Thursday, February 18, 2016

Finished Roof, First Floor Walls and Problems With the Neighbors

Here is the latest progress on the apartment as of February 7th. We just spent the weekend back home trying to choose tiles and furniture for the apartment. Quite a whirlwind of the stress of both choosing something we like and trying to fit it under certain budgetary constraints. We did it though. I'll make a quick post showing some of the things we chose for the apartment a little later.
The flight back home from Bangkok is less than an hour. Sometimes the drive to the airport can take longer!!

The roof is pretty much up already. The walls are going up on the first floor.
The roof looks finished

There was a lot of talk about the electric pole that we had to buy and have yet to install. The apartment actually blocks the place where we would like to put it, so we may chop a portion of an overhanging piece of the mini mart out to allow for the electric pole. Doesn't bother me at all. Those who understand those things are the ones making that decision ;)
Here is our electric pole. We had to buy it and will have to pay for its installation, etc. At the moment, it's just laying on the edge of our property with all of the other extra material. Funny, huh? We own an electric pole, haha!
The roof is assembled and looks nice. I like how it is slanted. Not sure if the reddish metal beams are going to change color when we decide the color of the apartment or not. We walked up to the top floor, it was very windy and felt nice. We looked into the distance (two streets away) and could see mom's house and apartment.
P'Neung, P'Pong, Pae, Dad and Mom discussing the mini mart and the electric pole which will go a meter or two to the right of the pole you can see in the photo. We'll have to cut a piece of that overhanging cement off first.

Up top we could see just how close the next door apartment was to ours. The owner has actually been to our contractor to complain about how close we are building. The contractor apologized, but it's not our fault. We are building it legally. Her existing apartment complex is the one that is built wrong.
Pae, Mom and Dad at the north end of the third floor
The law requires an apartment to be built at least one meter from the edge of the property. Theirs is very close to that meter limit. Also, theirs has balconies opened towards our property. The law requires a building with balconies be build at least three meters away from the edge of the property, and again, theirs is barely a meter.
The rooms are beginning to take shape

Ours is a meter away from the edge of our property, directly facing their apartment complex, but as we just found out when we visited the property, we are not going to have an outwards facing balcony. This seemed strange to me, but it was designed that way, because of the building code/laws. We ended up building so close to our property limit because we may eventually build our "forever home" or another "wing" of the apartment on the other half.
Workers are usually families (moms and dads) so you often see children at the work site, playing and running around
I saw the back walls going up and was surprised that they were going up all the way to the ceiling. I asked, "Where is the balcony opening going to be???? It is then when they explained the building code to me and explained that our balcony would open sideways rather than outwards (hard to explain).
Children of construction workers playing on site; no helmets, no consideration for safety at all

Anyway, our structure is totally legal, whereas the neighbors preexisting structure is illegal...just in case she wants to come to us and complain again. She also complained that her tenants are moving out (four rooms so far) because they are losing their view and sunlight. I can see why that would be a problem but that's probably another reason why their building should have been built the required three meters away from our property (which was previously just an empty lot).
Pae and Mom on the second floor. The next door apartment is about two meters total through that blue tarp.
Another complaint was that there is algae growing in the bathrooms in their apartment because of the lack of sunlight. That sucks to be honest, but, nothing we can do about it. The contractor (P'Pong) gave them 500 baht, about $15, for the inconvenience. I found out about that and didn't really feel good about it. Perhaps it's the Thai way, or just the nice person way, but I don't want to set a precedent.
One thing I've always found a little funny, is how when there isn't enough space for another cement block, they throw in a couple bricks, haha. I wonder if this is standard practice? I see it all over in pretty much every construction site here.
Can't make everybody happy. I hope we can get along with the neighbors when it's all built and all is said and done. It would be awkward to have an ongoing feud with them.

Can't wait for the "walls" to go up, meaning having the cement covered. I'm very curious what will go over the cement blocks. A layer of cement? Some dry wall? We'll find out soon ;)
Saw a couple spots like this along the wall being worked on. Not sure if they built it with broken cement blocks or it broke after they built it.
That's the update for this week. Dad promised more pictures soon ;) Overall, our quick two day trip was good. We got a lot of "shopping"done and spent some good time with the family.


mardenheyjude said...

Pae and Guy: It is amazing how fast your apartment building is going up. I find it all so interesting. Thanks for sharing. Love always, Auntie

Pae and Guy said...

It is progressing quickly. I sometimes feel a little nervous about it getting built so fast, meaning that after it is built we get to worry about filling it and managing it and paying for it ;) Filling it obviously is important in the "paying for it" part, haha!!

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