Q: Should I take responsibility for the plot plan to get building permits for my home being built?

A: It wasn’t long ago that a home being built on a lot meant applying for some basic setbacks in regard to the property lines. That was standard procedure. Not anymore, but for good reason.

A custom home gives the buyer many more options than was once available. It can enhance the way the home presents as well as how you will enjoy the home. So one should care.

Ask your builder if they utilize a professional plotter who does this full time. It is important, because a professional will understand the requirements of the location.

One common consideration for the builder and the plotter is to calculate and show on a plot plan how much water will be generated from your rooftop and hard surfaces. This information determines the need for an underground infiltration system. We can calculate runoff in a way that provides you with the best system to handle runoff water. Your builder can help guide the process to pre-determine how expensive the lot will be if these items are necessary. In some cases, the builder may call upon another professional to create a storm water plan. Doing this early prevents unexpected costs to building.

If the lot is in a subdivision, the lot can be tricky too. Calculations can include the total home and patio areas in relationship to the exposed ground. If a lot is 10,000 square feet and a lot coverage requirement is 45% then the home and patio area cannot be greater than 4500 square feet total. Smaller lots while appearing simpler can be more complex due to environmental considerations. This explains why smaller lots can become costlier.

As an added element to consider, elevations for each corner of the home are now often required information. Understanding the contours and how grading works in advance can be tricky. As the builder, this is so important, I do this myself. It requires experience and knowledge.

Larger lots with acreage have the added consider of the septic system and well requirements. The septic system must be a minimum of 100 feet from the well. Some septic systems may also require protected areas to be shown on the plot plan. Ask your builder if they bring this experience. It can be the difference in added time in building or added dollars if these calculations are not made correctly.

Next week floor plan spacing. Keep asking questions. Its saves time and money.

I also enjoy reading the paper daily. Thank you for doing so.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!