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Renovating an old rural village house.


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Dismantling the old lean to extension came next.
The wife started knocking the old rotten tin sheeting off the roof while I took a sledgehammer to removing the old bathroom fixtures.


I wasn't looking forward to smashing the old external block walls down, until we found another much quicker and easier method. 😀


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Listing, pricing and sourcing suitable materials, is an arduous, and very time-consuming exercise.

A friend put me onto a roofing company that made the type of sheeting we were looking for, unfortunately they never answered the phone or replied to emails. They may have possibly gone out of business during the Covid period. However, we were very fortunate to discover another roofing manufacturer, locally in Pathumrat, that also offered the reflective foam underlining to the roofing sheets.

Blocks, sand, cement are all available locally at various small building merchants.

It was the difference in electrical, plumbing, doors, windows and galvanized steel supplies that surprised me most.
Local suppliers were far more expensive than the big stores like Home Pro, Thaiwatsadu, and Global and inferior quality. I insisted on the thicker, stronger 13.5 gauge water piping, whilst the local village stockist only supplied the 8.5 gauge.
Thaiwatsadu came out cheapest for all the electrical supplies.
It turned out the local roofing company also stocked 4'' x 2'' and 2'' x 1'' galvanized steel that I required for the roofing extensions at less than half the price of the major retailers.

For doors, windows and plumbing supplies I went with Global. By far bigger ranges, better quality to choose from, and although we had to pay a 600 BHT delivery charge, we still saved on paying local prices for sometimes inferior quality materials.

Soffits and facias, another problem. We simply couldn't source the type and size of fascias locally, so these were added to the Global delivery list. Soffits supplied locally.

When on large projects, especially out in the sticks, you can save thousands by shopping around for materials. Don't assume local is always the cheapest, it's not.

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Materials start to arrive;





Yeah, unfortunately from time to time you may view a photogenic gremlin getting in the lens.
Actually, after weeks of cleaning and clearing shite, she's just happy.

Construction of the new right-hand boundary wall is already underway.

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A week later and both side and rear boundary walls are finished and rendered.






We decided to hold off on the front wall, until material deliveries were literally finished.

Posts being positioned for the rear extension.

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2 hours ago, Faz said:

When on large projects, especially out in the sticks, you can save thousands by shopping around for materials. Don't assume local is always the cheapest, it's not.

Very true and good advice.

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I wanted internal PVC doors and frames, UPVC windows and patio entrance doors.
The wife thought the PVC frames and doors too expensive and wanted to go for the cheaper PVC frames and wooden plastic veneered doors @1,000 BHT cheaper x 6 internal frames and doors totalled a saving of 6,000 BHT.
Again with the windows, she wanted the aluminium, why, because they were far cheaper than the UPVC.
IMO, the aluminium looks cheap and shoddy, so I had to put my foot down and insist hubby knows best.
Friends were burgled last year, aluminium window frames. The thief literally bent the frame to access the lock, so when I reminded her of that event, from a safety aspect, she changed her mind and agreed.

We found a nice, suitable wooden frame and door for the rear kitchen entrance that we both liked, so that was a no-brainer. It was a different matter regarding the front entrance door. 
There are 4 windows in the front work area, the two side windows when removed, being blocked up, so my train of thought was that a patio door would allow more light to enter. However, it wasn't light entering that concerned her, it was someone else entering. She felt scared by the prospect of being seen through the glass, especially if I wasn't there and really didn't feel secure, which I could understand, so relented.

A wooden door and frame is probably cheaper anyway, but oh no, she wants traditional double wooden doors which are very nice and very pricey.

Her choice;

14K THB per door + 4K for the frame.
So much for saving money.

It's actually quite surprising how much the extras cost, 9 doors in total, 9 sets of 3 hinges, 6 internal handles with locks, 2 external mortice locks, bolts and door stop openers.
Circa an extra 20K for decent stuff.

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Now we have some supplies delivered, the builder + 4 crew arrive to start stripping the old roof and get the new roof installed whilst we have a dry spell of weather.

They also need to get the extension support pillars in place and do some steel fabrication to extend the original roof area. One advantage in the location of our house, is that should anyone have an accident or need any medical attention, we directly face the district Health Centre, which is open 7 days a week.



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They make a start on the new internal walls, whilst I remove old internal doors and frames and position one new door and frame in place.


Water tank and septic tank stored at the rear, ready for installation when the time is right.


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The new fascias are coming along nicely, whilst they also start fixing the decorative boardings and roofing air vents to the gable ends and make a start on installing the new windows.




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We first surveyed the house back in May, but it wasn't until the end of June until the builders actually started work. Up to the point of completing the new roof installation, there was a 5-man team.
Suddenly the 5 became 2, the reason being it was now rice planting season and some of the workers had gone to tend to their own fields as well as helping family members.

Although we never had a timeframe for completing the work, I had anticipated that with the progress so far that the external work could be completed by the end of July, but the situation went from bad to worse at this point. Now with only 2, the progress considerably slowed down.

Every window and door frame had to be cut to fit the new door frames and windows.
Each window and door opening was different in size to begin with, whilst the new door frames and windows came in a standard size.
I didn't want to start cabling or installing new sockets and switches for fear of them being in the way and/or being damaged when they were cutting the openings, so the sudden reduction in the labour force also disrupted my starting plans.

To make matters worse, from leaving the house the previous Sunday evening and returning the following Saturday morning, not a shred of work had been started. We never saw the builder for two weekends, failing to answer calls. It was at that point we discovered the reason for his absences.

He's the village head and as such has duties and responsibilities to attend to matters as they arise, In the previous 2 weeks 3 deaths occurred in the village, and he'd been busy tending to the needs of the families and making cremation and service arrangements.
One of the villagers had a leak or an electrical issue - call the Poo Yah Baan.
Somebodies child passes an enrolment test for Uni, or is awarded a certificate - call the Poo Yah Baan, it's 'face' for the head of the village to attend such ceremonies or celebrations.

I couldn't believe it, but the wife confirmed that indeed this is expected of a village head.
If he can't be at our house working, then apparently he doesn't allow his fellow workers to continue without his presence - unbelievable, but it is what it is.

Throw in the storms and rain that started, and work literally came to a halt in August.

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Fitting all the new internal door frames and doors was part of the original job, but as the progressed slowed and I didn't want to start my electrical installation work until these were fitted, I took it into my own hands to start giving them a hand.

I tasked them with cutting out and fitting the remaining new windows. One of the workers even brought his wife in for a couple of days to help them out.


New window installations taking shape.


It was a further 2 weeks before they finished the block work in the gaps and rendered to a finish.


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