House Site Plan

A house site plan, in layman’s terms, shows how your house will sit on your property in relation to location, lot slope, and orientation. When part of a detailed set of architectural house plans, the site plan is the page that follows the title sheet.

Plats and topographies

Building Designers develop site plans in stages. They coordinate this with a civil engineer’s plat map and topography map. The primary role in the plat is to provide a guide of the property lines and land dimensions. This gives the building designer a frame of reference for the maximum width and depth of the home design. The preliminary design can begin once this variable is known. The topography map is much more detailed showing the contours and their accompanying numerical elevations of the site. It is actually a plat map with more complete and thorough details.

House site plan topography map

A topography map can appear complex and just plain intimidating to the untrained eye. However, it speaks a language that Building Designers clearly understand. Designers gather important details from this illustration. Moreover, they learn things about the lot that include, easements, setbacks, existing trees & foliage. Other items include land slope (contours) and the property orientation in reference to true north. Boring test are also indicated to explain soil conditions if necessary. Building designers are able to complete the house site plan by adding the footprint of the home to the map. The land conditions can be adjusted accordingly from there.

Cut and Fill

To adjust the land properly, the designer creates a grading plan to show how the topography will change to accommodate the building design. In other words, the contours are redrawn to remove soil (cut existing contour) or add soil (fill existing contour). This so-called “cut and fill” procedure does two things. First it provides for a level ground surface area for the house location. Second, it shapes the land to slope water away from the home on all sides of the building.

It will indicated the new (finished) grades. They are shown in solid lines to contrast with the broken lines of the existing grade. With the new grades, the floor elevation for the building is established at the highest point. The home is positioned on the lot in the best location to take advantage of everything lot offers. This include views, solar energy, use of trees and whatever else is available.

Positioning the home on the lot

Whether you use a stock house plan or go with a custom home design, a house site plan is necessary. Your local building department will require it along with your plans to obtain a house plan building permit. With home plans, your builder will likely use the services of the civil engineer to locate the house on the site. However, using a building designer to provide this service is a more desirable option. The designer spent weeks or month developing the designs, so he is familiar with every aspect of the building. This puts the designer in a better position to provide a solution to place your home on the lot. With that kind of insight, the designer will consider things such as slope conditions, solar conditions, and other design considerations in reference to your home that may be missed by others.

The next page in a set of house blueprints is the foundation plan sheet