We suspect that the problems with the roof were deliberately concealed. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Cape Town - So how many of you found you had developed a leaking roof in the recent Cape rains?


more important, how many of you have arranged to have it fixed?

Not many, I guess, considering it’s that time of year when homeowners are more likely to shrug their shoulders and say there’s still time before winter to get it fixed.

My appeal?

Please don’t wait too long!

First, a summer roof costs less. Roofing contractors are hungry now, so don’t wait for them to raise their prices in winter.

Also, the petrol price has gone up and by all accounts will go up again soon, so the cost of transport and materials will soon follow suit.

Moving on to building plans, after last week’s column I found myself in trouble with an architect who questioned why I hadn’t listed architects as the first port of call when trying to obtain prices for building alterations.

I have mentioned before that you should not go looking for prices without having proper plans drawn, and I’d suggest that before you get such a plan drawn, check the person is registered, and at what level, with Sacap (the SA Council for the Architectural Profession), the legal body that controls the registration of architects.

Another person queried why I never mention consultants, specifically those who get called in by both the public and private sector to solve a particular problem, like a leaking roof or peeling paint.

The topic is worth a whole column, but for now I’ll say briefly that if you go in search of a consultant, as with all other trades, check their credentials.

Don’t be fooled by fancy titles and a string of letters after their names.

Questions and answers

Roy: I own a small factory in Claremont and currently have palisade fencing at the front which, over the years, has been displaced by the roots of a nearby tree which has now been chopped down. Apart from having the palisade fencing rectified, I also need a new gate installed, the existing gates cut in two, and new track laid as I’m

installing a new entrance. I have had four contractors come to quote, only one of whom has come back to me. His quote is exorbitant to say the least. I have phoned him to discuss, but to date no answer. Can you recommend somebody?


I have published this question firstly to see whether any of our readers come back with recommendations, but secondly to have another rant about Cape Town service levels. What is wrong with us? Don’t we want work? Modern technology makes it all so easy; if you want the work, go out and do something about it, because I am certain it is not going to start raining hundred rand notes any time soon.

I am helping a friend of mine get quotes to have her balcony re-waterproofed for the third time, and was there as an interested observer when a young man arrived to quote. He was good and articulate and impressed me, but I was a little worried because he did not have a pencil and paper, but only an electronic measuring wheel. So he measured the balcony, produced his cellphone, clicked a few photos, tapped a few keys. When I asked what he was doing, he said he was sending everything back to the office where the staff would prepare a quote. The client would have it the following day. That’s it, I surrender – the world is certainly too fast for me. - Weekend Argus

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