How much it costs to buy a DIY or home improvement business like Drain Surgeon or Easylife Kitchens

  • South Africans picked up DIY and home improvement in a big way during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Many companies that install blinds, garage doors, and kitchens are franchises you can buy and run.
  • Here’s how much it costs to buy a turnkey home improvement or DIY franchise in South Africa.
  • For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a lot more homeowners reaching for hammers and paintbrushesand eventually looking to professional companies, to help improve their immediate surroundings.

As the world outside our homes slowly rematerialized with lifting lockdowns, and the cost of living steadily increased, this surge has since subsided.

But the DIY and home improvement sector is resilient and has many successful franchises. And while starting a window or blind business from scratch would be a complex undertaking, tapping into an existing framework provided by a franchisor is a viable business opportunity for anyone interested or skilled in DIY and home improvement.

Some franchises in this sector require an initial investment of under R500 000 and don’t require that owners know how to wield a tape measure. They also supply somewhat future-proofed products, even if present economic circumstances have seen them slow down.

Here are five DIY and home improvement franchises you can buy in South Africa.

Blind Guys

Blind Guys supplies and fits blinds, shutters, security barriers and awnings. It’s a competitive market sector with many franchise options available, so it’s worth investigating past track records and franchise business models before committing.

Blind Guys has been in business since 2009 and claims to offer franchisees a sustainable business model with access to products from trusted suppliers. They also commit to a quick rollout process upon buying a new franchise.

How much it costs

Blind Guys charges a R20 000 establishment cost and an upfront fee of R280 000. Together with a working capital of R300 000, they estimate the total investment to be R500 000.

Once operational, they charge franchisees 3% of targeted turnover, or a minimum of R9 000, and 20% of digital marketing spend, or a minimum of R3 000.

Coastal Hire

Coastal Hire is a household-name tool hire business with a long history in South Africa. The Coastal Hire business involves the rental of small equipment, primarily for home improvement and DIY jobs. They have over 100 locations throughout southern Africa and accept applications from interested franchises on their website.

In particular, they’re looking for applicants with sound business acumen and preferably some construction industry knowledge.

How much it costs

Coastal Hire does not provide a comprehensive breakdown of new franchise costs but says the equipment will cost about R800 000. They also sell existing franchises, and by way of example, one in Newcastle is currently listed for R2.5 million.

Easylife Kitchens

Easylife Kitchens has been manufacturing kitchen cupboards since the early ’90s. They market their products and services through a franchise network of 35 showrooms and have manufacturing plants in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

Easylife Kitchens has two franchise models at different price points, and they are looking for people “with a creative flair” and business and management experience.

How much it costs

A studio showroom costs approximately R700 000, which includes a R140 000 joining fee, setup costs, and two months of working capital. A full Easylife Kitchens showroom costs around R1.6 million, which includes a R450 000 joining fee, setup costs, and two months of working capital.

Galaxy Doors

Galaxy Doors is a home improvement franchise that supplies and installs garage doors and security gates. They’ve been in business since 2011 and now offer franchisees a turnkey garage door company.

They have franchise opportunities throughout South Africa and don’t require owners to have prior home improvement experience – they offer technical and installation training for elected employees.

How much it costs

Galaxy Doors charges an upfront fee of approximately R243 500 plus an establishment cost of R276 500. The estimated total investment is R607 000, depending on territory size. Once established, franchisees must pay monthly royalties of up to R9 500, plus an advertising fee of R5 000 per month.

The Drain Surgeon

The plumbing franchise The Drain Surgeon has been around since 1979 and has been franchising outlets since the late-’80s. The business now forms part of the Surgeon Group, which offers private investors or plumbers to buy into a turnkey plumbing operation.

Their franchise model allows investors to choose their level of involvement in day-to-day operations – and not necessarily be the hands-on plumber working on daily callouts. To this end, they’re looking for franchisees with good people management and motivational skills.

How much it costs

A Drain Surgeon franchise costs approximately R376 000. They also recommend a working capital of R70 000. Once established, franchisees must pay ongoing fees of 15% of turnover, split between advertising, marketing and management. They also offer the option to convert an existing plumbing business into a Drain Surgeon franchise.

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