Understanding building plans - The Site Plan

Some of the symbols and notes on building plans can be mysterious if you are not an architect, so here are explanations for some of them. We will start with the Site Plan. The site plan is a part of the building plan that shows an overview of the erf (or site).
I have included a PDF example file here.
It will make things easier for you if you print this file and follow along. Please note that the supplied plan is not to scale.
  • The site plan should be clearly marked on your building plan, as Site Plan.
  • There should be an arrow, usually with a N or the word NORTH, showing which direction North is.
  • The scale of the site plan, in this case 1:200. This means that each millimeter on this plan represents 200 millimeters on the actual site.
  • Every one of the boundaries should have a distance measurement, either in meters or millimeters. In this instance itís millimeters. Check the boundary at the top, it is 26 100 millimeters, or 26.1 Meters.
  • Your erf will be marked with an erf number, in this case Erf 869. The erfs bordering your erf should also be indicated.
  • The street name and number should be indicated.
  • There should be a note about where vehicle access is. On this site plan, there are two such access points.
  • The building lines and servitudes should clearly be marked.
  • The sewer system should be drawn out completely. The symbol ie stands for Inspection Eye, ce stands for cleaning eye (might also be named re for rodding eye). The point where your sewer connects to the municipal sewer should be clearly marked, in this case in the top right hand corner of the plan. G stands for Gulley.
  • Existing buildings should be clearly marked as existing, and new buildings should also be clearly marked. Sometimes the new work is simply hatched in, like the two lean-to parts and the part marked ĎAdditioní on this example. Parts where internal changes are to be affected will probably be indicated.
  • The main municipal sewer line should be clearly indicated.
  • All distances between buildings, swimming pools and the boundaries should be indicated. In this case, check the top left of the example, there are two dimensions, one stating 5000 and one stating 4000. The 5000 is the distance that the pool is situated away from the boundary. The 4000 is the actual length of the pool itself.
  • On some plans like this one, there are contour lines indicating the height above sea level. This site plan has three such lines, showing the heights as 1448, 1449 and 1450. These lines only appear on sites with a steep gradient (slope), so if your site plan does not have them, you probably have a nice flat site.
  • Right at the top there is a swimming pool note. This is a standard swimming pool safety note, indicating the safety measures to be taken to make the pool safe. Your site plan might also have other such notes.
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