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Don Chance

Top 10 building mistakes in Thailand and SE asia. 2019

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I've never had a problem with a flat slightly sloping roof over a patio. Colourbond sheeting no leaks.

 

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They are not so much mistakes as it is improper code enforcement and supervision.

That's why when we were ready we opted not to buy ready built from a developer, and to build our own. 

and even then strict supervision is required.

The selection of a professional builder is paramount, and a fair for both parties ,price needs to be negotiated , otherwise the builder will cut corners to make a profit.   

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I think these things have merit, but I would not necessarily rank them all in the top 10. Just getting thai's to properly make arbitrary concrete seems so hopeless. Often mixing entails nothing more than a few strokes with a hoe in a tub, wrong proportions, never consolidated, wrong rebar strategy, never cured, etc could go on and on. Concrete is such a basic part of any house and builders were never taught, never inspected, and just never learn their whole lives how to use it properly and have no idea they are doing anything wrong. Sort of like driving I guess. The sad part about it is doing concrete right can be cheaper, stronger, more attractive, and more long lasting than doing it wrong.

 

I watched them build a water tower once. They dumped little buckets of concrete into forms as they went along. No tamping or vibrators were used. When the forms came off, predictably the concrete beams were a chunky rock surface rather than smooth. I then got a kick out of them spending the extra time, manpower, materials, and associated costs to render every beam to make them look smooth! What a waste and a weaker structure to boot. Unbelievable.

 

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17 hours ago, Artisi said:

Only 10, with a bit more thought this could be doubled, and with some critical in-depth thinking doubled again. 

And nothing mentioned about electrical.

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I am somewhat surprised that you you fail to mention under plumbing the common problem of the failure to install U traps in showers, baths, sinks etc to prevent smells, there is even a question about it on today’s page.

In relation to the use of tar to seal a roof that sounds like a procedure from many years ago and whilst I am not a builder I would have thought that the temperatures in Thailand would cause it to melt.

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3 hours ago, canopy said:

I think these things have merit, but I would not necessarily rank them all in the top 10. Just getting thai's to properly make arbitrary concrete seems so hopeless. Often mixing entails nothing more than a few strokes with a hoe in a tub, wrong proportions, never consolidated, wrong rebar strategy, never cured, etc could go on and on. Concrete is such a basic part of any house and builders were never taught, never inspected, and just never learn their whole lives how to use it properly and have no idea they are doing anything wrong. Sort of like driving I guess. The sad part about it is doing concrete right can be cheaper, stronger, more attractive, and more long lasting than doing it wrong.

 

I watched them build a water tower once. They dumped little buckets of concrete into forms as they went along. No tamping or vibrators were used. When the forms came off, predictably the concrete beams were a chunky rock surface rather than smooth. I then got a kick out of them spending the extra time, manpower, materials, and associated costs to render every beam to make them look smooth! What a waste and a weaker structure to boot. Unbelievable.

 

Normal. 

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I do miss those 6x2 loft rafters where you can actually shimmy along to sort wiring out....😏

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15 minutes ago, Artisi said:

Farangs can't comment on electrics, because Thai electricity is different. 

lol this made me laugh

 

I used to have a Bull Terrier and my friend (who is Thai) asked me if I wanted her to bring my dog for the free neutering they had in her village nearby. I said yes

like an hour later she calls me saying that they wouldn't do it -- because "they said cannot! because they only have medicine for Thai dogs".

 

so I asked her if her dogs were Thai Bangkaews (i knew they weren't) and then told her "you better ask them to put the balls back in your dogs then because your dogs are not Thai dogs either"

 

but yeah, no grounding on houses is a deal breaker for me, sad to say that so far most of the places I have been renting have not done it and when i inquire about it .. they ALWAYS ask "why you need it?" and when I explain that it's because I have expensive computers and electronics they always tell me "oh, don't need it!" and act like I am asking them to do brain surgery if I push for it

 

all I am thinking is "ok dude, if the most expensive thing you have is a 129 baht rice cooker from Big C then maybe YOU don't need it" but I certainly do not enjoy getting shocked every single time i touch my metal microphone,  monitor stand or try to plug USB cables

 

funny thing is that the 2.5 meter copper rods are sold about 150 baht, 3 prong sockets same price and the cable is usually sold in a big spool and maybe 200-300 baht for like 100 meters spools and you can do this job by yourself (but not cleanly) in 10 minutes if you are not a total idiot. add 150 baht and few more minutes for per additional outlets.

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You forgot one of the most important and dangerous, ELECTRICAL....

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50 minutes ago, 448glb said:

You forgot one of the most important and dangerous, ELECTRICAL....

Already addressed. 

Edited by Artisi

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Good luck if you think you can get a builder to do everything you mention. Your farang price would be double the normal farang price. Currently doing an extension and it is impossible to get Thais to do what you ask/demand. Even though they can do good work their mentality is that of cowboys.

No worry about the electrical though, the BIL is actually licensed and rewired the old house before we moved in.

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