Fix Forward Takes on Large Projects – Part 3

CAPE TOWN – In the third and final part of our ‘Fix Froward Takes on Large Projects’ series, we caught up with client Bjorn Rudner to chat about how his project is progressing, and his experience using Fix Forward’s Project Management services. If you’re not familiar with the blog series, please do check out Part 1 and Part 2 to get up to speed!

Fix Forward (FF) We last chatted to you a while ago when you renovated your bathroom using Fix Forward as a sort of ‘trial run’. What made you decide to stay with FF for the rest of the project?

The bathroom renovations went well. Fanie’s crew were friendly and courteous and the project was completed on budget and on time. As I was already pretty keen on going with Fanie for the full renovation project, all my expectations were met in the ‘pilot’ and thus it made sense to move forward with Fanie and the backing of Fix Forward.

After further contractual discussions we commenced the main project in early May with Fanie Manjete as our main contractor under the mentorship of Armien of Fix Forward.

Read More about Fanie Manjete in ‘Fanie Manjete’s Rondebosch Revival

FF: Could you describe the work being carried out, or the cope of the project?

The project is fairly extensive in that there is a substantial amount of excavation, with underpinning of the main house required. Our residence is on the slopes of Devils Peak and over 80 cubic meters of earth and rock needed excavating and removal in order to build a double garage and cellar alongside the existing house, with a concrete slab laid above this.

Above the cellar a flatlet is to be constructed with en-suite bathroom, while the flat entrance will lead onto the deck created by the double garage roof. Some changes are also being created to the existing façade of the house, while an existing upstairs deck is to be renovated, waterproofed and retiled. All in all, it’s quite a major project!

 

Site Foreman Richard keeps a close eye on progress

FF: What, if any, obstacles have you overcome? What role did Fanie or FF play in overcoming them?

A big part of the challenge for Fanie is the confined space of the front area to be used as the construction base where not only the excavated rubble would need to be stored before removal, but also a small area for tools, materials and for mixing concrete. This has been overcome through regular removals of the rubble as well as good planning and neat workmanship.

Another concern was that of security as the demolition of existing carport and walls would expose us to security risk, but Fanie’s crew did a good job in constructing temporary security walls behind the construction as well as barrier fences on the perimeter.

FF: Would you still be likely to recommend Fix Forward to family and friends?

I would! Currently, I am happy with the back-up which Fix Forward provides to the project and am confident that this will prove of value right until the final sign-off.

FF: What, if any, changes would you make to the Fix Forward project management service?

I was under the impression that no charges would be forthcoming through the involvement of Fix Forward as a result of Fix Forward being an NGO. But after certain quotes had been submitted, there were additions as the mark-up of Fix Forward had not been included – thus the quote was escalated. I feel that this should be more transparent up-front.

 

Fanie’s team were neat and methodical

FF: Anything further you’d like to add or note?

Fanie is a wonderful person with great humility and a tremendous attitude towards his clients. His crew are all hand-picked by him and they carry the same attitude. There have been great challenges with rain and weather during the excavation and underpinning process, but they have all performed extremely well through this time.

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Fix Forward Profile: Jenna Ohlson

Cape Town – In the latest of our entrepreneur profiles, Fix Forward is proud to introduce Jenna Ohlson – one of the first woman to join our ever-growing team of skilled trade professionals. Jenna took time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about joining the team, breaking through in a male dominated industry and what she does to unwind, amongst other things.

Fix Forward (FF): Thanks for taking the time to chat to us Jenna! Could you tell us a bit more about your where you’re from and your background in the plumbing profession?

Owning my own plumbing company has been my dream since the age of 14 when I would accompany my dad’s plumbers to jobs and soon developed a passion for plumbing myself.  Growing up with a father who has been self-employed all his life since qualifying as a plumber 60 years ago , this was the way of life.

My dream became more realistic after I had completed my studies as a Plumber in 2012 and went on to study Business management in 2013 and 2014 ,while working for a Construction company as a Junior Quantity Surveyor. The knowledge, determination, guidance and amazing relationship that stemmed from this experience impacted my life forever.

One day I decided that I had to move on to the next level of my life – I was working for the sake of working and had no passion for what I did; I knew I was destined to be my own boss, to live my passion and use what I had studied hard for to my own advantage. So one day in 2016, I resigned and enrolled at the Centre For Entrepreneurship’s Business Management course and the next chapter of my life began!

While getting JIG Plumbing off the ground I worked at a Construction company from 2016 to 2017 gaining knowledge in working with and prioritising the different trades required to renovate and repair fire damaged homes and insurance claims. During this time I also completed a solar installation plumbing course funded by the Institute of Plumbing South Africa.

After being nominated as a De Beers initiative beneficiary in 2017, I was able to buy the vehicle, material and equipment I needed for my business to really take off!

FF: How did you come to join Fix Forward?

A friend at the Centre for Entrepreneurship suggested I contact Fix Forward and explained that they were looking to help create exposure for small businesses such as my own.

 

Fix Forward’s Jenna Ohlson on a recent project

FF: Congratulations on being one of Fix Forward’s first woman trade professionals! Have you faced any challenges climbing the ranks in a traditionally male-dominated industry? 

Thank you! I am both honoured and humbled to be one of Fix Forward’s first females on board. I find that people are always surprised when they come to learn I am a plumber or they may underestimate my abilities – which is frustrating to say the least. However, in the construction industry, work is scarce and opportunities are few, so you need to be resilient.

Being a female business owner in this industry you need to be extra tough – physically, mentally and emotionally. My goal is to be the best at what I do and to prove to people that a female can do the job even better!

FF: What are your areas of expertise?

Plumbing, Solar Installations, Quantity Surveying and Project Management. I have extensive experience ensuring a project sticks within budget, is on time and adheres to the client’s specifications. Besides plumbing being my passion, I have a love for construction as a whole. Project Management and Quantity Surveying go hand-in-hand when running your own company so I hope to soon further my studies in Construction Supervision.

 

Ever the professional – welcome to the team Jenna!

FF: How do you unwind outside of work? What are you passionate about?

Now that I am living my dream, I relax by walking alone on the beach to admire the outdoors or taking my dogs for long walks in the forest. Weekends are all about family time and I love getting out and about with my daughter and husband.

FF: What are your goals professionally and how do you see those being achieved with Fix Forward? 

My goal is to have two teams of reliable and professional plumbers and an administrative assistant working for me full time within the next two years. After that, I’ll able to focus more on the business aspects and growing the company to provide opportunity to more plumbers. I am hoping that through Fix Forward I will receive a steady flow of work to accelerate my vision and help me become a better entrepreneur holistically so that I may reach my full potential.

Do you have more questions about your upcoming project? Contact Us and we’ll be sure to point you in the right direction!

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Questions to Ask Your Builder Before Starting Your Project

CAPE TOWN – With a lot of people planning construction or renovations for the second half of the year, we often get asked a few fundamental questions from clients who might not have had much previous experience in undertaking major construction work. With that in mind, we asked Fix Froward founder, Joshua Cox, to give us some insight into valuable questions you should ask your tradesmen before signing on the dotted line.

CONTRACT

The contract between your contractor and you should be fair, clear and reasonable. Make sure to carefully read the terms in order to ensure that they represent what both parties agreed to. The contract should include several components which will be further detailed below.

Key Question: What is included and what isn’t?

Most important is to check that the contract clearly outlines the description of what will be done, with a detailed costings per stage. It’s critical that you check which of the materials and/or fittings will be supplied by the builder, and which you will be supplying. For fittings in particular (e.g. basin, shower screen, etc), if it is not noted on the quote who will supply it then it’s difficult to make an argument for the builder supplying it, even if it has been agreed to verbally.

WORK BREAKDOWN SCHEDULE (WBS)

This is a step-by-step breakdown of works to be conducted by the contractor by breaking them down into detailed components. These smaller, more manageable components are categorised by size, duration and responsibility.

Key Question: What we do if there are changes or additions we want to make along the way?

We recommend that any changes are captured in writing, signed by both parties with a clear description of the changes and the associated costs. The best way to record this is in a ‘site instruction book’. Ask that builder has one of these onsite at all times to record any changes.

 

With Fix Forward, it’ll be ‘Job Done’.

PROJECT TIMELINE

A project timeline plots the scope of works against the time it takes to complete it. Put differently, it determines the order of works as well as the beginning and end date of each phase. This enables the contractor to determine a project commencement and completion date, which must both be clearly stated in the contract.

Key Question: What are the timelines for each stage and have you factored in some time for weather and other delays?

On this end, we recommend that your builder maintain a daily site activity log that accounts for the work done each day. This can be signed by both parties to remove any room for error.

SUPERVISION

With so much that could potentially go awry on a building site, it’s vital that your tradesmen is on-hand to supervise the project and ensure compliance. We recommend that you ask the builder to be on-site at least once daily, to monitor progress, discuss plans for the next day and note any changes or additions.

Key Question: If the main tradesmen is not on site, ask who would be the person that you should speak to to ensure continuity.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

As the name implies, this part of the contract specifies when payment to the tradesmen is due. This will vary depending on the project size; smaller jobs require 50% upfront and 50% on completion, whereas bigger projects are paid on a phase-by-phase basis.

Key Question: Are there any hidden costs?

On larger projects, there may be a need for additional certification in the form of certificates of compliance (CoC’s) for specific tradesmen such as plumbers or electricians. Be sure to communicate with your tradesmen whether the costs for these certificates are included or not so that there are no surprises down the road.

Do you have more questions about your upcoming project? Contact Us and we’ll be sure to point you in the right direction!

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#FixForwardFix: Saving Energy While Keeping Warm this Winter

CAPE TOWN – As the summer months roll out and winter creeps slowly in, our thoughts change from staying cool to keeping warm. With the rising cost of living and South Africa’s current over-reliance on fossil fuels, our latest #FixForwardFix includes a few handy tips and tricks to ensure that you stay warm this winter without racking up huge electricity costs or a high carbon footprint.

Let Light in / Be Curtain Clever

Use the natural warmth of the sun’s rays and allow as much sunlight into your home during the day as possible. As sun as the sun sets, close your curtains to keep the heat in. A lot of heat is lost through windows, so the thicker the curtains, the better the insulation.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Probably the single most effective method of keeping your home weather proof and electricity costs down, insulating your roof can reduce heat loss by up to 25% while wall cavity insulation results in around a third less heat lost. As a bonus, that same insulation will work to keep your home cool in summer!

A lot of big homeware suppliers have basic home insulation kits which should work fine, depending on the job and area. Remember to wear appropriate PPE at all times when dealing with the insulation material.

Ps, if your insulation project is a little bigger than a Saturday morning, book a Fix Forward tradesman to get the job done.

 

Let our team of experts guide you in the right direction

Block Draughts & Closed Unused Rooms

One of the simplest home remedies to implement, blocking draughts and other passages for air to escape is extremely effective. From our grandparents trusty Sausage Dog blockers for the bottoms of doors, to DIY self-adhesive tape that lines window frames, blocking draughts is cheap, easy and efficient.

On that note, be sure to close all rooms not in use so that no heat can escape through them.

Glazing Windows

Another of the efficient but costly methods, double-glazing your windows is probably the best way to keep your home warm during winter. While you would require proper budgeting and professionals to fit the double-glazing, most good homeware stores now stock a DIY self-adhesive film (single glaze) you can fit yourself that is a lot more affordable, although only half as effective.

Keep the Heater Area Clear

Another deceptively simple one, make sure to keep the space around your heat source (electric/gas heater or fireplace) clear and open. Not only are nearby objects like couches or curtains fire hazards, they actually absorb a lot of the heat that would otherwise warm the space. Keeping a clear space around your heater allows the maximum amount of warmth to radiate through the room without being absorbed.

Adjust Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow with a simple switch of their rotation. Counter-clockwise will push hot air up in the summer while a slow speed clockwise rotation will gently push hot air down in the winter months and help keep the heat inside your room.

Cover Floorboards

It’s a well known fact that as much as 10% of a home’s heat is lost through improperly sealed floorboards. Get some readily available floor filler from your local hardware store or get decorative and throw down some soft winter rugs. For a serious makeover, chat to use about laying carpets or a full floor refurbishment.

 

With Fix Forward, it’s Job Done!

Maximise Geyser Efficiency

Responsible for heating huge amounts of water, it’s no surprise that geysers are one of the biggest users of household power. You can reduce the amount of work your geyser needs to do by fitting a relatively affordable geyser cover. These specially insulated ‘blankets’ keep the water inside hotter for longer and thus reduce the need to keep reheating it. Bonus points for fitting a solar water heater!

As an extra measure, insulate your copper pipes with special pipe lagging to achieve the same effect. As always, our expert plumbers will be able to assist with all of your plumbing needs.

Get A Humidifier

With most modern heating methods, the air inside tends to get very dry. Besides from being uncomfortable, it’s actually less heat efficient. A humidifier is an easy and affordable way to add moisture back into the air, which will help retain (a more comfortable) heat for longer.

Dress Warm

When all else fails, there’s nothing like some long johns and thick socks to keep the cold at bay. We hope you and your loved ones stay warm and healthy this winter!

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Fix Forward Client Profile: Sue Kuyper

CAPE TOWN – After the successful launch of our web application and a busy week at Fix Forward HQ, we took some time to catch up with recent client Sue Kuyper to chat about her newly completed renovation and how she found the Fix Forward experience.

FF: Can you tell us about the project and why you went with Fix Forward to get the job done?

Sue Kuyper (SK): I am planning to upgrade my home in stages so that I could more easily manage the project, and so that I could find a builder I could trust without committing to use them for the whole project.

I approached various small and medium sized builders for a quote with many of them never getting back to me. Some came to view the house but never sent a quote. When I contacted Fix Forward, they got back to me straight away and I knew that they were a professional outfit I could trust.

FF: How did you hear about Fix Forward?

SK: I heard Josh being interviewed on Cape Talk and emailed them that very same day.

FF: How did you find the booking process and overall communication?

SK: The response was brilliant! Within hours of sending the initial email to Fix Forward, they replied and referred me to tradesman Shepherd Mtyatya. Shortly afterwards, Shepherd contacted me and arranged to come and view the project that same week. Within the week I had received Shepherd’s quote. As it had been so challenging to get any other quotes – and Shepherd seemed like a good person to work with – I decided to go with Fix Forward.

 

Fix Forward tradesman Shepherd Mtyatya

FF: What work did Shepherd do in the first phase of your project?

SK: Brickwork and plastering to restore and revitalise my aged passageway and bathroom.

FF: How did Shepherd and his team perform? Were there any challenges?

SK: Building is always a messy process but Shepherd and his team worked hard to keep the mess to a minimum and did an excellent job all round. There were no major challenges – at least none that Shepherd and his team could not easily overcome.

Read more about Shepherd and his team in the blog ‘Shepherd Mtyatya & the Fix Forward Model’


FF: Would you recommend Fix Forward to family and friends?

SK: Absolutely! The Fix Forward concept is brilliant as it quickly and easily connects the public to high quality, professional tradesmen. I would recommend Fix Forward for any building-related service.

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Fix Forward To Launch New Web App

CAPE TOWN – Fix Forward is delighted to announce the imminent launch of our new Web Application booking system. A critical part of our 2018 Roadmap, the application’s launch promises to take Fix Forward to the next level in terms of efficiency and customer service. Fix Forward Founder, Joshua Cox, sat down with us recently to run through the app in more detail.

FF: When will the app be launched? 

Joshua Cox (JC): We are launching the web application on the 5th of April. We’re really excited for the launch as this will make the process much simpler for clients to interact with us, improving their overall experience of using Fix Forward.

FF: What are the main features of the application? 

JC: There are several new features which we feel will really streamline the process and add great value to our customers. I’ll chat about each section in a bit more detail.

a) Booking Procedure

One of the key changes to the booking procedure is that clients will be able to give an indication of their budget for the project as well as the sub-trade. This means that for larger projects we will automatically be able to allocate builders with the right level of expertise to the job eg. full scale contractors to big building jobs and smaller teams for smaller projects. The sub-trade (eg. kitchen cupboards) also helps us to easily select the right specialist for the specific project.

b) Reviews

Clients will easily be able to review their tradesman on the platform  after the job is done.

 

New app? #JobDone! 

c) Payment

Payments will still happen by EFT but clients will now automatically receive invoices for payments due and will easily be able to view what payments have been made to date – particularly useful for bigger jobs where there are three or four payments during the course of the project.

d) Speed & Ease of Use

All of these features, plus a few others will increase the speed at which we can turn enquiries around. It will also give clients better sight of the project details and history without having to locate past emails from us.

FF: What stores the app will be available in? How would a customer use it?

JC: The app is in fact a web app, not a mobile app. Which means that people will still access it via our website fixforward.com. This is helpful for people working on desktop devices, rather than mobile and it also means that people don’t need to download another app that takes us space on their phone. If people wish to they can save the website to their home screen and access it much like they would a mobile app.

FF: How you think the app will benefit Fix Forward customers and tradesmen moving forward?

At this stage the app is most useful for Fix Forward customers in that we can more easily track progress, from the moment an enquiry comes through. This means customers will be getting an even more efficient service from us. We are launching a version for the tradesmen in the next few months, which will enable tradesmen to prepare quotes directly from their phone / tablet, which will significantly speed up the quoting turnaround time.

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Fix Forward Tradesman Profile: Kevin Fortune

CAPE TOWN –  At Fix Forward, the main driving force behind everything we do is empowering entrepreneurs so that they in turn empower both themselves and their communities.  With most of our tradesmen originating from communities that have experienced a great deal of hardship, we are especially proud of their journeys and the obstacles they have overcome to become successful businessmen. Kevin Fortune, the latest tradesman to join our team, is just such an example.

Kevin grew up in Grassy Park, but now  lives in Capricorn near Muizenberg – just a short distance from Fix Forward’s Cape Town office. A widower, Kevin delved deep into his work after the loss of his wife and is a self taught handyman with over 25 years experience. With a passion for building and renovation, Kevin’s positive attitude and strong will made him a perfect candidate for our entrepreneur development program. We recently caught up with Kevin to chat about his experiences since becoming part of our team and where he envisions himself in a few years.

FF: Tell us about the beginning of your journey into the craft of building?

Kevin Fortune (KF): I started off doing small projects and building work in Grassy Park where I come from originally. I did odd jobs within my surrounding community and I slowly gained traction with a reputation for quality work. From there on my area of work expanded and, through word of mouth and improving client relation skills, my freelance business was born.

FF: What are your areas of expertise?

KF: I have an array of skills. My mentor specialized in engineering and passed on a lot of amazing knowledge that helped me to get an excellent grounding in all aspects of building. Although I am proficient in all building and handyman maintenance work, I have developed a speciality in swimming pools and am able to build, maintain and repair swimming pools from start to finish.

FF: What are your passions outside of work?

KF: I like to view life with a ‘glass half full’ attitude. My wife passed away a few years ago but I have three beautiful children; my youngest daughter is heading to high school next year so I spend whatever leisure time I get with my family. I’m a reborn Christian so my Sundays are sacred and a special time for me and my family – the privilege of now living close to the sea also allows us those long walks on the beach!

 

Kevin Fortune outside Fix Forward HQ

FF: How has joining the Fix Forward team helped you on your journey as a builder?

KF: They’ve brought something completely new to the table for me – Fix Forward has  helped make my goals visible and provided me with a new perspective. Fix Forward gave me the necessary tools and structure that helps me manage my time better and, in essence, allows more time for me to enjoy life and what I do without wondering what is coming next. Fix Forward has taught me to put even more emphasis on the client, and that communication is key between all three parties. It’s such a blessing to know you have someone behind you that supports you when you confront problems and gives you guidance as to how to deal with anything that comes your way.

FF: A large part of Fix Forward’s focus has been Community Development. Are you active in your community? 

KF: Absolutely! We have community soccer and netball teams which I like to support where I can. I also have four gentlemen who I have taken in to teach my skillset which helps them achieve their goals like I am achieving mine. Whenever there are smaller jobs which I can’t attend to, I send one of my guys on my behalf and I’m always encouraging the clients to give me feedback as to their experiences with them. This helps them to gain more experience, and to exercise the skills I’ve taught them. I also strive to encourage an appreciation for my guys to see the clients for the value they are bringing by trusting us with their work.

FF: What are your goals for yourself with Fix Forward?

KF: After meeting with my Fix Forward coach, we identified a few areas that I would really like to develop further,  including bookkeeping and marketing myself. Sharpening my building skills with new techniques is also an ongoing process I’m very excited about. Time management is also a must so that I can prioritize my tasks and better manage mine and my staff’s days.

It’s amazing the new doors that are opened when a company puts its faith in you and allows you to grow personally, as well as together. I’m very optimistic about the future!

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#FixForwardFix: 5 Common DIY Household Problems Solved [Part 1]

CAPE TOWN – At any given time, there are a number of things that can go wrong in our homes as wear and tear, weather or time take their toll. Whilst some jobs require professional tradesmen, there are those that can be easily done by just about anyone! In first part of our #FixForwardFix series on common household DIY problems, this week we look at five pesky problems and how you can repair them quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Leaking Toilets

A leaking loo is a major waste of water and is likely a result of corrosion as the toilet parts wear down through extended use. This might manifest as a leak at the water inlet pipe or via the overflow into the bowl. No need to call a plumber though – hardware stores sell inexpensive toilet kits complete with detailed installation instructions. Remember to turn the water off first!

Eliminating Damp

Damp in the home is not only unsightly, it can have potentially adverse health effects too. There are some cases where all you need is a sealant and some paint, but others might require the use of a professional if the cause of the damp is a burst geyser or other more complex problem. You can find more information on DIY Damp issues in a previous #FixForwardFix.

Filling Wall Cracks

When hanging pictures or shelves, we’ve all had experience when a hole doesn’t quite end up where it’s meant to. This is no trains mash though and small holes can easily be filled by neatly applying some clear white toothpaste over the hole, allowing to dry, then gently sanding smooth so that it sits flush with the paint, letting it dry completely and then repainting it.

 

painting filler

Applying filler to imperfections.

Scratches in Wooden Floors and Furnitures

With almost every household containing at least some element of wood furniture or flooring, daily wear and tear means scratches on your wood surfaces are just about unavoidable. While bigger cracks might need professional carpenters there are smaller cracks that you could get away with doing yourself. Floor surfaces might require re-sanding and polishing over cracks while other furniture cracks are a little simpler. One method is to use wood filler to smear into the crack and then sand even, or alternatively, wet a cloth well under the tap. Wring out excess water and place the towel flat over the crack. Iron over the towel in circular motions for three to five minutes and the wooden should swell to recover the crack!

Cleaning Paintbrushes

If you’ve tackled a little painting at home, chances are the thought of cleaning the rollers or paint brushes at the end was the least enjoyable part of the job. With toxic turpentine and thinners being the regular choices, we’ve found a more eco-friendly solution that is just as effective! Simply place your paint brushes into an old, deep saucepan and fill it up with cheap, clear vinegar. Boil on a hot surface for 5 minutes and then rinse the paintbrushes under running water and watch the hard chips and stubborn paint rinse right off. You might need to repeat the process once more if the paint brushes are really old.

In our next #FixForwardFix, we’ll show you easy solutions to tackle five more common household DIY problems. Still need a professional?

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Fix Forward partners with Home By Design

CAPE TOWN – In another exciting development for Fix Forward this year, we are proud to announce our new partnership with Home By Design, a full service interior design studio based in Constantia. Fix Forward founder, Joshua Cox, recently sat down with us to discuss the new partnership and the expected benefits for our tradesmen.

Fix Forward (FF): What does the partnership entail? 

Joshua Cox (JC): Home By Design offers quality kitchen and built-in cupboard design at an affordable price. As part of our long-term strategy to become the central hub for all things building, we refer potential clients who have expressed an interest in kitchen or cupboard projects to Home By Design, who then offer their design services. Once the design is complete, we pick up with the client again and get to work building their dream projects.

FF: How did the partnership come about?

JC: We get a lot of requests for kitchen refurbishments and built-in cupboards. Many of our clients have an idea of what they would like, but as the work progresses and they see the space change they often opt for changes or additions. This costs the client more money and takes longer. Home By Design is run by a good friend of mine, Sophia Roos, who worked for one of the premier kitchen design and installation companies in South Africa. Sophia is able to produce professional renders for clients that give them a good idea of what the space will look  like, before the project goes ahead. In fact, they did exactly this for my kitchen at home!

FF: How do you see this benefitting Fix Forward tradesmen?

Cabinetry is a precise art and having detailed drawings and measurements is a huge factor in ensuring that the projects run smoothly. As many people simply cannot afford to have professional drawings done it is often the case that our carpenters have to work off a basic description. This is obviously far from ideal and would result in our tradesmen having to expend extra time and energy to make the necessary corrections. By having professional plans in place from the beginning, our tradesmen are able to more accurately quote on exactly how much labour and materials are required. They are also gaining exposure to professional cabinet design, which increases their skillset as a result.

 

A recently completed Home By Design kitchen for a client in Cape Town.

FF: How would a customer make use of the service?

JC: At this stage it’s as simple as passing on contact details to someone who requires this  service. In time we may integrate into our own booking system, but for now we just pass on Home by Design’s contact details to the client.

FF: Are you looking to establish other such partnerships?

JC: Absolutely! We are in touch with a number of architects and have already been  referring clients who needs building plans drawn up. Up until now this has been a rather informal process, which we are looking to formalise in the next short while. We are always interested in exploring any additional services that can add value to clients.

FF: Would you be willing to accept partnership ‘requests’ or submissions?

JC: Indeed, if anyone feels they have a valuable service to potentially offer people looking to do renovations and maintenance, we encourage them to get in touch with us to discuss it further.

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Fix Forward Takes on Large Projects – Part 2

CAPE TOWN – In the second part of our series ‘Fix Forward Takes on Large Projects (Check out Part 1 here), this week we chat to recent client Bjorn Rudner, who was one of the first participants in our new service offering. We caught up with Bjorn to chat about his experience during the process.

How did you find out about Fix Forward?

It was actually just a simple Google search! I was impressed to find that Fix Forward takes accountability for their tradesmen’s work; it gave me comfort in making the decision without a recommendation. It’s really great to discover an organisation which has heart but also takes responsibility. In addition, I got many quotes and Fix Forward offered competitive prices which I found very reasonable.

Who was assigned to the job and how has the experience been so far?

Fanie Manjete, a  tradesman with 15 years experience, was assigned to the project. He has a great team and I was impressed with how he stuck to the schedule brilliantly, which also made the job run pretty smoothly. I wanted to start off with a smaller project before I committed to the whole renovation of my home, so I let him do the bathroom project first which was not a small job either don’t get me wrong; we had to bash out walls, move plumbing etc. so I’m happy to report I was thoroughly impressed with it all!

 

The completed bathroom – the first room tackled in the large project

Would you recommend FF to family & friends?

Most definitely! It’s tough to find organisations, or contractors for that matter, whom offer any sort of assurance. You hear horror stories so I just have to mention again that knowing FF takes responsibility for the people they represent and put forward is a huge game changer in the industry.

Was Fanie and his team water wise during the project?

Yes, absolutely! No using of the water hose to wash down driveways etc. And when the geyser needed emptying, it was poured straight into my garden.

Is there anything about the process you would change?

In all honesty, I really don’t have anything to pass on in this regard. Fanie and his team went above and beyond what was required. I’ll be using Fix Forward for the rest of my home renovations , so perhaps we can do a follow up later on this year!

Edit: Check out the follow up blog Fix Forward Takes on Large Projects – Part 3′ where we caught up with Bjorn to discuss how things went since we last spoke.

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