The question often arises... 'Do I build new, or do I buy existing?'.
Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa says that although building from the ground up, could be a very good option for some buyers as they get to completely customise their homes according to their requirements, buying and renovating is also a very popular choice as it is sometimes quicker even possibly a more cost effective choice.
“I found that almost every person I knew that built a house had serious construction problems. As a
result of this they all had only negative feedback about their building experience. When hearing their
stories, I would volunteer to help out with advice on how to fix the issues they were facing. This
encouraged me to start Ground Up and create the Quality Plus system with the main goal being to try
and help people stop these problems by preventing them while at the same time improving the
industry I grew up in,” notes Marco Kriek, founder of Ground Up.
Below, we have Marco sharing his top tips for when building your home:
It is essential to ask for help with the process right from the start. It becomes more expensive and
invasive when there are mistakes after completion to be fixed.
Understand the Plans and Specifications.
These documents are the basis for all work that will be done and having an in-depth knowledge of
what they include will help prevent many disappointments.
- Prepare for all the costs.
There are a lot of costs involved with the process of building anew house that are not covered with a bond. Make sure you know and prepare for all costs to avoid financial stress.
- Take matters into your own hands.
Don’t think because a builder has a good reputation or built a nice house for a friend that you are
safe. Houses are hand-made products and no two are the same. Take the necessary time and follow
the process all the way through to avoid disappointment.
- Nonbeliever everything you are told.
Just because a builder, estate agent or a somebody tells you one thing, does not make it true. Take
the time to double check things that you are not familiar or comfortable with.
Make sure you have a good understanding of all the agreements involved with the building process.
Knowing your rights as per your building agreement will be a massive advantage should a dispute
- Be mindful when making payments.
Be 100% sure that you are only paying for work that has been completed. Making
upfront payment is very dangerous and should never be done.
Make sure your agreement has a definite completion date and that there are defined guidelines for
extensions. If at all possible, allow for penalties should the project be unnecessarily delayed. Delays
have massive cost implications for you as a client.
- Be thorough with your snag list.
Take time and make sure you are thorough when compiling your snag list. This is important as some
items will not be covered by the guarantee if it is not mentioned on your snag list.
- Don’t rely too much on government organisations.
While government run organisations do play an important part in the process, do not rely on them
to ensure the quality of work at your house.
Make sure that every agreement between you and the builder is documented and signed by both
Keep records of the entire process including photos and records of all communication between you and the builders. This will be very important if issues do arise.
About Ground Up
By building right the first time, using a solid building strategy, and being transparent, Ground Up seeks to improve the quality of work done in the residential construction industry within South Africa. Founded by construction consultant Marco Kriek in 2015, Ground Up was born to ensure home quality. He felt a responsibility towards his clients and ensuring that the quality of work done at their homes was up to standard.