[ Q&A ]
You’ve renovated a freestanding property as well as a flat; any notable differences?
Most flats are sectional title units, so be sure to follow the body corporate rules! I had to read through pages of documentation and then wait six weeks for authorisation just to buy a gas stove. Read the fine print carefully to prevent delays. Also allow for a possible security deposit; we had to pay R10 000 before we could begin our renovations. Is it easier to manage the budget for a smaller space? We definitely found it easier. Fewer items on the list results in fewer surprises! What would you do differently next time? I hope to finally take my own advice and spend more on a dependable builder! What has been the biggest lesson
this time round? Trust your gut. I knew the original steel-frame windows needed replacing to filter noise from the street, but we kept them and I lovingly sanded the gorgeous teak windowsills. After too many complaints from Airbnb guests, we finally replaced the windows with new noise-reduction PVC frames installed by ASAP PVC. They make them to fit your existing windows; it’s so much quieter now.
Any cost-cutting tips? We opted for open shelving rather than built-in cupboards, which are expensive and often a waste of space, especially when it comes to short-term rentals. Although it can get a bit dusty, having everything visible means it’s quick and easy to do an inventory when guests depart. I love the stainless-steel kitchen island, which were bought at auction – it’s so easy to keep clean!