Take a Look at the Bright Side of Renovations

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

So far the build-up to home improvements scheduled to commence later this week has been educational, instructive, and fascinating.

Professional advice sought and received from the property and building industries, has brought renewed knowledge to a pair of novice home owners sorely lacking the necessary expertise. After living in a twenty five year old house for thirteen years, the new found knowledge of cost and energy savings that will add comfort and value over the long term, has been a welcome discovery.

Investigations into the feasibility and renovation costs had been completed when the registration for the home improvement bond came through. Worth noting from a homeowners perspective, were the different purchasing experiences related to the same house. Expenditure on improvements to a house long paid off, created renewed focus on the time management of the project. As enjoyable as the retail experiences of shopping for new fittings, finishes and building materials had been. The fact remains that repayment to the bank had started before the renovations commenced.

The most practical element of the project, other than written approvals of quotations, deposit payments and material requirements, was the agreement between builder and homeowner of the commencement date. Additional requirements including preparation prior to the builders entering the property, their hours of occupation, security of the property and animals, plus the duration of the project, were also agreed on.

Builder’s lessons learnt

Include increased structural safety, building approvals, clearance certificates and energy savings.

The discovery of faulty electrical connections in and around a bathroom resulted in repairs that will facilitate electrical certification within the confines of the New Consumer Act in future.

The cause of large floor areas where quarry tiles lifted and cracked was due to a lack of space allowed for expansion and contraction during different seasons. This motivated a new laminate flooring installation to provide a gap between cement and timber, as well as pass future a building inspection.

New mezzanine floors across double volume spaces were originally built without any insulation, and caused severe heat or cold. A cost effective eco friendly insulation solution will provide energy and cost savings, as well as greater comfort during all seasons.

Good bathroom advice for re-sale purposes suggested a four bedroom house with three bathrooms is best facilitated by two showers plus one bath, as opposed to three showers. In addition are fittings to facilitate energy and water consumption, best suited to an area where water restrictions apply during summer.

Checking the origins of damp on ceilings has shed light on old leaks that were not previously obvious. Repairs will eliminate potential damage to electrical connections, while increasing occupant safety.

Firmly entrenched remains professional advice, to avoid over capitalising on a property when building a house from scratch, or when making alterations to improve it. Positive buyers’ attention they say, is attracted when a built structure in a good location sits comfortably within the surroundings of other properties in the same residential area.

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