As you meet with your garage consultant for your initial consultation, you will be asked several questions up front about your desires and needs for your detached garage project. One of those questions will be whether or not you have an accurate copy of the Plat of Survey for your property. Yes, a Plat of Survey (also just simply referred to as a ‘Plat’ or Survey’) is required for your new or replacement garage process. This is not specifically a Heartland Garage Builders requirement, though it does make the initial discussion process move more smoothly, but rather a requirement of your municipality as part of the permit process. (THOUGH NOT REQUIRED FOR STANDARD GARAGE PROJECTS IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO).

What Is A Plat Of Survey?

The plat provides us with the ability to better identify the particulars of your lot and the relationship that any structures on the property have to the property lines and any neighboring home/garages. This can be extremely helpful for determining if there are any issues with clearance to those structures and to ensure that your new garage will have the adequate clearance.

As you can see from below, a survey clearly identifies the residence and the garage with their respective setbacks (i.e. the measurement from a property line) dimensioned along with the any driveways, paths, walks, or decks and other accessory structures such as a shed (shown here in the rear yard)– essentially what is located on the ground of your property. As such, the municipality really requires this survey to be current i.e. accurately reflecting ALL structures located on the lot. While having trees shown is not a requirement, it is helpful and this plat actually has some backyard trees identified.

plat of survey

Once you decide to move forward with your project, the survey becomes a very necessary part of the process since the permit submission cannot begin without it. If you don’t have access to your survey (check your home’s closing paperwork since Illinois real estate law requires the provision of a current, to-scale, survey as part of title transfer process), we will happily assist in getting an updated survey ordered from a local surveyor we partner with. While there are some municipalities that are insistent on a ‘current’ survey, most will accept a survey as long as it accurately reflects the conditions on the ground.

If you are looking to build a detached garage and need a free consultation, contact Heartland Garage Builders at 224-326-2698 or book online at