Friday, January 31, 2014

Considerations before using a PLOT PLAN or LOT IMPROVEMENT CERTIFICATE as a base for your Landscape Design

Most New Homes will come with what we commonly refer to as a plot plan.

Plot plans can contain a lot of information;

  • Spot Elevations.
  • Easements.
  • Percentage of Slope.
  • Foundation Measurements.
  • Drainage Patterns.
  • A few Key Measurements between foundation and property lines. 
These can be very helpful in designing a landscape for your New Home. But there are some important cautions before you get in too deep. 

  1. Your LOT still needs to be measured to ensure the house is in the right spot and that the changes were not made during construction. I have found many discrepancy's between paper and reality, everything from additions, and once the whole house was flipped on the lot.
  2. Check the Property Lines. Contractors do not always put the fence on the Property Line, you could gain a foot or lose a foot. I have found fences as much as 6' off the recorded property line. Also important to note is that you typically are responsible for 18"-10' from your Property Line to the Sidewalk, and many times the PLOT Plan does not show this area. This give the City space to install Street Lights, Parking Signs, or to widen the street.  
  3. When I am Designing a Landscape I need to know where the Windows, Window Wells, Downspouts, Gas and Water Meters, Hose Bibs, and where the Sprinkler Connection is located. 
To create a consensus design for my projects I like to hand measure the Property to get a real feel for Lot and the site conditions. Spending an hour or so walking the property gives me time to see the Sun and Wind patterns. Small slopes that are not reflected on the Plot will be remembered, as well as getting to know your neighbors and whether or not they have kids, dogs, or even the sounds of the neighborhoods.