1. Can we come and see your portfolio?
We have endeavored to make our website as informative as possible with
varied projects featured and downloadable documents for your
information. If there are any further questions you need
answered, you are most welcome to send us an e-mail at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or set up an appointment to meet with us and
view our portfolio.
2. What are building costs these days?
This question falls in the same category as “How long is a piece of
string?” We have found that cost outcomes differ and no two projects ever
end up with the same cost per square meter rate. As most projects consists
of many variables from site conditions to building finishes and fittings,
it is impossible to give a definitive rate.
With the perpetual annual price escalations as well as regional material
availability, you can get a basic understanding of what to expect by
talking to some reputable builders who have recently built houses in your
area with the same finishes and style that you would like to use.
3. Do you charge percentage or square meter rate?
It depends entirely on the type of project. In the case of alterations and
additions, a square meter rate for example, is a lot more cost effective,
but on larger projects, it often makes more sense to use the standard rates
as laid out by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession.
These standard rates may be downloaded
here, but largely
we tailor our fees and services to suit our client’s budget.
4. Do you do additions and alterations?
Yes we do depending on the scope of works. We can also do corporate
refurbishments as shown with the Hellmann Worldwide Logistics refurbishment
under the ‘PROJECTS’
tab of our web page.
5. Do you give discounts?
Because of the quality of our work, our reputation for quality, and the
time and effort we put into each project, we do not discount our fees.
However, we do give an early settlement discount on invoices generated.
Our services are divided into work stages and clients can therefore choose
the service they require.
6. What happens if I want to cancel the project? (if my
circumstances change for example)
You will only be liable to pay for work completed up to and including the
date of our receipt of a written instruction to terminate the contract /
7. How long does it take to complete the design
and documentation process?
On average, the process from appointment to completion of technical
documentation takes about 3½ months(excluding the builders break).
Obviously this time frame depends on the prompt feedback from the client
and other parties involved and that all legalities have been finalised,
such as transfers, rezoning etc. Most councils differ in their service
delivery and this time frame ranges from 3 weeks to three months and
sometimes longer. While the drawings are doing their rounds at council,
this period is used to get quotes from various builders and align your
8. How long does the actual building process take?
On average, a house takes about 9 months, but some have taken as much as 18
months to complete (Excluding the statuary builders break). Again, this all
depends on the level of complexity of the build.
9. Do you work outside Cape Town?
Yes. If we can get there by plane, car or 4x4, we are up for the challenge!
With technology like the internet and our 3D computer software, anything is
possible these days. Additional to our drawings, we can also provide a 3D
model and images of the project, ensuring that all relevant parties
understand and know exactly what the finished product will look like.
10. Do you have capacity?
This question can only be answered at the time of us receiving your call.
We charge what we call a ‘mobilising fee’ which is a non refundable amount
to ensure that the clients that do approach us, are serious about
continuing with our services. As a result, we maintain a clear indication
of our capacity.
11. Is the ‘mobilising fee’ over and above the
No, the ‘mobilising fee’ is carried forward to the last account and then
reconciled on our final account.
12. Can you meet with us on weekends?
Although we try and stick to a decorum of ‘family on weekends and clients
on weekdays’, we also understand that due to many of our client’s busy
schedules, this is sometimes the only time available to have a decent
meeting without any interruptions and therefore we do try and meet our
client’s needs as far as possible.
13. What can we expect as first time home builders?
We know and understand your fears and excitement as first time home
builders (like most of our clients) and therefore we will explain all the
stages of the design and documentation process to you, so that you will
know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. We will also show you
examples of previous projects to allow you to better understand our service
14. Can we visit some of the projects your firm
We believe this to be an invasion of our client’s privacy and therefore we
cannot view any projects that have been completed and occupied.
15. Are you registered?
Yes, we are registered with both the
African Council for the Architectural Profession, as well as the
African Institute of Architectural Technologists.
16. We have approached a few architects, would you be interested in
doing a concept so that we can select an architect?
Unfortunately, we decline all risk work and unprofessional competitions as
we like to rather spend that time on our confirmed clients. We have an
extensive portfolio of our work and you are welcome to come in for a
consultation to help you with your choice.
17. If we appoint you, would you still be involved in my house or
would you pass it on to somebody else in the office?
I am involved in all the aspects of the project from the conceptual design,
to handing you your approved drawings (in the case of a partial or ‘drawing
service’) or your new house keys (in the case of a full service) at the
completion of the project. Further to this, I am merely a phone call away
should there be any queries.
18. If we require your professional services for design and working
drawings only without the final Contract Administration stage would you
still be involved in the building process?
A lot of clients require a partial or ‘drawing service’ only. We can
accommodate a full service as well if required, but we prefer it if the
project is run by a project manager or quantity surveyor. We are precious
about our designs and will assist with any design issues at an hourly rate.
Most clients call us out for an average of 5-6 site visits to resolve any
issues regarding the design, but we can structure it according to your
19. Can we take part in the design process?
Yes, the design stage is a very iterative process in which we take into
consideration our client’s specific needs and requirements. This stage is
done on ‘bumf’ paper in freehand and gives the client the opportunity to
make changes at the early conceptual stages of the design process. Only
once the conceptual parameters have been established and design issues
resolved, do we move onto capturing the design in a digital format.
20. Do you get involved in the interior design?
Yes, this is a service which we offer our clients if required. The
principal member of BluCube Studio has experience in this category as a
previous senior design staff member of a prominent and well respected
interior design firm where
extensive projects were completed. We also have access
to furniture suppliers and interior decorators who are very well known in
21. Do you recommend Landscape architects?
Again, this is entirely up to you as the client and what your budget
allows. On certain projects it is recommended as it completes the picture
and in most cases compliments the building. This applies to both corporate
as well as residential projects but it can become costly. We do not do
landscape design, but we would like to give our input in the design, as it
forms a part of the project as a whole. We can also recommend prospective
landscape architects if required.
22. We do not like our house to be published or featured on TV?
We respect our client's wishes for privacy. If we do intend on using your
project to feature in any publication, we will ensure that we do so with
your knowledge and approval and without revealing any personal details.
23. Do you have your own builders?
No, we don’t. We do however keep a list of reputable contractors with whom
we have worked on previous projects, which we make available to our paid up
24. Do you do project management?
No, project managers are on site much more frequently and they are
physically involved with every aspect of the construction process. It is a
common mistake to confuse project management with contract administration.
25. What is the difference between a contractor and a project
A project manager is a professional person who is very competent and
diligent and understands every aspect of the construction process who you,
as owner builder, employ to manage the building process and all aspects
relating to the building process for you. Your legal position is as owner
builder. The project manager is not bound to a tendered final project cost.
He is paid a percentage or a monthly salary.
A contractor on the other hand gives a tender and once accepted, is legally
bound to the JBCC contract which protects both parties, ie. you as the
client and him as the contractor. For more info on the JBCC click
The final cost, however, is usually more than in the
case of a project manager. In the end both have their advantages and
disadvantages and usually it comes down to gut feel and who you feel you
can work with best and the level of risk exposure you choose.
26. We want to finance our architectural design and include your
fees in our bond.
Banks do not finance professional services as they don't see this service
as a tradable asset.
27. What is the NHRBC and do I need it?
For a new house your builder needs to register the project with the NHBRC.
Clients often forget to budget for this fee. It is calculated on the
project value and the cost of the land. The NHBRC is compulsory and the
fund is used to pay out claims against poor building quality and defects.
Banks and Bond Holders will not release funds unless a new project is
registered with the NHBRC. For more information on the NHBRC click
28. What other professionals are involved in the project that I
have to budget for?
Land Surveyors, Structural Engineers, Landscape Architects and Quantity
Surveyors if needed.
29. What software do you use?
We use a software package called Revit from Autodesk. Revit is widely
regarded as the world's leading architectural software package. This
software allows us to design your entire project in 3D, which greatly
assists us in conveying our design to you and for you to understand the
design intent as well as being able to see exactly what your building will
30. When can we make an appointment?
On the ‘Contact Information’ tab of our website, you will find all our
contact details. Click
and make an appointment! We look forward to meeting you!