘People’

Kanyah Signs The Usufruct And It Is Recorded In The Chanote At The Land Office

Today was a big day for me – one of the biggest since starting the retiring in Thailand project.

One of the big issued and fears I have always had about buying land and building a house in Thailand is that the land and property can never belong to me. It all belongs to my dear wife Kanyah and of course I love her dearly.

Whilst she loves to have me living here I am residing as her guest. I have no rights (until today that is) to access the land and house other than with her permission.

People change and people are fickle. In the past when Kanyah has not shall we say been in the best of moods she has reminded me that it all belongs to her and that it might be better if I went back to England. I do live here under her absolute control.

Not only that but my other bigger concern is what would happen to the land and house if she were to die before me? I have had that clarified today – the land would be inherited jointly by her heirs; her daughter Daeng and our son Alex.

But it wasn’t always like that. It is only a few weeks since Alex had his Thai nationality officially recognised and recorded in Thailand when he obtained his Thai Birth Certificate.

Previous to that I would be at the mercy and whim of Daeng whether I could live here or not. And since Alex became Thai officially I would need both their agreements. Not a very strong position for me to be in I’m sure you’d agree.

But All That Has Changed Today As I Am Granted Legal Rights To Use The Land And Property – Forever

Yes, the usufruct Contract signed by myself and Kanyah and entered on the Chanote is now fully legalised and is in force for the shorter of my lifetime or 30 years.

Even if the ownership of the property changes hands (e.g. to Daeng or Alex) I still have the rights of use.

Here is an extract from the Usufruct Contract, the key sentences:-

1.         Object of Agreement

The owner agrees to grant the right of usufruct on the abovementioned property to the usufructuary and the usufructuary accepts the right of usufruct which entitles him to the possession, use, enjoyment and management of the property.
2.         Term of Agreement

Both parties agree that the term of the usufruct of this agreement shall be created and remain in full force and effect for the lifetime of the usufructuary.
4.         Covenants of Owner

4.1       The owner permits the usufructuary to utilize the property for all lawful purposes including, but not limited to the purpose of residency, business or other matters.
7.           Miscellaneous
7.3       This agreement shall be held binding on the owner, the usufructuary, the heir(s), transferee(s), assign(s), or representative(s) in any kind of nature of each parties.

Of course, this is the English language version of the Usufruct Contract, the legal one is in the Thai language.

Photos Of The Thai Usufruct Contract And The Chanote

Note: Click on any of the photos to see a larger version. (Opens in new window)

Here is a photo of the actual front cover of the Usufruct Contract which is written in both the Thai and the English languages:-

Image showing Photo Of Thai Usufruct Contract

Photo Of Thai Usufruct Contract

A full copy of the text (English language version) is given near the bottom of this page.

Next is a copy of a document that has been attached to the front of the Chanote.  I don’t know what it says yet until I receive a translator from my solicitor:-

image showing A Legal Document Attached To The Front Of The Chanote By The Land Office

A Legal Document Attached To The Front Of The Chanote By The Land Office

And last but not least is a scan of the rear of the Chanote showing where the Usufruct Agreement has been recorded officially.

Image showing Rear Of The Chanote Recording The Usufruct Agreement

Rear Of The Chanote Recording The Usufruct Agreement

Other Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Usufruct Agreement

There are other advantages and disadvantages of the Usufruct once it has been registered at the Land Office and recorded on the Chanote.

Because the Chanote has the Usufruct Contract recorded on the back any prospective purchaser of the land would have to take that into account when valuing the land price. probably not many people would want to buy the land with a Usufruct contract attached to it.

This is an advantage for me because it makes me more secure. Kanyah is unlikely to be able to sell the land without my consent to the removal of the Usufruct.

Equally it is a disadvantage to Kanyah because the value of the land is diminished whilst the Usufruct Contract is in place.

For the same reason that the value of the land has effectively been reduced the Chanote is less likely to be accepted by a Bank as collateral for a loan.

This is both an advantage to me and also a disadvantage. The advantage is that Kanyah will probably be unable to take out a loan with the land and house as collateral without my agreement. (Safer for me)

But if I agree to Kanyah taking out a loan (say for another property development project) the Bank are less likely to agree so this is a disadvantage to both of us.

The Process Of Legalising The Usufruct Contract At The Land Office

Below I’ll give you the full details of how we had the Usufruct contract made into a legally binding contract and had the contract entered into the Chanote at the Pakchong Land Office.

Preparation Before You Go To The Land Office

I heard about the Usufruct from Steve, a friend I made via this website. Steve sent me examples of Ufustruct contracts he had put in place with his Thai wife for their properties just outside Pakchong (Pak Chong).

I could have used those examples and modified them myself so suit our names and details etc and had a local translator to change the Thai versions to suit my modified English one.

But when it comes to the law I don’t want to take any chances. be a cheapskate her just to save a few thousand Baht and you could end up without the protection you need.

So I decided to use a solicitor from a reputable legal firm. These are easy to find on the Internet.

Finding A Solicitor

As it happens I had been corresponding with a solicitor by email when I had some queries about Alex gaining his Thai passport. I had been corresponding with a Khun Patcharin who was very helpful. This exchange of emails had been free of charge and I was impressed by the quality of the information received and the excellent and polite service.

Khun Patcharin worked for Korat-Legal (website  http://www.korat-legal.com) located in Nakhon Ratchasima (AKA Korat), Thailand. There was another advantage in going back to Khun Patcharin because Korat is only an hours drive from Pakchong (Pak Chong) and I envisaged the need for a solicitor to be able to accompany us to the Land Office in Pakchong (Pak Chong) when we signed the  Usufruct Contract.

At the time I didn’t know the we had to go to the Land Office, but I suspected it. In fact I didn’t know the process for setting up a Usufruct Contract at all.

Agreeing The Wording Of The Usufruct Agreement

Through a short series of emails the wording of a draft Usufruct Contract was agreed between myself and Khun Patcharin. I had t send photocopies of various documents as listed below.

I gave a copy to Kanyah for her to read having previously explained what I was trying to achieve with it. Surprisingly she had no problem about signing it.

Checking The Chanote (Land Title Deed)

I did as much checking of the technicalities of the document as I could but when the document referred to details on the Chanote I needed Kanyah’s help because the Chanote is entirely in the Thai language –  even the numbers on the Chanote are Thai numerals.

Once everything was checked and agreed we arranged to meet  Khun Patcharin at the Pakchong (Pak Chong) Land Office at 0830 this morning (18 February 2013).

Documents You Need To Take To The Land Office

I addition to the original Usufruct Contract documents that  Khun Patcharin would bring she asked us to take originals of the following documents that I had already sent her copies of by email :-

  • Original of Chanotte
  • Your passport
  • Your house book (if any)
  • Your wife’s ID.Card
  • Your wife’s House book
  • Marriage Certificate
  • If your wife changed her name, please bring the certificate of name change as well.

Getting To The Land Office At Pakchong (Pak Chong)

Photo of Land Office Sign Thai Script English Language

Land Office Sign Thai Script English Language

Image of the Land Office in Pakchong

Photo of the Land Office in Pakchong where the land was registered in Kanyah’s name

I took the above photo of the Land Office in Pakchong (Pak Chong) when we first bought the land in 2010. Here is the address,  the SatNav coordinates and a link to an online map:-

Nakhon Ratchasima Land Office Pak Chong Branch, Highway 2, Khanong Phra, Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130

N 14°   40.140′, E 101° 26.416′

NOSTRA Map: http://bit.ly/1j9EzFx

Google Map:-

View Larger Map

Signing The Usufruct Contract

When we met Khun Patcharin at the Pakchong (Pak Chong) Land Office we simply sat down at the outdoor tables and we both (myself and Kanyah) signed the documents which were countersigned again by Khun Patcharin as a witness.

Note that just this simple act of having a witness to countersign the documents would have been difficult if  Khun Patcharin had not been there.

Then we went inside the Land Office to legalise the Usufruct contract.

Power Of Attorney – This Is really Funny

These are my notes from my pocket notebook as events unfolded:-

Time 0830.

Take queue ticked number 2. Good sign – not many people in there in fact almost empty.

Khun Patcharin goes to the Information Desk and there is some handing over of documents.

Time 0900.

Khun Patcharin says that the Land Office recommends that I sign a Power of Attorney that gives permission for Khun Patcharin to work on my behalf to process the Usufruct Contract at the Land Office.

The reason the Land office recommend this is because the documents are in the Thail Language and I don’t know Thai so there could be claims in future that I didn’t know what I was signing!

OK a valid point and I said no problem I’ll sign a Power of Attorney document.

(This is the funny part)

So Khun Patcharin gets a Power of Attorney form from the Land Office and fills it in. Before asking  me to sign  it she explains briefly what it says because – get this – it’s all in the Thai language! Had me in stitches that one.

Kanyah couldn’t see the funny side of it at all.

I did note that the Power of Attorney referred specifically to the work Khun Patcharin will be doing today at the Land Office in the processing of the Usufruct Agreement and not a generalised Power of Attorney that empowers her to do virtually anything on my behalf. Like emptying my bank account for example.

Time 0930.

Khun Patcharin goes back to the information Desk and takes another queuing ticket number 4. By this time the place is rather packed and things are buzzing but moving slowly. It take 40 minutes to an hour to process each person on average I was told.

At this time while we are waiting for things to be processed back of house we start to talk with Khun Patcharin about the Usufruct and heirs as recorded in the next section.

About Heirs, Inheritance And The Life Of The Usufruct

Khun Patcharin explained the following about the law in Thailand relating to heirs, inheritance and the life of the Usufruct.

  • There are two heirs to the land and property owned by Kanyah. These are Daeng, her daughter by her former Thai husband and Alex, our son. On Kanyah’s death, unless she makes a will, the land and property will be inherited in equal potions by her two children. The fact that Daeng is older than Alex is of no consequence.

(That had me chuckling about how the land and house could be divided equally into two!)

  • Both names will be put on the Chanote.

(The practicality of how this would be achieved tickled me and I naughtily asked “How, if the Chanote is locked away in a safe would Alex or Daeng be able to get to it to have their names added?” This was lost on Kanyah and Khun Patcharin intelligently sidestepped the question my remarking that Thai families and dividing up the inheritance is a hot topic in Thailand!

The practical points remain though:-

  • that I have control over access to the Chanote and nobody – except unless they have a gun pointing to my head – can force me to hand it over
  • and that if I do hand it over to one of them then they have to cooperate to get both names on the document
  • Kanyah hasn’t made a will and although she has a propensity for the land to go to Alex over Daeng she hasn’t finally decided anything.)
  • The Usufruct will still apply until I die (or until 30 years have passed) even if the land and property pass into different ownership.

Time 1000.

Kanyah and I go outside for a cup of coffee and some fresh air while Khun Patcharin sits inside to babysit the process. Well, Kanyah did go inside pretty soon and took some ice tea for Khun Patcharin while I stayed outside for a little longer.

Time 1115.

Back inside the Land Office Khun Patcharin reports that we are awaiting the signature of the Chanote by the Big Boss. Apparently the changes to the Chanote document have already been typed up.

Time 1130.

It’s all finished. Elapsed time 3 hours.

Khun Patcharin retrieves all the documents and we check that they have all been returned. Khun Patcharin explains briefly what the new documents are and promises to send a translation by email when she gets back to the office. This may be delayed by a day because she has to do the whole process again with another client in Korat this afternoon.

So we leave the Land Office, with me being so much relieved that my huge investment in Thailand is now safe and I have full access to use it as if it was my own under Thai law.

The Value Of Having A Solicitor With Your When You Go To The Land Office To Legalise A Usufruct In Thailand

Did I think is was worth the extra money in engaging a solicitor for this process?

Of course I did and I would recommend anyone else contemplating establishing a Usufruct Agreement to safegurd their investment in property in Thailand to do the same.

Here are some of the benefits of engaging a solicitor and having them to accompany you to the Land Office:-

  • Usufruct Agreement correctly drawn up in Thai and English
  • Solicitor guides the process through the Land Office – a process myself and Kanyah have (had) absolutely no idea about
  • On hand to draw up the Power of Attorney as recommended by the Land Office
  • Ad-hoc answers to questions about heirs, inheritance, Land title Deeds (see later) and the Usufruct Contract and the Thai law
  • And last but not least the solicitor baby-sits the process allowing myself and Kanyah to take a break. This alone turned a nerve-wrecking and tense visit into, whilst not quite a delight, a comfortable three hours.

Selfishness or Selfishless?

I can well understanding that some reader are thinking that I am selfish and that I’m only interested in protecting my investments in Thailand.

That’s true to an extent but not the whole story.

About protecting my investments in the land and house that’s one part of it. But I have also invested (and continue to invest) both time and money in my retirement here with Kanyah. She was so lonely and miserable when i was in England working but now she is very happy.

She would hate it if I left and returned to UK.

That’s what i was talking about when I first arrived. And it led to lots of upset and arguments.

Kanyah understood how I felt isolated and insecure with no protection for my investments.

That’s why it was easy for her to sign the Usufruct – because she wants to encourage me to stay. Now she has signed it she knows that I have no reason to leave so she is much more comfortable.

So it’s not just about me, it’s about Kanyah also and our relationship and retirement in Thailand together.

Glossary Of Terms And Other Useful Information

Usufruct

Image for Sidhi Kep Kin Usufruct in Thai Script Language

“Sidhi Kep Kin” in Thai Script Language Means “Usufruct”

In my words this is a legal right for someone (the usufructuary) to be granted the benefit of use of a land or property even though they do not own it. In essence the usufructuary is granted by the owner of the land or property the permission to use of the land or property as if it belonged to the usufructuary. The vehicle for granting this right is a Usufruct Contract (or Agreement)

It is quite common in Thailand where foreigners married to Thai’s invest a lot of money in land and houses for Thai spouses who have own the property since foreigners cannot own land in Thailand.

That’s a short-rough description of what a Usufruct is but there are plenty of learned definitions online f you want to know more, like these for example:-

Usufruct from Wikipedia

Usufruct from Encyclopedia Britannica

Usufruct from The Free Dictionary

Usufruct from Siam Legal

A (Not) Typical Usufruct Contract

A typical usufruct contract gives the rights to the usufructuary to lease or sub-lease the property subject to the usufruct. A typical clause wold be like this:-

“The Usufructuary shall have the rights to lease or sublease the Properties to any other party(ies) at any time during the term of this Contract without prior consent of the Grantor/Owner.”

 I our case I did not need that right and have no intention to lease or sub-lease the property. I therefore made sure that this was not included in our Usufruct Agreement.

Here is the final version of our Usufruct Contract, in the English language:-

CONTENTS

AGREEMENT TO CREATE THE RIGHT OF USUFRUCT (Thai Version)       2-4

AGREEMENT TO CREATE THE RIGHT OF USUFRUCT (English Version) 5-7

IDENTIFICATION CARD OF THE OWNER                                                                  8

COPY OF PASSPORT OF THE USUFRUCTUARY                                                       9

AGREEMENT TO CREATE THE RIGHT OF USUFRUCT

 This agreement to create the right of usufruct is made at Korat-Legal Law Office, Nakhon Ratchasima Province on 18 February 2014. By and Between:

Mrs. Thongplay Brown, Thai national, 60 years old, having Thai identification number 5 1032 00019 36 1, residing at house no. 231, Village No. 12, Pak Chong Sub-District, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, hereinafter referred to as the “Owner” on one part and;

Mr. Alan Brown, British national, 64 years old, holding a UK passport no. 112132401, residing at house no. 231, Village No. 12, Pak Chong Sub-District, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, hereinafter referred to as the “Usufructuary” on another part.

RECITAL

Whereas, the owner has the ownership of land, Chanotte No. 54589, Land No. 168, Survey Page No. 16801, which have total area of 1 Rai, together with the house no. 232, Village No. 12, located at Pak Chong Sub-district, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, together with the house on the said land, hereinafter referred to as the “Property”;

Whereas the parties are the legal husband and wife, therefore the owner intends to grant a usufruct to ensures that the usufructuary shall have exclusive rights on the property as set forth herein;

Whereas the owner has made this agreement voluntarily, free of any coercion or deception, without being threatened, or being mistaken and with no fraud or undue influence of any kind of nature;

Whereas the owner agrees to grant the usufructuary the possession, use, enjoyment and management of the property;

And whereas the usufructuary agrees to take from the owner the right of usufruct of the abovementioned property,

Now, Therefore, both parties agree to execute this Contract containing the terms and conditions as follows:

1.            Object of Agreement

The owner agrees to grant the right of usufruct on the abovementioned property to the usufructuary and the usufructuary accepts the right of usufruct which entitles him to the possession, use, enjoyment and management of the property.

2.            Term of Agreement

Both parties agree that the term of the usufruct of this agreement shall be created and remain in full force and effect for the lifetime of the usufructuary.

3.            Consideration of Agreement

Both parties agree that there is no exchange in consideration of granting the right of usufruct throughout the term of this registered agreement.

4.            Covenants of Owner

4.1       The owner permits the usufructuary to utilize the property for all lawful purposes including, but not limited to the purpose of residency, business or other matters.

4.2       The owner shall not terminate this agreement before the term hereof unless both parties agrees to terminate this agreement or the usufructuary breach any clause hereof or cause severe damage to the property.

4.3       If the property is destroyed without compensation being paid, the owner is not bound to restore it; but; if the owner does so to any extent, this usufruct revives to that extent.

4.4       The owner allows the usufructuary to transfer the exercise of their right to others by obtaining the prior consent of the owner.

5.         Covenants of Usufructuary

5.1       The Usufructuary shall use the property for all lawful purposes and shall neither cause nor allow others to use the property for unlawful purposes.

5.2       The usufructury must, in the exercise of their rights, take as much care of the property as a person of ordinary prudence would take of his own property.

5.3       The usufructury is bound to keep the substance of the property unaltered, and is responsible for ordinary maintenance and petty repairs.

5.4       The usufructuary shall, for the duration of the usufruct, bear expenses for the management of the property such as utilities, fees or taxes, etc.

6.            After the End of Term

Upon the end of the term, the right of usufruct of this property shall be extinguised and the property will be delivered back to the owner or his successor and shall not devolve on the usufructuaries’s heirs unless otherwise agreed others.

7.            Miscellaneous

7.1       Whenever possible, each provision of this Agreement shall be interpreted in such a manner as to be effective and valid under the applicable laws. However, if any provision of this agreement shall be held to be invalid or prohibited under applicable laws, such provision shall be ineffective only to the extent of such invalidity or prohibition without affecting the validity of the remainder of such provision or the remaining provisions of this agreement, which shall remain in full force and effect.

7.2       This agreement shall constitute the entire agreement between both parties hereto and shall supersede any communications, understandings, negotiations, agreements or promises in respect hereto which have been made either in writing or orally prior to the date hereof and are also contradictory to the provision hereof.

7.3       This agreement shall be held binding on the owner, the usufructuary, the heir(s), transferee(s), assign(s), or representative(s) in any kind of nature of each parties.

7.4       This agreement may not change, amend, add or remove any clause hereof unless prior agreed by both parites in writing.

7.5       The headings of this agreement are inserted only for convenience and ease of reference and are not to be considered in the construction or interpretation of any provision of this agreement.

7.6       This agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with and governed by the law of Thailand.

In witness whereof, this agreement is made in duplicate having corresponding terms and conditions and the parties hereto have read and understood the contents hereof and thereby affixed their respective signatures in the presence of the witnesses on the date month and year first above written

SIGNED BY THE PARTIES:

The Owner:                                                                           (Mrs. Thongplay Brown)

The Usufructuary:                                                               (Mr. Alan Brown)

Witness:                                                                                (Miss Patcharin Lomlerttham)

Witness:                                                                                               

 

Chanote

A Chanote is just one type of Land Title Deeds that are assigned to parcels of land in Thailand.

The Chanote is the top level Land Title Deed and is the only one that records ownership of the land with the Title Deed Owner. If you are considering buying land in Thailand that does not have the Chanote Land Title Deed then be very careful and generally I would not recommend it.

Here is a very clear description of the types of Land Title Deeds in Thailand and what they mean.

The Chanote is registered at the Land Office. When any change is made to the Title of the land for example:-

  • if the land is sold
  • if a the land is used as collateral against a loan
  • if a Usufruct Contract is signed on the land

the details are registered at the Land Office and entered on the back of the Chanote.

The same process applies to the lesser Land Title Deeds in Thailand.

 

Frantic Day At The Thai Driving Test Centre – And It’s Not Over Yet

Having obtained all the documentation required to apply for a Thai Driving License (http://retiringinthailand.net/getting-thai-driving-license-part-1/) by taking the Thai Driving test I spent today on Round 1 of the Thai Driving test along with about twenty Thais.

Taking The Thai Driving Test is Not So Easy As People Think

It was a fraught and daunting experience – not the least because all the instructions were in the Thai language and I hand’t much of a clue really what to do or what was coming next!

That was the worst part, not knowing what was the step. Let me tell you up front this is no breeze in the park!

Different people were telling me different things plus I was sometimes misunderstanding what they said when that was in Thai.

I was nervous, apprehensive and confused.

I basically blundered through as best I could relying on deduction and limited knowledge of the Thai language.

But let me tell you this. When and if I finish this training and testing regime and get my driving license I will know more about the process than anyone who has not been through it. Forget all the rubbish and half truths you read on Thai Forums – I will have the complete truth. Possibly the only source on the Internet where you can discover and understand the exact process for obtaining a Thai driving licence as a Farang.

To be continued…

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…

How To Tile A House Roof In Thailand

Photos showing step-by-step how the concrete tiles were placed on the big roof of our Thai retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

These images were taken by Kanyah in Pakchong (Pak Chong) a few weeks ago. I’m sorry put these photos are out of sequence with the other posts like Roof Tiles On – But Problems Are Arising which shows photos taken on 29th March, 2011.

Image of A Pallet Of Roof Tiles

A Pallet Of Roof Tiles

Above, as the Caption says, a photo of a pallet of roof tiles. What more can I say?

Except, perhaps that roof tiles in Thailand are very, very heavy, and need a strong supporting roof structure. Also, as you will note in the photos below, they take a lot of human effort to lift into place.

Weight Of Ceris Terracotta And CPAC Cement Roof  Tiles in Thailand

This is an extract from the structural calculations undertaken by the structural engineer employed by our Thai Architect who designed our house:-

Image of Thai House Concrete / Ceramic Roof Tile Weight - Structural Calculation

Thai House Concrete / Ceramic Roof Tile Weight - Structural Calculation

Above, the structural engineer has taken 60 kg/m2 for the weight of the roof tiles when he performed the structural calculations for our own retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand. This was based on CERIS terracotta roof tiles.

Below are details of the weights of CERIS terracotta roof tiles from the Ceris website:-

Image of Weight Of Ceris Terracotta Roof Tile

Weight Of Ceris Terracotta Roof Tile

Also, I changed to CPAC concrete roof tiles to achieve a cost-saving change from the CERIS terracotta roof tiless I initially agreed to. Here are the weights of the CPAC concrete roof tiles:-

Image of CPAC Concrete Roof Tile Weight

CPAC Concrete Roof Tile Weight

Above, the CPAC concrete roof tiles weight 4 kg each and you can have 10 tiles per m2, so the total weight is 40 kg/m2, much lighter than the CERIS terracotta roof tiles but still heavy.

Image of Tiling The Main Roof 01

Tiling The Main Roof 01

Above, the bottom of the human chain used to place the roof tiles on the roof. Two people on the ground and one on a ladder.

Note how rough the concrete beam looks. This will be rendered to a smooth finish as shown in the photos of the wall at the bottom of this page.

Image of Tiling The Main Roof 02

Tiling The Main Roof 02

Above, looks like one person on the second floor and five on the roof, plus the two on the ground and one on the ladder adds up to nine people in the human chain to get the tiles to the roof. On the roof at the left of the picture you can see the tiles neatly stacked on the rafters ready for laying.

Image of Tiling The Main Roof 02

Tiling The Main Roof 03

Above, a good days work. All the tiles on the rafters ready for laying tomorrow. (The truth is I have no idea how long it took to get to this stage. Kanyah doesn’t give me that kind of detail)

There is no sign of the heat reflective foil that is supposed to go on the rafters before the tiles are laid.

Image of Tiling The Main Roof 04

Tiling The Main Roof 04

And look, the next day the tiles are almost all laid!

(Next day, or days later – I shall never know…)

Notice the wood going up at the eves. Hope it’s been varnished.

Image of Tiling The Main Roof 05

Tiling The Main Roof 05

Above, a photo of the gable. It looks very neat, but it’s not the appearance I wanted. From this angle you should not be able to see the gable tiles, just the Thai-style ‘barge boards’.

Tiling The Main Roof 06

Here is a close-up (ish) of the gable and I want to draw your attention to the underside of the roof tiles where you can see the heat reflective foil that is art of the CPAC cool roof system.

Image of More Soil Raising The Height Of The Drive

More Soil Raising The Height Of The Drive

A shot of the finished roof but mainly the built-up access road or drive. At this stage I have lost count of the number of truck of soil we have had delivered.

Image of Front Wall Road Side View

Front Wall Road Side View

The front wall is nearing completion. Notice the steel mesh fencing panels at the right. You can see that one panel is installed at 90 degrees to the wall and I assume this forms the boundary with our neighbor on this side. But there is another panel continuing in line with the wall and I guess this is in front of the neighbour’s house. Could be that Kanyah gave the neighbour a bit of fencing?

Image of Another View Of The Front Wall From The Road Side

Another View Of The Front Wall From The Road Side

In the photo above you can see the smooth finish given to the wall which was built from cast-in-situ concrete posts and concrete block infill. The smooth finish was achieved by ‘plastering’ the rough block wall with a cement mixture. In the U.K. we call this ‘rendering’. Remember in my commentary on the second photo above (Captioned “Tiling The Main Roof 01″) I pointed out how rough the concrete beam looked? Well all the concrete beams and columns will be rendered to produce a smooth finish, just as you can see with the wall. This rendering will then be painted.

Image of the Front Wall Showing The Opening For The Gate

Front Wall Showing The Opening For The Gate

Image of Inside View Of The Wall 'Wing'

Inside View Of The Wall 'Wing'

Image of the Front Wall At The Gate Position

Front Wall At The Gate Position

Above, it’s not clear what they are doing here. My guess is that they are making a flat strip of concrete for the gate to run along on wheels. Better than a large swing gate or gates.

Image of the Front Wall Viewing From The Garden Side

Front Wall Viewing From The Garden Side

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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