Housing and Planning

5 Things to Consider When Building a House

Where are you going to go? You don’t even have a house!

These were the first words that Kunjulwa thought when her father told her he had decided to move back to the Eastern Cape. The second thought that crossed her mind? ‘I have to help him.’

For Kunjulwa Komani and many other South Africans, providing financial assistance to her parents wasn’t even a question. As a devoted daughter, this was her opportunity to express her gratitude to them.

So, she set out to build two homes, one simple cottage and one traditional rondawel home. Throughout the process, she learned hard lessons that ultimately led to success, and today her family members are comfortably settled in their new homes.

If you’re considering building a home from the ground up, or even just deciding to do some renovations, take note of some of the things that Kunjulwa has learned.

  1. Talk to someone that knows what they’re doing. This can be anyone from an experienced builder to an architect, as long as you have a plan. Make sure you’re happy with the plans too, you’re the one that needs to live in the space.
  2. However long you think it’ll take, add more time. The best-laid plans often go awry, and chances are that you’ll hit a snag somewhere along the way. Give yourself a buffer, and a flexible deadline.
  3. You get what you pay for. Sometimes it’s a good idea to go for the cheaper option, and sometimes you need to pay a little bit more for a higher quality of work. That being said, it might be a good idea to try do it yourself before enlisting a costly professional (depending on the task of course!)
  4. Trust your instincts, especially when it comes to décor. When it comes to the cosmetic changes, you’ll find that everyone has an opinion on what will look best. Go with what you want, it’s your home after all and if you like it, you’ll like living in it.
  5. Work out a budget, and consider where you can save. Ultimately, don’t plan to do more than you can afford to, and this applies to taking out loans you need to finance the build or renovation as well. If you don’t need it, wait a while and see if you still want it after some time has passed. There is more to a home than an expensive fitting, it’s about the people and memories you fill it with.

Check out Direct Talk for more stories on life, money and everything in between.


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