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149 Comments

  1. Lindsay Baatjes says:

    Hi. What are the regulations regarding how many h3 dwelling units you can have on one plot. I am looking at 3 such dwelling units on a 490m sq plot. Is that allowed. Around 120m sq with 60sqm house.
    Great site guys

  2. Sindiso Moyo says:

    what are the garage regulations with respect to windows in a case where the garage has one of the walls doubling up as a durall wall.

  3. I would think so, but check with your local authority.

  4. No. They need plans like all other structures. If they are used during building operations, the municipality will need to give at very least informal approval. If anybody sleeps in the container there will need to be ablutions and running water + ventilation AND approval.

  5. Good day are Shipping containers allowed to be used as short term accommodation in the KZN coastal arer

  6. Penny,

    Do building line restrictions apply to a first floor wooden deck (no street facing) with no roof?

    Thanks.

    Gert

  7. There is no prescribed size.

  8. nosi kalawe says:

    Hi

    what is the prescribed size for a gate for fencing and to allow cars in, if it were a swing gate

  9. Anita Smit says:

    Hi, I want to know what the rule is about cooking and sleeping in one room, for example a bachelors flat.

  10. What is the average bedroom size in South Africa in terms of metres (3 × 4 m or 4 x 4 m).

  11. Could anybody please advise how wide a driveway should be in a self storage unit facility? Apologies if this is the wrong forum.

  12. Santosh Maharaj says:

    Hi

    I am building an entertainment area which will have no walls. The roof( gable with clay tiles and a pitch of 30 degrees)will rest on concrete pillars. What should the height be between the floor slab and the lintel that rests on the pillars.

  13. Do storerooms have a minimum head height?
    My client would like to put one under the outside deck.
    At the moment we only have 2m head height available.

  14. Goodday. What is the specific dimensions, height etc. for a roof loft?

  15. John Sweetnam says:

    You need an average of 2,4 for a habitable room and a minimum of 2,2m

  16. Carole Mbalati-Leboho says:

    Good Day

    I am currently working on erecting a community centre made of refurbished storage containers. Do I need an inspector to approve the container before we can start operations?

  17. Hi
    What is the minimum size of a toilet cubicle in an office block?

  18. Randall Plaatjies says:

    Morning guys, I have a new neighbor that want to build single rooms on the stand behind me, what does the law say and is he allowed too, we stay in a suburb in boksburg with no basically budget Housing like this, I’m afraid if that it would have a negative impact on the value of my house, any feedback would be helpful

  19. whats the minimum dimension for passageways for a residential building/house

  20. Good morning what is the dimensions of a double garage, big enough to house two big 4 x 4 vehicles.

    Much appreciated

  21. Pietie Voigt says:

    What are the minimum specifications in terms of the floor area allowed for a certain number of people at households?

  22. Johann Grobler says:

    Good day, are there any specific rules that relates to what loft rooms may or may not be? Apart from 6m2 ceiling height at 2,4m, are bedrooms allowed, bathrooms and kitchens allowed in a loft area? What is the definition of a loft? The Joburg Council is giving me a runaround saying according to building regulations and SPLUMA a loft room may not be habitable, no door and no kitchen? Is it true?

    Thanks!

  23. not in habitable rooms!

  24. Olebile Mothelesi says:

    Hi I’m deviding my house and use the roof space but the walls that makes the roof are already 2m height and I want use that space as an extra small room on the roof, this means the house from the floor is already 2.7 and the roof area from the beams is 2 meters high, is this acceptable?

  25. Hi what is the prescribed window size per sqm floor space.

  26. My double store staircase is 4breaks high and the inspector says it must be 2breaks high.

  27. The correct size of a staircase of a double store house, mine is 4 breaks, and the inspector say it must be 2

  28. The SANS definition of floor area is:
    “total area of a building, or a storey thereof, enclosed within its external walls, exclusive of the area occupied by any lift shaft”
    In relation to plans, it states:
    “4.2.2 A floor area shall be based upon the plan dimensions but shall not include any area occupied by a built-in cabinet or cupboard or any dividing wall or partition erected in terms of 4.2.4 (see figure 1).”
    See Part C, Dimensions

  29. Gary Cooper says:

    Hi

    where do you measure the Floor Area of a room? for the FAR calculations?

    from internal wall to internal wall

    or from the center of shred walls, and external of non shared walls

  30. If it is within the building line the is relevant to your property. Your title deed and the zoning regs will determine distance.

  31. This is not specified in the NBR

  32. This will probably be governed by local authority zoning bylaws. It is not the sort of thing covered by the NBR.

  33. No idea? It depends on the position of the stand, altitude etc.

  34. Yes it is. In terms of Part C: Dimensions, the minimum height for ceilings is 2,1 m.

  35. This depends on local authority bylaws

  36. Hi
    What is the minimum land/plot size that you can build a house on?

    I have a house and i am considering subdividing the land to either sell or build a small house on.

    Regards

    AB

  37. My ceiling height from the floor is 2.36m. The builder says that this is acceptable.
    Is it acceptable?

  38. Danny Vermeulen says:

    Hi there. When home are advertised they refer to the square meter size. Does this typically include the garage/s as well?

  39. Hi. Where is the mean height of a stand? The stand is in a estate.

  40. Hi . Do I need approval to put up a 40m2 nutec house on my property to house my parents?

  41. can you please advice if is it legal to build a double story flat/house with a balcony facing my naibour and within how many meters you allowed to build such closer/far from the naibour’s wall

  42. John Paul says:

    Good day

    Could you please let me know what the min stand size should be to build 4x80sq townhouses (flats) should be? It’s would be a double story so 2 first floor and 2 the second floor..

  43. Celia Coates says:

    The standard size recommended for a double garage is 6 x 6 m.

  44. Celia Coates says:

    Our local authority e.g. adds a R25 thousand “levy” if such granny flat has a kitchenette with a zink in it. Enquire about that from the building inspector at your local municipality. A zink in a kitchenette implies a “separate” dwelling so to speak. Something you “can rent out” I was told.

  45. What is the maximum building height for a log house on mountainside??

  46. At least one basin, one bath or shower, and one toilet per dwelling unit.

  47. Your local authority will advise – and they are the people who will need to approve your plans. This isn’t covered by the NBR as such.

  48. Good day

    Can you tell me what maximum size of a granny flat is allowed, and can i make a double story granny flat

  49. Yasmin Ahmed says:

    Can you please advice the ratio for toilets in a home

  50. s.Mthethwa says:

    6m x 6m is enough

  51. Can you tell me what is the required/norm lip from door frame to floor. Not sure if that is making sense – door frame seems to be too high and when they put the tiles in, there might still be a 20mm gap leading outside – should it not be flush with the floor?

  52. These dimensions are not specified in the National Building Regulations.

  53. Jaco, Part W: Fire Installation of SANS 10400 specifies how fire fighting equipment – including fire hose reels should be installed. Part T: Fire Protection specifies the number of hose reels required as well as where they should be installed. e.g. the reel must be installed so that the end of the hose will reach any point in the area to be protected. Also, you need one hose reel for every 500 m2 or part thereof of floor area in any storey. In addition, hose reels installed in buildings must comply with the requirements of SANS 543; should be installed in accordance with SANS 10105-1 and SANS 10400-W; and must be maintained in accordance with the requirements in SANS 1475-2.

  54. The NBR does not specify sizes of garages. In my book Build Your Own Carport I specify a MINIMUM of 5.5 m x 5.5 m – and that would only suit small sedan cars.

  55. Cathy Wright says:

    Is 5metres x 5 metres big enough for a double garage in the Western Cape ? does it comply with the latest building regulations ?

  56. Good day,

    Can you please advise on the legal requirement around having a fire hose reel inside an office.

    History: It was part of an open space, and the demand for office space increased. The space was converted into an office with the fire hose reel staying with the original design, now inside the new office.

    I can not find any requirements that should be adhered to, except for notices & signs, inspection and clear from obstruction and lockable doors ect….

    Can you please direct me to the requirements if needed.

    Regards,
    Jaco

  57. If you go to our “Municipalities” category and scroll through you will see Zoning schemes for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Tshwane. I am waiting for some from KZN to happen and will put them up as soon as I can get them.

  58. where do you find the zoning regs of the local
    authoritys

  59. What are the minimum sizes for bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens? Please need help urgently.

  60. Hi Louis, On this dimensions page you can see the size can be “So while a bedroom can legally be as small as 6 m²”. If you want some guidelines on plastering please go to our sister site and download “Your Guide to Plastering” here: http://www.ownerbuilding.co.za/document-downloads/

  61. Hi,
    where am I able to find plaster thickness tolerances and room size/dimension tolerances?

    Louis

  62. Clinton I suggest you contact the SABS because it isn’t just sizes – there are a lot of other specifications that need to be complied with in order for doors to be SABS compliant.

  63. Hi

    Please I need your advise on the standard sizes and measurement of the doors in South Africa?
    I want to import steel doors and below is some of the sizes and measurement

    Steel board thickness to be 0.3/0.7mm for 50mm door,. And i0.4/1.0mm for 70mm door,

    Please advise me the require sizes.

    Thanks

  64. Leonard this is not specified in the National Building Regulations, however rule of thumb is no smaller than 6 m x 6 m. You need to be able to park two cars comfortably and be able to open the doors.

  65. Hi, What is the minimum width of a double garage?

  66. Louis you probably need to access Part T, Fire Protection of SANS 10400. This is where emergency exits are covered. viz.
    4.16 Provision of escape routes
    This relates to the size of the building as well as the number of people occupying it. e.g. “Any building of a height of more than three storeys shall be provided with not less than two escape routes and”

  67. Kevin, The SABS will be able to tell you which standards (SANS) are relevant. The SABS webstore is temporarily unavailable, so I can’t do a search for you, but there are probably several depending on the materials used – e.g. wood, steel, aluminum etc.

  68. Kevin Mambwe says:

    what are the south African standards for door frames and window frames?

  69. Hi,

    Referring to G1 offices, I would like to find out when should a workplace need an emergency exit door (excluding the entrance door). Is it required or do we work on the size of the workplace?. Your assistance and guidance will be highly appreciated.

    Regards
    Louis

  70. Hi Richard, I suggest you get hold of the Master Builders SA and ask them for a list of names of reputable builders in your area and get quotes directly from them. The MBASA website is here: http://www.mbsa.org.za/

  71. What will it cost to build a 6 x 7m double garage in johanessburg

  72. Louis this is usually specified in the zoning regs of each local authority. So check with them.

  73. Hi, I am not sure what you mean, but if you want to copy the plans that your architect has supplied then there are photocopy stores in most cities that can do large plan copies.

  74. BUSARI ABDULAKEEM OLAWALE says:

    I REALLY WANT TO KN HW TO MAKE GOOD SKETCH OF SITES PLAN

  75. Jean in terms of the allowed area on which you are permitted to build, it is only the ground floor area that is taken into account. I think though that the local authority takes the full floor space into account when assessing rates and taxes.

  76. When calculating the maximum size of a double storey house on a plot, do you consider the sizes of both the ground floor and the 1st floor, or only one of these? Comparing the size of a single storey and a double storey house on the same plot size how do these differ?

  77. Louis Bosch says:

    Morning, can you please tell me what the maximum height is for a single storey residential house?

  78. Stewart this is covered in Part A of SANS 10400. A20 covers Classification and Designation of “Occupancies” and specifies how different functional areas are defined. G1 = Offices
    “Occupancy comprising offices, banks, consulting rooms and other similar usage.”
    This also specifies “design population”, and for G1 the requirements are “1 person per 15 m2”
    I hope this helps.

  79. Stewart Pegum says:

    Hi,
    Are there any minimum standards for office space ?
    thanks
    stewart

  80. Hi Scott,
    The minimum size is more a practical one than a legislated one. So long as you can safely drive your car into the garage and get out comfortably then that will dictate the size. I would look at standard door sizes that are available so that you have a choice and will be reasonably priced. There the recommended size is: Opening – 2440mm wide X 2135mm high with brickwork of 220mm on the sides and 400mm above the opening. Measure your car and see if this will do. The average width of a medium size car or bakkie is no more than 2000mm.

  81. Hi there, is there a spec / standards that depicts the minimum entrance width for a single garage entrance? About to build again and want to check

  82. Cassim this is governed by the local authority by-laws and not the building regulations. So it depends where you live. I suggest you contact your local authority and ask them.

  83. Hi
    Could you please tell me, what percentage of the overall plot area maybe constructed on? In other words, the floor area of a house should occupy no more than what percent of the land/plot area?

  84. Abel there is quite a lot of information about boundaries and building lines on this website, and on our sister website, Owner Building.

  85. It also depends on the building lines for that particular local authority or locality. Hope you understand wat we mean by building lines, that is the space or distance where you are not supposed to put any dwelling structure from the boundary wall or stand boundary and is usually stated in metres or feet with differences between front, back and sides.

  86. Ben I am not sure. These are not specified in the National Building Regulations but might be within other SANS. Since you are required to use a qualified and registered plumber for all work, he/she will be able to answer that question.

  87. Need to know where one could get information on the various height regulations for taps that are wall mounted above a hand or wash basin?
    Are there standards for shower head heights ect?

  88. Jurgens I assume that the minimum size would be exactly the same as the minimum size for any other dwelling. The regulations state that the floor of any permanent building that is used as a “dwelling house” must be no less than 30 m². Sorry I got hooked on sectional title – and then just thought it’s pretty obvious that the National Building Regulations apply to ALL buildings irrespective.
    See more HERE.

  89. Hi Penny
    Thanks for the help. I would imagine the minumum size for a flat must be defined. Does not matter if it is part of a complex or sectional title units. Does the min size of 30M apply to alone standings dwelings only?
    Regards

  90. Yes Jurgens it would be the inside measurement. I am not an expert regarding Sectional Title but can’t find anything in the Act that specifies size. I imagine it would either be the local authority and/or the body corporate that decides on minimum sizes.

  91. Thanks got that floor are definision.

    Am i correct, that the dimentions is taken on the inside of the unplastered walls to calculate floor area?
    Is the minumum size of a sectional titel unit 30m?

    Regards
    Jurgens

  92. Thank you. Great website!

  93. The “floor area” is defined in Part A of SANS 10400 as the “total area of a building, or a storey thereof, enclosed within its external walls, exclusive of the area occupied by any lift shaft”.

  94. Mika it depends on the local authority by-laws and zoning of the property. Usually it’s about 60%, but I suggest you check with your local council.

  95. Hi Penny. Please can you tell me what percentage of the area of a residential plot is one allowed to build on. Thanks

  96. Hi
    What is the definision of floor area? Would the patio of a flat in a sectional title unit be considered floor area? The patio has no outer wall or rail and is on ground floor level. The roof of the patio is the floor of the 1st floor Unit?
    Jurgens

  97. Your client? Surely if you build for someone else you know what they want you to build? And then he/she would also have approved the plans prior to them being submitted to council for approval. Or am I missing something? If your plans have been approved, I have to assume that they comply with NBR otherwise they wouldn’t have been approved.
    The regulations (Part C) say that the minimum plan area for any habitable room other than a kitchen, scullery or laundry (and this applies to ALL occupancies) is “6 m2 with no linear dimension less than 2 m”.
    Floor area of any “dwelling house” may not be less that 30 m2 in the case of any permanent building other than Category 1 building which must be at least 27 m2 in size.
    Part A, General principles and requirements, gives a table of different classes of occupancy. I assume this will be either H2 Dormitory Occupancy where groups of people are accommodated in one room.
    H3 Domestic residence Occupancy consisting of two or more dwelling units on a single site.
    H4 Dwelling house Occupancy consisting of a dwelling unit on its own site, including a garage and other domestic outbuildings, if any.
    Part A also specifies maximum “design population” for rooms. i.e. It can’t be smaller than this.
    H2 = 1 person per 5 sq m
    H3 and H4 = “2 persons per bedroom” … obviously this is read with the 30 or 27 sq m minimum for the house, and min 6 sq m for any habitable room. While not ideal by any means, you could fit a double bed into the min size – (if the room was square) with 1 m x 3 m along one side – and 800 mm on either side of the bed! So legally the rooms you have built are not “too small”.
    But then in Part P, Drainage, there are additional regulations that relate to the provision of sanitary fixtures. There are exceptions for shops in terms of these not needing to be in the same building, but I am not sure about exemptions for H2, H3 and H4.
    H2 depends on the number of people using the dormitories. H3 and H4 must have at least 1 toilet, 1 bath or shower and one basin. But again, if you have approved plans, I don’t see the problem.

  98. Charmaine says:

    Hi Penny

    Thanks for the reply. We have built accomodation (approved drawings etc). But an inspection done by our client says the room sizes are too small. The rooms are 12 square metres for 2 people.
    They ablutions, entertainment, dining etc are in separate buildings.

  99. Charmaine the minimum sizes for rooms is given in SANS 10400, Part C Dimensions, which is explained on this page. But your question is a bit strange. Are you wanting to provide temporary accommodation for laborers? If so you will have to get permission from the local authority. If you are going to accommodate a labourer in a servant’s quarter or similar on your property, the minimum size is no different to the minimum size required for you!

  100. Charmaine says:

    Hi

    What is the minimum room size for accommodation?

    * For one labourer
    * For two labourers

    Thanks
    Charmaine

  101. Lance, A concrete roof would only be defined as “living space” if the roof became a floor. i.e. If you were to use it as an elevated patio, they could include the area as “living space”. If you are concerned, give their planning department a call and double-check.

  102. Hi there Penny

    I’m planning a new build and was thinking of having a flat concrete roof. My question is would the municipality charge for that concrete roof as living space? I realize that the municipality calculates the rates based on the square meterage of a dwelling, so would the flat concrete roof be included?

    Thanks for a brilliant site!
    Lance

  103. Generally a double garage will be 6.5 m wide. But the size will be on your plans. Measure what you have and compare the dimensions. You’ll soon see whether your builder scammed you!

  104. Tiaan this information will be specified on the approved plans.

  105. Hi, I need to know what the dimensions of the first floor should be in thickness… considering that all the rooms in the house of the ground floor are 220mm thick , and not exceeding a room area of 60m^2?

  106. Branden Pon says:

    I recently purchase a 3 year old free standing house inside an Estate
    in Greestone. My question is what is the standard size of a Double
    garage? We are battling to park 2 cars, a small car and Suv with and
    be able to walk around cars with the garage door closed. I’m sure the
    buider short changed me. Branden

  107. That’s not quite what I said. Basically plans include a description of “purpose” or function. And technically that is what the structure or room is for. Which rules have you heard are due to change? Let me know and I’ll find out. The NBR has only just been updated, and unless there are new parts, I doubt that there will be changes at this stage.

  108. Thanks. Surely I won’t do it alone but knowing options beforehand helps alot. So a workshop, garage or hobby room would be allowed as long as you don’t live in them? I have just heard that those rules are going to change in March 2013. Do you know about that?

  109. It varies and depends on the building line for the property. This should be indicated on the site plan for the property, and on the original drawing when the area was surveyed (which you can get from the Surveyor General’s office in Pretoria). But the local authority can give permission for a garage to be built on the boundary, though you would need to get permission from neighbours if the building line is changed. To extend or build a garage, you will need plans. All the NBR apply in terms of H4, which is a “dwelling house – occupancy consisting of a dwelling uni on its own site, including a garage and other domestic outbuildings, if any”. Plans will have to be drawn up by a “competent person” (CLICK HERE to read more about competency) who will advise what is required in terms of height, light and ventilation, fire walls etc. If the plans state that this is a garage, technically this is the only purpose it may be used for. However many garages are built either with additional space for storage, or are in fact used for storage. The two issues are “habitable rooms” and probably also rates payable to council. e.g. You cannot “live” in a garage, because it isn’t built for that purpose.

  110. You seem competent. I see many garages built directly at boundary wall and not leaving 1.5m. Is it old rules? I would like to extend/move my existing garage to the boundary wall. Can I use it for other purposes, must the “garage” not have any windows and a maximum height or what regulations apply?

  111. I would also be concerned that they would look straight onto your patio!
    But to answer your question… It is not so much a safe distance that you need to worry about, but an assurance that their drainage will be properly designed. We have recently been inundated with messages and queries from people whose neighbors blatantly build and alter boundary walls and then take zero responsibility for damage caused when they collapse or there isn’t proper runoff. Rain water needs to be channelled by gutters and downpipes into suitable storm water drains that run off to a municipal drain – and NOT onto your property.

  112. We have people building a new house on the raised stand behind us. They have requested permission to build the double story house to less than a 1 meter from our boundry wall, behind the boundry wall is our small paved entertainement area that flows into our house. I am concerned about the rain water flowing off the roof into our patio and damaging our house. What is safe distance for the double story house to be built to prevent rain overflowing.

  113. Adri, if they are dog-headed about the issue, put in an objection in writing. Good luck.

  114. Thank you very much for your assistance.
    Regards

  115. You are right in terms of the definition of “habitable room”. The legislation defines this as “a room used or designed, erected, adapted or intended to be used by persons for sleeping in, living in, the preparation or consumption of food or drink, the transaction of business, the rendering of professional services, the manufacture, processing or sale of goods, the performance of work, the gathering together of persons or for recreational purposes”.
    And the legislation states only that, “The floor area of any dwelling unit shall not be less than that necessary to provide one habitable room and a separate room containing toilet facilities. So I think you have a strong argument.
    As a matter of interest, I just measured the guest loo in the house where I currently live and the room measure 1,7 m x 900 mm!

  116. I thank you for the response.
    Habitable room description does not include a toilet according to what I read.
    Does this then mean that the mun. can not actually do this.
    I await your responce.

    Thank you

  117. Adri they probably can, depending on the local authority’s interpretation. The NBR deemed-to-satisfy rules state that the minimum plan area of any “habitable” room must be at least 6 square metres and have no linear dimension that is less than 2 m. The only exceptions are kitchens, sculleries and laundries. But they don’t specify minimum size of toilet spaces.

  118. I would like to know if the municipality can insist that the dimensions of a toilet inside a house be at least 2m in lebght irrespectively of the width?

  119. Minor building work [CLIK HERE to read more about this] does not required plans. BUT – and this is important – the National Building Regulations say that you must still notify your local authority that you are going to undertake minor building work.
    Like all other structures covered in the regulations, a “prefab wooden room” would have a purpose or function – and it needs to be built for this purpose. Minor building work does NOT cover living quarters. It does, though state that if a tool shed is smaller than ten square metres, it qualifies as “minor building work”. So you would be within your rights if you erected the “shed” IF it was under ten square AND you notified your local authority of your intention to erect it.
    There is another issue, and that involves “temporary buildings” which may be erected without plans and used for a specific period of time – agreed by the local authority. However in this instance the regulations say that you need to submit SITE PLANS and general LAYOUT DRAWINGS as well as state what it is for and how long it will be used. It doesn’t state how long you may have a temporary structure for – but builder’s sheds are precluded.
    My suggestion is that you submit a letter to your council to say that you have undertaken “minor building work” and have only now realized that you should have notified them of your intention to erect the shed. Specify what sort of structure it is – you will see what is allowed in the link above. If you are using the shed as a dwelling, it is very likely that your neighbour could have it pulled down. If you are using it as a tool shed (or garden shed) you shouldn’t have a problem. Good luck.

  120. I have built a prefab wooden room in my yard …… it is above the ground and not anchored or cemented in place. It is 3m x 3m and has a door and a window. My neighbour said i need plans for it and said he is going to get it pulled down ….. i was under the impression that if it was smaller than 10 sq meters and if it isnt a permanent structure (like a wendy shed), that I wouldnt need plans? Please help urgently as Ive spent a lot of money and Im very worried now 🙁

  121. Yes Tim there is, and there are examples of all three you mention that have been built perfectly legally in this country. I think that half our problem – in SA that is – is that we can build with blocks and mortar very cheaply. We generally don’t bother with energy efficiency either.
    I also love the tiny house movement – some wonderful examples of minimalism… our minimum dimensions are rather tiny, so I wouldn’t assume illegal …

  122. Is there any scope for alternative building techniques in South Africa? For example earth bag, cob, strawbale etc.

    Also interested in the American “tiny house” movement. Looks like these buildings might be illegal in SA.

  123. Cheryl there are building lines that the local authority will impose. For instance you can’t usually build less than 1.5 m from a boundary. This will determine the area on which you can build. There isn’t a set %.

  124. Where can I find out how much of my property can be built on (R.O.C) is?

  125. Indran Kistensamy says:

    Good Site -Penny, South Africans are getting ripped off by fly by night contractors. Building ventures must be well thought through your book will help many…
    Yolanda can enquire with a finanicial institute she uses for a estimate per
    sq metre pricing to build, tile roof or zink sheeting.

  126. Yolanda, there are so many factors that come into play – cost of bricks or blocks – cost of cement and sand (and crushed stone for foundations). Cost of timber. Type and cost of roof covering. Labour costs. Probably the cheapest route will be to use concrete blocks and corrugated iron sheeting (so that your trusses can be relatively lightweight). Remember that you are going to need professional plans to be passed by your local authority – and a “competent person” will need to submit these for you. A draughtsman is likely to be the least expensive option; and he/she would probably be able to give you a pretty accurate guesstimate of material and labour costs in your area. Here is a link to a story I wrote recently for an American website on small house building. It might be useful in terms of estimating. I also have a chapter on quantifying and costing in my updated book on Owner Building in South Africa.

  127. Hi Penny

    Trust all is well. We are looking at building a 36 square/m garage (double garage) next year. If possible could you please advise what the estimate cost of such a project is. Looking at using normal bricks or blocks and a normal roof. So plain-jane… We looking at just getting the structure up and we can modify as we continue to live on the property. At the moment we have a carport which is not working for our needs. It would really be appreciated if you could assist. We’ve been searching the net but most blogs are out dated. Your blog is the most recent I’ve come across.

    Many thanks for empowering us with knowledge.

    All the best.
    Regards
    Yolanda

  128. It depends on the building lines attached to the plot. You will be allowed to build x metres from each boundary and can probably go up a storey. So let’s use the old adage again, “How long is a piece of string?”

  129. SANS 10400-C specifies dimensions of minimum room areas and heights. Part O covers lighting and ventilation (both natural and artificial) – http://sans10400.org.za/lighting-and-ventilation/ – which relates to doors and windows. For the rest it really relies on design criteria rather than regulations.

  130. It depends what you use for building. e.g. concrete blocks, clay bricks etc – the pitch of the roof and materials used for the roof covering. It’s the old adage, “how long is a piece of string!”

  131. To be honest, I had never heard the term mean sea level (msl) until now. I presume this has been used because the development is right next to the sea. But what is the issue here? Is it the height of the walls (are they too high)? It also isn’t clear from what you say whether you or someone else built the wall, and when.
    If there are architectural guidelines for a development, this is the “legal authority”. It over-rides anything that the municipality might require from builders outside of the development. If there is nothing about walls other than those of houses, I would imagine that there could be some sort of precedent that relates to what other home owners have done/been allowed to do… unless of course this is a new development. My advice is to get a copy of the guidelines and track down the architects who compiled them. They should be able to help you.

  132. The Home Owners in this estate require the height of my two lateral boundary walls on the excavation leading down to a marina to be measured from the “general height of the ground level, natural or engineered by the original developers, where the wall was built”.
    To alter the walls would cause me great expense as they are unfortunately already built. They say the relevant “Architectural Guidelines” for this development which state only “All heights measured from datum 3m above msl.” applies only to to houses. I think that “msl” is legally meaningless.
    If they are correct where can I find legal authority for the exact way the walls should be measured? My municipality is not prepared to lay out this information for me.
    Please help.

  133. Hello

    What are the average building cost of a double garage ( double in lenght but not in width)

    Thanks 🙂

  134. Hi

    I am in the process of buying a 550 square metre building site. What is the maximum size of house that I am permitted to build on this size stand?

    Thanks
    Jayce

  135. Danie Jacobs says:

    Hi there.
    What is the minimum size of windows and doors allowed for a room?
    Is there a calculation formula?

  136. Hi. You found the right place on the site for dimensions, but the National Building Regulations and NHBRC guidelines do not give specs for doors and openings. Generally designers base their plans on standard door frame sizes. Based on this, an opening wouldn’t be less than about 700 mm wide, which is more or less the opening size from the inside members of a door frame.

  137. Hi there

    What is the minimum width of a door way or door opening. And where can I find more detail in this regard ?

  138. That’s an interesting one Sylvie. Part C of the Building Regs gives minimum dimensions for rooms and buildings, but as you have probably realized, the focus here is on habitable spaces. The dimensions are small and intended to be guidelines for “affordable” housing – as well as “fit for purpose”. So if someone builds a “tiny” garage for their mini, I doubt that there is anything to stop them. Some local authorities may insist on a specific minimum size for a garage (you could check with yours); private housing developments might too. But anyone renting/leasing a property, does so knowing exactly what they are going to be renting. So I am going to stick my neck out and say you don’t have any recourse.

  139. Hi

    i just recently purchased a new car (average – Hyundai sonata) and realized that it does not fit my garage (3m wide, 4.3 m long). As i am a tenant, i would like to know if there are any legal building regulations that regulates the minimum size of a space deemed fit for use as a garage? SANS 10400 does not give any minimum dimensions for garages.

  140. Hello Courtney,
    You should be guided by the size of the average car. You need to be able to park two cars side by side – and open doors without bashing the adjacent vehicle.
    A double garage may be built with two single doors, or with one double door. So you can also be guided by the size of standard garage doors. The length – or height – of both is generally 2130 (i.e. just over two metres). Single garage doors are 2440 or 2450 wide; and double doors, 3000 (roll-up) or 4880. Some double garage doors are as wide as five metros +.
    If you can’t accommodate a double garage width wise, perhaps you could build one that accommodates two cars tandem. It’s not ideal, but it might be a solution.

  141. Hi there

    I wonder if you could help me with a garage question. I’d like to build a double garage on my property, what would be the absolute minimum size we could build to? We have the length but width is a bit of a problem.

    Thanks
    Courtney