Creating a Plot Plan


Reference Number: KB-00575
Last Modified: January 9, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Premier



QUESTION

I would like to know how to create a plot plan in Chief Architect. How is this accomplished?


ANSWER

A plot plan is essentially a map of a property's legal description. This article describes how to create an accurate plot plan by inputting lines, arcs and set backs using the CAD tools available in Chief Architect.


To create a plot plan polyline

  1. Select CAD> Points> Input Point from the menu to open the New CAD Point dialog.


  2. Select Absolute Location, define the point's position at (0,0) for the X Position and Y Position, then click OK.

    This is the current point and will serve as the Start Point for the first line of the plot plan.

    New CAD Point dialog


  3. From the menu, select CAD> Lines> North Pointer , then click and drag the line upward to create a North Pointer pointing up to the top of the screen.


  4. Select CAD> Lines> Input Line to open the New CAD Line dialog. Notice that the Start Point is (0,0), which is the location of the current point that you just created. Click the Number Style button at the bottom of the dialog and in the Dialog Number/Angle Style dialog:

    Dialog Number/Angle Style dialog


    • Select Decimal Feet for the Number Style.

    • Select Azimuth Bearing for the Angle Style.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.


  5. Staying in the New CAD Line dialog, select the Relative to Start Point option and check Polar. Enter the length of the first side of your property boundary's legal description in the Distance field, and the angle of that line in the Angle field.

    New CAD Line dialog with a Distance and Angle specified


  6. Click Next and enter the Distance and Angle of the next property line.

    The next property line will be the one adjoining the end point of your first line, rather than the start point.

    New CAD Line dialog with a different Distance and Angle specified

    Note: With the North Pointer pointing in the up direction, an angle of 90 degrees will travel in the direction of left to right, 0 degrees will go from bottom to top, 270 degrees will go from right to left, while 180 degrees will travel from top to bottom. 


  7. Continue until all property lines are entered, then click OK to close the dialog.

    The property line created should be closed, with the end-point of the last line being the same as the start point of the first line.

    Plot perimeter with a north pointer

    If you have received plot plan information from a surveyor, keep in mind that any given line can be described in two ways using Quadrant Bearings, and not all surveyors will describe the lines of a given plot in the same direction (ie, clockwise or counterclockwise).

    If the lines are not described in the same direction, then your result will not be a closed polyline.



To correct an error

  1. If a line is entered incorrectly, click OK to close the New CAD Line dialog.


  2. Click on the incorrect line to select it, then click on the Disconnect Selected Edge edit button.


  3. With the incorrect line now separate from the rest of the polyline, it can now be deleted. Select the Delete edit button or the Delete key on your keyboard.


  4. Place a CAD point at the end of the last correct line using the Place Point tool to create a new current point.


  5. Click the Input Line button and continue entering data in the New CAD Line dialog as described in the section above.


To create a curved property line

  1. Click on an existing property line to select it, then click the Change Line/Arc edit button to turn this line into an arc.


  2. If necessary, use the triangular reshape edit handle to make the arc concave or convex.


  3. Click the Open Object edit button to open the Polyline Specification dialog.


  4. On the Selected Arc panel, click the Chord radio button under the Lock category, specify the length of the Radius, then click OK.

    Plot perimeter with a curve at the top


    A curved property line can also be created by entering data in the New Arc dialog. See the Chief Architect Reference Manual for more information.


To display line length, bearing & radius

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu, expand the CAD category, select General CAD, then click the Edit button.


  2. In the CAD Defaults dialog:

    Azimuth Bearing selected in the CAD Defaults dialog

    • Check Azimuth Bearing under Display Line Angle as

    • Click on the Define button under Displayed Line Length Format to display the Displayed Line Length dialog, and under Accuracy, select the Decimal Places radio button

      Decimal Places selected under Accuracy in the Displayed Line Length dialog

    • Click OK and/or Done on all dialogs to confirm the changes.


  3. Click on the plot plan polyline to select it and click the Open Object edit button.


  4. On the Line Style panel of the Polyline Specification dialog:

    Polyine Specification dialog where Show Length and Show Angle are checked

    • If you're using the Plot Plan Saved Plan View, the plot plan may already be on the CAD, Plot Plan layer.

      If you're not using the Plot Plan Saved Plan View, change the layer to CAD, Plot Plan, click the Define button next to the layer drop-down, and ensure that the CAD, Plot Plan layer is displayed.

      For more information on layers and layer sets, please see the Related Articles section below.

    • Check Show Length, Show Angle and All Angles.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.

    Plot plan with line length and azimuth bearing


To create setback lines

  1. Select Edit> Preferences if you're on a Windows PC or Chief Architect> Preferences if you're on a Mac, and on the Behaviors panel of the Preferences dialog:

    Behaviors panel of the Preferences dialog

    • Select the Concentric radio button under Edit Type

    • In the Jump field, type in the setback distance required by your local planning department

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes


  2. Click on the plot plan polyline to select it, then click the Copy/Paste edit button.


  3. Place your cursor over a corner edit handle, then click and drag towards the center of the polyline. When a second, inner polyline displays, release the mouse.

    Polyline that has been copied and concentrically moved 10' feet inwards


  4. Select the inner polyline and click the Open Object edit button.


  5. On the Line Style panel of the Polyline Specification dialog:

    Line Style panel of the Polyline Specification dialog

    • Click the Define button next to the Layer drop-down and in the Layer Display Options dialog that displays, click the Copy button to copy the layer, and change the name of the newly created layer to CAD, Setback.

    • Change the Line Style to a dashed line style.

    • Uncheck the Show Length and Show Angle boxes if desired.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.

    Setback lines inside of the plot plan


  6. Once the setback is created, navigate to Edit> Edit Behaviors and select the Default option to switch back to the default edit behavior.


To accurately position a building

  1. Place a CAD Point at a reference point along the perimeter of the property, such as a corner. Alternately, use the starting point for your plot plan polyline, (0,0), as a reference.


  2. Select CAD> Points> Input Point  to open the New CAD Point dialog.


  3. Select Absolute Location and specify the desired distance that the building will be from this point in the X Position and Y Position fields.


  4. If you have placed a CAD point at a different location, select Relative to Current Point and specify the desired distance from that point. Unless you would like to specify the location in distance and bearing, Polar (CCW from horz) should remain unchecked.


  5. When you click OK, a point will be created at the specified location. Use this point as a reference to accurately position a wall or corner of the building.

    CAD Point at the wall intersection


To convert a plot plan to a terrain perimeter

If you'd like to have your Plot Plan to appear in 3D views as a grass pad with a thickness, you can convert it to a Terrain Perimeter.

  1. Select the plot plan polyline and click the Convert Polyline edit button.


  2. In the Convert Polyline dialog, select Terrain Perimeter, specify the Layer you would like the Terrain Perimeter to go on, then click OK.

    In X11 and older program versions, the layer can be specified on the Line Style panel of the Terrain Specification dialog, which displays after the conversion.

    Convert Polyline dialog



  3. Make any needed changes in the Terrain Specification dialog and click OK to close the dialog. The plot plan polyline that you created is now your Terrain Perimeter.