The five phases of an Architectural Service include the following:


This is a pre-design phase and it involves various services before the typical design phase. This allows the client to get all their ideas and concepts together before the execution of the extensive steps in the design phase begins.

Pre-design may include the following:

  • Site selection
  • Real estate market research
  • Environmental analysis
  • Conceptual site layouts
  • Possible rough sketches

The architect/client agreement is supplied following this stage and after this discussion, 5% of the fee is payable. This serves as a deposit in order for work to commence to the next stage.



This includes:

  • Conceptual design
  • Preliminary design
  • Final design

During this phase, the designer puts to paper the ideas and requests of the client. When a layout is approved in principle, we start with 3D and elevation designs to supply the client with an idea of the buildings look and feel. Here the client can start to see what the building is finally going to look like.

After acceptance of the final design, 30 % of the fee is payable.



Municipal drawings are done to get the plans approved by the local Municipality or Authority. The local authorities only require more basic drawings of the building, depending on its function. These drawings include information such as:

  • Floor plans
  • Sections and elevations
  • Sewerage plans
  • Sewerage elevations
  • Site plans
  • Site development plan (when required)

If the building is in a residential estate, it is usually necessary to get approval from the Home Owner’s Association (HOA) first before the plans can be submitted to the Local Authority. These estates normally have their own design and building guidelines and these must be supplied to the architect before the design phase in order for them to design within the said parameters. Prior to submission of the Municipal Plans, 15 % of the fee is due.



These drawings are done to explain exactly what the building will entail. Some of the documents that can be expected in this phase are:

  • Fully annotated plans
  • Fully annotated elevations
  • Sections showing levels, height, and any other relevant information
  • Site plans showing contours, levels, water & sewerage connections and any other site information
  • Schedules such as doors & windows, bathroom and kitchen layouts, tile layouts and patterns, detail finishes
  • Ceiling plans
  • Electrical plans showing lights and all other electrical fittings inside and outside.

Important Note:

With new legislation in the form of SANS 10400 and 10400XA the architect has to do the energy efficiency calculations as well and sign off to council as the competent person taking responsibility of the energy efficiency of the remaining lifespan of the building.

The architect needs to supply the contractor with a full set of drawings and specifications in order for him to supply the client with a total contract amount determined by the type of agreement. These documents will be used for the tender process. Once the tender amounts are received, the architect will commence with tender evaluations to establish the lowest building cost received from the prospective contractors.

Richter & Associates Architects have a panel with qualified building contractors. These Contractors have all the necessary skills and qualifications (including NHBRC) enabling them to handle a project to the highest quality and standard.

After finalisation of the working drawings, 25% of the fee is due.



This is a service of Supervision and Facilitation of the building process. The architect can offer an additional service of Project Manager (at an extra cost), which is a separate service from Supervision and Facilitation. Here the architect ensures that the project is running on time and that good building practice is applied.

During this process the contractor claims for the work he has done on a monthly basis. The claims are made through the architect, and not directly to the client. The architect ensures on a weekly basis by doing a site inspection that the work that was claimed for, was properly done, and he certifies the claim accordingly. These claims refer to the original quotation and the contract that was signed. Any extras are also handled on the payment certificates as issued by the architect.

Over the period of construction, the last 25% of the fee is due. This will be divided into equal monthly amounts depending on the duration of construction.