What you Need to Know About Land and Engineering Surveys

Post by : Amy Sinden on 13.12.2022

What is a Land Survey?

            A land survey is a basic picture or diagram of a property and all its boundaries. Depending on the type of survey that you are asking for you could get a detailed look at your boundary lines and structural improvements, or you could get a topographic survey that shows elevations and contour lines. The finalized survey will also have observations written by the surveyor along with a legal description of the property.

            There are different types of land surveys that you can have done, and they show different types of things. If you need someone to do the surveying of your land, you need to make sure that you have researched them well. You want to make sure that you are using a reputable business.

            To find a reputable business you can check online reviews, your state’s attorney general’s office, or the Better Business Bureau to make sure that the business has great reviews from all. If you skip this step, you may get a survey from someone that does not know what they are doing. You would get bad information if the survey company does not know what they are doing.

Different Types of Land Surveys

            As was mentioned above, there are several different types of land surveys. Each type of survey will tell you different types of information about your land. You will want to see which kind of survey will give you the information that you are seeking.

            Boundary Survey

            The most basic type of survey is the boundary survey which gives you the boundaries of the plot of land. It is usually done to make sure that the legal description matches the boundary lines that have been established. This type of survey will also include any improvements made on the land such as sheds or garages.

            Land Title Survey

            Another type of survey is the land title survey which will give you some information about your property. There is an association called ALTA, or American Land Title Association, that does a particular type of boundary survey. These types of surveys are explicitly done for title companies, lenders, or title insurance companies.

            These types of surveys show not just the boundaries, but also show underground utility locations, ancillary building locations, easement identifications, boundary lines, and building and underground structure square footage. Any time that your land changes owners or that you make significant changes to your land, you will need a land title survey. This helps to ensure that the next owner knows what they are actually getting.

Topographic Surveys

            A topographic survey shows the elevations of the land, terrains, and landforms that you cannot find on a traditional survey. These different items are shown with different contour lines and can show the locations of the natural and artificial utilities and structures. This type of survey will help designers design the right type of building for the plot of land.

Site Plans

            This type of survey is a very detailed plan that will show you how the improvements that a developer proposes will fit into that specific plot of land. It should include landscaping improvements and should show how all the improvements relate to the features of the land. This helps to show how everything fits together to make the land look better.      
            This type of survey also makes sure that the buildings and other improvements adhere to the building codes and zoning requirements: https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/zoning-laws. Many different cities and towns require a site plan before the builder is allowed to get a construction or building permit. This ensures that all codes are followed in order to make the building safer for the owners.

Construction Layouts

            This type of survey also called a layout survey, helps the construction workers to map out new construction. Land surveyors will put stakes in the ground to designate features such as buildings, grades, or curbs. This helps the construction workers avoid costly delays that are due to errors.
            This type of survey will map outwells, gas and sewer lines, electrical utilities, roads, setbacks, and property lines. You will need construction layouts if you are building near other buildings, close to a boundary line, or making sophisticated projects. This will help to ensure that you are also following the building codes for the area that you are building in.

Elevation Certificates

            This type of certificate will help FEMA and others to know if you are building in a flood plain. Insurance companies want to know the flood risk of the property and will need this certificate to insure the property. This will help to determine the risk of floods and tell the insurance company what rates to charge.

Benefits of a Land Survey

            A professional land survey is necessary for all property owners and can serve many purposes. A property survey can help with sales and construction and is required in many states. If you live in New York, for example, you will need a land survey when you are buying any land or improving any land.
            A land survey can also help the new home buyers by showing where the property lines are so that they know the size of the lot they are purchasing. The survey can also pinpoint where the easements are and can let the purchaser know if they are in a flood-prone area. As a homebuyer, you will want all this information so that you can negotiate on the price.
            Surveys can also help when one property owner wants to encroach on their neighbor’s property. This is illegal and the proper survey can prove where the property lines are. This can cause tensions between neighbors that could easily have been solved with the land surveys. If a surveyor marks your property with stakes, your neighbors will know where the boundary lines are and will be less likely to encroach onto your property.
            These are just a few of the reasons that land surveys are necessary for property owners and builders. They can save you from all kinds of trouble and make sure that you are following all codes and regulations.

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