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Building Terms & Definitions

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Site Plan

A Site Plan is a drawing showing the complete property and identifying all structures in relation to the property boundaries. A property survey is commonly used as a template for developing the site plan. The site plan should include:

  • Scale
  • North arrow
  • Street location and name
  • Lot lines and dimensions to all buildings
  • Existing and proposed buildings
  • Proposed changes to existing grade
  • Physical features (rock outcrops, surface water, streams, marshes, trees)
  • Servicing location (hydro, water, sewer, gas)

Floor Plans

A Floor Plan is a drawing of the structure as seen as if it is cut horizontally a few feet above the floor line. One floor plan is required for every floor of the house which is affected by the new construction. Each plan shows the interior layout of the level in question as well as providing the structural framing information for the floor or roof above. Floor plans should include:

  • Scale
  • Use of rooms and spaces (label)
  • Dimensions
  • Extent of new construction including new work within existing building
  • Size, type and location of exterior and interior walls and partitions
  • Widths, locations and lintel sizes of all openings
  • Location, dimensions and direction of stairs
  • References to detailed drawings
  • Material specifications or notes
  • Heating and ventilation details
  • Location of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors


Elevations show the exterior view of each side of the house. Each elevation is identified by the direction it is facing, and should include:

  • Scale
  • Extent of new and existing construction
  • Dimensions of walls, windows and doors
  • Grade level
  • Exterior wall cladding, finishes and flashing
  • Overhang dimensions
  • Roof shape, slope and finish
  • Rain water leader and eaves trough

Sections and Details

A Section represents a view of the house along an imaginary line at a particular location, & illustrates construction details. The extent of the section should correspond with the sectional arrow shown on the plans. Sections should indicate the following:

  • Scale
  • Details of footings, foundations, walls, floors and the roof
  • Distance From grade to floor and underside of footing
  • Attic and crawl space ventilation

Some aspects of the project may require some specific details, such as engineered roof truss drawings and engineered beams (lvls).

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