You may not know this, but we have a tropical paradise right in our backyard. As you exit Mpumalanga and make your way up to Mozambique’s province of Maputo, you can see the vegetation change. The landscape changes significantly with rolling hills and palm trees that become more evident the further north you travel.
Mozambique is a fairly large country with an awful lot of outdoorsy things to do. Diving, fishing and top class R and R is what you can expect to experience in Moz. Because of the large distances involved to travel to numerous provinces in Mozambique, this article will focus on three provinces fairly close to South Africa.
We start our journey in the bustling city of Maputo, based in the Maputo province. It is a beautiful city with old buildings that will make the retrophiliac in you come alive. The strong Portuguese influence, even post-war, has left an array of gorgeous European style buildings that will leave you walking the streets of the city all day. Maputo is relatively safe. Police patrol most of the popular areas, but the general rules apply. Don’t show off any expensive tech or cameras. Another important thing to be reminded of straight away is that it is very offensive to take photos of locals – especially law enforcement. Get to know some basic Portuguese and you will be appreciated for it if you do happen to encounter a law enforcement official.
Mozambicans are proud people who have a deep respect for their country and people. They have been through an awful lot and till today many poor are still suffering the consequences. Hotels are your place of choice to stay when you are in the city. Easy access to Wi-Fi and international amenities – should you wish to have them. Staying close to the centre is a good option especially if you are going on an architectural joyride – this is your best bet.
On my last visit to Maputo I was lucky enough to stay at the Pestana Rovuma. A 4-star hotel only a two-minute walk from Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Imaculada Conceição (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception). This art deco church is one architectural dream not to miss. Try and catch it open to sit down inside for a few quiet moments. The Polana Serena is also a must-see. The hotel is beautiful with views for days. Have a quick lunch but be prepared to pay in US Dollars. The food is as fancy as the prices suggest. Use the opportunity to take many beautiful photos here.
Besides a large variety of international hotels, restaurants are also easy to find all along the coastline of Maputo. A family favourite and regular visit is Costa do Sol. Their food has been consistent since we started visiting in the mid-90s. Don’t miss this gem. And although many may argue that it is here where you get the best peri-peri sauce – I beg to differ. This is what leads us to another favourite spot in Xai Xai.
As you leave the city behind, the landscape quickly suggests that you are heading to smaller towns and quieter beaches.
Xai Xai is in the province of Gaza. This bustling town alongside the Limpopo River is the capital of Gaza Province and is situated 200 kilometres north of Maputo. It is a relatively large province known for its beaches and wildlife reserves if you travel more inland. The next stop brings you down a crammed, bushy dirt road, over a few dunes and into – the place of the rising sun. Pun intended. For the best sunrises and sunsets, Nascer do Sol is where you will want to be. The name means the birth of the sun in Portuguese.
Their beach (Praia de Chizavane) is quiet and a silent refuge from the usual busy beaches we are used to in South Africa. The lodge is equipped with self-catering accommodation paired with a family restaurant to serve everyone, including the vegetarians. Their seafood platters are known well by tourists, and so is their iconic peri-peri sauce. Stop by their little convenience shop, Coco Loco, to pick up a few bottles. It is the best you will ever taste. Here you can also find touristy buys sourced and made by locals from Mozambique in the near vicinity.
The lodge has a stunning pool area. The sea is safe to swim in, but beginners beware. These waters are not manned by lifeguards and with many rocks and currents, your best bet is to stay in the shallows and swim out during low tide. Watch this video to see Nascer do Sol up close and personal from the Africa Travel Channel.
Xai Xai also recently finished their international airport, making it even easier to travel to. Now you can skip Maputo altogether and start your trip in Xai Xai. The lodge shares a long list of useful information to take careful consideration of before you travel to Mozambique. See the list here.
Inhambane is the next stop and the furthest I have been privileged enough to travel up to in Mozambique. Also, the most tropical of the previous two locations. Well-travelled tourists say the more north you travel, the more beautiful Mozambique becomes. This is all too true for Inhambane. Tofo beach is a popular destination nearby making it a true, tropical dream-destination.
Tofo is a quint beach town that lies on the Barra Beach peninsula in Inhambane Province and is an easy 22 kilometre drive from Inhambane city. This small fishing village is famed for its curved Tofo Beach (Praia do Tofo), coral reefs and friendly locals. It offers a unique Afro-Latin cultural experience boasting world-class diving, big waves and the chance to enjoy local seafood.
Turtle Cove is the perfect getaway for those seeking a mind and body retreat. They are known for their yoga retreats all within walking distance of the beach. This little resort is approximately 450 kilometres north of Maputo.
Inhambane also has a wide variety of places to wine and dine, although tourists enjoy the shack-style food possies the best. Nothing beats a beach braai with local Mozambican beer. Branko’s, Guju’s Beach Bar and Tofo Tofo are all great places to enjoy local food and generous portions.
Get your vaxx, pack your bags, and head to tropical Mozambique.Read More
The race to the end of the year is officially on. That also means that many of us are burning out and need as much rest as we can get to function optimally. It’s a known fact that we must take care of ourselves before we can take care of others successfully. Sleep is the number one gift you can give yourself. No series binge-watching or going out with friends and family beats the benefits of sleep. We learn more about plants to aid sleep.
Around 30 per cent of adults have reported that they sleep less than seven hours a day – which is the bare minimum for our health and wellness. Working adults need up to nine hours of sleep a day. Between 10 and 30 per cent of adults suffer from insomnia.
Sandy Roberts, from the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, shares her expertise on how to incorporate plants into your sleeping routine. Specific plants in your sleep routine (and even used as décor in your bedroom) can be very beneficial and aid your quality of sleep for the better.
What are your favourite sleep time plants and herbs?
Apart from Bergamot, Elderflower, melissa, rose and Chamomile, my favourite sleep plants above all are Rose-scented Geranium and the Margaret Roberts lavender. This is because both are easy to grow, and easily accessible to all South Africans. It is perfect for use in teas, food, and cosmetics. Versatile, delicious, and unforgettable!
How do they assist with good sleeping patterns?
The Rose-scented Geranium creates a chemical reaction in your brain to soothe anxiety and promote relaxation. It is also an anti-inflammatory that aids in pain relief which is often an underlying sleep depriver. Lavender assists in the production of melatonin and has anxiolytic properties – calming the brain and then the body. It acts as a natural relaxant, sedative, and pain reliever, which brings about sleep in a calming, gentle way. This is a perfect way to gently ease stress and improve moods. It is also used to calm babies who can’t settle or sleep.
How can we utilise or grow them?
Both the Rose-scented Geranium and the Margaret Roberts Lavender are easy to grow in pots or the garden needing full sunlight and a 3 times weekly watering. Both can be used as a cut flower in beautiful full flower arrangements to air and add fragrance to any room or used dried in an old-fashioned potpourri as an antibacterial room freshener. One never knows if these new fragrant oil room fresheners are pure essential oils. Rather go natural and make your own at home cost-effectively. I love to cook with them in tea biscuits, scones, and cakes and specially to make a soothing tea by adding 4 sprigs of lavender to 1 cup of boiling water, add a little honey to taste and a slice of lemon. Allow to cool for a minute and sip quietly. You will need 2 large leaves of scented Geranium to make a cup of Geranium tea. Fill up the cup with boiling water and add honey to taste with a slice of lemon. If you wish, you can occasionally add a little chamomile.
Any holistic advice for people struggling with sleep?
Leave out caffeine and sugar from your diet as well as carbs and dairy at night. Change your meal structure to a light meal in the evening and the main meal at lunch if you can. I would definitely up my Biochemic tissue salt intake with numbers 2,3,4,6,8,9,10,11 an hour before going to bed with a cup of scented Geranium (and Chamomile) tea and a lavender sleep neck pillow. I make beautiful lavender neck pillows for exactly this purpose! If you form a habit of going to bed at a certain time with no electronic devices or television on but a good book you will find yourself feeling better.
Discover the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre for yourself. Open Days to the public are only on Wednesdays and the first Saturday of every month. Contact Sandy Roberts here.
Read the story of an orchid saved by a cup of tea here.
Start planting your own herbs today! Browse our garden suppliers right here.
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We’ve all been there. You have the most beautiful artwork in an impeccable frame, but you have no idea how to hang it effectively. It’s a dangerous game too because heavy frames can easily fall from walls creating quite a stir in any household. We share a few of our favourite hanging hacks to get picture-perfect walls.
This is a simple one. Did you know that most smartphones have level apps? Using this app is perfect for hanging picture frames, macrame or anything else for that matter.
It is not the best tool to use when taking on a building DIY project for obvious reasons. Leave that to the professionals.
Templates for Days
This hack is old, but gold. Use paper and cut the shape and size of your pictures or artworks you want to hang on the wall. Use some sticky tape to place them on your wall temporarily.
This will give you an excellent idea of what yours will look like. This is a great hanging hack for gallery wall-type setups in your home.
Shelves are a creative alternative to hanging things on your walls. It also allows more freedom when it comes to decorating. You can easily swap things around and change other elements up with clever shelving.
Mark your Spot
Another effective way to make sure you are hanging your wall ornament at the right height and angle has got to do with some toothpaste. You can essentially use any type of product that will wipe off your walls.
Use toothpaste to mark the back of your frame hanger. Gently push it against the wall where you want to hang it. The toothpaste will leave a mark on your wall and give you a relatively good idea if you have chosen the correct place for your wall hanging.
Hit the Nail on the Head
In most cases, you will have to nail something into your walls. Lighter objects like paper posters can be hot glued directly to walls, but the same count be said about heavy objects or artworks with heavy frames.
Make sure you have the right length and thickness for the size and weight of your artwork. Some kits will tell you what their weight capacity is. If you are not sure, ask a professional at your local hardware store.
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These days, whatever you are looking for, the answer is usually already in your pocket. Whether it’s a fitness tracker, a logbook, an egg timer, or a sleep soother – your smartphone will probably have the solution in app format.
But what about lighting? What if you could manage your house lighting from your phone? We’re not talking just switching on and off. What if you could dim your lights without having to rewire your house? Do you need bright white light for an art project on the dining room table and a warm glowing light for dinner? This is the smart lighting era.
The Smart Lightbulb
There are various brands on the market, ranging in price and with different levels of connectivity. But mostly, they all have a couple of things in common:
1. Smart lightbulbs come in standard shapes and sizes and these lightbulbs and will fit most light fittings you already have in your house. ( No need to rewire!)
2. They offer a range of lighting controls, including different shades of white light and dimming ability without the need for a dimmer switch installation.
3. Most LED smart lightbulbs also offer a wide spectrum of coloured light choices, adding a bit of flair to accent lighting. Use them as part of your décor philosophy and make the most of your existing lamps.
4. There is a security bonus, as you can switch lights on remotely, or even link certain colours and types of lights to your smart alarm system. (Think flashing red lights to go with your alarm siren…)
5. You can control your smart lightbulbs directly from your phone, using one of a couple of different apps.
6. Being LED lightbulbs, they are energy efficient and using them for normal, everyday lighting won’t necessarily cost more than a standard bulb.
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There is still time to get some summer planting done before we leap into the festive season. With a little bit of planning, you can have a veggie garden full of fresh, homegrown produce to kickstart your new year’s resolutions with. It is not to late to get started and your future self will love you for providing an easy, edible detox by January.
All you need is a vegetable patch, or three or four large containers, some basic vegetable seeds, and a little bit of patience.
What can I look forward to in 90 days?
Basically, don’t attempt to grow anything with above ground fruit like tomatoes, peppers or eggplants from seed in 90 days. Greens, spring onions, chives, herbs and radishes are perfect for quick harvests.
Green Means Go
Most leafy greens grown from seed can grow a good head of leaves in 90 days.
If you are growing from seed, go for something that you can eat as baby leaves and micro greens, as well as later in the season when the flavour becomes stronger.
Rocket is a good start and has other benefits as well. The rocket plant is hardy and happy in most soil, requiring minimal watering during a normal rainy season. Check leaves for wilting and keep soil moist in dry areas or during heatwaves.
Pinch off leaves from the lower part of the plant as soon as they are about finger length and use as a base for salads.
Add Some Colour
Radishes are notoriously easy to grow in a vegetable garden, giving you a good harvest in just over 70 days. Nothing is quite as tantalizing as seeing the pinkish red mounds swell up and start rising above ground level, just to have the satisfaction of pulling them up with a pop and seeing the full ripe round bulb for the first time.
Thinly slice the peppery radishes and add to your salad for a delicious crunch.
Spring onions and chives can also be eaten young, so sowing early means you’ll have them for the rest of the season. Chop them up and scatter over salads or use as garnish for any other savoury dishes.
What else can I do with my veggies?
Rocket can be made into a pesto with olive oil and freezes well. (Or just leave the plants to flower and go to seed – bees LOVE rocket flowers!)
Radishes can also be roasted like baby potatoes or used in a pickle like kimchi.
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It seems very likely that we will be experiencing loadshedding over the festive season once again this year. This puts everyone’s planning on hosting family and friends in a bind. There are however a few ways to dodge the common loadshedding pitfalls.
We are here to help you develop healthy(ish) coping mechanisms this festive season.
Step 1 Feeding the Masses
There is no shame in getting take-aways!
In fact, supporting your local pizzeria after two long years of intermittent lockdown is practically your civic duty. Call them up during loadshedding and order your favourites in advance. You can even arrange for delivery if you want… (We would.)
All that’s left for you to do is toss together a salad (if you really feel like it), open a couple bottles of red wine and wait for the doorbell to ring.
No stress, no mess, no dishes, no fuss. Just pure hosting bliss.
Another firm favourite for festive season entertaining is of course, the traditional braai. Cut the need for electricity out of your cooking process completely by doing everything on the fire. Bake bread in your kettle braai, wrap veggies in tin foil and pop them in between the coals to slow roast or make a meat and veggie potjie with couscous. (You only need boiling water.) For dessert serve ice cream and fruit salad.
A tried and tested traditional way of hosting. A favourite for good reasons. (Who can resist a tjoppie?)
If you don’t feel like (yet another) braai, why not serve cold platters of cheese, nuts, biltong, and bubbly with a dessert of decadent chocolate and coffee. You can be as extra or as low key as you feel like. Add fresh raw veggies, interesting dips and crackers, pâté, and fresh bread, or keep it simple with creamy camembert and some onion marmalade.
Informal relaxed and good for deep conversations, because no one needs to remember to turn the meat or check on the pizza delivery guy.
Step 2 Setting the Mood
For the most part, South African weather is in our favour, and you can mostly make use of natural light for your event. As long as you start in the afternoon.
For extra light, you have a couple of options. Ditch the noisy generator during loadshedding and try something convenient and pretty.
Solar lights can light up your garden so the children can stay outdoors all evening long and the grownups won’t trip over the children.
Fairy lights can add atmosphere and just enough light to ensure no one bumps into Oupa. String them up in trees, above doorways and around yourself. Bundle strings of fairy lights into glass jars and use them as lanterns on the table.
Candles and oil lamps add unmistakable ambience…but be careful, accidents happen, and no one wants to visit the emergency room over the festive season.
Step 3 The Sweet Sound of Success
Finally, it’s time to sort out the tunes when loadshedding kicks in.
Invest in a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker and make sure it has at least two hours of playing time when fully charged. Just remember to charge it to full capacity to give you as many hours of music as possible.
Create and download playlists on Spotify or YouTube music, and make sure you have more than one phone charged and available to connect to your new speaker.
Alternatively, bring out your guitar, build a big (safe) campfire and sit around it playing festive songs as if the internet doesn’t exist and all is well with the world.
Looking to upgrade your outdoor cooking capacity? There is still time! Click here to get going!
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Marie Biscuits are a South African favourite. Aside from enjoying them on their own or with a hot cup of tea, there are so many ways to use these simple biscuits to make some fun and delicious treats. Here are three simple, no-bake recipes that are perfect to make with the kids.
Marie Biscuit Chocolate Squares
These chocolatey treats are perfect for stopping your sweet craving in its tracks.
- 1 packet of Marie Biscuits, broken into pieces
- 1 cup (250g) butter
- 2 cups (500g) icing sugar
- ½ cup (175g) cocoa
- 1 egg, beaten
- In a large pot, melt butter. Once melted, remove from heat.
- Add icing sugar and cocoa, mix well.
- Stir in beaten egg until smooth
- Fold in biscuits until they are well coated
- Pour into a baking tray or dish and flatten until smooth
- Leave to cool
- Cut into bite-size squares and store in an airtight container.
Caramel Marie Biscuit Log
It doesn’t get easier than this!
- 1 packet of Marie Biscuits
- 1 tin of caramel treat
- On a sheet of baking paper, spread a teaspoon of caramel treat onto a Marie Biscuit. Do the same with a second biscuit and stack together. Repeat until you have stacked the whole packet.
- Spread any extra caramel on the outside of the stack/log and sprinkle with any crushed biscuits.
- Wrap in baking paper and then cover in foil to help it keep its shape. Placing a cup at the end of the logs will also help it keep its shape.
- Refrigerate for six hours or overnight until biscuits are soft and cake-like.
- Once ready, slice diagonally.
Marie Biscuit Marshmallow Sandwiches
These chocolatey treats are perfect for stopping your sweet craving in its tracks.
- 1 packet of Marie Biscuits
- 1 packet of Marshmallows
- Sprinkles to decorate
- Chocolate spread (optional)
- Place one marshmallow upright on a Marie biscuit and place in the microwave for 20 seconds, or until melted.
- Spread a second marshmallow with chocolate spread (optional).
- Place second Marie biscuit on top of the melted marshmallow and press down to flatten the marshmallow.
- Roll the sides in sprinkles and leave to set for a few minutes before eating.
Find more Recipes here.
You’ve done your research and found your perfect new furry family member. Now it’s time to get your home ready for their arrival. Here are some things you can do to help introduce a new pet to your home.
Adding a new pet to your household is exciting but the reality is, pets take commitment and work. Before your pet comes home, discuss and agree on who will be responsible for regular tasks such as feeding, picking up poop/litterbox cleaning and baths. Having a clear plan on responsibilities will solve any arguments on whose “turn” it is later.
Create a safe, quiet space for your new pet with their bed, food and water and litterbox for cats. This will help them stay calm and not be overwhelmed by a huge new space. Clear the room of any cables, potential spots they could get stuck if trying to hide and any toxic plants. For cats, prepare safe hiding spaces and places to climb up on so they can get away if needed.
Make a note of your preferred local vet, emergency veterinary hospital and puppy schools so you are ready to take your pet for any check-ups, microchipping, training etc. Schedule an appointment with the vet for a few weeks’ time so you can do a full health check early on.
If this is the only pet in the house, once they are calm and comfortable, allow them to explore more of the house, this should be after about a week. For some dogs, it may be best to be given a guided tour while on a leash so you can control and redirect any inappropriate behaviour.
For cats, it is best to sit just outside the room with the door open and encourage them to come to you freely. After 15 minutes, if your cat seems comfortable, you can let them explore on their own, keeping an eye on them in case something happens. Start with an hour of free exploration and increase the time as your cat gets more comfortable.
Close off any rooms that are out-of-bounds and allow your pet to sniff and explore as they are comfortable. Reward your pet for good behaviour with treats or affection so they create positive associations with the new surroundings.
Adjust the amount of exploration depending on how your pet responds. If they seem nervous, don’t force it, rather adapt to expanding the “tour” one room at a time.
Puppies should be kept in one room of the house until they are house-trained.
Once your pet is completely relaxed you can move their bed and food to their permanent location.
Ensuring your existing pets are comfortable with their new potential friend should be a priority before you even consider getting a new pet. Improve the chances of everyone getting along by controlling the situation from the start.
Whether it’s dogs, cats or a combination, you will need to keep them in separate spaces until they are comfortable with each other and their new surroundings. Giving each pet their own space where the other is not allowed will help them ease into the change. The key to introducing your pets is to do it under supervision in a neutral space and to reward calm behaviour.
A way to start is by feeding the pets on either side of a closed door. This way they will be able to smell each other without getting overwhelmed by seeing each other and avoiding any potential chasing. Once both pets can calmly eat near each other you can move on to letting them see each other.
The safest option for face-to-face interaction is to do it through a gate or sliding door where both pets can see each other without the risk of a physical altercation. Distract each pet with their favourite toy or treat so they learn that it’s better to ignore each other. Keep the interaction short, calm, and controlled.
Once both pets are calm or if you think both pets can handle it, you can remove the barrier and have the pets meet in a neutral space. Keep any dogs on a loose leash so you can control any over-excited or aggressive behaviour. This is especially important when introducing cats and dogs, as a dog’s instinct will be to chase the cat should they decide to run away.
Watch both pets body language, if there are any arched backs, hissing, staring or stiff bodies, separate the pets and go back to the previous step. The goal is to keep your pets safe and not force interactions.
If your pets are calm, give them a treat and allow them to get a bit closer (still with loose leashes). If your dog is trained, have them sit or lie down and allow your cat to move freely around the room. Once again, reward your pets for staying calm and ignoring each other. Allow the interaction to last a few minutes and increase the time each day until they can live happily together.
Always consult your vet when introducing a pet to your home. They will be best equipped to give advice on dietary changes, behavioural issues and how they think your pet will respond to environmental changes.
Shiplap is a fairly new concept that made interior headlines circa 2013. During a reality TV show that aired in the States, shiplap quickly became the new buzzword. Fixer Upper as the show was marketed soon became a source of inspiration for many homeowners who had access to the show and its power couple cast. Here Joanna Gaines and her husband who renovated homes all over America made the word shiplap as trendy as ever.
In South Africa, we refer to shiplap as a form of wall cladding. Shiplap wall cladding resembles wooden walls or surfaces and is made with any specifications in terms of size and style. It can be used for your home’s interiors and exteriors.
Shiplap offers a modern timber look and is a price-friendly pick-me-up for any space you are trying to renovate and up-style. It is an easy-to-install wall covering that can instantly change the entire look and feel of a room. From kitchens and bathrooms to guestrooms and studies, this style of wall cladding giving any room instant Instagram-ready status.
Don’t Jump Ship
Shiplap is very easy to install and you do not require a professional to do it for you. The joints mimic those of tongue and groove joints that make them easy to fit. You also get peel and stick options, making the application even easier. It is also lightweight and offers a wide variety of options from recreating wood to concrete, you can easily recreate any expensive wall coverings.
Shiplap is also low maintenance and makes cleaning a breeze. Its convenience is what makes this trend a favourite amongst many homeowners the world over. These shiplap wall coverings are also durable and can take a few good knocks from the household over time. They also essentially protect your walling. If your house ever goes on sale, it can also be easily removed by new owners who envision something else.
Ideas and Inspirations
Shiplap techniques have been used for thousands of years. It is its introduction to interiors that is a fairly new trend. According to The Finished Space “The earliest version of shiplap was found over 1,700 years ago on Viking ships! An ancient boat was found using overlapping planks around the outside of the boat to keep the water out. The technique used on this ship was called lapstrakes, but it was a precursor to what would become known as shiplap. The production of watertight, overlapping planks evolved to produce shiplap (i.e., boards that overlap at rabbeted edges to create a completely watertight fit)”.
Shiplap was successful in keeping the water out on ships and soon sheds and farmhouses were introduced to it. From there the trend moved to building’s exteriors and more recently it has made its way indoors.
Bathrooms, both large and small look attractive with shiplap wall coverings. Wooden styles of shiplap can easily give bathrooms a chic, cottage feel with a touch of country. In bathrooms, shiplap does wonders as an accent wall.
Create a beach-inspired bohemian look in your bedroom with shiplap cladding that ignites the inner shipmate in you. With a variety of colours available, choose soft aqua-inspired tones. From white and ivory to sky and moody blues, you can create a desert island-inspired oasis away from the hustle and bustle of everyday distractions.
Shiplap cladding in wooden or concrete type textures are a fresh look for modern kitchens. Cladding in your kitchen can be used as your oven backsplash, or under counters to create stylish surfaces. A shiplap accent wall also works great in a kitchen and is also a trendy substitute for subway tiles.
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Builders Warehouse has been around long enough for homeowners to know that whatever they need, they will find it at Builders. Munier Solomon, Marketing Operations Manager at Builders chats to us about their latest campaigns with a bonus feature on how to approach your latest renovation the Builders way.
Tell us a little bit about the Builders Brand?
Massmart acquired five Builders Warehouse stores operating in Johannesburg and Pretoria in 2003. They bought and rebranded three De La Rey stores in the Western Cape in 2005 and now operate in South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique. Builders follows the big-box or warehouse retail format – offering homeowners, DIY enthusiasts and contractors a comprehensive range of competitively priced products under one roof. With a large garden centre display and builders’ supplies yard, the brand is unique in that it is the only home improvement warehouse in South Africa.
We adore your latest campaign #herestohome. How did the team come up with the concept?
Our Homes have essentially become our World. Today we are all looking at them differently and we wanted a campaign to help us bring that messaging to life. And many can agree that our homes have become our nests: a nest of refuge, safety, family, learning, work, pleasure and comfort.
How has the pandemic life changed the Builders brand for the better?
DIY became the most searched word on Google during the pandemic and Builders being pioneers for home improvement and DIY projects in South Africa, could assist people with the easy options that our stores provide and give them great ideas on the Builders Blog. Our customers are more and more becoming hobbyists and creators, resorting to the internet to inspire their creativity. And with all this help, they can easily and cost-effectively do it themselves. People are redefining their homebody experience and building their own home sanctuaries.
What new initiatives have you been working on? Can you share them with us?
We will be launching the Builders Super App soon.
How many Builders retail stores do you currently have nationwide? Are you planning to grow even further?
We opened our 110th store in Midrand in March 2021 and are looking to open a few new stores in the near future.
The success of a home improvement project is the result of expert planning. As much as home renovation comes with costs and lots of decisions to make, it is a phenomenal way to breathe new life into any home or living environment. It is an opportunity to put your mark on the property and add to its value.
Whether you are planning something big or small, to take control of your home renovation budget you need a plan. One factor, amongst others, is to plan how much product is needed to complete your project on time and cost effectively.
Three Factors to Consider when Assessing the Cost of Your Project
Understanding the design and planning requirements: whether you are updating the look and feel of your bedroom with a new headboard, adding a laminated glass partition to add an extra room or space or privacy in your home, or simply just painting your wall – you must be clear on the job and the requirements. For example, glass for interior use will be different from that used for exterior applications. It’s vital to understand the application and the correct product required for the project.
Calculate Material Costs: now put together a list of materials you’ll need to do the home improvement job. There are a variety of ways to calculate how much materials you’ll need. One method is to use online product calculators such as the recently launched Builders Products Calculators. The Builders product calculators cover paint, blinds and curtains, headboards and glass cutting, including mirrors and doors.
Write a schedule of works: it’s crucial to define your home renovation process before you start the work – a project plan of what needs to be done and by when. Be clear on the steps you will need to take to renovate the property. You might find that work in one room impacts on those in another, so have a clear vision and prepare a work schedule, listing the order of jobs.
Save Renovation Costs
One of the best ways to lower your renovation costs is to tackle home projects yourself. You could cut the first part of labour costs by painting all your walls yourself, ripping out old flooring, tearing down drywall or removing cabinetry before the work requiring a skilled person starts.
Time is essential when planning for renovation. Making a cohesive and functional design can be overwhelming. Taking more time, even when you have all your money ready, is crucial. You may regret the choices you make in a rush.
It is important that once you start on a project, you keep changes to a minimum to avoid extra costs. Put a budget in place against your project using the estimates from the online product calculators and keep a running tally so you can stay on track.
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