What is a plat?
Your property plat is one of the most important documents you may never have heard of.
Your plat is the official record of where your property ends, and your neighbors begins. It lists the location of all the important things on your lot: your house, porch, driveway, easements, utilities, fences… When you build a new home, do an addition, or even install a fence, a plat will be required to show you are within the zoning and setback requirements of your property. We ask you for your plat so we can look into the lot zoning and know whether what you want to do is actually doable where you want to do it.
Is a neighborhood plat okay?
These plans are usually older and lack important, more recent details. We can use a neighborhood plan to get a preliminary idea of your lot and potential issues.
However, if you decide to move forward with your project, we require an official property plat before we begin our design process.
How do I get my plat?
In most cases, a copy of your plat is included in the closing documents when your purchase a home or lot. It makes it clear to all parties exactly what is being exchanged.
County or City
In Northern Virginia, all municipalities keep the official property plats on record. You can request a copy of your plat formally from them and we can let you know where to inquire! It can take several weeks for the office to locate and send the plat to you. There have been instances when the office could not find a plat because it was lost or failed to be migrated to the digital system.
Get a Survey
If all else fails, hire a surveying company to prepare a new plat of your property. A survey can cost between $450 and $900. We have several companies we can recommend.