Drawing a Plot Plan

Reference Number: KB-00850
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


How do I create a plot plan using survey information?

In this example we will use the following survey information:

  • Line 1 - 77.23 feet 
    N3 18' 25" E 

  • Line 2 - 65.81 feet 
    N86 41' 1" E 

  • Line 3 - 58.97 feet 
    S7 5' 56" E 

  • Line 4 - 57.7 feet 
    S67 9' 50" W 

  • Arc 1 Radius 27.99 feet   

This image shows what the completed plot plan will look like. We've added the distance and bearing information with text.


You can create a CAD polyline representation of your plot plan using the distance and bearing information from a survey, then edit the rectangular Terrain Perimeter line to fit it exactly.

To enter plot line information

  1. Select File> New Plan  to open a new, blank plan.

  2. Click the Select Objects  button, and if a Terrain Perimeter is present in the plan, click on it and press the Delete  edit button.

  3. Select CAD> Draw Line  from the menu, then begin by drawing CAD line # 1 from the bottom of the screen up.

  4. Select the line and click the Open Object  edit button to display the Line Specification dialog. 

    • Enter the Length information for line 1.

    • Press the TAB key to move to update the dialog and move to the Angle field.

      When you press the TAB key, your Length information will convert to inches.

    • Enter the Angle information for this line.

      Bearing information can be entered in this format:  N3 18 25 E

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

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to create lines 2, 3 and 4.

To create a curved plot line with a specific radius

  1. Select CAD> Draw Line , then click and drag to draw a CAD line from the end of line 4 to the beginning of line 1.

  2. Select this line and click the Change Line/Arc  edit button. The arc should curve outward, similar to our sample image.

  3. With the arc selected, click the Open Object  edit button. On the Selected Arc panel of the Polyline Specification dialog:

    • Specify the Radius of the arc.

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

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, your result will not be a closed polyline.

To view the plot perimeter in 3D

Now we have our completed plot plan. Since this is a CAD polyline, it can only be seen in floor plan view.  To create a three dimensional object that can be seen in 3D, you can create a Terrain Perimeter and edit its shape to match the CAD polyline.

  1. Select Terrain> Create Terrain Perimeter  from the menu to create a rectangular terrain.

  2. Click the Select Objects  button, then click on the terrain perimeter to select it and display its edit handles.

  3. Click and drag the center edit handle so that the Terrain Perimeter is approximately centered over your plot plan polyline.  You do not need to be precise.

  4. Click on the edit handle at the top left corner and drag it to the top left corner of your polyline, at the end of line 1.

  5. Similarly, drag the top right edit handle to the end of line 2, the bottom right edit handle to the end of line 3, and the bottom left edit handle to the beginning of line 1.

  6. Click on the bottom line of the Terrain Perimeter and click the Break Line  edit button. Click on the bottom line near the plot plan arc to create a new corner handle at the point where you clicked.

  7. You can now click and drag this new diamond shaped edit handle to the end of line 4.  

  8. Select the new line segment that needs to become the arc and click click the Change Line/Arc  edit button, as we did earlier to create the arc in the plot plan.

  9. With the new curved segment selected, click Open Object  edit button and on the Selected Arc panel of the Polyline Specification dialog:

    • Enter the same Radius value as you did for the plot plan polyline.

    • Click OK. Now your plot plan and terrain should match. 

If you wish, you can use the Text  tools to add length and bearing information in floor plan view.