Bloemfontein is a beautiful city in the Free State province of South Africa. It is popularly known as the city of roses because of the abundance of the flower in the city as well as the rose festival that is held every year. The city is the sixth largest in South Africa and the judicial capital of the country. It is known for its beautiful architecture, which includes historic buildings such as the Fourth Raadsaal as well as modern architecture such as Bram Fischer building that is the municipal headquarters. Thus, building a house in Bloemfontein can prove to be quite challenging as your home has to be built aesthetically to match the residential and public structures in the surrounding area. Therefore, it is advisable to hire architects in Bloemfontein, who can design structures that are most suited to the city’s urban landscape.
When considering building a house in the Bloemfontein area, it is always best to ensure that you use local architects, as hiring them brings several advantages.
- Architects in Bloemfontein will know the right specialists to hire during the construction of your project, whether it is energy consultants, structural engineers, electricians or brick layers.
- They will have a clearer understanding of the unpredictable weather in the area and advise you on the ideal type of structure and materials for your house. They will also include practical features into the architectural design of the house to help with withstanding the extreme conditions.
- Most local architects have strong relationships with suppliers, which will help in sourcing high-quality materials as well as skilled sub-contractors at the best prices.
- They are also familiar with the current rates and wages of labour in the area as well as surrounding areas, which reduces the chances of getting exploited by sub-contractors and suppliers, as would likely happen if you tried to build your house on your own.
There will be a notable difference in the cost of construction, depending upon whether you are building free standing houses, townhouses, flats, offices and shopping spaces. Currently, the average cost per square metre of building a standalone house in Bloemfontein is R 4,152 for a standalone house and R 6,226 for a townhouse. Flats cost R 6,165 per square metre. These figures can vary depending upon the style of architecture as well as the materials used.
All plans, which include details of the exterior and interior architecture of the house, need to comply with The National Building Regulations (as issued in terms of The National Building Regulations and Standards Act 104 of 1977). Plan approvals are needed before construction commences. This will ensure that the design and plans are legally approved before execution and save the costs involved in having to demolish or rebuild certain parts of the house.
The taxes related to building and construction are regulated by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). It is the responsibility of the home owner to find an architect or architectural company that is registered with SARS to manage all the tax requirements of the building project.
Bloemfontein experiences the semi-arid climate since it is situated at an elevation of 1400 metres. While summer days can be hot with maximum temperature at around 32°C, winter months are dry with minimum temperature dropping to -3°C. Thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence on summer afternoons, just as frost is in the early mornings during winter.
Therefore, the challenge lies in keeping the house cool during the hot summers and warm during cold winters. However, a Bloemfontein architect who is experienced with designing passive houses will include features that help to insulate the interior from the heat of the sun’s rays to keep it cool during summer nights. Additionally, he will use materials that trap the heat and radiate it into the interiors to warm the living areas at night when the weather is colder.
Depending on the style of house that you prefer, whether it is minimalist or eclectic, he will work with you to incorporate features that make it comfortable to live in throughout the year.
Ideally, an architect should come with references of successful projects that he has designed and built. Whether you find an architect through an online listing on the Internet or through a referral, it’s wise to verify a few points:
- Check whether he is registered with the South African Institute of Architects. You can do this by requesting his registration number and verifying it against the registry of the Institute.
- If you can’t view a house that he has built, ask for photographs and client references so that you can assess the quality of his construction as well as his work ethic. Bear in mind that the architect is not obligated to provide you with this information. However, it is in his best interest to do so if he wants to take on your project.
- It’s also vital that you are comfortable interacting with the architect. The process of building a house can be stressful as it involves having to take decisions on the budget, style and materials. The last thing you want is to be arguing frequently with your architect for every decision that you need to make.
On homify, we have an architect directory in which you can find listings of several professionals. You can browse through their portfolios to see photographs of houses that they have built and make a note of the features or styles that you like. After this, fill up the online contact form and send a query to a few Bloemfontein architects. Based on your interactions with them, you can choose one to prepare a sketch and draw the plans for your house.