Its numerous beaches and its status as a major sea port in South Africa make Port Elizabeth a preferred choice for many South Africans who are looking to buy or build a home. Situated in the Eastern Cape province, it's also one of South Africa's largest cities. Like in other cities in the country, the construction of any house or building must adhere to the National Building Regulations as well as the requirements of the local authority. The first stage in the process of building a house in Port Elizabeth is to prepare drawings of the plan, which needs to be submitted to the municipality for approval. This is a task that can be undertaken only by professional architects in Port Elizabeth as they are well-versed in the various regulations that should be met as well as the restrictions regarding land or building use.
Drawings of the house plan should be created by a professional. So, unless you are a qualified architect, it's best to leave this to the experts. Not only will a trained architect have the necessary skills to convert the initial sketch into a professional drawing, which the authorities expect, but they also have thorough knowledge about the dos and don't in terms of the façade and interior architecture. This will ensure that the minimum time is spent on going back and forth to the municipal offices to get the plans approved.
Besides getting your plans sanctioned, an architect can simplify every stage in the process of constructing a house. Based on your preferences and budget, they can advise you on the best style of architecture for the house, whether its minimalist or classic, as well as the types of materials that are suitable for it. Additionally, the architect will recommend features and materials that can withstand the subtropical climate in Port Elizabeth, which experiences light rain throughout the year.
Architects can also reduce the hassle of trying to source specialized contractors for each job, such as laying the floor tiles, fixing glass panes or setting up the electrical connections in the house. If you were to build your house on your own, most of the time would be spent in trying to find the right contractor for each job and negotiating with them regarding labour costs. Hiring an architect eliminates this stress as they have contacts with skilled labour whom they use regularly. This includes kitchen planners, bathroom designers and landscape professionals.
In addition, a local architect can help you to get the best prices on the materials used as they are always in touch with suppliers and can negotiate for better deals than you would get as a first-time customer.
The total cost of building a house can vary significantly depending on the size, the design, the materials used as well as the terrain. However, as per current estimates, it will cost R 5,017 per square metre to build a single family house and R 5,324 per square metre for a townhouse in Port Elizabeth. If you have a rough idea of the size of your house in square metres, these figures can help you to calculate how much to budget for the construction. For a more realistic estimate, it's best to consult a local architect and explain your requirements, style preferences and budget, based on which he can prepare a sketch or work with you to create a design that fits your budget and needs.
While you may want modern architecture for your house, it may not be suitable for the local conditions. For instance, a wooden house will be perfect for a hilly region, but in Port Elizabeth, which has rain throughout the year, the material would be ill-suited, especially for the façade. Local architects can help you to choose the right material so that your house requires minimum maintenance or refurbishment. Similarly, they can advise you on the type of architectural design that is suited for the area in which your house is located.
The first thing to do before you hire an architect is to ensure that he is registered with the South African Institute of Architects as this will enable you to lodge a complaint against him if he doesn't work in a professional manner. Additionally, the work ethic and temperament of the architect are also important as you will be interacting with him during the entire process of constructing your house. Unless you get along well, it can be very stressful and take away the joy that you experience in seeing your house take shape.
Besides this, you can ask the architect to show you his portfolio to get an idea of the quality of his work. On homify, we have photographs of many homes designed by architects in Port Elizabeth. Browse through to get ideas about the elements you would like to include in your house. Additionally, you can look at our Port Elizabeth architect directory to identify professionals who have a strong portfolio. Once you have decided on a few, you can use the online contact form to submit your requirements and get started with the process of designing and building your home.