What is a Plot Plan?

Definition: A plot plan is a diagram of your lot that shows where your house will be built. While there may appear to be little space on the lot, the plot plan provides valuable information. This post will show you a basic plot plan and explain everything you need to know to discuss it with your home buyer.

Knowing the size of your lot is vital to building a house, driveway, walkways, patios, pools, etc. Local governments limit the amount of “impervious coverage” added to a lot.
1. Street name(s)
If you see a plot plan with a different street name than you expected, speak out! It’s rare, yet it happens. If your property is on a crossroads, you should see both street names. Depending on the municipality and postal service, you may choose the official street name.

2. The direction the lot faces
See the giant arrow in the plot plan image above? That’s just pointing north on the plot layout. Why is this relevant to you? You may want the front of the house to face south to help melt snow in the winter or shade the deck/patio late afternoon.

3. Lot dimensions
Look at the plot plan’s outside lines for your lot size. It’s handy to know so you don’t be charged for 120′ of fencing when you only need 100′ for part of it.

4. Elevation/slopes; scaled dimensions
There is a scale for every plot plan, and it’s important to look at how much space each individual square meter has.

5. Size/acreage of the lot
Knowing the size of your lot is vital to building a home. The lot size is usually shown in the plot plan’s center. You’ll often see both the lot’s square footage and acres. Many local governments limit the amount of “impervious coverage” added to a lot.

6. Building setbacks
Every lot has constraints on where the house can be built. Building setbacks usually are parallel to property lines. Depending on the lot, this can range from zero (imagine side-by-side townhouses) to a quantity established by the local government. Many factors determine building setbacks; they are often not changeable.

7. Driveway location and size
The driveway’s position and size follow the home on the plot plan. The impervious coverage determines driveway size. The homebuyer may have to do a three-point turn to get into the garage. This raises the risk of an accident and is an inconvenience to the homeowner.

8. Easements and rights-of-way
Every lot has easements and rights-of-way. Other people may legally enter and work on your property, limiting your capacity to create or add to it.

9. Lot number, parcel (tax ID) number
In the plot plan, these are usually placed in the center, and are essential for your building permit application.

10. Encroachments
On the image is an existing stone wall, though not on this lot, the plot plan suggests it exists. If an incursion occurs, it may necessitate a talk with the neighbor. Encroachments are objects that wind up on your property but aren’t yours (or shouldn’t be).
Knowing these details about your plot plan will help your buyers comprehend their potential house site and what can be done (and what cannot).