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Looking for reliable contractors? Start here

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We’ve all heard about construction nightmares – whether it be the architect who fails to submit plans to council, to builders absconding with deposits and shoddy/dangerous workmanship. The irony is that it costs more to put right mistakes than it does to build/design properly from the start. So how do you go about finding reliable and knowledgeable contractors? Obviously word of mouth recommendations are best.

The first step is to ensure that your architect/designer is registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). It is a legal requirement for anyone practicing architecture to be registered with this body. You can get a list of registered architects/designers at SACAP. Your architect will probably also be able to advise you on contractors.

You could also try the following representative bodies/institutions:

National Home Builders Regulatory Council – www.nhbrc.co.za.

The website lists registered builders and engineers.


Gauteng Institute for Architecture – www.gifa.org.za

South African Institute of Architects – www.saia.org.za

South African Institute of Architectural Technologists – www.saiat.org.za

Architectural Design Association – www.ada.co.za


Master Builders South Africa – www.mbsa.org.za

Chartered Institute of Building – www.ciob.co.za

Institute for Timber Construction South Africa – www.itc-sa.org

Timber Frame Builders Association – www.tfba.co.za

National Pool & Spa Institute of South Africa – www.nspi.co.za


Southern African Institution of Civil Engineers – www.civils.org.za

SA Reinforced Concrete Engineers Association – email sarcea@iafrica.com

Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa – www.imesa.co.za

Consulting Engineers South Africa – www.cesa.co.za

Engineering Council of South Africa – www.ecsa.co.za

South African Institute of Electrical Engineers – www.saice.org.za

Water & Waste Management

Water Institute of South Africa – www.wisa.org.za

Institute of Waste Management Southern Africa – www.iwmsa.co.za


Electrical Contractors Association of Southern Africa – www.ecasa.co.za

Quantity surveyors

Association of South African Quantity Surveyors – www.asaqs.co.za

Town planners

South African Association of Consulting Professional Planners – www.saacpp.org.za

Project managers

South African Council for Project & Construction Management Professions – www.sacpcmp.co.za

Association of Construction Project Managers – email acpm@icon.co.za

Project Management Institute of South Africa –  www.pmisa.org.za

Interior designers

SA Guild of Interior Design – www.sagid.co.za

Landscape architects/designers

South African Landscapers Institute – www.sali.co.za


Kitchen Specialists Association – www.ksa.co.za


Institute for Professional Handymen – www.iph.co.za

South African Council for Professional & Technical Surveyors – www.plato.org.za

Waterproofing Federation of SA – www.waterproofingfederation.co.za

SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors – www.safcec.org.za

South African Glass & Glazing Association – email saga@aaamsa.com

SA Refrigeration & Air conditioning Contractors Association – www.saracca.co.za

SA Institute of Refrigeration & Air Conditioning – www.sairac.co.za

Aluminium Federation of Southern Africa – www.afsa.org.za

Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of SA – email aaamsa@iafrica.com

Brick Paving Institute – www.bpisa.co.za

Cement & Concrete Institute – www.cnci.org.za

Claybrick Association – www.claybrick.org.za

Concrete Manufacturers Association – www.cma.org.za

Concrete Society of Southern Africa – www.concretesociety.co.za

Websites such as  www.greenstuff.co.za are also a valuable source of information when finding suppliers.

Who is Claire Cardwell?

Claire Cardwell of Blue Designs is an architectural designer with over 15 years experience in the Johannesburg area. She has worked on small projects – double garages, swimming pools – and new houses from a 1,300m² house in Featherbrooke Estate, to houses of only 110m² in size. In 2015/2016 she worked on a small complex, a warehouse, a nursery school and new houses in the Waterfall Country Estate, Copperleaf Estate, and in Limpopo on an old-age home and frail care facility in North Riding.


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