Finding an Architect in Thailand to Design Your Retirement Home

I never thought it would be so difficult to find an architect in Thailand to design your retirement house and make the plans for building permission and construction.

As you may know already if you have looked around the website, my wife has bought a piece of land (1 Rai) in Pakchong on which we want to build our home to retire to in Thailand.

Early this year I made a set of house plans (in other words I designed our planned home) which you can see here: http://retiringinthailand.net/house-build-thailand-2/

Since then I have bought the land and updated the house drawings. The next step was to find an architect to take my existing house plans as a starting point and produce a set of proper drawings that can be used for:-

A) obtaining the building permit

B) obtaining quotations from builder to build the house and

C) building the house

You would not believe how difficult this is.

Of course I am living in the UK and trying to do this over the Internet. If I was in Thailand it would not be so difficult I’m sure.

I Came Very Close To Signing A Contract With A Thai Architect

Last year I found a Thai company and they gave me a budget price to build the house and a price to make the plans. (House drawings).

The price was higher than my wife was comfortable with and so I was reluctant to go ahead. But time is passing by and I want to get the drawings finished ready to start building in September after the rainy season has finished. So I sent of all the latest and updated information and received a confirmed price.

As I mentioned, the company had previously given me a budget price for building the house based on a unit rate of 15,000 to 20,000 Baht/m2. you can see all the details at The Budget Price Of Building A House In Thailand. The quote for making the house drawings was based on 7% of this construction cost estimate. Well, if you have seen the Pictures Of The House We Are Building In Thailand you will know that half of the ground floor is ‘empty’ and the other half is simply a blockwork ‘shed’. So I reckoned that the unit rate for the construction cost should be lower for the ground floor making the cost of the house – and hence the architects fees lower since they are based on a %age of the estimated construction cost.

I put this to the company offering to make the retirement house drawings for me and although at first they responded that their price was “their fixed, standard low price and could not be reduced” they eventually offered a very small discount, for which I was grateful. My wife, being Thai always asks for a discount when she goes shopping and I had to follow suit in this case, otherwise she may not have agreed to go ahead.

Anyway, I wanted to agree to the new price and and asked them to send me a payment schedule, which was duly received. I expected this to be based on progress. In other words each stage payment would reflect the amount of work completed. For example when half the work is complete I would pay 50% 0f the fees. This sounds fair to me.

But what I was offered was ‘front end loaded’ as you can see below!

This what the company proposed as a fee payment schedule to make the house plans for our Thai retirement home:-

  • 1st 50% advance after sign contract
  • 2nd 30% when propose first draft preliminary design
  • 3rd 10% when propose final draft and perspective
  • 4th 10% when complete of construction and permission drawing and submits to client

What didn’t I like about this? Well, for starters I have already produced the concept drawings so steps 1 and 2 are already finished! Even if this represents the half-way stage, I am paying 80% of the fee for 50% of the work.

The last two 10% items is where the important parts of the work are. And there is over 50% of the total work here. What incentive is there for the architect to do 50% of the work for 20% of the fee? I am very nervous that this part of the work will never be complete – at least to a good standard.

So I made another attempt at finding an alternative architect in Thailand to make our house drawings.

A List Of Thai Architects

The first thing I did was to google ‘Thai Architect’. this came up with a few individual websites and one business directory listing dozens if not a hundred Thai architects.

Here is a link to the list of Thai Architects:

http://www.bangkokcompanies.com/categories/thai_companies_p407.htm

Next I sent an email to all the architects who had a website or an email address. Here is a list of those:-

http://www.thailandarchitects.com/contact-us

http://www.archinet.co.th

bangkokcompanies@gmail.com

arch@aanda.co.th

siripongy@yahoo.com

a_seven@thaimail.com

And here is the message I sent them:-


Hello,

I am Thai living (at the moment) in U.K. I have bought some land in Pakchong and will be building a house there.

Can you please give me a price to make the house plans.

All the information is in the files you can download from

http://retiringinthailand.net/downloads

Here are the individual download links:-

http://retiringinthailand.net/downloads/Thai-House-Plan-Kanyah-Pakchong-HOUSE-100701-1.zip

http://retiringinthailand.net/downloads/Thai-House-Plan-Kanyah-Pakchong-HOUSE-100701-2.zip

http://retiringinthailand.net/downloads/Thai-House-Plan-Kanyah-Pakchong-HOUSE-100701-3.zip

Thank You
Kanyah


Let’s see how that goes.

By the way those are real download links. You can download for free all the plans for my Thai retirement house.

The drawings are in AutoCAD 2006 and pdf format. You can also download some photos, spreadsheets and Word documents. These explain the scope of works for the architect and give a detailed specification for the house and it’s construction.

That’s all for now. I’ll be reporting if If I get any replies.

Update July 2010 – Response Received

From all those architects I contacted I only had one email by way of response. Here it is:-

—————————————————————————————————————–

Dear Kanyah,

I appreciate your interest in the designs for your home.

We looked at them and for basic design contract to supply finished architects construction drawings. Cost of construction we think would be 1.6m -2.2m baht plus vat (7%). But only the construction contractor will know this once the architects drawings are completed.

Our fee for this would be 150,000 baht plus vat (7%)

This does not include:

1. Applications of permission to build but we do supply engineers and architects information for you to use in application.

2. It does not include interior design, landscaping or travel expenses if required to visit site. (We think we can design this without going to the site if all information is provided correctly by yourself.)

Sincerely,

Name removed for Privacy

—————————————————————————————————————–

(Note I was using my wife’s name, Kanyah, as the contact)

So I sent a simple question to this Architect:-

—————————————————————————————————————–

Hello,
Thank you for your reply which is very informative and interesting.
If we decide to go ahead who exactly will be the architect?
Kanyah
—————————————————————————————————————–
What reply did I get? None!

Update August 2010 – I Have Appointed A Thai Architect

After that I decided to go with the Thai company who gave me a budget price for my house and a design fee proposal I described above.

And I’m now glad I did because I am delighted with their service and the work they do. Highly recommended.

Here are some links to the work they have done and what I have said about the way they work:-

Thai Architects House Plans

Comments On Thai Architects Preliminary House Design

More Comments On Thai Architects Preliminary House Design

A Thai Architect In Bangkok Is Making Our Retirement House Plans

If you want to contact the very same architectural and construction company I use and recommend, I suggest that you to do so using this contact Form because then you will receive the same personal attention that I did.


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