Aug 2, 2022 11:00:00 AM | 5 Min Read

Is a Site Plan the Same as a Property Survey?

Posted By HOA Fence
Is a Site Plan the Same as a Property Survey?

Before installing a new fence around your property, you might need to get your hands on various documents. These documents help ensure that your fence project abides by local codes and regulations. They also give you an idea of where your property's boundaries are and the shape and size of your land. Depending on your local area's rules, you might need to order a survey, a site plan, or both before your fence project begins.

While many assume that a survey and a site plan are the same, they are different documents with different goals. Take a closer look at the difference between the two to understand better the documents you might need.

What Is a Site Plan?

A site plan is a map or diagram of your property's site. While you can have a survey without preparing a site plan, you can't make a site plan without a survey. Site plans typically show the boundaries of your property, plus the location of structures such as your house, shed, and garage. The site plan will also detail the landscaping location, such as trees and shrubs, and other features such as your driveway, utility poles, and existing fencing.

Whether you need to hire a professional to create your site plan depends on your location. In Indianapolis, you can create a site plan on your own, using the information you have. You might use your property survey to create the site plan or your property's plat documents, which you can order from the Recorder's Office if you don't already have a copy.

Two types of site plans exist. A non-certified site plan is one you can create on your own or order from the company you hire to install your fence. Non-certified site plans are good for informational purposes and, depending on your project, might be all you need to get started.

See if you qualify for a free non-certified site plan from HOA Affordable Fence.

In some cases, a certified site plan is a must. For example, your HOA might require a certified plan before your project starts. In that case, you'll need to hire an architect or surveyor to visit your property and put the plan together.

Site plans typically contain the same basic information about the properties they depict. Your site plan should have an arrow pointing north, so a person viewing the plan can quickly orient themselves. It should also be drawn to scale and explain the scale, such as one inch equals 100 feet. The plan should also include the dimensions of any structures and the distance between the structures.

What Is a Property Survey?

A survey, sometimes called a property or land survey, is a map that outlines the boundaries of your property. It shows the exact dimensions of your parcel of land. A survey also details the topographic features of your property, plus any buildings and structures on it.

Property surveys don't just show what's on top of the soil. They also detail any objects or structures below ground, such as a well or septic tank on your property. If your property has easements, the survey will also show those.

You can't do a land survey on your own. A professional surveyor needs to prepare the survey for you. If you need a survey before starting your fence project in Indianapolis, you might need to hire a private surveying company.

Once you have the survey, you can use it to build a site plan. Surveys are also needed to create a GIS map of your property, which shows you how various features on your land interact.

Which One Do You Need?

Whether you need a land survey or site plan depends on the rules of your area and HOA. A survey is more involved, as it requires you to hire a professional. A non-certified site plan you can make on your own.

If you're unsure whether you need a survey, site plan, or both, check in with your municipality. It's also a good idea to read your HOA's bylaws if you have one. Your HOA might have an approval process to go through before you install your fence. To get approval, you might need to submit various plans and thoroughly outline the scope of the fence project.

You don't have to go through the process alone. HOA Affordable Fence can be by your side. We're familiar with the permitting rules of the Greater Indianapolis area and have experience working with many HOAs. When you schedule a fencing consultation with us, we'll include a non-certified site plan to help you see where to put your fence and how it will interact with other property structures. To learn more, contact us today.

Learn More About Our Free Site Plans

Topics: Tips, Planning

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