From Drab to Fab
|Words: Carola Koblitz Photography: David
Balkind Portrait: Ruvan Boshoff
The roof, which had to be removed and replaced in sections while the pair continued to live on site, was the biggest job. Explains David: ‘We tried to save the existing ceiling and we did this by cutting off the top of the existing trusses and leaving the bottom tie-beams to hold up the ceiling.’ The new trusses were then slotted into place between the existing beams. ‘It was done like this both from a cost perspective as well as for security reasons because we were living in it.’
He admits that although this saved both money and time, it was a once-only lifetime experience: ‘I’ll never go through the leaking again, the banging and everything. Living on a building site is not my cup of tea!’
There was also a blocked-up fireplace that took up a quarter of the kitchen space. This was to be removed and a new fireplace was to be built in the living room.
The town authorities, it appears, were pleased to see the back of the Spanish façade. ‘Everything in Franschhoek has to go to the Aesthetics Committee to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again,’ explains David. ‘Basically, as long as you fit in with either a Georgian, Victorian or Cape Dutch look, the Aesthetics Committee is happy with it and passes it, but you still obviously have to adhere to all the standard building regulations.’
Rule number four: always check local building regulations and heritage requirements.
Along with the Aesthetics Committee, the neighbours were also thrilled by what they saw. ‘People used to stop outside in their cars,’ says Palo, ‘roll down their windows and shout "You’re doing such a nice job!" and "I can’t believe what you’ve done with this house!" They were constantly making comments. This house was just waiting for somebody to come and make it nice.’
Not only were they able to find a property within their budget (and at the lower end of the market), but they were also able to stick within their renovation budget, of which the roof cost about 20 per cent and the walls, doors and windows 30 per cent of the total build. Had they employed the services of an architect this would have added about 15 per cent to the overall costs and a contractor about 30 per cent.
Rule number five: stick to your budget.
Article by: The Property Magazine