There are certain construction projects that require plan approval before building may begin. Although home owners have the opportunity to turn their existing home into their dream home by extending and adding onto the building, it is imperative that the homeowner follows the correct procedures.
According to property experts, should the relevant protocols not be adhered to, the building process becomes costlier as well as more complicated than it needs to be.
If the construction project falls outside of what is considered minor work, building plans must be submitted for approval before commencing with the building project.
Section 13 of the National Building Regulation and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 defines which building projects are considered minor work:
These are all building projects that don’t require approval, but any other type of project will need to be approved.
A certified copy of the plan approval must be readily available at the construction site for the entire duration of the project and until the homeowner obtains a certificate of occupancy from the area’s authority.
In order for the relevant building plans to be approved, there are certain requirements that should be met:
In addition, should there be any buildings already existing on the property that first require demolishing, details of the building in question as well as the method of demolition is required.
Although the application process seems complex and tedious, it will save the homeowner a lot of long-term trouble.
An unapproved building project will affect the potential resale of the property as the buyer may request the building plans and will notice that they were not approved.
Furthermore, possible consequences of an unapproved building project are that a building inspector may have the right to call a stop to the project and to obtain a court order to have it demolished. All legal costs and the cost of the demolition will be the responsibility of the home owner.
In addition to the costs of any associated with legal processes and the demolition, the costs of the initial project, materials and labour included, will also be at the homeowner’s expense.
Should there be extreme insubordination with regards to the unapproved building project, the homeowner may potentially face a hefty fine or even jail time.
Considering the possible consequences of proceeding with an unapproved building project, it is clear that it is the homeowners best interest to follow the relevant protocol to have their project approved before proceeding with the construction thereof.
For more information about what constitutes minor work and matters related to building plan approval contact our property attorneys in Cape Town or Johannesburg.
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