Thailand Building Costs

Thailand Constuction Cost: Basic Information on the construction costs in Thailand.

 

Question:

 

What are construction costs in Thailand ? How much does it cost to build a house in Thailand and what are the average building costs in Thailand ?

Answer:

 


Construction costs vary in Thailand according to a multitude of factors such as: the type of project, what is being built, the architects drawings, the professionalism and quality of the contractor, what is included in the construction price, the quality of materials, site conditions and various other contributing factors. Building costs in Thailand vary as they do anywhere in the world. There is no instant answer to this question. Every project is different depending on the design, location, specifications, materials, contractors involvement and input, and the complexity of the project. To know costs you need finished architects drawings, clear specifications and a list of all materials to build the home. You also need to know the land site location and conditions too. In addition each contractor may well provide a different service and include, or exclude different items or services. Maybe one contractor is more professional than another; or maybe they offer true guarantees they act on, proper standards and professional project management. Maybe the materials they included are a better grade and are in fact what should be used for the project.  Maybe they take out project insurance for the duration of the construction, yet another does not. There are a multitude of reasons that effect construction costs and why costs vary.

So to know accurate costs, one must first know all the details and facts first.  It is why, when quoting approximate sqm prices, it is only ever meant as 'an approximate guide' to costs and some professional, construction contractors won't do it; preferring to wait until they have all the information they require to provide a professional, accurate construction cost quotation.  If you are contemplating building in Thailand, you must be aware of all the aspects that make up costs and understand why quotes vary. It is all too simple to think one construction contractor is more expensive than another, or one is lower, without knowing or understanding, what is included and what makes the costs of constuction. The contractor you think is expensive, may be the contractor you need to use, who does a proper professional job. Maybe they are giving you the correct, professional quotation that includes what is required to be included, to make the construction a success and do properly. Sometimes, quoting low in construction can be done just to get a job. But it can cause serious problems for the client, if the contractor can not finish the project due to under quoting. It maybe a disaster waiting to happen that could cost you millions in baht in problems, bad building and corrections. Or it maybe fine. It is impossible to know without a full understanding of all the cost facts and what is included, or not included. Another factor, is how you get on with the Head person. It is important you have a good relationship and feel comfortable with the main person you will be working with. If they are responsive, communicatibve and you can see they are really trying to help you, then that can be a very good good sign. Do be careful, understand costs and the varying quality of service contractors provide.

On a seperate aspect of costs: Construction costs in Thailand, have increased over the years due to material cost rises and more recently the minimum wage increase of 2013. But prices have increased in most parts of the world, especially with the oil industries prices fluctuations and mass demand for materials from growing nations.  Thailand construction costs are still lower than in many countries, offering good value for money. Naturally one must also consider, that contractors have no control over currency rate fluctuations and exhange rates; so do consider that when thinking costs are expensive if you are exchanging foreign currencies into Thai Baht. You can still build a good quality home in Thailand for less than many other places. Below we provide you with an approximate construction cost guide. It is a good starting point.

Please Note: All construction costs we provide here are meant to be an approximate guide only and you must do your own due dilligence. It is impossible for us, or you, to know the costs, until you have all the finished architects drawings, all the specifications and the material choices known. We can only provide approximate guide costs. As we state, each project is different and costs per sq.m given, without architects drawings completed and all specifications known, are only meant as an approximate guide. Also note when discussing costs per sq.m, it varies from room to room, space to space, so it is another reason why using costs per sq.m at an early stage should only be used for an approximate guide.

Approximate Construction Cost Guide in Thailand:

Basic guide for a finished house of good quality to be built by a proper contractor with correct supervision (project manager) would be 25,000-35,000 Baht per sqm. Luxury would start at perhaps 35,000 Baht per sqm.

 

Question:

Why do some builders in Thailand cost more than other builders ?

Answer:

 


There can be several reasons: the first one, we probably all would jump to the conclusion of, is to assume they are making more profit and charging too much. But making the decision who you use, is yours and you can chose based on your own decisions and due dilligence. But just because one contractor is more expensive then another may not be because they are expensive. It may be because the quality is better and the standard of service is better, and what they provide is more than another, which can mean their costs are higher. It may well be there price is a fair price and the real cost to build your project properly to a standard you are happy with. The more expensive contractor may be providing project management which any professional builder should. It may also be the standard of finish is better and they may well be costing for better quality materials installed by better quality tradesmen who are paid more. Or it maybe they are expensive. No one can know until one checks and understands their costs. It is no easy thing to just compare prices and assume one is expensive because their price is higher, or one is lower and it may not be as good. It may well be their price is correct and the lower one is not good quality, or maybe ithe lower price is okay; or maybe the lower price is not providing proper supervision and using lower standards of materails, or their tradesman provide a lower stanbdard of finish. There is a lot involved in calculating costs and prices. There are sad stories of people going the cheap route and causing themselves nothing but problems and extra costs. But there are good stories too. Take care when considering prices and do your own due dilligence. Analyse the prices and check carefully. The choices are yours to make.

A simple way to think about it, is why is fruit in say one supermarket more expensive than another, or why is one hotel more expensive then another. We all know that answer. It could be because the quality is much better, service higher, the fruit is better, the location of the shop or hotel etc:  this is the same with cars and the same with many products and services. So do not assume in construction, just because the price is higher that the contractor is expensive, or one is very low it is bad. It is not as simple as that and often that is not the case. If you want good quality and good service there is naturally a price to pay for it. So check what they provide, meet the contractor, disvuss and make your own decisions, based on your own deductions. Making the right choice, can, like in any country, save you a lot of money in repairs, extra cost and hassle !


Simple Approximate Construction Cost Guide

There is much to consider when calculating accurate costs in construction.  However we have put together some basic approximate guide figures to help you. Construction costs in Thailand, as we have said are not set and static. They vary, so please use this only as an 'approximate guide'.


House

As of the current year (2017), approximate cost guidelines (ballpark figures) to building a lower end home in Thailand, using a small gang of local builders up country using standard materials including roof, walls, doors, floors and bathrooms, with perhaps no professional project management, would be approximately: anything from perhaps 20,000 baht per sqm. Be Careful: This is the lower end of the market  that can potentially have problems. Quality, workmanship, reliability and professionalism can be lower and your expectations much higher than what you end up getting. For some people this may not be good enough quality and for others it is okay. We all have varying degrees of what we consider exceptable quality. Some may prefer to opt  for a professional construction company with professional standards and management. Others have a lower expectation. The choice is yours, not ours and please make your own decisions. See below for this.

A house of reasonable quality to be built in Thailand by a proper contractor with correct supervision would be 25,000-35,000 Baht per sqm. Luxury would start at perhaps 35,000 Baht per sqm. This may not not include air conditioning units, appliances, kitchen design and furniture but could include a finished home with doors, windows, roof, walls basic bathrooms and floor finishes etc. House construction costs in Thailand change according to the individual project and it could end up being 27,000, 27,500, 30,000, 37,000, 40,000, or even higher, baht per sqm. It all depends on the homes specifications, materials used, site location/conditions and architects drawings. Anything below 25,000 baht per sqm, may be potentially lower quality, lower standard materials and maybe not built by a professional construction company, that provides project management, with insurance, guarantees that are acted upon and all the things required; which can be essential for a proper professional standard of build. But it could be okay too. But it is all down to the construction contractor, the site, the architectural drawings and specifications. And of course your expectations.Please use this as an approximate guide only.

From our research in the Thai house construction industry and talking to many construction people, a good quality finished house with acceptable standards similar to USA, Europe, and Australia etc, could be 25,000-35,000 baht per sqm. Luxury homes perhaps 35,000 upwards. But it is all depends what is included in the price and what the architects’ drawings tell the builder. Always remember, the lowest quotes may not always be  the best and could be potentially disastrous. Or they could be fine. We do not know at this stage, as we do not have all the facts to make any assumption. If you want quality and a professional construction service always remember you must be willing to pay for this. If you want to save additional costs due to bad building, reduce problems, avoid bad workmanship and have good standards, be  prepared to pay for it. Every house is different and you cannot know the cost until you have all the information. Costs vary. If you expect high quality and high standards, then like anything in life, you must be prepared to pay for it. Professional people cost money, but it can potentially pay dividends in the end result. No one can know at this time, until you have all your finished professional drawings and you have done your own due dilligence. This is only an approximate guide to be helpful.

Multi storey residential buildings

Condominiums and residential buildings over 6 storey’s can start at a cost anywhere from 25,000-40,000 Baht per sqm. Once again this is an approximate guide only; accurate costs can only be given from architects drawings and a full understanding of materials and site conditions. We do not know what is involved, what the specifications are or what the materails used are. So it is an approximate guide only.

Offices and Factories

Offices and factories vary too but an approximate guide could be starting anywhere from 20,000-25,000 Baht per sqm.

Cost Facts
  • Until architects drawings are completed it is at best a guess what costs can be. Each project is different and a builder cannot quote or possibly know costs without architect’s drawings, a full understanding of specifications and a complete list of all materials to be used. In addition the location of the property, land site conditions and complexity of the project also play a part. If you do not have architects drawings done, at best talking costs is merely a ball park figure’. .
  • To know costs there is so much the builder needs to know: What sort of building is it ? Is it a home you are you building ? Is it a low cost single wall bungalow with Thai style kitchen; a 4 bedroom, two storey house with cavity wall; or a luxury villa with insulation block, European kitchen and swimming pool ? Or is it a condominium to sell in the luxury market place ? Or is it a factory, an office, a shop house complex and so on. Does the factory floor have to be piled due to heavy machinery being installed etc. What is involved and what are all the specifications required to complete the project ?
  • Costs vary in construction. Homes are not all the same. Projects are not all the same. It is quite complex and it must be done correctly. You cannot accurately give a cost without knowing all the facts and information first. So do be careful on trying to know costs before you have all the facts and information. The above simple approximate guide is only a guide. You should have the cost accurately calculated by the builder once you have finished the architectural drawings; or ask the architect to do a full cost for you.

 

Why can we not know costs before architects drawings are completed ?

We do not have the requisite information to know costs. How can anyone calculate or know cost when they do not know what roof tiles you want ? What doors you want. Do you want cavity wall or insulation block ? Are you having 10 electrical sockets or 5 in each room? What is the type of electrical plug socket and what manufacturer ? What sort of flooring are you going to have ? Is the building two storey or one ? What style of roof do you like ? What type of bathroom products do you want ? Are you using expensive wood on the floors or large tiles ? What type of tile and what manufacturer or material ? How deep do the piles have to go into the ground ? No one can know costs until they know all the materials, product choices, codes and quantities. A cost takes 2-4 weeks or more to do properly and is normally done by a professional cost person such as the architect, builder, engineer or quantity surveyor.

To know accurate costs you must have professional architects drawings completed.

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