Building Plans & Home Building – A Step by Step Guide

A Step By Step Guide To Home Building & Home Improvement

  • Hire an architect

Archid Architects - Testimonials - Fourways, South Africa|house plans south africa|house designs|home designs| building plans |architect|modern house plans| top architects in south africa|home building|home improvements|home renovationsThe first step when you start your home building or home improvement project is to make contact with an architect.  The architect is the person who will put together all the processes of building your house, from building plans to final hand-over of the building for occupancy.  The begin with, the architect takes into consideration different data that can be put in 5 basic categories: function, aesthetics, construction, cost as well as one additional-energy efficiency. It is good when you know what you want so that you can give the architect a clear project brief for your home building project.

Some people over-simplify the role of architects which in a long run causes only regret. Don't just work on your own, because lack of technical knowledge and knowledge of the legal framework when it comes to building plans could cost you a lot. There are different laws and building regulations that must be adhered to for a building to be certified for occupancy at completion of construction.

  • Preparing Building Plans

Before you start with your home building, your building plans must be approved and you need to obtain a building permit so you can start building your home. It is necessary to make sure that the land where you want to build is appropriate for your chosen design, i.e. that the site's orientation, conditions and planning laws allows you to build your home there. Your local municipality will inform you on all the documents you need to provide in order to obtain approval and to get the permit for building.  After you get a permit, only then can building works start.

  • Project Planning and Documentation

If your architect is also appointed to undertake the project administration and management, he will now prepare the main programme for the project.  This will include all the main stages and work items for the entire building process. Some of the work items will be the following:

  • Site clearing
  • Foundations
  • Concrete slabs
  • Brickwork
  • Roofing
  • Electrics
  • Plumbing
  • Lighting
  • Finishes
  • Door & windows

The architect and quantity surveyor will now work hand in hand to document these work items and processes. The expenses for these work items must be estimated and costed accordingly in a document called the Bill of Quantities.  The materials to be used will also be defined and listed for accordingly in a document called the Specifications. Once these documents are ready, the architect will then call for tenders or bids from suitable building contractors from which the successful contractor will be selected.

  • Project Procurement

The architect will now call for meeting between all parties involved to prepare for commencement of the works. procurement of materials and equipments will now commence. The building contractor will now demarcate the area of construction so that construction can commence. The architect or project manager's involvement becomes very important at this stage where he must supervise works on the construction site, write down journal of works and is officially responsible that all the construction works are performed as it should be done.  He will also inspect all aspects of the works to ensure compliance with the building plans, specifications and bill of quantities.

  • Project Closing

At completion of the work on site the building contractor will now have to hand-over the building to the owners.  All systems (ie. plumbing, electrical, glazing, roofing, etc) will now be tested to ensure that they comply the regulations.  If there were any deviations from the approved building plans, the architect must update the building plans and submit these again to the local municipality for approval.  The building inspector will also conduct inspections to ensure compliance.  If satisfied, the building inspector will now issue an occupation certificate and only then can the building be ready for occupation.