2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

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2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:23 am

By trade I Am a carpenter, I currently work in the concrete form field, in New York, specializing in site safety management, and very very long ago I have worked as a framing carpenter and have owned a residential fence company, so I am familiar working with US standard nominal size lumber, 2x4x8 ft 2x4x 10 – 16 2x6 plywood at 4x8 ft etc. when I was in the Khon kaen area last week , I looked at some of The home material stores to familiarize my self with what is available, but I did not see any lumber. Where does some one get lumber, are soft woods like yellow pine, Doug fir, available, what is available? how about galvanized metal studs? To those of you from the US , and I am not sure about Europe, you will know what I mean. Plan to move there soon and I am trying to educate my self , sorry if my questions sound stupid or naive . Love this forum and all the great info in it.

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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby dozer » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:41 am

Plywood would be readily available in various grades/thicknesses at specialty wood sellers or a large store like Global House (there is one in Udon). As far as soft woods, pine is available, but it is considered an inferior product to use in building here, so you see it used sparingly. For example, there are virtually no wood frame houses like you would see in the USA. This is because labor is cheaper here so you can virtually build a concrete block house for about the equivalent price and you have no termite, fire or other worries!
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:46 pm

Hi Dozer Thank you for the prompt reply
I am very new to The Thailand thing , people tend to be more comfortable with, and gravitate to, what the know, so as a base line to my learning curve I am starting with what I know. I have being reading this website for a little while now as a guest, and I am getting some very good info. yesterday I registered and asked my first question. I know that some of my questions might sound a little ignorant, that is because they are, :( , please give me some time , my questions should improve, and I hope to be able to contribute something also. My In laws have a house near Khon kaen , it is a basic Thai house, concrete peers and cement block downstairs, frame upstairs, as soon as I learn about techniques and material here I would like to help them improve their house, i.e. some partition walls, upstairs (wood frame) , a porch roof (wood frame), update electric, insulate walls, and dry wall. These are all things I can easily do on my own in the US , but here???
Any way, I need to find out the stock sizes of lumber (if such a thing exists) used for framing. The codes (if any for framing), type of woods available , if hard woods are used how you keep the ends from splitting when nailing? Etc, etc. I am back in the USA now, we are starting a new 65 floor project and I will be here for at least a few months. ( back 1 week and I miss Thailand already).
Any way , Thank you
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby erikr69 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:37 am

You can also find a global house in Khon Kaen, coming from town take the (22?) road towards the airport. Their where the ramp for the flyover to the airport is, keep left to get onto the side road and then it is on your left hand side. (don;'t drive to fast as you may miss the entrance)
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:59 am

i went there, nice store , I suspect i will spend a lot of time and money there. :D , i see many nice things and got ideas, but i did not see Lumber, but then again, i was there with my lady and i could not really concentrate, next time i am in KKC ( soon i hope), i will go there by my self and spend more time researching things.
Funny you will say " (don;'t drive to fast as you may miss the entrance)" last time i went there i was stopped by the police for going 10 km over the speed limit , I pay 200 bth to the police men, no receipt, haaaaaaaaaa, happy to pay , did it with a smile :D
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby DrDave » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:03 am

Hi Sirineou, your questions are by no means dumb or naive! As a Westerner, when first starting to build in Thailand, you have to sometimes turn your thinking upside down in terms of materials and methods. One of the most difficult things for me to initially get my head around was that nearly all building materials are cheaper than wood. Including steel (although the price of steel has been fluctuating widely over the past year)! Although I've seen some (but not much) softwood, it tends to be just about unusable for anything except the most rough type of framing or form-building. I suspect that its roughly milled while still very green, as most that I've seen is badly warped and twisted. The hardwood dimensional lumber is available from just about any roadside "wood shop", but its expensive. On most projects, what little wood is used, is used twice - once for building concrete forms and/or scaffolding, and then "recycled" to be used for things like framing exterior soffits. Apart from door and window frames, most wood exposed to the elements tends to be synthetic cement board that's molded to look like lumber or plywood. Cement board is commonly used for interior baseboards ("skirting" to the Europeans) as well on more budget-conscious homes, due to cost.

Another example of "reverse thinking" you'll need to get used to: labor is much cheaper than materials (and proper tools). You'll see Thai laborers doing things that seem like a total waste of time in order to save what we westerners would consider to be a minimal amount of money in materials and/or tools. Sometimes its painful to watch this, but once you stand back and run the numbers in your head, you'll understand why they're doing it.

Good luck with the new project in NY!
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:16 am

Hi DrDave
Sorry for the late reply , I was very busy with the new Job I am working on, and I did not have time to visit CoolThaihouse.com .
Thank you for the informative reply, you are right we all tend to gravitate to the familiar. But when in Rome do as the Romans do. I have being reading as much as I can of this forum and I am learning a lot about building techniques in Thailand. I cant tell you how grateful I am for this website.
Since my last Post I have ( under my wife’s name ) Purchased a piece of land in Khon Kaen ( a little less than a rai) and as soon as I find my self educated enough, I will tackle my first attempt of building a house in Thailand. I look forward to sharing my experience and benefiting from the collective wisdom of all of you in this forum.

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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby Nawty » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:13 am

I have just recently bought 2x4 and 2x8 and 2x6 and a few other smaller at 3x1.5.....so it is all available, prices vary somewhat from place to place.
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:20 am

Hi Newty
Thanks for the info
I was thinking in terms of framing a house, (or at least the upstairs) but as I am learning more about building techniques and what is available in Thailand, this does not look like a viable option. In the US as you might know, there is a lot of wood available at reasonable prices, I guess do to the fact that we have vast Pine forests.
We Use 2x4x8 kiln Dried, for exterior walls where a R 11 insulation is desired and a 2x6x8 where a R-19 insulation factor is required, both come in pre-cut lengths of 93 inches so that with the addition of the top plate and bottom plate 1 ½ inch each we will get 98 inches or 8 feet which is what a standard room ceiling height is ( if 10ft ceilings are desired there are 10 ft precuts) . I Love working with wood for many reasons ( easy to run electric and Plumbing, flexible construction. etc ) but as I said earlier , in part thanks to this website and all of you, I am learning a lot about building in Thailand, and I don’t think wood will be an option.
But I will still look at getting some 2x and 6x for small projects .
As far as the House building is concerned , it looks like this Old dog will have to learn a few new tricks. :D
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby Nawty » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:28 am

Research building in the tropics and particulalry re bugs and termites.

also metal studs are available, b ut not readily, you have to search for them.

We tend to use wood as a feature here rather than as a material hidden behind walls.
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:47 pm

Nawty wrote:Research building in the tropics and particulalry re bugs and termites.

also metal studs are available, b ut not readily, you have to search for them.

We tend to use wood as a feature here rather than as a material hidden behind walls.

I Have build several houses in Florida, ( Subtropical climate) of course termite control is always a concern. this can be easily addressed by aggressive termite control systems. But you are right , I don’t think Wood would be the way to go in Thailand , mostly because of the price, quality of wood And of course the termite problem.
Galvanized Metal studs is an interesting Idea , I Have worked with them,( very easy to work with) mostly for interior partition walls ( not load bearing) but here in the US , there are also heavier gage metal studs that can be used for Load bearing.
Anyone knows where Metal studs can be found in the Khon kaen area?
I will be back in Thailand this winter, and I will certainly look in to the metal stud option, For a bungalow (one floor building, here in the Us we call it ranch style ) Perhaps a system where the Floor slab and roof supporting columns are cement, and partition walls are metal studs and drywall, might be an viable economic option, will need to crunch the numbers.

Thank you Nawty :D
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby Rick B » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:22 pm

IMHO, even for partition or interior walls, I think you'll find that metal studs and dry wall will never be cheaper than rendered brick or cinder block in Thailand. You must also consider the windows and doors installation. Here the builders are used to a wooden frame being installed into the brick/block walls to which the door or window is mounted. I don't think you could use the same window/door frame easily with a wall using metal studs and dry wall. Lastly, consider the talent of the laborers here. They will likely not be familiar at all with studs and dry wall for interior walls and you'll have to either teach them, if they are even willing to learn, or do it all yourself. Thus, I don't think you'll ever find it a cheaper approach for interior walls. Plus, I ask, what is so special about metal studs and dry wall? I've had several homes in the USA all built with wooden studs and dry wall. When comparing that to what I have now in my Thai home, I think there is no comparison to the rendered block walls. The rendered block wall, again IMHO, is quieter, stronger, and much more fireproof than the US alternative. I think if US labor and material prices were identical to those in Thailand, many US houses would NOT use wood and dry wall, but would opt for the rendered concrete approach. Just more food for thought for you.
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:30 pm

Hi Rick B
Thank you for being patient with me. You are probably right about most of your points, after all I m probably not the first genius to consider all these ideas , and discount them as not practical. You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks? :lol: Haaaa I am resisting Change, but change I must embrace. I realize that. I also realize that labor wages are so inexpensive in Thailand as compared to the west, that labor expensive techniques are more affordable than expensive materials that reduce labor .Also one must consider the idea that at some point one might have to sell the house, and if the house is not build in accordance with locally excepted techniques, that house might be more difficult to sell.Any way just thinking out loud and learning a lot along the way.
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby Nawty » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:31 am

We are just building a bungalow now, concrete slab floor, concrete columns....but thats where the normal finishes.

We used recycled old wood beams and posts, it has a loft with old wood floors and the roof is 4x2's exposed with a thatch roof.

All the windows are not windows, but teak shutters with mossi wire inside.

Exterior is a mix of river stone which we have plenty of, slate stone and teak wood planks.

Interior is again a mix of stone, slate and a bamboo ply wood sheet.

We built a framework to bang it all together on with wood and I might add that the bungalow is up off the ground about 50cm which allows for conitual and relatively easy termite inspection and control.
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Re: 2x4 2x6 lumber, is it available in Isaan?

Postby sirineou » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:40 am

Nawty wrote:We are just building a bungalow now, concrete slab floor, concrete columns....but thats where the normal finishes.

We used recycled old wood beams and posts, it has a loft with old wood floors and the roof is 4x2's exposed with a thatch roof.

All the windows are not windows, but teak shutters with mossi wire inside.

Exterior is a mix of river stone which we have plenty of, slate stone and teak wood planks.

Interior is again a mix of stone, slate and a bamboo ply wood sheet.

We built a framework to bang it all together on with wood and I might add that the bungalow is up off the ground about 50cm which allows for conitual and relatively easy termite inspection and control.


Hi Nawty
Sounds interesting , do you have any pictures posted? would love to see them.
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