What is a site plan: Definition, Elements and Examples

What is a definition of a site plan?

If you are preparing to buy a property you can adapt, renovate your home, or just add some new features to your existing house, you will need a site plan. Home renovation projects without proper organization can become a financial and legal nightmare. We are here to help you. But first, let’s see what exactly is a site plan.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. A site plan is a scale drawing that maps your property/plot, everything on it and the surrounding area.
  2. The importance of a good site plan is to give building officials the ability to verify compliance with zoning and development codes.
  3. There are two types of site plans, 2D site plans and 3D site plans.

What is a Site plan?

A simple definition is that a site plan is a map of your plot, used by architects, urban planners, and engineers, showing them existing and proposed conditions of an area. A site plan is a diagram used by contractors and builders when working to improve your property, or parts of it. A site plan drawing functions as an overview of your property, everything on your lot, its surroundings, and proposed changes.

Site plan vs plot plan

Although many use site plan and plot plan as synonyms, there are some differences between them. Plot plan and site plan are very similar, so it is not a mistake to use them thinking they are the same. The main difference is that the plot plan is the plan of your property/plot and everything on it (property site map), while the site plan is the same but it also includes the surroundings. The site plan will include surrounding streets, rivers, terrain, maybe even some parts of your neighbors lots, if it is important or relevant for the changes that will be made.

What is the purpose of a Site plan? (The importance of a good Site plan)

The importance of a siteplan
Why is site plan important?

The main purpose of a site plan is to show how the intended land use relates to the features of a plot or a parcel and its surrounding area. The importance of a good site plan is not just showing the proposed structures, it’s also giving building officials the ability to check zoning and building codes. Depending on your county, development and zoning codes may vary. But the zoning administration will review a plot plan and make sure that all the standards are met.

When do I need a Site Plan?

Site plans are required by the local governments. The reason is to ensure that state and local building codes are followed when it comes to making changes to one’s property.

Use our site plans for some of these processes:

What is included in a Site plan?

A good site plan will include dimensions, vegetation, topography, and infrastructure. Since the site plan is a scale drawing that is used as a building map, everything from buildings (existing and proposed), roads, parking, to the landscaping and garden elements, will be shown on it.

Elements of a good Site plan

Necessary siteplan elements
Elements that a good site plan must have

There are certain guides that each site plan must follow to be approved.
Here is the list of 11 elements that the site plan must include:

1. Your Info: Name and address
This is the most basic information that your site plan should contain.
2. Legal Description
This includes things such as your range, your township, ZIP code, tax les, and your section.
3. Property Lines
They are marked around the perimeter of your site and are considered the limits of your potential design. Without knowing them, you could be building on land that is not yours or, worse, building on top of an existing structure.
4. Setbacks
These are the distances between buildings and property lines.
5. Existing and proposed conditions
Features like fence lines, utility, and power lines need to be included on your site map.
6. Construction limits
This should show the parts of the property where the construction is taking place and where construction materials and equipment will be stored.
7. Surrounding streets and street signs
A site plan should show how your property functions within the streets and avenues that surround it, i.e. how traffic moves through and around your property.
8. Driveways, walkways, and parking area
Usually, a good site plan contains these elements too.
9. Fire hydrants
This implies the city codes that govern the distance your building will need to be from fire hydrants, depending on the type of construction.
10. Easements
These are the features of your property that are shared with someone else for a specific purpose, such as pathways.
11. Landscaped areas
It’s not only important because of aesthetics, but also preserving a delicate ecosystem.
Depending on the location of your property, different building authorities will require different features and more or less information. That is why our designers at GetASitePlan create custom plot plans that are adjusted to the specific standards and requirements, and tailored to your needs.

If you want to know more about site plan elements, click here.

Site plan vs Floor plan: What is the difference?

What are the differences between site plan and floor plan?
Differences between site plan and floor plan

Even though most people think those two are the same, or at least similar, that is not true, there are many differences.

Yes, both site plans and floor plans are orthographic drawings or scaled diagrams that are used in site planning in architecture, but they are quite different from each other.

A floor plan shows the layout of the house or building from above, and it usually includes the walls and room layout, plus fixed installations like windows, doors, staircases, patios, balconies, furniture, as well as appliances, and some measurements.

Site plans, on the other hand, define the position and orientation of the house or building on a plot of land, along with recorded boundaries of a site. They may include roads, sidewalks, entry points, paths, landscaping, trees, and watercourses.

A floor plan is more detailed and it shows the interior of a building, compared to a site plan that will show you the exterior.

Types of site plan (2D and 3D site plans)

2D vs 3D site plans
2D and 3D site plans

There are two types of site plans, 2D and 3D, let’s see the differences between them.

What does a 2D site plan look like?
2D site plan

2D site plans are a birds-eye view of the entire property. Here you can easily see existing and proposed structures, driveways, walkways, pools, as well as surrounding streets and neighborhood. These types of site plans provide a flat diagram and a layout of your property. Choose the perfect 2D site plan for you, from our site plan services.

What does a 3D site plan look like?
3D site plan

3D site plans are used to show textures, colors and details. Here there is no need to visualize anything, you can see how your project will look once it’s finished. This is a great solution for those who have trouble reading a 2D site plan. Our designers are going to show you how your house and landscaping will look. Check out our 3D renderings.

Site plan examples

Here are 6 samples for following site plans:

  1. Residential site plan
  2. Commercial site plan
  3. Subdivision site plan
  4. House site plan – Floor plan
  5. Plot plan
  6. Elevation plan

1. Residential site plan

Residential siteplan sample
Residential site plan example

Residential site plan is a scale drawing that shows your property and its boundaries. It will map out major components that exist on the property, as well as proposed ones.

2. Commercial site plan

Commercial site plan sample
Commercial site plan sample

Commercial site plans are used for development of the property. You might start with a plot, vacant land, building, or multiple buildings, that you want to modify or change completely.

3. Subdivision site plan

Subdivision site plan sample
An example of subdivision site plan

Subdivision site plans are drawings that show how parcels are divided into developable plots of land.

4. House site plan – Floor plan

House site plan - Floor plan sample
Sample of house site plan – Floor plan

A house site plan is a floor plan. That is a detailed drawing that shows the layout of the house or building from above.

5. Plot plan

Plot plan sample
Plot plan example

Plot plan is a drawing that maps your property/parcel and everything on it.

6. Elevation plan

Elevation plan sample
Elevation plan sample

Elevations is a first angle projection that shows all parts of the building as seen from a particular direction with the perspective flattened.

If you need a site plan, get one today

Now that you know everything about site plans, you can either check how to get one and learn more, or you can go directly to our services and choose one of our site plan design packages.

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