Setting out is the first stage of construction in a site. This involves outlining the structure on the ground. For any new house or extensions or alterations mapping out is very important to avoid costly errors. There are factors to consider when laying out the building plans on site. This include the size of the plot, neighbors, driveways and sun direction. The other factors to note are planning requirements by the local authorities and services required to the site. This are electricity, water, sewers, communication and roads.
When setting out the building on the ground consider the angle to plot boundary line. The house should be offset from the boundary line by at least twenty to forty degrees. A building set parallel to boundary line has a small visual plot size. This offset also gives better usable spaces in the front and backyards. It will also make the sun run through the house east to west giving warmth to the whole house. Set house north to south for maximum sun.
Setting out commences from a plot corner and putting a peg. Offset the peg by four meters at an angle of twenty degrees from plot end. Measure out the length of the building along this angle and place a peg. Mark the width along ninety degrees from this and complete to first peg. With the four corners in place, map out the are with chalk powder. Use the drawing to locate the extent of the building line within the mapped area and mark corners.
The setting out should proceed by making profile boards. This are timber or metal boards set off the building line. They indicate the foundation width and wall thickness. Pull strings along this marks to draw the foundation lines for the whole house. Mark a center line for each wall. Use this to map to the whole house on the ground. Confirm the squareness and all the dimensions at every intersection. After confirming all dimensions work can commence.