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Builders did a runner


crodge
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So, I guess I am not the first person this has happened to and  I won't be the last.

 

Our friendly builders have walked out halfway through making our small pool and disappeared off the face of the earth with some of our cash. I’m not looking for sympathy or condemnation, just some advice on whether to go ahead or cut my losses and if I go ahead, does anyone know builders in the Bangkok/Pathumthani area who can finish the job at a reasonable price.

 

I have already purchased the equipment/fittings for the pool and the builders have prepared all of the steel for reenforcing the floor and walls. I have a big hole in the groud that has quite a lot of ground water in it. I’d like someone to tell me if this water is going to cause problems or not.

 

I am attaching some photographs of the ground and the metalwork that has already been completed.

 

The size of the pool will be 4.8m x 2.1m and it will be 1.25m deep.

 

Any reccomendations will be much appreciated, especially contacts for builders who could possible finish the job for us.

 

Many Thanks

 

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Yes this does happen but there is no reason why you should not finish the pool.

The water can be pumped out and it is not going to rain much more.

You had one"fly by night" builder but there are many good ones also.

Did you have a contract for a sum of money or did you pay per day?

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6 minutes ago, jvs said:

Yes this does happen but there is no reason why you should not finish the pool.

The water can be pumped out and it is not going to rain much more.

You had one"fly by night" builder but there are many good ones also.

Did you have a contract for a sum of money or did you pay per day?

Hi, It seems like the water is ground water as after I pumped it out it filled up again over approximately 12 hours.

 

We were paying daily rates plus a couple of lump sums for materials, they didn’t come back after the second lump sum.

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Yeah, sadly this does happen, as it has to you. Not to me thank God. First off I'd get a pool builder recommended by a reputable architect. If you are having a devil of a time call Khun At 'Botanica' in Bang Tao, Phuket  (https://www.botanicaluxuryvilla.com/) ask him for a referral to someone in BKK ... he might be able to help you. He's a top notch architect/developer of the highest quality. Never did me any wrong on a large custom build. Meticulous in build and standards.

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If you have got already the reinforcement, use it for the floor, once you get rid of the water. For the wall 125cm high you do not need reinforcement.  You can build the wall with cinder blocks laid in double in the wall thickness, there is no high pressure on the wall. For better security you can lay a steel wire 3 mm (1 hun) horizontally under the block layer (every other one it's enough). And continuously backfilling the soil behind the erected wall whenever it is hard enough.  

 

Not to forget embedding a pipe for bottom outlet before pouring the floor concrete. The bottom outlet is good not only for emptying the pool (what's actually not needed in years) but good for sucking 50/50 together with the surface sucking (either with skimmer or overflow).

 

For such small pool I would strongly recommend an overflow at least at one of its longer sides. Not only good for surface cleaning but for better feeling at swimming, no water in your nose, reducing the waves that would beat you in the narrow pool.

 

All this you can manage with village brick-layers organized by your wife for either daily rate or a lump sum (Mau 40 - 60,000 Baht). The material (simple cement, sand and tiles) you buy by yourself at the nearest shop.  All that under your daily supervision, it's not so difficult.     

 

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Just a thought, don't be angry; have you or your family spoken rudely or aggressively to the contactor or his/her staff?

 

This can be the reason why workers disappear.  

 

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3 hours ago, Saanim said:

If you have got already the reinforcement, use it for the floor, once you get rid of the water. For the wall 125cm high you do not need reinforcement.  You can build the wall with cinder blocks laid in double in the wall thickness, there is no high pressure on the wall. For better security you can lay a steel wire 3 mm (1 hun) horizontally under the block layer (every other one it's enough). And continuously backfilling the soil behind the erected wall whenever it is hard enough.  

 

Not to forget embedding a pipe for bottom outlet before pouring the floor concrete. The bottom outlet is good not only for emptying the pool (what's actually not needed in years) but good for sucking 50/50 together with the surface sucking (either with skimmer or overflow).

 

For such small pool I would strongly recommend an overflow at least at one of its longer sides. Not only good for surface cleaning but for better feeling at swimming, no water in your nose, reducing the waves that would beat you in the narrow pool.

 

All this you can manage with village brick-layers organized by your wife for either daily rate or a lump sum (Mau 40 - 60,000 Baht). The material (simple cement, sand and tiles) you buy by yourself at the nearest shop.  All that under your daily supervision, it's not so difficult.     

 

05112609.JPG

Many thanks for the reply. 
 

I will definitely have a look at your option if I cannot find anyone else to do it for me. Unfortunately, after a recent health problem I’m not as mobile as id like to be at the moment.

 

Regards

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5 hours ago, Tropposurfer said:

Yeah, sadly this does happen, as it has to you. Not to me thank God. First off I'd get a pool builder recommended by a reputable architect. If you are having a devil of a time call Khun At 'Botanica' in Bang Tao, Phuket  (https://www.botanicaluxuryvilla.com/) ask him for a referral to someone in BKK ... he might be able to help you. He's a top notch architect/developer of the highest quality. Never did me any wrong on a large custom build. Meticulous in build and standards.

Thank you for the reply. Will get in touch with Khun At and see if he can recommend anyone.

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6 hours ago, James26 said:

This happens all the time and moreso to Thai people. You should read the Thai forums on this topic. The problem is regulatory, consumer protections and weak enforement of the law.

Yes, I was hoping we’d got lucky with these people. They did a great job with other work they did for me on the house.

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18 hours ago, crodge said:

Hi, It seems like the water is ground water as after I pumped it out it filled up again over approximately 12 hours.

 

We were paying daily rates plus a couple of lump sums for materials, they didn’t come back after the second lump sum.

maybe they broke an underground pipe, and didn't want to fix it or couldn't fix it, so they did like any good Thai does when facing a problem, they run away 🙂

 

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2 hours ago, scorecard said:

Just a thought, don't be angry; have you or your family spoken rudely or aggressively to the contactor or his/her staff?

 

This can be the reason why workers disappear.  

 

Yes..  but the primary reason is that they are lazy cheats…

 

It astonishes me how common this is. 
 

We paid turnkey (extension) useless, we had to run them off & got someone else in. 
I’m sure they would have just disappeared if I’d paid in full (I refused & only agreed to pay for supples in advance). 
 

The issue when we pay all in advance is that the contractor has the upper hand, they know it it, they don’t care about quality & professionalism.

 

There is no comeuppance.

A friend refused to pay in advance for some work. The work was dove & was terrible.  My friend refused to pay until they got it right.  
The contractor took my friend to court. My fiend countersued. 
A very quick ruling was reached - contractor had to pay out for remedial work - the contractor just disappeared !!! 

 

 

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My neighbor was ripped off when he wanted hired a team to install a new roof, he mistakenly gave a large amount of money up front (so they could buy the materials) and the head guy ran off with his money.  I learned from his mistake and try to purchase the bulk of the materials myself and concerning labor I'll partial pay as the job is being completed. 

Edited by bbko
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24 minutes ago, GrandPapillon said:

maybe they broke an underground pipe, and didn't want to fix it or couldn't fix it, so they did like any good Thai does when facing a problem, they run away 🙂

 

I was thinking that, or maybe the groundwater made the pool build too difficult.

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10 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

I was thinking that, or maybe the groundwater made the pool build too difficult.

and they couldn't explain without increasing dramatically prices, instead of facing "rejection" or "question", they saved face and did a runner 😛

 

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Sorry for your misfortune! Ground water is nearly always and issue in BKK. Most probably will need piling or a hydrostatic valve at least! Better to have a pool and not use it rather than not having one and want a swim! I have been in the industry over 25 yrs with 17 in Thailand. I can recomend a good pool builder who has done a lot of work for me and some colleagues in the industry! He is Thai and has all the right equipment. (Especially if he recomends piling)!

John Putipong 0626397963 Just mention Aussie from Pattaya!

 

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Recently I have made good experiences with Beaverman: https://www.beaverman.com

 

They're not a contractor, more like a project management provider. Meaning, after contacting them they and reps from various contractors showed up for a site inspection. Then, we received 3 different quotes from 3 different contractors and went along with the one that fitted our requirements best.

There was a clear stage-by-stage contract in place with defined which work needed to be finished by which stage and what amount of money was due.

 

Naturally this is a more expensive solution as Beaverman takes a 10% cut. However, we did a whole wall with piles and 20 micro pile project with them. It takes out a lot of the uncertainty and also potentially running off of the contractors. However, I was present daily to supervise the workers still.

 

Good luck!

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2 hours ago, Bagwain said:

Sorry for your misfortune! Ground water is nearly always and issue in BKK. Most probably will need piling or a hydrostatic valve at least! Better to have a pool and not use it rather than not having one and want a swim! I have been in the industry over 25 yrs with 17 in Thailand. I can recomend a good pool builder who has done a lot of work for me and some colleagues in the industry! He is Thai and has all the right equipment. (Especially if he recomends piling)!

John Putipong 0626397963 Just mention Aussie from Pattaya!

 

Thanks for the reply, the water is about 12 inches deep but it's going down everyday. I've had a few pool companies come over the past two days, all say it's not a big problem. However, the quotes they are giving are around 450-500 k and we have to buy the tiles on top.. We already have the pump, filter and all fittings! It's a small pool and the digging has been done already. I think they are trying it on, as it seems very high for what is essentially labour. 

 

Our original builders already put piling under the pool before they laid a concrete base to walk on.. I guess the water would have gone by now if there was no concrete there. 

 

 I called John, but he must have changed the number, the man who answered just said it was the wrong number. 

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34 minutes ago, crodge said:

However, the quotes they are giving are around 450-500 k and we have to buy the tiles on top.. We already have the pump, filter and all fittings! It's a small pool and the digging has been done already. I think they are trying it on, as it seems very high for what is essentially labour. 

Such small pool should not be over 100,000 Baht, all included.

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13 hours ago, SiSePuede419 said:

Correct.  Only suckers prepay for labor costs.

 

English lesson:

No need to say "did a runner".

 

Past tense of flee is "fled".

 

As in, the builders fled with the money of a farang who was stupid enough to prepay before the work was completed.

 

You're welcome, Ian or Oliver or Sedgwick. 👍

To "do a runner" is informal British for this type of thing in general. So not incorrect.

e.g. To flee without paying for something, to leave ones spouse,  to flee to avoid arrest". He / she did a runner."

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3 hours ago, crodge said:

Thanks for the reply, the water is about 12 inches deep but it's going down everyday. I've had a few pool companies come over the past two days, all say it's not a big problem. However, the quotes they are giving are around 450-500 k and we have to buy the tiles on top.. We already have the pump, filter and all fittings! It's a small pool and the digging has been done already. I think they are trying it on, as it seems very high for what is essentially labour. 

 

Our original builders already put piling under the pool before they laid a concrete base to walk on.. I guess the water would have gone by now if there was no concrete there. 

 

 I called John, but he must have changed the number, the man who answered just said it was the wrong number. 

One wrong digit! 0626398963 

Cheers

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6 hours ago, Bagwain said:

Rubbish. What planet are you on??? 

I live in Thailand where the construction is affordable.  Some prices here offered are more expensive than even on Florida. 

 

Who will pay for a garage with 4 walls 1.5 m high, no windows, no door, no roof, such big money?      

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10 hours ago, Saanim said:

I live in Thailand where the construction is affordable.  Some prices here offered are more expensive than even on Florida. 

 

Who will pay for a garage with 4 walls 1.5 m high, no windows, no door, no roof, such big money?      

Since when does a garage hold 40/50 Tonnes of water??

But I suppose you are fully experience after the 1 DIY pond you built!

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1 hour ago, Bagwain said:

Since when does a garage hold 40/50 Tonnes of water??

But I suppose you are fully experience after the 1 DIY pond you built!

Actually, long long before I made my DIY pool (in fact, my 2nd one), I have learned in the school from Mr. Newton that a water column 1.5 m high is pushing with 1,500 kg on 1 m2  of the floor (and on the walls in that depth either), no matter whether 40/50 tonnes of water around or not. 

 

That means that the pressure onto a 1 dmof floor is 1,500/100 = 15 kg/dm2 - a square of 10 cm x 10 cm, or 0.15 kg/cm2   (1 m2 = 10 dm x 10 dm = 100 dm2 = 10,000 cm2) .

 

While a car of 1,600 kg in a garage creates a pressure with each of its 4 wheels at least 1,600/4 = 400 kg/dm2 (or 4 kg/cm2) when assuming that each wheel stands on a square 10 x 10 cm. 

 

Shouldn't we charge for the garage more than for the swimming pool?  🙂

 

And from my backyard experience I have learned that a simple water tank 1.5 m high (concrete or a plastic one) is pushing on the floor  (and on the walls either) the same pressure whether it is 1 x 1 m large or 100 x 100 m. 

 

 

 

 

plastic tank.jpg

water tank.jpg

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On 12/3/2021 at 2:47 PM, GrandPapillon said:
On 12/3/2021 at 2:35 PM, BritManToo said:

I was thinking that, or maybe the groundwater made the pool build too difficult.

and they couldn't explain without increasing dramatically prices, instead of facing "rejection" or "question", they saved face and did a runner 😛

There's always some posters chucking in their unjustified speculation!

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