What is a plat?

Platting is the process of developing what is known as a Plat map. Platting is required mostly when buying and developing vacant land. Most often, platting occurs when a landowner is developing property to divide it into parcels while creating a subdivision.

What is the difference between a plat and a survey?

Platting is like a survey in that it does mark the boundaries and dimensions of a property. One of the main differences is that platting tends to cover more parcels than a land survey. The other main difference is that platting shows planned improvements, while surveys show improvements already made on the land, such as buildings. Additionally, plats are used to establish a legal description of a property using a lot and block description, rather than metes and bounds. Plats must be filed with the county.

When must I get a property plat?

In addition to needing a plat when subdividing property and developing subdivisions, there are other instances when a plat may be required, such as combining tracts of land, creating a building site and adding abandoned or vacant property to a building site.

I’m a homeowner with developed land, why am I being told I need a plat?

In Texas, there are occasions in which a homeowner may be required to obtain a plat. Generally, these instances are when requiring a permit for new building, plumbing or HVAC systems. Most platting requirements are established at a local level. Most of the time, this occurs in border counties where you may be in unincorporated areas of town. Platting requirements fall under local government code 212.004. Some other key laws include:


When buying vacant land, dividing land into a subdivision or improving land, you will need a plat. There are some circumstances where, in addition to or in place of a land survey, you may need a plat. Always check local ordinances. At Realsearch of Texas, we provide both platting and land surveys. Learn more here. Our experience can help guide you to know which you need. We provide a good product at reasonable prices. No surprises. Call Realsearch of Texas today for all your platting needs.