Thailand Choosing a Builder

Tips, Notes and Points about Builders

Best Advice Anyone Can Give You

Due to our experience in the building industry we often get asked about choosing a builder in Thailand. To be able to choose a builder, or construction contractor in Thailand you first need to know how important they are to your project. Never underestimate how valuable and important a professional builder is to you. It can be the difference between a success and a failure. It can change the whole process from being enjoyable to being miserable. It can have an effect on how you feel and how the whole project develops. It can save you massive costs in correction works later on and repairing bad construction works. “It is vital to work with a good builder in Thailand”.  If there is one bit of advice we hope you take, it would be: Seek the help of a professional builder with references and experience. Construction involves large sums of money. Do not play with it, or underestimate how bad things can get if you chose the wrong builder.

A professional builder in Thailand is worth all that you pay for their service, if they do their job correctly. The quality of the finish, the time taken and the integrity of the building rest very much in the hands of the builder or construction contractor. They are the second part of the building equation with the architect being the first. Together they create what it is you wish to have built. If a foreigner is involved check to see their work permit and are a registered company. This shows they are official and profesional.

Remember… construction projects and in particular people’s homes, are the largest amounts of money we personally spend at any one time in our lives, so do not underestimate the importance of a professional builder. Don’t cheat yourself by trying to do it on the cheap and go for the cheapest builder; choose one on merit, experience, recommendation, testimonials and what they provide…do not choose one on price alone. Or you may just end up with huge extra costs, terrible problems and a project that is not fun anymore. The results of using bad builders in Thailand can mean:  costs escalate, mistakes are made, projects are unfinished, no professional supervision, wrong materials are used and so many problems can occur.  Do not be the victim. Be a winner !

Use a proper professional company with a good reputation and years of experience.


What is a builder?


A Professional builder in Thailand, or anywhere,  is someone who has chosen a career in the construction industry; a person who constructs buildings and has experience in and knowledge of how construction works, materials, techniques, the process and how best to construct a property safely, on time and to a set of architects drawings. It is best to use a building company in Thailand that has building experts working within them. Sometimes the building expert may even own the company or be a shareholder. But whoever you work with must have many years of experience in construction in Thailand.

Many builders are very passionate about what they do and to construct a properly built project means much to them. A good builder is a person who has chosen it as his life time career.  There are many aspects to construction and many people involved including electricians, carpenters, brick layers, engineers, architects, pool specialists, painters, floor layers, kitchen installers, foreman, and project managers; and so the list goes on.  Many have gone on training courses and worked for many years in their trade. The main builder controls all of these aspects with a project manager under him as part of the team.

Construction of any building is highly complex with many variables and potential things that can go wrong. It is the builder who takes all of this responsibility on and constructs your building.  They build according to a set of architectural and engineering drawings using the services of all these various trades’ personnel.  Do not underestimate the value of a good professional builder.

Don’t Lose Money ! Get it Done Right The First Time ! Be Sensible and Be Correct !

Use a Professional Builder and SAVE MONEY !


Choosing a builder

Choosing a builder in Thailand can be hard. Most do not advertise and many are not registered companies. The location of the project also has an effect. Naturally there are more professional builders in large population areas, popular tourist’s places and main areas of commerce: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Ko Samui and Phuket for example. However even then, once you have a builder, quality and standards can be disappointing.  So do be careful and chose the right one.

In distant less popular, or less commercialized locations many local builders are farmers turned builders or local building gangs. They can work hard and do the best they can; but their ideas of quality and standards often fall far short of what you may expect or what you may get say in say Bangkok, Europe, Australia or USA. It can often happen that customers are very disappointed and there can be conflict. Also there is may be no come back whatsoever, as guarantees are worthless or they have no office or insurance. You need to take care when choosing a builder.

Even in popular areas such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Bangkok it is still hard and you have to choose carefully. We do not think it would be unfair to say builders do not have the best of reputations, so make sure you find a good professional one, with a good reputation. Then make sure you treat them fairly and expect to pay fairly. A good builder is so very important.

Sub Contractors: Often people seem confused by the fact a main contractor in Thailand or a builder in Thailand uses external sub contractors for certain parts of the project. Or maybe they bring in a piling company, or electrical contractor, home automation company, window manufacturer,  or specialist carpenters. This is standard in the construction industry and few companies have the capabilities or skills to do it all under one company umbrella. They use specialists they know or have worked with. Generally this is beneficial to you as you have better skilled people involved. Remember it is the main contractor if he has signed a contract with you to do so, who takes all the responsibility, guarantees and supervises for your project.  Who they use is their business and how they do it is their business. It is why they are doing what they are, because they know the construction industry. As long as they keep to their price, the agreements and the contract you signed, then you should not be be concerned if they use external sub contractors. It is how projects get built all over the world and Thailand is no different. In fact a professional construction person would question it if they did not use specialists and external sub contractors for parts of the project. As it is expected and standard practice in the construction industry. It is normal in the construction industry for more than one contractor to be involved. It creates the industry that exists and means people and companies can specialize in certain areas.  This benefits the industry and you as a client,  if good specialists and sub contractors are used.

Variances: If you change or make additional requests for work to be done which is not in the original contracted works,  then the contractor will supply a new price. It is called the variance. The contractor or builder you have signed to build your project will then supply the price and show their profit and overheads on top. If the cost is higher than the original cost then the difference will be shown and they will as is standard, add their profit and overheads onto that difference.

For more information please go to our building costs in Thailand page and also our Thailand project management section.

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