When planning on building a boundary wall, what things should be taken into consideration?
- Municipal approved plans are needed to build any permanent structure on a property.
- Boundary walls must be build as per the design rules in the National Building Regulations and a copy of this can be obtained from any registered architect to inform you about these design rules.
- Determine the exact location of the boundary between properties as no walls or foundations may be build over the boundary line. If you are uncertain about your property boundary, you should ask a registered land surveyor to re-determine the boundary.
- Should your neighbor partake in the design, the cost and construction of the wall, the foundation and wall may be built on the centre of the boundary line. In the absence of proof that a boundary wall, fence or hedge is entirely on one of two adjoining properties, it is presumed to be half on one property and half on the other.
- No existing boundary wall or fence may be removed without the prior permission in writing from your neighbor.
- Any demarcation system is a common boundary between the two parties and therefore the other party has the right to object.
- The Slope of the ground as the natural flow of water may not be restricted
- The types of soil on the property to ensure proper foundations are put in place.
- Trees in the area should be removed that might damage or affect the structure in the years to come.
- Will the boundary wall also be used as a retaining wall for the property as this will affect the design of the wall?
- The aesthetic value that will be added to the property.
- Height of the wall and how this will affect the frontal view of the property.
- Security aspect – cameras, electric fencing on top,
- Choosing a contractor
- Maintenance of the wall
- Reasons for erecting a boundary wall – security, privacy, create save environment for children and family.
Do certain walls match certain types of houses?
Various styles of walls can be build for example Tuscan, Victorian, Spanish or any other modern design. Boundary walls should match the same finishes as the house or building to maintain aesthetic consistency.
Materials such as stone, bricks, pillars, steel and wood can be used in any combination to create the desired affect you want to create.
What are the various different costs involved?
- Drawing of plans
- Submission & approval of the plans at your local municipality
- Building costs
- Finishing – lighting, gardening and overall finish on the wall.
What factors influence the cost of the wall?
- Increase in price of raw material, which can occur at any time like the cement increase in the beginning of July 2007.
- The type of material used and the availability of such materials
- The design of the wall and the size – height and width
- Contractors used
What are some of the things homeowners need to be wary of?
- The quality of the materials used
- The contractor that will be used to build the wall
- Local municipal regulations
- Heritage sites have special regulations that have to be adhered to.
- The desire for privacy and security has resulted in the need to increase the height of existing boundary walls but high solid walls can result in a bland and hostile street environment and can conceal intruders from the street.