Pro Property Partners
333 at the beach Pro Property Partners British International School, Phuket
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Rawai expat faces B250k bill to fix driveway thanks to street paving

Rawai expat faces B250k bill to fix driveway thanks to street paving

PHUKET: A long-term expat in Rawai can now barely access his home after his driveway was cut to a vertical drop of nearly one metre as the local municipality finally has the street paved.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 16 May 2023, 10:00AM

Brett Masters, 58, is an Australian-born British national. He has been living in Phuket for 18 years, and has been living in the house, in Soi Saiyuan 15, Rawai, for the past eight years.

“The house was built 13 years ago, and was fully approved by Rawai Municipality at the time,” Brett explains.

At that time, the driveway was nearly perfectly street level. Since work on paving the street began late December, the road has been graded down, and now the freshly installed roadside drains are three feet three inches (99.06cm) vertically below the driveway, cut at the very edge of Brett’s property line.

“Me and my girlfriend came back from a holiday to Koh Payam, and we could not even get into the house,” Brett notes.

After much discussion, the contractor finally set down concrete ‘ballast blocks’ (lengths of concrete slab) for Brett and his girlfriend to use as a makeshift ramp to access their home. Two of the three slabs are placed alongside each other. The third slab leaves a dangerous gap to navigate when they leave the house or come home.

Brett contacted Rawai Municipality to explain what had happened, but Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos was too busy, so he was directed to speak with a civil works officer.

Speaking through the Rawai Municipality public relations officer, who can speak English, the civil works officer offered only one answer to Brett’s appeals to fix the problem: “Cannot”.

Brett, who lived and worked in the United States as general contractor in construction for 17 years, pointed out that all that was required to was take some of the “fill” from the bottom of the street to raise the grade, and the problem would be solved.

The “fill’ is the accumulation of years of the municipality fixing holes left in the street during the rainy season. However, all that was accomplished by those efforts was that with each heavy downpour the “fill” washed downhill, where it remained.

A second visit to Rawai Municipality about a week later returned the same results. The civil works officer said for Brett to just change the driveway gradient on his own property to match the street, and repeated that it was not his problem.

However, this time the civil works officer also said he had tried to call Brett many times, but Brett’s phone shows no evidence of any of the “attempts” even reaching his phone.

The civil works officer also threatened to sue Brett over the driveway originally extending beyond his property line – despite the house being fully approved by Rawai Municipality at the time the house was built.

The civil works officer even said that Brett made no attempts to inform Rawai Municipality of the problem – despite three posts highlighting the problem being posted on Rawai Municipality official Facebook page proving otherwise.

“All you have to do is raise it up two feet. Reuse the fill that’s still down the street. It would not cost much money, and would not take long,” Brett told The Phuket News.

“If they did it two weeks ago it would have been easy. Now they have installed drains past the home, and the problem is bigger,” he added.

Even the contractor agreed about the simple fix – but the decision to change anything to do with the construction of the street remained at the discretion of Rawai Municipality, Brett noted.

Brett also confirmed with the contractor that the level that the street is at now is where it will be when the street is to be completed. There will not be any extra fill or layering to raise the street, only a layer of concrete has yet to be applied.

“They will remove the existing dirt that remains above the drains then lay wire on the road and pour concrete over that and call it a road,” he said.

Brett has tried lawyers, but there has been a clear lack of interest in taking up his case. “Two lawyers just walked away,” he said.

Now the support pillar for the fence to Brett’s home is starting to crack. The trench for the drains has been excavated right on the property line, leaving the boundary fence wall at risk of collapsing.

“It will cost B100,000 to rebuild the boundary fence wall and a further B150,000 to excavate and rebuild the driveway so it can safely reach the street and install a new gate, which will have to be a concertina type gate in order to open with the new space restrictions,” Brett explained.

“Further excavation of the front of the property will be needed if we want to avoid banging the car doors on the ground when getting in and out of the car,” he added.

“When I spoke to them, fixing this was very, very cheap. Now I don’t know what to do,” Brett said.

“The initial cost to raise the street level would have been about B20,000-30,000,” Brett added.

Now he is facing about a quarter of a million baht to fix the problem.

Brett told The Phuket News that his intention of going public with the problem created by Rawai Municipality was to warn other people what may lay in store more than 10 years after moving into their home.

“If this is part of owning your own home in Thailand, people should know about it,” he said.

Brett invites anyone who has serious suggestions that might help restore safe access to his home because of a problem he had no part in creating to email him at

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

* (Not Hotmail/Outlook)

Hermann1 | 20 May 2023 - 09:24:49

You got that wrong Old guy. As Mr.Timothy called BangTao a slum, the question was addressed to him. Nothing to do with Mr.Brett.

Old guy | 19 May 2023 - 19:20:51

@Hermann1. You are blaming Brett when you say he should have moved away. 

Hermann1 | 18 May 2023 - 07:55:02

Sorry Old guy. Should read: Where did I say Mr.Brett were responsible?

Hermann1 | 18 May 2023 - 07:52:49

@Old guy    You seem to be a bit confused. Where did I say Mr.Brett were to blame ?

Old guy | 18 May 2023 - 01:38:57

@Hermann1.  Please explain why Brett is responsible because the contractor screwed up the job. 

Hermann1 | 17 May 2023 - 18:51:33

who is broke and doesn't have enough financial resources. In that case of course you would be excused.

Hermann1 | 17 May 2023 - 18:48:56

Mr.Timothy, I strongly doubt you have ever seen a third world slum. Except on Tv maybe. There they would be happy to have a sewer system at all. And the question is,why would someone with a common sense move in or near a slum. And why would someone keep living in or near a slum ? There are so many options for someone to move. Except for someone

DeKaaskopp | 17 May 2023 - 17:04:57

One more thing. Looking at the picture with the 3 concrete "ballast blocks". I ask myself what kind of Construction expert Mr.Brett is,if he can't move even one concrete block to close the gap ? You don't need an academic degree for that. 

DeKaaskopp | 17 May 2023 - 15:59:59

And maybe Mr.Brett should show some patience. All the other houses got support pillars too. As work is still going on there is no other way anyway. A lot of BS in the comment section again.

DeKaaskopp | 17 May 2023 - 15:53:58

Many of those sideroads in Soi Saiyuan were only dirt roads. Over the last years one by one got improved by drainage systems and concrete roads. Much better now. About Soi 15 ! I just walked through that road. Work is still going on. And for the most houses it will be fine after work is done. Maybe Mr.Kurt should do the same and not start talk his idiot talk about education. And maybe Mr,Brett sho

Kurt | 17 May 2023 - 10:47:16

It all happens due to lack of education, not looking further than their nose. No learning and responsebility curves developed through their school years. No one there to teach that. All their energy goes in shuffling kick backs and fooling public.

Kurt | 17 May 2023 - 10:37:09

Photo's show that all inhabitants of that soi have the same problem. Mr Brett can unite forces, write all together a complain letter to Ombudsman, and hand over personal, take a photographer with you. Don't understand that 'mayor' Aroon is still mayor. Remember his idiot plan for film museum at Naiharn beach. Goes to Kalim to see body of russian who slipped in water Promthep Cape. 

christysweet | 17 May 2023 - 10:00:51

It is perfectly legal  for a foreigner to own a house- just not the land it sits on. 

Capricornball | 16 May 2023 - 22:46:28

The only planning that goes into road improvements are by local officials that plan how much of the budget they can pilfer, and leave just enough money to under-pay a crew of Burmese slaves to use the least amount of materials possible, thus resulting in the shittiest streets through every town on Phuket (see BangTao).

Old guy | 16 May 2023 - 18:13:51

BTW: when the same work was done on my street in Kamala 7 years ago, they did the same and ultimately had to repave the Soi 3 times because they, too, couldn't figure things out 

skorchio | 16 May 2023 - 17:41:41

hmmm how does Brett own his own home in Thailand ?

Old guy | 16 May 2023 - 15:40:43

As usual, Thais aren't taught to solve problems which results in no one accepting responsibility for anything.
Must be especially frustrating for Brett since he did this stuff for a living. 

Timothy | 16 May 2023 - 15:22:25

Lots of excellent photos of "World Class Phuket" and the state-of-the- art wastewater management system aka open sewers. Looks very similar to Bangtao, a third-world slum with narrow crappy streets and open drains venting sewer gases. No sidewalks, or any room for parking of course. It is what it is....But it is not "world class"...unless you are talking about corruption, or in...

Fascinated | 16 May 2023 - 13:08:04

Described himself as 'homeless' on thaigeezer- a bit of a drama queen.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket cannabis businesses call for support

Absolutely it was never approved for recreational usage, but that provision got bent over backwar...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Facing down the taxi cartels

K Somchart is a brave man.. if he can change this then chapeaux.... just hope he will stay safe an...(Read More)

Phuket cannabis businesses call for support

stop issuing licences, stop online sell ( you can buy it anywhere online and could well be school k...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Facing down the taxi cartels

Perhaps the most widely held sentiment in Thailand is associated with the near universal disgust peo...(Read More)

Russian tourist drowns at Patong Beach

Same same, different year...some things will never change. Dangerous beaches, clueless visitors, and...(Read More)

Lao activist’s killing in Isan raises questions

Thailand's military regime is, and has always been incapable of conducting a "credible and ...(Read More)

Prayut allays fears over transfer of power

Now, MFP and Pheu Thai huddle/row over House Speaker job. In a democratic coalition they should givi...(Read More)

Russian tourist drowns at Patong Beach

Seen the weather predictions, the Life Guards should have been already patrolling that time. Not a s...(Read More)

Further crackdown on illegal foreigners underway

Raise Phuket image as safe/desirable(?) destination, better start sanation of PLTO/taxi cartels. The...(Read More)

Further crackdown on illegal foreigners underway

If everything starts with law full functioning Immigration, not provoking their own laws, like provi...(Read More)