Congratulations! You've got an exciting awning/patio roof project in mind, and you can't wait to see your vision come to life. But before we break out the tools and start installing there's a crucial step you can't afford to skip: planning approval.

In this blog, we’ll take you through the ABCs of planning approval, why it matters, and the consequences of building without it. So, let’s dive in and ensure your project is on the path to success!

A – Acquiring Planning Approval

Planning approval, also known as building permit or building plan approval, is the process of obtaining official consent from the local authorities before starting any construction work. It ensures that your project complies with building codes, safety regulations, and zoning requirements. Whether you’re adding a covered patio, renovating a structure, or even building from scratch, this step is non-negotiable.

B – Benefits of Planning Approval

  1. Legal Compliance: First and foremost, planning approval keeps you on the right side of the law. It safeguards you from potential legal troubles and costly penalties that may arise from unauthorised construction.
  2. Safety Assurance: Approved plans are thoroughly reviewed by experts to ensure the safety and structural integrity of your project. This not only protects you and your family but also the community at large.
  3. Property Value: Properly approved construction can boost the value of your property. Prospective buyers are more inclined to invest in a property with approved plans, as it provides them with confidence in the property’s legitimacy.
  4. Smooth Construction Process: Planning approval sets the stage for a smoother construction process. With the proper permits in hand, you can avoid unnecessary delays and conflicts with authorities.

C – Complying with the Process

Now that you understand the importance of planning approval, let’s walk through the typical steps involved in the process:

  1. Consultation: Reach out to a registered architectural professional to draft your building plans. They will work with you to ensure that your vision aligns with the building codes and regulations.
  2. Engineering Review: Collaborate with a registered structural engineer to review the plans. Their expertise ensures that your construction is sound and meets safety standards.
  3. Submission: Once your plans are complete and signed off, submit them to the local authorities, such as the City of Cape Town, along with the required application fee.
  4. Neighbour’s Approval: If your project might impact neighbouring properties, seek their approval to ensure a harmonious construction process.

Lifestyle Awnings will work closely with you and your architect, supplying all the relevant information required for plan approval. We also work with architects & registered structural engineer that are well-versed in our products and can assist you in drawing up the plans and obtaining the necessary approval from the council for a reasonable fee. See our About page for our partners contact details.

D – Don’t Ignore the Consequences

The consequences of building without planning approval can be severe. Building inspectors have the authority to stop construction and issue fines or court orders for demolition. Attempting to sell a property with unauthorised renovations can also lead to complications and dissuade potential buyers.


As you embark on your construction journey, remember that obtaining planning approval is the foundation of any successful project. It safeguards you, your investment, and the community. Don’t build without it! Embrace the ABCs of planning approval, consult with professionals, and ensure that your project adheres to all regulations. By doing so, you’ll pave the way for a smooth, safe, and successful construction experience. Happy building!