Industry Advise

Employing the services of a contractor from usual media sources is a dangerous game, as no references have been performed to qualify their validity.

If for whatever reason you decide against selecting a 1 Call contractor for your project, please ensure you emulate our accreditation process so you don’t become a ‘fly by night’ victim or a fraud statistic.

The following guidelines are recommended for all customers.

1. Planning your project

Before requesting a quotation, plan in writing exactly what you require, specifying the materials, the quality of work expected, predicted time frames and an estimated budget.

For larger projects you may require approved plans, which can be drawn up by an architect or draftsman, who will assist with design, drawings and municipality permission.

Plans offer you the opportunity of obtaining detailed cost estimates from companies who specialise in converting plans into building cost estimates (est. on regional averages).

Intellibuild offer estimates from R3.20 per m² with a minimum charge of R230.00 & they can be contacted on 0861 101 848 or

2. Obtaining quotes

We recommend that for larger projects, a minimum of three building quotes are obtained. Ensure you have provided a detailed description of your expectations so they are all costing in the same ball park. If plans have been drawn, the contractors will cost and quote from plan which will assist in their accuracy, however, it is up to you to scrutinise each quote, the conditions, the vat status and the detailed specifications included.

3. New Builds

Current legislation requires your contractor to be registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). Registration takes about 6 weeks, and the banks will require your certificate before releasing any funds. There is also a compulsory warranty levy that covers your foundation superstructure and roof. It does not offer guarantees against poor workmanship and sub-standard finishes.

4. Insurances

Your contractor must be insured for Public Liability and contractors all risk policy, 1 Call provides this on behalf of their accredited contractors for the value of projects up to R200,000 (two hundred thousand) and top up cover is available by dialing 0861 111 777 or

5. Awarding the contract

Do not sign the contract unless the details are clear and precise including the following:

  • The start date
  • Completion date
  • Complete specification or referral to specification on accepted quote / signed by both parties
  • Payment schedules
  • Order of tasks

6. Please beware of under-quotes

‘The bitterness of poor quality long outlives the joy of a low price!

Too many times we hear stories of site abandonment, material theft, uncompleted jobs and unsupervised labour. The one common denominator is the dreaded under-quote.

If you are tempted by a sweet talker that has quoted considerably lower than the rest, by all means accept the quote – just make it a clear condition that you will not be paying a cent until completion.

7. On site assistance

1 Call has appointed independent assessors who are able to make a site visit to your premises at relatively short notice, to assist with various aspects of advice including but not limited to:

  • Assistance with quotation comparisons.
  • Financial control and progress payments
  • Progress to date – material, labour and quality
  • General non performance – attendance, quality, time frames
  • Performance penalty implementations
  • Cancellation of contracts / removal of non performing contractor from site
  • Specification deviations
  • Engineer report requirements
  • Material / industry compliance

The assessors’ call out fee:

  • Client’s utilizing a 1 Call accredited contractor (requests through the 1 Call call centre) – R495.00
  • Client’s utilizing contractors from an outside source (non 1 Call accredited contractors) – R595.00

Please note that although the call out fee is payable up front by the customer, in instances where an assessor has been requested to adjudicate a dispute between a client and a 1 Call accredited contractor, the party deemed at fault will become liable for the assessor’s fee i.e. if the contractor is at fault the client may deduct such fee from the contractor’s final draw.

8. Comprehensive project management

You may also retain the services of an independent assessor for the duration of your project, which may entail multiple visits. The cost of such project management advice, offered by the assessor, may be shared or borne by the selected contractor for the project (this requires individual negotiation and is also dependent on the value of the contract). 1 Call will assist in this regard.

Example: “ABC contractor, I am happy with your quotation for project ’A’, however for peace of mind I require an independent assessor to guide and advise me through the project. Would you object to absorbing some of the costs into your quotation?”

9. Financial control

Remember, it is essential that you maintain financial control of your project – you are far more likely to run into difficulty if the incentive to perform is not in your hands.