Importance of Property Plans
FOR THE BUYER:
So, you are about to buy your new dream home, your finances are lined up, you have an approved offer, you have already cancelled your current lease, you have already arranged the removals truck… Then the call from your bank ‘Mr Jones, there is a slight delay in providing the finance as we still require the following from the seller; Approved plans and an Occupancy Certificate – As soon as we have these we will approve the Bond.’ That’s it! You have just added a minimum of 2-months delay to your programme. You start questioning yourself, you start questioning your Estate Agent, You start questioning the seller – no matter how much you start questioning – the delay is unavoidable at this point. Your dream home has become your nightmare home!
Well to start with, legislation has become increasingly stringent, demanding that even the smallest section of building work (even a boundary wall, carport or pergola) must be drawn up by a suitably qualified professional, and submitted for approval prior to building. It does not stop there though – Once the building works have been completed (strictly according to the Approved Plan), and the certificates of compliance have been issued there is still the Occupancy Certificate which the Building Inspector has to issue before the building is safe for occupation. This certificate forms part of the compulsory documentation requirements before any bank will finalise your bond approval.
Architects’ familiarity with current zoning schemes makes them an invaluable addition to your team. A sudden change to the regulations can have devastating implications to your dream sale and the future value of your property. With their specialised knowledge of planning, construction and building regulations, architects can ensure that you avoid the horror of having to tear down what you’ve just bought – turning that dream home into a catastrophe of nightmarish proportions. Any illegal works on an existing property may attract financial penalties initially and may never be made to comply with the city’s current By-laws. Rendering an Occupancy certificate impossible to attain. The only way out of this mess would be to demolish these works – yet again adding to your nightmare.
Whether you need a professional architect (as opposed to a draftsman or designer) will depend largely on the scale and complexity of your project, and whether or not your budget justifies the expertise of a professional. Grading of the various professionals in this field is overseen by the SA Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). SACAP is also the regulatory body which governs the architectural profession, this implies that The Local Municipality will only accept Building Plan Submissions from SACAP-registered professionals – so check these credentials before money changes hands or appointing anyone. You may contact SACAP to check a person’s credibility by sending them the professional’s registration number for confirmation.
FOR THE SELLER:
Based on the above warnings to the buyer, pre-empt this process before you put your house on the market, thereby saving yourself a minimum of 2-months and the risk of having to drop your selling price when the buyer points out illegal or non-compliant works.
FOR THE BUYER & SELLER:
Even if you are working within a tight budget, it does not make good economic sense to cut corners on design. Talented professionals will help you to avoid costly mistakes – and can assure that the home you build is ideally suited to your lifestyle.
Too often the architect is written off as the whimsical artist who, with the flip of the pen, over a cheerful dash of good wine, puts together some pretty pictures with such ease that one wonders how they dare charge for such frivolity.
Yet, these well-worth-getting-to-know masters of their trade have studied rigorously and at length to develop an intimate knowledge of building systems and materials, as well as how these components can work together. Beyond their academic studies, they also have the intuitive ability to understand the needs and priorities of their clients, and are passionate about shaping structures and spaces to enrich the lives of those who occupy them.
The_ science of building_ is multi-dimensional and a qualified architect will comfortably wear many hats during the construction process: designer, draftsman, facilitator, problem solver. They can take on the role of project manager, help to compile a professional team, source other professionals where required and assist with tenders and contractor appointments.
Building can definitely be one of the more testing and exhausting things you’ll do in your lifetime. An architect can ensure you minimise those migraine moments!
A good architect will help shape your dream ideas into feasible structures and spaces that meet your budget and time constraints, respond to your unique personality and lifestyle requirements and result in an inspiring living environment, and a worthwhile investment.
Are your plans up to date? I am happy to assist – Bouah Design.