Do you need plans for a Wendy House in South Africa?

Whether you need additional space to store your garden tools or a playhouse for the kids and their toys, a wendy house is a common go-to option for many property owners in South Africa. It is a fast and affordable solution. But before you install a new wendy house, you might wonder if you need building plans to construct a wendy house in South Africa?

According to Part C (i) of the Minor Building Works Schedule, you dont need to submit building plans for a “Prefabricated moveable hut” not exceeding 10m2, used as a wendy house, prayer room, tool room, etc. However, you do need to submit a minor building works application to your municipality, and the structure may not be used for habitation.

While formal building plans are not required, the building inspector might request that you submit a basic sketch indicating the size, materials, and position of the wendy house along with the minor building works application. You will also be required to pay a small submission fee.

With that said, if the wendy house is 5m2 or less, and it is used as a child’s playhouse or a cycle shed, or similar, then you may proceed without any permission from your municipality. These types of structures are usually the prefabricated sheds that you’ll find and Builders, Makro, and other chain stores, and are considered temporary structures with a minimal footprint.

Examples of wendy houses that are prefabricated and sold in chain stores such as Builders and Makro that are usually 5m2 or smaller, and considered temporary structures. These types of wendy houses usually don’t need plans, or a minor building works application to install.

Why do you need to submit a “Minor Building Works” application to your municipality?

If your wendy-house is more than 5m2, you are essentially adding a structure that changes the building footprint of the land. Specific building regulations and standards need to be adhered to regarding the building lines, and structural support.

The local authority will not give you permission to build your temporary structure until you provide them with certain information that they are able to assess. The type of information they need to know is:

  • Where you are planning to build your wendy house on your property.
  • What the wendy house will be used for.
  • The availability of suitable materials you want to construct it out of.

What will happen if you build a wendy house without an MBW application?

Building a structure bigger than 5m2, and/or one that is not used as a child playhouse or cycle shed (or similar) without prior authorization from your municipality is an offense, and you may be subject to a fine, and/or a demolition order of the structure. So it is always a good idea to first approach your municipality for guidance when planning to build a new structure, however small it may be.

When do you need a full set of building plans for a wendy house in South Africa?

According to Part G (i) of the Minor Building Works Schedule, a wendy house or structure, however small, constructed for the purpose of living, sleeping or preparing or eating food in, operating any form a business or professional activity in, etc, will require a full set of building plans to be drawn up and submitted by a registered architectural professional.

11 Replies to “Do you need plans for a Wendy House in South Africa?”

  1. Hi, is there a rule for how many Wendy houses are allowed on a property ?
    What is the average price of building plans by a professional architect and get municipality approval ?
    Thank you for your help !!

    1. Good question Alex! The way that I understand the schedule is that you’re allowed only one “Child’s playhouse not exceeding 5m2”, one “Cycle shed not exceeding 5m2”, one “Tool shed not exceeding 10m2”, one “Change room, not exceeding 10m2”, and a “Prefabricated moveable hut not exceeding 10m2”. I recommend you contact your local municipality to confirm though.

    2. Also, plans do not need necessarily need to be drawn up by an architect. Anyone who is registered with SACAP may be able to draw and submit plans to the municipality for approval. Gettings plans drawn up and submitted could cost anything from R5,000.00 for a basic addition like a patio etc, to R400,000.00 for a large and complex home design.

      The standard rate for a building plan is limited to 5% of the total building cost, using a build cost of R12 500/m2, for municipal approved plans.

  2. I would like to know, I know of relatives who build a Wendy Bigger than 10m2 x 10m2 next to the main house and as part of a outside building.
    Without any plans and the electricity was also done illegal to the big Wendy
    3 x Apartments( 1 x very big and 2 x rooms)

    1. Hi Jolien, thanks for the questions. There are a few issues with this. Firstly, even if you build a wendy house less than the prescribed floor area, under no circumstances is it allowed to be used for habitation of any kind. No one may sleep in it, eat in it, or conduct business in it. It is strictly reserved for storage, or perhaps a children’s play area. What your relatives have done is an unlawful extension of their building. Depending on the zoning of the property, a second dwelling on the property may also be unlawful. I highly recommend that they get an architectural professional to come and give advice on the way forward. With some luck, they may be able to submit a set of “As-Built” drawings, and if approved, the extension will be made legal. If not, there is a chance that it will need to be demolished. Only an architectural professional who has been on site and has all the facts can tell you the best way forward. Take care, CJ

  3. Hi good day my neighbour had 2 wendy houses about 6 /7 sqm one is for teenages to playloud music and party in and its completely over the 5m street building line and the other is a tool shed 800cm from my fence and the building line their is 3 m and they are fairly high structures with glass sliding doors.Is this allowed as i own both adjoining properties.I must build in the lines why not them.regards Glen

  4. Good day

    I would like advise on the following, I have build a Wendy house at the back of my house and the Wendy house is within 1.5-1.8m from any boundary wall. The wendy house also is also less then 10 square meters in size. However there is electricity in the wendy as i have freezers running in there and there is a valid COC for this. There is good ventilation etc. and a solid paving foundation underneath the Wendy. Would i need to submit anything to the local municipality?

    Kind regards

  5. Goodday
    I wonder if you can please advice me.
    I want to take my 3×3 m wendyhut apart and attached it to my “stoep”.
    Do I need building plans for it. There is paving that was with the house plans already but I’m not sure if I can build on that paving the Wendy attached to the house. I’m only using the structure of the Wendy no roof which I will make use of Poles.
    Is it possible or do I need to hand in a plan to the municipality.

  6. Good day,

    We live in a complex and the first step was to get approval to erect a storage shed from our body corporate. We got the go ahead with the 5m2 size recommendation. Do I have to go and submit my shed sketch to the city of Tshwane?
    On my quote to install a shed from a local supplier: the shed floor size is 1.8m x 2.7m with a flat roof design. The front roof height 3m and back height 2.8m. Is there any regulations to the height and the roof designs? We also requested a 1.2m x 2m door for wheelchair access. We have an odd space available to build the shed.

    Thank you in advance

  7. I know some people like myself also read all the comments. What I don’t get is most wendy house builders don’t even mention this to their clients.

    We only build up to 10m2 (for storage purposes) and when a client wants bigger I usually give them is info.

    They useally then change their mind and go with a 3×3.

    This makes sense in SA…

  8. Please can someone advise if there is any height restriction on the building of a raised wendyhouse on stilts (with additional platform)? If it is allowed do you need plans for it, especially if it overlooks neighbours’ properties? I am in Cape Town.

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