Koh Samui Building Regulations

Thailand has its very own set of regulations regarding the construction of a new property. If you are a foreigner and you are considering investing in Koh Samui real estate then you really need to catch up on the laws that are applicable to any new architectural project on this beautiful Thai island. Below we mention the most important building regulations that influence the location, size, and height of a property.

1.The distance from the beach

As with all new properties, before starting the actual construction you need to request a building permit that is issued by the municipality office. The structure that you are allowed to build has certain restrictions according to the distance of the property from the beach.

Basically, the current Thai regulations divide these restrictions into four areas that are more thoroughly explained below.

Area 1 – You are not allowed to build a property on a land that is located at less than 10 meters from the beach. For land located up to 10 meters from the beach, no construction is permitted.

Area 2 – You are allowed to build only a single level property that does not exceed 6 meters height with the roof included if the land is located at 10-50 meters from the beach. And even more important, the building must have an area of less than 75 square meters.

Area 3 – You are allowed to build a property with a maximum height of 12 meters if the land is located at 50-200 meters from the beach. Furthermore, the building must have an area of less than 2,000 square meters.

Area 4 – You are allowed to build a property with a maximum height of 12 meters if the land is located at more than 200 meters from the beach. There is no restriction regarding the number of square meters.

The newest Thai regulation clearly states that all new properties must be built with a peaked roof. Developers are no longer allowed to build a property with a flat roof.

2.The distances above sea level

The regulations in Thailand regarding the construction of properties also include restrictions according to the sea level. These environmental laws are divided into 3 main categories, which are explained below.

Level 1 – When the land is located at maximum 80 meters above sea level

The construction of residential properties is allowed if the project includes 10 or more units that have approved waste treatment and water facilities. Regarding the construction of new hotels, this is also allowed as long as only a maximum 50% of the land is built. The rest must be left "green”: grass, native trees, and foliage.

Level 2 – When the land is located between 80 and 140 meters above sea level

Here, the construction of a property is limited to a single house with a maximum height of 6 meters. Other restrictions state that you cannot build on 50% of the land as it must be left "green”, the architectural design must follow the traditional Thai style, you need to have an approved water drainage system to prevent flooding, the roof must consist of 80% of the total building area and its color must match the natural surroundings, and the size of the land must be of at least 100 square wah.

Level 3 – When the land is located at more than 140 meters above sea level

If you are planning on building a property on a land that is located at over 140 meters above sea level then most of the rules for Level 2 apply here as well, just that the structure must not exceed 90 square meters.

3.Gradient of land

The Thai laws are also very strict about the type of property that is built on a specific gradient land. When you are constructing a new house on Koh Samui you must consider this aspect as well. For example, if the slope of the land ranges between 35 and 50 degrees then it is allowed to build only a single family house with a maximum area of 80 square meters, plus 75% of the land must remain unbuilt and from this proportion, 50% needs to be "green” with native trees. Furthermore, construction is strictly prohibited if the land area isn’t larger than 120 square wah. If the slope is bigger than 50 degrees then Thai laws prohibit the construction of any type of property.