Renovating an old rural village home in Thailand.

Faz

Well-known member
Saturday 2nd March & Sunday 3rd March.

Quite a boring, monotonous weekend, continuing where we left off the weekend before with securing the 4" square wire mesh to the steel frames by twisting 1mm gauge wire around them. On Saturday, we managed to fix mesh and secure to the remainder of the left hand side wall and halfway across the back wall.

The 1mm fixing wire is first cut to lengths of approx 9", and requires a total of 212 lengths for twisting around the frame to secure the mesh over a 40-metre distance, or one side wall. That's well over 500 lengths of 1mm galvanised steel wire to be cut and twisted, and is very time-consuming.

On Sunday we managed to temporarily put the fencing mesh up on the right hand side wall and managed to secure about 30 metres, leaving approx another 30 metres to secure next week to completely finish the wire mesh fencing.
 
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Faz

Well-known member
Saturday 9th March.

We started where we left off last weekend, with first continuing to secure the wire mesh to the frame by twisting lengths of 1mm gauge wire around them along the right-hand side wall, before proceeding to do the same on the rear wall.

This is as far as we got last weekend. The mesh is just temporarily held in position with blue nylon tape, before we can then secure more permanently with the 1mm twisted wire.

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Cutting numerous lengths of 8" 1mm wire and twisting around the frame to secure the mesh top and bottom is time-consuming, boring, and hard on the hands. Gloves help but are also cumbersome.

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Faz

Well-known member
We stared with 2 x 50 metre rolls of mesh.
The boundary walls are supposedly 40 metres long and 20 metres wide.
2 x 50 metre rolls should then theoretically just be enough, but we found ourselves 1.2 metres short on the rear wall.

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Fortunately, I had a small length of wire left from that used to lay concrete.
I trimmed that to plug the gap, although the squares in the wire were roughly 8". I twisted some 1mm wire between the first couple of lower rows to reduce the size to 4" squares to match the new mesh size.

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It works a treat as one of the soi dogs attempted to climb over, but only managing to poke his head through a 4" space, realised his body wouldn't fit and gave up trying, but cried and reattempted multiple times.

I don't mind the soi dogs, being an animal lover, they're friendly enough although usually hungry, but we needed to fence off the soi dogs from entering as when our own dogs come down, they're territorial and will fight other dogs, regardless of size differences.
 

Faz

Well-known member
I'd like to secure the mesh in the middle of the steel uprights as well, but maybe later.

This month, I have appointment dates for some minor surgery procedures.
Sunday next (17th) I'm having a cataract op.
The end of this month, I'm having a small, non-invasive surgical procedure to 'pump' up a lower compressed disc in the lower back.
With both ops, I'm informed I should abstain from any physical activities for a few weeks, so although we may still visit the village house perhaps just on Saturdays, I doubt I'll be exerting myself for a month.

The front and rear door frames and doors have yet to be sealed with several coats of stain/varnish, a block work external storage shed to be built, and a hell of a lot of gardening work, although the wife has taken that job on.

We're approach the hottest months of the year in Thailand, and it's predicted to be a hot one this year.
I feel sorry for the wife in that garden whilst I sip a nice cold piña colada in the shade of the front porch. ;)
 

Faz

Well-known member
Saturday 16th March.

We weren't too sure about visiting today with my cataract op pending tomorrow and a further non-invasive surgical procedure coming up in a fortnight.
The recommendation being 'rest' after both procedures.

However, the wife was concerned when we may next visit and some plants receiving water.
I suggested me move a couple of houseplants and those on the front balcony to an area where they'd both receive some sunlight and water should it rain, as we're getting into that season of the year, so we decided just to have a half day there.

As she tended to the garden and some plants, I've never been one to idly stand around and noticed an unfinished job that wouldn't take me long to complete, so the paint and brush came out.

I'd originally used some offcuts of fascia board to create a cover for the water tank, but never got around to painting it.
A bit of masking up and away I went.

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Masking tape all removed and now approaching the rear up the path, the water tank looks a little less conspicuous.

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Although I'm sure we'll be popping over on the odd day in the next few weeks, I'll be taking a break under doctors orders from anything considered strenuous work for a while. The timing is quite good as April/May tend to be the hottest months of the year anyway.

I'll actually find it difficult to put my feet up for a while, as I can always find something to fix or improve.
Looks as though I'll be looking for a few movies to watch and books to read for a while.

Watch this space.
 

Faz

Well-known member
Sunday 14th April - Songkran.

We made plans to visit the village house this weekend, arriving Sunday and staying overnight for the first time until Monday.
Being Songkran, I figured the roads wouldn't be as busy and less drunk drivers on those days.
We asked the MIL if she wanted to come as she loves to catch up with old friends in the village, but to my surprise she stated there would be too many activities taking place, and she didn't want the hustle and bustle.

Then Friday evening, I'm informed the SIL wants to visit the village house on Saturday and stay over until Sunday and the MIL is going with her :unsure:
So we arrive on Sunday morning as planned and find the BIL and his family have also visited and stayed overnight.
There is a temple ceremony, so everyone goes to the temple, leaving me alone in peace.

A couple of hours later, they're all back. The BIL and his family leave to go back home and the SIL also leaves to return home, but the MIL, the one that didn't want to go in the first instance, announces she's staying for a second night :rolleyes:

As it was, the village was absolutely dead, like a ghost town. No villagers or motorcycles constantly passing the house, no kids on the roadsides throwing water.
It was really quiet and peaceful, not what the MIL had encompassed.
The wife did a little gardening in the evening and the early morning as it was too hot to do anything in the daytime, and I was left to doodle on my PC.

I was still under instructions not to do any physical activities after having the cataract and disc surgeries.
 

Faz

Well-known member
I'm back!
After 2 surgical procedures and following doctors orders to refrain from physical work activities for almost 2 months, work resumes once more.

I purchased a few bits and bobs just to add some finishing touches in certain areas, and a couple of additional floor fans.
I also intend to start staining/varnishing the external rear door and frame and fit some extra lighting.

The wife wants to have a house 'blessing' by the village monks to bring good luck and ward away any evil spirits, what we might deem a house-warming party.
However, this event cannot simply be a day of our choosing, such are the Thai superstitions, the 'lucky' day has to be chosen by the village 'fortune-teller', a person with such mystic powers they can foretell the best day and month to bless the house. That day is next month, 7th June.
Of course, this caused an interesting debate with the wife as I announced it's all 'poppycock', but no, no, no, she wasn't wearing it as these folk have superpowers to predict such numbers. If that were true, why then are they not millionaires having powers to predict the winning lottery numbers, but what would I know of such matters. :rolleyes:

So, first tasks are to unpack and assemble a couple of fans, and a small storage rack. Fit a kitchen utility rack for utensils and add some extra hooks outside.

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One utility rack in place for washing machine detergents.

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Faz

Well-known member
Whilst I'm at the back, some extra hooks for holding more bits and bobs.

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One assembled floor fan ................ but not for long!

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Warning - do not purchase this make of fan.
After assembling, as soon as I picked it up by the handle to move, the whole cage encompassing the fan came off.
Thinking perhaps I hadn't sufficiently secured the rear part of the cage to the motor assembly, I refitted it again.
Sound in the knowledge I'd tightened the rear plastic locking nut securing the outer cage to the assembly, I tried again, only for the securing nut to rip off the thread and the whole cage was loose again as soon as I picked it up by the handle to move.
I never unpacked the second fan, the first was stripped down, placed back in the box, and I'll return both to Global for a refund.

Ideally I wanted a couple of Panasonic floor fans, but neither Home Pro, Global, nor Thaiwatsadu had none in stock.
 

Faz

Well-known member
Onto a far simpler job, fitting a utility rack for kitchen utensils.
I always find that the fittings supplied for fixing (plugs and screws) are always less than adequate for the job.
The rack came with 4 x 3/4" long screws. Whilst the rack won't hold any considerable weight, these screws will barely go through the thickness of the tiles, let alone actually secure into the wall. I immediately replaced these with 1 1/4"screws.

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This type was aluminium and came in 40cm and 60cm lengths. I went for the 60cm length for more hooks.

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Faz

Well-known member
Onto the rear external door and frame.
You may recall some months ago the wife managed to lock a soi dog indoors overnight, and it chewed the bottom of the rear door in an attempt to escape.
The floor wasn't tiled at that point, so a sizeable gap under the door for the dog to get its snout in.

Recap;
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I decided to take the door off;
a) Because it was easier to fill and sand the bottom of the damaged door.
b) It was also easier to stain/varnish the frame with the door off.

I filled the damaged door with 'pine' wood filler before sanding, then applied a second coat of wood filler before sanding again.

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With the door off, I also applied 3 coats of stain/varnish to the bottom of the door, as this will be impossible to do once the door is refitted.

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Faz

Well-known member
The problem with staining/varnishing is the length of time it takes to dry before you can apply further coats, so it's a slow process.

I gave the frame a coat on Saturday and left the door off overnight. The following day, first thing in the morning, I was able to give the frame a second coat, and it was sufficiently dry to refit the door again by 1500 in the afternoon.

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Next weekend, I intend to give the frame its 3rd and final coat, give the door it's first coat and make a start on the extra light fittings.
 

Faz

Well-known member
Sat, 18th May.

Off with the rear door again, whilst I give the door frame its 3rd and final coat of stainer/varnish.

I returned iNova fans to Global and got a full refund. Other than Hatari fans, it was difficult to find any alternative makes.
Eventually, at Thai watsadu, I came across some limited Mitsubishi fans, which for some obscure reason were on a back shelf, some 25 metres from the main displays of fans, hence I previously missed them. The stock had obviously been in store for some time, as the last two boxes in my preferred black/grey colour were brought down from the top shelf, covered in gecko shit, which they cleaned, rather scraped off.
I can only assume these were not a best-selling fan, being some 700 BHT more expensive than the equivalent Hatari fans, and most Thais will go for price over quality.

Next job was to add some extra lighting.
In the front lounge area I have 2 banks of two Phillips LED flush mount lights, whilst in the rear lounge area (my man cave and dining area) another bank of two Phillips LED flush mount lights. When seated at the dining room table, I found myself to be in the shadow of lighting so decided to add an extra light more central over the dining area.

So, I went from this;
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To this;

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Faz

Well-known member
Again, on the front balcony I originally fitted just one central surface mounted EVE LED light.
Whilst it provided a basic central light, it wasn't sufficient for reading without straining your eyes, and the cover has discoloured to a dirty brown colour further restricting light.

So an upgrade from this;

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To this;

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Faz

Well-known member
Sun, 19th May.

I refitted the rear door, removed the door furnishings and gave the door it's first coat of stainer/varnish.
I touched up around the outside wall and frame as well as filling and touching up the front porch ceiling where I removed the old EVE light from.

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At 1530, I fitted the hasp back to the door so we could slip the inner padlock through to secure the door before heading home.

Next weekend, I'll apply a 2nd coat to the rear door, perhaps applying a first coat to the front door frame, although the doors will have to be removed first.
There are also some other smaller areas of bubbling on the inner painted wall, that will need sanding, sealing and repainting.

The wife potters in the garden when the weather is cooler.
With all the previous building work and the external wall construction, large areas of the ground are like a helter-skelter and not flat.
With the recent rain, the wife was digging up grass and hoeing the ground flat.

Next week she has arranged for a man with a backhoe excavator calling to turn over and flat a large area where she will later attempt to grow rice.
He could have done the whole garden but for the fact she's planted multiple trees, so that area has to be done the hard way by hand.
She doesn't listen to me!
 

Nomad

Well-known member
Again, on the front balcony I originally fitted just one central surface mounted EVE LED light.
Whilst it provided a basic central light, it wasn't sufficient for reading without straining your eyes, and the cover has discoloured to a dirty brown colour further restricting light.
Are you sure you just don't need sun glasses given the reflection off the paint work? 555
 

Faz

Well-known member
I should have mentioned our neighbours now have 5 cows, having inherited some as a dowry.
Their cow shed is only big enough for 3 cows.
They don't have enough land for them to graze, so are desperately seeking sources of grass.

Sunday morning when I woke up at 0740, the wife already being up and out, I went in the kitchen to make a coffee, and through the window were 5 cows chomping merrily on our overgrown grass. Better than any strimmer, but they shit all over the place.
I'm guessing, with a little rain and the place being locked down for a week, I could well see the return of the cows next weekend.

At least the cows are quieter than the chickens and rooster they used to have.
 

kaptainrob

Administrator
I should have mentioned our neighbours now have 5 cows, having inherited some as a dowry.
Their cow shed is only big enough for 3 cows.
They don't have enough land for them to graze, so are desperately seeking sources of grass.

Sunday morning when I woke up at 0740, the wife already being up and out, I went in the kitchen to make a coffee, and through the window were 5 cows chomping merrily on our overgrown grass. Better than any strimmer, but they shit all over the place.
I'm guessing, with a little rain and the place being locked down for a week, I could well see the return of the cows next weekend.

At least the cows are quieter than the chickens and rooster they used to have.
You've got a ready source of fertiliser as well as natural grass control. No doubt P will collect the dung and use it on her trees.
 
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