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Friday, 28 October 2011

Ko Samui Properties Blog for October 2011

Included in this Newsletter is an article by Dr Theerathon Tharachai which discusses the relationship between design and construction standards when developers are faced with increasing building costs. Whilst the article refers in particular to high-rise buildings in Bangkok with emphasis on safety it highlights an issue we need to be aware of here in Koh Samui as well. Whilst we have few high rise buildings, the implication in the article is that developers and contractors will cut corners to maintain profit margins and that is something to be seriously considered. Before I am accused of making false accusations, may I say that I have no experience of this happening on Koh Samui and I am simply raising a warning flag that this could happen and is a possibility we all should be aware of.
The easiest way to reduce costs is by using inferior or sub-standard materials and if you are buying a new property either rom a developer or having one built, you need to be sure that what is built and the materials used actually accord with the specification you agreed to.
A perfectly acceptable process for reducing costs is Value Engineering. There are four basic steps in approaching this:

1) What are the requirements for the project. How should it function? What functions or performance characteristics are important? What does the object do? What must it do? What should it do? What could it do? What must it not do? This could relate to aspects of the structural design or materials to be used.
2) We then ask - What are the various alternative ways of meeting the requirements? What else will perform the desired function?
3) We then look at all the alternatives and assess them by evaluating how well they meet the required functions and how great will the cost savings be.
4) In the final stage, the best alternative will be chosen and presented to the client for final decision.

All developers should utilize Value Engineering as a matter of course. From my experience here on Samui, that is not always the case and I have seen some horrendous cases of over engineering due to poor design due to lack of knowledge or consideration of alternatives. When I first came to Koh Samui ten years ago, everything was built using reinforced concrete frames. The use of a steel frame was unheard of. As time has passed I see more and more steel frame buildings being built and steel components incorporated into some of the larger villas. The use of steel has allowed greater spans than previously possible except by creating impossibly large concrete beams – and I have seen some of them!
So alternative design solutions and alternative materials are quite acceptable if they meet the required standards and save money. You just need to be sure that it is not the last factor only that influences the choice.

The real estate market is slowly gaining pace but as reported previously mainly in the lower ranges. We have been receiving more serious enquiries recently than for a long time and interest has moved up into the 10-15 million range whereas previously it was almost exclusively under 10 million. However, before everyone starts putting their prices up, the only properties selling in that range are those that have already been discounted. What is also noticeable is that with so many agents having disappeared over the last year or so, there are signs of one or two coming back, unfortunately with little real estate experience. So just be careful who you are dealing with.

For a full copy of this Newsletter please email me at


miley swan said...

There are many agents who provides villa properties and whole information about them and you can also search for available villas for sale yourself, but it is better to take help of some expertise.
Koh Samui Luxury Property for Sale

Anonymous said...

Thanks for nice blog,its really informative. I have also avail information about the best new project DLF Magnolias 2 Is a residential project with apartments/flats within Sector 42, Gurgaon. It comprises of Gurgaon's emerging residential and commercial centre in Golf Course Road.

Steev Raut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steev Raut said...

Is koh samui property is worthy for investment? I found some information about koh samui property at website but someone can advise me that it will be profitable decision or not?