This plot plan has all the elements of a textbook plot plan. Items such as building location, utility locations, dimensions, concrete locations, property lines and lengths, and elevations.
The first step in creating a landscape or sprinkler plan is to draw a Plot Plan to scale. A accurate plot plan will allow you to draw your landscape ideas and accurately estimate material amounts before landscaping. This article teaches you how to measure for and draw a plot plan.
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See if you can locate an existing plot plan of your property. If you do not have one you may be able to locate it at your county recorders office or on line. Your local city or county building department required a plot plan to be submitted when the last building permit was applied for. Plot Plans are always required when a house is built or added onto.
If you have an existing plot plan you should photo copy it so you can draw on it. If you are able to copy the plot plan then draw any items that have been added since it was draw, see step 3 for a list of things that should be on the landscape plot plan
step 3 Draw The Plot Plan, Rough Sketch
If you are measuring the property and drawing the plot plan you will need to do a rough sketch on a piece of paper and then insert the measurements after you measure them. Then you will draw it all to scale on the graph paper.
Hopefully you have a plot plan from the county recorders or building department to help locate the property corners. If not and you are building a fence you should have the property surveyed so you don't build on your neighbors property. Even something as simple as a few sprinkler heads over the line can cause major problems later on. Surveyors usually mark the property corners with a pin made from pieces of rebar driven into the ground scraping around with a shovel or using a metal detector often turns up the long lost pin.
Have someone help you, or use a screw driver stuck into the ground to hold the end of the tape measure. Measure the property lines, the lengths of the house walls and then the hardscape objects like the driveway. Write all these dimensions down on your sketch. Locate trees and other objects by measuring off the property lines or house. If everything is measured as a distance from the house or property line it makes it easier to figure out what the dimension was from later on when you are drawing on the graph paper.
Now take out the graph paper and use the spacing on the graph paper to match your dimensions. Usually 1/8" graph paper will allow you to use 1 square to 1 foot in the yard. You may need to tape two pieces of graph paper together. Using a pencil start by drawing the property lines. Then measure the proper amount of squares in to the house and draw the outline of the house.
Draw the hard scape objects: The driveway, fences, pools, sidewalks, and patios. Finally sketch the trees and plants by putting a dot in the center of them and a circle for the outline of the canopy.
Draw the dimensions: Put the major dimensions on the plan so you don't have to count squares every time; things like the property line dimensions and the major house dimensions and distances from the property lines and width of the driveway are usually sufficient.
Write the names of the trees and plants as best you can on the graph paper.
Outline: Outline the House and property lines with a permanent marker so they don't get erased when you sketch in the new designs.
Sprinkler: If you are going to draw a sprinkler plan you can use your plot plan to take to your local landscaping supply business and they will usually design the system for you based on your plot plan.
Landscaping: If you are going to draw a landscape plan you can use your plot plan to sketch out different configurations of plantings and hardscapes. Or you might take the plan to a landscape company or architect or even your local nursery to have them draw your landscaping plan. Having a plot plan when you are discussing your ideas for plantings with a landscaping or nursery professional is invaluable.
Construction: If you are using the plot plan to apply for a building permit you will need to talk with your local building department and get their list of required items that should be shown on a plot plan. They will want to see the existing and the proposed construction. One of the most important things drawn on a plot plan for a building permit is the setbacks from the property lines and the house and other structures. It is best to draw the proposed structures and then draw a hatch pattern, angled lines close together, over the structure or hardscape.
Blue Stake: You may want to call for a utility location service. It is free in most areas and will help you locate any utilities that you want to draw on your plot plan.
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