To obtain a building permit, for say a deck or other small DIY project, you’re going to need some plans. Our locality will accept legible hand drawn plans on a 81/2″x11″ sheet of plain paper, provided it is to scale and legible.
Some localities, will have handouts, telling what a homeowner needs to submit in the way of plans, how the permit process works, etc. A lot of this information is available for download online at your local city planning or building department.
There are four standard plan types, that are usually required, to submit for a permit. These are a site or plot plan of your lot, a floor plan of your project, an elevation, and a cross-section or detailed section such as a stair rail detail.
A site or plot plan is the first one we will talk about.
The very first thing you need to know about a site or plot plan, is that you need the legal description of your lot or property. If your lucky enough to have retained a copy of your building plans, you will already have this information.
If not, check with your local recorder or assessors office. These days, most localities charge a small fee, to look up your legal lot description and give you copy of your property details.
Once you know the location of your property lines, it’s a matter of verifying the setback requirements from the property lines to your home on all sides, including other outbuildings and structures, driveways, walks, curbs, streets etc.
Make sure to note the name of streets, your name , address and legal description and which direction the property is facing, such as North. Another important thing, is to note any easements, such as utilities, etc.
Once you have your basic information drawn, add a dotted line for your project and give distances to all sides, to make it easy for the plan reviewer. He or she needs to verify zoning and setbacks, so the more information you provide, the better.
Don’t forget to state that the plan you have drawn up is a Site Plan, then add the scale you used, most commonly 1/8″=1′-0″.
I always, always, add my name, address and phone number to each plan, in case they need to contact me for questions. You can also staple your business card to each plan, but those can get lost. One thing I did forgot on this sample plan is the lots legal description. You can find this on the copy of your plot plan from the recorder or assessors office.
Depending on the complexity of your project, your planning or building department, may require more than one set of plans. Say you have a two-story deck, and have electrical and plumbing. It’s a lot easier to give one copy to each department for review all at the same time. (I used to make extra copies anyway, just in case they asked).
EX: Legal Description: Lot 1, Block 2-Eagle River Subdivision
(If there is more information on the legal description, add it).