Building Regulations Introduction


  • 01 building inspections 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    1. During the building process there are a few inspections that most municipalities require. This will be of the building and the standard of work done, these are briefly explained in the following slides.
  • 02 Site for inspection 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    2. When plans are first submitted the building inspector will do a site inspection to see if the planned house will fit on the site and if the building will be within the allowed building lines.
  • 03 Foundation trench reinforcing 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    3. Foundation trenches must be inspected and approved before the concrete is placed.
  • 04 House at roof height 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    4. When all the walls have been built up and have reached roof height the next inspection will be done; this could be combined with the next level - roof trusses.
  • 05 roof trusses 01 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    5. The building inspector might want the roof trusses to be erected and in place for the inspection at this stage. This you should ask at the start so you follow the correct procedure.
  • 06 Drainage 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    6. All plumbing fixtures and fittings as well as the sewage connections may be inspected, checked, tested and and must be approved before the trenches are backfilled.
  • 07 Completion Occupation certificate 603x325 Building Regulations Introduction
    7. When the final completion inspection is done, an occupation certificate will be issued and the owner can take possession of the house and move in and finish off the interior.

The Site That Tells You All About Building Regulations

South Africa’s National Building Regulations were originally produced as a set of functional guidelines for anybody building any type of structure. They were not intended to be prescriptive in terms of what people should build, but they do stipulate important “dos” and “don’ts” – many of which are in fact mandatory. So if you are planning to build, this is a document you should familiarise yourself with.

If you want to know more about these important regulations, have a look at the scroll-down menu under National Building Regulations (SA). While these topics are those found in the regulations, we have not duplicated the regulations. Instead we have discussed the issues the regulations cover in easy to understand pages.

The Building Regulations are divided into 23 chapters as follows: Part A: General Principles and Requirements, Part B: Structural Design, Part C: Dimensions, Part D: Public Safety, Part E: Demolition Work, Part F: Site Operations, Part G: Excavations, Part G: Foundations, Part J: Floors, Part K: Walls, Part L: Roofs, Part M: Stairways, Part N: Glazing, Part O: Lighting and Ventilation, Part P: Drainage, Part Q: Non-water-borne Sanitary Disposal, Part R: Stormwater Disposal, Part S: Facilities for Disabled Persons, Part T: Fire Protection, Part U: Refuse Disposal, Part V: Space Heating, Part W: Fire Installation and Parts X & XA: Energy Usage

Additional blogs (which we are adding to over time) under the various chapter headings give further information, some personal experiences, and case history-type articles that share what others have experienced in terms of the regulations. We have included an A to Z Glossary of definitions and terms used in the National Building Regulations to help you understand the meaning of the various terms used in the context of the legislation and national standards.

You can find the following on our downloads page:
Guide for Architects Concerning Drainage Water and Storm-water Drainage.
Drainage Details
(guidelines in the form of technical drawings covering most aspects of drainage).
Standard Electrical, Mechanical & Architectural Guidelines for the Design of Accessable Buildings (Facilities for Disabled Persons).
Hardware Sample List (guidelines for the required finishes etc. of hardware when submitting tenders)
A “Norms Calculator” for Quantity Surveyors

Here are a few articles that you will find useful:
Building Extensions
Alterations & Additions
SANS 10400X & XA – Energy Use In Buildings
Boundary Walls & Fences

New Electric Fence Laws
Waterproofing Roofs
Stormwater Disposal
Download Regulations
NHBRC Questions & Answers
Competent Person
Concrete Mixes
Concrete Mixes – By Weight & By Volume
Owner Building – The Pros & Cons

Our Documents Page has free downloads of all the important building codes of practice for example SANS 10400-1990 and the 2008 amendment.

Our LinksPage to Local South African Websites of interest: NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council), SAIA (The South African Institute of Architects) and SABS (The South African Bureau of Standards)

 International links on our Links Page to information rich sites such as the International Building Code (IBC)  and the International Code Council (ICC) entries on Wiki (or you can go directly to the ICC here) we will keep you updated with more current sites.

Although we have launched the site (and gone public), there is so much to cover that the site will technically be “under construction” for a while.  If  there is something specific you need guidance on, please post a comment on the relevant page and we’ll see how we can help. Please only use the “contact us” if you want to advertise or if you have a suggestion on how we can improve your visit with us.

NewIntroPic1 s Building Regulations Introduction

We give advice on Regulations for all phases of building.

We Rely on Regulations

  904 Responses to “Building Regulations Introduction”

Comments (904)
  1. Hi,

    Does the building regulations (SANS) apply on farm buildings as well? A lot of farmers build their own sheds and so. Must that comply with regulations since it is not really in the municipal boundaries?


    kind regards

  2. Hi,

    I purchased a house 4 months ago. I recently contacted the previous owner & asked for a copy of the plans as he added on an entertainment area onto the house.
    He says no plans were drawn up as this would have increased the value of the house & rates & taxes.
    Should the banks have picked this up before issuing the loan?
    Can the previous owner be held liable for not disclosing this in the contract?
    What can I do now?

  3. In terms of the Building Regulations and SABS0400 on a factory premises, how many persons per toilet at such a premises?
    We have 62 women on site with 7 ladies toilets.
    Is that sufficient?

  4. Good morning

    I hope you will be able to help me with this. I inherited a house from my grandfather, the house is not that old, its about 25 years old but it looks like the plans was never approved by city council.
    Is there a way I can get someone to inspect the house and approve my plans or what options do I have?

    Kind regards

    • You will have to get an architect or a “competent person” (draftsman/person) that is registered with the SAIA (South African Institute of Architects), SACAP (SA Council for the Architectural Profession) or other qualified body to draw up an “as built” set of plans for the council and have them submitted. You may shop around and get a few quotes for this. You will also have to pay the set down council fees for having the plans scrutinised and approved. An inspector will want to visit the property and see that the plans submitted are the same as is existing on site. Just be aware that the council might want you to retrofit the house to comply with the new regulations. They are not allowed to do this. BTW the plans were more than likely submitted and approved at the time but as has happened recently plans in some councils have gone missing or been misfiled or destroyed and they take no responsibility for this :-(

  5. I have a question, my husband and I have permission to build on his inlaws land, is there a certain size that the house has to be. The existing house is very very small therefore the excess land?



    • Yes there is, they call it the density that you may build on an erf. Each municipality has its own zoning plan for each suburb and there is no single answer. Call the local council planning departmemnt give them the erf number and address and they should be able to tell you what percent of the property can be built on.

  6. Hello.

    I am looking for a copy of the NBR which was active in 1969-1971. Do you know where I could possibly find one?

    Thank you, Regards

    • There weren’t any. Before 1986, the Provinces and Municipalities all had their own regulations even though they were similar they were different to varying degrees throughout the country. The National Building Regulations & Building Standards Act 103 OF 1977 was published and in 1986 the National Building Regulations were promulgated.

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