What are we doing…?


Did you ever want to build your own house? The idea that from your design, a house emerged. I had such a notion, over 30 years ago.

For all the usual reasons, My desire was thwarted by lack of salary, bonus too low, land prices running ahead of my buying power. In fact, I put the idea on the ‘back burner’ and for those intervening 30 years, concentrated on conventional ‘modern box’ living. The idea for an individual home came again when, through a change in circumstances, I found myself living in SE Asia.

Everything that previously prevented my build plan was now eliminated. My salary had not really jumped crazily but it had jumped enough to make a house-build a viable option. Land was cheap… I mean…really cheap compared to Europe, and so were build materials and labour.

It looked like my build dream might become a reality

10 thoughts on “What are we doing…?

  1. Great website. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to tell the story. Lots of good information so far. I am looking at building in SE Asia, maybe Thailand or the Philippines so this is a great read. How long did your build take?

    1. In answer… about 1 year, but there was less pressure because I was working out of the country throughout the build. I hope you will post your build story, too!

  2. A real pleasure to read and absorb the detail of your “journey” from the initial desire to self-build your own home to completion & occupancy. Am very grateful to have this web site as a reference point.
    Without wanting to intrude personally, how did the relationship with your wife hold up and what are some of your tips on those moments that inevitably cause anxiety in both when things don’t go as planned?

    1. Hey, Greg!

      Thanks for stopping by the website. This is meant to be the link between the TD build thread and a visual of the build (when I get around to it!) on YouTube – over 20 hours of footage to sift through, edit and publish! I am glad you have found the story useful and I wish you luck with your own endeavours!

      With regards to the relationship, a number of factors were in play and I think they all contributed to how it turned out. 1. it’s my design. by that I mean – my concept, my sketches, my plans, and the engineer/architect turning that into build plans, PJ had input, for example, the Buddha room inclusion but since she has no construction background (and I do) she pretty much left the build design side to me. 2. I was working away for most of the build, which is not ideal as anyone will tell you. I was confident though, that she could PM the build, once she knows what is going where… it happens. No one argues with her, she’s resolute and determined! In fact, my not being there helped. 3. the other thing that helped was having a rock-solid contract, clearly laying out everything in undoubted detail. 4. When it comes to the finishing touches – lighting, flooring, wall colour, etc she had a good say in that. She has contributed to what the house will ultimately ‘look like – it’s her home as well, of course.

      So…the relationship not only ‘held up’ but I think it has got stronger. The key to any disputes of course is communication – not easy with my limited grasp of Thai and her likewise with English – but we did it! Get agreement through discussion before the issues become overblown.

      Hope this helps and do stick around for the rest

      TD and PJ

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