Our First Renovation
Starting out with renovations, we were contracting to a major property rental company as a handyman contractor in Cape Town in 2008.
I was asked to view a property in Wynberg Cape Town and quote on some minor issues that need to be fixed. I went and quoted on the issues that I was told to look at, I submitted my quote and the rental agent sent me back with more items added to the list.
I went and amended the quotation according to what she has added. A Few days later I received another call asking me to meet her at the property. I met her at the property at the pre-arranged day and time. We walked through the property and then she started pointed at some more things they wanted to have changed and fixed in the house.
I went to my home office with a smile that has now grown to six time bigger than the first time. By that, let me just mention, that I am extremely grateful for any handyman work that we get in, small or large. I worked out the new quote and submitted it to the agent. At this time we have been in business for one and a half years as a Handyman Contractor.
More Work Added
Approximately a week went by and I heard nothing as to the repairs to this property. I received another call from the agent asking me to meet her and the owner’s sister at the property, the owner was in business in India. We met at the pre-arranged time and we went inside and started on the top floor.
What I heard next was music in my ears. I could not write fast enough. I then decided to just follow her and answer with the “Yes” motion of my head. Starting with the knotty pine ceiling she pointed at it and said “Whitewash”. She walked to the en suite bathroom and pointed at everything and said remove re-design and fit new. New bath, new basins, new shower, a total bathroom renovation.
She just pointed and instructed, re-paint all the walls.
We went downstairs and she just pointed at the whole kitchen and said remove all this ugly stuff and re-fit entire kitchen, break out this wall and make an open plan. She walked into the lounge and pointed at the floor and said strip and fit laminated flooring.
After some time of consultation between the lady, the rental agent and myself, we were now looking at a total renovation. We have never done or managed such a project before. I refused to be intimidated by this project and decided that we will take it step by step.
The Go Ahead
I worked out the quotation to the best of my ability and submitted it. I can not remember how long it was after I submitted the quotation before we got the go ahead. The deal was that with the owner’s sister, that the layouts and design will be done as we go along.
We started stripping, first in the kitchen just so we can get the feel of it. We then started stripping out the bathrooms and and the the main bedroom, because the remove everything that needed to be removed.
Starting the renovation
We proceeded with the renovations by bringing is specialist contractors to help us with what needed to be done. We called in a plumber who came in to do the plumbing and the first thing we learnt was the type of taps (Single lever taps) they wanted to have installed, they had to change the geyser because the existing geyser was a low-pressure geyser. They decided to go ahead with the new geyser and at that moment the plumber suggested that he had to replace all the pipes or he will not guarantee the job. That was agreed upon, he proceeded with the fitting of all the plumbing. We were watching and learning.
We removed everything from the 2 x bathrooms and allowed the plumber to reposition all the plumbing according to the new layouts of the bathrooms. Two new shower floors was constructed and waterproofing was applied to the shower walls and floors. The plasterers closed up all the chased areas and all the untiled areas were primed painted by our painters. The sanitary ware was installed and all the tiling was completed. In the mean time we were watching and learning. The two bathroom renovations was a success.
In the kitchen renovation, new plug points were installed and the electrical supply for the new oven and hob, after that was completed all the chased areas was closed up, and the untiled walls was primed and painted by our painters. The carpenters started installing the new cupboards, new tops and sink. Above counter and floor tiling was completed by the tilers. We were watching and learning.
New carpets were laid in the bedrooms. In the lounge and dining room laminate flooring was fitted by a the flooring specialists installed.
All the internal and external painting was done by our team of painters.
The renovations were now complete, and we handed over to the owner.
We gained an enormous amount of knowledge in project management by watching and learning all the processes of how all the aspects of a turnkey renovation must be done. From here we did many more renovations over past nine years, and most of the work are now being done by our own team on a professional level by watching and learning and doing it ourselves.