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Having a house built


insiket

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Hi,

I,m not sure if this is the right forum.

 

I am having a house built at present.

I am a electrician,

So I would like to design,and otherwise be involved in the work.

My question is,

How involved can I be,

Without overstepping the mark,

I am not on a work visa.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks

 

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Many of us (farangs) have done their own wiring without repercussion that I am aware.  If you are from the states, you will need to read up on local standards.  Not everything is different but enough is that you will want to bone up.  If you allow local labor to do it, you will need to be very clear as to what you expect for circuits, grounding, and CU components.  "3-way" and the non-existent "4-way" switches seem to befuddle the local spark so if those are in your design, you may need to get involved in the hook-up.

 

The main job will be routing the cable as there are no studs to simply drill through.  Good luck.

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1 minute ago, insiket said:

Thanks for your reply,
I would rather do it myself,but I,m wary of overstepping the mark.
I,ll keep up with local codes and be as specific with instructions as I can.
Thanks again

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Unless you are familiar with grinding out channels in the wall, you will most likely not want to do that yourself.  Otherwise, go for it.  Unless you are using a major builder, you are not likely to get a proper installation (same for the plumbing).  Unless you have already paid for it, you really do want to DIY.  And don't be afraid to supervise EVERYTHING being done because it will probably be necessary.

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Unless you are familiar with grinding out channels in the wall, you will most likely not want to do that yourself.  Otherwise, go for it.  Unless you are using a major builder, you are not likely to get a proper installation (same for the plumbing).  Unless you have already paid for it, you really do want to DIY.  And don't be afraid to supervise EVERYTHING being done because it will probably be necessary.
Ha ha..agreed,no chance will I be chasing walls.
I see alot of close supervision and stepping in when needed (DIY)
I don,t intend to see sloppy work let go.
I foresee a nightmare

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Forgot to mention... you stated that you will do the design.  Thais don't use design (that I have seen) so make sure they understand yours.  Otherwise, they are famous (infamous?) for putting only one outlet per room, sharing neutrals, and over-sizing breakers/under-sizing cable, and, if your contract has the builder supplying materials, will go with cheap crap.  Beware.

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Forgot to mention... you stated that you will do the design.  Thais don't use design (that I have seen) so make sure they understand yours.  Otherwise, they are famous (infamous?) for putting only one outlet per room, sharing neutrals, and over-sizing breakers/under-sizing cable, and, if your contract has the builder supplying materials, will go with cheap crap.  Beware.
Hey Steve,
I know what you mean.
I,m marking out swiches and sockets on the walls to start,
and I,ll be watching everything like a hawk.
Ie. Cable sizes, neutrals etc.
I,ll be buying most of the materials myself,
Especially when it comes to 2nd fix.
Thanks again.I appreciate any advice and ideas


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Have it done the way you want it, wiring codes mean nothing the the local farmer come sparkie, but be careful not to step on toes - diplomacy is No1. 

Discuss what you want, how you want it done, get a clear understanding of what is expected, however - it will still be done their way if you let it. 

Good luck. 

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I did everything regarding plumbing and electricity myself, including the drawings. As I understand it you are allowed to do work on your own house, as you are not working for payment. I installed 3 phase in buildings after EU standard, no worker understood what I was doing.... Even the young fellow from Electric board that was supposed to check installation and aprove was lost ;-). Has some bigger "hobby tools" so needed 3 phase.

 

If you are to supervise housebuilding remember always to tell them at least 3 times what you want. And even after that stay around and check that it gets done. Never tell them anything you want done next day as they will forget it.

 

If you keep in mind that Thai always do what is easiest for the moment without considering it might casuse more work later, you will understand why they do it their way.

 

That said there are some workers with good knowledge but you will have to pay more for them. And probably working in BKK or other busy place and not available in countryside.

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Have it done the way you want it, wiring codes mean nothing the the local farmer come sparkie, but be careful not to step on toes - diplomacy is No1. 
Discuss what you want, how you want it done, get a clear understanding of what is expected, however - it will still be done their way if you let it. 
Good luck. 
Hi Artisi,
I know what you mean about the codes,
I,m in the sticks out here.
As you say the challenge is not to upset anyone.
Not the easiest thing in these parts.
Thanks


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Once you have your outline design for the electrics run it by the Electrical Forum, lots of members with local experience who can point out the pitfalls.

 

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everything they do with the electric will be totally unacceptable to you. suggest you buy tranquilizers. 
I know..my wife rang me this morning to meet her and the electrician at the hardware store.
I hadn,t even marked out where I wanted switches,outlets etc.
So had no idea how much materials were needed.
I seriously thought, now is a good time for that trip to Nepal I keep putting off.
I,ll just go with it now
It,s going to be a learning curve[emoji3]

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[mention=175128]insiket[/mention] what's your nationality (electrical codes you're used to) and where in Thailand is the house.
 
Hey Crossy,
I,m Irish.
The last time I did domestic work was 15 yrs ago or so in california.
I work in the UK mostly now doing GE gas turbine shutdown and upgrade work.
I,m in Si Saket

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2 hours ago, bankruatsteve said:

Forgot to mention... you stated that you will do the design.  Thais don't use design (that I have seen) so make sure they understand yours.  Otherwise, they are famous (infamous?) for putting only one outlet per room, sharing neutrals, and over-sizing breakers/under-sizing cable, and, if your contract has the builder supplying materials, will go with cheap crap.  Beware.

I had proper plans drawn up for our house, the builder had not previously worked to detailed plans in Thailand, neither had he been party to a contract before our build. The work was supervised mainly by Mrs BM but also by her brother (if we weren't around) and myself. 

Everything went extremely well, we had no problems with them verying from plan without good reason and without prior approval from us. 

Good point about the materials, we sourced them all ourselves, Mrs BM is a tough negotiator!

Four years down the line and we're still delighted with our home and recently had the builders back to do some additional work.

 

Good luck to the OP.

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OK forget the NEC.

 

BS7671 is ok if you don't install ring-finals, all circuits must be radials (xmas trees are fine).

 

Using the sums in the BS7671 OSG (On Site Guide) will give you a nice safe installation. But you'll need to implement MEN in the Thai way to get past the PEA inspection.

 

 

 

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as an American i would love to build a simple hobby house in Thailand. I have been involved in electric/electronics all my life. but everywhere I look I see junk electric materials. where do you buy high grade electric materials like in the USA in Thailand?

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30 minutes ago, insiket said:

Hey Crossy,
I,m Irish.
The last time I did domestic work was 15 yrs ago or so in california.
I work in the UK mostly now doing GE gas turbine shutdown and upgrade work.
I,m in Si Saket

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An Irish electrician supervising Thai electricians. This thread gets better with every post.

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Red to red and black to black,

Switch it on and stand well back!

 

My brother in law (he with the 27 piece hammer set) is an electrician.

He mended the washing machine. I swear that the water was live - collars and cuffs cleaned up a treat though.

 

I wouldn't trust him to change the batteries in a torch...

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1 hour ago, Pogust said:

I did everything regarding plumbing and electricity myself, including the drawings. As I understand it you are allowed to do work on your own house, as you are not working for payment. I installed 3 phase in buildings after EU standard, no worker understood what I was doing.... Even the young fellow from Electric board that was supposed to check installation and aprove was lost ;-). Has some bigger "hobby tools" so needed 3 phase.

 

If you are to supervise housebuilding remember always to tell them at least 3 times what you want. And even after that stay around and check that it gets done. Never tell them anything you want done next day as they will forget it.

 

If you keep in mind that Thai always do what is easiest for the moment without considering it might casuse more work later, you will understand why they do it their way.

 

That said there are some workers with good knowledge but you will have to pay more for them. And probably working in BKK or other busy place and not available in countryside.

So far this is the post that is closest to the TRUTH.  You can build your whole house, if you want. Not breaking any labor laws.   2.  You do not say where you live.  In a city or close by the local tesabahn or... or bor tor will require you to file for permission to build.  This requires a full set of blueprints . Best person to PAY to do this is someone in the bldg dept at the office.  That will ensure you have little problems with "authorities" , building and inspection wise.  NOTE:  If you do not speak thai, you will have to rely a lot on your wife to get your points across.  They (wives) usually have no experience in such matters so it can be trying to communicate what you want.  Tension often arises in these cases  🙂

IF YOU LIVE far out in the countryside ( as i now do)..... possible that nothing is required . They told me

just go ahead and do what you want.  BUT the electric office will want to check on your finished product before they will hook up the permanent meter  ( a temp meter is installed when you start )

3. You do have to "supervise".......but again, if you don't speak thai and the builders are overly sensitive (which they usually are)...... again, tension is often the order of the day.  Very unpleasant for the inexperienced farang, and many cases of builders just quitting.  Gotta keep calm, but not give in   haha

not easy     4. Best way to keep control is hire each "group" separately .   concrete team ....roofer....plumber....eletrician......ceiling (gypsum)    YOU will be the general contractor....and will buy all materials except maybe the gypsum board . That team will give you a flat quote based on size of house.

Many other factors and knowledge required.  A harrowing experience for first timers,,, and even for me who has done it multiple times.

i could go on, but this should give you an idea, and others here who have done it i am sure will weigh in

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1 hour ago, Blue Muton said:

I had proper plans drawn up for our house, the builder had not previously worked to detailed plans in Thailand, neither had he been party to a contract before our build. The work was supervised mainly by Mrs BM but also by her brother (if we weren't around) and myself. 

Everything went extremely well, we had no problems with them verying from plan without good reason and without prior approval from us. 

Good point about the materials, we sourced them all ourselves, Mrs BM is a tough negotiator!

Four years down the line and we're still delighted with our home and recently had the builders back to do some additional work.

 

Good luck to the OP.

Just like in relationships.....there are a few  ( few) success stories.   And much of that depends on the people involved !  This is not america where a bathroom can cost half the price of a house here and you can SUE the builder if all is not perfect.  

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Thanks rumak,

I live in the sticks so won,t have problems with blueprints
The structure is built already

Hopefully I,ll be able to keep a cool head,
Though I will be adamant on how I want the electrical done.
I speak some conversational thai but this is a different ball game ( I imagine my thai will improve alot)so yes I,ll be relying on my wife.
I do realise its going to be hard work,
But with the right attitide it could be a good experience and learning curve

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5 minutes ago, insiket said:

Thanks rumak,

I live in the sticks so won,t have problems with blueprints
The structure is built already

Hopefully I,ll be able to keep a cool head,
Though I will be adamant on how I want the electrical done.
I speak some conversational thai but this is a different ball game ( I imagine my thai will improve alot)so yes I,ll be relying on my wife.
I do realise its going to be hard work,
But with the right attitide it could be a good experience and learning curve

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You shouldn't need to do the chasing of the wiring on the walls - the workmen should do that for you. Much better appearance than exposed wires.

I was quite surprised by the quality of a local builder in what I would call the sticks- it depends on whether you can find a good one. He put in all the points specified in the drawing. PM me if you want more photos.

IMG20180308103709.jpg

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