Modern house with pool

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hi Lantana, I am sorry to hear about this in you area. You must get all the people that you can get in your area to complain to the local building inspector. That is not right.

  2. The area I live in (Cruywagenpark) has become a place where building restrictions are ignored and nothing gets done about it, never once saw an inspector coming to check or anything… I remember when my dad built on our property the inspector came to check every so often…. now they do what they want.

  3. Dear Sirs, I am one of the Trustees at a complex in Mpumalanga, and the developers really cut costs when building the complexes. There are people who have so much mould that it looks like tar on their walls, there is paint coming off the walls, the walls of the units are cracking, and all the Developers say is that it is the Body Corporates problem , but why “we did not build the units” We have a problem now with security, we pay levies for but they put up a fence between the boundry walls, according to them that we can have a view of the river which runs outside the premises, but snakes are coming through from the river and there are children playing in the complex, their response was, “all the complexes have snakes”. Further more we pay levies for security, a fence is not security. Is there any way we can fight this as we are getting no positive feed back from the developers, or head office, they just reply with no care remarks. We have an Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening the 29th of February 2024, and I know it is short notice but I would like some ammunition, as they are going to attempt to cover themselves. Mould in 90% of the units, paint coming off walls, walls cracking, fence put up for view of “dirty” river etc. Thank you sooooooo much, your help will be appreciated.

  4. hi need some
    Need some advice my ceiling colapse .. Insurance says it is bad workmanship and inline with Sans building regulatios because it was fasten by nails not screw not screws Do you have clarity on this sans regulation
    Can you advise

  5. Hi Suzanne, Hard copies are only available from the SABS at a variable cost. I would rather you contact Sherwin at the Kleinmond Building Inspectors and ask for their assistance.

  6. Q1. I am struggling to find what constitutes an additional or second dwelling in Tshwane. Is it if there is a stove installed, or a kirchen sink? Where would I find confirmation of this? The 2nd dwelling would be part of the house with an interleading door. Q2. I have also seen that several sites state the the erection or demolition of interior walls (non load bearing) require building plans, however SANS regulations state (if I recall correctly) that only notification to council is required- is this a new amendment? Thank you.

  7. Good day,

    i have been advised about new development housing taking place around south jozi , its both rent to buy and straight buy. i wanna find out how does one verify if its legit and the houses are being built yet there are rumours that they are illegal. with whom can one double check before falling into the trap.

    first time buyer

  8. Hi, we are tenants in a block of flats.
    The block has only 1 lift, which is continuously breaking, at which point the lift doors slam shut and the lift freezes.
    I have been trapped inside more than once.
    The lift is dangerous, and poses a danger to the building occupants.
    Despite numerous requests to the landlord and body corporate the problem continues to occur.
    Is there a statutory body or local council where I can report the building and/or body corporate?

    Thanks for your advice.

  9. Unless you are getting a bank bond, there is no timeline.

  10. It will depend on height and size whether plans are required, but you should check with your local authority before you start.

  11. Your local authority. It is their responsibility.

  12. Keep complaining to the NHBRC. But I don’t think that the law insists on a snag list!

  13. Kashan Singh says:

    Hi Candice, FPASA has a course titled SANS 10400: Plan Appraisal. This course breaks down Parts A, T and W. We also offer an Advanced Fire Prevention course which breaks down further SANS codes which are applicable to fire/fire safety.

  14. Hi
    I would like to know what you must do if the developer does not want to do the snag list. i have filled a formal complain with NHBRC. They gave the developer 21 days to respond which he did not.

  15. Hi there,

    I would like to find out if there are any companies that provide training on the Building Regulations and Standards.

  16. Paul Fitz says:

    Based in Caoe Town, and have a small double storey duplex with no yard space on the sides and just enough space for 2 vehicles to park in the front driveway.
    Therefore the idea for a galvanized mild steel double space carport(4 mts wide x 7 mts long)
    Then to erect a pergola with a timber deck floor on top of the structure and enclose with a polycarbonate top.
    Finally to replace the upstairs bedroom window with a sliding door to exit onto the pergola area which will be on top of the carport.
    Technically al this is Minor Building Work,however I have a feeling the local municipality might not agree.

  17. Nicola Vosloo says:

    I put a deck up on my roof in order to grow vegetables, and the builder put railings up for safety. I asked permission from the one neighbout who I thought would be impacted and he said yes. However there are 4 other neighbours who now say they are impacted and say I must take the structure down, because I didn’t get their written permission. I am not sure what the law says and where to find this out. Am I in the wrong? Must I take it down, or just the railings, which makes it a structure. When on the roof one can see into their properties, but it has been designed to grow vegetables and there will be very little activity on the deck. I am in Parkhurst.

  18. Hi. I am not getting any joy with the local town planning / building inspector in Umtshezi (Estcourt) KZN. How or who do I contact at provincial level to get some action?

  19. Currently building double garage with a bedroom situated above it. The external walls of the bedroom above is 220mm or double brick skinned. These walls have to be 4.4m high. Is it safe to have these 4.4 m high walls in terms of stability.

  20. Eric Waterson says:


    I would like to know where can I find information on the standards and accuracy of brickwork.
    I am using an theodolite with a built-in distance meter to setout my houses but despite of this by the time the brick work is up there is sum slight differences in measurements, 10 to 20mm.

    Surely there must be and standard or law the governs the accuracy of building work.
    Some regulations that states allowable discrepancy’s, Is there something like that and where can I find it?

  21. I was told that there are different regulations governing building on a farm to building in town. Surely building a house on a farm must be subjected to the same laws, standards, regulations AND INSPECTIONS as houses build in town?

  22. Hi Janek I work for a company who supply cladding for buildings. I am curious (in simple terms) when is a non combustible material require for facade cladding vs a deemed combustible material? I see most if not all contractors install B1 cladding with no insulation. engineers say it onto a fire-rated wall (concrete structure) but there are windows and other weak points I foresee.

    I am also concerned that in SA I’m told that we clad to British standards but Britain has far better fire resecure infrastructure than us. Surely in SA we should only use A2 non-combustible cladding (in commercial applications). My fear is that we one day have a Grenfell fire situation.

    I would love to discuss this is more detail with you if possible?



    I want to purchase a tiny house , but where can i put it around Gauteng , no one can assist me with this what regulations are there for tiny house or container living ?

  24. Hi , i bought a house from a Developer 2015. And he recently requested to have his solar panel back (geyser) and it was never connected to the geyser at any point. Somehow the occupancy certificate was issued without the solar geyser. Where do i lay a complaint? Is it legal what he did?


  25. Must a service station with underground fuel storage be equipped with a hydrant? Is there legislation about this because the SANS 10400 is not too clear! OR is this regulated by local authorities regulations?

  26. Hi
    Form 1 notes that the Owner APPOINTS the Competent person. What happens when the work required, is an internal alteration to a shop, and the Owner is not involved, and the Competent person is be appointed by the Tenant?

  27. Mark Patterson says:

    Our new home (built by NHBRC builders) has massive fluctuations in temperature and we suspect the insulation is either sub-standard and not meeting required R-value requirement or incorrectly installed. How can this be assessed?

  28. Gasant Ebrahim says:

    Good Day

    Approval of building plans for a religious institution was given in September 1991. The institution has built various buildings in phases, whilst consulting with the municipality, since then without deviating from the plans, section and elevations. The society now wants to complete the final building also complying with the original approved building plans. The question is how long are buildings valid for ?

  29. My engineer cast a 600mm upstanding beam on a middle slab, on outer edge without cavity or damp course. This now creates damp on floor of first floor and ceiling of ground floor.
    Is this allowed and what can we do.


  30. What is the safety requirements of back door opening inwards or outwards in a residensill area?

  31. Good evening. Andre here. When building a commercial building, are various construction certificates required, such as slab, roof-height etc ?

  32. Zenobia Engelbrecht says:

    Can I place a container on a concrete built garage the garage have a concrete roof .

  33. Daryl Burt says:

    If a residential property has boundaries on two roads, can they build an entrance/driveway on both sides?

  34. Good Morning, if I want to build a house on a vacant stand do I need to do a Geotechnical Report?

  35. Hello

    I have a small walkway outside a sliding door which is quite narrow. If I want to extend this area a bit outward, do I need plans or council approval for this. The area is 1m off the ground and does have stairs leading to the ground. This including the stairs will move outward from the house about 1,5m.

  36. Charl Stringer says:

    Building plan approved which does not comply with NBR SANS 0400.
    Hello. I recently came across a situation of a family friend where the insurance company refused to pay for a building fault because the building plan which was approved by council which was then build in accordance with the plan did not comply with SANS 0400 regulations. My question is. If a building plan was it approved by the building inspector even though it did not comply with NBR SANS 0400. Does the approval override the need for SANS 0400 compliance? If NBR require that SANS 0400 form 1 & 2 be filled in and signed by a SACAP professional but it was not filled in and signed, , yet the application was still approved is the application then valid or can it be retracted after the fact?

  37. Good day
    I would like to find out, we want to close a back ‘stoep’ to make it a laundry room, but there is a drain and drain pipes, so we are now allowed to build there. I want to know, are we allowed to close the part (about 60cm) between the wall and the roof that is already there with another type of material, say maybe glass or something else? If we can maybe just extend the rain pipe? We will just leave the drain open, obviously.

  38. Les Brandon says:

    We want to extend our porch steel structured roof on two sides by approx 1.5m
    Thus making the entire roof 5.5m x 5m

  39. Hi

    I plan on building a SIP ( Structural Insulated Panels) – using OSB board and expanded foam.

    Is this type of building allowed in SA provided the regulations are followed as per NHBRC?

    will people get loans or these type of houses/structures etc.

    Thank for your assistance.

  40. Can I live in my caravan while I owner build

  41. Hi what regulations exist/should be adhered to for erecting a vibracrete house?

  42. Hi there,

    does the regulations make provision for guidelines on coastal steel structures subject to aggressive corrosive environment?


  43. Hi I have a neighbour that has built a log cabin about 1m away from our fence the log cabin is on stilts about 6ft high and they have a clear view of our bathroom window . They make a lot of noise and my dogs don’t stop barking because they can see them . Was he not supposed to get our permission before building it as it is affecting us ? Please help

  44. errol mclean says:

    can any one assist me with the regulation regarding gas usage and installation thereof in shopping centers on the Boleng NC area.

  45. Is there a regulation stating that all industrial catering equipment must be located 100mm away from the wall behind it

  46. Hi i would like to know what is the process if you want to build a natural house in a developing rural area, in Durban.


  47. Hi

    Please can you advise if I need to get a plan to bring my lounge sunken floor up in line with the rest of the house in Durban? At the moment its 15cm below.

  48. Hi Arabang
    For it to be classified as a carport you need to sides open and submit plans for approval. Pending on the size/Sam. If it’s under 25sqm, it can go through as a minor works, a little less hassle.

  49. Hi Penny
    That would depend on the nature of the works and zonning, for example a non habital room like a garage can be built on. Boundary.

  50. Hi Penny, Niel and everyone at SANS,

    I was hoping you can please help with me with some guidance on the below.

    I am in the process of having my plans examined by the examiners.. whet by they highligted that Regulations do not allow for an opening between the Main Dwelling (Front Room) into the new Garage, we would like to have built in out driveway on the side of my house.

    Now the Main dwelling has an existing Window installed and on my original approved plan when the house was orginially built 10 years ago, on our new plan we want to change the existing Window into a sliding door to lead into the garage on the side of my house (garage also new), the Sliding door will be the exact same size as the existing Window we wish to convert into a sliding door.

    Can you please tell me why this is not allowed and if it is allowed and what regulation prohibits this, as per the examinor, as I have seen many homes with doors from main dwelling into garage…. and I will also be getting previously approved plans with such as examples..I am in Cape Town, Western Cape, If not allowed, how can I dispute this and is their someone above the plans examiner that can over rule this decision,as I feel this is for my added security, to go from main dwelling, get into my car open garage door, than open drive way gate via automation and leave my property, so no thieves cant see me come as we stay in a very strange world and try do everything for security and would try have as less exposed entrances as possible.

    also my personal feeling, since it is my own house on my own bough property which I own and work for, dont see why the city is trying to enforce rules on what I can and cant do, even though I am trying my best to follow the legal route, the least they could do is comply as this is what I want and what I paid for…they now throwing their toys after I paid a large some of money for Scrutiny Fees upfront….

    Your Assistance will be much appreciated.


  51. Charles Basson says:

    can i build my netec 2 bedroom by myself in veldrif

  52. Good day. I would like to know if is it permitted by the building regulation to build a house’s interior walls with wood and exterior wall with building brick?

  53. Isaac Naicker says:

    Hi,My neighbours roof is on the boundary wall. My house is below road level and hers is on road level. We built our house about 2 years now so her house was built long ago. Her house is built from the bottom coming up so she has 2 tenant below and a garage attached to the house which has 2 window facing my side . My question, is it legal to build the garage half a meter of the boundry wall and tenant also use this half meter to enter to the house below. Please not that both side of house have half a meter and just one side which as access for the tenants. I’m from KwaZulu-Natal durban. Please let me no if this is legal.

  54. Sarah van Niekerk says:

    Good Morning,

    Please can someone show me to a link or form whereby I can see the requirements/process of what it takes to apply for new building materials to be SABS approved for commercial scale projects?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Many thanks

  55. Good afternoon

    Please confirm if an occupancy certificate is required for a converted shipping container, according to SANS 10087 which is being used as a refilling station and a storage facility for LPG not exceeding 500kg? The shipping container is 6 meters in length and is not placed or attached to any existing permanent structure, the container remains placed but not attached to the premises. The facility is only in use during office hours.

  56. Cecilia Fouche says:

    Good day.
    Just a question. If i buy a peace of land in a township like Hondeklipbaai.
    Must i build a house or can i just shed / afdak *in afrikaans) with posts and roofing and put a caravan under it. and close the hole thing up with netting. and burglar bars

    A toilet and shower under the roof that is closed up.
    then get the munisipality come and put in the sanitaion pipes and electrisity

  57. Hi. If n farmer erect a pack-house on his farm must there be plans signed off by the municipal authorities or is designer plans for his own purpose fine. What is the regulations saying and where in which clause or by-law will I find. Groblersdal area. Our client andI just want to know whether I must require. We follow legislation.

  58. Quintus van Zyl says:

    Good day

    I’m considering building a Tiny Home that is placed on a Double Axle trailer chasis. I’m strugglong to find out if I am allowed to place it on a plot and live in it permanently. Want is the laws concening that

  59. Hi There

    Do i need a plan to remove a small cement step and then tar an area to make a parking. Not putting a carport.
    May i need a plan for future adding a carport.


  60. I need to please understand if boundary walls in a complex Can be half a double wall and the rest a single wall.
    Also can the the wall be build half double and half single.
    I am assuming that the construction regulations apply for building of a boundary wall.

  61. Niel Schoeman says:

    Good day

    Are Shipping containers legal on a premises next to a house or do you need permission? I use it as a storage place.

    Thank you

  62. Kaye-leigh Brown says:

    Good Day

    A mosque has been built in our community and i don’t think anything was done properly for example getting it approved by the council now they are done and we cant do anything we have asked the city to intervene and give us proof but they have not been forthcoming. I would like to know the processes that should of been followed and how do i go about getting an inspector out to see if compliance was met.

  63. Hi Janek

    I had a former varsity mate modify the building plan for a house that I want to build. He did the modifications and I was happy with how everything looked and I paid him at this point. The intention was to get the drawings approved by the local municipality and I sent him the requirement’s once I got them. Since September 2019 I have been struggling to get him to get the drawings to comply to the municipal requirements. I have tried numerous times to speak to him to try and add the section views and the roof line that the municipality requires with no luck. At this point I can’t use the drawing as is. What legal steps can I take to get my money back or to get him to align the drawings with the requirements. He is a registered architect.

  64. Chanelle Retief says:

    Good Day

    We would like to buy a vacant land and put up a log cabin, does the company doing the log cabin be registered with the NHBRC? As we are going through the bank with the loan?

  65. Hi. We want to extend our home sometime this year. What are the laws with regards to light and ventilation for a lounge? Our dining room and lounge will be open plan with a stacking door in the dining room.

  66. Hi,

    I heard that there is a standard height for a loft
    Can you please provide information on how hig a loft must be, as I can’t see any thing specific.

    I’m looking into building a container home with a loft room.

  67. Hi
    Where can I find the versions of the building regulations. Specifically I am looking for the regulations pertaining to houses built in late 80’s early 90’s and more specifically for the requirements regarding supporting beams. thanks

  68. Hi can a neighbour build a cottage up against my boundary fence or is there a certain distance. Thank you

  69. Hi, please advise if it is stated in the SANS regulations that a IBR Chromadeck roof of any height must be grounded / earthed?

  70. Christian says:

    Hi. I messaged you on FB, but here goes. I want to build a timber deck on the riverside of my house. The deck will go over my building line, up to the wall. Height will be about 1100mm. Both my neighbors said they will sign to allow the deck. The Municipality told my architect that he is not going to sign, as it runs over a main sewerage line. I told him that the previous engineering civils head approve decks over the sewerage line, as long as it’s timber, than can be removed if there is a problem with the line. He said that he does not have to do the same. My question is, can I force them to give permission? Are there any regulations that addresses building over a sewerage line? I know other buildings have been erected in other towns but they had to cast the sewerage line in concrete… Can I take them to court and what is my chances of winning? They can’t approve for the one person, but refuse the next? Thanks for your time.

  71. Nomalungelo Beauty shongwe says:

    I would like to find out how does a company apply for the SANS Certificate are there any forms available online?

    Thank you in advanace

  72. Good day to you ,
    I am planning to start building on the West Coast (St Helena Bay) and with in mind is going through building tenders. I notice with interest that ALL of them require me to take responsibility and pay for the consumption of both the water and electricity that will be used during the building process. I have found out from those that have gone through the process already that the water and electricity abuse is rampant. Can you please give me some solid advise on how to manage this.
    Thank you

  73. Hi Janek, Ive been served with a notice by the local municipality under Building Regulations Act No.103 of 1977. The extensions to the building have already commenced.
    What would be the best action of recourse

  74. Hi. I want to erect a boundary wall. It will be higher than 2 metres, but inside my property, leaving the original wall on the actual boundary. It faces the exterior towards a main road, which poses a high security threat as we have had three break ins since we moved in, in October. Do I need to obtain building plans?

  75. Klaus Muller says:

    Good morning, what are requirement, building, re Retirement Village, if any
    Many thanks
    Klaus Muller
    Honeydew Manor

  76. Martin Weiss says:

    I am trying to find out if I need to get municipal permission to install a gate into an existing street boundary wall. I wish to build a car port on our property, and need to break out a section of the wall and install a gate. The existing wall is approx 2m high. The property is in Rondebosch, Cape Town. Any info would be appreciated.
    Trying to contact the municipality is incredibly time consuming and futile, and the online info I can find is not helping.

    Thanks in advance

  77. Hi,

    I am trying to find out about tiolet requirement on a farm which has a packhouse operation as well. Are you able to help me find out wha tthe number of toilets are per person that is required?

  78. Nontobeko Zondi says:

    Hi. I am planning on building a few single-story or loft apartments (Haven’t fully decided yet) in my village for renting, what is the correct procedure to follow? I would appreciate your responses. Thank you.

  79. Dear Penny
    I enroled a new house build with the NHBRC after the plans were approved through Rational Essessment. I received my enrolement certificate and commenced building aftrer the go ahead from the locla building inspector. i was at wall plate height when the NHBRC issues me with a work stop order as they say they made a mistake and i might have to throw the building down… how does one not commit murder in this situation… loss of income, loss of upset workers, etc…please advise

  80. Hi Good day

    We want to do renovations and do extensions to our previous plans,must a new plan be drawned up .
    Also how long does one get (time limit)for completion of all extensions and renovations.Is it a year or two or three years ,before plan expired


  81. Hi there, I am looking to convert a shipping container into a useful space for living and or working in Johannesburg. Dimensions H = 2.43m, W = 2.59m, L = 12.2m. Who would I need permission from for the plans?

  82. Hi, My son need to do a project for IGO about the requirements for a first aid room for two people and a kitchen that serves 50 people. Where will I find this info?

  83. Good evening,I’m looking to buy a vacant land for a project that I’m working on.

    The house will be building from shipping containers,what regulations is required and is it possible?

  84. Hi, Can I have 2 attached garages on either side of my house? I have a large plot at the back of my house that I want to build on. Thanks.

  85. Hi Penny, I would like to find out if I can convert my double garage and car port which is attaced to my garage into a Granny-flat? The garage has a walk-in door straight into my kitchen.Do I need permission to do this.

  86. There is an enormous telecommunication set up next to my property. When we bought the house twenty years ago, it was a spindly tower with three senders, now it is an Eifeltower-like structure with more than 20 senders/receivers. They recently added brackets even lower (just above roof-height), so we are expecting more senders/receivers. They also installed two container “buildings” in recent years, in which we suspect they house generators, judging from the constant hum coming from them. Of course, we are worried about the health implications of these microwave senders, but I know we will get nowhere complaining, and we do not have the funds to start an extended legal action. What I do want to know, is whether there are any regulations in terms of which they (at this stage Telkom, but I’ve heard they want to sell the property) can be forced to erect a wall between them and all the properties around them to at least hide their ugly industrial-looking compound, and to give us some privacy from the constant flow or workers.

  87. Hi there,

    My in-laws want to build a two bedroom “Wendy house” in our back yard. I am sure you will need building plans for that? And what about the water and electricity that needs to be supplied?

    I am sure you would need plans and approval by the municipality? And there would be cost involve as well?

    I have never dealt with this. Would you be able to advise?

    Look forward to hearing from you in due course.

  88. Hi there,

    Can someone sue me for not providing disability access in my store? And if so, what would the likely penalty be (e.g. a fine)?


  89. Hi please advice before the slap is put down i know i need to have termite poisoning done. Must it be done by a pest control co. Who must issue me a certificate and which companies have this authority in S. A. or can the builder throw down soil poison purchased from a building co and throw it down himself…in the presence of the building inspector. Thanks in advance Joan Mahomed

  90. Marius Calitz says:


    Is there a minimum height for a foundation wall? In other words the difference between the floor and the foundation. height.

    I have a sloping yard and want to build a garage that front s on the pavement.
    Ok, I have the approved plans. Now the floor of the garage is going to be higher than the pavement and we will have to build a ramp. Is there a limit to the slope of this ramp?

    Kind regards
    Marius Calitz

  91. Debbie Pieterse says:

    Good morning, I wish to build an earthbag cottage on my existing 3000m2 property, there is already a house on the property and my title deed has listed a partially built / broken down sandstone building which since has been dismantled due to safety reasons when I took transfer of the property. Would I need to submit new building plans or can I apply for addition to existing building or which would be the best option for this alternative building which will be approximately the same size as the original torn down building.

  92. Natasha Boucher says:

    Good day,

    We would like to build 3 new houses on our plot, currently, the plans, etc. are with GAP and the town council and they say the only thing we now require is an Engineering Service letter, which amounts to a fortune, our property is prepped for drainage, sewage, power, and water, no further roads are required. What is the standard fee we can be charged as we just received a quote for over R60k to confirm all of these to happen in a 4 week period, excluding other costs. Is this correct? Furthermore, the property has to be rezoned from agricultural to residential1. Is there a forum that can assist? The reason why I’m asking is we are not sure if we are being swindled or not as we have heard lots of stories in this regard

  93. Wayne smith says:

    i am planning to build a granny flat. My title deed says that i may not build another dwelling on my plot. This restriction has been in effect for 90 years. My property is 500 square meters in size. My house is 160 square meters in size Every second house in my neighborhood has a separate entrance. I live in Gleemoor Athlone Cape Town. How can i get the municipality/city to amend this restriction to allow me to build a granny flat. Secondly, i believe that their is a financial penalty that is levied if your separate entrance exceeds a certain size. What is the size restriction that would avoid this penalty?

  94. Hi

    I want to add an upstairs study room to my house. The roof is very high pitched and I will essentially be putting floors on top of my ceiling. Will I need plans for something like this?

    Thanks in advance.

  95. Can sell cluster houses without the SDP that show common property? The HOA dont exit.
    Biggest concern is title deeds are not the same. Certain houses must belong to HOA and some not.

  96. Fahiem Naidoo says:

    What is the ruling around using sliding doors for fire Escape and smoke control doors – the doors are 2.4 m wide – this give a gap of 1.2 m to exit.

  97. good day I bought a house with a 40sqm Wendy house am currently living in as I bought a house with unlawful occupies .I have received a letter from the building inspector to get plans for the Wendy house .second question is do I need plans for a Wendy shed that is 6sqm my local building plan office say it must be 5sqm

    thanks colleen

  98. Margaret Moodie says:

    Is it legal to have an extension to a house which encloses run-off drains? If not illegal, how easy would it be to move the drains outside the extension? (We are looking at the possibility of buying a house which has two drains inside an extension. We need to know before considering making an offer and before asking for plans.)
    In addition, there’s a bathroom with two windows – one into the garage and one into the said extension. Is that legal? Should a bathroom not have a window directly to the outside?
    I have tried to find it in the building regulations, but it’s not easy to track down an answer to this specific question. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

  99. I have a double storey 2 bedroom flat and a granny flat on the same property a 3 bedroom house in Horson Roodepoort. Having problem selling the property. All this was build in the 1990’s. Got all the necessary Certificates, did inspections, but now the council says there can’t be 2 properties AND a House on one stand. When it was build no one told me about that rule

  100. Hi ,

    What are the laws around rebuilding a house from a house that burnt down, roof gone some structures remain. The contractor sent from our insurance seem to be asking for alot of money for stuff but buying cheap materials.

  101. Can anyone please assist or direct me to relevant information about toxic Lead-based paint used by building contractors during indoor home renovations?
    What do SA’s Construction/Building laws allow and forbid in this regard?

  102. Hi There, will there be an update to the current 10400 XA calculations this year – roomers have it that min. R values for walls & roofs will go up by August 2019 and this will definitely influence costs. I can’t seem to find anything on the internet but some colleagues at my workplace mentioned it.

  103. Hi. I got a new carport built and only after it was completed someone told me I needed approval. What can I do now? It was very expensive and I don’t want to take it down. And I was also told that because it exceeds 40m2 I needed plans as well.

  104. All height restrictions 8500 mm

  105. Dean Moodley says:

    I have just purchased a new property and have taken occupancy. I want to secure my family and the property by fencing the boundary of my property either with precast, bricks or blocks. What is the maximum height and do I need to submit plans. Some contractors and officials say if its within a certain height between 1,5 to 2m plans are not necessary.

    Kindly advise further

  106. We have a retainingwall which was built in the 1980’s. It is on the plans, but we do not have an engineering certificate as we were told that back then it was not a requirement. Where do we stand with regards to insurance and this wall.

  107. We have a retaining wall around 18m long and about 1.5m high. This wall was built in the early 1980’s it is on our plans but no engineering certificate was given. Was this required in the early 1980’s for retaining walls.

  108. Hi Janek and Penny,

    I’m planning on buying a vacant stand and building an earthen home, using superadobe, cob, continuous earth bags etc. with fully off-grid solar and rain water harvesting solutions.

    I have a few concerns as it’s not a typical home build, especially in suburban and residential areas.

    What do I need in order to comply with legislation and building regulations?

    Any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards,

  109. Sandra Buckle says:

    Hi Janek,
    I bought a smallholding and there were already buildings on the property. The building were built well over 50 years ago. The buildings started off as a piggery and then they were converted into staff quarters. When I bought the property I fixed up the buildings to make them liveable for me. My intentions were to use the old buildings till I built my dream home on the property. I am now wanting to sell my smallholding but I have been informed that I need building plans for the buildings that I restored but did not build. Please can you advise me if I have to go through with getting plans for these buildings?
    Many thanks.
    Kindest regards,

  110. Does the National Building Regulations limit the height of load bearing construction (i.e. nothing higher than 3 storeys or 4 storeys) or can this be left to the engineer to determine based on the assessment of stability of the structure and capacity of the materials?

  111. Hi, I need to enlarge the door from the garage leading to the living area to allow access for a mobility device. I want to install a sliding door, but don’t know if there is regulations regarding doors leading from a garage to living area. The house is a free standing single story house. And if there is specifications for a door like this, who can assist with this

  112. Hello

    Please advise if Council can demand fire hydrants to be installed for a 7 room bed & breakfast and whether we need to have disabled facilities?


  113. Good day,

    Is it possible to get building regulation standards for building that was built in 1975. We currently doing refurbishments for Nurses Home building for a Hospital and would like to check if mechanical services od comply to the regulation when building was built in 1975.

  114. Hi, 25 years ago, my neighbor built an extension and a wall on the boundary, he asked us to contribute and the family declined due to financial situation so he continued. We built a Driveway next to his wall and use retaining blocks as there was a slope. Now he wants us to build wall. What do we make of this, do we now cut into the driveway and build this wall as he requested. PLease advise.

  115. Must the builder of the house be registered with the NBRC

  116. Wonderful website for Architecture

  117. Suzanne Gilmour says:

    4 March 2019

    Rules pertaining for a new owner builder to build a residential house in Betty’s Bay.
    Can I get them in a hard copy ?

  118. Hi Doreen, The NHBRC is only involved with NEW house building and not with any renovations or additions. Note that all renovations and additions must have approved plans from your local council before work begins.

  119. Hi there,

    Would a company constructing a new loft in a house (ie. a renovation, not building a house from scratch) be required to register with the NHBRC? I have searched for them on their website and nothing comes up.

    Thanks so much!

  120. Hi Vanessa, No ways! Of course yo will need plans and approval BEFORE building starts. Why don’t you ask the Nutec guys to supply you with a letter from council that gives your


    building on your erf an exemption from submitting plans. Do not get conned it might cost you dearly in future.

  121. We are thinking about building a nutec house in our backyard, for my in laws to live in. It will be in the region of 60m2. We stay in the Sinoville,Pretoria area.Will we require local authority permission and plans. The nutec house suppliers we have approached have all told us this is not needed. Is this definately the case?

  122. Hi Lyesha, Contact the building inspector for your area and ask them to come and inspect and see if it is illegal.

  123. Hi Neil, Once your plans are approved most councils (and banks) allow 12 months to complete the building. Extensions can be applied for if necessary.

  124. Just need to now what is the requirement if we wanted to build a log cabin at the coast. And do the bank allowe loan for this.

  125. The NHBRC manuals are a guide to good building practice. They basically mirror what SANS 10400 says in different detail SANS 10400 is law. NHBRC manuals are used to train people to be compliant. I think you are confused! And yes the manuals have recently been revised.

  126. Hi Arabang, Yes you do and you need to have plans approved before you start to build.

  127. Hi Willie, You must report this to your local municipal planning department and the inspectors must follow up.

  128. Hi
    Who can I contact regarding a building that was build without any building plans

  129. Hi , Do I need permission to built a carport (closed with wood panels on the sides)?

  130. VHO-MOSHABI says:


  131. Neil Rivalland says:

    I want to buy a vacant stand and build a house on it. How much time am I given to complete building the house on the stand?

    Thank you.

  132. Iyesha Parker says:

    Hi. Who to complain to about a new structure 1m gap on both sides. Building a window 2m above our dining area. Window 2m x 2m.

  133. Why is this needed if we have millions of wendy houses in peoples back yards? I mean look at the back yard dwellers and also this is no permanent fixture. Just asking 🙂

  134. As long as people have plans approved by council, and they are not asking for a deviation (e.g. to build closer to the boundary or against a boundary, or to go higher than allowed) then they don’t need neighbour’s consent.

  135. You might do, depending on the extent of it – height etc.

  136. Hi. Do you require permission and planning to build a kids jungle gym..


  137. Hi, who do we complain too about houses coming up in our area without them seeking permission from any of the neighbours about building the house?

  138. I am not aware of any training providers. I would be grateful if anyone out there can help.

  139. Good morning

    I am Mkhuseli looking for a training provider who will provide training on Building regulations standards and property management training for our employees .

    I want to do specification for training

    Your response will be much appreciated.

    Thank you

    Kind regards
    Mkhuseli Ntotho

  140. Hi Zolelwa, Only if your deck has a solid roof covering will you need plans, if it is just a deck then you will be OK.

  141. Hi

    Please advise if we want to do a deck input backyard extending from the back of the house . The height of the deck is 600cm. Do we need plans and council approval?

  142. No you can’t just convert one type of roof to another. You will need to consult with a roofing specialist to ascertain feasibility.

  143. Mark Twemlow says:


    I bought a house a year ago with a flat roof. I see now how much maintenance it is going to take and would like to convert to a single pitch. Can I not just cut back the sheeting and put trusses on top of the existing beams to convert? I have been warned it may be a fire risk. How can I find out if this idea is feasible without paying someone to draw up plans and submit, just to possibly get rejected…

  144. If you can prove it is a latent defect (i.e. that he knew about the cracks) you can hold him liable. You can try the route of getting an arbitrator to intervene, otherwise you will need a lawyer.

  145. All the regulations are general rather than specific.

  146. Ken Smith says:

    Hello Penny,
    We have a Commercial Office Building with two storeys.
    The Ground Floor has a Common Reception Lobby with hardwood slatted panelling against a plastered brick wall.
    Are there any specific rules relating to Fire for the panelling?

  147. I don’t know – maybe someone else does?

  148. Good day

    I bought a house two years back. Now there are cracks all over. The seller doesn’t want to take any responsibility. I mean it is clear that he knew about those cracks as there are even signs that they have worked/patched this cracks before. What is my recourse?

  149. You could try calling the council and asking if a building inspector can inspect. Otherwise you will have to pay an engineer or someone with a related qualification to inspect. Just be careful because unscrupulous people might try and con you into doing unnecessary maintenance work. Of course you could also contact your landlord and ask him/her to investigate.

  150. You cannot stop a neighbour from planting trees. You could however contact the owner and convey your concerns.

  151. All builders must be registered with the NHBRC and all homes must be enrolled with them. If you want to owner build and take responsibility for your own construction you need to apply for an exemption from the NHBRC. This will involve a multiple question test. They might allow you to do this now but also might fine you.

  152. You can contact us via Contact Us

  153. This is not an issue that concerns the building regulations. You probably don’t have a leg to stand on unless you had an agreement in writing that specified the ceiling would be fixed. That said, there may be other clauses in your lease agreement that cover you. For instance the lease may state (they usually do) what kind of repairs are the landlord’s responsibility. So start with your lease agreement.

  154. If the engineer is the competent person he/she would be doing inspections all the way through. The council is responsible for inspecting the site, then foundation trenches, roof and roof trusses, and plumbing. Their approval is required for the occupation certificate to be granted. However if the council says you must use and engineer, I presume they would accept an engineer’s approval.

  155. These are informal settlements that are not intended to be permanent – it’s a problem!

  156. There are no specific laws that I am aware of. If widening involves demolishing and/or building new walls, you will need approved plans.

  157. Maybe someone else can answer this question?

  158. Your extension will requires plans that must be approved by council. Neighbours will only have to give permission if you deviate from the regulations.

  159. The first question is are you allowed to sub-divide? Ascertain this first!

  160. You have to put a written complaint into council. You can also try calling law enforcement.

  161. As long as you have council approval it isn’t illegal at all. They would be the ones to be concerned because the house could be being used to house three or more families! Why do you think the bank is objecting?

  162. There are no specific safety regs for children in the NBR Russ.

  163. Hi Penny
    Are you aware of any safety regulations for first floor and above windows and doors regarding child safety?

  164. You need to contact the local authority – i.e. the municipality

  165. We don’t have members! Are you referring to the NHBRC? If so contact them please.

  166. This is a common problem. You may be able to hold the previous owner liable, but to do this you will probably need the assistance of an attorney.

  167. This is likely to qualify as minor building work, in which case you won’t need plans, but it’s best to check with the local authority.

  168. Because they are “informal” settlements. It’s a problem.

  169. Good Day Penny. Why does building regulations not apply in informal areas ? No plans are approved by the local authority. Near us in White River Mpumalanga a whole new nabourhood was build with no plans. Or even build using building regulations.

  170. Hi, Please advise if one needs municipal plans approved for an external concrete slab 100mm thick with tiled finish and an adjustable louvred awning over, similar to the Weathermaster type. Thank you.

  171. I have bought a house with 3 kitchens or kitchenettes and the bank says that I may not have more than 1 kitchen in my house but the municipality says nothing about the amount of kitchens or kitchen zinks – is this illegal

  172. Why are building Regulations not followed in townships ? All now fall under a municipality , if you build in town inspectors are there before you even start. I have spoken to people who build in the townships who do not even have plans or any inspections was done. When are inspections going to be carried out on houses build in townships or even when houses are being build illegally ?

  173. Good day, I bought a house 2years ago. Two weeks ago I received a notice to obtain written approval for the unauthorised building work which are my double garage and a carport. I bought the house as is, now I need to spend another R8000 just to get plans. Can you please help me

  174. Nana Motsoane says:

    Hi we asked one of your members to build a house for us. After the house was completed we were informed that we need to notify them with the things or items we were not satisfied with within 3 months and we have done that and nothing was done about those things.

    The house was handed over to us last year August (2015) the walls have cracked and the wall next to shower is licking.

  175. Hi

    I need guidance.

    We are busy with an addition. We have had the foundation and floor (damp proofing) inspections done by a
    municipal building inspector. This inspector indicated to us that he would do the roof, sewage and final inspection. He has since moved to a new area in the last couple of weeks. During the approval process the municipality never indicated any requirements for engineer involvement. When I reached the new inspector he now insists that they have not done roof inspections for years and he is referring me to an
    engineer to do so. According to information I can find municipal inspectors can do the inspections? This is a single storey residence property. Can anyone refer me to the specific regulation on who is required to do inspections (municipal inspector or engineer). Please advise so I can have the correct information when dealing with municipal officials?

  176. BRIAN HUGHES says:

    who do I complain to about noisy builders working on a Sunday in a residential area?

  177. Johan van der Merwe says:

    I want to sub-divide a piece of land into 3 separate pieces +- 410m2 each. Each will get his own house. Now my layman’s question is, does each house have to have its own entrance from the public road, or can I have one road going from the public road through to the back of my land, and each house’s entry road branches off from this “shared” road? This is in Potchefstroom just in case it makes a difference. Thanks

  178. Hi,

    We recently bought a place in Johannesburg, we want to extend by building extra room on the roof of the garage

    What are the steps to follow, should neighbors giver permission? Please advise


  179. if you had to use a reusable sorce of energy what would the most effitiant equipment to use

  180. hello

    i’d like to contact to you with e-mail.

    is it possible?

  181. Good day,

    I was wondering if you could help with an issue.

    In February we found a nice 2 bedroom house that we liked so we paid the deposit and on the day of signing the contract we were notified that there was a problem with the roof and it was leaking in the one corner. The landlord had someone come out to look at the roof, who them continued to tear apart a part of our ceiling in the living room area, on the day we had to move in… They left a hole in the ceiling until they could do something about the leak, which took about 2 months with a leaking roof now affecting half of our house – living room and main bedroom. After notifying the landlord that we are considering moving because the leak was getting out of hand she contacted the same people to try to fix the roof a second time, which turned into a worse leakage once again.

    Having now gone from having only a small leak, to a leak running from one side straight through to the other side, to having the entire front part of the house – living room and main bedroom – leaking from everywhere and having the water run through the kitchen to the back door. Again she got someone to ‘fix’ the roof which also just lead to even worse leakage that before….which lead to the ceiling collapsing in both the living room and the bedroom with us inside.

    We then came to the agreement to only pay half the rent seeing as we can only use half the house, which the landlord agreed to. Now it seems the leakage is fixed but we still don’t have a ceiling and the landlord is demanding full rent.

    We are very unhappy regarding this and would like to know if we have any foot to stand on regarding the ceiling matter.

  182. can anyone tell me where to get some information regarding the widening of a complex entrance and what the laws are?

  183. Good evening, we have a problem that residence build with out having their plans approved by the local authorities.
    Some of the residence was warned by the municipality without complying by the request. We did complained about the situation but without no success.

    can you assist me with contact details of the Building Authorities were we can forward our complain too.

    Appreciated your assistance.

  184. hi I live in a complex and want to enclose my verandah to match the existing there are already pillars and the foundation was designed for this purpose we will brick it up with three windows my question do I need to submit plans the BC will approve the request

    082 570 7392

  185. Thank you Janek. Understood.

  186. Hi Pieter, I have replied 🙂

  187. Hi Pieter, Sorry for the delay, we do the replies on a voluntary basis when we can. There are no regulations in the SANS but there will be standards of manufacture that must be set by the SABS. If installation is covered by them you will have to contact them and ask. See here:

  188. Good Morning. Any feedback from the moderators? Will appreciate.

  189. Who regulates the installation of burglar bars on residential properties? Are there any set standards available surrounding the construction thereof and specifically surrounding acceptable workmanship?

  190. i bought a stand for cash my brother is building the double storey house for me and he is not registered with nhbrc.i have a qualified engineer inspecting the house and municipality inspector and the architech who are currently inspecting the house.only today the person from nhbrc came to my property to stop the builder as he is not registered with them.i am bit confused ,is it a must for them to intefere in my property?i am just confused i need help

  191. Hi,
    We have been living on our property for 4 years, our Neighbour has always hired out his property.
    We recently got new tenants which have started to move in slowly, when I came home the other night I saw that they have planted a huge tree, (there are a couple more lying down to be planted)
    I can see this tree causing problems in the future, what are my rights as a home owner?

  192. Hi
    I’m renting a flat on the first floor of a rather old building. I’ve been renting for the last 6 years now. I have become concerned about the safety of this building the last couple of months as it feels if the floor is moving when one walks around. I wanted to know if old buildings like this needs to be or can be inspected for safety purposes? If so how does one go about doing that?

  193. What is the minimum qualification/s for a Building Control Officer

  194. All the information you need is on this website – or you can buy my book Owner Building in South Africa – which is available from all good bookshops. You need plans approved by your local authority – you need a competent person (read the article on this site) and if you don’t have the money, you need finance.

  195. Perhaps you should buy a copy of my book Owner Building in South Africa – it has all the information you need. You will find it at any good book store. You don’t need a certificate to be allowed to build. You need plans and you need a competent person to draw your plans. This person will guide you through the whole process and determine whether you need a soil inspection.

  196. This is governed by local zoning regulations and bylaws. Contact the municipality for information.

  197. I’m sorry I don’t understand the question!

  198. The National Building Regulations apply to all construction even on farms. You will need plans approved by the local authority in the area. They will tell you how many houses you can build. I presume if you built “labourers cottages” you could build quite a lot.

  199. Yes you can providing you adhere to all the relevant building regulations.

  200. Check your existing plans to see if the plumbing is on the plans. If you are incorporating a garage into living space you probably do need plans. Check with the local authority because they are the ones that can fine you.

  201. I agree with the fencing contractor – and if you are prepared to pay half, I’d be very surprised if the disagreed.

  202. No it is not true – it’s a fallacy! All building in SA is governed by exactly the same laws and regulations – farms are no different. It is just that people in rural areas tend to do their own thing and get away with it. But it doesn’t make it legal.

  203. The builder. But the competent person – whoever this is (it could be your architect or an engineer) – is expected to check that everything is done according to plan. Part A of the NBR details all this and has copies of the documents that should have been signed.

  204. Hi Silas, Sorry but we have a policy of not answering students questions and doing their research for them, this you will have to find out.

  205. Are there specific standards such as SANS or ISO in respect of container conversion accommodation and ablutions etc. I would specifically be interested to see what standards will be applied when containers are being stacked. I know that 5 levels has successfully been done in other countries.

  206. Please help me, I’m a student in this field. What are the 3 avenues by which a developer can comply with the requirements of the NBR in terms of NBR and Bldg std’s ?

  207. I was always wondering who is actually responsible for the setting out of the building? Is it the Architect or the Structural Engineer? On which plans should the building dimensions and coordinates be given?
    Does the code stipulates this responsibilities?

  208. Penny, is it not so that if a farm is a certain square metres then you don’t need plans?


  209. Hi,

    We bought our house in Umhlanga in 2008, which has a precast (Vibracrete) wall between us and our neighbours.

    When we bought our house, part of the precast wall was covered in a vigourous climber that completely hid about 10m of the wall and, as we were busy with renovations to the house, we only cut the creeper back about six months after taking occupation of our house, at which point we noticed that the wall was leaning over towards our side. The level of the ground on our neighbours side of the wall was (and still is) about 500mm higher than the level of the ground on our side of the wall. Furthermore, there is a growth of bamboo, wild bananas and various other large trees on the fence-line on our neighbours side which we are convinced is causing the fence to slowly fall over towards us.

    At the stage when we noticed the situation, we approached the neighbours and asked if they would cut back the trees and remove the soil lying up against the lower panels of the precast wall. They agreed to do so, however, a few months after our request, the sold their house and moved to another province.

    After giving our new neighbours a chance to settle in, we approached them with the same request and they quite happily trimmed the bamboo, bananas, trees and bushes back, but didn’t clear any soil from the wall. Plants also continue to grow and with last weekends heavy rain, the wall is leaning over even more.

    Yesterday (11 May 2015), I got a fencing contractor to come and quote to do repairs and his opinion was that the neighbours should be responsible for the damage.

    I would just like a second opinion on this before I discuss this with our neighbours. We are prepared to go 50/50 on the cost of the repairs, even if they are completely liable for the damage.

  210. Hi
    I want to build with facebrick and use a cement brick as a backing brick to keep cost down.

    Can I do that , and is there any requirements I need to adhere to ?

  211. Hi penny

    I have an outbuilding it has water and electricity a front door and a toilet there was two steel doors used as a garage on the one side..I want to convert this into a granny flat I will put a new roof on . Does anyone need to get involved?

  212. Hi.Seeing that property is so bloody expensive,myself and a few other people are condering to buy a farm and build our own houses on it.How many houses can you build and what are the regulations regarding building your own compound,if you will.Thank you

  213. Ntuthuzelo Tabasa says:

    Please kindly request you to note the mistake made on the 2nd line… that supposed to be written like this ” Safety preventative measures….”

    Hope you will note the correction on the above statement.

    Kind regards

  214. Ntuthuzelo Tabasa says:

    Good day,

    To whom it may concern please do assist.

    I need safety pregenerative measures that applicable when building foundation floor of the building single story, aand also with relevent ergonomics.

    Trust that this communique finds you well and hope to hear from you and answers will be anticurated. Thanks

    Kind regards

  215. Krish Manickum says:

    I live in Durban, KZN. how many meters must a double storey building be built from the boundary.
    Can I build a double storey building on my boundary with no windows on that side.

  216. Hi i just bought vacant land, unserviced in a suburb area. i want to build but my family tell me before i can go and talk to an architect i need to get inspectors to inspect my plot and give me certificate. Where do i get this inspector? Is the municipality doing the inspection? Do i need a soil inspector? Fumigation inspector?
    Thank you

  217. good day

    I am in need of some help / advise please.

    My fiancé and I are looking to build a granny flat / cabin on his mothers plot.

    what steps do I take?
    financing from the bank?

    Am basically clueless in this regard .. all I have is the plans for the cabin

    thanks in advance

  218. Hi. Janek and Modigati,

    I ma not sure if we are talking about the same thing, NHBRC manuals are no longer used for any site non compliance and supervision for site as from effect October 2015. There is on booklet that has been revised and is more of a reference book to the updated sans 10400.

    Please visit any NHBRC office for more information.

  219. Low-cost RDP housing projects are enrolled with the NHBRC, it has been legislated that all government houses needs to be registered.

  220. correction RDP projects must also be enrolled with the NHBRC by COGHSTA

  221. Antoine Hanzen says:

    Hello dear Penny and/or Janek,
    I’m looking for a version in PDF of the south African building Code.
    Could you send me a link or send me the building code by email ?
    Many thanks

  222. Hi Gert, Not so, ALL new buildings must be registered with the NHBRC. Even owner builders that apply for an exemption must register the build with them. Exceptions are the government low-cost RDP housing projects.

  223. Hi

    Was it always mandatory for a new building to be enrolled with the NHBRC. I was always under the impression that this was only the case for new buildings that was financed by a bank.

    Kind Regards


  224. Yes you do need approved plans before you start building. As this would be regarded as an extension you don’t need to enrol the structure with the NHBRC and so there is nothing to force you to use a registered builder. But you do need the involvement of a “competent person” and Council will check foundations, roof etc and give you a completion certificate.

  225. A solar geyser (water heater) is one of the options. In terms of hot water supply Requirements for water installations in buildings shall be in accordance with SANS 10252-1 (that governs installation) and SANS 10254 (2012) that governs geysers – “This standard applies to all water heaters that fall within the scope of SANS 151, including the storage tanks of solar water heaters that fall within the scope of SANS 1307, and the storage tanks for heat pump systems.” It details all the allowable options. But you’d be best off with a solar geyser.

  226. Hi Modigati, I am not aware of any new Building Regulations from 1st January 2016. Please give me more information about what regulations you are asking about and I will see if I can help you.

  227. I have had that a new building regulation will be in operational from the 1st of January 2016. If it is already in place, how can i access it?

    If it is already in place, will you please email it to me on the following email.


  228. Is a solar geyser mandatory or what if I’m building a new house and can I still go for a old conventional geyser.

  229. Hi Penny,

    I bought a house about a year ago and decided not to have a garage built as part of the purchase as the price asked for the garage was ridiculously high and I was planning on building one possibly in the near future and I was wondering if you could please give me some guidance:

    1. Do I need pre-approved plans before starting construction
    2. Do I need an architect and/or an engineer to be involved in the process
    3. Can the building work be done by myself or do I need to have a registered builder do the work

  230. The fact that there was a fence there previously is irrelevant. The title deed is what is important. And if the property has already been resurveyed, that’s where the new fence must go. End of story. Apologies it has taken so long to reply…

  231. You need plans for any freestanding wall over 1.8 m. And the garage also requires plans. So yes you can object and the local authority does have the power to make him demolish if need be.

  232. To the City of Johannesburg planning department.

  233. The best is to check with your local authority. You probably will need plans.

  234. SANS are only available from the SABS. You can buy online or from their offices.

  235. The local authority in charge of that area.

  236. Absolutely – otherwise he isn’t a builder. He certainly wouldn’t be accepted by the NHBRC and you must use an NHBRC registered builder.

  237. Sorry Darryl we don’t. It falls under, the Board of Agrément South Africa, a body that operates under the delegation of authority of the Minister of Public Works. And if you build using this or any other non-standarized product where there aren’t SANS that apply to them, you need an:
    “Agrément certificate
    certificate that confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non-standardized product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa”

  238. I agree with you Estie. Here is the only section from Part T of the building regulations: Fire Protection that I can find that relates to locking emergency fire exits in general.

    4.16.9 Every locking device fitted to an access door or escape door in any escape route shall be of a type approved by the local authority, provided that in any building where an electronic locking device is required for security purposes, such locking device shall be of a type which unlocks automatically when any of the fire detection equipment or electrical fire protection equipment of the building is activated or when there is no power to the locking device.
    NOTE Locking devices that are unacceptable include keys in break glass boxes. Locking devices that are acceptable should be capable of being operated in a single movement without the use of a key.

  239. Your conversion will require approved plans from the municipality, and these must be drawn up by a competent person. As far as carport structures are concerned, it is their size rather than the materials used that dictate whether or not you need plans. That said, the municipality can grant a waiver. See more here.

  240. Then you must contact a building company that can give you a quotation. Make sure they are registered with the NHBRC (and therefore operating legally).

  241. vuyisa maseti says:

    i need a kitchen small dinning room&a lounge with 3 bedrooms but i need to know the price first7 thank you

  242. We are busy buying a house and want to convert the single garage into a 2 bedroom granny flat, we will need to extend a bit. What is the process i need to go through. How do i start the process?

    Also i have heard that if you build a shade cloth car port you dont need plans to be passed but you do need for a steel roof ,is that correct?

    thank you

  243. Estie Kretschmer says:

    Good day, is an emergency fire exit, in the workplace, which is lockable with a key legal? The fire exit is locked at night time and over weekends.
    We have inquired from our security management and their response was: “Fire escape doors should always be locked and only be accessed when we experienced an emergency situation.
    In such a situation, staff can call any of the security rooms on xxxx and state the following: your name, department and office contact number; describe the incident to the security control operator – any injuries; get the name of the security control operator who in return will call for the necessary help required.”
    I understand the need to have restricted access, but a key-locked fire escape? Surely that cannot be legal? Rather something like an alarmed exit to restrict access, but to have to wait for someone to come with a key while the building is burning, is ludicrous.

  244. Hello Penny / Janek

    I have a question about new building products specifically the use of polystyrene blocks with concrete pour was walls. The literature in South Africa is rather sparse on the topic and I was wondering if you have any further information on the topic as it relates to relative pricing, available builders etc.


  245. Hi must the builder be able to install window and door frames as well as the doors?

  246. Dear Penny,

    Thank you for your answer a while ago.

    4 Months ago i bought a wooden house 100m2, two levels. Approved plans and structure was apparently correctly supervised and inspected, erected 10 years ago.

    When it is windy the complete house moves and when the wind is severe it feels like you are on a boat in the wild Atlantic.

    I decided to look at the building plans, 400 x 300 foundations are stipulated for all poles, there are about 30.

    Desperation and my wife not wanting to stay there anymore, made me remove the soil around one of the
    “main” poles and you won’t believe it: ABSOLUTELY NO FOUNDATION. Just poles stuck in the ground about 800 deep in clayish soil. When it rains, all is muddy, including around the poles.

    I have had a professional engineer onsite and will recieve a report soon.

    Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you and kind regards,


  247. There is a game farm in Limpopo area and the owner wants to build a Lodge on the farm
    If he get a architect to draw up the plans
    Who needs to approve it
    It is going to be eco friendly

    Thank you


  248. Hi,

    We want to add a Iron/louvre roof over our patio floor. What is the requirements? Do i need building plans for it? It is 3500×3640.

  249. I need a manual of SANS082 ,I think for timber frame construction.Does anyone know where can I get hold of it


  250. You will find all the info you need in the National Building Regulations. In addition, you need plans that must be drawn up by a competent person, and they will ensure that the deck is properly designed. You can only build once the plans have been approved by the local authority.

  251. If you are converting a room into a kitchen you will need plans. If not I don’t think you need any “approval” as such.

  252. I guess so Nick – though the regs do say you need to notify the municipality of your intention to build. The only other issue could be that the wall would create a “room” which would have a different function.

  253. There is no regulation at all. As the owner of the property it is up to you to decide who can use the pool. If there are existing lease agreements that allow tenants to use the pool you will though have to honour these. A pool areas BTW SHOULD be fenced!

  254. Yes you would need a plan – and it’s very unlikely that you would be allowed to do this.

  255. Strangely enough it is not mandatory to use an NHBRC builder for extensions – though it is usually advisable. In terms of building inspections, these must be done mby the municipality – so contact them.

  256. Yes you do – unless the municipality gives you a waiver.

  257. Sorry Greshan, this website focuses on the NBR. I suggest you contact a H&S consultant for advice.

  258. No it is not true. Your builder probably doesn’t know how to do this correctly… I have no idea of cost implications.

  259. I guess it depends exactly what your new business is doing. You’d have to register with CIPC as well. Maybe the Master Builders Association.

  260. All plans must be drawn by a competent person. The link explains exactly what the regs mean by “competent person.” You will see that you need a relevant qualification (which it seems you have) and you must be registered. The alternative would be to draw the plans yourself and get a qualified/registered person to sign them off for you. You could do the basic plans prior to buying the plot, but obviously site plans and so on would need to be done once you have the plot. You will also need to take levels into account – otherwise you will have to ensure that you buy a plot that is totally level.

  261. I we wane build a log house I have bean a draughtsman for 10 year but last 7 years strictly mechanical
    I am more than capable of drawing the correct planes but I am not qualified “civil” draughtsman, can I draw the planes myself and just have someone approve it? we are still looking for the perfect plot, So can I have the planes approved before we bought the property or would it be better to first get the property so that the location and direction could also be shown

  262. Francesca says:


    Besides NHBRC and CIDB do you know of any other regulatory boards within the property development industry that a start up company would have to be registered under in order to be fully compliant in south Africa?

  263. Hi,

    Im currently having my home built -For the roof , initially my builder said he builds his own trusses,however just last week he said by law you cannot build trusses- is this true?

    What cost implications am i looking at building trusses VS Bought Trusses- Please advise!

    I am in Cape Town

  264. Hi. I am in the process of starting a construction company (for home building) and currently trying to gain an understanding of all the required regulations. Ive done all the basics (register with NHBRC,SARS, etc). However in terms of health and safety, do you know what the requirements are? Do you need like a file on site? or is there a checklist etc somewhere?

  265. I want to build a carport in front of my house entrance, where/or whom do I need to submit my notice to? “local authority” here means City of Joburg? please really need your help.

  266. R Rodrigues says:

    Please could you advise on a neighbour who has built a 3 metre wall at their own cost (between the two properties to which we agreed but have no idea if this height complies with regulations) and has since rebuilt his garage and added a loft above the garage which will overlook into our property. Do we have any grounds to object to this especially since it may well have implications for anyone wanting to buy our property? Appreciate your advice.

  267. I want to build a wooden house in my backyard its within the building lines,wendy house tipe,do I need plans etc

  268. I have all the necessary building plan approvals for an extension on existing property in place, but after listening to some bad advice, failed to have the building inspections done. The building work has been completed (by NHBRC builder). I want to get this rectified. Any idea how?

  269. Shamiela Sauls says:

    Hi would like to know if I should have a plan if I want to close up my front yard with sheeting.

  270. Is it legal to build external stairs on or over the boundary lines???

  271. • 11 500 x 10 mpa standard size cement stock bricks length 220 mm width 110 mm and height 75 mm
    • 1 350 x 7 mpa cement building blocks length 390 mm width 190 mm and height 190 mm
    • 8 m3 19 mm crush stones
    • 8 m3 river sand
    • 120 x bags of high strenth cement
    • 24 running meters of 114 x 38 mm SA pine structural timber, SABS approved 5 mpa
    • 108 running meters of 75 mm x 50 mm SA pine strctural timber, SABS approved
    • 300 running meters of 38 mm x 38 mm SA pine structural timber, SABS approved
    • 114 running meters of 838 wide with 762 mm cover width 0.5 mm galvanised mild steel corrugated roof sheeting
    • 850 x flat double roman concrete roof tiles
    2 x 6 m2 loads of ready mix concrete

  272. Good day – we have a property with a number of houses on it which are rented. There is a pool on the property. What are the regulations regarding this type of situation and people using the pool. The area is large and cannot be fenced in.

  273. Dear Penny,

    We have a wooden log cabin that stands on poles about 2m high. Are we allowed to build walls of 1.8m underneath right around to make the poles less visible and hide the junk that we store underneath?

    My thinking is that if it is allowd to build a wall of 1.8m without plans around a property, why not underneath the cabin? (minor building work).

    Thanking you,


  274. Lisa Clarke says:

    Hi there

    could you please let me know the regulations around turning an existing portion of your house into a separate entranced granny flat with a kitchen, what approvals do you need as there is no new building as such?

    Many thanks

  275. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I would like to build a elevated wooden deck at my house which will hang over a steep slope in the garden.
    What building code should one follow to make sure i build the deck according to a certain standard.
    Im especially talking about the maximum span of the beams depending on the beam sizes, the loads to be taken into consideration, ect.

    Your help would be appreciated.

  276. Hi Peter, We had the same problem. We stay in Carletonville and we first spoke to the owner and he said we are harrasing him. Then we went to our Municipality and they gave them a notice and a copy of the building law (and to us). So this past Sunday they were putting up the roof and my husband told the builders that they can not build on a Saturday afternoon, and on Sundays and Public Holidays. He said that he is going to call the Police and the builder said that he is not scared of the police. we went to the Police and showed them the Municipality document and a few minutes later they arrived at the site. The Police DID stop them from building further and also Monday was a holiday and it was nice and quiet. We also have rights.

  277. Hi Andre, They have been around for a while, you can contact one of the companies that do this here: AA Containers. They can advise you how to do it.

    Where the problem comes in is with the banks and finance, here is an extract from a MoneyWeb story:

    The bank will also require written proof of the following:
    The cost benefit of the alternative building method measured against that of bricks and mortar;
    That all unconventional buildings systems will be constructed under the supervision of a professional structural engineer; and
    That all alternative structures will be covered by comprehensive homeowners insurance by all the major companies in South Africa.

  278. Hi Steffan, That is why the NHBRC has a comprehensive “snag list” process and if you missed this then they will not get involved, as you have found out. This will now become a legal matter where you might have to hire an attorney, this could become costly so you must weigh up the cost of the legal route against the cost of installing the insulation yourself at your cost.

  279. Hi Buks, Aaaah! The R104 runs from Mpumalanga to Rustenburg, more than 200Km. How do I guess what area your plot is in. Contact your local planning dept and ask them.

  280. Hi Theo, By law in SA any product that is used in the building industry must first be approved by Agrément SA before being taken to market. You can find out more here:

  281. Theo cilliers says:

    Tri 21 Panel Solution – Technical Benefits
    We are in process of joining hands with a Uk based company. There precast system has been commonly used worldwide; what makes our system special is that they use Fibresteel in lieu of rebar in the main body of the panel, with rebar embedded columns around the edges of the panels and any openings, such as windows, doors, etc.

    They can also pre stress each panel section, giving the panels added strength and enhancing their load-bearing properties.

    My question is where must I start to get such a system approved in south Africa whereby all banks would be willing and able to issue bonds with regards to the end product. If this system is as good as it promised to be it can have a huge effect in our low income housing solutions.

    Looking forward in hearing from you

  282. I live next to the R104 on a plot.How far from the boundary fence am i allowed to build?

  283. Deborah Watson says:

    Do you need plans if you want to build a steel structured 2 bed flat in your back yard in south africa

  284. Hi, i have bought a plot and want to build a container house, i have done research but in SA it seems its a bit new! Who can i contact to assist me in the steps i should follow!

  285. I discovered after living in our house for a year and a half that the developer did not install any insulation in our roof even though it is clearly stated on the approved plans. He is refusing to do anything about it and the NHBRC says the time period after occupation is too long for them to do anything about it. Do you have any advice on the best route to follow?

  286. Hi Peter, This is a major problem all over SA. You have to report them to the local authority. In Cape Town there are forms to fill in and they are obliged to take action, I am not sure about the other municipalities. This is not only a National Regulation but noise is covered in most by-laws of SA so the Police are also obliged take action. Good luck!

  287. We have theD Chinese developers building on our road and literally are building 24/7, the first thing you hear on Sunday at 6 in the morning is tools and steal dropping. Is there nothing we can do about that?

  288. There are two separate issues here – the water and electrical connections, and the laying in of services. You can apply to the local authority for the connections, but you need approved plans before the services can be laid in. A draughtsman or an architect can do the work, provided that person is qualified – see article on Competent Persons.

  289. As far as I know there can only be a CoCT sewer manhole on a private property if there is a servitude registered on the property. Are you sure this isn’t a manhole cover to the drains on your property? If it’s your manhole then you can get a registered to plumber to move it – but you’ll probably need to submit plans first. If it’s a CoCT manhole on a servitude, you won’t be able to move it. I suggest you contact the City and ask if a building inspector can visit your property to check.

  290. Our property has a COCT sewer manhole on it. We are planning on renovating and would like to move the manhole outside our boundary fence. Who pays for moving the manhole the City or the home owners?

  291. Good day

    We have purchased a piece of land in the Buffelsdrift area ( Pretoria North East) and we want to build a wooden house/ log home. The actual building takes 3 weeks to ‘build and set up’, but we now need to get approval from the the city for water and electricity, can you perhaps advise me on this process and do we need an architect or only a draftsman?

    Thank you!

  292. There are no regulations that relate to this issue. Unless there are local authority bylaws there isn’t much you can do. Maybe contact the Department of Education and raise the risk of asbestos.

  293. Parking and driveways etc fall under local authority bylaws and they will need permission from the local authority to do this. I would assume (not necessarily correctly) that neighbours’ consent would be needed. Contact your local authority as a matter of urgency and demand answers (in the nicest possible way).

  294. We don’t do building; we don’t test lighting; and we don’t do environmental surveys. We simply provide information that relates to the National Building Regulations.

  295. The City of Jhb has relaxed its bylaws regarding swimming pools and plans so the chances are you won’t need plans. But contact them directly to make sure. Here is some more info that might help you.

  296. As long as you are within the building line you should be okay. Have a look at the article on minor building work for more info.

  297. Lwazi Cindi says:

    Are there any regulations against the designing and construction of balconies that directly overlook onto neighbouring properties thereby compromising the privacy between neighbouring properties?

  298. stephen morris says:

    I want to level part of a sloping drive outside my house so I can have a braai and table and chairs on it. Can I cast a slab (8m by 4m) without planning permission, raising the lowest point by about a foot?
    Many thanks

  299. Hi I have a purchased a house in a secured complex, my private yard is on a mountain slope, however it is level. I would like to build a small simple square splash pool in the yard, I live in Johannesburg. Do I require plans? engineer certificate or any type pf approval other than my body corp?

  300. Hi, Which kind of building do you do ? do you test lightning at companies or not? do you do environmental surveys?

  301. Hi, 2 important questions…. I live in a residential area, a church that was 2 doors away bought the house behind us and now use some of the property for parking which means people park at the wire fence facing our back door and entire back yard. Is there rules of communication and approval that should have happened before they made the bought property public parking?

    Secondly they just bought the house next to us and I hear they want to run a driveway to exit their church down the new property, are ther rules to that as well? And if they do the new driveway and the road the exit leads from is so narrow that it cannot accommodate 2 way traffic, is there any ground to get council to intervene since it will cause a lot of traffic and a whole other issue.

    Appreciate any feedback

  302. Hi. Do I need to approval to make a carport in-front of my garage?

  303. What are the regulations regarding the removal of the ceiling in classrooms and passages in a school building during school hours. The reason for this is supposedly to inspect the roof beams before the removal of the asbestos on the roof. The entire process makes no sense to me. Please explain! Is it even legal to do this during school hours?

  304. Only if you are registered Chris.

  305. You need to check the regs for the complex.

  306. The current regulations are not retrospective. You would have to check what the bylaws were half a century ago. I note that you are writing from an insurance company.

  307. To access the bylaws contact the local authority directly. If your property has been damaged then they are liable to fix it. And if you have problems with it – appeal to the local authority for assistance. Sounds like what they have built is illegal anyway.

  308. WHAT! Which local authority is this? It must be a bylaw. Let me know and I’ll see what I can find out. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

  309. You need approved plans for all structures.
    Licenses will come from your local authority in terms of business requirements – i.e. where you can run a business – what parking etc you need.

  310. You need plans for all walls over 1,8 m. The local authority will determine whether an engineer’s certificate is required or not.

  311. Erik, first of all apologies for the late reply. We have had hundreds of people asking questions and it takes days to answer. There is nothing to stop you doing some of the work yourself. You can apply to the NHBRC for an exemption from registering your house – so that you can owner build, though you will still need a competent person to complete and submit the plans and officially take responsibility for the build. Alternatively you can come to an arrangement with an NHBRC-registered building contractor and agree (in writing as part of your contract) that you will do certain work – which will undoubtedly reduce your costs.

  312. I think you might need a certificate in terms of the new energy regs (e.g. XA) to prove what glass was used.

  313. Unless you can identify the original people who did the work, you will have to go to third party professionals. If you have the money you could also lay charges against the original builder. Also, if he was not registered with the NHBRC you can contact them and/or lay charges of fraud.

  314. 1. I think you mean 50-year flood line. While some local authorities allow building here, do you really want to take the risk of losing it. If you do, check that your insurance co will cover damage.
    2. If double walls are load-bearing you are definitely going to need approved plans to make these changes. And unfortunately we don’t do referrals.
    3. I guess you are right – the previous owner made illegal changes. And yes, when you do renovations you can update the plans to “as built”.

  315. It depends largely on height. But it’s up to the local authority to decide. Check with them.

  316. Apologies for the delay in responding. I do hope this has been resolved. Basically you need to complain to your local council, or you can take action in terms of the PAJA Act. Either way it can be retrospective.

  317. It all depends on the zoning regulations of your local authority Pete. Contact them and ask.

  318. All the usual building regulations apply to all structures – however where a “non-standardized product, material or component” is used, according to the NBR, you need an agrément certificate that confirms fitness-for-purpose of this non-standardized product, material or component, or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa which is a body that operates under the “delegation of authority” of the Minister of Public Works.

  319. Sorry Patrick we do not offer that kind of service.

  320. Yes Beni there are. You will find them in SANS 10400 Part F: Site Operations. Scroll down to the heading on this page to the subheading Control of Unreasonable Levels of Dust and Noise.

  321. What are the rules about the time of day you can have workers doing alterations?

    We live opposite a building site and they start 6am every day including Saturday and Sunday.

    Surely there are rules about this and especially on a weekend?

  322. If the wall was yours they cannot remove it without your permission. And if it is really “high” and “massive” they need approved plans from council. So contact your local authority.

  323. No – but there may be bylaws regarding elements within the kitchen that alter this. Your local authority will be able to advise (I hope)

  324. Do the plans specify a painted wall – or just a plastered wall?

  325. Shaun this will be covered by the zoning regulations of the local authority. It varies.

  326. It can be single brick (single-leaf). The specs are contained in Part K of SANS 10400 – Walls – under the subsection freestanding walls – i.e. walls without lateral support that are not retaining walls. There are tables in the regs that tell you how high the wall can be in relation to its thickness and whether piers are required. e.g. If the wall is 110 mm thick – a single brick laid end-to-end – then it can only be 1 m high; if you laid them long sides together, the wall would be at least 220 mm thick and you can build up to 1,8 m; if you use a unit that produces a 290 mm thick wall then it can be 2,2 m high. A 110 mm thick wall can be between 1,5 m and 1,9 m in height as long as the prerequisite piers are included.

  327. I answered this question – or one very like it – yesterday. Probably not, but check with the council to be sure.

  328. I think this falls under city or local authority bylaws. And you do have to start building within a certain period, plus I think you have a certain time to complete the build – though you can get an extension. Check with your local authority.

  329. Only a competent person who is trained and qualified and registered is allowed to draw plans. And only this person may submit the plans to council.

  330. Paul electricity is not covered in the National Building Regulations, which in any case doesn’t give this kind of detail. You may find this information in SANS 10142: The Wiring of Premises. And meter boxes are pretty standard in size, aren’t they?

  331. You can object, but whether this will get you anywhere is another story. Then there is the PAJA Act – this link will give you more info.

  332. This isn’t a National Building Regs issue, but it is one that hundreds of people write to us about. Once thing that is very clear is that working from your driveway IS trespassing. However, if they can’t cut the trees without accessing your driveway, you might have an even bigger problem. It isn’t clear whether the trees actually encroach on your property – or the council’s property (if the latter draw their attention to the fact). If the trees do encroach on your property, you can insist the neighbour removes them. This includes any roots that may have established themselves on your property as the trees have grown. He/she is within his rights to grow trees on his own property, even if they obstruct your view, block out sunlight etc. If it is genuinely a safety issue, then you could put him/her to terms in writing. If he ignores this your only recourse will probably be to get a lawyer to write and threaten legal action. Maybe put your complaints in writing, and then try to talk to the neighbours.

  333. Gideon you are right – you cannot simply build over a manhole cover. But you cannot build an extension without approved plans either. If you need to move the manhole, this will have to be included on your plans, and the local authority will decide whether or not this is feasible/allowable.

  334. Hi,

    I own a property with three manhole covers (not sure if it is storm or other). One is exactly where we planned an extension to the existing building.

    What are my options in terms of getting approval to build over/remove/move the manhole?

    As i understand one cannot simply build over the manhole?


  335. Johannesburg is, as far as I know, the only local authority that doesn’t require plans for swimming pools. If your contractor said you didn’t need plans this is fraud – contact him and demand he has plans drawn up at his costs and put in writing that you will hold him liable for any other damages. If there is a power line servitude, this will be on the title deeds.

  336. I don’t think so, but perhaps you should check with the council regarding what their bylaws require.

  337. Hi, i moved into a house 2 years ago and my neighbor planted evergreen trees, about 1.5m high and from the front wall to the pavement, between my driveway and his side. My problem is that the trees grow in such a way that they become bushy, pose a threat at night, block my right-hand side view when i reverse and they(him and the wife) have to stand on my driveway to maintain their trees. I tried talking to them and they do not see anything wrong with that and I feel they are trespassing and disturbing my peace.

    Please help

  338. Sounds to me that they are changing what is on the approved plans. Contact your local authority and ask how you can lodge an official objection. Or it may be sufficient to just let them know what is happening. You cannot simply block up external doors that are on the approved plans.

  339. Your local authority will be able to give you this information.

  340. It is not what we require Karl – we are just an information website. If you look at Part A of SANS 10400 you will see:
    “Agrément certificate
    certificate that confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non-standardized product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa”

  341. This is not covered by the National Building Regulations

  342. I don’t believe any of this is legislated. You meed to negotiate with the person you are buying from.

  343. All structures must comply with the National Building Regulations. In terms of a “wendy house” you would reference all the usual Parts – e.g. foundations, walls (specifically timber), roofs, ventilation etc. I don’t know anything about SANS 10082 I’m afraid.

  344. Francois, from what I can see in Part H of SANS 10400, Foundations, the height of foundation walls of a single storey house should not exceed 1,5m. Further, the height of fill beneath floor slabs should not exceed 1 m. However, it is possible that they were designed differently for a reason – by an engineer. This would be on the approved plans.

  345. Hi, what is the maximum height the foundations of a house are allowed to be above the ground in South Africa? We have a builder building next to us and the foundation is about 2 metres high.

  346. I would like to know where i coud get the specifications and regulations for the erection of a wendy house storage facility, reffering to the sans 10082 with regards to this dry storage facility.

  347. Using a fibreglass shell is one method of building a pool. Most local authorities require plans for ALL pool types, and there are standards that must be followed when building. I am not 100% sure, but I think the City of Johannesburg is the only local authority that doesn’t required plans for swimming pools. In any case, check with your local council.

  348. Have a look at our book Owner Building in South Africa – you will find some information there.

  349. You will definitely need plans for the bathroom; you may not need plans for the dry walling – that will depend on your local authority.

  350. Chris you should contact the local authority and discuss your concerns. If you don’t get any joy then let us know. Here’s a link that might also be useful.

  351. Building plans are required for ALL structures as described on this website. Only minor building work does NOT require plans. Furthermore, these plans must be approved by the local authority.

  352. There is no law governing this. You will need to come to an agreement with your neighbour.

  353. hi, I have an bank/slope on one side of my property, who is responsible to put up a boundary wall or is it 50-50 for my neighbour and I. Thanks

  354. Hi. I would like to know – if a vacant piece of land is bought, and a wooden cabin structure with a tile roof is erected to live in, are builing plans required to do so?

  355. Chris Grove says:


    Property next to me which belonged to the school has been sold and building is in progress. It seems like 5 single quarters but the contractor keeps saying it is a house. Why would he lie? What is he hiding? What avenues can I pursue to get answers as I feel this new building is going to impact on my living conditions, security and the value of my property.

  356. Hi,

    I have a double storey house the second floor is essentially 1 big room. I want to separate the room into 2 using dry walling and add a bathroom to use existing pipes from downstairs(running new pipes to join existing).

    Will I need to get plans drawn and approved to change the interior ? I will not be making any modifications to existing building or walls.

  357. Any financial advantage buying a newly completed house directly from a builder rather than making use of an estate agent. What are the pitfalls, if any?
    Thanks for your assistance

  358. Hi

    I recently purchased a property and appointed a contractor to finish the property he advised me to put in a pool which he said that he would give me a engineer report and that it did not need to be on a plan. I had an inspection from our atlee agency for the area that say there is a overhead power line servitude and I need a plan for the pool. What recourse do I have to get this corrected.

  359. I am interested in buying an undeveloped smallholding in the Somerset West area.

    What are the minimum requirements that the seller must ensure is in place before selling, eg. water point, electricity point up to the boundary etc.?

    There are municipal services available in the area.


  360. Hey I just want to know I dont want to build a pool but I want to put a fiberglass shell in the ground do I still need plans for the pool and must it get approved?

  361. Hi, we live in a complex. Do we need plans to put a wendy house in an enclosed courtyard, as a temporary domestic quarters? Large courtyard, so would take up less than half the courtyard.

  362. Hi

    We have a covered patio which is shown as such on our building plans. We want to enclose the patio by installing Aluminum stack doors. That is the only alterations that will be made. No alterations will be made to the structure of the existing walls just the installation of the stack doors.

    Do we need to get approval from Tshwane and must are plans be revised?

    Thank you for your assistance.


  363. Hi…
    Would you require any building permits for container homes? What is if any are the rules regarding container homes.

  364. What are the laws regarding CCTV cameras pointing inside a private property? Said property has now been sold but I am not sure if it includes the CCTV cameras.

    I have posted this question a few months ago but received no reply. Since my last post, I have discovered that a total of 9 cameras have been installed around the neighbours house of which at least two point directly into our property.

  365. Good day, my neighbour has purchased the next door house which is a single storey house and now wishes to make it a double storey house. The problem now is that this will obscure the view I have of the town from my bedroom window. Can I object on the basis that my view is now going to be obscured and that this will devalue my property. Please advise. I live in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal.

  366. Hi

    I am taking on the management of my building project, I am in the process of awarding separate contracts to the builder, Plumber, electrician and carpenter. Can you please let me know at what stages do I need to get the council building inspector out to site. Is there any advice you can offer.

    Many Thanks

  367. Are there size requirements and specs for meter boxes forming part of the boundary wall , for 3 phase electricity supply meters? If so where can I find them? For a Bryanston property.

  368. Hi Morne, Site densities are not covered by the Building Regulations but rather by the Zoning Bye-laws for the area that the plot is situated in. You will have to contact the Planning department of the Council for the area and ask them what is OK.

  369. Hi Wendy, apologies for the delay with this reply. I suggest that you contact the Council planning department for Langebaan and report this. Contact the inspector in Malmesbury, he will know who can do something for you in that area, his name and number: Michael Jacobs 022 487 9400

  370. Hi Jay, What many people do is change the way a building was approved and after the build then put in “as built” rider plans. You might hit a snag when the inspector comes to inspect your foundation trenches before the concrete is placed. Point out to him that it does not encroach any building lines and you will submit new plans at the completion of the house.

  371. Hi

    I have approved plans and im ready to build. I now would like to move my dwelling from 3 meters to 4 meters away from the boundary walls. Can I do this as it is moving away from the wall and not towards the wall.
    Or do i need to submit amended plans ? This would just delay the building another 3 to 4 months.

  372. I need to obtain clearance certificates for foundations,slab and roof for a improvements recently done in a house. The house is in Boksburg in Atlasville. Names of possible service providers and associated estimates would be appreciated.

  373. I would like to put up a carport at home. Do I need a plan?

  374. Hi…My mother has recently moved into a small house with a back door and front door. Burglars broke the back security gate lock and bashed the wooden door for entry. The owners of the house have now decided to remove the door and brick it up completely. Now there is only a front door so she must walk around the house to get to the back yard. Surely this cannot be legal ? (fire hazard)and if not, who can be contacted for the regulation please? Many thanks

  375. Good day

    Im looking at purchasing a plot of 975 sqm, and would like to build x4 120sqm townhouses. Is this possible according to regulations? Who should i contact to get confirmation?


  376. Hi Abrlour, It all depends what the sale agreement with the seller says. If the geyser was defective when the sale was made and the two parties agree who will pay to fix it then this should have been written into the agreement. If it is a latent defect and the seller was aware of the defect at the time of the sale then the buyer will have to prove that the seller was aware of the defect and concealed this fact when the sale was made. This may not be that easy. The estate agent must be challenged as they then did not do a proper job when they inspected the property before putting it up for sale. You could approach the Estate Agency Board for advice. This is a civil matter and the costs of litigation could be more than the cost of fitting a new geyser.

  377. Hi

    Does a geyser leaking into a wall have to be fixed by the seller of a property?


  378. Greg de Bruyn says:

    Are there any regulations or policies covering shipping containers as building components for houses?

  379. if i want to build farmworker dwellings on a piece of my farm. what is my restrictions in terms of rezoning and how many houses can i put up for my farmworkers without having to rezone?

  380. Hi All,

    If I design a residential/commercial property by myself and draw my own plans, am I required to have the plans ‘stamped’ by a registered architect, or can I submit directly to the council for approval?

  381. Hi Penny

    We have a covered patio which is shown as such on our building plans. We want to enclose the patio by installing Aluminum stack doors. That is the only alterations that will be made. No alterations will be made to the structure of the existing walls just the installation of the stack doors.

    Do we need to get approval from Tshwane and must are plans be revised?

    Thank you for your assistance.


  382. Hi when building plans are approved is there a certain date that you have to start building and or does the plan expired.


  383. Christopher says:

    Can a boundary wall be a single brick wall or does it have to be a double brick wall ?

  384. Janek, Penny,

    I intend to purchase a smallholding 6-8 Ha. I also intend to build a house more suited to my family needs, requirement and taste. Is there a maximum limitation on the building size (square meter under roof) on a smallholding?



  385. Vicki Constant says:

    We recently built a garage on our boundry with approved plans am I responsible for painting the neighbours side of the wall

  386. hi

    the previous owner of my property, signed a notarial deed to share our servitude and the neighbours. the nieghbours are now erecting a complex and plan to put a gate at the bottom of the servitude.
    as per the notarial deed, they require my permission to perform any construction within the servitude. i have objected to any construction, however i see that they are starting to build a wall.

    who can i take this up with

  387. Does a kitchen have to have a door leading to outside?

  388. Wendy Wilson says:

    We live in Langebaan in a quiet residential area, in a single family dwelling. The house next door to us, also a single family dwelling, has recently been sold and is being rented out to up to 10 unrelated young people living in the main house, the domestic quarters and a Granny flat. The owners do not live there. When we wanted to build an extension on our house in 2011 we had to sign an affidavit to the effect that this room would not be rented out and be used only as a home office before they would approve the plans. Are they allowed to rent the house out to this number of people and who could we talk to in this regard? Thanks

  389. H Mangray says:

    I live in a complex & the adjacent complex is putting up building without our permission. Is this allowed?

  390. Willem, I have replied to your other email that you sent. To repeat, all municipalities are different so the scrutiny and approval fees will be different unless you live in Johannesburg then please just read the post here:

  391. Is it true that if you build a swimming pool you must pay R3000 to get your swimming pool drawing approved by you’re local municipality?

  392. I am not sure what might have lapsed. If a boundary is in the wrong place you need a land surveyor to redo the measurements and then rectify the situation. Unless there are changes to the title deeds nothing can have lapsed – especially if it is just a fence that needs to be moved.

  393. You should have had the plans signed off by council, and it would be up to them to call for additional certificates if required. I’m sure you could get the same engineer to give you additional certificates, but the point is who needs or wants them?

  394. You can apply to the NHBRC to owner build, in which case you can get an exemption and you won’t have to register with them. They do a multi-choice exam that you will need to pass. But you will need a competent person to oversee the build.

  395. No idea … ask the local authority, they should know.

  396. Check your lease agreement in terms of liability. Then consider getting legal advice.

  397. The law that relates to registration with the NHBRC does not apply to extensions and additions.

  398. SANS 10400-A (2010) The application of the National Building Regulations Part A: General principles and requirements
    “B.11 Alterations and additions to existing buildings
    Although in general the National Building Regulations are not retroactive in application, a problem might arise when alterations or additions are carried out on buildings that have been erected in compliance with earlier building by-laws.
    In the case of an addition it might be possible to treat the new portion as an entirely separate part which can be designed to comply with the National Building Regulations without having any effect on the original portion of the building. In the case of an alteration, this will seldom be so and it therefore becomes necessary to ask to what extent that part of the building which is not to be altered should comply with the National Building Regulations. This might be particularly pertinent in the application of fire regulations where escape route requirements, for instance, tend to be more stringent.
    It is obvious that a pragmatic and essentially practical approach is necessary. In terms of the functional regulations every attempt shall be made to ensure the safety and health of the occupants of the building, but this should be within the context of what might be practical and economically sound in an old building. If an owner or entrepreneur cannot alter a building to suit his purpose at a cost which will enable him to have a reasonable economic return, he will probably not alter the building at all. This could lead to the perpetuation of a situation which might be dangerous but one which is in compliance with old by-laws and is thus perfectly legal. Such a situation could often be considerably improved by making certain changes that are practical and economically sound even though they would not provide the same standard as would be expected in a new building.
    Both the owner and the local authority will have to consider what they are trying to achieve with the Regulations and the answer should be tempered by the knowledge of what is reasonable and practical to require of an existing building.”

  399. The National Building Regulations are exactly the same for you, me and churches. There should have been an approved plan and the church have been built according to this plan. Often local authorities turn a blind eye to construction work in rural areas.

  400. This has nothing to do with the National Building Regulations, but why shouldn’t you be allowed to?

  401. It depends entirely on the contract you have with your contractor.

  402. Never ever pay in full for building work until it is complete. The only recourse you would have in terms of a leaking pool would be if the contractor was a member of the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI). All you can do now is go to a lawyer and take action through the courts.

  403. This is not an NBR issue, but it shouldn’t make any difference to his rates at all. The issue is whether the council will have any objection to you running a business from home. Generally you can do so as long as you don’t have members of the public visiting the business premises because then parking because an issue.

  404. He can dig trenches but he needs plans to build – and the trenches need to be checked against the plans before the concrete is placed in the trenches.

  405. Can a builder dig trenches without passed plans

  406. Hi I’m renting on a property and have a small business which I have permission from my landlords to run,I wanted to find out if I have advertisements put up regarding my business,will this affect my landlords rates in anyway,will they be fined by the municipality?

  407. Stephanie says:

    Who do I complain to if a contractor has been fully paid to build a swimming pool- but has disappeared prior to finishing. Before finishing with the pool, the builder realized that the pool is leaking- he no longer responds to our telephone calls and email messages. He has also been paid for a pool cover which he has not fitted.

  408. Hi

    After a contractor has contractor has completed a house, how long is the warranty period and what should the warranty entail?

  409. Anel Nell says:

    Good day I want to find out, if you have a shop in a mall can you carry in your goods through a fire escape route?

  410. You should get legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in Sectional title properties. Essentially you will only own the building and all the land surrounding the house/s is common ground and you may use and get special rights to use certain areas, such as a fenced off garden area for your use, by agreement with the other title holders. For any renovations and additions at a later stage you will first have to get the ok from the HOA and the neighbours before any plans can be submitted for approval. There is an article here that you might find interesting: top-tips-for-sectional-title-buyers

  411. Under the Prescription Act a buyer has 3 years from the date of becoming aware of the “latent defect” to claim from the seller. The “voetstoets” clause does not cover the seller in this case. The CPA (Consumer Protection Act) does not cover a once off sale from a seller to a buyer unless the seller is in the business selling houses. Here the estate agent should be cited as they are in the selling business but most of them will hide behind the fact that they never asked the seller if their plans were up to date.

  412. Hi

    How long can the previous owner be held accountable for structures that were not included on the set of plans submitted to and approved by council?


  413. Hi,
    I am considering purchasing a property, but because these are a shared plot (one plot divided in two for two “townhouses”) So the developer tells us that it doesnt usually lead to issues, im a liuttle confused tho, as it is a sectional title how will this affect my property?. he says that it will be a “two house complex” thus meaning the two owners form the body corp… how does this affect me future extension plans? and any other decisions for my property?
    Please help, im totally clueless.

  414. This sounds as though there are too many illegal dwellings on one property and this is not allowed. You must contact your local council planning department and report this to the inspectors, they might want this in writing.

  415. Hello
    I have three neighbours fro there surrounding homes who are building corrugated shacks up against my boundary vibacrete wall without gaining permission from me.
    Would you kindly advise please.
    Many thanks and regards.
    Shirley x

  416. My church has constructed a steel structure with a roof. what must a church do to meet construction regulations? A church is in a village. The structure was constructed by exprience, unqualified personnel.

  417. All buildings on all properties are governed by Law to submit plans and that they be built to SANS standards.

  418. Hi,

    Does the building regulations (SANS) apply on farm buildings as well? A lot of farmers build their own sheds and so. Must that comply with regulations since it is not really in the municipal boundaries?


    kind regards

  419. In response to your answer ‘council might want you to retrofit the house to comply with the new regulations. They are not allowed to do this’ – is there any way I can prove this??? I bought a house 2 years ago and part of the sale agreement was that the owners would have ‘as built’ plans drawn as the approved plans on file date back to 1965 and do not include certain additions. We have just got the new plans approved, but council wants us to retrofit the garage (built in 1965) to comply with new regulations. What are my options?

  420. This is an area of great concern to us here and we want to try and address this with the Estate Agency Board and look in the future to get legislation passed to fix this loophole. Please read our recent post here: house-without-approved-plans

  421. Hi,

    I purchased a house 4 months ago. I recently contacted the previous owner & asked for a copy of the plans as he added on an entertainment area onto the house.
    He says no plans were drawn up as this would have increased the value of the house & rates & taxes.
    Should the banks have picked this up before issuing the loan?
    Can the previous owner be held liable for not disclosing this in the contract?
    What can I do now?

  422. M Govender says:

    Hi, I plan to build a outbuilding (2bedroon) I would like to know what’s the process if I want to
    take this project on without a certified builder. The inspector passing the final building.

  423. I am a degreed Mechanical Engineer, with sound theoretical background and huge interest on steel structures, I fully understand the codes and their interpretation. Am I qualified to design, fabricate and erect steel structures in South Africa.


  424. Good day our new neighbour removed a section of the shared boundary wall between our properties and erected a high wall and a massive structure extending from the entrance wall to their house. Is this allowed and do they require permission?

  425. We have a great problem with molf at the flat we are renting.we have been complaining since last year and my kids are in out of hopsital on a monthly almost weekly basis.I have decided to have the repairs done myself as the owner and managing agents are not responding to the matter urgently.The doctors have cobfirmed that the mold is one of the main reasons we are always sick.I have alot of hospital bills and the repairs will cost quite a bit as there cracks in walls the paint is starting to peel off and they did not bother to fix the vent in our bathroom and the ceiling in completely covered in mold.

    have stopped paying the rent as my medcal bills are almost as high as the rent and bow the repairs.

    Really love living here and my neighbours are really great as well I dont think the owner will give back my deposit if I wanna move so we not in a place to do so.

    The contractor has agreed to take part payments.what are my rights as I feel its a violation.The health inspector validated my claims in hopes that they will come forward but nothing

  426. It depends who is the rightful owner of the wall. If the wall is totally on his property then he can add to the height so long as the wall stays under the height allowed in the local by-laws. If it is over this then he will need planning permission and possibly neighbours consent. You will have to check this with the local council about height restrictions for your area. As for cutting the trees that are on your side of the wall, this is NOT allowed and this is not building regulations but common SA Law. You can write him a letter asking for an explanation and follow up with a lawyers letter. Any branches that were over the boundary on to his side he is entitled to trim.

  427. It all depends on the extent of the additions and how close to the boundaries you intend building. Each suburb in Johannesburg has its own zoning regulations that say what is allowed without neighbours permission. You will have to contact your local council planning department and give them your address and ask them what the by-laws say for your area.

  428. Hi.

    We have a clothing business and are expanding nationally,we do have our own team of shopfitters,tilers and ceiling and drywalling contractors that work for our company.

    We are now required by some of our Landlords to have the business registered for building and maintenance as they are corporate companies like Old Mutual,Liberty and the like…

    please advise which regulatory body should we register with to comply with these corporates?

    Kind Regards.

    Usamah Mahomed

  429. Hi.
    I’m working in UK as a qualified bricklayer, I’m also a qualified electrician and solar panel installer, I also have a few other courses under my belt. I’ve got approved plans for a site I have back home and want to build the house myself, Do I have to be a registered?

  430. HI Janek,

    We in the process of selling and while we stayed here we did a number of renovations including building on a guest room and raising the roof in the lounge. Everything is on plan and these plans were signed off by an engineer. The draftsman has subsequently mentioned that for selling we will need to get a foundation certificate, roof certificate and engineer completion certificate. So my question is can I get these all from the same engineer who signed off on the plans?



  431. a Friend of mine bought a vacant piece of land in town, then found out that the boundaries is incorrect. the fence will have to be moved out into another erf. Now there is a disoute with the owners/managers of the other erf and they say that apparently my friend can’t claim because the claim lapsed/prescribed. Is that true?

  432. Das Villoen says:

    In terms of the Building Regulations and SABS0400 on a factory premises, how many persons per toilet at such a premises?
    We have 62 women on site with 7 ladies toilets.
    Is that sufficient?

  433. You should just do the changes and then submit a rider plan to the council with the “as built” changes.

  434. You will have to get an architect or a “competent person” (draftsman/person) that is registered with the SAIA (South African Institute of Architects), SACAP (SA Council for the Architectural Profession) or other qualified body to draw up an “as built” set of plans for the council and have them submitted. You may shop around and get a few quotes for this. You will also have to pay the set down council fees for having the plans scrutinised and approved. An inspector will want to visit the property and see that the plans submitted are the same as is existing on site. Just be aware that the council might want you to retrofit the house to comply with the new regulations. They are not allowed to do this. BTW the plans were more than likely submitted and approved at the time but as has happened recently plans in some councils have gone missing or been misfiled or destroyed and they take no responsibility for this 🙁

  435. Good morning

    I hope you will be able to help me with this. I inherited a house from my grandfather, the house is not that old, its about 25 years old but it looks like the plans was never approved by city council.
    Is there a way I can get someone to inspect the house and approve my plans or what options do I have?

    Kind regards

  436. Contact the local municipality planning department and request that they send a building inspector out.

  437. Boreholes are not covered in the National Building Regulations but, because this is such an important resource for South Africa, by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The situation you describe sounds totally illegal. You will be able to get all the info you need here: Groundwater/Documents You can report this to your local building inspector as well.

  438. It sounds as if you have a legal servitude registered in your property deeds that allow for a sewage pipe to cross your property. If this is so then you are not allowed to build within the limits set. The estate agent or transferring attorney should have pointed this out to you. You can apply for a waiver to build within the 16 meter limits. If they grant you permission then you might have to encase the pipe in concrete around the section that you want to build on.

  439. A carport must be open on 3 sides otherwise it is a garage according to the regulations so then yes you will need to submit plans.

  440. Without inspecting the property it is very difficult to give some proper advice on this one but they are entitled to ask you to demolish. But you can consult with them and find out what they require to make it legal without demolishing it. You can get permission to build over sewage lines, see our post here: blocked-drains of a house that had a blocked drain under the garage floor addition over a drain. As the pipe was not encased in concrete it got squashed and kept getting blocked. The best is to get an architect and he will know the regulations and can negotiate with the council on your behalf.

  441. You will need plans because you are changing the code of use of the area from a garage to a room that people will live in. Each municipality in SA have their own time-line in scrutinising and approving plans so we can’t say. You can have two stoves but you will need a qualified and registered electrician to install wiring and new circuit breakers for the new stove and he will give you a COC so that the council can issue you with an occupation certificate. Keep this on file as you will need it if you decide to sell at a later stage.

  442. Yes there is, they call it the density that you may build on an erf. Each municipality has its own zoning plan for each suburb and there is no single answer. Call the local council planning departmemnt give them the erf number and address and they should be able to tell you what percent of the property can be built on.

  443. I have a question, my husband and I have permission to build on his inlaws land, is there a certain size that the house has to be. The existing house is very very small therefore the excess land?



  444. The competent person that you appoint has to supply the inspector with the A19 and included in that is the rational design of the roof Part-L and the Agrement for the materials used these you will get from the truss supplier.

  445. There weren’t any. Before 1986, the Provinces and Municipalities all had their own regulations even though they were similar they were different to varying degrees throughout the country. The National Building Regulations & Building Standards Act 103 OF 1977 was published and in 1986 the National Building Regulations were promulgated.

  446. There is no indication if you are on a small-holding, a farm or just a large property in town. You have to contact your local council planning department and find out what the local by-laws are for this as this is not a National Regulations matter. You will most certainly need plans.

  447. You can report this to your local council, the contact number in your area is 021 684 4369

  448. So long as there are no inspection joins then you will have to encase the pipe in concrete then you can build on top. You will need to get plans approved for the granny flat anyway so you can ask your planning department before you do final plans what their requirements are.

  449. So long as the materials used in the building are have an Agrement certificate and the building complies with all the SANS 10400 standards and the by-laws are adhered to. You will have to submit plans and then the council should approve your “Granny Flat”.

  450. Hi Sushen, I apologise for the delay in replying, we are snowed under after our move and being offline waiting for our line to be transferred. Any house built before 1977 is not subject to supplying a Certificate of Occupation and it is not retrospective. It is not compulsory to have one for a building built prior to 1977. Any alterations done to the building after this date will then be subject to the new act and will have to comply. The certificate should be issued relevant to the new alterations but some municipalities might want upgrades done to certain aspects of the building, such as a new electric DB, as a safety measure before the certificate will be issued. Some banks, through lack of knowledge of the law will demand an Occupation Certificate for any/all buildings. Please go to our Downloads Page and you can download NATIONAL_BUILD_REG_BUILD_STAND_ACT_103_as_Amended.pdf for your records. The section that you need is Article 14. I hope this helps.

  451. Hi, Please assist me with this.

  452. Hello.

    I am looking for a copy of the NBR which was active in 1969-1971. Do you know where I could possibly find one?

    Thank you, Regards

  453. Hi,

    I want to by trusses from someone for my new extensition, when the inspector comes to sign over the occupation must i have a A19 for the roof trusses with tiles.

  454. This sounds like a legal matter that we are not really qualified to answer. But if you use common sense here, then the owner should benefit as the cost of the foundation (including materials and labour) are not needed and so should be credited back to the owner out of the quote.

  455. You do not say what you want to put in place of the window so I can’t really answer your question fully.

  456. The regulations for this will be covered by the local by-laws and not the National Regulations. Check with your local council planning department what they require. But common sense says that a tower the size of the Brixton tower will need plans but a 2-3 meter high mast might only need neighbours consent.

  457. This sounds as though they are in total contravention of the Building Regulations specifically SANS 10400-Part K, retaining walls can be a danger to the public and must be designed by a “competent person” in the field and be approved by council. Read the article here: retaining-walls

  458. This is out of the league of the SANS10400 and I suggest that before you contact an architect ask you local town planning department for assistance as they will have all that type of information on hand.

  459. Hi

    I am designing on electrical for land development and I only have town plan design, how do I determine the total load of the whole area if I don’t have architectural design yet.?

  460. The NHBRC has specific procedures in place for situations such as this, just go to this page: and get the complaints form and submit it.

  461. Permission for temporary structures is normally granted for the duration of the building process and this is usually a maximum of one year from plan approval. After this an application for a time extension can be applied for.

  462. Most of the GR Cabins are for human habitation so they must have plans approved before construction starts.The smaller garden sheds/storerooms will, most times, in most municipalities not require plans but some will want a letter stating that you are erecting a shed/storeroom. Read more here minor-building-work.

  463. HI,

    I have a question with regards to the retrospectively of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 1977 (Act No. 103 of 1977) and in particular with regard to Occupational Certificates.

    Do you require a Occupational Certificate for a building constructed prior to 1977, in that as far as I am aware legislation does not have retrospective effect when they are enacted unless this is specifically made provision for?

    Then, if the act does not apply retrospectively, to what extent must alterations be done to a building constructed prior to 1977 to make it compulsory for a Occupational Certificate to be issued?

    In responding to the above, I would appreciate if you could refer me to the relevant sections of the Act that deal with this and case law if possible.

    Thank you

  464. Just to elaborate I am aware this structure would be considered temporary/movable and I will require permission from the council to commence building. What is generally the maximum period which authorization of the temporary structure is granted for?

  465. Hi,

    I would like to have a small free standing cabin like GR Cabins put up in my garden supported on cinder blocks. Would I need to submit plans for this?

  466. fransisca says:

    hi Im struggling to find a house I can afford in the area I want to live. do you think buying a plot and building a house would be a better option?

  467. Hi Sunil, Yes I am sure that you can do extensions to your out building BUT you will need to draw up plans by a competent person and submit them to council and get them approved before you start building. You should also check if the foundations of the outbuilding will be strong enough to carry the extra weight of a second storey.

  468. Eileen French says:

    When a purchaser purchased a certain property where there had been a dispute about the actual boundary, a surveyor resurveyed and all parties concerned agreed with where the pegs were placed.
    However, a long standing fence was not removed and a new fence built.
    Now the new owner wants to erect a wall where the old fence stands and claims that the fact that it has stood for years gives him the right to possess the land on his side of the fence that is actually part of the adjoining property. Said fence was put up many years before either owner purchased their properties.
    Please could you give an opinion about this?

  469. Sunil Budhram says:

    Good day sir /madam

    I live in durban, phoenix. I would like to enquire is it possible for me to do an extension on an existing outbuilding? it is a free standing building. I would like to extend it in a vertical direction. Please can u assist with this. Your help will be highly appreciated.

  470. Hi we have started. Our granny flat and lounge is to small and would like to swop bed to lounge would mean knocking one internal wall and inside and building up a doorway inside do I need to submit more plans builders have no time to wait kind regard E .Lombard

  471. Hi Marizaan, This sounds like a totally illegal structure. Go directly to your local council planning department and lay a complaint immediately

      in writing

    giving them the address and any other information that you can. You can ask them to keep your name anonymous if you are worried. If you do not get any help from them please read our article on the PAJA and download and submit those forms.

  472. Hi Wynand, It sounds as if you have started renovations already without getting permission, this could get you into trouble. The grading that you mention is that possibly Grade III B? I have uploaded “Heritage-grading Guide & Policy” on our download-regulations page for you to look at for reference. It would appear that the City of Capetown is now the one that can deal with local heritage buildings read more here:

  473. Hi Angel, You will need planning permission for the containers and plans will have to be drawn up and submitted. The architect or drafts person will specify if concrete foundations are needed.

  474. H UV, You will have to employ a “competent person”, ie. a registered architect or draftsperson, to draw up the plans and then submit them to your local council planning department.

  475. Hi Paul, Unfortunately he is right that the materials used and the changes from a “solid brick wall” to one that has columns and palasaides built in changes what was approved by council so rider plans will have to be submitted. You could contact the council inspector and ask if they would consider a waiver on this. The ownership then becomes a legal matter and you would have to draw up a legal agreement that would have to be approved and passed by the HOA at the later stage.

  476. Paul Collins says:

    I am currently building a house in a development of 20 clusters. The complex will form a HOA at a later stage as the development is not yet complete. I am having a discussion with the developer regarding the perimeter wall of the complex and if it would be possible to modify it to create a better view. Currently it is planned to be a 3m high solid brick wall. We have requested him to install brick columns with a partial wall with 2m high palisade inserts instead. The cost would be covered by us. The height of the columns and palisade would remain at the 3m level. He is claiming that the site development plan would have to be updated and that change cannot be made.

    Firstly who would ultimately own the wall once built? Is it the HOA or the owner of the portion that it is built on?
    Secondly what planning permission would we need to get for the modification done?

    We have consent of the neighbors already.


    Regards Paul

  477. Hi Shane, This sounds like a utility on a public servitude and should show on the site plans of your house as such. I am not sure if you can have this removed.

  478. Hi Mike, This really sounds suspect from what you tell us. If you get the erf numbers of the properties then go to your local municipality planning department and ask them if plans for alterations and building on the site was ever submitted and approved. This is serious and you can lay a complaint with the local municipality. If you do not get any help you can approach PAJA see our article here:

  479. Mike Bain Venn says:

    Hi ,I have a few queries
    1 ) I live in Bedworth Park Vereeniging ,in one of the first houses built in the suburb back in 1977.The stands are nice and big average 5000m2.
    2 ) The Potch NW university vaal campus as well as the Vaal technicon campus border on Bedworth Park , so the Suburb has become a student Mecca with loud music and all night parties.So every house that is sold is turned into a digs.this would be fine if 5or six kids moved into these houses,but these houses have internal alterations and additional rooms added so that the average house now houses 12 kids
    Do the new owners have to subbmit drawings for municipal approval for these alterations.If so how long would this process take .the house next door was recently sold and within days there were builders on site busy with internal and major external additions .Can the existing infrastructure cope with regard to sewer and water reticulation.
    3 ) The vacant stand opposite me now has a double story 24 room house nearing completion,the whole stand is house, surley these plans could never have been approved,
    4 ) Do the owners of these digs properties have to declare this student rental as income or remuneration
    on there IRP5 to SARS every year because 12 X R2500 per month some R360000 per year

  480. Hi. i recently purchased a semi attached property. on the left hand side of my house is a Hugh power box which has my power meter and 4 other neighbours meters there as well. is this legal? what can i do to have it removed?

  481. how or can you get a house plans for extends that have been build without any plans?

  482. Hi

    I’m planning to build a home with shipping containers do you know if it needs a concrete base(foundation) and if that’s the case will I need to get an inspector to check it.

  483. Good day,

    I am hoping you can assist me. We have a property in Kenilworth which we are doing substantial renovations to.
    The front of the house will remain the same however the renovations will extend through to the back area of the house. Our situation is the property is classified as a grade B heritage building. We would like to know what the process is and how long it wold take to submit plans for this project please?( Would the local heritage offices(Plumstead) need to pass the plans first or could we go direct to council?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  484. Hi there

    I would just like to find out if there is any laws on this, our new neighbours built a house in less than six months. They put up a wendy house against the vibercreatwall seperating us. The wendy house is basically a fully functional home, with pipe lines and electricity. Our brick paving next to the wendy house is now starting to break and fall in ward. Is this something to consult someone with?

  485. Hi Penny,
    Our neighbour is subletting his property to build shacks. the shacks are constructed against the boundary wall between ours and their property. is there someway we can stop him from doing this? thanks

  486. Hi, i would like to build a house and have approached the manucipality about the issue. The saurage pipes pass right across the middle of the yard behind the existing property i bought. Now there is an enormous space left in the yard on the other side of the inspection eye (IE), but when i submitted the building plans they mention that i should abide to a 16meter servitude rule something even thou its inside my yard. Im struggling to get my plans approved to build a property within the other side part of my yard. Does the servitude thing apply even thou its inside my yard and im not building on top of pipe? How can i deal with this problem to get my property build on that space as its legally mine showing from yard planning from their offices?

  487. michael brett says:

    Please tell me when or if a law was post that a townhouse complex must have fire walls.
    If a town house built over 50 years ago does not have fire walls is it compliant with building regulations.
    Many thanks

  488. We are thinking of building a kitchen and bathroom in our double garage and removing the garage door and closing it up putting in windows and a normal door what plans need to be approved how long does it take and are there any regulations on having two stoves in a home

  489. Hi there

    I stay in a complex where the garage area originally had a single carport and a door that enters into the garage. From what I have heard if there are 3 walls it’s considered a garage the problem we have is that the single carport was replaced with a double carport and this extends to the house. The one side of the carport is open as it is slightly higher than the wall that separates me from my neighbor. When this was erected we were advised no plans are required we have recently done an inspection this being 11 years later and we were informed this is an illegal structure due to the sewage lines running through the garage. Do we tear down the structure leaving us open to the elements. Do we shorten the roof of the garage creating the required ventilation. I am in the process of approaching an architect that will be used to do plans for the entire complex as I am not the only one but would also like to have some information on the matter.


  490. Morning

    What regulations would have to be followed with drilling a borehole on municipal property and then making a business out of selling the underground water in bottles.

  491. I want to know a carport if i close it with netec board to convert it in a room do i need plans for it.

  492. Good day…we have converted our garage into a playroom and builded our garage forward. With other words, you walk from the playroom into the garage. The playroom doesn’t have any windows, but a skylight. Our kitchen is on the other side of the house. We are now thinking of maybe moving the kitchen to the playroom, which is next to the inside braai room who’s got windows. So you’ve got your playroom and out of the playroom you walk into the garage on the one side and to the braairoom on the other side.
    What is the regulations to convert a different room into a kitchen. Do you need plans?

  493. Hi We are extending on our house and adding a second dwelling – Granny flat, we where just told by City Planning that a new regulation has come in to play with second dwellings, we will have to pay R17000.00 for engineering cost or something… I can not find anything on this new regulation, can you please help

  494. I want to build a wedding venue barn , made all out of wood , i have the space to build it but need to know if building plans are needed and what licences and certificates is needed for me to start a wedding venue.

    The venue will be located in Pretoria – Kameeldrift west area.
    Please email me on
    Thanks a million

  495. Hi

    Do you need a enigneers certificate for a vibricrete fence of 2.4m high?

  496. Tim Morris says:

    Building Construction Site-Excessive Dust
    What are the regulations with regards to dust pollution on a building site? Are there basic requirements for a builder to make sure dust pollution is controlled (i.e. shade cloth on building site perimeter fence/provide light watering of site regularly to settle dust?) If there are regulations and guidelines in place and builder is not adhering to these regulations, is there a governing body that you can report this to?

  497. Hi there

    I would like to know, my neighbours Lapa is build right next to the boundary wall (grass roof actually hanging over the wall), this structure damaged the top part of my wall, and the neighbour refuse to fix it, as it was done, before we bought the property. The structure really does not look appealing, and with the wall falling apart, it’s a real eyesore, and it is on the front of my property so everyone can see it, or climb over the wall into my property, as the neighbour’s front wall is low, and can easily be jumped. The person living behind this person also have a afdak type of structure build right on to the boundary wall. Could you please advice where I can get information regarding the municipal by-laws, and how I can get the neighbours to fix this?

  498. Hi

    I would like to know if it is allowed to do certain jobs yourself to reduce building costs. lets say digging the foundation level and leveling the floor surface etc.? I want to build a small house on a plot in Bloemfontein. May I build the whole house on my own or do I need n building contractor for certain jobs?


  499. Hi, am I require by law to have a glazing certificate?

  500. Hi , I’d like to built a deck in my yard in durban are there any regulations or permits required to build a wooden deck.

  501. Hi
    We are in a terrible situation where our builder had finished our new home but has abandoned the contract with the last 5 percent owing to him. The problem is now that the building inspector won’t issue an occupancy certificate without the required certs…. Something we will never be able to get from the original builder (people who did electricity, plumbing etc). it’s a bit of a pickle!

    Can we and are we allowed to get 3rd party electricians and plumbers to verify the works and issue the certificates? It’s hard to find contractors who are willing to do it!

  502. Hi there … I have a question regarding boundary walls. Can my neighbour just extent (build it upwards without me knowing) ?

    Secondly, he trimmed trees and I saw branches that was growing upwards, not going past his section, was also cut down

    What is my rights ?

  503. Mike Glass says:

    Hi Penny

    Please can you help with buiding regulations regarding retaining walls? we live in a complex in Benoni, Gauteng, having one side of the complex bordering onto an open peice of land, which has now been devolped into a complex aswell. The gound slopes quite significantly towards our complex and the developer has levelled off the ground using our boundary wall as a retainer wall, the soil has been pushed up against the wall by about 800 cm, interlocking paving has been laid on their side and there is sufficient fall to allow storm water to run off towards the street side. altouhgh the paving does not slope away from our boudary wall either, which could also lead to seeping damp.

    This is apparently illegal .as a seperate retainiong wall should have been build (apporved with plans) and damp proofing laid between the two walls. Am i correct in assuming this. Please can you give me a regulation of some sort that deals with this, in order for me to take the matter further.



  504. Hi There,

    I am wanting to erect a lattice mast in my residential property, it is for my local community watch where we use wireless to connect cameras around the neighborhood to a central monitoring system. There is no internet access provided on these links. What are the laws, requirements and limitations of putting up this mast?


  505. Hello.

    Do you need your neighbor’s consent to extend your house?
    (Property is in Johannesburg)

  506. Stefan van Deventer says:

    Hey guys

    I have a question or 2,

    I want to build a “granny flat’, but I have found out that the area I want to build is on top of a sewerage pipe, what does the regulation say about that?

    And then What is the closest I can build to the wall that devides the yard with the nextdoor neighbour?

  507. You need a agrement certificate that specifies what it is you are building.
    “Agrément certificate
    certificate that confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non-standardized product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa”

  508. John the municipal bylaws are generally in line with the National Building Regulations that specify when site operations are allowed. If you click on the link I have given you and scroll down to Control of Unreasonable Levels of Dust and Noise you will see that your contractor is correct.

  509. john Morgan says:

    I am having a house built and the contractor has quoted to work Mondays to Saturdays from 8am to 5pm. Is it legal to work on Saturdays until 5pm?
    My Contractor assures me the the municipal by laws allow work to be carried out until 5pm on Saturdays

  510. Hi I just recently went up the carport roof to check what is causing the flooding in my carport. I saw that my neighbour’s roof is overlapping on top of my roof and he did not install a gutter instead using my one. Water is pouring into my yard when it’s raining. Am staying in Mitchell’s plain Cape town how do I go about reporting this matter to the council and is there a person I can call to assist with this matter?

  511. Good day. I want to build horse stables on my property. So I would like to know what I must do and what is the steps that I need to follow? What people do I need to go and see and who can I speak to about it.

    Thank you
    Mario Nel

  512. Brett Hughes says:

    hi was wondering if anyone could help me out.wanting to build a container home on the lower south coast kzn . where In south Africa are we allowed to build such homes and how could one get that area to approve homes like this!

  513. Hi Dot, Every municipality in South Africa has zones that regulate what is allowed in each zone. If you want to build in an area that is an informal zone the you will not need plans. If you are worried then call the local municipality planning department and double check with them.

  514. I love your service. We want to build a house in Mamelodi that is on a government given plot for a lady and her son. There is no electricity, running water or gas and everyone around has a shack. Do we need a building permit. I know no one around has. The house will be well built with two bedroom and living space

  515. Vivian Pillay says:

    Hi…Thank you for the insightful information. At last there is a website, that does not require you to click through all the ads and then return to Google “search”. At the moment, my wife and I stuck in the middle of the “Buy or renovate” bridge. The best is to stay, and renovate, however the question is “how can we change or add to the current property, to give us what we need and then if it can’t then “buy”. So a few key questions to assist us to speed up the decision.
    1. Is building a pool in the 50 meter flood-line allowed?
    2. We would like “open plan”, Can double walls be broken down and re-enforced with I-BEAMS? Do you know of credible contractors that can take on this type of Job?
    3. The last time I went to the council to obtain the plans of my home, I received copies that do not reflect the correct design of my home. I guess the previous owner built differently to what he registered. Please advise on how I can get this corrected? Anyway, if renovations are to happen, this will have to be updated, I guess…

    Again, thanks for support…

    Best regards
    Vivian Pillay

  516. Fredericka says:

    I always spent my half an hour to read this website’s articles daily along with a cup of coffee.

  517. The local council does not have the authority to override any restrictive clauses on your Title Deed, and you will have to make an application for the “Removal of Restrictive Clauses”.

    The process involves obtaining comments from certain municipal offices, such as the “Department of Human Development and Infrastructure” as well as “Eskom” and the municipal offices responsible for water works.

    A good idea will be to get in contact with the Town Planner for your area, and have them advise you on which departments will be required to give comment, and who the contact person is with whom you should deal.

    You will also have to submit a Site Plan, indicating the Proposed Position of the Proposed Garage and Home Office, as well as the position of the Building Line as set out by the Restrictive Clause on your Title Deed.

    The documents for this can be obtained from the council offices, and it will also have to be submitted with them.

    You can also contact an Architectural Professional or a Lawyer specialising in Conveyancing to deal with the application on your behalf.

  518. Dear Penny

    We have bonded property which we want to remove one of the existing windows which is small and frosted. The size of the existing window is small and we would like to find out if are required to have an architecture to effect the changes to the existing house plans.


  519. Hi Pamela, If you look at our page of the regulations “Site Operations” there is a section that deals with this:
    Anyone involved in demolition, excavation and building work has to take care not to “unreasonably disturb or interfere with the amenity of the neighborhood”. Specifically there are times that they may not use any machine, machinery, engine, apparatus, tool or contrivance that is noisy or makes a lot of dust.
    Before 6 am and after 6 pm any day of the week.
    Before 6 am or after 5 pm on a Saturday.
    On Sundays or public holidays.

  520. I live in a complex and would like too know if building can take place on weekends.

  521. Tracy this kind of thing happens all the time and unfortunately unless you check when you buy, you might only find out when you sell – which is what has happened to you it seems. Someone else has just asked the same question, though he is the purchaser and the sellers are refusing to oblige. If the purchaser of your property has already taken ownership and you were not aware of this situation when you sold, then I don’t see how they can hold you liable. However they might chose to involve a lawyer … though I think they would have to prove that you knew the plans had not been updated. My guess is that having “as built” plans drawn and approved would be cheaper than going for litigation (for the new owners). At the end of the day there is no law that I am aware of that says you have to provide approved plans when you sell a house – though it’s illegal to build without approved plans. Often it is the bank that discovers there are no plans – when a purchaser applies for a bond.

  522. Hi Penny,

    I want to build a 9m x 3m Precast Concrete(Vibracrete) “Granny Flat”, is there specific regulations one has to adhere for the structure and the use of it? SANS Regs aren’t really showing anything about it or I might have missed it.

    Thanking you in advance


  523. Joann we are not builders. You will need to find someone in the industry who builds the kind of structure you require. Just make sure you get recommendations, e.g. word of mouth – from previous clients.

  524. Hi. I recently sold a property and discovered that the previous owners did alterations but never updated the plans or sought council approval. The new owners are asking for updated plans. Am I liable for this?

  525. Hi Penny
    Thank you for the response I appreciate it

  526. Kevin my educated guess is that it is the title deed that matters and to get a waiver you will need council permission and probably also the consent of neighbours. You can download a copy of the City of Cape Town’s relatively new zoning bylaws HERE – there may be additional info in this document that will be of assistance to you. There is information in this about building lines. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  527. If the roof is going to convert the area into a livable room then yes you will – presuming you mean a solid roof with rafters, beams and a solid covering on top.

  528. So the question is whether the builder should be reducing his quotation? That is really a question of ethics. The more important question is whether the concrete foundation that already exists is adequate for the new wall. This will be in terms of both the size of the foundation – width and depth – and what mix was used for the concrete. That you probably won’t know, but an expert will be able to gauge.

  529. Henry, Part K of SANS 10400 Walls contains structural information and requirements for freestanding walls (which would include boundary walls). I have written quite a lot about walls on this website if you search for boundary walls you will find more info.
    Foundations for boundary walls can extend to the next property but they must be underground.

  530. The planning department of your local authority or town/city council. If the contractor is not registered you can report this person to the NHBRC via their fraud line as well.

  531. Arend there is nothing to stop you having a single brick (or single leaf) external wall providing it complies with the NBR. All these requirements are detailed in Part K of the regulations and would be detailed on the approved plans.

  532. Arend by putting earth against the wall they are basically making it a retaining wall and apart from anything else – all retaining walls are required by law to have plans. You need to put in a formal objection with the council. Chances are that the planning department and the roads authority have not communicated on this issue. I can contact one of the town planners in Somerset West, but will need to know details regarding where this is. Please send more detailed info via a Contact Us email. Thanks. Also provide a cell number as it might be a good idea for us to take pictures of what has been done – since we live close by.

  533. I am buying a house in Gordon’s Bay. At the rear of the house about 5 meters away, the Owners of the complex erected a 2 meter high vibracrete wall. Since then the municipality in constructing a dual freeway on the other side of the vibracrete wall, has raised the ground level about 1 meter now putting pressure on the vibracrete wall. Surely this is not allowed as the vibracrete wall is not a retaining wall and could fall over injuring or killing children playing in the backyard?

  534. Hi Penny
    Is it permissible to build a house with outside walls of 170mm, single brick wall? I have signed a deal in Gordons Bay and discovered this now. Transfer is on 1 September.

  535. joann olivier says:

    I wold like to bild a grannyfat 4.5 by10 meters wold like to have a quote

  536. Hi There,

    We live in Pinelands and are wanting to do some additions to our home, specifically a double garage and a home office. Both of these would be built directly off the house and would not be separate structures. The original title deed, which was set up by Garden Cities in 1962, has a building line restriction of 4.5m from the road boundary and 1.5m from the lateral boundary. Unfortunately without moving one or the other of these lines, we are not able to get a usable space for either the cars or the office.

    I have heard that the entity that imposed the restrictions originally has the power to override them. Is this true? Also, if this is the case, then what are the regulations set out by the City of Cape Town and can the original entity override these as well? I have read that some places have a 1m building line all round and other places that have 6m building lines. Without going into council, which is in complete chaos normally, how do I find out.

    I know that we do not fall into the heritage zone of Pinelands and I have seen a number other buildings in the area that have been built closer than 4.5m to the road.

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.


  537. Hi, I have a walled courtyard and would like to have a roof erected. Would I need plans drawn and submitted to the local authority for this?

    Thank you kindly

  538. Jannie
    I just wand to know who is benefiting if a builder quote on a projact 1 meter wall and he find that there is a concrete foundation after he open up

  539. Hi – where can i report a residential property that was built (extended) without a registrered contractor and that is not built according to building standards – including the drainage and electricity infrastructure

  540. Hi Penny

    Do you know where I can get the documented National Builers Regulation Act specifically about (Boundary Walls) where it states information regarding the ownership, shared or not, height, foundation ect of a wall.

    I am in a situation where I purchased a stand and the wall behind me have a foundation that stretches up to 70cm in my property. The wall was erected around 6 months prior to me byuing the stand and started to build.

    The foundation also stands out about 25cm above ground.

    Information I read on the site states that the foundation cannot extend over the property boundary if there were no prior arrangement.

    Your assistance will be appreciated.

    Thank you

  541. dominique says:

    Hi Penny, I have the same problem as Renee. Our neighbour is building another storey over his whole house. From what I can see, he plans to have big windows overlooking our pool, kitchen and courtyard, all of which used to be private. He did not inform us of his plans and when I got back from holiday I see that the walls are already up. How do I go about lodging an objection? Thanks!

  542. Hi Penny
    If you quote on a project for extending and when you open up and there is a foundation who benefits the contractor or the owner

  543. This sounds very dodgy. Adding corrugated sheeting to tiles is not going to solve that problem. The tiles would need to be removed and replaced with sheeting – or removed and the roofing redone to get the pitch right and then retile it. If the body corp claims the municipality has requested this (which I doubt) ask for proof in writing and also contact the municipality and get their take on the situation. Good luck. Let me know what happens.

  544. Arend, in Cape Town you can build on the boundary without neighbours’ consent – but everywhere in SA you need plans that rely on council approval to do so. A single brick wall is not necessarily a problem.

  545. Terence, contact the NHBRC. Apart from anything else this is totally unprofessional and should be brought to the attention of the NHBRC. I’d be interested to know what their response is as an article about their so-called service is long overdue. So let me know what happens.

  546. Mike, if the leak is inside your property then it’s your problem. But like blockages this isn’t always clear. If you aren’t certain, call in the council – they’ll be able to identify the leak and/or tell you that it is either their problems or theirs. BTW we had a blockage recently and were convinced it was on the property – but it turned out to be a council problem.

  547. Amy you will need to have plans if new plumbing – specifically drains and gullies etc – are required. You will also need to employ a qualified plumber to do the work. The new location of the kitchen will also have to be shown on the plans. You could then ask whoever draws up the plans to mark the position of the window “as built”. It really isn’t a major. Generally the local authority isn’t likely to expect you to submit plans when making doors into windows and vice versa, but you should probably check with them just in case. Knocking through a wall (as long as it isn’t load bearing) is also not a problem; but again, if you’re having plans drawn up anyway, you could mark the opening “as built”.

  548. Ryan, the issue here is compliance with the National Building Regulations. However, Part D, Site operations requires the local authority to determine the requirements e.g. “In cases where danger or serious inconvenience to the public may ensue from the demolition or erection of a building on any site, the local authority may require that the owner of such site, before such work is commenced, shall erect a fence, hoarding or barricade to prevent the public from entering such site and to protect them from the activities on such site.” It doesn’t say specifically around the construction site. The fact that the hole dug is outside of where they are building doesn’t mean it can remain unprotected.
    “Such fence, hoarding or barricade shall for as long as is necessary be retained and maintained by such owner in a safe condition, and any access to such site, and the means thereof, shall be subject to approval.
    “No part of such fence, hoarding or barricade shall be removed without the permission, in writing, of the local authority until the work has been completed.”
    So I suggest you contact the local authority and draw their attention to the situation – preferably in writing.

  549. You definitely need the building inspector to approve foundations – in fact they need to approve the trenches before the concrete is placed; then the building inspector does another inspection when you reach roof height; and then the final inspection. Usually the sewerage etc is, I think, done at final inspection.

  550. You need approved plans to be able to build, and these should be drawn up by a competent person. The local authority zoning by-laws will usually determine whether you need neighbours’ consent. They may put in an objection, but if there is no validity to their objection this should not affect your building plan.

  551. Antoinette, the Building Regulations state that you need an agrément certificate for buildings that don’t fit the norm. Part A of SANS 10400 states than an agrément certificate “confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non-standardized product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa.” I am just not sure of the current status of the Board of Agrément.
    Usually housing estates have strict guidelines in terms of what you may and may not build, so you need to check this before buying into an estate.

  552. Not necessarily Terry. It would though make the building operation easier to have access to water and electricity. Portable toilets take care of the sewerage issue – and building contractors often use generators for power. They won’t get an occupation certificate from council until the essential services are provided.

  553. Franko this is really just an educated guess on my part! The City will say it isn’t their responsibility, even if they have lost the plans – I’m pretty sure of that. It isn’t the agent’s responsibility to have new plans drawn up. If the seller (current owner) advised the buyer then I believe it is the buyer’s responsibility. If the seller can’t prove this, then the seller may be held responsible by the buyer. If this was put in writing then the seller can prove this information was supplied. If not, the agent will need to sign an affidavit to say that he/she told the buyer. If an agreement cannot be reached, this could lead to the cancellation of the sale.
    Another thought: since the house is in a complex, there are probably other houses that are exactly the same. So it may be possible to duplicate an existing plan but supply a new site plan. You would need to find out if the City will allow this. Since it appears that they have lost the plans, it may be a good compromise.

  554. Shireen I would contact the local authority and ask them to send a building inspector to inspect the building. I don’t know of any regulation that makes it illegal to force staff to work between buildings though. The local authority should be able to advise.

  555. We had some major renovations done to a shop interior by a NHBRC builder. After struggling to get him to finish off to acceptable standard, he has now made a decision to withdraw from completing the minor work at the expense of an amount of R4000 which we owe him. Is it in the scope of the NHBRC to deal with non-structural things like not fitting door thresholds strips when tiling the floor, seriously damaging a carpet by painting without a groundsheet and not redoing some really shoddy paintwork?

  556. Hi There,
    I have a couple of questions and wonder if you can help!

    1. We are hoping to change the position of the kitchen in a house we have recently bought. Please can you tell me if we need planning permission to change a window into a door or door into a window?

    2. Will we be allowed to knock through an internal wall without planning permission, providing it is not a support wall?

    3. If a window in the house is not being shown on the plans that we have received, do we need to insist the seller gets new plans drawn up to show this window?

    4. I see a comment about drainage above and I wonder, if we move the position of the kitchen will we need new planning for drainage?

    Thanks in advance!

  557. I have just bought a 3 bedroom house. I discovered that the 3rd bedroom was illegally built(no approved plans for it. The room was added to the back of the garage and is most probably on the border of the plot (is this legal?) and was built with a single brick wall; the room is an outside wall. Is it legal to build a single layer brick wall as an outside wall?

  558. the sewer pipe is running inside my property and now its got a leak who is responsible to sort out the leak .(MAIN PIPE) Is it me or the council .please advise

  559. Hi there

    I require some advice please. My building contractor had a 120 days (excl Sundays and Public holidays as per contract) to complete and handover my home. Trenches were dug on 8 Nov 2013. To date they have failed to finish and handover my home. Despite several assurances, the contractor has again failed to deliver on dates agreed with me and continues to extend handover date. No formal extension has ever been requested. From my side, this has caused me to incur costs amounting to thousands of rands.
    Section 4.4 of our contract says:
    “If the commencement or completion of Works is delayed for any cause whatsoever beyond the contractors control, or if any building industry holidays whether statutory or recognised generally as customary in the industry fall within the contract period, then the contractor shall be entitled to a fair and responsible extension of time for the completion of works and the Client shall not for that reason have any claim against the contractor for damages or otherwise.”
    Furthermore, the contractor had at one stage abandoned works, provided shoddy service, substandard workmanship and broken promises. I have written several complaints urging them to fix the issues and not getting any joy. Today I had to seek the services of a building inspector to do a full inspection and report before handover which has cost me another few thousand rand. How does one proceed against such a contractor and how can I claim against the costs I am incurring because of this breach of contract? I have notified my bank to withhold final payment due to their failure to adhere to the terms of our contract. The contractor in turn has threatened to take off the roof of the house.

    I am at my wits end with this people.

  560. Penny, apologies for replying but I just want to clear it with you before we take this further.
    According to our body corp this request was made by die Municipality. They say that the original building plans did not have the patio roofs, 16 years ago and the patio roofs are not at the right angle this is why the corrugated sheeting needs to be added. I mean really??? The corrugated sheeting will lift the angle by what, max 20mm (wow)

  561. Hi

    I live in duplex and the owners of the whole duplex are building more units. There is a construction site which is walled off from the rest of the units. However, outside of the construction area they have a dug a hole (to work on pipes) which is takes up half of the walk way to certain units.The whole is 1.5m deep. They dug the whole more than a month ago and haven’t touched it since. They have placed orange plastic mesh round it, which is basically falling apart.

    My question is: surely this is not safe? There are children who live in the duplex and could hurt themselves if they fall into the hole.

  562. Hi, I work in a prefab building which has two levels. There are two buildings and they are now joining them. This construction includes construction of pillars, windows and a roof. We (the admin staff) were told that we cannot work on the top floor and had to move to the ground floor, and this is where all the main building activities are taking place. We walk back and forth from one building to the other quite often all day. Is this allowed? Is it legal for us to continue working in this environment? Hope you can advise.

  563. Hi Penny

    A complex was built around 1992 in Lonehill, Sandton and a house within this complex is now sold by the 4th Owner. This Owner never received plans and advised the Purchaser prior to the Sale via the Estate Agent that no plans were in his possession. The Purchaser now demands to have plans prior to transfer although the Conveyancers have tried on numerous occasions to obtain copies from Council at Braamfontein, where it seems these plans are lost. Who is legally responsible for this?
    * the Seller
    * the Buyer
    * the Agent
    * the City of Johannesburg
    * nobody

  564. Can our engineer, as the “competent person”, do the foundation and sewer inspections before building or do we need to get the municipal inspector out? Our builder says the engineer can do it and we only need the inspector out for the final inspection to get our Occupancy Certificate. Is this correct?

  565. Terry Burke says:

    Abiulding site has been constructing multiple blocks of flats without providing essential services, water, sewerage and electricity. Is this legal. Do these have to be supplied prior to erecting the buildings.

    082 456 2935

  566. Uwais Paulsen says:

    I would like to know ,who’s permission I need to build up on my house?
    Eg:neighbours opposite and side.
    Can they oppose without a valid reason?
    Thank you
    Uwais Paulsen

  567. Antoinette says:

    I am busy investigating the option to build a Shipping Container Home.
    The two biggest challenges I am facing are first of all will the municipality approve the building plans and secondly finding land in an estate that will allow us to build with shipping containers.
    I figured it would be easier to convince estate owners/body corporate if I have approved plans. Is it possible to apply for approval of building plans without having the actual location where the building will be built?

  568. Penny, thank you so much for your reply, much appreciated.

  569. Madelein, There is no building regulation that requires this. Maybe the body corporate has made a new ruling, but it seems pretty stupid. Corrugated sheeting is an alternative to tiles, not a material that should be used in conjunction with it.

  570. Hi there,
    I live in a complex and found out in our annual meeting last Saturday that we need to insert corrugated sheeting under the Harvey tiles of our Patio roof. Is this a new regulation for patio roofs or are they trying there luck. This will obviously been done at at cost of R3500 per unit and trust me it’s small, very small.

  571. Dave the new regulations are not retrospective, but if someone was to fall because the balustrades in common areas are inadequate, you certainly could be sued. Whether this action was successful would be up to a court of law to decide – but my guess is they wouldn’t only look at building regs – Public safety issues are covered by other forms of legislation as well. It probably would be a good idea though to notify home owners of the situation and at least allow them to upgrade their own balconies if they wish to be compliant.

  572. Not if the opening remains the same. Generally if it affects lintels then yes you do.

  573. Hi !

    I need to confirm,

    if I need to replace my room windows with sliding doors do I need plans for this ?

  574. Dave Hirschman says:

    I’m a trustee of a 24-year-old complex that was Council approved at the time. However, as with Leon’s complex, the balcony and walkway balustrades suffer Building Reg. non-compliance. In the event of a child falling through an over-wide gap, can trustees be held liable. If so, can they protect themselves with an amendment to the House Rules, notification to owners, or some other means? Modifying balustrades would cost an arm and a leg; not an acceptable option.

  575. Leon I’m not sure of the size of your openings because 300 x 250 mm is not a triangle… but it does sound as if the gaps are a lot larger than allowed. If you have a look at the page on stairways you will see that we say the gap should not be more than 100 mm.
    We also address the issue of balustrades in the section on public safety. Note that there must be safe balustrades if there is a drop of more than a metre. There is absolutely no doubt that the design of any barrier for this purpose must minimize the risk of persons falling, rolling, sliding or slipping through gaps in the barrier. Also, the NBR clearly state that these barriers should be designed so that the widest gap in the barrier does not permit a sphere of diameter 100mm to pass through, and that they should allow for deflection under load (which is another issue). Part D (Public Safety) says that all balustrades except for swimming pools and swimming baths shall have a height of not less than 1 metre and shall not have any openings that permit the passage of a 100mm diameter ball. Those for pools must be higher (1.2 m). And the test is whether a solid sphere of 100mm diameter can be pushed through the gaps. NB This does not only apply to railings in public places.
    So basically my understanding is that unless the balcony is lower than 1 m, then they have not complied with very important safety regulations laid down in the National Building Regulations. If I was you I would tell them – in writing – that you will not remove the mesh until they take action to ensure that the balcony railing is safe and in accordance with the NBR. Also state that you refuse to pay their fine should they decide to levy it. If you can afford to pay a lawyer to write the letter for you, then do, because it will carry a lot more weight – or rather they will take it more seriously.

  576. Hi there,
    We stay in a complex in Brackenfell for a few months now. After we signed the contract to hire the flat for a longterm of 12 months and already moved in,we realise that the balcony railing is not accordingly to the building regalations.
    We have a son of 3 years old and cannot play on the balcony even with supervision as the balcony is to dangerous for him. The railing is made of 1 inch sqaure tubing with triangle holes in the pattern that is so big that a child will fall easily through it. The triangle dimensions is 300×250 mm and the building rules said it must not bigger than 125mm in diameter.
    We ask the handyman to put on a greenmesh for the safety on the railing,and after he did that for us the bodycorporate said it must be removed immediately as nothing must be fixed on the railing.You cant even see it from the road and from nearby it was not looking bad at all.They are so full of nonsense and even send us a warning letter that we wil be fined with R2000 if we dont remove the mesh.
    I read somewhere on the internet that the dimensions of balcony railing must not exceed 100mm spacing.
    Can you please help us urgendly with this matter and it wil be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Leon Pitout

  577. Mpumzi I suggest you contact the local authority and check their requirement.

  578. To be able to build a garage you need plans drawn up by a competent person and approved by the local authority. The drain will need to be indicated on the plan and it will be up to the council to decide if this is acceptable. As long as it is encased in concrete, it shouldn’t be a problem. You might though contact the local authority before you get plans drawn.

  579. Thanks Penny.

    I looked at the document, but its a too much for me to read all of it. I guess the best thing for me would be to enquire at the municipality for a draughtsperson and they could suggest a if i need a structural engineer.

  580. Signoria N Khanyase says:

    iwish to extend my house but there is a sewer pipe that runs from my house toilet to sewer drain and it crosses to the portion where i wish to build a garage to, what do i do? Can build over it?

  581. Ed you have the right to do this, but you might find yourself in the middle of a legal dispute. You should give the builder a chance to rectify the work – but you will need to put him to terms in writing. The next step would be to go to arbitration and to get an independent person (ideally a qualified arbitrator with building knowledge) to come in and sort of what should be done/paid etc. This can be a costly exercise, but not as costly as getting lawyers involved.

  582. Lynne an owner builder needs to get a formal exemption from the NHBRC. You don’t have to register with them and you don’t have to pay for the exemption. You will though need to go into their offices and fill in all the required forms including proof of ownership of the property.

  583. Sean please read the article about competent persons on our sister website Owner Building. A competent person must be qualified. You are legally obliged to submit plans drawn up by a competent person – and as you will see from the link, that person can be a draughtsperson. In some instances a structural engineer may be required, depending on the building. There are a number of forms set out in Part A of SANS 10400, General principles and requirements that give additional guidance. YOu can access these at an SABS library, buy Part A from the SABS online store, or ask your local authority if they can supply you with the necessary forms and guidance.

  584. I built my own home (a 70m2 A frame with wood floor) 8 years ago in a rural area. A neighbour has now contacted the municipality and asked them to make me supply building plans. I am obviously a competent person as i have built the house myself.

    What are my legal requirements? Do i have to submit plans? and if so, can i just get a draughtsperson to draw plans or do i need a structural engineer to check my structure out?


  585. Lynne Kirkwood says:

    Does an owner builder need to register with NHBRC for building an approved plan cottage on the house site?

  586. What right do you have to withold payment if you feel that the work has been done by the builder is substandard.

  587. Ask to see the approved plans. If the conversion was done without plans it is illegal.

  588. Hi, I’m going to a second viewing on a property that has a converted garage space. It is a double garage, with a window in place of one garage door, and a stud wall covering the remaining garage door. As a buyer, what do I need to be aware of in terms of making sure this conversion was done correctly and whether it can be used as living space? Thanks.

  589. Michael Booysen says:

    Thank you very much for the information!

  590. Mike to build with containers you need an Agrément certificate that confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non-standardized product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardized design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa – which is a body that operates under the delegation of authority of the Minister of Public Works. There have been some changes to the Board, so I am not certain how this works.
    However, you do still need plans to be drawn up by a competent person (which would be a draughtsperson, architect of engineer). Everything about the building needs to be done in accordance with SANS – which essentially makes it SABS approved – apart from what isn’t standardized. If you are going to owner build – i.e. not use an NHBRC-registered builder – you will need to apply to the NHBRC for an exemption. This doesn’t cost anything but you will have to prove that you own the land and will have to fill in forms I think at their offices.

  591. Michael Booysen says:

    Hi there

    I am wanting to buy a plot, and build a home out of shipping containers. What is the legislation regarding this construction method? I read a previous post, where it was suggested that the plans need to be approved by an architect/structural engineer, and then the structure needs to be SABS approved. I can’t seem to find much information on the web about the planning and procurement of such a building. I would like to buy the land and build the home with cash, instead of applying for a loan, with the obvious need for NHBRC being hard to attain seeing as not many people build with containers. Thanks in advance,

  592. Thanx Penny

  593. Winston you won’t find those kinds of instructions in the building regulations.

  594. Hi There,

    I want to know where one can find building regulations on the building of a concrete safe?

  595. Thanks so much penny.

  596. What is the required clearance between the house and the sewer line?
    I need to make a concrete skirting around the house without encrouching on the sewer line, the pipes of which have yet to be layed.

  597. The Act states that all rooms must “be provided with a means of lighting and ventilation which will enable such room to be used, without detriment to health or safety or causing any nuisance, for the purpose for which it is designed.”
    Part O of SANS 10400, Lighting and Ventilation specifies “air requirements for different types of occupancies”. In dwelling units, the minimum outside air supply required per person with required minimum air changes per hour = 10 air changes per hour and 50 litres per person.
    “ A room or space which is required to be artificially ventilated and is used for an occupancy given in column 1 of table 2 [this includes domestic kitchens] shall be supplied with outside air at a rate not less than the greater rate given in columns 2 and 3 of table 2 [which are the volumes I have given above], provided that…
    “d) in the case of a kitchen, or a room containing a bath, shower, toilet pan or urinal in a dwelling unit or private dwelling house or any such room serving a bedroom, infiltration air from adjacent rooms may be used instead of outside air and the system shall be capable of supplying the required quantity of air under conditions of intermittent use;”
    So as I read the SANS, if there is sufficient air to meet the requirements from an adjacent room, then it would be legal. But to me it sounds like a very big IF!

  598. HI there guys. I just wanted to find out is it legal for a kitchen to have no windows or no vent system?

  599. Carlo you have heard wrong – ALL houses need approved plans whether they are built in a city or a rural area.

  600. You are going to need a competent person to draw your plans, and that person will be able to give you this information. But basically it will be when you dig your trenches for the foundations; drains; completion … but check with the local authority.

  601. Hi There ,
    Please could help me with some information i require.Please could you explain the different stages that a building inspector is required to inspect a building .for example is i will build an house from scratch.

    Many thanks

  602. Hallo, i want to find out, we stay on a farm in Pretoria. According to what i have heard before, one can build homes without approval on a farm. I want to build a extra home to rent out.


  603. The times are all on this page Yvette. Scroll down to Control of Unreasonable Noise. They are allowed to work on Saturdays but not Sundays. This is according to the National Building Regulations. There may be additional bylaws – you will have to contact your local authority to find this out.

  604. Hi Llewellyn, Verskoon my dat die antwoord in engels is. All new houses have to be registered with the NHBRC by law. You can register with them to be an “owner builder” without any problem, the only restriction with this is that you are not allowed to sell the house within five years of registration. You must also work through the municipality as they are the ones that must check your building progress and give final approval and the occupation certificate. Most municipalities will give you a year to start building after plans have been approved, you do not say how long ago your plans went through. You must call the municipality after you have dug the foundation trenches and before you place the concrete so they can approve them. This is the first step then you will have to call them for the roof and for final approval. This excludes the plumbing and electrics that must also be approved during the building but the inspector will tell you when.

  605. Hi, what are the municipal bylaws pertaining to builders working on weekends in a residential area? Builders next door working Sat and Sun from 8am to 4pm. Not happy with the noise and large crew who invade our privacy.
    Yvette, KZN

  606. Kim windows are included in buildings for ventilation. If they are permanently closed and cannot be opened, then they are not fulfilling the function for which they were intended. Windows are not only installed for smoke control! Short answer: No!

  607. Hi, I have a question surrounding windows based at ground level in a three storey building. Are these windows allowed to be pop-riveted closed (security reasons) or do they have to be able to be opened for purpose of Smoke control in a fire hazard?

  608. Report the developer to the NHBRC. If he is not registered then he is building fraudulently. If he is registered then you should be covered by the NHBRC. Otherwise you will need an attorney – it shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred rand to write a letter of demand. Also report him on Hellopeter to warn other people.

  609. Cheyne the original quotation and/or contract that you agreed to is the only document that is valid – unless there is a clause in it that says you may/will be liable for increased costs – i.e. subject to escalation. If the work that was done was not according to the original quote, then they have the right to charge you for additional work, but this should have been agreed to in advance.

  610. I bought a sectional title townhouse from a Developer and identified 2 defects and raised them before registration even took place. They told me to wait for the registration and the 7 days period to compile a list of any defects. When that time came, the developer went AWOL. As i became more frustrated and desperate, i threaten legal action and all of a sudden he responded. I asked him to fix the defects and said that he will not do it, and he will await my attorney’s letter. Please help

  611. I know this is completely off topic, but i don’t know where else to turn. i recently preformed a minor alteration to my flat, after the debt was settled and the construction company signed this off, they provided me with a another quote. the quote was then followed by an invoice, and demands of payment. can i be invoiced for a quote that i have never seen n nor agreed to, especially after i have paid more than the initial quotation already. another thing i wanted to know about is if they can change the price on said quote as it has fluctuated with regards to costings as well as the work that was done. What do you recommend that i do?

    Kind Regards

    Cheyne Bodington

  612. Mercy, For starters you will need a competent person to draw the plans for you. Then you will need to find a reputable builder who is registered with the NHBRC to build the house for you. I have given you a couple of links to read more. My book Owner Building in South Africa will help you get around the entire process. You can order it from Kalahari.

  613. hi. I am having two options, either to buy an existing house or build our own. I am more interested in building our own as I will have control over the overall layout. but when it comes to the building process, I am completely clueless. I would like to know what I need to do with regards to all compliance and authorisations. I am in the centurion area. you assistance is highly appreciated

  614. Hi Rene, No there is usually no time limit on building on a plot of land. In some instances if the plot is part of a development then the developer can add a time limit into the title deed so that his development does not sit around with no houses on. Ask the estate agent to get those details for you. You may not throw foundations without plans being submitted, and the foundation trenches have to be inspected and approved before the concrete goes in. Once plans have been approved then you will have a time limit, this is set by the local authority whose area that the plot falls under.

  615. Hi Mzakhe, Yes you will need plans for the containers. The other thing that you will need is “competent person”, for example an architect, to draw up the plans to submit to the council he will then need the SABS approval for the containers to be used as a dwelling. As far as the number that you are allowed will depend on the by-laws of the city of Tshwane and the density allowed on your piece of land. You should give them a call and ask.

  616. Mzakhe Mtshweni says:

    I have a house in Centurion, City of Tshwane. I intend constructing a cottage made up of shipping container. What is the building regulation governing portable homes within residential properties?what is the maximum number of these portable cottages can I have in the property? Do I need permission from the municipality?


    M Mtshweni

  617. Hi there

    I am interested in buying a vacant stand but cannot afford to build on it a this stage, probably only in a few years’ time. What are the regulations regarding a vacant stand in this situation? Besides keeping the plot neat are there any penalties to be paid should one not build within a certain period? If I build a foundation does this constitute a building?


  618. Stehanus you presume wrong I am afraid. There is one set of building regulations, although as pointed out in the introduction to Part 1 of the NBR, General principles and requirements:
    “A new category of buildings (category 1 buildings) has been introduced in certain classes of buildings that have a floor area not exceeding 80 m2 to make buildings affordable to poorer communities. The revised SANS 10400 allows choices to be made in the performance requirements of certain attributes for buildings falling within this category. Such buildings have comparable safety standards with buildings not so categorized, but may, depending upon the choices exercised in respect of particular attributes, have different resistances to rain penetration, deflection limits, maintenance requirements, lower levels of natural lighting, etc. It should, however, be stressed that choices exercised in respect of these buildings relate only to the performance of some of the attributes of such buildings. The nature of developments is determined by environmental and town planning processes which are independent of such choices. This should be kept in mind by any local authority when assessing a building in terms of these revised functional regulations.”
    There is reference to Category 1 buildings throughout the regulations. However each part of the regulations is published in a separate document. These are available as SABS libraries.

  619. It certainly looks like it Niki.
    4.5.2 Rain penetration
    “ The resistance of external walls to rain penetration shall either be in accordance with table 31 when tested in accordance with the requirements of annex C, or in accordance with the requirements of one of the following:
    a) buildings other than category 1 buildings:
    1) single-leaf, hollow unit, shell-bedded masonry walls that have a thickness of 140 mm or greater;
    2) single-leaf, solidly bed-jointed masonry walls that have a thickness of 140 mm or greater plastered in accordance with the requirements of SANS 2001-EM1;
    3) collar-jointed, solid unit, solidly bed-jointed masonry walls that have a thickness of 190 mm;
    4) a masonry wall of cavity construction;
    5) a timber-framed wall built in accordance with SANS 10082; or
    6) a wall coated with a coating that is the subject of an Agrément certificate;
    b) category 1 buildings which have no overhangs or an overhang that does not comply with the requirements of figure C.1:
    1) masonry walls of thickness 140 mm or greater;
    2) walls of thickness 90 mm or greater plastered in accordance with the requirements of SANS 2001-EM1;
    3) a precast concrete wall that has a nominal thickness not less than 40 mm, provided that any joints in such wall are sealed; or
    4) a wall coated with a coating that is the subject of an Agrément certificate; or
    c) category 1 buildings which have overhangs in accordance with figure C.1:
    1) masonry walls of thickness 90 mm or greater; or
    2) a wall coated with a coating that is the subject of an Agrément certificate.”

  620. Niki Banwell says:

    Hi Penny,
    I have submitted a deviation drawing where the approved drawing of the outbuilding (servants quarters and garage, about 20 years ago) was one long building with 110mm (4.5″) external walls with 220mm (9″) piers. When the previous owners sold the property approved drawings had to be provided which is where I came in. Due to the slope of the property the original builder built the servant’s quarters below with 330mm retaining walls and the rest of the external brickwork at 220mm (9″). The garage moved to the top but was built with 110mm (4.5″) external and 220mm (9″) piers. That was one of the few deviations from the original plan. I have been told that an external wall cannot be 110mm thick, the minimum is 140mm due to water penetration as per SANS10400:K. Is this correct in this instance?
    Thanks in advance,
    Niki Banwell

  621. Stephanus Dorfling says:


    My son is in grade 7 and he needs to do an expo project. He decided on the topic, “The best/strongest but cheapest way to build a house”. I convinced him that the topic he selected is very wide and complex and that he should rather concentrate on “low cost housing” for South Africa. He is very keen on this project and we need to start at understanding what the regulations states. Therefor this request – can you please help with a copy of the building regulations for “low cost housing”. I asume this is very different from the normal middle class house.

    Thanking you in advance.


  622. Hannes, Table 8 does indeed address this. Where the “maximum difference in ground levels, h (see figure 9)” – which indicates the distance from ground level [which is a little above the foundation] and the bottom of the concrete slab – the nominal wall thickness = 330 mm and the wall type = collar-jointed.
    I assume that the second requirement still stands, though the council may require engineer’s drawings.

  623. Hi Penny
    Thank you very much for your quick response to my e-mail.
    I am interested in the requirements for a foundation wall where the level difference between the external ground level and the internal floor level is 1,2 meter. Is that addressed in table 8.

    Also is it still required that foundations must be taken down to firm natural ground with the proviso that it may be cast in filled up ground on condition that approved measures have been taken to ensure the stability and serviceability of the structure


  624. Hannes the changes to the NBR are substantial. You cannot work on the 1990 edition.
    There is no GG 22 – so I presume you mean GG 2.2. However, while Part G in the 1990 version was two lines over one page, the new part is 13 pages long (four of which replace the deemed-to-satisfy rules). This covers temporary and permanent excavations and there are several drawings that illustrate what needs to be done. I will try and add this information sometime soon – alternatively you should visit an SABS library or buy a copy of that part of the SANS.
    As far as Part K is concerned:
    4.2.2 Masonry walling in single-storey and double-storey buildings
    “ Walls supporting either concrete floors or roofs shall have a thickness of not less than 90 mm in cavity wall construction and 140 mm in single-leaf and collar-jointed wall construction and contain no openings wider than 2,5 m. The height of fill retained by foundation walls shall not exceed the values given in table 8. Foundation walls shall be of a thickness not less than the wall they support. The cores in
    hollow units and cavities in cavity walls shall be filled with grade 10 infill concrete.”
    And then there are the Tabls.
    “4.14 Sizing of discharge pipes
    4.14.1 The following requirements shall apply with regard to the sizing of a discharge pipe:
    a) the internal diameter of a discharge pipe shall not be less than the internal diameter of any pipe or outlet of the sanitary fixture which discharges into it, provided that where the internal diameter of any horizontal pipe in an offset is more than that of the discharge stack which discharges into it, the internal diameter of the stack downstream of the offset may be less than that of the horizontal pipe;
    b) the internal diameter of a soil pipe, other than a soil pipe from a urinal, shall be not less than 100 mm;
    c) the internal diameter of any waste pipe shall be not less than 32 mm if it serves a washbasin, bidet or drinking fountain, and not less than 40 mm if such pipe serves any other waste fixture;
    d) in the single-stack system, the internal diameter of a waste pipe shall be not less than 40 mm; and
    e) the hydraulic load carried by any discharge pipe which has a nominal diameter given in column 1 of table 13 shall not exceed the number of fixture units given in columns 2, 3 or 4, as the case might be, provided that where a horizontal pipe to which a discharge stack is connected is larger than such stack, any bend connecting the horizontal pipe to the stack shall have a nominal diameter equal to that of the horizontal pipe.
    4.14.2 For the purposes of tables 13 and 14, a waste pipe which has a diameter of 100 mm or greater and a soil pipe shall, subject to the requirements contained in 4.16.3, be deemed to be a drain from that point downstream of which the gradient of such pipe or of any drain to which it is connected does not again exceed 45° below the horizontal, except where the pipe drain is connected to a connecting sewer.
    4.14.3 Where the diameter of a horizontal pipe at the base of a discharge stack is more than that of the drain to which it discharges, the horizontal pipe shall have a length of not less than 2,5 m, measured from the centre line of the discharge stack, before it is reduced in diameter and connected to the drain.
    NOTE Figure 10 shows the parts of a drainage system.”
    I hope that helps!

  625. Hi Penny
    I notice that you refer often to the 2008 revised edition of the NBR.
    Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to read this revision.
    I am interested to know if there were material changes to the 1990 edition espcialy with regards to;

    Regulation GG 22 which determines the requirements for placing of foundations

    Regulation KK 9 which determines the requirements for foundation walls and more with regards to the requirements set out in table 6.

    Regulation PP 16 which determines the sizes of waste pipes.


  626. Emke, SANS 10400, Part XA Energy usage in buildings only deals with insulation of hot water pipes, floors (where there is underfloor heating) and roofs. The standard you need to refer to is not part of the building regulations as such, SANS 204 (2011): Energy efficiency in buildings.
    Some extracts:
    Under Thermal Insulation – Reflective insulation shall be installed and supported with the reflective insulation tightly fitted and taped against any penetration, door or window opening – with each adjoining sheet of roll membrane being
    1) overlapped by not less than 100 mm, or
    2) taped together.
    Under Building Sealing – Building envelope – Roofs, external walls, and floors that form the building envelope and any opening such as windows and doors in the external fabric shall be constructed to minimize air leakage. The building sealing can be done by methods such as caulking, or adding skirting, architraves or cornices.
    Then there is the whole issue of fenestration. “Fenestration refers to the arrangement, proportioning, and design of windows and doors in a building. The energy efficiency of the building envelope is greatly impacted by the fenestration systems. Windows strongly influence the use of the building and the productivity and comfort of its occupants.”
    I hope that helps. You can get a copy of this part of SANS 10400 from the SABS – you can buy it from their online store or from one of their offices. Alternatively if you go to an SABS library you can read it there.

  627. Vyani, By law all building contractors/developers must be registered with the NHBRC and all homes must be enrolled with them. Check whether this company is registered – if not get hold of the NHBRC fraud division and report the builder – or possibly first inform the builder that this is what you are going to do if he does not immediately rectify the problems.
    The NHBRC deals with three types of complaints:
    1. Three month non-compliance period
    Complaints relating to minor structural defect identified within three months of occupation of the home.
    2. One year roof leak period
    Complaints relating to roof leaks identified within one year of occupation of the home.
    3. Five-year major structural defects period
    Complaints relating to major structural defect identified within five years of occupation of the home.
    Presuming he is operating legally, and is therefore registered with the NHBRC, they will be able to help you. If he isn’t he is operating illegally and should be criminally charged.

  628. By paying in full you have put yourself at risk even though you have every right to demand that he comes back and completes the job. I have done a search for the builder on the NHBRC website and there is not a company of that name. Contact them and check because if he is not registered with them he is building fraudulently. Further, I have checked on the Cipro site and nothing by th