Self Build Horror – Thailand – Part 4
March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
In Parts 1-3 we’ve seen just how much progress has been achieved on this wonderful looking 4-bedroom pool villa, which was being built in Phuket, Thailand. The owner had provided a detailed account of how the build has progressed and in this part we continue to follow the build into what will eventually change the man’s life dramatically. Again, the following is in his own words and is a complete and factual account of what happens.
Week 9 – I arrived on-site and was really pleased to see that all the steel roofing was complete and that it had been given the OK by the architect. We now had to wait for CPAC to return on-site and give their stamp of approval and I was assured, this time, there wouldn’t be any problems.
At the end of Week 9 the swimming pool floor, along with all the plumbing was finally complete and it once again started looking like a swimming pool. There was still a long way to go but at least now the depths and the slope of the pool was much better.
Inside the Villa it remained looking like a full fledged building site and now most of the internal walls had been built. We still had a way to go, as they all needed rendering and plastering – but before any of that all the electrical and plumbing conduits needed installing.
Week 10 – At the beginning of the week the builders started fitting the door frames and skimming out for the windows. The windows where included in the price and the architect was keen to get me to decide on which windows I wanted to install. He gave me three samples, each from local firms but I couldn’t say I was impressed. These were all aluminium, which was what I wanted, but these were all constructed from either 1.8 to 2.2mm and simply holding it in your hands you could crush it. For me the quality just wasn’t good enough and I had already seen these installed in other homes – it was just awful. After talking things through with the architect he agreed to let me source my own and simply remove the cost from the plans. I ended up finding a company that supplied German made uPVC windows and doors. The quality was as you would expect from things German made – solid and extremely well constructed. As far as costs went, it did cost me more money but as I explained, we wanted to sell this villa and it had to be of the highest quality.
The window suppliers were extremely good, they arrived on-site the next day, discussed the plans with the architect and then agreed on all the measurements. Delivery time was two weeks and this was right on schedule.
During this week I also expressed a concern regarding the living room. I felt that it could be extended further to allow for more internal space. Due to the way the villa had been planned this was not a problem and so we extended it by a further 1.8m and still left a huge outside patio area before the swimming pool.
By the end of Week 10 the swimming pool had also taken more shape with all the rebar caging, for the sides in place, and the timber forms well under way.
Other parts of the house, such as the roofing fascia boards where also fitted in preparation for the tiles. The overall room sizes looked really good and the architect pointed out they would look even bigger once they were rendered and the plastering was complete.
The weather was holding steady, which was great considering we were expecting rain, but my luck was certainly in and it hadn’t rained at all. We all hoped that the rains would hold off for just another week or two until the roof tiles were on.
Week 11 – I got a call early Monday morning to say that CPAC had been and gone. They had signed off on the roofing steels and delivered all of the tile. This was really unexpected, we didn’t expect CPAC for another week at least. Apparently the architect made a phone call Sunday morning and took the guy from CPAC out for dinner that night and bought a few beers – that did the job and when I arrived on-site they had already started stacking the roof tiles on the roof, ready for laying.
Most of the conduit for the electrical cables had been fitted and during this week they would start rendering the walls. The image here shows one of the guest bedrooms, which had a wonderful view of the mountains.
Finally the swimming pool had been completely shored up with timber and reinforcement bars that would hold the timber forms together when they poured the concrete to form all the walls.
The swimming pool was, without doubt, the one part of the build that caused the most headaches. It had to be constructed very carefully because the back side was not underground and so the amount of steel reinforcement was immense. Again, the Burmese crew did a really good job. The only thing now was to wait for the cement to arrive and be pumped into the wall forms.
Week 12 – Arriving on-site first thing and seeing the roofing tiles going up really was a treat. The tiles had a pattern to them and the name of the tiles “Autumn”. The idea was to try and blend the roof in with natural surroundings, so that while you could see a roof, it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. I was really pleased with how they looked and with each passing day, as more of the roof tiles went up, I was truly delighted with the overall effect.
In this picture you get a better idea of how the roofing tiles looked – these guys really knew their stuff, but as one of them explained to me, laying the tiles was easy, it was finishing the roof with all the ridge tiles and flashing gully tiles that was the difficult part and would take time if the job was to be right. I told them not to rush it!
During the first day of the 12th week the cement truck also turned up and pumped all the concrete for the swimming pool walls. There was a lot of activity with several vibration units working, to ensure no air bubbles were left, as the concrete was pumped in.
Work continued on the interior with the installation of the electrical conduits and plumbing pipes. By the end of the week most of the roofing tiles where in place and lots of progress had been make to the internal of the villa.
I was told that the shuttering and forms would all be removed from the swimming pool on Monday morning and then they will partly fill the pool with water to see if it holds without leaking. Considering that the pool had caused me a lot of grief so far I was not looking forward to it. It was a very long weekend and I visited the site every day wondering if it was going to hold up.
Well that’s the end of Part 4. It’s been an exciting time for us listening to the story and from the photos we’ve seen the villa certainly does look to be in great shape. As we have said all along, this build does end in tragedy and you’ll find out just how one man, in a foreign country has to cope with what is to become a life changing disaster. Come back tomorrow for Part 5!
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