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Building Your Own Home

Thailand - Building Your Own Home

Building a home in Thailand is not normally an option for the majority of expats. There are restrictions on foreign ownership of land and many people will not be able to get around this unless they form a company or marry a Thai national and buy the land in their name.

The procedure for building a home if you are able to get around the ownership issue is fairly straightforward. An architect should be hired to draw up the plans for the home. In many areas the local architect also serves as the planning officer on the council. This means that the person who draws up the plans will also have the final say in the approval of the plans, so approval is not normally a problem. This is the only permit you will need for building in most areas of Thailand, but in some areas, depending upon the workload of the local planning department, you may need to allow several months for the permission to be granted. If you are dealing with a planning officer who is not the architect who drew up the plans then you may be asked to provide more information on the project.

In other areas, particularly urban areas you may want to use a larger firm of architects to draw up the plans for your new home and there are several firms which can not only build the house for you but deal with interior design too. There is no requirement for architects to be registered with a governing organization. Dealing with a professional firm of architects is relatively straightforward and few people have problems.

Finding a builder is not always easy in Thailand and you should always make sure that you hire a firm which is recommended. It is not advised to give the builder money up front to buy materials. A reputable firm will be able to purchase the materials themselves. It is common for the homeowner to pay for work a little at a time. The price given should include both materials and labour for the building work.

When working with builders it is strongly recommended that they are supervised by you each day. If you are not in the habit of checking their work and progress on a daily basis then they will become slack and there will be delays. A reputable firm will also offer a good guarantee on the work that they carry out. Most firms will advise you to allow between 3 and 6 months for the building period.

The Thailand Home Builder’s Association website has a section for finding members although the site is available in Thai only. There is no requirement for builders to be registered with any association which is why it is important to find one that has a good reputation.

Useful Resources

Thailand Home Builder’s Association
www.hba-th.org (Thai only)
Tel: + 66 2570 0153

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