How much does it cost to draw a house plan in South Africa?

Building your dream home is something many of us aim for. However, when the opportunity does come around one may realize that it is quite a financial commitment and that there are various financial aspects to consider. One of your first financial-related questions may be, how much does it cost to draw a house plan in South Africa?

According to the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the standard rates are based on a price per square meter when using a building cost of R12 500/m2. Therefore, getting your house plans drawn up can cost anywhere from R10 000 to R400 000, depending on the size and style of your home. 

Investing in quality house plans drawn up will help you manage your building project efficiently and minimize problems arising later on down the line. Therefore, it is important to have your house plans drawn up by a professional. This article will further discuss what goes into the cost of having plans for your house drawn up and what is included in house plan drawings and services.

How can I calculate the cost of building plans for a house?

The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) states that 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.

Registered professionals such as Architects or Architectural technologists may charge up to 3% (of the R12 500/m2) for acting as the Principal-Agent with JBCC (Joint Building Contracts Committee) building agreement. Therefore, Architects or Architectural firms will charge around 8% of the total building cost for complete services. 

This means that a fairly large 400m2 house costing R5 million to build will result in an architect’s fees of R400 000 for the house plans. As the average-sized house in South Africa is approximately 146m2, it would cost R1.825 million to build and the architectural fees would amount to R146 000. 

However, there may be additional charges above the suggested 8% of the total building cost that the registered professional may price. This may include things like modeling your house on software or the rendering of perspectives. Therefore, it is important to check with the registered professional what their services cover and your expectations before officially appointing them to the project.

What goes into the cost of your house plans?

The cost of your house plans includes the registered professional who acts as the Principal agent, executing a standard building contract (i.e. a JBCC), and as the professional who drafts the required drawings and documents. These building drawings include:

  • All plans, sections, elevations
  • SANS XA regulatory energy calculations
  • Window and door schedules
  • Specifications
  • Perspective drawings of the interior or exterior
  • Service coordination drawings

What if I don’t have a house plan drawn for a house?

Building a house without approved formal building plans or appointed registered professionals could result in a hefty fine, as well as a demolition order of your newly built house. In very rare cases you will be able to keep your house subject to the submission of “as-built” drawings of the structure by a registered professional. Therefore, it is very important to have formal building plans drawn by a registered professional before construction commences.

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