We have worked with Ian over a long period of time and you would struggle to find a contractor with as good a balance between care and competence.
I have recently completed building a holiday home at Kenton-on-Sea using Ian Smit of PE Timber Homes. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Ian and his team and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone wishing to build a timber frame home.
I live in Johannesburg, which made the selection of a competent builder an important consideration. Ian provided me with five references and I followed up on all of them before appointing him to build our house. I only managed to get down to site twice during the 38 week construction period and the rest was done by remote with Ian sending me photos on a weekly basis.
I decided to build a timber frame house for a couple of reasons. The first being that timber frame houses are thermally much more efficient than bricks and mortar. They retain heat in winter and they are cool in the summer months (which is why the majority of the houses in Scandinavia, the USA and Canada are timber frame houses). Not only does this save on electricity, but it is environmentally much more sustainable. The second reason is that we were building on a plot that had a lot of Milkwood trees that we had to build around. We would not have been able to build our house using bricks and mortar as the foundations would have interfered with the trees (which are protected), whereas building a timber framed house allowed us to build in and around the trees.
We are thrilled with the end result which is nestled amongst the trees and which has a spectacular deck which is being shaded by a large Milkwood which comes up through the middle of the floor.
Ian runs a top quality operation and if given the chance, I would gladly use him again.
Managing Director, Vantage GreenX
Our house was one of the first projects of PE Timberhomes twenty years ago. Since then Ian Smit and his team have completed two more cottages for our children.
We have always been happy with the work this team has done. We are impressed by their good craftsmanship and meticulous care in using the best materials available. Good management results in a positive team spirit with low personel turnover.
We also like the way Ian is willing to accommodate the owners’ wishes, and changes which are sometimes made during building.
The best recommendation for any builder is when he remains a friend after the project is finished. This is what we have experienced with Ian Smit of PE Timberhomes.
Gerhard & Jeanette Basson,
Doing business in PE can be frustrating at the best of times with deadlines and promises not being met, but dealing with PE Timber homes was by far the best experience we have had from any contractor. What nice people to do business with,we highly recommend them
Building my dream house with Ian and his team was indeed an adventure. From the concept of a wooden house, to the fact that building one still gives one cart blanche to keep the elevations and indigenous bush intact, it felt like a cutting edge, new and absolutely right way of building in the new millenium. Once construction had started, I was always made a welcome partipant in the building process. Ian added his own creative interpretation to my sometimes vague meanderings and the result – although making no one rich in the process – is a house that I continue to come home to with a sense of wonder and pride. It is a testimony to the excellence of PE Timber Homes that although I had a limited budget and was building a small house, the design and construction went ahead as though I was a millionare building on Thesen island. There was always the understanding that this house was going to be a home – precious and valued.
Thank you Ian and Sue for:
– only using and recommending subcontractors and pavers, etc who have the same high standards as yourselves.
– recommending that I change my original plan and build higher up my slope than originally planned where we found a view that “skrik vir niks”.
– being patient with my complete ignorance of every single facet of municipal interfaces.
– changing my mind about the perfect blue, a couple of times.
– making sure my house was sparkling clean when i moved into it.
– giving me accurate and complete financial statements.
– sharing my joy and delight in the the view, the synchronicity of design and environment, and ensuring that the PLAN CAME TOGETHER in the most astounding way.
My skeptical friends and family (what? building in WOOD, what? building on a MOUNTAIN, what? a blue house – you are going to need a colour blind helicoptor pilot to get you up your driveway) are all a bit silent now as they raise their glasses on my miraculous deck and watch the sun set over the Swartkops river valley.
I wish you continued success and thank you again for all your efforts, creativity and passion.
In late 2004 after having been possesion of our land for 6 months, we decided to have a house built. Many people think we were mad to invest in a country we hardly knew and a building industry we knew even less about. They have never experienced Africa. We are very pleased we found and used PE Timber Homes to build our house. If we had another opportunity to do the same we would even though we live 7,000 kilometres away. The care and attention to detail was always high and the build was undertaken as though it actually belonged to the builder. We would strongly recommend that if you are to have a house built then you should consider timber as an option and then use PE Timber Homes as the builder of your dream home.
We regularly go back to Kenton, we enjoy the area and all it has to offer, the wildlife and most of all we love the house and its view!!
I will always be grateful for my extremely good fortune in finding P.E. Timber Homes to build my dream home on the beach in Boknes. My friends and family all thought I was insane to conduct a long distance building project in Boknes – from Joburg. But sanity prevailed and, not only was the building carried out effIciently and to the highest standards, but it was a pleasure to deal with Ian on all aspects of the project. Everybody who has visited the house has commented on the excellent workmanship, and all aspects of the design and fittings.
If I could afford another plot there, I would do it all over again.
Your enthusiasm and patience made the building process a pleasure and it was exciting to watch the house materialise just as I had imagined it. Many thanks for my beautiful home.
P.E. Timber Homes’ is a company which you can rely on to build your home professonally. You will not find a better person than Ian Smit with a masters degree from UPE in building with timber. His experience and vast knowledge of wood, material strengths and building on sand equals a house built on rock.
Ian is a professional using the most modem techniques availilble. Changing plans like enlarging or minimising to fit the budget is no issue with Ian. All communication was done by e-mail making it particularly easy for us folks living up north far away from the building site.
Regular digital photos were received showing the latest progress. What a pleasure it was not to worry about quality of workmanship. Ian has a superb team working with him. The most gratifying aspect was that Ian stayed within the budget given to him. No hidden costs sprung up. Follow-up after the project was completed was also very much appreciated. No problem was too large or too small for Ian’s attention and fixing. We are proud of our house at Cannon Rocks and we recommend Ian and Sue and their team without a doubt. Ian and Sue are now our personal friends … . not too many people can say that about their builder.
Department of Ophalmology Faculty of Health Sciences University of Pretoria
Met die projek wat nou afgehandel is, van my kant af baie dankie vir alles. Ek voel besigheid gaan op die ou einde maar altyd oor die mense. Dit en ook die eindproduk, in ons geval die huis. En vir my was dit ‘n lekker 5 of 6 maande gewees. Ek weet my oorlede pa wie se huis (en handewerk) ons afgebreek het sodat jy die nuwe huis kon bou, sou ook baie tevrede gewees het met die nuwe huis. Nogmaals dankie en sterkte met jou nuwe projekte.
Owner – Penny Pinchers Humansdorp
Having been involved with quite a number of projects I feel that I can comment in a very objective way.
First of all the process was painless(for the first time) and at times did not even realise that I was building so I must thank the PETimberhomes team for an extremely pleasant building experience and would recommend your company to any prospective client. I have mentioned to Ian that he can show clients my house at any time to give them an idea of the finished product as I believe the plan is very basic but amazingly practical. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, work is keeping me very busy so am not able to be there to do the interior but that will happen sometime. Thanks once again for a very positive experience and you are welcome to pass my contact details to any prospective client.
Director – Occuvision
I am writing to place on record my sincere appreciation of your remarkable and ongoing commitment to me as a client – and very satisfied owner – of the house you built for Audrey and me in 2008 here in Paradise Beach.
We have fortunately, and due to the quality of your construction, experienced very little of the subsidence problems so evident in the brick and mortar homes of some of our neighbours.
When we have noticed problems, mostly of a minor nature and few in number, you have never hesitated to attend to it personally – even if some of these issues arose after your contractual 5-year duty – of – care period.
As you know this month we experienced gale-force winds over a period of two days, unusually from a north-westerly direction. While we have never suffered any material damage from the winter gales that prevail from the southwest, the latest gales exposed a minor flaw in the cladding between the ground-floor and the first floor in the north aspect of the house. This leak caused a pressure differential in the ceiling of the lounge and resulted in a bulge in a small section of ceiling. I was greatly relieved when you sent one of your carpenters around at short notice who was able to fit a temporary brace to the ceiling until the gale subsided two days later. He was also able, because he was involved in building the house, to immediately identify the cladding problem and report this accurately to you when you visited the house personally the next day.
Two days later after the gales had subsided your foreman Alvin arrived and expertly repaired the ceiling, made good the paintwork and installed a piece of cladding in the offending gap. He cleaned up perfectly after completing the job.
This level of after-sales service and commitment to a client after 9 years is both extraordinary and commendable. It is a reflection of your professionalism and pride in your business. May it grow from strength to strength.
(082 958 0149)
Hi Ian and Susan
The Cook’s would just like to thank you for the hospitality, professionalism, keen interest paid to the design and implementation of the building of our little place at Paradise Beach.
I had different ideas which were not very practical and potentially very expensive, but the prospect of building a wooden house really appealed to me once we had time to discuss. I can without doubt say that am not sorry we went this route. The homely comfortable atmosphere that comes with this type of design and types of material cannot be achieved with other structures, in my opinion, and one feels relaxed and always “on holiday” with the warmth and timber fragrance that your design has given us.
Wood is also in my opinion the preferred material with which to build near the coast, lending itself harm free by the moist air breeze and degradation that salt water can cause, so maintenance is expected to be hassle free and fairly easy. The cost of major foundation work should also be taken into consideration, so where we built on stilts this has really been quick and hassle free.
We are also impressed with your work ethic and dealing with us over such a long distance, with prompt responses, which really made the process stress free and without any complication and the job was completed on time and as we discussed.
I can only advise your work stronglyto any other potential home owners that wish to use wood, it’s the way we should all build.
And thanks once again Ian and Susan
Mineral Resources Manager Gold One International Limited
Een en twintig jaar gelede het ons ‘n jong seuntjie en ‘n ouer man gesien wat ‘n houthuis gebou het. Ons het gehou van die werk wat hulle gedoen het. Die jong seun het ons huis gebou. Ons was baie gelukkig met die werk wat gedoen is, en ons is nou nog gelukkig met die huis.
Having your house built is not only one of the bigger finandal steps most people will ever take, it is also an emotional investment. The last thing you need is to be one of so many that have a list of horror stories about the building process.
We felt comfortable with P.E TIMBER HOMES and in particlar Ian Smit, right from the start. This was important ! We did not just want a house from them; we wanted to have a good time seeing it constructed. The nicest surprise was not how relatively painless the planning period with Ian was, but the competent, conscientious and well-mannered on-site team. This made a HUGE difference to our house building experience. No daily fighting with them about substandard work. No complaints from the neighbours about their behaviour. No getting to work late or extended lunch hours. They just got on with the job.
We love our house. I am an engineer and my wife is a buslness woman. We do most of our house and business furbishing ourselves. The work that Ian and his team did never dropped a standard in quality and efficiency.
Ours was one of the first timber homes Ian and his team built in the Port Elizabeth area. Ian was always very hands-on with the project; knocking in nails himself and climbing up the wooden structure, checking that everything was done correctly. When we decided to close in the approximate 60 square metre deck after a year, Ian was again called upon to do this project and once more, we were very impressed with the quality of work and the end result.
After 10 years and a lot more changes and adding on, we are still living very happily in our beautiful timber home built by Ian and his team from PE Timber Homes.
Ian Smit built our dream home in Paradise Beach in 2007/8. Unlike popular (and often valid) perceptions our building experience was not a traumatic one. This in spite of us living in Johannesburg for the duration of the project, apart from few interim site visits. Several aspects of Ian’s approach and execution of the project stand out: Attention to detail. From the initial design, materials costing and building phases, every item and aspect was meticulously dealt with. All phases of the building process were invoiced in detail providing us with a continuous ability to monitor and manage costs. Personal attention. Ian was continuously on site and provided ongoing updates on progress and sometimes, lack thereof, due to extraneous cumstances. We were never left in any doubt as to how things were going. His patience in dealing with our many long-distance queries was admirable. Management. P E Timber homes employs a highly qualified and competent team of carpenters, many of whom I have met on the job. Their commitment and work reflects a strong but caring management input. Ongoing commitment to the project. On the few occasions that we discovered minor problems or defects in some finishes, some up to a year later, Ian has responded immediately and dealt with the problem.
The results have been beyond all our expectations and have drawn much favourable comment from friends and visitors.
Finally Ian is a professional but friendly and approachable. His business can only go from strength to strength. I have no hesitation in recommending his services without reserve. I can be contacted at any time.
Managing Director – Bridgemond Risk and Threat Management (Pty) Ltd.