When we built our house in Thailand five years ago we were actually living in New Zealand. Apart from two trips of three weeks each by my wife while I stayed home to look after the kids the house was built basically by correspondence and her family whose experience at building a house was about as much as mine – none! You would think that it the whole event would have been a catastrophe from start to finish but surprisingly enough apart from a few stuff ups we were happy with the end result.
One of those stuff ups only became apparent during our last visit when I leaned up against the balcony railing and almost fell right through it! A quick look later and we had quickly come to the conclusion that untreated cheap wood had been used for the entire railing and most of it was rotten inside. Perhaps termites had also been at work, I am not sure.
We could have replaced it with more wood but seeing as our house in Australia had just been finished with a large balcony complete with steel poles and wire thread which we love we thought we would have a shot at trying to replicate that.
I printed off a photo of our Australian balcony and Seerung set off to talk to a neighbour who is half decent with a welder and steel building products. He said he had never done something like that before but would have a crack so our next port of call was the hardware store an hours drive away. We bought what we needed and as some of the poles were too long for the car we left them there for the local bus to pick up and deliver to us for 50 baht ($1.75) the following day.
A few days after everything had arrived the neighbour turned up with a side kick and they started demolishing the balcony.
All he needed was a hammer because as you can see there was not much strength left in that wood!
Some other parts were a little harder going.
After that was done he measured up and set to work cutting all the steel poles into the right sizes. I always get a little nervous when we get this man to come and do some welding as he has to hook his welder directly into the power pole on the corner of our property. Unprotected wires being directly applied to power poles give me heart palpitations!
After every thing had been cut to size we were keen to see him get to work putting it all together as time was fast running out before our return trip to Australia. We waited…. and waited but he never showed.
Part 2 coming soon!