Do I Need A Survey?
Land surveying is a service that people rarely need, but when the
need does arise a little background information on land surveying can help you
avoid costly mistakes. You should have a survey done anytime you have boundary
changes or land division, ownership transfer, erection of fences or structures
that are related to a property boundary. Be aware that land ownership records on
file may contradict adjoining and adjacent property descriptions. Gaps and
overlaps are not uncommon and a Registered Land Surveyor can help you sort out
the true land boundary. Often times boundary lines are taken for granted, be
sure that you know where your property boundaries are. The fees of a Registered
Land Surveyor will cost you less in time, money and worry when it comes time to
buy a strip of your neighbor's land, move improvements or defend a lawsuit.
How Do I Choose Which Surveyor
To Hire: A Land Surveyor should
never be chosen on price alone, remember the old saying, 'You get what you pay
for'. Registered Land Surveyors vary in knowledge and ability so choose a
reputable firm that you can put your trust into - competency should be the
number one factor. Professionals who are familiar with the locale of your
property usually are more cost efficient than those who are not.
What Type Of Survey Do I Need?
Please visit our Land Surveying
page for a description of the types of surveys that we provide. If you have a
specific question regarding the type of survey you need please feel free to give
us a call.
How Much Will A Land Survey
Cost? Most often all the
'competent' Land Surveyors in your geographic area will have competitive rates.
The cost to survey your property most often will not vary greatly by which Land
Surveyor you choose to hire. The common practice of calling all of the surveyors
in your area and getting quotes may actually inflate the cost of surveying your
land. A Land Surveyor will always assume the worst possible situation which may
inaccurately reflect the cost of the survey. The best solution is to select your
Land Surveyor based on his or her performance and reputation not the price
estimate that he or she gives you on a survey.
A Registered\Professional Land Surveyor can provide an
estimation of costs with a little help from you. First you must provide the
surveyor with a copy of your Warranty Deed which contains the land description
so that they can offer a accurate estimate. Survey estimates can vary depending
on a multitude of factors such as size of parcel, terrain, location, level of
detail required, etc. so it is difficult to estimate exact fees in advance. We
do not provide costs per corner estimates. Instead, we invite you to come
in and sit down with one of our surveyors. They can tailor a survey to
meet your specific needs. The
following is a list of various factors that can effect the cost of a survey.
Type of Survey:
Each type of survey requires a different scope. The cost of a survey may
increase as to the type of survey that is required.
Land surveys often require a records search on the parcel of land. This
step can sometimes become complicated by the way past land transactions have
been handled, often times resulting in incomplete, vague and in some cases
contradictory land records and legal descriptions.
Shape and Size of Property:
Rectangular parcels of land generally are cheaper to survey and contain
less corner monuments than do irregular shaped parcels containing the same
amount of land.
Sectionalized Survey Work:
Depending on where your parcel is located (i.e. remote area), the
surveyor may have to break down an entire one mile square section of where your
parcel lies. In some cases where the parcel falls into multiple sections a
survey of those sections will also be required.
Existing Evidence on
evidence such as stone, wood or iron monuments, fences and occupational lines,
witness trees, etc. help the surveyor. The absence of such existing evidence may
make it difficult for the surveyor to retrace the original survey.
Mountainous terrain is generally more difficult to survey than a level
parcel of land
The location of the parcel from our office plays part in the amount of
time that it takes to perform the survey work. This includes the distance to the
site and any difficultly in reaching the Public Land Corners.
Time of Year:
In the winter, travel time may be hindered because of road conditions,
this may effect travel time to the site. Winter weather may also conceal field
evidence. Summer time foliage can also present access challenges to the site.
Brush, tree branches and in some cases small trees must sometimes be
removed to allow the surveyor a clear line of sight when doing a survey.
Residential landscaping and trees on home sites are normally undisturbed but may
require additional time to survey around them.
Record of Survey Plat:
If any corners are set which establish property lines, it is required by
law that a plat of your survey be filed with the Country Surveyor in the county
where your property is located. When a record of survey plat is necessary, the
cost of the survey will be increased to account for the time it takes a
draftsman to draw up the map after the field work is completed. A plat filing
fee is also required by the county.
How Long Does It Take To Do A
Often times when the need of a survey arises, time is of the essence.
The land might be immediately sold, utilities may need to be installed, or a
home may need to be sited. The Land Surveyor must perform certain tasks before
he can ever begin to set the corners of your property.
First, the Warranty Deed needs to be received
from you and the surveyor must research all available physical and non-physical
information about your property. This usually includes acquiring the survey
plats and warranty deeds of adjacent properties from the county surveyor,
"tying in" existing fences and corners and calculating your corners
locations based on Land Surveying Law and Standard Practices. This process can
usually be completed in one or two days, with the corners being set on the third
or fourth day. This assumes that the surveyors scheduling allows him to start on
your survey immediately. Given your circumstances, the Land Surveyor will gladly
estimate how long the survey should take.
Can a Land Surveyor Tell Me
What I Own? No. It is your
responsibility as a client to furnish the Land Surveyor with a current title and
legal description of your parcel of land.
How Can I Tell What Has Been
Surveyed? Land Surveyors will
place an acceptable monument at your property corners bearing the Professional
Land Surveyor's license number. A Record of Survey Plat will also be prepared
showing where these monuments are located. On request, the surveyor can also
point out the placement of corners on the ground.
How Do Conflicting Boundary
and/or Easement Lines Occur? Boundary
line gaps and overlaps are often a result of legal descriptions, or previous
surveys, that were performed without the benefit of a ‘competent’
Professional Land Surveyor. Another source of conflict can be misinformation
given to the Land Surveyor, or the unavailability of certain information.
However, if a conflicting boundary and/or easement does occur, Land Surveying
law is written in a way to establish one true property line. Land Surveyors have
also established certain standards of practice which are acceptable in the
profession. All competent Land Surveyors are familiar with these laws and
standards of practice, therefore most all property disputes can be settled
between Surveyors without requiring court action, or lawyers. Land Surveying
professionals are proud of their profession and respect other Land Surveying
Professionals. This respect aids greatly in settling land division conflicts.