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F.A.Q.

You and your Local Authority

Local Authorities are there to regulate and control the ever densification and development of cities and local residential areas. This is done by means of various building and zoning regulations and codes. Therefore, in order for anyone intending to build their dream house to proceed, certain requirements need to be satisfied before permission can be granted to build such dwelling. So in satisfying these requirements, one needs to be aware of the specific requirements and fees payable to the relevant local authorities/councils. These requirements vary considerably from one local authority to the next, and it is best to approach each relevant local authority to ascertain these requirements.
Here are some general requirements when submitting building plans/house plans/ architectural designs to your local authority (South African context):
A copy of your Title Deeds – obtainable from either your attorneys/conveyancers who handled the transfer of your property or the financial institution which has granted the mortgage bond over the property.
Application Forms provided by the local authority, filled and signed by yourself.
Where structural work such as concrete slabs or special foundations is contemplated, an appointment certificate completed and signed by a registered professional engineer.
A fire installation drawing (normally for public or commercial buildings) – check with the fire department of your local authority.
A copy of an approved Site Development Plan (SDP) – if applicable.
A full set of plans coloured and scaled according to the building code applicable to your local authority.
A rational design proposal by a professional engineer for fire installations or specialized electrical and mechanical systems.
Applicable building plan scrutiny fees. These can be charged at a rate per area of the dwelling or as a flat fee. NB. Building line fees can vary considerably from local authority to the next.
A SACAP form signed by both yourself and the architect or draughtsman who prepared your plans.

Q: What Do I get when I buy a house plan from SAHOUSEPLANS.CO.ZA?

A: The contents of each house plan package are different, However all plans will include detailed,
High-quality working drawings. This includes the following:
-3D PERSPECTIVE
These are photo-real 3D Visuals of the completed exterior views of the house. This shows you how the house will look once built – This can be downloaded from the website.
-DETAILED FLOOR PLANS
These drawings contains a bird’s eye view of each floor layout – showing all walls, rooms, doors, windows, dimensions, drainage, notes and details of material items. It also provides references to other sections and components located elsewhere on the plans
-SIDE ELEVATIONS
These Plans show the sides of the house normally when viewed from all 4 sides – North, South, East and West. The external treatment of walls, exterior materials and finishes is also shown. These drawings give notes and details to drainage components and vertical dimensions of the structure. Corbelling details and roofing notes are also elaborated. All other specific and unique details to the plan in question are indicated here.
-CROSS-SECTIONS
A cross-section shows a sliced view of the entire structure taken at specific points. Large-scale views show sections or cuttings of the foundations, ground level, staircases, walls, floors and roof details. Additional cross-sections may show important details which may otherwise be hidden in the deepest layers of a structure. Sections show how different components interconnect to form a solid and monolithic outcome that becomes a dwelling house. In some cases a large scaled drawing may be necessary to illustrate the interconnectedness of even the smaller components of the building which then translates to the builder and other building consultants what the structure is made of.
-DRAWING FORMAT
Drawings are sent in a Zip file containg CAD Drawing , PDF Files , 3D Views

Q:What is not included in your plans?

– SITE PLANS
These shows the location of the house in relation to you specific site (plot or stand). The Natural contours are normally shown in these plans showing the contrast between the gradient of the ground levels and the proposed structure. These include the position of service connections that are prescribed for your site.
NB. For a relatively small fee a local Architect or Draughtsman can be appointed to produce a Site Plan for you.

– ENGINEERING CERTIFICATES
In some specific structural situations (i.e. In Double storey houses, unstable soils or complex foundations and roofing), an engineer’s certificate or seal is required prior to submitting the plans to your local authorities. This document contains proof that a licensed structural engineer has been appointed by the homeowner to undertake any testing or specification of appropriate measures to ensure the integrity of the entire structural system.
NB. Where necessary and after you have purchased your plans from SAHouseplans.co.za, you can then appoint a local engineer of your choice who will also undertake any site visits and quality control during construction of your house. Also remember that a final engineer’s Certificate of Completion will be required once building is completed and prior to obtaining an Occupation Certificate that allows you to occupy your house. This Completion Certificate is issued by the engineer once he has satisfied himself that the construction was undertaken in accordance with his initial specifications.

– LOCAL BUILDING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT’S APPROVAL
Local Authorities are there to regulate and control the ever densification and development of cities and local residential areas. This is done by means of various building and zoning regulations and codes. Therefore, you will be required to submit your plans to your SPECIFIC local building and/or planning authority. Each local Authority operates on similar National Building Regulations but has certain specific local requirements that need to be satisfied before permission can be granted to build a house. So in satisfying these requirements, one needs to be aware of the specific requirements and fees payable to the relevant local authorities/councils. These requirements vary considerably from one local authority to the next, and it is best to approach YOUR relevant local authority to ascertain these requirements.
NB. For a relatively small fee a local Architect or Draughtsman can be appointed to undertake any minor requests by your local authority.

Q: Do you include a materials cost estimate or bill of quantity (BOQ) in your plans?

A: Building prices varies enormously and depends on various factors such as prices charged for material and labour in your area and other conditions that exist in your local area. Because of this, our best advice is to check with builders and hardware stores in your area. However, a more accurate indication of building costs for your house can always be obtained by contracting a Quantity Surveyor. As a result SAHouseplans.co.za does not provide this service.

Modifications/changes in house plan

Q: I’ve found a house plan I like, but there are a couple of things I’d like to change. What can I do?

A: Once you’ve found the house plan/building plans/architectural designs/ home plans/ house floor plans/ blueprints/ drawings that you prefer and would like us to undertake some minor amendments, just email us the request to amend the plans for you – Do not forget to include the plan number when emailing. If the amendments are minor SAHouseplans.co.za will not charge you any additional fee. The only requirement is that you would have to pay the listed price of the plan prior to such amendments being implemented. Due to the variance in geographical locations of our clients and the specific requirements by various local authorities, a local architect or draughtsman might be necessary to include some specific site information and a Site Plan to the completed set of plans obtained from SAHouseplans.co.za. This is facilitated by a digital copy of the plans that is posted together with the plans. This CAD file can then be taken to your local architect or draughtsman for such amendments. Most architects and draughtsmen use CAD based software and will have no difficulty opening and amending your plans. What is more interesting is that even after you’ve appointed and paid the architect or draughtsman for such work, the total cost of your house plans will still be far less than if you’d have used the same architect or draughtsman to design your house from scratch. NB. As from 1 July 2006, ALL persons practicing architecture in South Africa or submitting house plans/building plans/architectural designs/ home plans/ house floor plans/ blueprints/ drawings to a Local Authority must be registered with SACAP. Please ensure that any architect or draughtsman you intend to use for any amendments to your plans is registered with SACAP and provides a high quality in architectural services as SAHouseplans.co.za.

Q: How much will the plan modifications cost me?

A: All plan modifications must first be assessed for feasibility prior to a cost being determined. SAHouseplans.co.za will issue a fee proposal based on the extent of work that is necessary to complete the required modifications. Normally SAHouseplans.co.za does not charge for very minor changes. Our fees for plan modifications are based on an hourly rate. Our hourly rate is currently R650.00/hour. Please indicate the geographic location where you intend to build, whenever you request a modification quote from SAHouseplans.co.za

Q: Can I buy a plan from you but have someone else modify it for me?

A: Yes, you will need to buy the CAD Set to enable another architect or draughtsman to do the necessary changes for you

Q: What is a PDF Version?

A: A PDF file contains an electronic copy of the Full scale version of the House Plans. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. A PDF file is a digital file format mostly used today to easily transfer files containing text, pictures, drawings and fonts into a single digital file, PDF file format is very simple to use and can be easily downloaded, stored and attached on emails via a PC. This also makes printing of additional copies of the plan even much easier. To read PDF files you require a PDF Reader software made available free by ADOBE. To download a free copy of Adobe PDF software from ADOBE click this link: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
NB. A PDF House Plan package cannot be altered after purchase. For making post-purchase alterations to the plans you will require a CAD electronic copy of the House Plans.

Q: What is a CAD or AutoCAD version?

A: A CAD/AutoCAD/DWG/DXF file contains an electronic copy of the House Plans in a format which it was created with. This file format is ideal in cases where a customer has purchased a plan that he/she likes but would like to make further changes to the plans before building or submission to the authorities. You can then take the file to any local Architect or Draughtsman who utilizes a CAD system in order to effect the changes for you.
A CAD file can only be opened from a PC which has a CAD system already installed.

Q: How many blueprints do I need?

A: The following checklist will help you determine how many plan sets you need. In order to be certain how many plan sets you will require we have created a checklist below of the likely people and/or institutions that you will need to supply with sets of plan. You can then find out from each of them how many copies they’ll need and then calculate the total number of copies you require:-
– Owner
– Builder/s (You will require more if you still need to obtain building estimates from more
than one builder)
– Local Building or Planning Department
– Bank or Mortgage Lender
NB. Most building consultants, Sub-contractors and Material suppliers usually require a digital or soft copy of the plans (i.e. PDF or CAD), in order to speedily undertake their work.

May 2019
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