We’ve just completed a mid-sized home reno project at our home. We made changes to the living areas: a new kitchen with a scullery, and we added a new extension for a Braai/Dining Room. The project took 3 months and we continued to live in our house during the project (over a wet Cape Winter). And we made it through the craziness, with an energetic kid and a rambunctious dog. You can read about it here: Survive a Home Reno: How To Live Through the Chaos
We had an excellent team of contractors working on the project. Some real star contractors. Things went a lot smoother than they could have if we’d had sub-parr workers.
We were blessed to work with a team mostly comprised of people that we already knew. We knew them to be hard workers who would do their utmost to keep a project moving. Being able to trust and communicate with your contractors is very important.
Here is a list of our star contractors and what they were responsible for. We highly recommend all of them:
SK Consulting Structural Engineers:
Carlo Kotze was our structural engineer for the Braai Room extension. He had to check that the foundations, the concrete cantilever and the I-beam were all done correctly. When unknown existing foundations were discovered under where the old patio was removed, he promptly came to advise the builder how to add to them for the new area. He was also super helpful when Shawn needed to finalise certain details on the drawings and we enjoyed working with him. SK Consulting’s office is in Main Rd, Strand.
Contact Details: Carlo Kotze 0660349611; firstname.lastname@example.org
False Bay Paint & Renovation:
Full disclosure, Bowen Slabber, the owner of this small company, is family. Knowing what he does, his work ethic, and his expertise, we were really keen to work with him on our project. He has been our go-to plumber since we bought the house in any case, and he was excited to one day enjoy our new living space with us.
- Demolition & hoarding up the passageway,
- Plumbing work to sink and prep bowl,
- New scullery walls,
- Plastering and skimming,
- Patching the kitchen ceiling and adding new cornices,
- Floor levelling & tiling
Bowen Slabber’s team has been excellent thus far. Super professional, always on site when they say they will be, and great communication in general. And workwise, they just get stuck in and things get done. False Bay Paint & Renovation is based in the Helderberg and they specialise in bathroom renovations, interior/exterior painting and tiling.
Contact Details: Bowen 0833831983; email@example.com
This is a professional NHBRC-registered construction company run by Luke Jacobs. LMS is actually Cape Town-based but as they’ve been busy with another larger project in the Helderberg, it was easy for Luke to hop between sites to regularly check on his team. My husband worked with Luke professionally when he was an Interior Designer
- Braai Room extension build,
- Foundation + concrete beam,
- Face brick walls (with braai & chimney),
- Concealed mono-pitch roof,
- Braai Room ceiling
Luke’s multi-disciplinary team completed the Braai Room structure and cast concrete in record time before the Winter rains hit us earlier than expected. As soon as the rain gave gaps they were back on site to continue with what they could before the roof subcontractors were able to complete the structure. LMS returned promptly to finish off the ceiling and plastering, and they’ve also returned without complaint for the inevitable small snags that come with construction.
Contact details: Luke 078 092 1250; firstname.lastname@example.org
Electrical Services: Dominic Adams
Our cheerful electrician is also a good friend of ours. Though he was busy with larger projects in Cape Town and Somerset West, he made time to get our connections done as well. Dom is a font of electrical knowledge and also gave great advice on our future-proofing for a solar inverter setup in our new scullery.
- Plugs and light switches,
- Downlights and braai light,
- Distribution Board rewiring
Dom and his team diligently chased, piped, and wired up the electrical points and lighting.
Contact Details: Dominic 083 700 1022; email@example.com
Another friend, Dylan Carter-Smith built our new kitchen based on my design. He manufactured the units at his premises in Napier and installed them with the assistance of Jonathan ‘Smiley’ Davids (a kitchen installer and ex-colleague of mine). Dylan and I have worked together before on a kitchen and built-in cupboards at a house in Betty’s Bay. Dylan generally prefers to work closer to home but came through to Strand/Somerset as a favour to us. Dylan needed some knowledgeable extra hands to help him install our kitchen as he was away from his home base. Jonathan also does complete kitchens and is based in Grabouw – he prefers to work in the Helderberg and Overberg.
Contact Details: Dylan 0845968881; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan: 067 335 9596;
Richard Rossouw’s team has made a stunning charcoal aluminium sliding-stacking door for the braai room and matching windows for our kitchen. The new door is the main entrance to our home. We serendipitously hired Aluminium Industries after using another company to make and install the external door on our main bedroom. The week we began looking for a new supplier (the other one kept hiking prices every week and we weren’t ready to deposit), Richard happened past our site and left his card. We were super happy with their service and pricing. They were on-site to install when they said they would be and even came a day early to install the front door to avoid imminent rain.
Contact Details: Richard 073 602 8987; email@example.com
What We Did Ourselves And Why We Could:
My husband Shawn and I are both qualified Interior Designers each with about 13 years of design industry experience. Shawn now does Environment Concept Art for video games and as you know, I specialise in kitchen design. We’ve both worked on many residential renovation projects for clients and have a good understanding of how it all works. This is also our second fixer-upper home. We did some minor renovation work to our first home, which was a townhouse. We also have fathers who are/were both handy DIY guys. We’re dab hands at painting ceilings and walls. We’ve done a few smaller projects at our home since we moved in in 2017. We can home reno. Shawn’s great with carpentry too. We used our own skills where we could to keep costs down and to put our own personal marks on the house.
- Architectural Drawings: With his experience, Shawn drew up the new house plans for council submissions. A qualified architect approved his drawings.
- Kitchen Design: Kinda my speciality – I absolutely had to design my own beautiful new kitchen, didn’t I?
- Space planning before any drawings were complete: both my husband and I brainstormed our new living area together before we drew anything up.
- Painting: I’m quite handy with a brush and roller so painted walls and ceilings. This included priming the newly skimmed walls, prepping with masking tape and caulking where necessary.
- Carpentry: My handy husband made us a beautiful new 8 to 10-seater dining table using solid pine wood salvaged from the old enclosed patio that was torn down.