BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

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BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby sidney » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:23 am

Hello all. I am new on this forum and a novice in building. But I already have learned a fair bit about building mentioned in this forum just by reading. It's a great site!! However the information is so overwhelming that sometimes it's mindboggling.

Still have not made up my mind yet as to what to do: buying an existing house, buying a prefab or have a house built.
Buying an existing house is not preferred, because it means perhaps higher costs than my budget allows, apart from the horror stories about the quality/hidden problems.

I am leaning toward a prefab (like QSAF, mentioned in this forum), because these look nice, have been produced in a controlled environment and should therefore be for Thailand standards of good and consistent quality; besides, they are reasonably priced.

Last, but not least I may have the house built by just contracthiring a gang of (semi) skilled workers (with a foreman) and to prevent added costs by buying the materials myself.

I have plans to build a house in Khukan or, alternatively, Sisaket town. My preference would be to build in Khukan, because my wife owns land there, so that would keep costs down a fair bit.

With this information I hope someone can share some information about the following.
-Is there a forum member living in the Khukan/Sisaket area, who knows good and experienced building gangs, prepared to contractbuild only (without supplying materials), having their own tools and able to acquire woodforms which can be rented?
-Does anyone know more details about "lego" bricks (weighing 5 kgs apiece), as they were called in this forum, made and sold by a German called "Lobo", apparently living in Prasart (near Surin)? Also, does anyone have experience building with them and in particular filling up the round hole in the centre of these bricks in which a steel rebar is put together with cement and whether homes are built with these bricks (or sold) in Khukan/Sisaket area? As far as I remember there is a company in Bangkok (through AIT?) called Habitat, which teaches people how to make these bricks.
-Are there any other companies operating in Thailand (apart from QSAF) making QSAF-comparable prefab homes and selling to private people? I know of Pruksa (or Prueksa) Precast, but they do only real estates projects as far as I know.
-Does anyone know the book "Building Construction Illustrated" (seems to be translated in Thai) by Francis Ching and have experience using it while building in LOS?

Last, but not least I intend to be in Thailand from coming November and start building the same month. And of course I would like to share my exeriences in this regard with this forum.

I thank you already for yor contributions.

Sidney
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby geordie » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:07 am

Welcome to the forum sidney
First thing is use the search box top of this page right hand corner search sikaset you will find that you are not alone in the area ? Thats not to say you will be able to gain help or advice a lot of members shy away from passing on their builder as it is an unfortunate fact of life the builder will only be as good as his last job
And he may well have not been good then :mrgreen:
Personally buying a pre-built would be better than a prefab and per sq mtr probably less expensive and more robust ? The cheapest option is put together a team of rice farmers who claim they can build and closely supervise them assuming you have the ability to do so (and the time 7 days a week) You need to get some planning done now for a november start like size of plot size of house one or two floors and what you will use in the way of materials also do you need permision to build as that will require a lot of drawings for engineers/planners approval although you can download some drawings (free) already pre approved then "IF"
anyone turns up to check you blame the comunication problems with the builder :wink:
Watch what you do on the material purchases i got lazy and bought everything local village so look fo one of the large (home pro ) type stores and spend a day in there sand cement conrete and blocks can be negotiated locally work out how many meters and barter with all local and mabe a small distance supliers ??? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: costs here can make or break the build especially steel ??
Read a few build stories to acheive the right mindset (mentally deranged)
Being a new member you have no accses to the pm system to acheive direct contact with members however you can request through Dozer to pass on your email address to any member you wish to contact
When you get here in november do you have time constraints ??
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby sidney » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:28 pm

Thanks for your leads Geordie. I am quite impressed by your quick response in this thread. You are right about "mentally deranged" though. After having gone through a lot of threads in this forum I sometimes am asking myself what I will be getting into. Especially since I have no inkling of or experience in building my own home.

I am planning to have a house with the size of 75-100 square metres (groundfloor only with 2 bedrooms). And yes, in the coming 2 months I will draw up plans of what it should look like, probably based on (adjusted) plans plucked from http://www.crossy.co.uk/Thai_House_Plans/, mentioned in this forum. To be on the safe side I most likely would use an architect to adjust these plans and have him make a BOM/BOQ for me. My wife told me there is no need for enineers/planners approval for building in her village, but for my on peace of mind I may consider to have the plans approved by the Or Bor Tor.

Although I am catching up fast about building related terms due to reading through this forum it is not easy, apart from me being a non-native English speaker. Geordie, what is the difference between pre-built and a prefab as mentioned in your post?

Closely supervising a contractgang will not be easy but necessary, since I know from experience how the Thais generally work (shortcuts and the "my pen rai" attitude; especially in the building industry that attitude is a killer). The advantage is that I can speak some Thai, however not fluently (although speaking Khmer would have been more advantageous in this area I guess).
I took 7 months leave to be there; so I should not have time constraints if I can get everything done in time. But then again may be I decide to buy a precast or get mentally deranged.

Apart from the budget my basic and major concerns are the strenght of the foundation and the roof (trusses). My intention is to have the foundation poured, if possible, by CPAC. I understood they have their concrete mix computerized, so that it is always consistent in quality. For the roof I may use steel Colorbond (with insulation). To be on the safe side, that combination of a strong foundation and a light roof hopefully compensates structural flaws. I must say that the information on this forum has been very helpful to me to make certain decisions in this regard. So I thank all the contributors to it.

Last, but not least: have steelprices in Thailand come down lately due to the slump in the world economy/financial crisis?

By the way, how do you get these smilies inserted in the correct way?
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby Roger Ramjet » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:13 pm

sidney,
Welcome to the forum.
I think you'll do just fine and keep us entertained at the same time as your wife and you battle the odds, both in language and technical terms. My wife came home from work about a 1/4 the way through our build and said that building your own house can lead to divorce... she had wisely been speaking with others who had done it. If she had known what I had just been thinking, after she had just listened to an idiot the previous day, she would have blanched. You wait until it comes time to pick out the colour of tiles, wallpaper,toilets, sinks, and all the other stuff (I really do hate tiles).
I meant to take my camera with me this morning and take some photos of a prefab house that is being put up just around the corner, however, as I am old and sometimes senile, I forgot, but I won't tomorrow and I'll post them to give you an idea. The project has only just started and there's a lot of missing parts but I'm sure you'll get the idea and I want to have a closer look anyway.
To be honest if you try the prebuilt route you'll be very disappointed with the quality for the asking price. And houses that we looked at for 9 million baht were a sad and sorry sight during the floods, being some of the hardest hit and poorest built.
Good luck staying away from the relatives, or them staying away from you. Bet one of them suddenly turns out to be a master builder, or knows one, or has a friend, or has an uncle...Good luck on that.
Having used superblock on my build I'd recommend it to anyone. It has terrific insulation and sound reduction qualities, is simple to lay, lightweight and once rendered will outlast all of us. It's worth thinking about.
A word of caution if you are coming in November, take your time, get plenty of quotes from stores and prospective builders and beware of cheap Chinese products.
Once again, good luck.
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby geordie » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:58 pm

Sidney i had assumed you as english with the name ? my apologies The prompt and verbose reply was due to the fact i was being dragged shopping and needed a "breather to get in the right mindset to go shopping with two women and two children :( non of them remotely interested in tools or boys toys :cry:
The difference in pre built = any house that is constructed for sale ?=pre built
with a pre fab you buy a "kit " the house carcase is constructed off site in a factory then assembled on site
some thing often overlooked is even a pre fab will require a lot of finishing once assembled how much depends on the company manufacturing the materials used but electricals plumbing tiling all have to be done after assembly as does hiding the cracks I did look at a prefab company here who "cast the colums " then supplied bolt in panels ? then of course you have all the finishing ? what the point was ?? i have no idea
The crossy plans as far as i am aware are already goverment approved so if you are insistent on permision put in a plan that is close to what you want once underway its unlikely to have any sort of check other than someone might count the no of floors ? any amendments you do get looked over "HERE" is a good start usually there is enough independant critism to spot any glaring mistakes then you can get an engineer to look it over later ? I 100% agree on getting the footing right without them being stable the rest of it is a wate of time the lightweight roof is starting to catch on as more sensible and less material/weight also useful if you are recycling your water lack of building experience need not be a drawback you need someone that has the experience to "lead the team" the fact you have some Thai is an Advantage although technical Thai is beyond most keep a printer to hand and a scetch book ? it helps read through to completion a couple of build stories and look at the "finishing" windows doors ceilings tap,s sockets switches heaters light fittings
can all add up to an overspend the actual shell is easy it,s the cumilitive effects of all the small upgrade,s - marble counter instead of tiled ? basically getting the shell on budget is simple in comparison good luck anyway also the lego bricks you mentioned in your original thread are comonly available but have a few drawbacks i will try and find it but there was a forum member who aided volountary" the building of a school
also as a caution a freind of mine bought a house between chaing mai chaing rai he spent a lot of time and effort putting it right rendering the inside to stop the bugs being the first job cleaning the spillage where it was grouted was another huge task to add insult to injury it warms up in the sun all day and radiates heat all night so he is now talking about placing screens to stop the sun hitting the walls : seems crazy to me when he bought the place because he loved the red brick apearance both inside and out
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby sidney » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:04 am

Thanks Roger Ramjet and Geordie for both of you replying. Geordie, I used to live in New Zealand a long time ago for some 4 years. They had problems pronouncing my Dutch name. Hence my adopted English name.

From your comments I more or less concluded that probably the best way to own your own home in LOS is to have it built yourself to keep it within my budget, but also qualitywise. I assumed or had the impression that the precast/prefab homes were completely finished on site without having to do any additional work yourself except furnishing it.

Do the heavy lego bricks (weighing 5 kgs apiece) radiate heat when used to build in the Thai climate? I thought they would be good to use to keep the heat out and act like some kind of insulation to keep the heat out. I would like to read about the drawbacks however.

Using lightweight Superblocks is also a good recommendation, but they are quite expensive.

Meanwhile another question came to my mind. My brother ever worked in a factory making precast building materials. When we talked about forms before pouring concrete for the foundation I suggested making (cheaper) forms made of bricks (and leaving them in the ground) instead of using woodforms which you use only once but which are quite an investment. He said that that was at that time not such a good idea because the chemicals in the mortar used for building the brickforms could interact with the chemicals in the concrete used in the foundation. On the other hand I read Maseratimartin's, of Mamiauw from Sakaew, posts in which he mentioned using brickwalls for forms for foundations and leaving them in the ground. What is common sense?

Being a novice builder yet another few questions are popping up. I have read in this forum that concrete pipes are used as forms for making loadbearing posts. What should be the minimum diametersize and should there be rebarsteel inside them to add strength? And do you have to remove these pipes after curing of the concrete, and if so, how long do these have to cure? If you can use them how do you get these concrete "form"pipes off without damage, because surely the poured concrete in the concrete pipes will stick to them when you try to take them off? Could you use the lego bricks I mentioned in earlier posts for making loadbearing posts and then fill up the holes in the middle of these bricks together with a steelbar with concrete/mortar to give them added strength and finally, if need be, do some rendering?
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby Roger Ramjet » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:14 am

sidney,
I know New Zealanders have trouble with English as they pronounce fish and chips as fush and chups.
I know the concrete blocks that you refer to; insert rebar in and then pour concrete in. There was a member here with massive knowledge in that area and also detailed photos who was building his own house, unfortunately he has stopped posting some time ago and I can't find his photos. Perhaps Geordie can help there.
I used very cheap blocks for all my foundation formwork and swimming pool formwork and left them there. There is no chemical reaction other than binding to the concrete. Her's the reference page to start at: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1864&start=315
I have no experience using pipes with reinforcing, but it would appear they are left intact after they have been poured. Some members here have used that method.
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby Maseratimartin » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:33 am

Hi Sidney,
I actually copied the using cement bricks and cement pipes for form work from other members in this forum.
I do not regret it and think it is a great method.
It is amazing what kind of money you can spend on wood for forms and then it does not makes it always easier.
The pipes I used for footings and some of the poles in our build are of 20cm diameter are great and allow you to gain a lot of time when building.
The cement bricks are so cheap and Thais are perfectly used to work with them. Honesty I think Thais can easier build a proper form work with bricks then with wood.
Some feedback about our foundation:
Our foundation has a pattern of 3 by 3 m, all footings are 1mx1m at least 1m deep or to natural grown ground ...the beams are 20x40cm and are reinforced by 4x 4hun rebar ...when we poured the 10cm top plate the heavy concrete trucks drove over the infilled beams and not one crack or whatever.
The two buildings (guest house and pool house) are now already build up and rendered and there is not the slightes crack anywhere.

Just the last trip I bought again some wood for form work. The normal wood blanks are expensive and mostly curved ...
So, I just bought the stronger laminated wood sheets and added some smaler wood profiles (1x2") more to be able to screw things easier together.
I hate nails....the banging does not help getting a straight result. I teached my guys to use screws and you would not believe who much a screw directly turned in the ACC blocks can take before it ripps out.
The laminated sheets (stronger version) has about 12mm...when I used 2 inch screws and run them in the ACC blocks it was good enought to hold the forces when doing the concrete pour.
formwork.JPG

The photo shows the form work made of laminated wood sheets and they are fixed to the ACC wall with the said 2" screws. The concrete was absolutly straight and the form work did not move a mm.

Hope I could help you a little bit..
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby Roger Ramjet » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:26 pm

Sidney,
As promised here are the photos of what a modular house looks like.
The walls are made from aluminum on both sides, the insulation is styrofoam in the center, the wall columns and beams are all made of steel. The floor is thin concrete.
Photos:
Attachments
The floor is concrete with steel.jpg
Modular unit 1.jpg
Modular unit 2.jpg
Modular unit 3.jpg
Modular unit 4 the wall.jpg
Aluminum clad walls.jpg
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby Makmak456 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Welcome to CTH !
Great folks here, and a ton of info.
Good luck on your build.
Mark
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby sidney » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:53 am

Thanks for your contributions I still learn new things every day. With that I'll be able to make better decisions.

A Thai friend of mine living here (The Netherlands) will be roughly translating Thai information for me about precast houses on QSAF's website. I am able to read some Thai, but it will take too much time to decipher the info myself, apart from the technical stuff I won't know to translate. One thing is for sure, I won't go for a modular home like shown in pictures by Roger Ramjet. I still haven't given up on QSAF's precasts as an alternative though, based on the outcome of the translated info and the costs. In one of the threads I read some time ago a price of 8,500 baht/square metre. And what I understood from QSAF's website it's Japanese technology (but in Germany they also use this kind of technology, used by Pruksa or Prueksa in real estate projects).

It's good to have confirmation from Maseratimartin that bricks for formwork can indeed be used for columns/posts.
These leads do help to keep to the budget if need be.

It would be great if the information about the lego bricks could be located! I have seen a thread about them, but a very short one. Last year they were 5 baht apiece and looked really strong (the grey variety). I even had one put in water for more than 3 months and it came out fine after drying. The only drawback is that they weigh 5 kgs apiece. That's quite a weight on the foundation.
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby payebacs » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:04 am

sidney wrote:-Is there a forum member living in the Khukan/Sisaket area, who knows good and experienced building gangs, prepared to contractbuild only (without supplying materials), having their own tools and able to acquire woodforms which can be rented?

I've no idea and have learned the little I know from browsing these pages myself. My guess though for the sake of guessing would be that 'a good and experienced' building gang would have their own woodforms but maybe I am far from correct. And whether if they do have these forms they then charge you to as if rent them I don't know. Perhaps nothing is for free and if you do want them to use their woodforms they either charge you for them or leave them at home I don't know. Or maybe they are happy enough just to secure your custom by way of having the forms so as to make them a better choice than the competition that they come free. I think using block forms sounds like a very good option but do wonder what the downsides are apart from not being able to re-use or is that the only downside.
Saving for my next holiday. And for my build.
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby payebacs » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:20 am

Roger Ramjet wrote:Good luck staying away from the relatives, or them staying away from you. Bet one of them suddenly turns out to be a master builder, or knows one, or has a friend, or has an uncle...Good luck on that.
An interesting notion because my girlfriend has a brother who IS aparantly a builder for real :D Now how true this is I'll have to see when I go over there next as it'll be our first meeting. Aparantly he built his own house and that's what he does for a living. If it is true then I'm in luck or aren't I?
Saving for my next holiday. And for my build.
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby geordie » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:38 am

payebacs wrote:An interesting notion because my girlfriend has a brother who IS aparantly a builder for real :D Now how true this is I'll have to see when I go over there next as it'll be our first meeting. Aparantly he built his own house and that's what he does for a living. If it is true then I'm in luck or aren't I?


You think??? my brother inlaw is an alchoholic but does not know how to brew it ?
I painted the gate last week by Thai standards i am a painter
I cut the grass so i am a gardener
The brother in law may have built his own house but suprisingly a lot of thais do especially in a farming comunity where they are close knit and help each other out luckily you don,t want a row of townhouse,s so he may well be able to suit your need,s During the MIL build i employed both my brother in laws ?? to help build a house for THEIR mother and them their greed is astonishing as is that of the family who will ensure that the family gets first dibs on your wallet every time it opens
my comments may be wrong but never deliberately
If it aint broke, dont fix it
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Re: BUILDING IN KHUKAN/SISAKET

Postby fredlk » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:49 am

payebacs wrote: my girlfriend has a brother who IS aparantly a builder for real

In the old days Thailand was a nation of farmers, but these days it's a nation of builders and I doubt if many (if any) went to an agricultural or a technical college.
A nephew who studied political science has been working in his town's electricity department as a clerk for about 6 months now. He is now doing installation of electrical systems in people's homes. :shock:
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