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Land Surveying

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Practical Tips to Avoid Environmental Risk on all Your Projects

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Land Surveyors

What is Land Surveying?

Land surveying is the process that uses precise measurements to determine the existence of and distance between parcel points on a site. This process locates, describes, and maps these points to understand land boundaries and dimensions of the property lines.

Why is Land Survey Work Important?

Land surveying determines property lines and is part of the screening process for development projects. Not obtaining a survey, or an incorrectly completed survey could result in encroachment on adjacent properties upon development which could result in lawsuits. For example, if incorrectly completed, projects could be on private land or extend into an environmentally regulated area for which the land developer may not hold the proper permits.

Land Surveying

When Do I Need a Land Survey?

Whether it’s new construction for a commercial real estate development or a homeowner adding a new fence, land surveys are required. By understanding property boundary lines and other valuable information such as topography and easement rights-of-way, a survey help determine potential risks to a project. By having an established legal boundary, future risks and delays to construction can be avoided.

Types of Land Surveys

 

American Land Title Association (ALTA) Survey

Title companies require an ALTA survey when issuing title insurance for individuals buying a home or investment property. Lenders also require this survey for financing, referring to it as a “mortgage survey.”

Boundary Survey

A boundary survey determines the boundary lines of a property. This survey is for buyers’ records and to resolve potential legal disputes or easements with the property.

Topographic Survey

Engineers and architects utilize this survey type to plan site improvements. This survey type shows the natural and artificial vertical features on a property, such as hills, ponds, buildings, trees, rivers, fences, and utilities.

Subdivision Survey

This survey outlines potential new land parcels on an existing property the owner wishes to subdivide. This information is filed in the recorder’s office land files.

Site Planning Survey

When applying for building permits, land developers will use site-planning surveys. This type of survey will be the boundary for improvements, such as roads or utilities.

Construction Survey

This survey depicts the location of the structures and improvements. These surveys show construction workers the location and distance between site enhancements.

Location Survey

Property owners seeking zoning permits use location surveys. These surveys include site improvements in addition to the property boundaries of a boundary survey. Land surveys locate and scale improvements, depicting the distance between the improvement and property boundary.

Free Permitting Checklist

Practical Tips to Avoid Environmental Risk on all Your Projects

Download our environmental permitting checklist to get a step-by-step list of ways to protect your project from the 9 most common environmental risks.

Download Your Checklist

Land Survey Required Equipment

  • Theodolite
  • GPS
  • Level and Rod
  • Measuring Tape
  • Total Station
  • 3D Scanner

Land Surveyors

How to Conduct the Land Survey Process

Hire a Land Surveyor

Professional land surveyors complete the fieldwork required for all land surveys following set regulations. This profession is monitored and regulated as the data they collect enters the public record. Land surveyors will complete a property survey and report their findings on a map. Following their survey work, the professional may be hired to do a construction stake-out survey for the site. This process includes staking the site’s boundaries and other aspects of the construction project to ensure success.

Use Environmental Due Diligence Software

Environmental due diligence software, such as Transect, maps on-site risks. Transect shows utility lines, private property, and even a useable parcel of land on an existing property in minutes. This tool provides the automated, site-specific information that other GIS tools lack and speeds up the due diligence process. This tool can be used when selecting a project site based on existing property boundaries. While some project needs may require additional on-site survey work, the vast majority of information a surveyor will provide can be found in this platform.

Free Permitting Checklist

Practical Tips to Avoid Environmental Risk on all Your Projects

Download our environmental permitting checklist to get a step-by-step list of ways to protect your project from the 9 most common environmental risks.

Download Your Checklist