Every year, our readers enter their upgraded homes into our annual renovations competition. This year’s finalists are simply brilliant. The winners are determined by reader votes, so make sure to vote for your favourite.
The winners of the House and Leisure Before & After competition will receive a trip for two to Thailand for a 5-star break. Incredible prizes are up for grabs by 13 lucky readers, just by voting for their favourite reader’s home or room renovation. Prizes include Caesarstone Surfaces to the value of R10 000, a Sophia chandelier from K Light worth R10 000, a two-night stay for four guests sharing at Abalone House’s Pool Villas, in Paternoster on the West Coast, worth R12 000 and much more! You can only vote once, so be sure to choose wisely.
Reader’s Renovation: House #2
A characterful Victorian cottage on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard is ushered into the 21st century with a new footprint and contemporary finishes.
The dream of owning a charming Victorian on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard is one of the reasons homeowners Niel Barnard and Lize Viljoen fell for this fixer-upper when they stumbled across it. The couple put in an offer on a whim. ‘We could see the potential in it,’ says Lize, ‘and we were excited because we were told that the original staircase was intact, but had been covered with a new one to accommodate the needs of the elderly original homeowner.’
Niel and Lize changed the footprint of the house completely, beginning with removing the central corridors on both floors to make the rooms bigger and allow more natural light in. The hallway’s entrance was absorbed into a living room, which also freed up space to create a bigger bedroom. The previously compact upstairs area now contains a lavish bedroom with a fireplace and balcony offering mountain and sea vistas, and a guest bedroom and bathroom.
Niel and Lize’s Top 5 Renovation Tips
- Get at least three references for the builder that you intend to use to check the quality of their work, how easy they were to deal with and whether they adhered to previous time constraints.
- If you are planning on building a room around a specific material, such as granite on your kitchen countertops, first make sure that you can afford said material and that it can be sourced locally, then check how long it will take to be delivered. Some materials can take eight weeks or longer to order, and if you can’t locate or afford what you initially wanted, it can throw out your whole design.
- Add 20-30% on top of your budget for unforeseen work. Our builders underestimated the electrical work of our old Victorian lady, and ended up having to rewire the entire house. Unexpected things can pop up, so rather budget for that extra expenditure.
- All additional work that needs to be done should be put in writing by your builder and agreed upon so you can see how it fits into your budget or whether you can afford to do it.
- Be on site as often as possible. It helps you keep on top of things and be more reactive to any decision that needs to be made.