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Need plans for Minor Building Work?

Our office receives numerous enquiries about possible changes and planned additions to units. It is important to remember that in any sectional title complex and Home Owners Association – Art 21

Company (NPC), permission must first be obtained from that complex for any building work, additions or changes to the common property. Such work or changes, as well as obtaining permission must be according to the rules of that complex or institution. According to the National Building Regulations, the following is applicable:

Anything you build on your property requires plans, unless it is defined as “minor building work”.

The definition of “minor building work” in terms of the law:

a. The erection of:

1. Aviaries that are no bigger than 20 sqm;

2. Solid fuel stores ( for storing wood, coal, anthracite or similar), that are no more than 10 sqm in area and no higher than 2 meters.

3. Tool sheds that are smaller than 10 sqm;

4. Children’s playhouses that are no more than 5 sqm;

5. Cycle sheds no more than 5 sqm;

6. Greenhouses that are a maximum of 15 sqm;

7. Open-sided car, caravan or boat shelters or carports that do not exceed 40 sqm in size;

8. Any freestanding wall built with masonry, concrete, steel, aluminium or timber or any wire fence that does not exceed 1.8m in height at any point above ground level and does not retain soil;

9. Any pergola;

10. Private swimming pool (although most local authorities do insist on plans);

b. The replacement of a roof (or part of a roof) with the same or similar materials.

c. The conversion of a door into a window, or a window into a door, without increasing the width of the opening;

d. The making of an opening in a wall that doesn’t affect the structural safety of the building concerned;

e. The partitioning or enlarging of any room by the erection or demolition of an internal wall, as long as it doesn’t affect the structural safety of the building;

f. The section of any solar water heater not exceeding 6 sqm in area of any roof, or 12 sqm if the water heater is erected elsewhere;

g. The erection of any building that the local council doesn’t believe plans are necessary for. The Act states in Part A: General Principles and Requirements, that any such structural building work requires authorization by the local authority’s control officer before you can commence with any work. As long as you have made and application and have received the necessary permission from the local authority, you do not need plans!

Temporary Buildings:

Temporary buildings also need authorization by the local authority. This includes builder’s sheds, on-site toilets, and any other structure you might want to erect for a construction project.

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