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TOPIC: Buying a property in VN, my story so far.

Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11659

  • jonfrodo
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I thought that you nice guys and gals might find it useful as to what a foreigner has to do to buy property (land/building not a condo) in Vietnam.

Yes I know that it already been covered here on living in Vietnam; BMT and others have some good advice.

First up I am married to a VN citizen, yes a real marriage certificate from HCMC. If you do not have legal marriage in VN do not bother buying a LUC (Land Use Certificate) as you will have no rights at all, even if you have an agreement it will carry no weight as it will be a civil matter. So if you are considering buying a property here in VN marry her fast, those who have married after buying property here in VN will still have problem if the marriage goes bad as she will have owned the land before the marriage. Apparently is is illegal to be living with a VN citizen without being legally married; well so I have been told.

We bought an old house in Bien Hoa city as I do not like HCMC. The price was reasonable by VN standards: $114,000 for a block of 257m2 with a pink paper in a very good area with professional employed neighbors, as you all know some VN people can be very noisy and messy; yeas I know it is the same as in the West, so location is important.

Here a pink land paper is building land, red land is agricultural, and you are not supposed to build on it, lol you can but it is risky as they can buy it off you (the government) for very little.

Pink land is valuable in VN as they will have to pay you heaps if they want to take it off you. The other reason that pink land is also costly is there is so little of it. Remember when you buy land you are just buying a LUC . But this LUC is yours/wife forever. Well that of course if the laws are not changed in the future. I doubt that that will ever happen.

So how does a foreigner married to a VN citizen protect oneself? I have been through the merry go round of finding a lawyer and so far as I can see I have NO protection on the land, (well I do, because she is my wife, BUT what happens if I get kicked out on VN? Yes that has happened, I bet he was a dog husband in the first place, lol when a divorce happens we all become dog husbands to her), but I do on the building as I am apparently allowed to own the building in VN.

I still have to nut out the process with my lawyer.So when it comes to signing the building contract with the builder I will sign it only and not her. Please note that you will also need a trail of transactions showing that the money for the LUC was through your bank account, that is if you are paying for it, I bet you are?.

So I will have an agreement with my wife on the property that she owns the land but I own the building. I do know that as a husband of a VN citizen that I have rights, as in she cannot sell the land without my permission, but that does not mean that I will get half the money if for heaven bid a divorce happens, as the moneys will go into her account not mine. So one can only get the money owned by a civil action. So your agreement needs to state a joint account that the moneys can go to on a divorce settlement.

BTW divorce is not an easy process in VN, there will also be a lot of face to loose in such a terrible thing. I have only done this to protect myself if things go south, I love my wife and have no intention of divorce, but anything can happen, who knows the future? I will be seeing my lawyer soon I will keep you all posted on the process. Any comments please on the above, I am sure there is a lot more to learn? :)

PS: I will be posting in the future on the building process. I was in Australia a registered builder, so it will be interesting to say the least. We have seen 7 builders so far. We will make a decision soon on who the poor fellow will be building our new home.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11660

  • BMT
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Great info.

I edited your story for easier reading ... like paragraphs!
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11661

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About LUC ...
You can do certain things. One is to make you sole 'manager' of the land, and also include in the documentation it cannot be pledged as security without your written consent.

My VN wife sounds like yours, fair. Now, when you are all lovey-dovey is to get everything sorted out and in writing.

You should have totally separate account, not joint, from which you make payments. Transfer the payments electronically, VietComBank is a bureaucracy BUT they have excellent transfers to other banks and produce wonderful records. If your wife asks why you need a separate bank account say it is so you can prove you imported money.

About you co-signing any pledges, etc. In the financial / legal documents you have the opportunity to insert proviso's. That you co-sign should be on the LUC filing you make. Maybe too late.

I'll explain why. There have been cases in the past where the VN partner of a mixed marriage has been coerced . blackmailed into signing land and /or real property over to obtain the release or non-assault of a relative. I,e, your mother-in-law has been kidnapped and unless ...

Sounds extreme but it has happened. There are some very strong criminal elements who can and have done this.

Having a requirement that you co-sign is a block to this garbage.

About divorce ...
Divorce in VN can be easy or hard. This is because the law is tough ... and fair to women. Children complicate the mess. If a mutually agreed separation the proceeding can take as little as 15 minutes. When calculating a split think 50-50.

Of course with no wife your status in VN changes but they are fair ... about a Residence or Work Permit.

About building ...
I have now competed 4 buildings since I moved here. I am an electronics technician, but I have done enough building to be rated a builder.

Materials ...
In Bien Hoa you will be able to get premiss concrete, the added cost is worth it.Of course, premix has a good before time and will usually, in city conditions, mean late day or overnight deliveries to avoid traffic delays.

VNese prefer to mix their own concrete. Huh!

Rebar is delivered to the wholesalers in straight lengths. The VNese tree wheeler-drivers promptly fold these is half - for delivery. I had all my steel delivered by flatbed truck - the distributors truck would part drop stuff at the 'retailer' then drop ship the rest at my site.

The VNese like to cut rebar, I demanded solid verticals. The lengths were sufficient to get from foundation, through basement and ground, to first floor where the extensions were welded, not joined by wire.

I pot weeping pipe (stuff with holes and a mesh) in mt basements, they all terminated in a 1-metre diameter sewer pipe which usually drain on their own yet provide access for pumps if ever needed.

For posts (concrete verticals, I bought plastic water piping (as in the streets size), carefully slit them in half and used these as pillar molds rather than wooden ones. This allows you to control the vertical dimensions. VNee do not use compactors / vibrators so plastic forms allow you to use a Kango hammer drill with a pad bit I had made to vibrate the plastic pipes.

Always watch slab (floor) / post rebar jointing, I always had mine welded. I also had the 'square' rebar forms for the posts made in a factory - really cheap - not bashed out on site.

The VNese are BAD about rebar positioning in the slab - teach them to use spacers to get it in the right place.

VNese like pouring complete floors then bashing holes in them for pipes and conduits! I introduced them to foam molds.

The only 'in concrete' conduit placements ere for lights and ceiling fans. I positioned these myself to ensure precise locations, Don't forget a loop of rod to hang ceiling fans on - I had these made out of Inox (stainless steel) for appearance sake.

Always out a pull-string in electrical conduit when you install it, saves a lot of swearing later.

Note on welding. One reason all my rebar is welded, apart from strength, is that you have an electrical 'ground' or 'earth' throughout the house.

If your house is a lot-line house (no garden) give consideration to incorporating a 'light well' which can provide light to rooms (through windows) and air movement. I hate rooms like the Hole of Calcutta.

Inserting sheets of foam between the whole house, i.e. lining the whole of the adjoining walls, before you even erect your concrete posts will ensure minimal noise transmission between them and yourself.

Roof ...
One way of substantially reducing heat transmitted in to a house is by having a double roof. You have a thin concrete roof (at least thinner than the floors) and then above this you have the final roof which might be your patio. Between these two layers of concrete you have and air gap of about 30 centimetres. This air gap is open at the sides. The suns heat roasts the top concrete but all the heated air in the 'gap' is blown away rather than heating the top floor.

(To be continued)(work!)






As a Canadian, I love basements. Here it means no parking in the house!
In VietNam, never leave home without toilet paper.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11675

  • bluenz
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Jon, Good luck with the ' builders '.
My wife is having a new house ' built ', but after the ongoing fiasco with my ' building ', I decided to opt out of her project, ( she a typical VNs, they watch someone doing something, ( VN national past time ), and suddenly they become experts ), I seen enough bags of cement and 20 mm steel reo to build a very good solid pad, but VN's insist on these huge hideous columns, which protrude inside the building if you don't use double brick. They can't get their heads around the fact that if you built a good enough concrete pad, how can the floor move, as you know , the pad floats. ( but that's the the way the Chinese build, and of course the Chinese invented EVERYTHING ).
As I watch them trying to push the wheelbarrow load of cement around on the thick sand floor, I shake my head, the concrete mixer has been sitting idle since they started making the walls, a boy mixes the ' cement' by hand on the ground, 1 lot was that bad the sand wasn't even wet.
I hope she will get more than the 15 years she got from her old house. ( But the heavy tile roof only lasted 12 years ).
And the idea of interweaving the bricks at the corners, unthinkable, much the same as using a level here, ( what century in the real world did they stop using the water in the tube? ),
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11676

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Quote: "VN's insist on these huge hideous columns, which protrude inside the building if you don't use double brick."

Our problem, in the south, is that posts (vertical supports) are as thin as a brick and the width of a brick and a half.

There are no ties for the walls ... in other words, a panel of bricks between the squares formed by concrete beams, are not actually ancord to the beam other than by concrete.

In the event of a fire, the panels will be forced out by the heat and the house will revert to a concrete frame.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11679

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They go from one extreme to another here, the wife's columns are about 30cm x 4 sides.
I have seen some 6mm reo protruding from these to tie the brick walls, ( I use a drill and insert 10 mm reo ).
The truckloads of bamboo will be arriving soon, ( to support the 2nd floor when they cement it).
My room is supposedly better sound proofed, double brick with polystyrene foam in between, ( as you do BMT ), but probably a waste of time, as there will be a large window, supposedly a special window ( but if the trailer ban applied to everyone, the 4am wake up call from the ice deliverers wouldn't wake me ).( And if their bikes had complete exhaust pipes ).I still think it is part of Communism, to wake everyone up so they can hear the 5am loud speaker propaganda show.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11681

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Thanks for the reply: BMT and Bluenz.

Yes I have some shocking things on building sites in VN and Australia too. These things I will not put up with. I have found a very good builder. He is an engineer with a PhD in building from France. I too have seen workers trying to push a wheel barrow with a flat tyre through sand, lol. Most of these workers have no brains, but some are very talented, I was watching some guys making concrete moldings on site; very clever; they learned that from the French 150 years ago and the method has not changed since then either.Yes they find it hard to learn anything new. I will not allow idiots on my building site, I will be the project manger. I wish to build a house that will last 100 years not 10, as some I have seen will only last that long.

I agree on the concrete columns, I want them at 250 x 250 so I can have a cavity between the brick skin, all tied into the columns every 5 courses and ties joining the skins.I will also insist on flashing around all windows and doors and on each story at slab height, it is possible to uses a water proofing agent: www.crommelin.com.au/range/at-home/solutions/dampco with weep holes, if the black one is used it is possible to tell if it has not been used. This cavity method of construction will keep out the water. Water as you know is the number one enemy of buildings. All wet areas MUST be tanked.

My sister in law just had a house built, her husband would not listen to me, he wanted to do it his way; what a mess. There was not even a plan, I kid you not NO plan! The builder they thought was cheap; went broke, and now they have to finish it themselves. They regret not listening to me and my wife. VN people can be very weird about this face thing. Me I have no face to loose; lol. I will keep you all posted as the building progresses as it will be a useful thing for all to see. :)
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11682

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The stories I could tell you, and photo's I could show regarding my ' building '. mind you it didn't help with the ' expert ' building wife sticking her nose in all the time, I spent many hours drawing to plans to scale, only to find doors all different sizes, and in the wrong places, and they even managed to put the roof round the wrong way, ( that's when I found out that VN ' builders ' like to have an audience EVERYDAY ), and of course nothing square or level, and this was supposed to be a reputable builder.
The wife says its only a cheap workshop, ( self contained ), but the builder thought , at the time, I would be building a 2 level house in the future, ( it was my test to see what sort of a shambles they would make of it ), so you would have thought they would have at least tried to do a 1/2 decent job?????
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11740

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Thought I'd add a few more tips that may help:

1) Alot of land in VN is built on a flood plain and will require piles to be driven. If this is the case the first pile should be a "test pile" and once driven be left to settle for a few days with a large load sat on it. This is necessary to confirm that the structural calcs for the foundations are correct.

2) If you are in an area with high water table and are using premix concrete insist that the recipe includes a waterproof admix for the base slab and any basement walls.

3) If you are planning a basement pay close attention to waterproofing / sealing any joints between the slab and the concrete walls. There is a company called Sika that can provide good solutions but they also provide cheap solutions speciallly for the VN market. You get what you pay for so don't skimp in this area.

4) Double roof as suggested by BMT is a good solution to keeping the upper floors of the house cool. It's important that the gap between is ventilated to make this work.

5) Pay attention to drainage pipe especially if it is going under a slab. The normal grey PVC stuff can be quite thin and weak. The thick stuff available and used in swimming pools is much more robust for a long term solution.

6) The main problems I have suffered are leaks at the joints on the water supply pipes. We used the green plastic heat welded stuff which is supposed to be good. They had a special jointing iron for these but I suspect that not enough attention was paid to the set up of the tool. If I could do it again I would seriously consider something different - maybe copper.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11741

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Having re read your post a couple of tips before selecting your builder. I hope that I'm not teaching you to suck eggs:

1) Have a full Bill Of Quantity included in the tender so that all the builders are quoting for. Make sure that you have a written agreement that any changes to the project will use the material prices used in the tender and have a quote for additional labor charges. Later on you will most likely find that there are changes to the plans and having this up front will help you with the inevitable horse trading and stop the VN builder taking advantage.

2) I insist that the builder you intend to give the job to allow you to visit a few of their recent projects to see the standard of their work. Most likely they will try and show you some sort of Disneyland mansion. When you visit try to focus on the standard of work, not the horendous VN architecture. Get the missus to talk to the owners if possible and try and guage their opinion of the builder.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11789

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Hey Driller: Thank you for the tips. We have seen 7 builders now. We have selected one that seems to know his stuff and can speak some English, which is a great help as my wife knows nothing about building. It seem that a lot of people sign a building contract to what is called a "rough house" This means that the house is really only 40% to 60% complete. I think they do this to avoid the sales tax on the full amount.

I been getting the run around a bit on the drawing of the plans. The cost to draw them can be any where between 100,000 to 200,000 VND per m2 and doubling that if one wants 3 D drawings/pictures. The 3 D stuff is really a waste of money.

I am finding the build process a tad stressful as what they say you get and what you really get are two different things. Yes EVERY thing must be in writing and very detailed as there is no equivalent BCA here so one must list everything.

I note that every VN house I have seen has leaking showers and often rising damp in the walls too. Water proofing wet areas,damp proof course and weep holes are a mystery to them! Things out of square and not level or plumb is normal to them as well. They do not seem to care about that sort of thing at all. They also do not seen to care about maintenance of the building after it is finished. Most of the quality I have seen in VN buildings is terrible. The strange thing is that they really only have to go that extra 5% to finish it well. But that is not the VN way, it seems that to them 85% to 95% finished is good enough. Very strange!
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11862

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thanks for all the information guys

situs jual beli
pasang iklan baris gratis
link directory
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11863

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What a price for drawings.

I had mine all done by CAD - they were happily sub-divided into sub-groups such as foundations, structure, floors, plumbing, electrical, etc.

The only ones they really cared about were foundation and structural, in fact I remember floor details were left unfinished.

The biggest hassle I had was when I used containers.

My house has a pre-finished contanerised garage, with concrete bearing posts for where the containers would rest. The ground in between them was simply gravel.

In addition to these bearing posts there were structural support posts that simply carried the weight of the house.

The beauty of containers is if they are undamaged they are dead square.

The bigger hassle was the first mini-hotel where the hotel comprised only containers, stacked one upon the other with steel beams holding the containers together for the top most connections.

One hundred per cent engineering calculations and when the planning approvals had got their heads around the concept, and the numbers, it passed with no hassle. They insisted that the hole be a little deeper for balancing weight displacement.

I have 5 levels of containers including the basement.

The downside was the added interest from the BMT buildings department who seemed to always have something to do in the area.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11866

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I paid a fully qualified architect who had several years experience working for a western archictectural company 150,000 per square meter for detailed design ready to build. This included detailed designs, a full package of detailed construction drawings (structural, finish, electrical, plumbing) 3D rendering, Full BOQ for tendering, submission and assistance in getting local authority approval to build and an updated as built drawing package at the end of the project.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 1 month ago #11868

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Hi Driller

Thanks for that post. Do you have his name and phone number. Thank you.
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Avoiding getting screwed for drawings 5 years 4 weeks ago #11903

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One thing that I can't understand is the outrageous charges for drawings you are talking of.

I dug up my building drawings and they are pretty straight forward.

They are divided into 'trades'. You will no doubt accept that whatever the drawings say will not be converted into fact by VNese tradesmen. How many construction sites even have a foreman's shed in which drawings can be displayed? How many building sites even have a set of drawings - even in their motorcycles?

I have attached scan of some of my drawings - the engineer and I agreed a joint copyright so they cannot be used for any other buildings without agreement (and $$$).

Basically there is a master drawing that shows Post and Beam concrete construction. The lateral dimensions are accurate. The 'joints' are lettered by type and detailed.

There are three 'custom' drawings: Basement; Floors; Roof. Essentially they all the same with variants. These are custom but dead simple.

Then each detail is picked of a menu.

Attachment Column.gif not found

Column construction

Attachment FloorWallAttach1.gif not found

Floor to Wall attachment

Attachment SuspFllor.gif not found

Suspended floor (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc)

Attachment SuspBeam1.gif not found

Suspended beam to support 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. floors

Attachment ConcreteBeam1.gif not found

Concrete Beam detail

Attachment ConcreteBeam1_2012-09-17.gif not found

Concrete Beam detail

Attachment Staircase1.gif not found

Stairs - generic

Attachment Toilets.gif not found

The toilets will be as built as detailed


So tell me, why so much per square metre?

Resources:
www.toolbase.org/toolbaseresources/level...etid=3&categoryid=33

www.cement.org/tech/

www.daytonsuperior.com/productsearch.asp...g=&searchcat=Forming

www.doityourself.com/forum/framing-sub-f...am-construction.html

www.doityourself.com/

www.everything-about-concrete.com/

www.maxfrank.de

www.everything-about-concrete.com/icf-homes.html
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 4 weeks ago #11904

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A few more menu detailed drawings.

Attachment Electrical1.gif not found

Electrical layout / wiring detail

Attachment Electrical2.gif not found

Electrical fittings height detail

Attachment ManHole.gif not found

Manhole-every bend outside building needs one

Attachment SewageSoak.gif not found

Sewage Soakaway gray water disposal (we're in the country)


As you can see it's like building plans for dummies. The plumbing is almost identical, one master plan with detail plans from the menu.
In VietNam, never leave home without toilet paper.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 4 weeks ago #11905

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A few more menu detailed drawings.

Attachment Electrical1A.gif not found

Electrical layout / wiring detail

Attachment Electrical2_2012-09-17.gif not found

Electrical fittings height detail

Attachment ManHole_2012-09-17.gif not found

Manhole-every bend outside building needs one

Attachment SewageSoak_2012-09-17.gif not found

Sewage Soakaway gray water disposal (we're in the country)


As you can see it's like building plans for dummies. The plumbing is almost identical, one master plan with detail plans from the menu.
In VietNam, never leave home without toilet paper.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 4 weeks ago #11906

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BMT: Thank you for the drawings. Yes I am aware that a lot of drawings are genetic, particularity engineering drawings.

I have asked for the following:( Note that design work is included)

Price to include: Design work and consultation to working drawing stage including all consultations with the local government building department to enable the approval of working drawings as required by them.

When we have a stamped approved local government plan; we can then proceed with the final drawings being the following:

Block plan showing the location of house, fences, gates, services (sewer, location of septic system, water and electrical run in; site levels, the datum being the highest point of the road) paths, steps and drive: scale 1:200.

Plan working drawings at scale 1:100 for all floors and roof.

Elevations on all sides at scale 1:100.

Section AA drawings at scale 1:100.

Scale 1:50 detail drawings to all bathrooms, kitchen, built in cupboards, ceiling details as required and steps/stairs.These are to be compiled in conjunction with the schedule of finishes.

All shop drawings at scale 1:50 for ALL details of a technical nature to allow for the building of the residence.

Electrical plan at 1:100 showing location of power run in as underground power from electrical pole to mains metre box, internet cat 5 cabling, TV cabling, power points, light switches, light fittings and exhaust fans. Air Conditioning system location and specification. M and E drawings as required.

Stamped engineering drawings by licensed structural engineer as required for foundations, posts, beams, slabs, stairs, roof and any other drawings to allow the completion of the works.

Approved drawings for the design of the septic system and approved plumbing plan.

Price to include the internal and external schedule of finishes and adjustment of drawings to show the same. The schedule will enable the placement of wall and floor tiled all cupboard details.

Price includes: Furniture placement plan and 3D perspective drawings of the front/side elevation.

All plans, specifications, engineering, schedules of finishes to be in document form to enable the works to be tendered.

When I was a builder in Australia, I did this for free if the client built with me, and never did I add the cost of drawings to my cost, or to the quotation.

The price in VN seems to be pretty much the same, no matter where I look.
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Re: Buying a property in VN, my story so far. 5 years 4 weeks ago #11910

  • bluenz
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So much easier living rural, build whatever you like, even if that includes completely blocking out the sun from your neighbour, some might get upset about the run off from your roof, ( in my case a neighbour was concerned if my run off was going onto his land, too stupid to realise it might have saved him some money for the power he uses having to fill up his leaking fishpond every few days ), the local Govt here doesn't get involved at all in any private buildings.
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