“We’ve always referred to the flat at the back of our house as ‘the hole’,” says Yvette Makaum of Bloemfontein. “When my husband Rohan and I bought the property in 2014, we renovated the entire house and used the flat as a storeroom. Everything was dumped there.”
The flat, situated next to one of the boundary walls, was in a bad state: the walls were dirty and full of holes, the ceiling was sagging, and the kitchen cupboards and drawers had suffered water damage. “You could hardly walk through the rubbish and in-between all this was my poor husband’s desk; he used it as a temporary workspace,” says Yvette.
When their eldest daughter Lucille moved out at the beginning of 2017, the Makaums decided to utilise one of the bedrooms in the main house as an office for Rohan and convert the one-bedroom flat into a self-catering unit to generate extra income.
“The biggest job was getting rid of all the junk!” says Yvette. They called in the help of a builder who had assisted with the main home’s renovations three years before. The project began in March 2017 and was completed by mid-june.
“As with any building work, there were a few setbacks; for example, the new opening for the front door took two weeks! The building is more than 45 years old and the wall was rock solid so they could only remove little pieces at a time. And the tiler we’ve been using for the past 25 years has become even slower – it took him four weeks to tile the tiny kitchen and bathroom; eventually, I jumped in and did the grouting myself,” says Yvette.
Next on the couple’s to-do list is a new parking area – then guests can start lining up! Building contractor Sander Contractors (083 469 1607) Cupboards M&I Cupboard (082 374 2510) Bathroom fittings Waterways Bloemfontein (051 447 7512, water-ways.co.za) Wall tiles Union Tiles (051 421 1285, uniontiles.co.za) Floor tiles All Rounder Tiles (051 101 0750, allrounders.co.za) Laminated flooring CTM (051 430 4967, ctm.co.za) Electric light fittings Herholdt’s Electrical Wholesalers (051 447 1961, herholdts.co.za) Furniture Decofurn (087 740 1800, decofurnsa.co.za), superbalist.com, Cielo Lifestyle (0861 999 193, cielolifestyle.co.za) Accessories MRP Home (0800 21 25 35, mrphome.com)
with Yvette and Rohan
Any cost-cutting tips? Shop around, negotiate prices and ask for discounts; most importantly, use contractors you know and trust! Where did you get your ideas? I’ve been buying Home since the very first issue. Whenever I’m looking for inspiration, I page through my old magazines. Any other hints? Planning is crucial; visualise how you want to utilise the space and make sure your contractor shares your vision. What’s next? A fire pit next to our swimming pool.