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Do you do everything?

We do. However, we will only work from an exact plan i.e. draftsman plan. This does not have to be an architectural plan, but must have very specific dimensions from which we can quote and build. We can also recommend professionals should you not have someone to draw up a plan. We have preferred sub-contractors we can call on as needed. i.e. Joiners, electricians, plumbers, tilers and roofing specialists. We know them very well and while we are confident to leave them to handle their part in the project, we always have someone from our team checking in and reporting back.

Can I be part of the build process?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, we encourage participation, as this helps us understand exactly what you want and what is your vision. We do, however, offer a full-service project management offering, which does cost extra but is highly recommended, especially for multifaceted projects.

As things always seem different on paper to what you had in mind when it is built, we try to offer some practical advice during the process. A small example would be placing your light switch on the left hand side. There are often many on site questions and decisions which must be made as the build progresses.

In addition, project managing a renovation or build requires many phone calls and messages to follow up on suppliers, sub-contractors and general works. While we do everything to keep in line with your project budget it is for this reason that we include a percentage onto subcontractor pricing.

Do I need to add on a contingency % to the overall build costs?

We highly recommend that all our clients do this. For simpler renovations and maintenance works, we suggest a 5% contingency but for larger more complex builds, a 10% contingency on the construction portion is required.

A small project is, for example, a scrape down and paint of an exterior or interior of a house. A large project would involve foundations, walls being pulled down or put up – that sort of work.

The reason? Every house has its secrets and so more often than not when it comes to building you unearth a variety of unknowns as soon as you start breaking down walls. The contingency is available for these on the spot decisions and minor changes in order to keep the construction going. People do ask for extras as they begin to visualise changes from drawing to reality (additional plug points, extend tiling area, paint ceiling not originally costed) and if based on labour available on site then we include this in the contingency. More significant design changes (making a window bigger than originally in the scope of works) will have to be quoted/costed as an extra.

What are the P&G’s

Preliminary and Generals are the collective costs attributed to a project that are not itemised as part of the scope of works. This is a combination of factors including, but not limited to, project duration, subcontractor engagement, cost to company expenses and project specific items such as consultant fees, printing of plans, additional rubble removal, staff transport, site supervision, site toilet, ground cover and other miscellaneous items.

Can I have my quote by the end of the week?

Unfortunately, not. We take from 10 days to 2 weeks to put a comprehensive quotation together.

The reason? – While we do endeavour to do our part in the quote as quickly as possible, we often need to work closely with sub-contractors, architects, planners, etc. who need to also visit the site, go away and source costings and then submit their portion of the quotation. This all takes time and if rushed items can be missed.

Is the quote I receive the final price?

No quote is ever final as adjustments can be made according to your budget and affordability. However, once we have settled on the scope and cost of the project we do our very best to stick to this as the final price. We try to include changes within the allowance of the contingency however specific additions would be for your account.

Our quotations are very detailed and you will know exactly what you are in for, broken down as best we can to make it an easy read, as the build would progress.

We encourage our clients to do their homework though – gather other quotes – ask for discounts based on merit – etc. You just never know. (within limitations, of course).

Do I have to offer designs and have ideas?

Capabuild’s role is the physical build and renovation but with Libby’s background in project management we do provide more should the client require. We work closely with architects and designers to put together a whole package including budget and always suggest that a client has some idea of what they want to achieve. This may be in the way of a professional interior design plan or drawing or just a cut-out from a magazine. This helps visualize what you want your home to look like at the end. We also ask you to find pictures of things you don’t like. We can then ascertain whether you prefer modern, contemporary, organic, raw, etc. The clearer your vision and the more details we receive, the better the outcome of the entire project.

Do my plans have to be submitted to council?

Every house that is 60 years or older, is considered a heritage house. The laws around this are difficult and frustrating, but we must put it forward as a heritage house if we are to work on it. The house will need heritage approval before any work takes place. You can be penalized in the form of fines up to 1/3 of the house value if one does not abide by their strict rules. You are looking at between R20 000 and R30 000 for this portion of the build process.

Outside of that, any build that requires a foundation, such as a pergola, raising a platform, anything that even minorly changes the structure of the building, must be passed by council with proper plans.

An example – a built-in-braai and a garden shed (Wendy House) must be passed by council’s approval process as a minor works.

Also note, that once council has given approval, you must break ground within a year.

We will give you advice on all this once we take on the project and even if we don’t, Libby is very happy to put you in the know.

What do you not do?

We are not designers. We do not submit plans to council or even draw up plans. We do not do renderings or any drawings of any kind. We are builders and renovators. We always make that quite clear from the onset. We can, however, assist you in finding those specialists in the areas you require.

For example, if the architect’s dimensions are not correct and in order to get the space required for the clients end goal we would have to move a pre-existing door. This labour, and materials, would come from the contingency and the decision can be made on site rather than quoted and approved. It also limits extras from the end bill.

Roughly, what does a typical kitchen and bathroom renovation cost?

It’s that answer of “how long is a piece of string?”, but we can say that a typical small kitchen renovation will set you back around R60 000 and a small bathroom R25 000. The economy fluctuations must always be taken into account and we always try to manage expectations, preferring to give a detailed and comprehensive quotation to our clients.