New Thatched Roof on Holiday Cottage, Qolora

New thatched roof on beach cottage in the Eastern Cape of South Africa
New thatched roof on holiday cottage at Qolora, Eastern Cape

Who doesn’t dream of owning a holiday cottage on the beach? This rustic family beach house was given a new lease of life just in time for the summer. Situated in Qolora at the gateway to the Wild Coast, the house is the epitome of an old “Tranksei Cottage”. The thatched roof sits on thick, white washed cement walls with a large veranda overlooking the beach. Small rondavels complete the homestead.

At the end of last year, having hosted many a family holiday, the cottage was in dire need of some TLC. The thatched roof was in a terrible condition due to minimal maintenance over a long period of time. While the roof was being re-built, the owners took the opportunity to renovate other areas of the cottage including the veranda, kitchen and living areas.

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The Building Process: Breaking Ground to Moving Day

Timber Frame House being Built, Eastern Cape
“Breaking Ground” is when the builders dig their first holes for the foundations of your new home

This article is Part II of a two-part series that explains the building process. My aim by writing this series is to inform home (or land) owners building their own custom house about the building process, what to expect from their builder and what steps the building process entails.

In this article I will walk you through steps 10 – 20 of the building process. From when your builder “breaks ground” to the moment that you turn the key in the lock of the front door and finally get to make your custom-built house a home. I will give details about getting soil classification, registering the home build with the NHBRC, how progress reports, payments and variations are managed, inspections of the building, acquiring certificates of compliance, an occupancy certificate, and getting the final building snags fixed up. Your builder/ project manager will manage most of these steps but it’s important that you understand what’s going on and when things should happen.

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