Phase 2 – Planning with your Architect


2. Planning with your Architect

A building plan is a graphical representation of what a building will look like after construction.

Architects create designs for new construction projects, alterations, and redevelopments and contribute a vital part of the construction process. They use their specialist construction knowledge and high-level drawing skills to design buildings that are functional, safe, sustainable, economical and aesthetically pleasing.



If you will be using a loan to finance your building project, it is important to schedule a meeting with a loan officer from the financial institution of your choice BEFORE consulting with your Architect. This is to have an idea of the amount you will be eligible to borrow and likewise the corresponding building size. This will save you TIME and MONEY in the long run. 

Planning Considerations

When planning to build your house, there are some important aspects that should be considered. These include:

Land Size
optimal use of space

Understand your needs – Build based on your needs


Comfortable in occupying space, must have certain dimensions.

Building Regulations

Consult with the local Authority to determine the required building regulations.

Importance of engaging a Qualified Architect

Stay Involved

Architects stay involved throughout the construction process, adapting their plans according to budget constraints, environmental factors or client needs which equates to less stress for the client and more peace of mind.


Guarantee that the design will be economical, functional and aesthetically pleasing.


Replica of desired design. When an architect is not involved, the design may be subject to various changes thus incurring additional cost.


Safeguards against poor estimation of construction cost. Architects can also save you money by picking up on potential issues before they become costly errors.


An architect can identify how to situate your project on the available land, in order to take advantage of all possible benefits including optimising views, aspect, sunlight, shade, natural cross-flow ventilation and efficient energy usage.

What is expected from an Architect?


1. Consultation to understand your needs


Before drafting plans, an architect is required to meet with the client several times to discuss requirements for their project.

Items discussed will include:

  • The overall objective.
  • The client’s requirements and desires.
  • The site and landscape.
  • Timescales.
  • Budget.

2. Site Appraisal


Next, the architect should carry out a site appraisal and analysis to assess the proposal context, its users and advise on the practicality of the project. 

The Architect must follow building codes, fire regulations, zoning laws and city ordinances when creating plans.


The final construction plan is then created by the architect and will be used by the contractor as a step-by-step guide on the details of the building. This includes the overall design, structural systems, flow, plumbing, electrical and ventilation.

Based on the final plan, the following sheets should be presented by the Architect. If they are not presented, ask about these aspects and whether they were catered to in the plan.

  • Ground Floor Plan
  • First Floor Plan
  • Elevation Plans – (North, South, West and East)
  • Foundation Plan
  • Ground Floor Beam Plan
  • First Floor Framing
  • Perimeter Beam
  • Roof Framing 
  • Cross Section
  • Details – Beams/Roof
  • Stairs
  • Windows & Door Schedule 
  • Ceiling Plans
  • First Floor Reflective Ceiling Plan
  • Site Plan
  • Fence
  • Kitchen Plan/Kitchen Elevation

For approval by statutory bodies such as Mayor & City Council or NDCs, only the site and elevation plans are required.

For more information on what is required to have your plan approved, go to