Tips Before You Build!

Here are some important tips we have learned from living in Thailand, that will hopefully allow you to avoid making the same mistakes many makes in building a new property in Hua Hin Thailand.

Flooding – When choosing a piece of land make sure that the land doesn’t flood. It is easy to look at a piece of land in the dry season and assume it will be like that all year-round but we highly recommend asking the neighbors if there is any chance of flooding. If the neighbors say yes, fill it at least a meter above the neighboring land.

Land Fill – When filling land, there are two types of dirt – “din daeng” and “din dam.” Din daeng is red earth and although it is frequently used for fill, it is terrible for planting a garden and water drainage as it is essentially clay. So if you plan to have a garden, dig out the good earth and put it where your garden will be and then put the red earth under the house or fill with din dam which is good topsoil.

Sunshine – Although most foreigners come to Thailand to get as much sunshine as possible, after living here a while, you realize that the sun isn’t quite as friendly as you had hoped. We highly recommend facing your house to the north but if that isn’t possible to the east, next to the west, finally to the south. The reason is that by having a north facing house, it will be much cooler. Two story houses or high roofs are also useful in that regard in that the heat from the daytime stays away from the first floor saving you money on air-conditioning.

Trees – Plant some trees on the south and west side of your property in order to keep the effects of the sun down.

Outdoor Living Space – When planning a house, make sure to give yourself lots of outdoor living space because spending time eating, entertaining and napping outside is one of the joys of living in a tropical country. Mosquitoes can be a problem during the rainy season, right around sunset but get a bug zapper and you will be fine.

Neighbors and Neighborhood – Choose your neighbors carefully. Before you buy land look around and see who your neighbors are. Do they have barking dogs? Is there a loudspeaker near the land?  Is there a karaoke shop nearby?  You will not be able to change the neighborhood  – you will only only make enemies if you complain about the locals so make sure you are living near people you are comfortable with.

Security – Security can be a problem in some areas.  It is normal to ask the locals if there are any thieves and typically they will tell you yes or no right away.  A remote house in the country near a good farming village can be more secure than a house in a development – it all depends on the neighborhood.  Metal bars are also used extensively but since they are screwed in, they offer very little real security.  If you do want to install them, insist that the screws are installed on the inside where it is much harder to reach them.

Electrical Capacity – Make sure to look at the electrical capacity available prior to building.  Small roads tend to have single phase electric while 3-phase is available on main roads.  This will be an issue if you plan to build a large house with high electric demand or if you are at the end of a group of houses all on single phase.

Read Also Our Property Guide!

Right of Access – It is easy to assume you can get into your land but if the land title deed does not have a public road drawn on it, make sure to confirm that your land is connected to the road network.

Termites –  Wooden houses are beautiful, especially when properly maintained.  However they require a high level of care and constant vigilance for termites.  Termites can find their way into a house in ways you would never expect – for example through electrical conduit.  Therefore when planning your house make sure to minimize the amount of wood your use or plan to check it regularly.

Water Supply – Do not assume your land will be hooked up to a city water line.  In the countryside almost all houses have wells.  Typically you can find water not far beneath the surface, however to get high quality water in sufficient volume you will need to drill deep using a professional well-boring company.  This can cost over 180,000 baht depending upon the depth and water volume you need so make sure to build this into the cost calculations.

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