Design and Build

In this section of our website we share with you the option of designing and building your own home or business from the ground up

Making a home with your beautiful Thai wife here in Thailand is easy with the correct information. With your Thai bride Thai personal Connections Ltd offers the very best in service, choice and costs to support you in building your dream home

With relaxed planning regulations Thailand makes it easy to let your imagination take you to endless opportunity of the home of your dreams

If you have not already done so you will see from our legal services page we can assist you with English speaking lawyers who can assure of independent legal requirements and advice.

Land ownership is for Thai Nationals only although this can be secured on a 30 + 30 year lease agreement for yourself in your name. From there on the sky is almost the limit to how and what you build to make your living and life a dream come true

There are many design books with drawings and full illustration that can be bought here in Thailand as well just about anywhere in the world.

Alternatively if you use any major search engine such as Google and type in “house designs” you will see thousands of suggestions, plans and photos of designs for you to look at and consider. We think the choice is endless but the main thing is the choice is yours!

Yes many like to buy a finished ready made house either new or previously owned but some prefer their own personal touch in where and how they live.
House builders of new developments tend to be expensive by comparison to what you can acquire or build yourself but this is mainly due to land values which vary from area to area just the same as anywhere else in the world. 

New developments vary in size but in the main consist of limited or public companies with share holders and profits to satisfy. They also spend huge amounts of money on sales staff, marketing and advertising which all add to the final asking price which you will pay. When you build your own you cut all this out
It is therefore the cost of the land depending on where it is and how big it is that may have the greatest influence on the final cost when you design and build your own home. The rest is just how big you make the house

Our role in all this is just to point you in the right direction and to help you understand the regulations and put you in touch with the right people who can help you the most at the lowest cost. You are in control of what you get and how much it will cost

Please note we make no income or commission from our advice or from sharing our knowledge and experience. We can only suggest the people you may wish to meet but the choice of who is up to you in both design and cost you can negotiate this direct without any involvement from ourselves. We are just trying to help. We are serviced based not profit based. That’s how we made a company and connections is what we are about as well as our name

Some thoughts to consider

First the size of the land / garden

Be careful not to make it too big. You may think a big garden will be great, it is but most of the year in Thailand it is too hot for most farangs to be outside let alone be digging, weeding and cutting the grass. Plants and weeds grow very quick here, especially in the rainy season so constant attention and maintenance is something a garden demands.

Background to Thai houses

A traditional Thai house is open on the ground floor with the sleeping area appearing to be on stilts. Cooking, washing, and general conversation and socializing is done on the ground floor being open for ventilation and shade. This makes the house for sleeping in not as in the west for living in. A Thai house in the past was made of timer as timer was cooler than bricks or blocks and did not convex the heat. Timer cools quickly at sundown making sleeping bearable with just a fan

As timber has risen in price blocks and bricks are more cost effective opposed to timber construction and Thais like most want to modernize and have greater security too as processions like TV’s, computers and music systems become more common in everyday life. Traditionally houses were built close together and vary from small to large communities which took care and kept safe all of the houses when out at work. Now independence with gated or walled homes suggests wealth and prosperity which Thai folk like to reflect when they can so less communal building is done now. Thai society is based on respect of the “senior” hence reflecting wealth can bring more respect

I would love a big House!

Maybe you would but try to remember that a house in Thailand is more for sleeping in than living in. Most new houses built by developers don’t make a kitchen inside as standard. Why? It’s just too hot to cook inside! Most have what’s known as a “Laos kitchen” which is outside in a covered area for shade and ventilation as well as protection from the rain. The majority of entertaining and dining is still done outside for this reason

Consider that unlike the west where it is easy to heat rooms and find comfortable temperature here in Thailand it is much more difficult and expensive to keep cool. Every time you add to the number of rooms you will need to add the means of keeping it cool. Yes air conditioning is readily available but for every unit in each room cost on average 1200 baht per month to run. The bigger the room and the number of rooms the harder it is to cool and more expensive.
Another point not to ignore is cleaning the house.  The air is humid often. Dust, insects and geckos all part of normal days and life and all have to be cleaned up after. Remember unless you have aircon it can be more hot inside the house than outside in the shade. Do you really want to clean the house?

House or bungalow it is a good idea to have a downstairs toilet which can be accessed from outside the house so friends, guests and even you when in the garden outside don’t have to walk through the home to get to the loo

Yes the cost of buying a home in Thailand is very low compared with western costs and the temptation is to make big as money can go further. Buy or build what you need! To buy what you want may be a problem later. Big houses are also much harder to re sell later too the above being many of the reasons as well as the extra price to a future buyer.

What about work or a business?

Most shops and small businesses are with living accommodation too. A lock up shop is almost unknown. As Thailand is a 7 day economy to most “living above the shop” is the norm. 

Many farangs who have a Thai wife have done the same in starting a small business in something that their wife can do or is interested in such as a beauty salon, flower shop or selling Thai food etc with small but comfortable living at the rear or above the sales area.

Remembering our theory above of a house is for sleeping in this way you get some income back from the cost of build but clearly not as glamorous as a fine well designed house but it is a cheaper way of getting started in living here. The main advantage to this approach is that if you change your mind later and build that dream house the shop or block of shops would be easy to rent out so you would always be guaranteed income back on the investment

Alternatively some have made the dream house yet at the front being road side have built a shop, restaurant, salon etc at the front of the home and achieves the same in providing some work and interest to you and your wife’s family.

Doing nothing may sound attractive when you are in Thailand but it soon becomes boring for all and sometimes expensive too if you are dependent on savings, pension or income from your home country

So there are many options as to what you build, how you build and where but in this like all our services we can connect you with expert and professional people who will give you good and quality advice and save you time and money in the process 

If I buy a house will it be an investment

It will be an investment in you and your Thai wife and her family and that’s the best way to see it. Property values have been unstable for a number of years with new build tending to lose between 10 – 15% of building cost after completion.

The rules of selling anything are no different here in Thailand in so much as the value of anything is only measured by how much a buyer is willing to pay. To most Thais a western style house is what they would like but the cost will be prohibitive in relation to earning and bank mortgage payment requirements
The cost of buying a house as a percentage of earnings to Thai people is much higher than the west. Renting is by far more common to a Thai than purchase. Therefore any house you buy in are sell is mainly going to be attracted by another farang. In the present economic climate and future forecasts do not project any change in this so there is no automatic year on year increase in value to be seen.

It is therefore better to see the investment as a personal one to you and your family rather than a financial one.

In metropolitan areas such as Bangkok and Chang Mia this may be a different picture in condos and some houses but even these markets have seen decline in the last six months

Where to build

Just about anywhere BUT

If you are far from a main road to install electric may be expensive. The further away from a town you are the cheaper the land in the main but services may be harder and much more expensive to obtain. Internet connections in ADSL are available near most towns now but a short radius away you will find none.
A telephone line may take months to obtain and even when you get one most are microwave connected which means very slow internet speed. It can be as low as 20 compared with 2500 on ADSL.  The slow speed can drive you crazy. Mobile blue tooth is available so is satellite internet but both can be expensive and unreliable according to those who have used it.

Living next to water or a lake would be wonderful and so peaceful. You would be right too but that’s the thinking of the mosquitoes as well as you. They like a farang better too. A mosquito likes a good meal just like we do. As most Farangs are a bigger frame and build to a Thai we just look like a bigger meal. So think twice about that dream house overlooking the lake

How do I start?

You have read this far so you already have some ideas to consider. The main advantage is you get what you want, where you want it and at a price you are prepared to pay.

We can help you in locating qualified builders, tillers, electricians and plumbers or just about every trade you can imagine. You will discover that most builders already know and deal with all these tradesmen but you are free to be as independent as you wish.

We know who to trust from experience and who to avoid and why and that can only provide you with peace of mind, satisfaction with your home and in saving money

Thai personal Connections has no financial interest or gain in dealing with any builder or contractor so our recommendations are without bios and are from recommendation only

Services and safety

Design and build is not for everyone but whatever you decide in where and how you are going to live somewhere in the end. Make sure you are aware of the following for your own personal safety and awareness

Mains water is available in town and city areas but it is not drinking water. Most western style homes have independent wells drilled which pumps direct to your own home. This is still not drinking water.

Where is surface water going to drain to?  Sewerage is collected in your own tank and removed by tanker truck when full.

Electricity is 220 volt AC. An earthed system as standard is almost unheard of.  Thais use a negative earth to ground with independent earth rods to appliances such as showers etc.  Surprisingly there are not many house fires compared with the west but when there is a fire it is usually due to electrical faults that and earthed system would have prevented. We do very strongly advise you to make sure any property you buy is earthed fully or has the means to be rewired without major costs

The electric gets turned off from time to time especially during severe weather and storms to protect the system. All cables and transformers are above ground due to the huge amount of rain and water Thailand has to cope with. Power surges are common so an earth and adequate safety cut off systems are essential.
We think modern and from a modern world can mean all things electric! The more you have the greater the need for the safety so we do recommend you at least discuss this with a qualified Electrician who we can put you in contact with

We hope we have helped you with some basic information yet be assured we have at our disposal many very skilled and qualified people who can give you expert advice and service too. We just want to help you make the connection and a personal one for you. That’s why we are Thai personal Connections; it is what we do and why it is our name

For more information just call or contact us

Team at Thai personal Connections Ltd