Bangkok Renovation

Many people come to Thailand and many purchase a condominium in Bangkok.  Often the condominium requires renovation, remodeling and/or interior design works. As in any construction project in Thailand it is vital you use the right people to assist you. Renovation of a condominium in Bangkok can be a complex and difficult task, so it is very important you choose the best people for the project. The same applies to a house renovation too, or shop house. However condominium renovation differs in the fact you are in a multiple dwelling building used by many other people. All with ownership interests and concerns. Naturally there are also juristic and management regulations that you have to adhere to and know about. Renovating a condominium needs to be treated with care and consideration, as you are working in an existing building and usually under some constraints.  There are many aspects to consider such as the public areas, the access to the condominium, the communal services and the other residents well being and harmony. So it is vitally important you have a good contractor on board; who understands Thai regulations, does good quality work, has experience and can speak with the Thai condo management if required to do so.

Renovating a condominium in Bangkok can be a wonderful experience or easily turn into a nightmare. So if you are doing any renovation works in Bangkok, make sure you choose a proficient Thai contractor who you can communicate with easily, is fully aware of the condominium regulations and can deal with the Thai management who may not speak English. If you are doing a condominium renovation in Bangkok and want some suggestions for contractors please Contact Us. We are happy to provide a name and then you can make your own decisions based on your meetings with them.

Condominium Renovation  'The Problems that can Occur'

The main problems that can occur with Bangkok renovation projects are normally associated with lack of care, slow progress and poor quality finish. This can happen for many different reasons, or even a combination of them, including: The contractor simply does not care. The contractor does not understand due to language issues and communication. The clients expectations of quality are much higher than the contractors understanding or maybe their ability. The contractor is unprofessional and offers too low a price to get the job only to find they cannot afford to finish the job, or do it properly. The client is difficult, has too higher expectations and is uncompromising. The client does not pay on time and upsets the contractor. There are misunderstandings mainly due to not understanding what is being said or agreed.  There is no legal contract, so nothing is written down, so there is nothing the two parties can go back to and check. What is agreed becomes confused. The client has paid cash, has no legal contract and has not checked to see if the contractor is legally allowed to do the works as per Thai laws and regulations. The quality is okay but the client is too demanding. There are cultural and language differences and so the list goes on. You do need to be aware of where you are and act accordingly with care, tolerance and understanding. It will certainly help you positively. Take it step by step and do due diligence.

If you are renovating a condo in Bangkok take care and be sensible. Do it according to the laws of Thailand, respect the management regulations and appreciate you have neighbors. If you are expecting a luxury finish and very high standards then expect to pay for luxury. Make sure you check the Thai contractor has experience in renovation of condominiums. If you take normal safe steps and check accordingly, your condominium can look fantastic at the end and both contractor and you, leave happy.  Contact Us if you have any questions

Bangkok Condominium Renovation Costs

We are often asked what is the approximate cost to renovate a condominium in Bangkok. How much does it cost to remodel a condo in Bangkok ? What is square meter cost of renovation of a condo in Bangkok ?

There is no exact price set in stone. Prices vary according to the project, the interior design drawings (if you have them), the contractor and what is being done. Basic prices of Bangkok condo renovation can start at approximately 12,000 baht and easily rise to 20,000 Baht per sqm. So much depends on quality of materials and what is included and being done.

Please Note: This is an approximate guide only and you must have a quotation provided by the contractor with a full list of works, time schedules and materials included.

Bangkok Renovation: Points to Check
  1. If you are considering renovating your condominium in Bangkok then do use a reputable Thai contractor. Preferably one that comes with references. There are good Thai contractors and they are perfectly able to provide professional quotations and carry out works to a good standard.  Remember some of the best hotels and condominium developments in Thailand have been built by Thai contractors.  So a Thai contractor can do the renovation works you require. But choose the best one. Do not make a decision based only on price. Low is not always the best way to go and it can be low for a reason and cost you more in the end. The quality of the finish, reliability and professionalism of the contractor is equally as important as price.
  2. Unless you speak Thai make sure someone who is supervising the Contractor can speak your language but they must speak Thai too. It is almost impossible to do a renovation of a condominium in Bangkok if you cannot communicate. They will need to speak to Thai management personnel and deal with regulations that will be according to Thai laws. So make sure you have a Thai person involved who is able to communicate in a language you understand and with the Thai management.
  3. Many Bangkok renovation projects cost from 1 - 5 million baht. It is not unusual for people to spend several million Baht on renovating their condominium. So do not expect to do renovation works for very low prices. Sadly those days are rapidly disappearing in Thailand and especially in Bangkok. Prices for materials have risen and in many instances they are the same or even more than in Europe or USA. The only main cost factor that remains lower is labour. But even this has gone up considerably recently with new labour regulations and minimum wage increases. If you start by looking for the cheapest price, that is what you will get and along with it may come all the inherent problems; such as potentiality for bad workmanship, unreliable contractors, low quality materials, mistakes and unfinished projects. So be fair and reasonable on price. Trying to beat down prices too much just breeds contempt and if the contractor does take the job, it may mean they won't do it with much love or care. You naturally expect to be paid fairly for your job and on time, so show the same respect to the Thai contractor. It will get you much more in the long run and a much better response; which in the end will lead for a much better experience and project. Treat people as you like to be treated. A good relationship is so important.
  4. Make sure you pay the contractor on time without delays. If you delay payment he has every right to stop works and leave the project. It also costs him extra money as if he/she is not paid, then how do they pay their workers. Payment on time is very important to your project.
  5. Do make sure you clarify all points with the contractor before they start renovating your condo. You need to know approximately how long the renovation works will take. You need to know their full name and address. You need to have a contract in English and/or Thai. You need to know when they will start and finish. You need to know what the stage payments are and when they are due. You need to inform the Juristic body or management company within the development of your decision to renovate. You need permission from them and you may need to pay a deposit with them. You need to make sure the contractor will cover the public hall floors and clear up any mess or damage they do to any public areas. Contractor may only be allowed to work from say 10am-5pm due to regulations on noise etc. So there is much to discuss with the contractor. You need to clarify all of this before starting and preferably have it written into a Thai legal contract. It is the responsibility of the contractor to do their job properly, to a good standard and on time. You must be clear on all of this.
  6. Pay all stage payments. Sadly we have to mention this as it is a re-occurring problem and causes foreigners to have bad image here in Thailand. It upsets us as professionals within the industry and is a rather cheap behavioral pattern with a small number of foreigners who come to Thailand. Luckily it is only a very small element, but they try and cheat the contractor out of their last payment. It is certainly not clever and nor is it sensible. Just remember where you are and remember this is not our country. This is South East Asia. This is Thailand. Not Europe or USA or Australia.  Quite rightfully in Thailand, they have their own laws, regulations and ways of dealing with things. Treat Thai people with respect, decency and fairness and most of the time you will get exactly the same back. Pay what you are supposed to and be fair, honest and respectful at all times. Screaming, acting aggressively or being a bully will not get you anywhere positive in Thailand. It may back home, but not here.  Arrogance, condescension and being loud and aggressive does not work here. They do not like it and nor should they. You only have to check out the internet news stories, to see how small situations or disagreements over payments turn ugly. It is simply not worth it. If you have a problem talk peacefully and come to a fair, mutual compromise. So act sensibly, intelligently and make sure you respect Thailand and the Thai people. If you do, your time will be much more enjoyable and fruitful. And this does permeate right the way through all the things you do here from renovating your condo in Bangkok, eating at a restaurant or asking someone to do your gardening for you. Respect, honesty and a smile go a long way here.
  7. If you ask a builder or contractor who has a foreigner working for them, that is no problem at all; but do make sure you they are registered in Thailand.  If they do not have the correct paper works they are breaking Thai laws. This can possibly place you and them in serious trouble with the potential for prison sentences and heavy fines to pay. If you employ someone it is your responsibility to know they have the required official legal paperwork's to be doing what they are. All you have to do is ask, check make sure.
  8. If you employ a limited company then you will have to pay VAT (7%) on top. Some of the only people who do not charge VAT for renovation works are Thai nationals who work as a partnership or as a sole trader. The benefits of a company are obvious, as you have some recourse if there are problems, an official office address and it can mean they are possibly more serious about business. But not always and there are some very good Thai contractors who work outside of the company scope. That is fine and it can work just as well as a company;  but do ask for their portfolio or ask them about their experience. Build a nice friendly relationship and get to know them a bit. Checking and doing due diligence is essential, so do it. It is of benefit to you and you project.

Good luck with your renovation project. If you require any suggestions for a contractor in Bangkok we are happy to suggest some.  Please fill out the form below and send to us.

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