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Site Plan: Everything you need to know in 2019

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Site Plan: Everything you need to know in 2019

What is a Site Plan?

A site plan, also known as a plot plan, is a diagram which is meant to show proposed improvements to your property. A site plan is important because it also includes information in regards to the landscape features of a given parcel.

A site plan typically shows what already exists on a specific property, in addition to presenting what you are proposing to build on that specific land. This could, for example, include a building addition on a specific property, such as a garage.

One of the most important features of a site plan is to show the relationship between what already exists, and what is it that you are planning to have built. Site plans are all created differently; they will not all be designed equally. This is because different building authorities will require different things.

Governments require site plans in order to ensure that both local and state building codes are adhered to when it comes to making changes and additions to a specific property. Another reason why site plans are important and necessary is that governments typically retain site plans for historical records, especially in the circumstances in which homeowners construct rather significant changes to their properties.

In general, a site plan is a detailed plan, that presents the diagram of proposed improvements or additions to a particular tract of land.

Related: How do I get a Plot Plan for my Property?

The Purpose of a Site Plan

hand writing a site plan

The main purpose of a site plan is to show the exact way that the intended land use relates to the features of a parcel and its surrounding area. Beyond simply showing how your proposed structure or structures relate to what already exists on your property, however, a site plan will give your building officials the ability to check local building and zoning codes.

The site plan will help to ensure that what you will potentially add to your property will fall within existing authoritative codes. Another important feature of a site plan and a building plan, in general, is that it ensures that local services such as schools, sewers, roads, water, and emergency services are adequate for what you are planning to build.

Compliance with zoning will also help to ensure that you are less likely to encounter lawsuits due to improper land use. Additionally, compliance with zoning will help to ensure that your project will be covered for potential future law sets, such as in the case of insurance coverage.

If you add something without a permit, or in a manner that does not comply with the appropriate zoning and building codes, you may not be covered by your insurance policy, in the case where you do have a loss.

Site Plan vs Floor Plan: What is the Difference?

What is the difference between a site plan and a floor plan? A floor plan is a scaled diagram concerning the arrangement of rooms in one particular story of a building. If you are interested in creating a floor plan, here at MySitePlan, we are able to take a rough sketch that is provided by you and can recreate your floor plan in AutoCAD, as part of our additional services. If you would for us to conceptualize a space, we are able to take the exterior wall dimensions and create living spaces to your specifications.

Do you have a 1000 square foot residence, and want a two bedroom, one bath with kitchen living area? At MySitePlan we can create a series of options for you to understand the use of that particular space. This is also a popular service for commercial applications for tenant improvement possibilities. We have created a great number of large scale conceptual layouts for proposed Hotels, Apartment buildings, Elderly care facilities, and much more.

On the other hand, a site plan focuses on depicting everything within the property lines. This includes topography in regards to building structures, pathways, etc.

In most common cases, floor plans will not be included with site plans, unless the property is expected to undergo proposed changes with significant alterations to the residence’s footprint. Floor plans are fairly technical, but will typically be more understandable and more relatable an individual who is not specialized in the field of site planning.

Are you wondering whether or not you need a site plan? At MySitePlan, we offer three types of site plans: the Basic Site Plan, the Medium Detail Site Plan, and the Detailed Site Plan.

Do I Need a Site Plan?

You may need a site plan if:

  • You are looking to understand your property dimensions.
  • Show your home relative to your property lines.
  • You want a road map for having yard work done. Mark up your instructions to avoid any confusion.
  • You are looking to Sketch out a new roof line.
  • Having encroachment issues with a neighbor? Submit a drawing of the overhanging encroachment to the city as an exhibit.
  • Thinking of re-doing your landscape? Start with a site plan to begin your process of what to keep and what to eliminate.
  • You are applying for a building permit for a new outdoor structure.
  • You are applying for a demolition permit for the demolition of your house or another structure.
  • You are applying for building permits in cities with tree protection requirements. Planning departments find it useful to determine if any extra protection is required for trees on the property.
  • You are looking to remove or remodel your swimming pool.
  • Conditional Use Permit for Commercial Properties.

Take a look at our three standard site plans, to learn more about each of our site plans, and to be able to choose the site plan that is best for you. We also provide custom hourly work, to better suit your specific preferences.

Site Planning and Design

construction worker creating a site plan

What Does a Site Plan Include?

There are certain guides that site plans must follow in terms of site planning and design. Below we provide a list of features that site plans should typically include.

  1. Your Name and Address: These are the most basic and fundamental things that you must include on your site plan.
  2. Legal Description: This will include things such as your range, your township, your tax las, and your section.
  3. Scale: The site plan diagram must be drawn to scale.
  4. Cardinal Direction: The site plan must include the North cardinal direction, to show how your property is oriented.
  5. Property Lines: Your property lines must be included on the site plan.
  6. Location Details: The site plan should include the location of your driveway, for example, and adjacent streets
  7. Existing structures and Proposed Structures: The site plan should include both your existing structures and your proposed structures.

Depending on where the property is located, certain building authorities may require more or even less information than what is provided in the above list. Additional information that may be required by authorities can include lighting, trails, landscaping, draining facilities, sanitary sewer lines, garden elements, utility services that include electrical service lines and water service lines, sidewalks and other walkways. Although our drafters at MySitePlan.com would not be able to pick up on things such as utilities, those items can be added at the client's direction under our Detailed Site Plan

Site Plan Software and Site Plan Rendering

AutoCAD Site Plan Rendering

Here at MySitePlan, we make sure to use the best and most efficient software to create your site plan. Your site plan will be designed using AutoCAD: a professional, computer-aided drafting software, that is known to provide “CAD expertise to Global Customers since 2000.” The great thing about AutoCAD is that it can easily render 3D models, in order to help in the visualization of the end product. This creates a level of engineered accuracy that you will not be able to find through a regular 2D site plan diagram. Please inquire about having your custom 2D or 3D rendering quoted.

How To Create a Site Plan

hand writing create on a piece of paper

The purpose of your site plan is to show an aerial view of your property, with existing structures and property features drawn to scale. Your proposed structures must be included in the diagram and drawn in a way that clearly demonstrates how your proposed specific structures will relate to what already exists on the lot.

Site Plan Guidelines

There are certain guidelines that site plans must typically adhere to, depending on the building authorities. The first and most important thing is that a site plan should be a diagram that is drawn to scale. Secondly, each and every dimension must be shown and labeled on your site plan. You should always double check with your local building authorities to ensure that this is done in a sufficient manner.

A site plan has to show both property lines, all of the appropriate dimensions. It is very important to be able to distinguish the difference between what already exists and what is proposed. This is where dashed versus solid lines, to distinguish proposed versus existing structures, comes in handy.

Additionally, a site plan must always show the necessary existing structures, such as proposed walkways and patios. Large trees on the property should also be included, as some building authorities will want to see it drawn on the site plan. Generally speaking, if your tree is has a diameter of more than two feet, then you will want to include it, showing both its diameter and its species. You would need to provide these to us. 

Site preparation is extremely important. Once your plans are approved, a site plan will serve as a layout map for your proposed addition of a garage, a new room, a new driveway, or whatever else it is that you are creating.

Why Choose MySitePlan for Site Plans

We Make Site Plans Quick and Easy!

We are a team of highly experienced CAD designers and provide drafting services to anyone who needs a site plan but doesn't have the time or experience to draw one.

We remotely create site plans in all of Canada and the US using GIS, public records and client provided information.

Site plans are our specialty, but our skills do not stop there. Ask about any our 3D renderings, conceptual layouts, floor plans, and any other CAD-related projects you might have in mind.

At My Site Plan, we have:

  • Drawn 1,000's of site plans for a wide range of project types and sizes
  • Over 20 years of drafting experience for large and small construction and landscaping firms
  • Had our site plans accepted by building departments nationwide

We are proud to have grown to be the nation's largest provider of remote site plans.

How We Work

You start by selecting the level of detail you require for your site plan. If you are unsure, your building department is the best source of information.

Then you will be asked to provide the property's address. You may also provide any additional information you may already have, such as surveys, deeds, or sketches.

You will have the option to select the specifications for the final site plan, such as file type and dimensions.

From there, the order is assigned to one of our experienced designers. We will look up information about the property from existing data, such as satellite imagery, GIS information, county parcel maps, and other public information sources. If additional information is required, we will follow up with you via email.

In rare circumstances, we are unable to find the information we need. When this happens, you will be notified as soon as possible, and you will receive a full refund. However, this does not happen very often.

Once the required information is gathered, our designer works in AutoCAD to create the site plan.

Then the site plan is delivered to you. You have the chance to review the site plan. If you need any adjustments, we will make them for no additional charge.

Learn more about how we work today.

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  • Christian Velitchkov
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