Fanie Manjete’s Rondebosch Revival

Rondebosch, Cape Town – Fanie Manjete has been in construction for 13 years, moving up the ranks from a subcontractor who specialised in painting, paving and plastering, all the way up to the role of Project Manager in 2007. Having worked on many houses in both the northern and southern suburbs of Cape Town, Fanie has developed a reputation for completing his builds and home renovations both on time and to an exceptionally high standard. Ever the student, in his free time he loves to read up about new developments and techniques in the South African construction industry in order to keep abreast and ahead of the pack.

 

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Fanie (first from left) and his capable team.

As he wraps up another successful project, Fix Forward got down to Fanie’s latest site to find out a little more about how he and his team does things. Completing the finishing touches on this beautiful Rondebosch family home, he told us all about the ins and outs of his projects and ran us through a few of the challenges and successes – the latter including the dreamy double volume ceilings of which Fanie is so proud.

 

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The build featured beautiful double-volume ceilings and expansive glass panelling to maximise natural light.

Despite full and careful planning, Fanie explained how projects such as these often give rise to unexpected difficulties. In this case, being a wintertime build in the Southern Suburbs with major glass panels, Fanie faced the prospects of severe rain delays and wind-induced material damage. The inclement weather – the scourge of Cape Town builders – threatened to adversely affect the installation of all the striking glass panels around the home; however, with some good project management and a reliable glass subcontractor, the project was able to move ahead on schedule.

Although challenging at the time, difficulties such as those described above provide an invaluable opportunity to learn from mistakes going forward, and Fanie does this with aplomb. This particular house has been one of his best projects, and has consistently attracted and inspired neighbours who are now planning to use Fanie for builds or renovations of their own.

 

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The family home from the exterior.

The family, set to move in in early August, are extremely happy with their new home. This is testament to the skill and workmanship of Fanie and his team, with each task carefully and meticulously completed. Although he enjoys all types of construction work, Fanie says that bathrooms and kitchens have become his speciality, which is clear to see in the intricate tile work and precision finishing in this build.

Like what you see? Contact us for a quote! 

 

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Quality finishing on the kitchen fittings result in an elegant open plan living space.

 

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Fanie and his team were meticulous in their attention to detail and maintained a tidy, safe site at all times.

With handover fast approaching, Fanie is excited for all the new projects and opportunities that showcasing this beautiful home has bought him, and hopes that all his projects continue to be both on budget and time. We have no doubt they will be!

Rave review for painter Kingstone

Kingstone Katuruza has been one of longest partner tradesmen, and he never fails to disappoint in the high standard of service he delivers to each and every client. Below is a recent review we received from a past client, Tony Cross, from Somerset West.

“We asked Kingstone to quote for the repainting of our house and boundary wall. In addition to the quality of his workmanship, we were also very clear what we expected: punctuality, that he as the ‘boss’ had to be onsite every day and that his team had to be regulars that he employed and not casuals picked up on the side of the road that day. In good detail, he explained what they would undertake and the process they adopt dealing with cracks and other areas needing repair.”

IMG_8516“The quotation was not the cheapest but there was something about him, his knowledge and his quite confidence which was reassuring and persuaded us the instruct him. We were not disappointed. His team worked methodically and carefully under his supervision, cleaning up along the way. The finished product was actually better than I could have achieved and as someone who has been decorating his own house for over 30 years, I was impressed. We have since re-engaged him for two other jobs and have recommended him to friends based upon his workmanship and reliability.”

Well done Kingstone, keep flying the flag high!

Rigorous Selection Process

A room filled with skilled tradesmen from the townships around Cape Town. We handpick the very best of these artisans: individuals with initiative, integrity and drive, who communicate well, and already have experience in dealing with customers but are not able to market themselves sufficiently to secure ongoing work.

Exceptional Recognition For Cabinetmaker, Shamieg Rayban

When a client sends you an official letter as well as a R1,000 voucher for your own personal use as a token of thanks for a job well done, you know that you’ve completely surpassed their expectations.

Skilled cabinetmaker Shamieg Rayban recently completed a contract at Western Province Golf Union’s Royal Cape offices to the value of over R80,000. As we mentioned in a previous post, they were delighted, and so were we. Then Shamieg received the following letter as well as a voucher that he used to buy himself a tablet for his business, increasing his productivity and enabling him to communicate even more effectively with his clients.

By doing a contract to the best of his ability, pulling out all the stops to ensure that the customer was completely satisfied and offering the brilliant client service that has impressed us from the first day we met Shamieg, he has been handsomely rewarded, not just in terms of the actual gift and letter but by the acknowledgement of his calibre and professionalism.

To say that Shamieg is over the moon is an understatement. We are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate what he, and our other skilled tradesmen of trust are capable of.

No More Scary Renovation Stories

Gladman Maphuma, skilled building contractor

Gladman Maphuma, skilled building contractor on the Fix Forward team in Cape Town

Any wonder the building industry has such a shocking reputation: everyone these days seems to have a horror story about a renovation project or home build that has gone terribly wrong. If it wasn’t you personally, the chances are good that you have a friend or neighbour that has a tale to tell about the nightmare process that it was.

Fortunately, if you do your planning carefully – most importantly, what you need and what you can afford – and appoint a reliable and reputable building contractor, the process needn’t be the traumatic – and expensive – comedy of errors that so many people seem to expect and, unfortunately, experience.

No matter what your building project, additions, renovations or a complete new home, the choice of building contractor is without a doubt the single most important factor in the various choices you need to make during the project period. You might have appointed the best architect, have a huge budget for top quality finishes and materials but this cannot in any way compensate for shaky workmanship and structural unsoundness.

A good building contractor values his reputation and will put in extra effort to satisfy his client in every way, but, remember choosing the right building contractor would in most cases not be choosing the least expensive one. Even the most skilled builder cannot do a good job for less than its true price.

Fix Forward’s strict selection process ensures that only the best of the best tradesmen and building contractors are invited onto our programme. Things that we check include how long they have been in the industry, whether they have an extensive and reliable network of material suppliers and sub-contractors and we fully investigate their track record, including doing site assessments and getting references from previous clients.

Getting Quotations

Ask to be provided with a detailed cost estimate and in the event that this cannot be provided consider getting quotes from other contractors who would be willing to provide you with a detailed layout. Not knowing what you are quoted on specifically is the quickest way of getting into a dispute with your builder. If you get tenders from more than one contractor, keep in mind that in most cases the cheapest one is not necessarily the best so be sure about the contractor before signing anything.

The Building Contract

Never start any building work without a written and signed contract in place between you, the employer and the contractor (in our case, the quote and contract will be between yourself and Fix Forward, as our head office handles the process). A written quotation and signed acceptance of the agreed price with protect both parties in the event of a dispute or in arbitration.

The contract should be very comprehensive without any loop holes and should be drawn up by a professional or an accepted pre-written contract. Clearly specify all work to be done on paper or plans, and clearly state project start and completion dates. Ensure a fixed price for all work to be done, and make provision for recourse against builder defaults. It is customary to include an agreement for delays and penalties, to clearly specify special items or appliances to be installed, and to make provision for disputes that might arise and that cost is for both parties in the event of arbitration.  It is also important to agree as to how the site will be arranged in terms of storage, water & electricity supply and ablutions for the workers.

Payment

Payment for large jobs is usually divided in increments of project stages completed or specialist items completed by sub-contractors where the main contractor will invoice for these items separately. Be wary of a builder who asks for large deposits before any work is carries out. Too many owner home builders have lost money with financially unsound contractors.

Your home is one of the most valuable financial assets, so you should never compromise on the quality of your home or the person you are entrusting with building it. You can rest assured that Fix Forward has done the necessary background checks to ensure that any of the tradesmen on our books are the cream of the crop, with professionalism guaranteed.

Remember that we are currently recruiting for skilled building contractors in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. We are extremely strict in terms of who we take on to our training and development programme as we only work with the best, so please read through our selection criteria on our website and refer someone if you feel they are a good match.

Source: Spancon, South Africa’s most efficient concrete slab supplier and erector.

Josh Cox: On Becoming a Social Entrepreneur

Here Josh Cox, founding director of FIX FORWARD, describes his life trajectory exploring three situations, challenges and personal and/or professional achievements that he feels have contributed to him being who and where he is today, and to enabling him to develop the concept for FIX FORWARD.

“I was one of the few white people privileged to go to a mixed race school in the 80’s and early 90’s, a situation that gave me at least some insight into the social injustices of Apartheid, as young as I was. Growing up I was also well aware of the environmental destruction taking place around the globe. By the time I turned 18 I was completely disillusioned with the world and in all my naiveté I felt very strongly that the most honourable thing to do was to “check out” of this failed society, to go into the wilderness and simply “live off the land”.

At around this time I had a conversation with my parents, explaining my views and my plan. My father’s response to me was, “But don’t you want to make a contribution?” I didn’t need days, or hours or even minutes to ponder that question. In that very instant my view of what I wanted to do with my life changed completely. Ever since that moment my life and my career have been focused on searching for opportunities to make a contribution to improving this country and indeed the world.

The greatest contribution I feel I can make is by creating and implementing a whole new idea for social development that wouldn’t exist otherwise. This is what has motivated in the years it has taken to make this idea a reality.

Growing up I also struggled to identify with my white, European ancestry, a culture responsible for most of the environmental destruction and social injustice, at least in South Africa. Put plainly I hated the fact that I was of white, European stock and was deeply ashamed of my culture, if one can call it that. I have come to terms with this, but a remnant of this view is that I’m continually looking to connect with people of races and cultures other than my own.

Refer A Skilled Builder and Win!

 

We are calling on all of our supporters: Please help us in our search to find outstanding builders in your local community and stand to win 15% off the labour value the next contract you log with us!

Fix Forward is now offering general building services as well as painting, paving, tiling and carpentry. We have two outstanding building contractors on our books already but we need more.

To qualify for the discount:

1. Share this post with a friend who may know a good builder;

2. Comment below if you yourself have used someone that you think would meet our strict selection criteria, or

3. Refer them via our website at https://fixforward.com/more/refer-a-tradesman/ – make a note that it is is response to this post in order to stand in line for the discount.

Our biggest marketing tool is word of mouth so we are confident that with your help, we will find the right people to help bolster our offering whilst providing them with the tools they need to make their business a sustainable success. Thank you for the invaluable part that you play in our story.