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Why Might I Need a Site Plan for My House?

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Why Might I Need a Site Plan for My House?

“Let’s just start building and see how it goes.” That should never be your attitude towards renovation projects in your house or for building projects on your property, because there’s a lot that can go wrong (and even steep fines you may face) without proper planning. In many cases, you’ll want – or even legally need – a site plan before you begin any major building projects around your home.

Here are a few reasons why you might need a site plan.

To get a building permit. Thinking of adding a sun room to your home or adding that backyard pool you’ve always dreamed of? Just about any large scale building project in a residential area is going to require you to get a building permit from your city or county, and you’ll need to have a professional site plan in order to get approved for that permit.

Oh, and don’t try to cut corners my skipping the building permit. If the city finds out that you’ve been building without a permit, you’ll likely face fines that are much more expensive than it would have been to just get the permit in the first place.

To make sure you’re in keeping with zoning regulations. When you present your site plan to the City Building Department for review, they’ll check to make sure that your construction plans are in keeping with local zoning regulations and are up to the city’s safety codes. That way, you’ll be able to build without worrying about violations.

To make sure you know where your utility lines are. Your new pool isn’t going to be much fun if you end up hitting a utility line when you start digging in your backyard. A site plan can help you figure out where and how deep any utility lines are so that you don’t do any damage during construction.

To make sure you have space to build around existing structures. You certainly don’t want to underestimate the amount of space you have in your yard when, say, adding a greenhouse or gazebo. By getting a site plan that’s drawn to scale, you can figure out exactly how much room you have to work with—and how to make the most of your space.

To prevent boundary disputes. Maybe you and your neighbor have been peacefully coexisting for years, but then your neighbor suddenly starts to landscape a swath of land that you swear is on your property. Or maybe you decide to add a fence around your property, but your neighbor says you’re encroaching on their land. Whatever the case, a site plan can help show where your property lines truly are based on county parcel maps and other available resources, making it much easier for you and your neighbor to resolve the issue.

If you’ve realized that your home project requires a site plan, you can order one or even request custom work from MySitePlan. We use a combination of county parcel maps, satellite data, GIS information, and other resources to get you an accurate, up-to-date site plan in two business days or less. When you choose us, you’ll be able to get your project off the ground without worrying about encountering unpleasant surprises along the way. 

 

 

FAQ Answer
What should I look for in a professional to create a site plan? Look for someone experienced in architectural or civil engineering, familiar with local zoning laws and building codes, and equipped with modern mapping and surveying technology.
How long does it typically take to get a building permit once a site plan is submitted? The time varies by location and project complexity, ranging from a few weeks to several months. Check with your local building department for specific timelines.
What are the common mistakes to avoid when submitting a site plan for a building permit? Common mistakes include not adhering to zoning regulations, underestimating the project scale, and omitting essential details like utility lines and property boundaries.
Can changes be made to a site plan once a building permit has been issued? Changes can be made but might require re-approval from the building department. Communicate changes early to avoid project delays.
What are the potential consequences if I build without a site plan? Consequences include non-compliance with zoning laws, damage to utilities, legal boundary disputes, potential demolition of structures, and substantial fines.

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  • Ryan Crownholm