There is so much advice in the public domain that there is just no excuse for ignorance. I had an old aunt who used to say: “If you learn something new every day, the day hasn’t been wasted.”
Even at my age I am continually in search of knowledge and new ideas, but I have also learnt not to comment on things I don’t really understand. I also believe it is important when you are searching for knowledge or ideas that you remember “local is lekker”.
Many things that may work in Europe won’t work here, just as many things that are a good saving in the short term will be costly in the long term. So make sure you do your research properly.
I have had a few instances where wrong decisions were made or would have been made if further advice had not been sought. We turned down a nice contract because a consultant made the wrong call. Remember there are consultants, and then there are consultants.
Check the credentials of anyone you are considering using. Mrs Mac will not go to medical specialists until she has checked there are no malpractice cases hanging over their heads. I often receive good news stories in my inbox, and then follow up with the person or company recommended for more detail to include in the column, only to be ignored.
There are many one-shot wonders out there who do not understand the value of being accessible 24/7, and are happy to ride on their one success. Not so my friend Danie Hattingh, regional manager of Monier Roofing/Coverland, a manufacturer of cement roof tiles.
Hattingh is also a past president of the local Master Builders Association and the national Master Builders South Africa. Hattingh will always find time to help anyone with a roofing problem. I have a client, Dieter, who has just bought a house in Hermanus which needs reroofing.
Dieter has assembled a ton of information from public domains, and Hattingh has offered advice even though his product may not be used, because he knows the value of helping wherever possible.
The end result is because Dieter has done his homework, his new roof covering will be fixed to battens spaced correctly with the correct underlay with the right fixings for the prevailing weather conditions.
This is why I mentioned “local is lekker”. We are close to the sea and have strong winds both from the north-west and the south-east which present their own unique problems which only locals know how to solve.
*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: facebook.com/thehandymac