Bespoke Residential & Commercial Builders in Cape Town, South Africa



Tel: +27 (0) 82 788 2528

Email: building@ukasa.co.za

UKASA Construction

BESPOKE RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL BUILDERS

Your first building experience? Here is what you need to know

If you have never had your home or office built before, getting started with such a project can be quite intimidating.  This is especially true when you want to have a say in every aspect of the construction starting from design.  In such cases, the best option is for you to sign up with a bespoke commercial construction company or residential construction firm like UKASA Construction that prioritizes client satisfaction. Remember that the construction project team will consist of many different professionals such as Architect, Engineer, Surveyor and Building Contractor.  We, the building contractors, coordinate activities with all the others as well as manage all other activities such as demolition, raising foundation, earthworks etc. on your behalf.

This is how the construction project will unfold with an experienced bespoke construction company handling the affair.

The Design

Typically, you discuss your design ideas with an architect and based on your suggestion, he comes up with the final design for your home or office. This is the first step in the process and also the first relationship you establish with the construction team.  Your architect may suggest reputable engineers, quantity surveyors and others to you.  At UKASA Construction, we can handle this aspect through a skilled, reputable architect that we have an established relationship with.

Engineering

This is a crucial step and also a legal requirement because this is where you ensure that your design has structural integrity that translates into a long life span for your building.  UKASA Construction’s team has the expertise and experience to give you accurate, objective inputs that marry design aesthetics with engineering resilience without compromising either.

Quantity Surveying

While you do want the best quality construction in Cape Town, you also want to ensure that every cent you spend is delivering value. This is the Quantity Surveyor’s domain. Often, the QS participates in the builder selection stage of the process where he enables comparison by means of getting quotes for the Bill of Quantities from various builders. The surveyor continues to add value to the project throughout its lifecycle by making sure that expenses are being accounted for and are within the overall budget.

Importance of various professionals

As this is your first time building, you may be unaware of the significance of the various professionals involved and it may be difficult for you to understand that views of one may occasionally conflict with those of another.  However, the end product must reflect your tastes as well as adhere to mandatory requirements while also ensuring you sound engineering. UKASA Construction coordinates the activities of all the professionals involved to deliver this end-result.

Another aspect that requires special attention is the cost.  The building process is creative but when innovations are brought in after the design is finalised, they can escalate the costs considerably either because some plans have to be reworked or because the construction timeline is extended.  As a client, you may be unaware of the implications of such changes but we undertake to inform you when this is a risk and allow you to make an informed decision so that you get quality construction that aligns with your desires and financial limitations.

Identifying builders who will give you uncompromising construction quality and service

The law makes it easy for you to locate reputable, ethical builders but despite all of these mechanisms there is still an element of risk here. What if you hire a building contractor who is only profit oriented and not quality oriented? What if your building contractor does not care about complying with law? You could be left with legal problems, huge liabilities or a house that is unsafe to live in. To ensure that you get quality construction in Cape Town, you should always sign up with bespoke construction companies such as UKASA Construction. Here is how you know you have the right building contractor:

Best quality materials

Yes, keeping costs under control is very important for any construction project, but this cannot be done by compromising on the quality of materials used.  For example, low grade concrete, inadequate rebar placement in concrete slabs and so on, can have devastating consequences for the building’s structural integrity.  If poor quality waterproofing is applied, the building may suffer leaks in rainy weather.  It is critical to sign up with a professional building contractor such as UKASA Construction who is committed to giving you the top quality construction in Cape Town.  We do not take any shortcuts that could compromise the life span, resilience, or safety of the building. We employ skilled professionals to carry out regular quality checks at various levels so that our high standards are maintained.

Quality workmanship

Even with the best quality materials at your disposal, the building’s construction may fall short of your expectations when the work is done by inexperienced or poorly trained workers.  It is important for the building contractor to hire workers with skill and passion for top quality construction work.  In particular, this is important when you want bespoke building construction for your Cape Town property because only skilled workers can translate creative design into reality.  When you work with UKASA Construction, it is our responsibility to ensure that you will have no issues with the structure that we have built.  That is, whilst small settlement cracks are normal, rapidly expanding cracks that indicate a lack of structural integrity are most certainly not acceptable!

At UKASA Construction we pass on this old fable to all our employees.  There lived an old construction worker who, after having worked for his employer for decades, was all set to retire. His employer asks him to build one last house.  The worker, tired and jaded, builds it quickly and carelessly, only aiming to get the job done as fast as possible. The house is finished and the employer thanks the man for his years of service and hands him an envelope.  Instead of money, the worker finds a key inside.  It is the key to the house he has just built, hastily, without any care for quality.  At UKASA Construction, our workers always build as if it were their own house they were working on.

Communicative and friendly

It is your house that is being built and that means you should expect to be involved and informed about everything that is going on.  Choose a reliable building contractor who is committed to giving you regular updates about the progress and who will be transparent and honest about every aspect of the work being done.  At UKASA Construction we understand that being openly communicative with our clients and maintaining a friendly relationship with them helps build a relationship based on trust.  That is our goal, to show our clients that they can trust us to give the very best, just as they deserve.

Building in South Africa: what you should know

If you are not a resident of South Africa, then building a commercial or residential structure here may present a few more complexities than you might realise.  As a reputable, bespoke residential and commercial construction compan, UKASA Construction can help you understand the key aspects in a better way.  The main things that you should know about are:

  • National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and banking institutions: Home owners should be aware that it is mandatory to register the construction with the NHBRC in South Africa. Only after this can the actual construction begin. This registration requires, apart from other things, council-approved building plans, an appointed engineer and engineer’s drawings. The link between the NHBRC and bankers makes it pretty much impossible for you to sell the building to any buyer who requires financing from South African banks if you have not registered it as required.
  • BIBC (Building Industry Bargaining Council):  This council is responsible for safeguarding the interests of the workers employed in the construction project. It offers, in particular, protection against unscrupulous employers and makes it possible for workers to exercise their rights. The Council was created under the Labour Relations Act of 1995. Its main functions are to negotiate an agreement between the employer and workers, to administer this agreement, to address labour disputes and to manage the social benefits funds for workers.
    All building industry professionals who are engaged in construction activities are required to be registered with this Council and to follow its regulations. As the owner who is commissioning the construction of your building, make sure that your building contractor is registered with this council.  At UKASA Construction, we take care of all these mandatory requirements without fail and also ensure that we follow all the regulations and requirements to the letter.
  • Knowledge of by-laws: Construction is a complex process and at every stage there are laws that need to be followed. Unless your building contractor is aware of these and committed to following them, you, the property owner can be in some serious trouble. After all, failure to comply with law can have far reaching consequences well after your building has been completed too. A good example of this is the recent announcement by the City of Joburg of new swimming pool safety by-laws, which if ignored could have serious legal implications for property owners. Homes that are already built with swimming pools will need to get a certificate of compliance otherwise they cannot be sold. They will be inspected by officials to ensure that they are in line with the new by-laws. There are similar by-laws with respect to many aspects of the construction, such as demolition and working on public holidays and these should be followed strictly to avoid legal consequences.

Signing up with a reputable and experienced bespoke construction company like UKASA Construction is the simplest way for you to ensure that your construction project is being done in full compliance with the law.