I have recently been doing a lot of Internet related work for some of the leading Wendy House, Nutec Wendy House, and garden shed manufacturers in Cape Town.
For some time now I have been doing web site related work for Wendy House manufacturers, J R Wendys. The proprietor, James Cloete, has for the whole of that time been on a mission to stop cowboy operators from stealing images of his company’s work and passing them off as their own.
And by no means is this the only company facing this challenge in the Wendy House and Nutec industry.
Typically the ‘fly-by-nighters’, as they are known, will take images of completed units from the web sites and then use them as part of free classified ad sites such as Gumtree and OLX, and put them on Facebook groups. Often they don’t even try to hide the copyright infringement, leaving water marks in place, leading unsuspecting clients to believe that they may be dealing with the real thing.
Unfortunately, they are not.
Usually clients are attracted by seemingly good prices, or impossible promises. In most cases they are heading for trouble of some kind.
The worst case is the straight out con, where the operator will just disappear with a sizable deposit (believe it or not, this can sometimes be close to 100% of the agreed price). Next on the horror show is the guy who turns up with unqualified laborers, spends weeks hammering and sawing on your drive way and then leaves you with a sub-standard structure and a mess to clean up (sometimes it may only be partially completed too). The first time any bad weather comes along the whole structure is in danger of collapse!
Even if solid Wendy Houses are constructed, in good faith, a lack of industry knowledge and experience can lead to a structure that is not going to last. This makes the good price a bad long term investment.
So, buyer beware! Even the smallest garden shed is going to set you back a sizable lump of cash- certainly enough to make it worth your while doing a little bit of homework before handing money over. Do your research. Are they a legitimate company, do they know what they are talking about, can they show you other work that they have done?
There is certainly nothing wrong with a company advertising on Gumtree. In fact there are guys advertising on there who are closely affiliated with legitimate Wendy House manufacturers. Unfortunately for every legitimate operator on the free platforms, there are an equal number of con men.
What to do before buying Wendy Houses or Nutec Homes in Cape Town
Leon Marais, founder of Arbor Designs Pty Ltd (please note that Leon no longer owns Arbor Designs Pty Ltd) got so upset by the bad name that such operators bring to his industry that he was compelled to compile a list of things to look out for when assessing the merits of different companies. His list has sadly been compiled through the years after encountering someone who has fallen foul of the particular point. He hopes that someone else’s misfortune may help you avoid the same problems (there is another article written around this list: Wendy House And Nutec Home Building Cowboys- Who Are They And How To Spot Them)
Leon maintains that the best thing to do is to check the legitimacy of the company you are about to deal with. Make sure they are real, with good references. Check what they tell you against what others in the industry are saying. Do some research into products and techniques so that you have a better idea when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. And above all do not hand over any money until you are absolutely sure you are not just throwing it away, because if you feel like throwing some money away you can donate it to the entertainment fund of Cape Point Chronicle.
If you do find yourself on the bad end of the deal, and are getting nowhere complaining directly to the company involved then the DTI has produced a guide called “How to complain effectively” and we have included it on the site for you to download.
Wendy House and Nutec House Manufacturers in Cape Town- who are the good guys?
We obviously cannot have Wendy houses built by every manufacturer in Cape Town and review them for you. However, we can vet them and ensure that they are legitimate companies with a history of good customer care, who will not, in the long run, let you down. And you the customer can help us in this endeavour by adding your comments below. Have you had good or bad service from anyone? The following is a list of manufacturers who have worked with us and subjected themselves to a vetting process. We look at whether they have a good history, have good customer care practices, have trained employees, and in our opinion would be a good company to look at if you are considering buying a Wendy house, garden shed, dog kennel, or Nutec Wendy house.
Try these companies
This shouldn’t replace your own due diligence, but will give you a place to start. Here is a list of companies who operate in Cape Town that we at least know are legitimate companies and not just shells to steal your money.
Tel: 021 905 8097
email: james.jrwendys @ gmail.com
Address: 1 Metal Road, Blackheath Industria, Cape Town, 7580
Operating out of an industrial unit in Blackheath, good guys JR Wendys specialize in traditional Wendy Houses, Nutec Wendy Houses, and traditional log home style finishes.
Well established, respected, hard working, producers of quality products, ranging from a simple garden shed right through to fully functioning home. This is a serious company that takes serious pride in what it produces. The owner, James Cloete, has worked hard to build his business and continues to work just as hard to maintain and protect the good name and reputation he has built.
Quality, affordable, reliable- from simple garden sheds, to fully functioning living quarters; residential or commercial, these guys have it covered. They also do home improvements and are specialist at moving existing structures.
Saul Ncube, the owner of the company is a man with a plan, to be the top of the pile in Cape Town and the Western Cape, delivering quality units at affordable rates. A hard working set of guys who take care and pride in their work, striving to exceed customer expectations.
Tel: 078 817 5072
From simple sheds to houses to live in Frank Wendys has the personnel to pull it off. To quote the owner
“For us, it is about more than value though- our structures are used by people, day in day out, and we have a duty of care to ensure that whether it is a simple structure, or fully plumbed and electrified, our customers need to be able to use those buildings and feel safe and secure.”
And this philosophy is backed up by a guarantee not only of the workmanship but also that all work complies to all necessary building regulations.
Tel: 083 730 9360
address: 11 Barkley Street, Ruyterwacht, Goodwood, Cape Town 7460
Pinnacle Homes specialize in quality custom Wendy Houses, Nutec Houses, Log Houses, Vibracrete Houses, wooden home relocations, and general home improvements. These guys do some impressive projects, including massive office complexes at the Cape Town Film Studios, and building full size Nutec houses for clients.
This is a growing company with a growing reputation. Believe me, nobody works harder than the owner Michael, and the pride in both the work produced, and the reputation of the business are clearly evident.
They are more of an ‘on site’ operation, but none the less, well worth a look.
This list does not replace your own due diligence (please let us know of any good or bad experiences you have with these companies- it helps us, the companies, and others customers enormously), it merely represents a good place to start, nor is it exhaustive, there are many more good companies out there, we just haven’t worked with them yet. We tend to add companies who people refer to in comments (or ask our advice about) so if you see a new company why not ask us below and we will see if they want to be added to our list.