Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do I need an Architectural Professional?
In terms of the National Building Regulations & Standards Act (Act 103 of 1977) (clause 4.1)”No person shall without the prior approval in writing of the local authority in question, erect any building in respect of which plans and specifications are to be drawn and submitted in terms of this Act”. Furthermore, by regulation (National Building Regulations Part A1.1) it is required that any person preparing such plans and specifications, be registered in terms of the Architectural Profession Act ( Act No. 44 of 2000), Engineering Profession Act ( Act No. 46 of 2000), Natural Scientific Professions Act ( Act No. 27 of 2003 ), or Professional and Technical Surveyors’ Act (Act No. 40 of 1984 ), or any other relevant Act.
In addition, any building to be erected, must comply with the regulations as set out in the SABS South African National Building Regulations (SANS 10400) or is subject to a rational design by a qualified person or Agrément certification.
Architectural professionals have during the course of their careers received extensive training in the compliance of buildings and therefore should be able to advise a client on the requirements of any future project. In terms of the Architectural Profession Act (Act No 44 of 2000) we are required to be register with our governing body, The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). SACAP ensures continual professional development of every registered professional and compliance to a Professional Code of Conduct.
It is because of the above, that it is not only recommended but required that an Architectural professional form part of any building project. Our rigorous training and expertise provide us with the skills and experience to assist the public. No matter who tells you that you do not require building plans, it is still better to trust the opinion of a registered professional.
Q. Do I need building plans?
YES. It is only the local building inspector that can exempt you from submitting buildings plans. However an application will still have to be submitted to him with all the relevant details of your project before he can grant any such exemption. Your Architectural Professional can advise you accordingly.
Q. How much will it cost?
How long is a piece of string. The nature of any construction project makes it difficult to predict how much a project will cost. It largely depends on what the client needs. The more information available and the clearer the client brief, the easier it will be to estimate project cost.
Q. Do I need plans for a carport, swimming pool, lapa or garden shed?
Some structures can be defined as “minor works”. Minor works might require a formal submission however, this will depend on the local building inspector. A formal application must still be made to the building inspector for permission before any work is. In most cases, the building inspector will require plan submission because things like building lines, coverage and other town planning controls might be affected.
Q. How much will you charge?
SLICE typically charges an hourly rate for as-built, additions & alterations. Please contact us for a full assessment and an estimate of professional fees.
Q. How long will it take to get plans approved at council?
This depends on the different application that have to be submitted. Typically council will give feedback on a residential plan within 2 weeks. Larger building will take longer, about 4 weeks. If there are other application like building line relaxation or heritage, these applications will typically have to be concluded before submission. Some councils will allow them to be submitted concurrently. Specialist applications like a removal of restrictions or land use management will take longer and should be considered when planning a project.
Q. What do I need to get started?
We will need previously approved plans (if available), the title deed and zoning information of the stand before we can advise on a project. Previously approved plans will give scope of work to be done as well as age of the building. The title deed might contain restrictive conditions or control that will have to be adhered to and the zoning information will give information like building lines, zoning, primary rights and special conditions. Only when we have all the information can we give you accurate advise.
Q. I bought a property without previously approved plans or there are buildings not reflecting on the plans. Now what?
This is an unfortunate reality. Many buyers purchase property only to realise that there might be no approved plans for the property or that the local council has misplaced the files. In this case, new plans will have to be drawn up of all the structures and submitted as a new building. The regulations have also changed over the years and older building will now have to comply with new regulation. In extreme cases, certain changed will have to be made to the building or order to get it to comply.