Roofing complete, additional sub-projects underway

We have completed the roof tiling for this interesting project in Sangkhom.   We are now adding the typically Thai decorative detail and facias to the roof sections.

We have also completed the roofing of the 'cottage' which actually houses caretaker's accommodation as well as parking.   The next stage is to add the timber cladding and rendering that will give it the appearance of an Elizabethan timber framed wattle and daub cottage.  The timber framed windows will also be added shortly.

The two buildings on this project sit on a plot of about 4 acres and we are undertaking a number of other works on the land.  One such project is the construction of a spill way for a large drain that runs underneath the land taking water run off from the hills behind the property to the Mekong river.  

We also installed another drain and spill way that will handle surface water drainage on parts of the land as well as the roof run-off from the house itself.

We constructed a terrace that is located on the river bank, just out of sight of the main house.   Being on the river bank it was necessary to build the terrace on piles, as with the spill way.

There arer a number of other sub-projects on the plot of land, but I shall save those for a later post.

Roof tiling and wall rendering

Since last posting about this project, we have completed all of the main concrete structural framework, poured the floor slabs and completed all of the major blockwork.   Rendering is nearly complete as is the roof framework. We are mow moving onto the roof tiling.   We have also been working on a number of other sub-projects located throughout the plot of land around the house, but I shall detail these later in a separate post.

Main house construction underway

After a very long delay on this project due to weather, things are finally once again moving along at scheduled pace. The rainy season this year lasted a lot longer than normal and the effect it had on this project was significant.   The heavy rain made it impossible for the pile driver to move around on the site and complete all of the piles.   Frustratingly, we had only been waiting for a break in the rain for four clear days so that the ground would be firm enough for the pile driver to drive the remaining small number of piles, but alas for many weeks it was not to be.   Finally, however, at the end of last month the rains stopped, at least in this region and we were underway again.   Since then, we have excavated the pile heads, pried the concrete footings that sit on top of the piles also the columns that join these footings to the ground floor beams.   We have also prepared all of the steel work for the ground floor beams and completed all shuttering, in preparation for the concrete pour that will be happening today.

Garage frame complete main house structural framework begins

We have completed the basic concrete frame for the garage and are soon to begin adding the steel roof frame structure.

We have been somewhat at the mercy of the weather, and pile driving has been on hold for a number of days.  Fortunately, with such a big project, there a a lot of jobs that can be done in parallel to the pile driving, so ultimately our schedule should not be adversely affected.   Currently, we are preparing the hug he number of steel reinforcement cages that are required for the footings, columns and beams.   We are also fortunate that the site is so large and we are not short of space to store these cages.   One potential issue of stop piling these components is the oxidation (rust) that can occur if they are exposed to the elements for prolonged periods.   The steel re-bar has already been sprayed with light oil once on leaving the foundry.  However, through handling from foundry to stock holder to site, and then then cutting and forming it into the cages, some of this oil has inevitably worn off, exposing it to the risk of rusting.  To prevent this, once complete, the cages are sprayed with light oil.

Another task on this site was to reposition the main access point into the site.   First we had to obtain the necessary permission from the local government department, as there is a government owned strip of land between the plot and the road.  Once approved, we installed the necessary drain pipe, as required, and have built up the new road way.   We shall allow this to settle for several months before applying the finished road surface, using the existing access in the mean time.




Pile driving continues - Garage construction commences.

After a delay due to extremely heavy rain and bad weather, pile driving has now recommenced and is going very well.  In fact, despite the delay, we are still on target to complete all pile driving on schedule.  There are many issues that can be encountered during pile driving, from hitting impenetrable ground and fractured piles, to simply slow progress due to ground conditions.  However, in this case, we have not encountered any such issues.

While pile driving is underway on the main house on the elevated section of land, we have also been busy constructing the separate garage unit on the lower lying land.  We have already constructed footings and grade beam and are now preparing the reinforcement structure ready to pour the concrete floor.   As the floor will be taking a relatively high load, we are not using pre-cast slabs, but have back filled with sand and will be casting a heavily reinforced slab in place.  In casting directly onto sand, it is important to ensure that the underlying layer is adequately compacted.  If not compacted this layer of floor support may settle over time and 'sink away' from beneath the floor.  This may then lead to cracks and other structural weaknesses in the floor slab.  With the garage, we used a mechanical compactor on the supporting sand to minimize problems in the future.




Pile Driving

We have begun pile driving, amongst other things, and this video shows the process of adding single pile. We are using 15 meter piles, driven to a depth of 16 meters. You will see in the video that once the pile is driven as far as it can go, and extension is added and it driven the additional meter to be at the correct depth. We will later excavate around the pile head in order to cast the concrete pile head mounting that will transfer the load from the columns and beams of the structure onto the piles.