General Questions

  1. Architects are responsible for creating structures that captures the client’s requirements. This is then documented into a set of drawings and ancillary documents for approval from HOA, Heritage bodies, Local authorities etc., and then compiling a detailed set of documents for tender, which also provides necessary and valuable information to a contractor to build accordingly.
  2. Fee structures vary from architect to architect, and is mostly based on their value add and could be guided by the latest promulgated fee guideline as compiled by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession – SACAP

Refer to Solvation Architect’s Fee Structure tab.

Architects have various approaches and style guides. It is important to align yourself with these to ensure the product fulfils your requirements and sense of place. Completed projects and references are usually a good start.

This depends on the contract that is signed between client and architect. It is wise to have professional registered architects involved throughout a projects phase to ensure the initial design concept is successfully produced. Many concepts are great, but the execution is poor and not monitored according to the detail drawings and specifications. This results in a sub-standard product which in most cases does not add value to a potentially very valuable asset. One should also take note that building inspectors require approved building plans, which has been signed off by a professional registered architect and engineer, to be reflected in the actual built structure. On completion, the building inspector requires a form 4 signed by the same professional team to issue an occupancy certificate, which is usually required by financial institutions and insurance companies.

This depends on scale, property rights and restrictions, client requirements and third-party approvals. Each project should be evaluated on its own merit. But no quick fix solution is usually available, nor recommended. There is an asset value that any property improvements hold, and this should be well thought through and tested, to ensure the built product is worth the time and money.

There are many answers to this question, but in general more than one thinks. It is important to have a clear understanding of what you want and what the context of the property is. Scale, complexity, finishes, sloped properties, all have influences on the budget. The client should be specific in their request and provide a budget. It would be wise to also allow for a contingency that could cover any additional needs.

It is recommended to have a project priced by a qualified quantity surveyor or contractor, to ensure one is well aware of the risk and financial obligation before commencing any construction works or signing of contractor documents.


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