Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
- I have identified the plans for my dream house on the PlanDeluxe site, but would prefer some minor adjustments. Can this be done?
No. PlanDeluxe offers a broad range of architect-designed building plans at affordable prices. Our inventory of building plans steadily grows with the constant addition of new house plans onto the site. If you see a house plan that meets your requirements, but would require some adjustments, you may appoint a local draughtsman or architect in your area that is well versed in the specific requirements of your local and statutory authorities. They should be able to make the adjustments as per your requirements.
It may also prove necessary to include certain specific information on the site along with a Site Plan to the completed set of building plans we send you. To facilitate this process, you may order the plans in an electronic format and the file will be emailed to you in a CAD, DWG or DXF format. Your local architect or draughtsman may then make amendments to the CAD file. Because most draughtsmen and architects use CAD based software, they should not have any difficulty when opening and amending the plans. You will be pleased to learn that the total costs of your building plans will still be far less when you appoint and pay a draughtsman or architect for modifications, than if you had used the same draughtsman or architect to design the house from scratch.
Every person who practices architecture or submits home plans/house plans/ house floor plans/building plans/ brick wall house plans/ architectural designs/ blueprints/ 3D Renders/ drawings/content or images to the local authorities is required to be registered. You may otherwise choose to hire your local draughtsman to undertake the site plan and its approval by your local authority. Check in your local telephone directory for the contacts of the registered professionals in your area.
- Can I purchase a plan from PlanDeluxe but have another person modify it?
Yes. Simply request for a CAD format of your plans from PlanDeluxe, and we will email it to you in a DWG or DXF format. Another draughtsman or architect may then carry out the necessary changes, thereby making your modification process relatively cheaper and less expensive to undertake.
- Can PlanDeluxe draw up customized building plans from scratch in accordance with my needs?
No. PlanDeluxe sells only pre-designed plans from our inventory of building plans.
- What will be included in the building plan package you deliver to me?
Your package should include a set of ready-for-approval building plans in the form of detailed, high-quality drawings, in addition to the number of copies you ordered. The pro-forma site plan will be included for use as a guide during completion of the site plan on the newly acquired plans. This package will also include other documents indicated on the order form, like the pro-forma tender document; an agenda for site meetings with your building contractor; a payment schedule, handy for calculating monthly payments to the contractor; and a contract document. Specifically, in terms of drawings, the package will include:
- Detailed Floor Plans
These drawings show a bird’s eye view of every floor layout displaying all rooms, walls, windows, doors, drainage, dimensions, details and notes of material items. It also features references to different components and sections located in other places on the building plans.
- Side Elevations
These drawings show the sides of the house when viewed from all four sides – North, South, East and West. They also show the external treatment of the walls, finishes and exterior materials. The drawings provide details and notes on vertical dimensions and drainage components of the structure. Also elaborated are roofing notes and corbelling details. All other unique and specific details to the particular plan are also indicated here.
These drawings show a sliced view of the entire structure taken at specific points. Large-scale views show cuttings or sections of the foundations, ground level, floors, walls, staircases and roof details. Additional cross-sections may display important details that may be hidden otherwise in the structure’s deepest layers. Sections show the manner in which various components interconnect, forming a monolithic and solid outcome that then becomes a dwelling place. In certain cases, large scaled drawings may be required for the illustration of the interconnected nature of even the smallest components of the building, which will then translate to the builder and other building consultants what makes up the structure.
- Electrical Plan with Electrical Symbol Legends
These drawings outline suggested positions for your electrical plugs, outlets, switches, lighting etc. Layouts are provided for every floor level, every room, the garage and exterior. Note that your electrician will be responsible for the designs and reticulation of all wiring, circuits and every engineering detail in the entire system.
- Drainage Plan & Details
These drawings are included in their respective Floor plan and Elevation diagrams. Their notes and details are specified here as well.
- Roof Plan
This drawing offers an overview of the configuration of the roof. Roof ridges, angles, valleys and overhangs are displayed. The details and specifications of the roofing materials to be used are detailed as well.
- Will a materials cost estimate or bill of quantity (BOQ) be included in the plans?
No. Building prices vary enormously and depend on a variety of factors including prices charged for labor and material in your area and other conditions that exist in your local area. Due to this, our advice is to consult builders and hardware stores in your area. However, you may contract a Quantity Surveyor to provide you with a more accurate picture of the building costs for your home.
- What will not be included in the building plans package?
- Site Plans
These display the house location in relation to the specific site, stand or plot. Natural contours are typically illustrated in such plans to show the contrast between the gradient of the proposed structure and the ground levels. These are inclusive of the position of service connections as prescribed for your particular site. Note that for a relatively small fee, a local draughtsman or architect may be hired to produce your Site Plan.
- Engineering Certificates
In certain specific structural situations such as double Storey houses, complex roofing and foundations or unstable soils, you will require an engineer’s certificate or seal before you submit the plans to the local authority. This document serves as proof that a licensed structural engineer was appointed by you the homeowner, for purposes of undertaking any specification or testing of appropriate measures to guarantee the integrity of the entire structural system.
Where necessary, following purchase of the plans from PlanDeluxe, you may then appoint your local engineer to undertake quality control and site visits during construction of your home. Remember that a final Certificate of Completion from your engineer will also be required upon completing building but prior to obtaining the Occupation Certificate that permits you to occupy the house. The Completion Certificate is issued by an engineer once they have satisfied themselves that the construction has been undertaken in accordance with their initial specifications.
- Local Building & Planning Department Approval
The purpose of your local authority is to control and regulate the constant development and densification of local residential areas and cities. This is undertaken via different building codes and zoning regulations. You are therefore required to submit your building plans to your specific local planning or building authority. While every local authority operates on similar National Building Regulations, each has certain particular local requirements that will have to be met before permission is granted for building the house. Therefore, in satisfying such requirements, the home owner needs to remain aware of the specific requirements and payable fees to the relevant local councils and authorities. Because such requirements considerably vary from one local authority to another, it is wise to approach your relevant local authority to ascertain their requirements. Also not included are the energy efficiency calculations, SANS 204 and the SANS 10400-XA requirements. It is the responsibility of the home owner to meet these requirements in keeping with the geographical zoning that is applicable to the location of the stand or site. Note that for a relatively small fee, you may appoint an energy efficiency consultant, or your local draughtsman or architect to undertake these requirements.
- Are the building plans available in a mirror-reversed format?
No. But for a small fee, your local draughtsman or architect may undertake such conversions to mirror-reverse the building plans at your request.
- How many sets of plans do I need to build a house?
Usually about ten. In addition to copies for the contractor, plumber and electrician, you will need plan copies to obtain quotes. From the issued plans that you received from PlanDeluxe, you may make as many copies as necessary, only for purposes of building your house.
- Is it safe for me to provide my credit card information when ordering on PlanDeluxe.com?
Absolutely. PlanDeluxe.com utilizes a secure and comprehensive e-commerce system, which incorporates SSL encryption and tamper-proof digital objects that aid in preventing impersonation and hacking, while protecting your privacy. It has a secure firewall security system and offline encrypted storage facility that minimizes risk.
If you are still not comfortable to use your credit card on the internet, you may opt for an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) with our provided banking details.
- Why should I purchase plans from PlanDeluxe rather than hire my own draughtsman or architect?
All the plans available on the PlanDeluxe.com site reflect a very high standard in architectural design, and are offered at a fraction of the cost typically charged by an architect or draughtsman. Once you compare our prices versus typical industry prices, you will see why you simply cannot afford to NOT purchase your plans at PlanDeluxe.com. However, in the event that you should wish to hire a professional to provide full service, custom design your house to your unique needs and work as project manager you may appoint one of the PlanDeluxe architects in your area by contacting us.
- Following payment, how long will it take for me to receive the plans?
Usually, it takes a maximum of five working days for your plans to arrive at your doorstep, following receipt of payment confirmation from a Bank.
It is however important to note:
- Deliveries to a neighboring state may require up to ten working days.
- Our records show that packages are often delivered 2 days following confirmation of the order and the payment.
- Am I permitted to build this home on more than one site?
No. Only the buyer of a house plan is only allowed to build a single house only one time unless otherwise stated in writing from PlanDeluxe.com. No home plans/house plans/ house floor plans/building plans/ brick wall house plans/ architectural designs/ blueprints/ 3D Renders/ drawings/content and images or part thereof can be reproduced and/or copied by any means and for any reason other than for purposes of building the house for which the plans have been bought and only once. We may offer a discounted price for the multiple uses of our plans, for which you will have to contact us to order a license.
- How am I affected by Copyright law?
All Copyright is reserved to PlanDeluxe.com under the terms of the South African Laws & Regulations and ALL International Treaty and Trade provisions. All home plans/house plans/ house floor plans/building plans/ brick wall house plans/ architectural designs/ blueprints/ 3D Renders/ drawings/content and images in this publication are the property of PlanDeluxe.com. Any Copyright Infringement carries a minimum penalty of R 1,000,000 enforceable by the Laws of South Africa and ALL related International Treaties and Trade provisions.
- Can I visit your offices to consult with one of your professionals and review my requirements?
Yes, consultation is strictly by appointment. Should you wish to consult or meet one of our professionals prior to buying a plan; a consultation fee will be levied. Otherwise our online quoting process remains FREE OF CHARGE.
- What is a PDF Version?
A PDF file features the electronic copy of either the Full scale or Study version of your building plans. PDF is the acronym for Portable Document Format. The PDF file is a digital file format that is popularly utilized today for the easy transfer of files that contain text, drawings, font and pictures into a single digital file format which is very easy to use, download, store, attach onto emails and print additional copies of your building plans. To read the PDF file, you will require the PDF Reader software that is available to download free of charge from Adobe on this link: http://get.adobe.com/reader/. Note that you may not alter a PDF House Plan package after purchase. To make post-purchase modifications to your plans you require a CAD electronic copy of the building plans.
- What is a CAD or AutoCAD Version?
A CAD/AutoCAD/DWG/DXF file features the electronic copy of your building plans in the format in which they were created. CAD files can only be opened on PCs that have already installed the CAD system. Such a file format is ideal in situations where the customer has purchased plans that they like but would prefer to make certain modifications to their plans before they build or submit them to the local authorities. You may hire any local Architect or Draughtsman who uses the CAD system to make such changes.
- What are the meanings of the abbreviations on the floor plans?
Some of the common abbreviations appearing on our floor plans include:
Bedr. – Bedroom
BIC. – Built-In-Cupboards
D/Garage.- Double Garage
Din.- Dining Room
Lin. – Linen Cupboard
Prep.- Preparation Bowl
SHW or SH.- Shower
- – Water Closet
WHB.- Wash Hand Basin
WIC. – Walk-In Closet
The footage or square meter of the plan is calculated on the covered (slab or roofed) habitable living area which includes Double Volumes. This also includes any finished garages, basement areas, patios and porches (but excludes balconies or any open or uncovered spaces).