Lets start by telling you a story. Then we will tell you how we install Wendy houses and garden sheds, then you will realize that this is a horror story of such devious and nasty intent that only Stephen King could be responsible (ok, its not that bad, but it could be).
This is a story of Bodgit, Legit and Sons (name changed for legal reasons). They are a couple of guys who decided that making Wendy houses and garden sheds was an easy way to make money- they have no workshop, very few tools, and absolutely very little experience.
Mainly through fraudulent means they have convince you that they should make and install your Wendy house or garden shed. The price is attractive and the units in the photos look pretty good (they probably stole the images from a larger company’s web site and passed them off as their own).
You hand over a 50% deposit and they tell you that they will be on site on Monday and that it will only take them a week to finish the job.
Mr. Bodgit turns up on Monday morning with a team of guys and a load of timber. He drops them off in your drive sweet talks you for half an hour and then says he has to go off to another site quickly. He comes back at 4.30 to pick the guys up.
In the meantime the team has been hammering and sawing away on your driveway all day- well, most of them have, one guy keeps wandering off to other parts of your property, but more on him in a week or two.
Over the following days your wendy house or garden shed begins to take shape. You wanted electricity in there so at some point Mr. Legit turns up and him and his assistant wire the unit to the house electrics, probably through an existing outside plug. Jobs a good en.
Eventually, on Friday afternoon, their is a spurt of activity and your unit is up. All that is left is for a pot of preservative to be thrown at it (judging by the amount that is on the driveway, possibly it is thrown from two houses down) and the final bill to be presented (which is mysteriously higher than the estimate due to “some problem that we couldn’t have foreseen Meneer”).
You diligently pay up and everyone disappears for a well earned Friday afternoon drink. All that is left for you to do is to spend your weekend tidying up the mess and damage that has been done by turning your driveway into a workshop for the week. It may also be a good idea to have a neighbourhood braai as way of an apology to your neighbours for all the mess and noise- depends on whether you talk to them or not.
That sounds like a pretty normal way to get small building work done in South Africa.
Oh, nearly forgot- what happened to wandering Willy? Well he is the guy who will check up on the quality of work a few weeks after installation. He will turn up unannounced, preferably while you are not in and inspect that the work is still in good order. This will be done while He and his associates are removing valuables from your house, having previously cased the place while you were in effect paying him to help build your Wendy House or garden shed. Nobody will be able to prove this link, and you may not even make the connection (even if you could and Mr Bodgit and Mr Legit cared, they couldn’t tell you who he was because they picked him up at the traffic lights that morning and didn’t bother to get a name, let alone contact details)- just another sad statistic in the losing battle against crime.
And you didn’t forget to get your electrical compliance certificate did you? I wouldn’t bother chasing it up if I were you because Mr Legit is not a certified electrician so he couldn’t provide one for you anyway. This won’t be a problem unless you have to claim on your buildings insurance when an electrical short burns down your house and the assessor finds the fault to be in the dodgy wiring to the Wendy house.
Scary stuff, and we haven’t even talked about the guarantee that isn’t worth the paper it is written on!
Here is how that would have gone had you used Arbor Designs (Pty) to make and install your Wendy house or garden shed.
You would have visited us at our factory and discussed what you require and seen how and where the unit was to be made (or alternatively one of our agents would visit your property- but we highly recommend a factory visit because what is more fun that big machines that make a lot of noise).
A short time later we would contact you and arrange a day when we could install your unit.
Our team of full-time, professionally accredited fitters would arrive at your property with the prefabricated panels of your Wendy house or garden shed ready to go. Your unit would have already been put together in the factory and then taken apart again (which is easy for us because we screw all our units together).
Under the watchful eye of the team supervisor the guys would make short work of erecting and finishing your unit. All the timber has already been treated and only minimal work is required on site, so there is no mess and little noise. Before you have managed to get used to the idea of workmen being on your property they are waving goodbye and you are left wondering how a Wendy house has materialized in your garden before the kettle even boiled* (what are you going to do with 5 cups of very sugary tea?)
A short while later the a local electrical contractor arrives and hooks up the electricity to your Wendy house and a few days after that your electrical compliance certificate arrives in the post.
Finally you receive the bill from us, having previously not paid out a cent, which is probably lower than the estimate given by Bodgit, Legit & Sons. You pay the bill safe in the knowledge that if anything goes wrong you know where we live.
So ask yourself, “which would I prefer?”
*Ok, it takes slightly longer than the boiling of a kettle, unless you have a wood fired range and need to get it going first before you can boil the water.