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Building A House In Isaan

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I am in the beginning stage of planning to build a small bungalow on my Thai wife's property near Roi-et. I would feel more comfortable in buying something completed but we want to build something on her land which will be used only for our visits there to see her family. Because it is not our pernament home (so far) I plan to keep it small, around 80-90 sq. meters. One bathroom...2 small bedrooms. Western kitchen and bathroom. The design will be rectangular with a A-line roof; thus it won't be that complicated to build. The question is how can I figure out how something like this should cost??? I was told around 500-600 thousand baht. A contractor / builder that she knows said he can do the work (with his carpenters) for 70,000 baht. What do you think is the going prices for a house this size and hiring a contractor? Thanks for you imput.

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I think the figures you mention sound about right. 70k for the labour and 500k for the materials. Make sure you work on a price for the job basis and not a day rate.

On another note. Make sure that it is money, disposable income. Yours or the mrs. Don't expect it to be an investment.

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Agree, money sounds about right. Find a good contractor and tie him down to a price. Maybe even offer a performance bonus if he finished on time and the work is good. Allow for a contingency as things will pop up as they build. It's also important you keep a VERY close eye on things. Unless you have a great lead contractor attention to detail and cutting corners is standard practice (same in any country I suspect).

If you are building anything out of the ordinary, like Western kitchen you must be very specific. Allow nothing for interpretation. Have fun.

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Why a western kitchen ? You say it is only a holiday home so a Thai style kitchen - open air with a couple of gas burners - is all that is needed. Have seen too many foreigners specifying kitchens the Thai's are not comfortable with and wasting allot of money.

PS back-up the gas rings up with a 100 Baht 'bucket' BBQ :jap:

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The wind and the rain and flying insects might determine how much joy in cooking out doors in the Thai style Kitchen OR inside on safe, made in Thailand gas burners. The brand LUCKY FLAME makes way more cooking items than you see on display at every independent appliance shop, they have at least one large showroom in Bangkok, they have a printed catalog, but any Lucky Flame dealer can order a product at a low MADE IN THAILAND price for your Up Country home.

http://www.luckyflame.co.th/products/gas-cooker.html

Another Thailand company with excellent water tanks, kitchen sinks, HOB, even factory made kitchen counters, in ALL price ranges is http://www.diamondbrand.co.th "Diamond Brand" is available in all retail segments and a great value for money. I had no clue what this firm made PRIOR to ordering expensive Siemens products. Just one trip to a large "Expo" in Bangkok made me realize this brand was available in independent low cost shops in our province. So often you only see a few items at any retailer, when they can in fact order (or even have in stock) a wider range of products.

We have one made in Spain Siemens HOB outside in our Thai Kitchen and a similar made in Spain Siemens 3 burner HOB in our inside Western Style larger kitchen. The outside kitchen is used for more "pungent odor" items, but with inexpensive tile to the ceiling both in the inside kitchen and the outside Thai style kitchen the Thai style fried fish is not a hassle to clean up.

Consider a under the counter multi point electric water heater to help safely clean dishes. Out of 28 meals a week cooked on an HOB, at our home, maybe two are cooked outside, due to wind and discomfort of flying insects. But seven days a week at lunch the made in Thailand stainless steel BBQ from Quickfire is used with complete satisfaction.

Never ceases to amaze me where the Thai family select to cut food and we have a charcoal bucket BBQ for when they want to BBQ on the front driveway and sit around the small 100 baht bucket BBQ. Daily rain or shine, the GAS Quickfire BBQ is used to cook food for Farang and for Thai people. We have used the imported electric oven four times in three years, so for our current Up Country lifestyle that was not my best choice.

The OP should make sure he gets a permit to build PRIOR to signing any contracts or starting any construction. That one piece of paper will make the whole legal process of obtaining utilities, house books, address all go smooth, but if he neglects that less than 400 baht item, he could pay dearly later. When you have "approved" plans with the proper stamps the utility people have no change for a bribe. Many posts on the free Government house plans or free plans from any Home Mart. The Thailand officials on all levels love "stamped" pieces of paper, and that "permit to build" paper is part of the process, is readily and promptly available. Having a separate water meter, separate electric meter for the new house and not "tapping into" an existing utility is way less money, and much safer in the long run. No matter what budget, the GROUNDING of any electric outlets is simple and available in rural Thailand.

The POSTED price for new electric service including ALL fees is on the wall of the Provincial Electric Authority office and the largest cost is the REFUNDABLE deposit. If you stick to sensible single phase electric service for a sensible size home the cost of electric service for a PROPER sized meter is nominal. It is Thai priced, not Farang priced.

If you have kitchen counters built bring a medium size cooking gas tank into your new home BEFORE they build to make sure the INTERIOR of the counter (outside or inside kitchen) will in fact hold that size tank. Floors have a way of creeping upwards in Thai construction, they do not always take into account tile and the rendering. We had inexpensive tile on the interior walls and floors of all our kitchen counter storage areas, but the "floor rose" and the medium size LPG gas tank dies not fit inside the counter storage area. Just one of MANY things that can go "sideways" when building anywhere in the world.

A nice Thai sourced granite topped kitchen counter, inside or outside, built by a local village crew can be very economical, the tile is less than 200 baht per box, made in Thailand HOB is very economical, sinks of a good grade steel are readily available and plumbing fixtures with genuine on site after the sales service, and genuine warranty conditions are readily available. You could never have too many grounded plugs in your kitchens.

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The wind and the rain and flying insects might determine how much joy in cooking out doors in the Thai style Kitchen OR inside on safe, made in Thailand gas burners. The brand LUCKY FLAME makes way more cooking items than you see on display at every independent appliance shop, they have at least one large showroom in Bangkok, they have a printed catalog, but any Lucky Flame dealer can order a product at a low MADE IN THAILAND price for your Up Country home.

http://www.luckyflame.co.th/products/gas-cooker.html

Another Thailand company with excellent water tanks, kitchen sinks, HOB, even factory made kitchen counters, in ALL price ranges is http://www.diamondbrand.co.th "Diamond Brand" is available in all retail segments and a great value for money. I had no clue what this firm made PRIOR to ordering expensive Siemens products. Just one trip to a large "Expo" in Bangkok made me realize this brand was available in independent low cost shops in our province. So often you only see a few items at any retailer, when they can in fact order (or even have in stock) a wider range of products.

We have one made in Spain Siemens HOB outside in our Thai Kitchen and a similar made in Spain Siemens 3 burner HOB in our inside Western Style larger kitchen. The outside kitchen is used for more "pungent odor" items, but with inexpensive tile to the ceiling both in the inside kitchen and the outside Thai style kitchen the Thai style fried fish is not a hassle to clean up.

Consider a under the counter multi point electric water heater to help safely clean dishes. Out of 28 meals a week cooked on an HOB, at our home, maybe two are cooked outside, due to wind and discomfort of flying insects. But seven days a week at lunch the made in Thailand stainless steel BBQ from Quickfire is used with complete satisfaction.

Never ceases to amaze me where the Thai family select to cut food and we have a charcoal bucket BBQ for when they want to BBQ on the front driveway and sit around the small 100 baht bucket BBQ. Daily rain or shine, the GAS Quickfire BBQ is used to cook food for Farang and for Thai people. We have used the imported electric oven four times in three years, so for our current Up Country lifestyle that was not my best choice.

The OP should make sure he gets a permit to build PRIOR to signing any contracts or starting any construction. That one piece of paper will make the whole legal process of obtaining utilities, house books, address all go smooth, but if he neglects that less than 400 baht item, he could pay dearly later. When you have "approved" plans with the proper stamps the utility people have no change for a bribe. Many posts on the free Government house plans or free plans from any Home Mart. The Thailand officials on all levels love "stamped" pieces of paper, and that "permit to build" paper is part of the process, is readily and promptly available. Having a separate water meter, separate electric meter for the new house and not "tapping into" an existing utility is way less money, and much safer in the long run. No matter what budget, the GROUNDING of any electric outlets is simple and available in rural Thailand.

The POSTED price for new electric service including ALL fees is on the wall of the Provincial Electric Authority office and the largest cost is the REFUNDABLE deposit. If you stick to sensible single phase electric service for a sensible size home the cost of electric service for a PROPER sized meter is nominal. It is Thai priced, not Farang priced.

If you have kitchen counters built bring a medium size cooking gas tank into your new home BEFORE they build to make sure the INTERIOR of the counter (outside or inside kitchen) will in fact hold that size tank. Floors have a way of creeping upwards in Thai construction, they do not always take into account tile and the rendering. We had inexpensive tile on the interior walls and floors of all our kitchen counter storage areas, but the "floor rose" and the medium size LPG gas tank dies not fit inside the counter storage area. Just one of MANY things that can go "sideways" when building anywhere in the world.

A nice Thai sourced granite topped kitchen counter, inside or outside, built by a local village crew can be very economical, the tile is less than 200 baht per box, made in Thailand HOB is very economical, sinks of a good grade steel are readily available and plumbing fixtures with genuine on site after the sales service, and genuine warranty conditions are readily available. You could never have too many grounded plugs in your kitchens.

Thanks very much for that link to the Lucky Flame folks.

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I have a friend who build a house around 100 sq.m. at Isaan some three years ago. Labour costs 70,000 baht. So that quote sounds fair enough.

However, he ended up with a cost of some 2 mio. baht for all, including decoration and funitures.

Material costs really depends on your choice of materials and decoration. Normally count some 10,000 baht per sq.m. all together (construction, labour, finish) - especially if you want a nice bathroom and Western style kitchen. Leave space for a 10-15% margin in your budget, as some products are traded at market prices (cement, steel etc.) and you often may add some extra here and there. A complete westerns style kitchen (modules and hardware) may well end up at 200,000 to 500,000 baht, depending on your choice.

Normally a wood house will be more expencieve than a cement/brik house.

May be worth checking Cement Thai Roof Center for a complete quote for roof construction, including steel work. Cement Thai do it in galvanized steel and gives you 5 years guarantie on a complete job (steel work, heat protection (insulation), water protection, roof tiles). Very fair priced, specilist work and even cheaper than many constructors will quote a roof for. A leaking roof is a headache and a Thai solution with cement on a roof do not last.

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Toenail

The advice you are getting is good, it really comes down to what materials and labor you buy. Our agreement with our contractor was for a fixed labor amount, and then we bought all the materials. I do not recommend building a house paying "by the day", take a look at a video/slideshow I made of ours in 2008. This is a bit larger than what you are looking to do, but our total cost for everything was less than 1 million baht. Feel free to PM me for any details you would like to know about. Enjoy...we did and are!

Best of luck

mario299 :jap:

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what a lovely house Mario. what size is the plot of land and what size is the internal space in the house?

Edited by kunash

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what a lovely house Mario. what size is the plot of land and what size is the internal space in the house?

Kunash

The land is not big, about 75 feet wide and 70 feet deep, and we did this in two separate buildings, as the wife felt the kitchen/cooking smells should be separate from the living area. The house consists of living room at 15 x 12, entry and my office/bar area is also 15 x 12. The master bedroom is 14 x 13, plus make-up table area for the wife at 4 x 7, master bath at 10 x 7, another bedroom at 12 x 11 and bath at 8 x 6. The kitchen/dining room building is 13 x 24, basically 2/3 kitchen, 1/3 dining area. Since I did this video we have put an awning cover over the separation between the two buildings, as the rain got to be too much when trying to go from house to kitchen. I also had a 12 x 30 cement slab poured in the back and did an awning of 14 x 24 to allow me a workshop and the wife her laundry facilities. Still room for ping-pong table and dart board. I'll try to post a few more pictures soon, this was (and still is) a fun thing! :rolleyes:

Edit....all measurements in feet, not meters :blink:

Edited by mario299

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To the O.P.:

If I was foolish enough to ever build another home in Thailand the #2 thing I would change (#1 being I built a house too large) is to follow the advise previously posted regarding hiring the PROS to do (and guarantee) your roof:

"May be worth checking Cement Thai Roof Center for a complete quote for roof construction, including steel work. Cement Thai do it in galvanized steel and gives you 5 years guarantie on a complete job (steel work, heat protection (insulation), water protection, roof tiles). Very fair priced, specilist work and even cheaper than many constructors will quote a roof for. A leaking roof is a headache and a Thai solution with cement on a roof do not last."

It has been my observation that most every small time Thai building contractor loses "enthusiasm" and "slinks away" once they payments are done and if the "after the completion" repairs are complicated or "expensive' for the builder.

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OP I will just throw this in, think hard about the design. I live in something that looks more like a motel than a house, but not that big. we have no aircon, the only thing done inside is sleeping. Everything else is outside under roofed areas. Cheaper to build and if facing the right way you can stay reasonable cool, only real problem is bugs. Think about big shaded areas and patios, come court yards. Good luck. Jim

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OP I will just throw this in, think hard about the design. I live in something that looks more like a motel than a house, but not that big. we have no aircon, the only thing done inside is sleeping. Everything else is outside under roofed areas. Cheaper to build and if facing the right way you can stay reasonable cool, only real problem is bugs. Think about big shaded areas and patios, come court yards. Good luck. Jim

Hi James, just sent you an e-mail (yahoo).

Cheers.

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Is it worth building this year 2019 or waiting to see what the THB does 2020/22/23???

 Advice needed also because i am now clearing my land and hoping to have my bungalow up before Songkran?

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