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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 needs to be followed in order to achieve a completed structure fit for its intended purpose?

Establish design brief with 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 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 building contract to suitable contractor

Commencement of construction

Inspections from local authority at various stages specified in approval documentation

Preparation of as-built drawings if changes were made to the design during 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