It is generally accepted that if the finished job looks good then it was a success.
The following pictures show some of the defects we found during renovations.
Washing machine installation
In this project in the lovely neighborhood of De Bron, Bellville, we were called to repair and complete the previous builders work.
The waste pipe (large) was incorrectly glued. The plumber heated it in order to twist it so it faces outside of the wall. He didn't notice that he damaged the electrical conduit behind.
The water pipe (with the gold ring) was connected to the tap supplying the washing machine. There is a special component that should have been part of the installation. To save costs, the plumber connected the pipe directly to the tap without this component. This cannot work! The gold ring which acts as a seal got deformed and dose not seal. It leaked!
In the same project in De Bron, Bellville, the previous builder build the braai place without insulation and with the bricks touching against the braai box. Once the fire is going, the bricks will crack.
The box was also installed skew so that the front covers could not be mounted correctly and could not fully opened.
We demolished the entire brickwork and rebuilt.
Underground electrical connections
We were called to repair the previous builder's work. We are not sure why there is a connection as the cable could have been replaced. Nevertheless, this is what we found. The connector was wrapped in insulation tape. Completely illegal and very dangerous.
The owner of this house stopped the work as he was not satisfied with his builder. He called us to submit a report. The following is only one of the many things we uncovered.
The existing window was removed and a wider one was installed. The existing lintel which is now too short is not supporting the roof above. The bricks started collapsing. You can see the crack in the ceiling and in the wall just under it.
The work that should have been done is as follows - Support the roof. Remove the existing window. Demolish the lintel and possibly also the bricks above it. Install new lintel to cover the entire opening. Re-build the brickworks. Plaster both sides of the wall. Install a new cornice. Paint.
That is a lot of work which the builder saved on, on the expense of the owner.
Where is the foundations?
We were called to attend to damp in an old cottage in Observatory. While the actual problem was a leak in plumbing inside the wall's cavity, we also realized that the floor is rotting and a large gap in the wall. When we removed the floor we discovered that there is no foundations under the wall! What to do now? We underpinned the wall at great expanse.
We were awarded a lucrative contract in an upmarket building complex. The following is only one of the problems we uncovered during renovation.
You are looking at the top of the chimney as it goes outside the roof.
The yellow plastic, the underlay beneath the tiles, caught fire. You can see the wood on which the tiles are resting. You can also see the roof truss on the right which was blackened by the fire.
This is a dangerous situation that can cause a section of the roof to collapse.
In this project in Pinelands, we were called to complete the previous builder's work and to fix all his mistakes as he, the builder run away.
The builder illegally imbedded these cables in the brickwork without a conduit. The white cable is the mains electricity supply to the house before the meter box.
The red wire is illegally "connected" from the mains cable to a circuit breaker in the Electrical Distribution Board. This was done to power the builder's electrical tools. We know that he was paying for the use of electricity. This way he didn't have to pay because there is no metering!
In the same Pineland's project above, It was decided to move the toilet to a different position. The floor had to be broken and this is what we found.
The pipe was too short so it was extended in an unregulated method. The extension had a crack in it which was "fixed" in an unaccepted way. When tested, it was leaking badly. You can imagine the smell!
If you wondered why there is damp by your window?
In this scenario, the waterproofing plastic was too short, allowing rain to pernitrate. It was expensive to remove the window, break the wall, lay new plastic, restore the brickworks, install the window 2 days later, plaster and paint inside and outside.
This is only one example of the kind of electrical workmanship we come across. It is illegal and dangerous.