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Damian Murray

Building a western style house compared to Thai build

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I'm not sure if this has been covered elsewhere but I'm looking some advice please on whether building a typical western style house with cavity wall with insulation is better, cheaper, stronger etc compared to a Thai built house with concrete colums and single block wall? I'm thinking of costs of ready mix compared to a standard block wall, I've yet to see wall ties used to tie in the blocks to the concrete colums and have a real fear of movement and cracks in the corners, thank you in advance for any advice given.

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I think "cracks in the corners" are not a concern, because the footings and columns are all tied together with re-enforced concrete beams (sorry I don't know all the technical jargon), so the whole building moves as one. You get hairline cracks in the rendering because the concrete is not usually allowed to cure properly, but these are cosmetic only. T think the tendency here is to over-engineer, so no real concerns over strength.

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I have insulated cavity walls between pillars and I'm very pleased with them. The builder recommended using small red clay bricks which worked out well. With an external temperature around 35 - 40 C internal without air con is below 30. I don't have ceiling insulation upstairs but I wish I had. That's on my todo list. I don't have a damp proof course and have no problem with rising damp. I had a good builder who did a really good job all round including the electrical installation with safety features as standard. The kitchen is a western style done for me by a kitchen expert (expat) in Buriram. The house is just over seven years old now and is as good as the day it was built. As needs must, water comes from a well and electricity from the sun. Being in a very remote rural area I have insect screens at all windows and doors and some ornate window protection to keep out the bigger bugs from the local villages. All this is inside a walled garden with a few pleasant tree shaded areas. 

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9 minutes ago, Muhendis said:

With an external temperature around 35 - 40 C internal without air con is below 30

How ?    have you patented this revolutionary discovery ?

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We used the largest aerated blocks available rather than use cavity wall in current house, they "work" well, along with 6" of ceiling insulation, house stays cool & we never rely on cross breezes etc which are all a fallacy IMO to keep the house cool. Opening windows just equalizes the inside temperature with the outside which a lot of the time is Hot!

After building four houses in total over quite a few years I have yet to see a Thai builder who does not tie into corners etc, current house has no cracking after four years. Damp course not necessary if you are building on a raised concrete base as we did, if you are starting with blocks or bricks at ground level most certainly will be needed.

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I have built an extension to an old house.. the new part  is Thai concrete post and concrete beam.. as is usual.. Downstairs the walls are insulating block on the outside (10 cm.. I think they are).. + a cavity.. the inside wall conventional Thai concrete block (the thin ones).. rendered with plaster inside and out.. The outside walls are flush with the posts.. inside flush with the posts as well... so no unsightly posts.. with the Verandas protecting walls from direct sun  .. NO air-con.. stays between 26 and 30 most of the year.. in the very hot weather sometimes creeps above 30 but not much.. always comfortable with fans.. open windows at night to cool down.. close up in the morning..  insulation attached to aluminum  roofing & insulation above ceilings.. the upstairs does get hot in hot weather but cools down quickly in the evening.. occasionally a bit hot for sleeping but not often..    The attached photo was taken 4 years ago while we were building..   Oh... 4 years later no cracks..
16473598359_e64c8ccd39_o.thumb.jpg.84aa5e892a6d02900eba0caa04a86e52.jpg
I'm a bricklayer, still setting everyday on sites in England, they way you have described your build is good enough for me.. coming to thailand in November to retire, anybody having any work done I would be happy to come and keep a eye on it for them, for a small contribution to the Channg jai Dee society..

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk

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Thank you so much guys for all your tips and hints, I think my main issues were about tying the blocks into the colums which my Thai wife said doesn't happen too much, her parents house has major cracks in the corners where it hasn't been tied in, I do understand that you will have settling cracks no problem but looks like I'll just have to insist on colums ties during the build, also with the cavity wall, I'm trying to keep the heat out, I don't mind going overkill on the insulation if it will def work, another quick question, has anyone ever used block and beem for the sub floor? Is it cheaper than a solid concrete floor as my wife wants the house raised a few mts of the ground

supreme-4000mm-suspended-concrete-t-beam-flooring-by-tbm400-0b3.jpg

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BANGKOK 18 August 2018 23:57
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