House building Thai style

First a disclaimer: This isn’t an in-depth treatise of Thai house building, rather what I noted seeing some detached houses under construction in Chiang Mai.  What’s interesting though, is that what I saw is quite unlike what I’ve seen in the UK, USA and here in Australia.

Most houses are detached. As is the case here in Australia on new estates, most houses are IMO too large for their plots. It appears that Thais do not particularly value gardens.

Frame

Chiang Mai house frame

Chiang Mai house frame

The house structure is carried by a concrete frame with columns supported by bearing pads. The ground and upper floors are concrete with a concrete staircase. Floors are generally tiled. Of course in UK or cooler parts of Australia this would all be a thermal disaster, but in the warm Thai climate having all this thermal mass is a positive.

Structure complete

Chiang Mai house

Chiang Mai house

This picture shows the structure nearing completion Note the bamboo scaffolding. The brick infill and brick surrounding the front piers is non structural. It will all be rendered.

Roof

Chiang Mai house roof detail

Chiang Mai house roof detail

This picture shows part of the roof. Note that steel trusses and tile battens are used. Termites are apparently a problem, thus the use of wood-free construction.

Finished house

Chiang Mai house

Chiang Mai house

And here’s a typical occupied house. A house of this size and standard in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs would probably sell for A$1.5m-2m (£800K-£1.1m). In Chiang Mai you’d be paying around THB4m, say A$170K, £90K!

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