The value of professional advice when building

Private Property South Africa
Property Power

You need expert advice when building a home. It is worth paying for a professional now, as this may save you a substantial amount later.

Make sure you consult with reputable architects, quantity surveyors, development consultants, building contractors, plumbers, electricians, and so on.

Quantity Surveyors

A Quantity Surveyor is a professional who specialises in the construction industry and whose training and experience qualifies him to advise you on building costs and contractual arrangements and to prepare contract documents. He liaises with architects, consulting engineers and contractors to safeguard the client's interest. He is an independent expert who operates in a specialised area of the construction industry. In terms of the Quantity Surveying Profession Act 49 of 2000, Quantity Surveyors register with the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession before they may offer their service as consultants to the public. For more information on the Quantity Surveying profession, please visit www.sacqsp.org.za and www.asaqs.co.za.

Architects

An Architect will design your home to your specifications and budget. Once you have approved the plans, he will submit them to the NHBRC and the local authority for approval and take care of all the other architectural requirements. The architect can also manage the building process for you and take responsibility for authorising Process Payments from the bank to the building contractor.

Building Engineer

A Building Engineer (Civil Engineer) will, after the architect has designed your home, design the foundations for the house according to the grading of the ground. He will also design the upper storeys' floor slabs and the stairs. It is ultimately the engineer's responsibility to ensure that these structures are built according to standard.

Building Contractors and Other Contractors

The Building Contractor should be registered with the NHBRC. An NHBRC warranty certificate is only proof of enrolment with the NHBRC. It is not a guarantee of good workmanship, and it does not cover all building defects. It is valid for five years from the date of occupation and after three months from the date of occupation it covers structural defects only. Find out what other homes were built by the builder. Visit as many of these homes as possible and try to view one or two of them. Talk to the owners and find out what their experiences were with the builder. The same applies for any other contractors like plumbers, electricians, and so on.

Building Contract Facilitators

These are companies who liaise with owner-builders, architects and builders (including any sub-contractors, used by the builders) throughout the building project to ensure that the project is completed according to the highest standard.

They assist the owner-builder in selecting finishes, which in turn facilitates builders in terms of getting the project completed timeously. From tendering for quotations to arranging samples of products such as tiles, lighting and many other finishes for the owner-builder to make their selections at their leisure.

They can also assist with finance applications, the marketing and sales of the finished home, management of the entire project, interior design an even sometimes garden landscaping.

This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine. To order your copy at the discounted price of R120 click here.

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