Advice wanted about building a house

Information on building a house, buying poperty and land, and all other general contruction topics...
fdimike
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Post by fdimike » October 5, 2006, 7:31 am

Some simple rules:
1. Do not proceed until you are here in Thailand to supervise construction.
2. Do not expect western standards in construction unless you stand over the workers to make sure it is being done correctly.
3. Do not allow anyone from your g/f family get involved in the construction.
4. Enclose your property with a fence (wall here in Thailand) before you begin construction to prevent building materials from "walking" off the job site.
5. Learn about all aspects of construction before coming here. ie electrical, plumbing etc.
6. Do not accept an ungrounded electrical system (common here). Make sure that they install an actual ground rod outside in the ground. Typical grounded system here uses the "common" wire as the ground. the "common" wire is not a ground.
7. Take a relaxation course to learn how to cope with building a house here in Isan.
8. Do not rely on a contract to make sure your builder does what he is supposed to do. The only way to control events is to hold onto a large amount of his money and do not pay him until you are satified the work is done to your liking.
9. Expect the builder to quit the job if he feels there is more money to be made elsewhere. Happens all the time here in Isan.
10. Check out this site for lots more helpful info www.coolthaihouse.com.

Good luck


An ex-pat in the Land of Smile

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Sugarfree
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Post by Sugarfree » October 5, 2006, 7:56 am

With all this mess going on concerning building a house why isnดt there some farangs in the business of doing it? Personally I have absolutly no experience or knowledge about anything connected with construction, electrical systems etc. This really scares me. With some farangs by my side I would of course feel much safer. The advice I have gotten since I joined this forum has certainly made me more aware of what to expect and hopefully avoid.

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banpaeng
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Post by banpaeng » October 5, 2006, 8:14 am

Sugarfree, to put it plain and simple, it is just to damn hard to be in business as a falang that most feel it is not worth it. Some do and have been sucessful.

Another thing is the thing from Stickman. Sure it protects you only if you have the right visa to get in the Yellow book. Do not know the type visa required to be issued the letter from immigrations.

Also even if you go that way, all you can do is not sign to sell and then it won't be sold. Big deal!!!!! Now there will be a house that you are not going to live in and she can't sell. I must ask the question, how are you protected? Remember you can only say if it is sold, not where the proceeds of the sell go.

Also you say when you talk to your girl you have put the idea on ice but she melts the ice. Don't want to be rude but are all objectives in this relationship the same? :D

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arjay
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Post by arjay » October 5, 2006, 9:19 am

Sugarfree, backing up a bit, I'm not sure of your motives or what you mean when you say buy a "holiday house" in a small village close to Sakon.

You need to stop and think who would be living there and under what circumstances. Is it somewhere where she would live and you stay there when you visit? Would you be living there with her from time to time, for extended periods, or possibly all the time?

I have tried living out in the sticks. It didn't work for me and doesn't for many. I couldn't cope with it. You have to be a special kind of animal! There is absolutely nothing to do, no one to talk to. You are miles from anywhere or anyone who you can talk to or anything to do. Your Gf will likely be pre-occupied with her family, if they live anywhere near. And what about when the honeymoon/novelty wears off?

You will be putting yourself out on a very long and thin limb.

Even living in Udon, I get bored, mainly because there is little or nothing to do. And in Udon there are many shops, restaurants, bars and people to talk to.

Have you lived with her already for extended periods under a variety of circumstances?

Also, IF you plan to live there with her, I presume that would only be for short "holiday periods". If longer, there would be no employment or prospect of employment within the vicinity.

You may well find that after the initial honeymoon period wears off, you will end up walking away, either by choice or design. Can you afford to write that money off, if that's what it comes down to?

When you say "melts the ice" does that mean she sweet talks you? Thais are very good at that. That's partly why we like them.

OK, I know that all sounds very gloomy, - some would say I'm a pessimist. I think I'm a realist, and all too often that is the reality.

Maybe I should have posted this under the Relationship thread, but I realise at the moment they are inter-linked.

My advice would still be to come and live with her in a rented place for 6 months first, before you commit to anything longer term. Visit her family. Stay in the family home out in the sticks for extended periods and see how you get on.

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Post by jetdoc » October 5, 2006, 9:39 am

fdimike wrore:

"6. Do not accept an ungrounded electrical system (common here). Make sure that they install an actual ground rod outside in the ground. Typical grounded system here uses the "common" wire as the ground. the "common" wire is not a ground."

Good advice BUT, My limited knowledg of electricity says "that if there is no ground there is no circuit" consequently if the "common" is not a "ground" electrical devices won't work. The important thing is the location of the "ground" as a saftey issue as the writer says a local ground is a must, because if there is a interuption/break in the "common/ground" without a local ground the operator of the electrical devise becomes the ground link, not a fun thing;o)

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Harry1534
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Post by Harry1534 » October 5, 2006, 12:44 pm

Hello chaps.
I'm an electrician and have spent twenty five years in the construction game back in jolly old England.
I recently wired my GF's family house in Thailand.
Fairly straightforward really.
The use of a 'ground' or earthing rod (as we call them) is highly recommended but in order to do the job properly you would also need to use earthed sockets and cable with an earthing conductor. Not only is that more expensive it's also a waste of time as almost all the portable appliances over here are double insulated two wire connected.
I used earthing for the shower and cooker supplies only.
The whole installation is protected by a 30mA RCD which operates by detecting the flow and return of electricity. It doesn't need a ground or earth to operate.
Anyway, I think I got it all right....no one has been electrocuted, yet!
Life's a beach.

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Post by Dakoda » October 5, 2006, 3:10 pm

jetdoc wrote: My limited knowledg of electricity says "that if there is no ground there is no circuit"
:shock: :shock: :lol:

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Post by Dakoda » October 5, 2006, 3:13 pm

Harry1534 wrote: I'm an electrician .........use of a 'ground' or earthing rod (as we call them) is highly recommended ....... a waste of time as almost .......no one has been electrocuted, yet!
:shock: :shock: :lol:

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Post by jetdoc » October 5, 2006, 3:24 pm

Dakoda posted:

jetdoc wrote:
My limited knowledg of electricity says "that if there is no ground there is no circuit"

Harry1534 wrote:

I'm an electrician .........use of a 'ground' or earthing rod (as we call them) is highly recommended ....... a waste of time as almost .......no one has been electrocuted, yet!


Dakoda, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed;o) If there is a point or question with your posts, fill me in and I will try to respond;o)

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Post by Dakoda » October 5, 2006, 3:36 pm

as
Mike said uses the "common" wire as the ground. the "common" wire is not a ground.
Of course there is a return wire, if not you are correct.

Its just so easy to get a buzzzz here in Thailand, that I find the whole subject :shock: and :lol: sorry :!:

8)

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Post by jetdoc » October 5, 2006, 4:07 pm

" sorry " No need to apoliagise I just thought I was out of the loop.
Most of the new houses that I have looked at have the three wire system, so maybe there is still hope for Thailand;o)

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arjay
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Post by arjay » October 5, 2006, 4:20 pm

While you bright sparks ( :D ) are on the subject, if I touch my PC case I get a lot of sharp prickles through my fingers, presumably of electricity and presumably because the PC isn't earthed. It has a three core supply cable from a two pin wall socket, though via a UPS. Is that something I just have to live with? The alternative being running a separate earth lead outside to a metal stake in the ground?

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Post by jetdoc » October 5, 2006, 4:23 pm

Quote:
Mike said uses the "common" wire as the ground. the "common" wire is not a ground.

To elaberate it seems to be self defeating to say the "common" is not a ground and also state that it is used for a ground. Location is the issue, the common is generally grounded at the generating source which has great potential for break down (many klicks) whereas the local ground is much easer to maintain and presents less opertunity for failure

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Post by jetdoc » October 5, 2006, 4:36 pm

arjay wrote:
While you bright sparks ( ) are on the subject, if I touch my PC case I get a lot of sharp prickles through my fingers, presumably of electricity and presumably because the PC isn't earthed. It has a three core supply cable from a two pin wall socket, though via a UPS. Is that something I just have to live with? The alternative being running a separate earth lead outside to a metal stake in the ground?

I make a couple of assumptions, you are standing on a tile floor and bare feet. Although tile is not a great conductor it is good enough to allow the case potential to flow through your body out your feet to "earth". Using a better insulator such as a dry carpet may solve the problem.

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BKKSTAN
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Post by BKKSTAN » October 5, 2006, 4:52 pm

Sugarfree,If you built in your wifes village,there is no reason to waste energy trying to protect yourself from loss!If you should break up,you will not stay in the village and you will not be able to sell or salvage anything!

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Post by Dakoda » October 5, 2006, 5:10 pm

BKKSTAN wrote:Sugarfree,If you built in your wifes village,there is no reason to waste energy trying to protect yourself from loss!If you should break up,you will not stay in the village and you will not be able to sell or salvage anything!
agree.

Since I was avoiding this topic like the plague & didn't .............

I guess my only comment is Don't do it :!: Look for a already built house, check out his current building process, save on Time & Headaches & money :!:


Good luck on whatever you do :!:


8)

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Post by Dakoda » October 5, 2006, 5:16 pm

arjay wrote:While you bright sparks ( :D ) are on the subject, if I touch my PC case I get a lot of sharp prickles through my fingers, presumably of electricity and presumably because the PC isn't earthed. It has a three core supply cable from a two pin wall socket, though via a UPS. Is that something I just have to live with? The alternative being running a separate earth lead outside to a metal stake in the ground?
exactly my point :!: Well Arjay, gloves are available at Global :lol: or pockets, ar, the answer to all those Buzzzzez pockets

8)

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Paul
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Post by Paul » October 5, 2006, 5:42 pm

arjay wrote:While you bright sparks ( :D ) are on the subject, if I touch my PC case I get a lot of sharp prickles through my fingers, presumably of electricity and presumably because the PC isn't earthed. It has a three core supply cable from a two pin wall socket, though via a UPS. Is that something I just have to live with? The alternative being running a separate earth lead outside to a metal stake in the ground?
I had the same problem.
Ran a seperate earth wire from the socket (you have to purchase new sockets of course) up with the other wires into the roof - here they joined up with other sockets I had done this with in other rooms, and then ran just one wire out into the garden - and attached it to the end of a 2 metre copper pole driven into the ground. Never had a shock off the pc case after that.

valentine

Post by valentine » October 5, 2006, 5:45 pm

I get a shock from pushing the trolleys in Tesco's and thats before I get to the tills. :lol:

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Post by rickfarang » October 5, 2006, 6:23 pm

"...use of a 'ground' or earthing rod (as we call them) is highly recommended ....... a waste of time as almost .......no one has been electrocuted, yet!" :roll: WAY TOO MANY people have died in Thailand because of insufficent electrical safety. Way too many :cry:

A good ground system, used in conjunction with equipment equipped with ground connections and an appropriate circuit breaker or even better a Ground Fault Interrupter, will offer some protection against both painful and deadly electrical shocks.

When we lived in the small rice farming community outside Nong Khai, there were no grounds, but we did have a steel antenna mast that was sunk into the ground. I found that by grounding my metal desk the ground connection from a USB port on my portable computert, I could get rid of that annoying tingle. Wearing rubber sandals in the house would help as well.

Very few appliances in Thailand come with grounded plugs, but somebody who with some skill in the area can add a grounded plug to many appliances. If you don't netural from hot, don't try this yourself.

This thread is a great example of how much a thread can change in just a half dozen posts.

Back to sugarfree's earlier question (are you still reading this?). We did the "USUFRUCT" at the land office. It cost 70 baht plus a 15 or 20 baht for photocopies, and now my name is on the property title, and it cannot be sold without me either giving my permission or being dead.

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