Author: Sukayna Bassier
Office or home renovating is an exciting experience because you are adding and making the space more suitable to your needs and desires. However, this experience can also be financially draining and extremely stressful, here are a few factors to take into consideration:
- Plan Approval
Almost any building activity within the area of the City of Cape requires building plan approval. In some instances; you are also required to consult an Architect or Draughtsperson to draw up your building plans for approval submission.
Office or Home Renovating That Require Building Plan Approval Before Commencement of Construction:
- Installation of a swimming pool
- Constructing a carport
- Putting up advertisement signs and structures, ie. Billboards and signage
- Change of use of an existing building, ie. Converting a garage into a habitual space, this is required even where you will not be doing any physical work/ construction
- Construction of any temporary structure ie. Wendy House
According to the City of Cape Town, these are some minor works that do not require approval:
- Installation of a braai without a chimney
- Installing/ automating vehicular gate – provided that that the gate will not be located partly on the pavement or council land
- Minor repairs to your property, including replacing roofing sheets/ tiles with substitutes or the replacement of floorboards
- The installation of a bath or toilet provided that the work does not involve any new or extended drainage and plumbing
It is important to contact your local Building Development Management district office to enquire whether your anticipated renovations require approval or not.
- If Your Building Is Older Than 60 Years Or A Provincial Heritage Site
The City will not be able process your application for any renovation if you do not possess a Record of Decision which is obtained from Heritage Western Cape.
- Title Deed Restrictions
You should examine your title deed to ensure that no restrictions have been registered against the property, ie. Restriction of building lines and additional dwellings. You can apply to have the restrictions lifted although this has to be done prior to submission of renovation plans.
- Permission from Body Corporate
You have to ensure that the body corporate of your Sectional Title has approved your plans before submitting it for City approval.
These are but a few tips to consider to ensure that your building experience is fully compliant. While most people are looking to save some cash and look for loopholes, this can have dire consequences should you wish to sell your house or when you pass it on to your heirs. You should also be cognisant of the fact that should you not follow the correct procedures, you could face a hefty penalty fine in the future from the municipality. Moreover, any changes to your property that you believe affect the structural value will need to be disclosed to your insurer, because no one wants to be under insured.