It would seem that most timber decking is taking place in Umhlanga and Ballito in the greater Durban area in 2019. Most other areas have quietened off considerably and I can only assume it is uncertainty in the market. Being officially in recession still, elections looming in May 2019, a new president, load shedding and recent talk of expropriation without compensation has “spooked’ the market somewhat and resulted in cash being held back. This coupled with the broken state of affairs in South Africa for the last 10 years under our previous leadership has led to the market being severely depressed.
Nonetheless we put our heads down and soldier on.
An important factor to consider in times of low cash flow and a depressed market is that everyone starts doing what they normally don’t do at very competitive rates. It’s natural. In other words a person who normally specialises in timber decking in Durban might start doing roofs and general building. Although they may be capable of doing the job they don’t specialise in it and as a result the consumer receives a service or product that doesn’t quite match the quality of a specialist. The same applies for other industries or niche markets in some industries. A roofing contractor or general builder suddenly starts looking for work in other fields such as wooden decking instead of subbing those out to the specialists. Often this takes place at reduced rates in order to secure the work or they are not completely familiar with costings. The looser in these circumstances is often the consumer. All consumers look for the best deal and when faced with various “cheap” quotes and only a few correctly priced quotes, the job is often awarded to someone who is not a specialist and has under quoted the job. See this article on a similar topic https://blog.thewoodjoint.co.za/2018/01/31/cheap-wooden-deck-builders-and-deck-building-companies-in-durban/
The advice? Make sure you are dealing with a specialist wooden deck builder when building a wooden deck and make sure you are dealing with a specialist plumber when getting your plumbing sorted. This way you can compare quotes based on the same or similar service. I recently went head to head with another contractor who quoted half my rate on a balustrade. I know what it costs to buy the balau needed for the balustrade and at those rates he was making a margin of about 5%. Really???
Take a spin through our website for various articles, pics and discussion around wooden decking in Durban.
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The above pics are pics of a job we’ve just completed in Maritzburg. Taken in the rain as work in progress