Frequently Asked Architectural Questions

Frequently Asked Architectural Questions

Schoonraad Architects


What timeframe can be expected from the initial design phase to submission of plans to the Local Authority?

  • Residential plans take approximately two months to finalize from the first design sketches are conceived until plans are finalized for council approval purposes. Commercial projects are determined by the scope of the work and level of certainty of the brief.

What timeframe can be expected for plan approval at the Local Authority?

  • Local Authorities have according to law sixty days to scrutinize building plans submitted for approval purposes. The timeframe differs from area to area but on average plans take between two to four weeks before comments can be expected. Once comments are received approval can be expected within a week.

Under what circumstances will the services of an engineer be required for residential designs?

  • Structures where concrete slabs form part of the intended structure, typically in multi-storey configurations
  • In areas with unstable geological soil formations, the local authority will request engineers to design the foundations of such structures. 
  • Freestanding walls exceeding 2,1m in height
  • Roof structures where the span exceed 10m between supports

What are the steps that need to be followed in order to achieve a completed structure fit for its intended purpose?

  • Establish a design brief with the client
  • Site inspection and analysis
  • Design concept and preparation of freehand sketch plans
  • Design review and development
  • Preparation of building plans with computer-aided design software
  • Submission of plans to Home Owners Association and approval if required
  • Acquiring consent of adjoining owners if required for encroaching onto building lines and overlooking of first-floor balconies
  • Appointment of an engineer if required
  • Finalization of plans with input from other consultants
  • Submission of plans to local authority and approval thereof
  • Plans sent out to tender
  • Awarding of the building contract to a suitable contractor
  • Commencement of construction
  • Inspections from the local authority at various stages specified in approval documentation
  • Preparation of as-built drawings if changes were made to the design during the construction phase
  • Submission and approval of as-built drawings at Local Authority
  • Final inspection by building inspector and issuing of occupation certificate
  • Building can be legally occupied by owners

If you have more questions contact Schoonraad Architects today!

Frequently Asked Architectural Questions

Schoonraad Architects

Our practice is based in the lovely seaside town of Kleinmond, a stone’s throw away from the whale watching capital of the world, Hermanus. In the old days we used to have an office in Gauteng, which means we still travel there once a month to tend to ongoing projects. It also affords us the oppo...

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