Our 6 Million Thai Baht Home in Thailand

Thai traditional wooden house.
I’d be willing to bet, a traditional Thai wooden house is built better than our $200K home we live in now.

We rent. Let me make that perfectly clear. There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell we’d ever buy a home here. I honestly think, after a little internet study, I could BUILD a home better than any I’ve ever seen here.

Here’s the house we currently rent – a real problem, considering it’s expensive, and they have it on the market for 6 million baht. See what kind of housing you can get for 6 million Thai Baht in Thailand:

Ok, I haven’t seen it all, but we must have lived in about 20 homes in Thailand over the last 12 years.

I’d estimate the quality of home building in the country to be around 20% of what it is in America.

I was a real estate agent with Century 21 in Tampa for a short while. During that time I also got certified as a Home Inspector. I’ve seen lots of houses. I’ve inspected many houses in the US. So, I know a little bit about what goes into a decent home construction.

If I could say ONE good thing about Thai home construction (and that’s literally ALL I could say), it’s that they sure know how to put tile floors in.

That’s it. I haven’t seen anything else impressive in 12 yrs. Sure, we haven’t lived in million dollar homes. I’m not comparing that level of construction. But, if I were, I suspect that the same issues would apply with our $200,000 USD home here in Thailand.

Where should I start?

Water leakage. There isn’t a roof in the COUNTRY that repels water 100%. I just haven’t seen it. Sure there’s wind here. Sure there’s heavy rains. Still, come on. Roofs here are like my 30 THB plastic raincoat that leaks water from four places. We have had leaks in every house we rented. If you have a home here, your roof leaks too. I just couldn’t imagine it being any other way. It’s the norm here, and Thais don’t even get too upset about it. In fact, we told our landlord about a year ago that her roof leaked. She came, had a look, judged it to be no big deal, and we haven’t had the maintenance guys here yet. We literally had water dripping out of our recessed light over the kitchen sink. Water dripped straight OUT OF IT, and it wasn’t a big enough problem to fix right away. Just gives you some idea.

Electricity… Every single light switch in this house, and our last twenty, had issues eventually. This house was brand new when we moved in. The switches worked for a while. Now, after just 18 months, they are deteriorating quickly. What happens, at least in some of them, because I saw an electrician clean some out at one of our old places, is that termites get in and chew through the concrete, dropping tiny bits into the electronic switches, and this fouls them up. It’s like someone dropping sand into your engine… eventually it seizes up, right? Same with light switches. Within a couple of years, most won’t work and they all need cleaning or replacing. Why they haven’t made termite proof switch receptacles, I can’t guess.

Light Bulbs Dying. Constantly. We have 32 recessed light bulbs in our ceiling downstairs and 12 outside. A quick check shows just 28 out of 44 lights working. There is no way in the world these lights have seen 10,000 hours of use, so I suspect something wrong with the electrical grid or the wiring here, or something. Is it possible that power fluctuations would pop lights? I think so. So far, my computer has been OK. Probably something to do with that bulbous rectangular doo-dad on the cord that plugs into the wall. Need to ask my electrician buddy Wayne that one. Noted.

Slippery Tiles. Not really a construction issue, but jesus god, when wet, the tiles on any part of your floor will send your feet sliding out from under you and a cracked-tailbone is waiting for you. I used to slip regularly, but now I just walk in my house like I’m on ice-skates, never knowing when exactly I’m going to hit a wet or even damp part of tile that sends me on my ass. To my credit, it has probably been a couple months since I had a good slip. Do be careful.

Structural Integrity? I have no idea. Everything is concrete, so it isn’t likely that could all be dorked up – could it? I haven’t had a house fall in on us yet. I have seen big cracks in concrete on the second floor of our last place, which didn’t seem to grow at all during our two year stay, so I think that’s typical of concrete construction.

Finishing. There isn’t any. It’s just as if kids had a go at it. Really. From far away, it looks OK. If you get close, you’ll be horrified. I’ve seen paint, varnish, putty, silicone gel, concrete, grouting, and everything else (is there anything else?) left sloppily on floors and walls, furniture, windows, etc. It’s an absolute horrorshow.

Anybody have any success stories?

Did I just choose twenty places to live which all sucked, by accident?

Anyone want to redeem Thai home builders?

Thailand Electrical Outlets Are a #*$*)#!

Everything to do with Thailand electricity is a Bitch.

I’ve lived in 10 houses/flats/mansion rooms in Thailand. I’ve been increasingly frustrated with all things electrical in the country, beginning with a 220 volt line throwing me down onto the bed I was standing on in Koh Lanta as I put it back up on the wall it just fell off of… this was about 2 months after arriving in the country.

That was followed up by nearly all places I’ve stayed not having grounded electricity and so I was shocked on my computer, cell phone as it charged, and anything electrical. That gets to suck pretty good after a while. Definitely after 30-40 times it does.

I’ve grabbed the 220 volt exposed wires twice as I reached for light switches that were not installed well – and I actually reached around the back of the covers on both and got REAL good jolts I was able to fall away from and disconnect.

I’ve had 2 electrical outlets smoking behind a wall and had to call the landlord ASAP.

But you know the thing that grates my nerves like cheese?

Why don’t the frickin’ plugs go into the wall socket EASILY and without damaging them? How hard would that be to make the things smooth to plug something in?

It’s like I have to JAM every plug in this house – into the outlet, and it doesn’t go in nicely – EVER. You know the square peg round hole IQ routine docs give to kids that can’t tie their shoes by 14 years old?

The place I’m in now is a couple million THB and it has 3 baht electrical outlets. WTF?

Anybody else have the same junk outlets??? I’ve had these crap outlets about 7 out of 10 places I stayed.

At least the electric is grounded in this house… so I should be thankful, right?

But I’m not – because besides the outlets I have to jam plugs into, I don’t even have electricity for hours at a time if the wind is blowing hard or if it’s raining. For some reason the electrical service in MANY cities, many places… goes out when wind starts.

WTF?

I needed a good rant. Thailand has a lot of great stuff going on… but anything to do with electricity – is like living in the stone-ages.

3G? We can’t even get consistent electricity! 3G! ha!

My next rant? Thailand water… buying water from the idiots on the truck that don’t clean the bottles between uses, and so there’s a green fungi growing in the bottom.

That’s another day – hopefully I won’t feel like ranting again anytime soon – too much to do.