How to Read and Interpret Plans and Elevations

How to Read and Interpret…Plans and Elevations

Plans depict a proposed development, what it will look like when completed and how it will be constructed.

It is important to date stamp plans once they are received and to clearly mark superseded and amended plans.

Site Plan

This is a Site Plan.

A site plan allows us to:

  • Calculate the area and site coverage of the proposed development.
  • Calculate the distance from the boundaries to the development.
  • View the contours that may be imposed on the land in question.
  • View the driveway, stormwater drainage, paths, easements and right of carriage
  • Identify features that must be preserved e.g. trees, rocks, existing structures

Key Features

Generally, a site plan should show:

  • All existing and proposed structures on the allotment
  • Easements, rights of way, driveways, vehicle access points, location of any watercourse on the property, any adjacent roads and streets
  • Allotment boundaries (including dimensions in metres)
  • Approximate north point and scale

Site plans are usually drawn at a scale of not less than 1:200.

Floor Plan

This is a Floor Plan.

A floor plan allows us to:

  • View the room layout and sizing.

A floor plan is usually drawn at a scale of 1:100.


These are Elevations.

An elevation allows us to:

  • See how the proposed development will appear when completed from each angle (North, South, East and West)
  • View the finishes
  • Calculate the size of windows, doors and walls

Key Features

Generally, an elevation should show:

  • All proposed and relevant existing buildings
  • Dimensions, elevations and sections of each floor level of any relevant or proposed structures
  • Wall, post and building heights
  • Sizes and locations of footings and other structural components
  • Structural details such as framing, connections, tie downs etc.
  • If the proposed development is an extension, an elevation should show how the proposed development relates ot the existing structure.

Elevations are usually drawn at a scale not less than 1:100