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Cape Town Renovations


There are a few considerations that should be taken into account when you do your design and planning for your Renovations, building alterations or building project. Below is a basic guide to some of the design principles that could be followed:

Many home owners or prospective homeowners at some time or another considers doing some home renovation or building alterations to their homes. Would it be great to get the house of our dreams at an affordable price, while staying within budget, but ending up with a super end result we imagined? There is no need to cut corners or use inferior products / contractors that work in the Cape Town area etc. With some cleaver thought, planning and a reputable recommended building contractor it is possible to get the desired results. Keeping in mind that with every renovation, building alteration, additions and home improvements, everything counts and adds up. Therefore if you save a bit here and a bit there, you can quite easily achieve your desired goal. Another consideration is to look at the property and house prices around you, are they in line with yours. Is the area being upgraded, are other homeowners doing renovations, are the other homes in the Cape Town area already renovated. Get a feel for the house prices in your area so that you don't over capitalize on the size of your planned renovations and building alterations.

Before starting off on this Journey of doing Building alterations or Renovating your home, You must carefully weigh up your options and the best approach to the project. You should have a good idea of your plans and ideas as to what your requirements are.

Based on the size and budget available for the project, you might not need an Architect, you could use a draftsman who can for a flat fee, draw up some concept plans first so that you can get some idea of quotes from your building contractor that is located in Cape Town. This way you can see that the proposed renovations will be within your budget. This will also save you time and extra costs on having plans drawn up that is out of your budget range. It will also save you time on the meetings and getting the project in motion. Another tip will be to take a day out and go to some of the suppliers that stock some of the items that will be needed in your Renovation, eg, floor tiles, sanitary ware, cupboards etc and get some indication on costs. Look at all options, a good example would be when you look at products, look at the comparative and similar products in different ranges and brands. The reason for this is because you often get extremely similar products in different brands, which when installed would be very difficult to tell apart. There is at times up to 60 to 70 % price differences in these brand names. The more cost effective choice for the product does not necessarily mean that it is an inferior quality product. 90 % of the time the quality is equally as good. A good example of this is take a toilet. You can purchase a branded toilet for R5000, ie a popular brand, then you can get an equivalent no name brand that looks extremely similar sometimes even better looking at a third of the Price, R1700. Whichever toilet you decided on having fitted, o would not be able to tell them apart unless you have two standing next to each other or you have a photo on hand to compare, which is highly unlikely. This will assist in setting your initial budget and also further down the line help keep your budget on track, so that you have a good idea of the outcome.

Pictures, photos and notes collected by you, showing some ideas of what you would like done to your home is invaluable. This creates clear communication with you and your architect. This is great for conveying your ideas and intent for the project. You can start collecting photos, images from all resources, like magazines, homeowner magazines, internet sites etc. There are endless resources available to you. Make a list of your favourite ideas and create a file with your notes, images and designs that you like most. You can also include some of your dislikes in the file, however make sure these are clearly marked as your dislikes, so that they don't get worked into your concepts. Take into consideration when you are doing your planning and working on your wish list, be realistic, get advice, sometimes adding on that extra large games room situated in an impractical position, or taking a wall out to make a bathroom 400mm bigger, or moving all your plumbing points in your bathroom around. These could escalate the costs of your renovation significantly and unnecessarily, thus adding very little value and at the end of the day was very impractical.

You can also visit show houses, showrooms and various suppliers for more ideas. You will then have a good collection of ideas and examples for your project. This will really help in communicating your ideas to your various contractors. What is important to note is that some renovations, ideas and additions could be negative to the aesthetic of the house. You could also over spend on an idea that is not adding any value to your investment. A good example of this is, you have existing wooden windows to your house. Most are in good condition, however the ones on the weather side and the side where you are planning your renovations is not in great condition. You have now decided that starting with the new addition you will be replacing the wooden windows and doors with either Aluminium or Pvc. So you have heard some comments about wood and Pvc. Each with its own advantages. However Pvc is about 65% more expensive than Aluminium, so why if they are so close in quality would you consider putting in Pvc windows? This is another good example of not doing your research correctly and getting the right advice from the right sources. Also by Putting in the More expensive Pvc Windows if you decided to go that route you would not be recovering that cost or adding value to your home.

A good example of this would be breathing new life into your old kitchen. This can be where the smartest money can be spent when renovating. Kitchen renovations offers the most bang for your money, more than any other home project. This could yield a return on investment of up to 80% on your investment. However it is important to take note of some helpful hints, like, deciding what to allocate part of the budget to in the kitchen. Eg. is that built in espresso machine, wine fridge or exclusive one of a kind counter tops really worth the price tag? You could rather take the view what would suite and compliment your home, that will be what you would select. It is imperative to get good quotes from reputable kitchen installers. Once you decided on whom you would like to get some quotes from, let the supplier detail the quote, so that you can decide on which items you would like to spend more or less of your budget.

The kitchen supplier will also provide you with a design concept which is also very useful to pass on to your building contractor, so that he can cost in any changes into his quote. This will give him an indication where for example, plumbing points and electrical points would need to be positioned or moved to.

It is always a good idea to clarify your building contractors skill levels, with regards to design, layouts and ideas. Not all building contractors are skilled in designs, layouts, ideas, talent for colours and finishes. These skills generally don't come with training or ability in the design field. However the building contractor could still have a high level of technical skills. Ideally it would be a win if your building contractor has skills in both areas. Hiring such a contractor would ensure a smooth transition from dreams to reality. The size of the project should give you an indication as to the level of expertise and experience required to carry out the renovations or building additions.

Should you decide to get a loan from one of the financial intuitions, Like FNB, ABSA, Standard Bank, Nedbank, then you need to go through the process of application for the loan. You would need to supply and give all the relevant information as is required by each financial institution. Each Bank has a different package and has different products that will suite each individual client.

You can build your dream home with either using available funds that you have saved, alternatively you can apply for a loan. Should you want to renovate, do building alterations, home improvements, redecorate, add on to the propoert you have purchased and you don't have funds available, then you should explore the bank loan options. The various institutions will manage the funds and will only make payments based on the progress of the work completed on the home renovation or home improvements. Interest is charged from the day that each payment is made and the money is made available to you for your building alterations.

Some of the qualifying Criteria:

The loans needs to be used for the building alterations, renovations, home improvements, additions to your home or residential property. The building loans is available to joint applicants, property owning juristic entities, individual home owners, non-trading CC'S and private companies. Some of the banks would require an upfront deposit from the lender to make up any shortfall. This is normally the difference between what the requested amount is and what the bank is prepared to offer. Many times it is 10% of the requested amount, however it is based on the lower amount of the loan amount or the assessed market value on completion of the project.

An upfront deposit portion will be required by the bank from the customer to make up the deficit/ shortfall. This will be the difference between the cost of the project and the amount granted by the bank. A minimum deposit of 10% of the total package price (land + contract amount) is required in all instances. The deposit will be based on the lower of the total package price, or FNB's assessed market value on completion.

Generally you would have 12 months in which to complete the work or project that has been planned. Work on the project must also commence within three months of the loan being granted. You will also only be liable for the interest on the loan whilst the building is in progress. Once complete then the normal capital and interest becomes due and payable. Once the project is complete then you can apply for a fixed bank rate.

As the project, building alterations, renovations, home improvements progress's, you can claim progress payments from the bank against your loan. There needs to be sufficient work completed prior to application and prior to payments being made. There is normally a limit to the amount of drawdowns that can be requested. Should you request more than the std allocation, then you would be charged extra for these requests. These payment requests are done and submitted by the builder, you would need to agree to the requested amount and sign the request form. These payments are known as progress payments.

This a general summary for the process to doing some Home improvements, Home renovations, building alterations, building additions in and around Cape Town. These guidelines generally can apply to Building Contractors located in the Cape Town area, as well as South Africa.

City of Cape Town Corobrik Plascon