What is a Boundary Survey?A boundary survey is a means to formally establish and define the property lines and corners of a parcel of land. This type of land survey also specifies the extent of any encroachments or easements and may indicate the restrictions imposed on the property by local and state regulations. Encroachment is a general term for the utilization of a parcel of land by an individual other than the owner in violation of the property owner’s rights. An easement, on the other hand, is a nonpossessory right to enter or use another’s property as a means to access a public road or having a utility line to cross another property without actually possessing it. You can hire a land surveyor to perform a boundary survey for fence building, resolving property disputes, and acquisition of a building permit. Some title companies and mortgage lenders also require a boundary survey before financing a property purchase. Here’s an overview of the various scenarios when you need a boundary survey.
- Property renovation. It’s smart to conduct a boundary survey before renovating or making any additions to your property. This process helps you avoid encroaching on another’s property. This type of survey will also show outstanding easements that may hinder you from building additional features like decks or pools to your property.
- Construction on a property. You’ll need a boundary survey to prove that building something on your property complies with local ordinances and zoning regulations. If there are any land disputes, a boundary survey may also help resolve any issues. Plus, it helps define rights of access grants that may preclude you from constructing a new structure.
- Mortgage application. A boundary survey is one of the requirements when applying for a mortgage. Before your lender decides on the amount and rate of your loan, he/she needs to find out the size of the property you’re buying and its market value.
Two Types of Boundary SurveysThere are two types of boundary surveys that you need to know before you hire a land surveyor.
- Original survey. This type of boundary survey determines the boundary lines of a tract of land for the first time. In other words, it aims to create new boundary lines since the property has not been surveyed before.
- Retracement survey. This type of boundary survey tracks or retraces the results of a previous survey to locate its boundary lines. Many title companies don’t use an old boundary survey as it can be unreliable because of property updates or changes. Therefore, a retracement survey or a new boundary survey is necessary to account for these property changes.
What is the Difference Between Boundary Surveys and Plat Surveys?Both boundary surveys and plat surveys show the property boundaries. Their difference is that a boundary survey focuses on one parcel of land, while a plat survey deals with multiple parcels of land. A survey plat is a public document that outlines the boundaries of each parcel of land in a specific area. Boundary surveyors determine specifically the boundary lines of a property, while plat surveyors determine not only the boundaries but also the property’s location and its topographic features. Measurements of a boundary survey are considered to be more precise than a plat survey. Survey plats are public records that you can get at relevant government offices in your country or state.
The Process of a Boundary SurveyThe first step of a boundary survey is the measuring, marking, and mapping out of the property’s boundary lines by a professional land surveyor. Then, the surveyor will establish a traverse or control network, which is used to identify existing monuments and other proofs of boundaries. The fieldwork is the most visible stage of a boundary survey, but it’s only a part of the whole project. Then, the next step is the research or looking through the documents relating to the land, such as deeds, title reports, maps, and easements. The surveyor may do his/her research at the Registry of Deeds, Registry of Probate, Department of Transportation, town offices, county commissioners’ offices, and historical associations. Moreover, the surveyor may talk with the previous owners of the property and adjacent property owners regarding the property and its surrounding areas. The research is crucial to ensure that the property owner or buyer has documentary proof of the property boundaries. The outcome of the fieldwork and research will be evaluated, and the surveyor will synthesize the data to define the boundaries of the property. A second field job is necessary to establish new markers. The final stage is the drafting of a plan, and preparation of a written report and legal description.
Components of a Boundary SurveyWhen the work is done, the survey will exhibit a property plan, a legal description, notes of any markers on the property, and a written report clarifying the judgments and decisions made to establish the property’s boundaries. The markers or monuments that help identify the property boundaries will depend on the agreement of the land surveyor and the owner or buyer of the property. Concrete monuments, wooden posts, marked trees, pipes, or iron pins may be used as markers or monuments. Boundary surveyors will focus on the boundaries of a property and whether there are any improvements or structures that interfere with those boundaries. For example, a gutter, fence, wall, or column may sometimes cross over boundaries of a property which causes disputes. Surveyors will also describe where infrastructures are located, for example, as on the boundary, clear of the boundary, or over the boundary. A boundary surveyor’s scope of work will include:
- Investigation of existing survey information, such as deeds, relevant titles, property descriptions, etc.
- Conducting field reconnaissance to determine the boundary lines and any related improvements on the property.
- Sketching a plan and writing a survey report which contains:
- The general area and identity of the land
- Improvements and additions
- Location of buildings and improvements in relation to title boundaries
- Any visible/accessible encroachments by buildings or other improvements
- The general position or type of boundary walls, fencing, or occupations
- Notation of existing restrictions, covenants, and leases
- Any easements to which the property may be subject or benefiting it
- The option of putting boundary markers
Who Can Legally Perform a Boundary Survey?Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc. is an association of land surveyors with Cadastral Endorsement. A land surveyor who has a Cadastral Endorsement understands the laws of property ownership and has spent four years studying surveying and has gained practical experience in the profession. If a surveyor has this endorsement, a client can guarantee that the survey will be accurate and reliable. Only licensed and registered land surveyors can legally perform and produce boundary surveys. Among the duties of a cadastral surveyor is to define boundaries of a property, re-establish boundaries that have prior surveys, or create new boundaries in land subdivision projects. This profession also involves giving advice or interpretation of boundaries or any restrictions or rights in relation to the property. The measurements and information produced by a cadastral survey are put into the public records of relevant government agencies in each county or state.
What Do Boundary Surveys Cost?The factors that influence the price of a boundary survey depend on the scope of work done by the land surveyor. Here’s an overview of the factors that affect the cost of a boundary survey.
- The size of the property
- The number of individual lots that need to be surveyed
- How many boundaries and neighboring properties
- The number of improvements and buildings on or adjacent to the boundary
- How accessible the survey site or its surrounding area
- Timeframe of work
- Deliverables or how the client wants the plan to be delivered (2D, 3D, PDF, or CAD file)
- Whether the client requires boundary markers or a survey report
TakeawayA boundary survey is necessary for mortgage applications, property renovations or additions, or prior to construction. If you need a boundary survey, hire a land surveyor who has a Cadastral Endorsement to ensure that the outcome of the work is accurate and reliable. You can make a call now at Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc. if you’re looking for a professional that can perform a boundary survey near me. This surveying firm is one of the best in Florida with 100,000 surveys on its resume. Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc. also has a website where you can learn nuggets of information about land surveying.
What is a Drone Survey?To better understand drone surveying, let’s first define what land surveying is. Land surveying is the science of determining or re-establishing boundaries, lines, corners, positions, distances, and monuments of real property or land. A drone survey is the application of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to capture data or gather information to be used in land surveying. Drones with multispectral cameras, RGB cameras, and LiDAR payloads can photograph a survey site several times from different angles. The data can then be utilized to create 3D models or geo-referenced orthomosaic maps of the project area using photogrammetry software. A land surveyor can get highly accurate volumetric measurements or distances from these maps. Compared to satellite imagery or manned aircraft, drones can generate high-resolution, highly accurate data in real-time and with less cost. Drones can also fly almost anywhere, and thereby gather data in inaccessible or unsafe places.
How Does a Drone Survey Work?Drones fly above the ground to capture aerial images of a project area using RGB and multispectral cameras. Drone solutions also feature LiDAR payloads to help in gathering data, especially in measuring the exact distance of an object on a given area. A drone used in land surveys will survey the project area and use its cameras to take photos of the land from different angles. Images captured – each of them – have the exact coordinates of the site.
How Do Drones Collect Data?A computer system called Geographic Information System (GIS) is the primary source for drones for collecting data. They utilized this information to map out and visualize locations. However, drones can be equipped with other data collection tools in performing land surveys. Before, drones only captured data but couldn’t transmit them. The operator had to retrieve all the information. With GIS technology, drones can now transmit information in real-time, and even turn raw data into actionable information.
How Accurate are Drone Surveys?For newbies in using drones, it’s natural to be concerned about its accuracy. But to calm you down, drones are highly accurate. In many cases, drone survey results are expected to be accurate to around 2-3 centimeters horizontally and around 5-6 centimeters vertically. Using a high-end drone in optimal conditions, you can reach a level of accuracy to around 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) and 0.7 centimeters/pixels (0.3 inches/pixels) GSD. The outcome of a drone survey will be influenced by the type of drone you’re using, the camera quality, the height of the drone flight, the ground cover, and the technology and method used in geolocating the aerial images. It’s not difficult to avail of high-quality commercial drones to get highly accurate survey results nowadays.
Why Are Drone Surveys Better Compared To Traditional Methods?Drones do an excellent job at rapidly capturing topographic data of a given area. It’s five times faster compared to land-based methods, and you don’t need more manpower to generate desired survey outcomes. You can also save a great amount of time if you use PPK geotagging, as you won’t need to place numerous GCPs. Using drones, you can collect data from vantage points that are otherwise challenging and unreachable to humans. You’ll no longer be limited by harsh terrains, steep slopes, or inaccessible areas. There’s no need to close down a street or highway just to perform a survey of a project area if you have a drone that can capture data from above. Compared to traditional surveying methods, drone surveying provides accurate and exhaustive data. Total stations, for instance, generate individual point measurements, while drones produce a greater number of measurements that can be represented in several formats (DTM, DSM, point cloud, contour lines, orthomosaic, etc.) Each map generated by a drone also contains 3D geo-data. Despite the upsides of using drones in surveying, there are disadvantages that you need to know. One of them is the confusing and changing drone regulations, especially in cities or urban areas. There’s also the need to hire an experienced and well-trained professional to operate the drones as the results can turn inaccurate if drones are operated by just anyone. Moreover, drones may not be ideal to use in places that regularly experience high winds.
What Kinds of Drones are Used for Surveying?You can find a lot of commercial drones nowadays. If you want to use one for surveying, buy a drone with features that can handle the job to be done. There are drones with multirotor on the market, but one with a fixed-wing motor is much better for mapping surveys. Yes, you can fly a multirotor drone with less hassle, but a fixed-wing drone is ideal to handle surveys on large plots of land. Fixed-wing models can stay longer in the air compared to multirotor models. That’s why they’re preferable over multirotor drones, especially for large-scale surveys. It’s also smart to pick a drone that has an autonomous flight feature because you need to fly this tool over an area multiple times for aerial mapping. If it has no autonomous flight feature, you can create a flight path for your drone using a software. After creating the flight path, send the information into the remote control for a pre-programmed flight. Since you need to survey acres of land in an aerial mapping, many drones don’t have the battery capacity to fly without interruption in a single mapping. Precious time will be wasted if you fly the drone and land to recharge or change batteries. That’s why buy a drone that can hover above the ground for at least 30 minutes to an hour with no interruption. Moreover, choose a drone with a camera that can take 12 MP images and 4k videos for 3D mapping work. This kind of camera is also a requirement for photogrammetry, which is a technique that utilizes geotagged images to infer the dimension on the surface and catalog data.
What Kinds of Deliverables Can You Achieve With Drone Surveying?Depending on the software, camera, and sensor you’re using, several deliverables can be achieved by a drone as an instrument for surveying.
LiDAR Point CloudMany surveying drones are equipped with LiDAR to see through vegetation, trees, and any ground cover. This sensing method or software is crucial in data collection on a project area with too many obstacles. The collected data will generate a densified point cloud containing color and geospatial information (X, Y, Z). This gives a highly accurate model for area, volume, and distance (horizontal and slant) measurements.
Thermal MapsDrones can generate images and help identify areas with abnormal heat signatures. The drone can survey cities, campuses, facilities, military bases, and complexes for thermal images. You can monitor supply steam pipes, supply water mains, condensation return lines, and hot water lines through a drone inspection.
Multispectral MapDrones can also collect a type of data called a multispectral map. This technique captures images within a particular wavelength range on the electromagnetic spectrum. Multispectral maps help give insights into agriculture and crop management.
3D ModelsProducing 3D models from data collected is also one of the reasons drones are used in surveying. Drones scan a survey site to capture data sets related to large objects like buildings and construction sites. After collecting data, you can make a 3D model using 3D software for a more comprehensive site analysis.
3D Orthomosaics3D orthomosaic maps can solve issues with 2D projection. No wonder drones that can capture several hundred images and catalog them into a 3D map are popular today. With these 3D orthomosaics, land surveyors can get their hands on better topographic data. Drones can be integrated with Building Information Modeling (BIM) in a construction survey. A high-res 3D map can be generated and compared with BIM objects in every construction step to identify discrepancies and resolve them.
2D Orthomosaic MapsOrthomosaic maps are created by drones with 2d photogrammetry mapping capabilities. A drone can snap hundreds of images from above and compile them to create 2D orthomosaic maps. Such maps feature unformed scales, and you can use them to calculate distances between specific points. They’re an accurate representation of the geological surface of the earth, according to many land surveyors.
Will Drones Replace Land Surveyors?While traditional surveys are increasingly superseded by drone surveys, it’s impossible, however, to replace land surveyors with drones. Drones only serve as tools to be used by surveyors. They’re a big help in the latter’s work in terms of safety, efficiency, and accuracy, but drones can’t take away the genius and experience of a land surveyor to find solutions to meet a client’s needs.
TakeawayI hope you’ve learned a thing or two about land surveying using drones in this blog post. Drone surveying is a popular method of land surveying today. Drones help land surveyors to map out survey sites and generate deliverables with efficiency and accuracy. Using drones also significantly reduces the cost of performing surveys.
The Most Accurate Method of Surveying
The continuous advancement of technology made land development easier than ever. Unlike manual tools, technology made it easier for property owners to know their land. Today, land surveyors can do more for a lesser amount of time.
But how do surveyors survey? What method do they incorporate to produce survey maps? What tools do they use to map out large areas and calculate positions of long distances? Why are they able to get an accurate survey of the property no matter how big it is?
Let’s define what land surveying is and why it’s important in the industry.
What is Land Surveying? Why is it Important?
A land survey determines the legal boundaries of a land. Surveyors use this to determine property lots, topography, slope, and more. In simple terms, surveys help you understand your land and its boundaries.
When it comes to property management, surveys are important. For example, selling property requires one. Potential home buyers need to know the measurements of the lot before committing to the deal. Why is it important, you ask? It’s to prevent any future disputes.
Encroachment is one of the most common reasons for disputes in the US. In addition, it can lead to a court battle. Many homeowners think that fences define their property’s boundaries. But it’s not always the case. As a smart buyer, you must make sure that the property’s legal description is up to date.
If there’s an ongoing dispute, you can settle it by hiring land surveyors to measure your property. They can testify as a witness in court and present the report of their survey.
Furthermore, aside from settling boundary disputes, land surveys can help in construction projects. Even if it’s your property, you can’t have a new structure built willy-nilly. You need to obtain planning permission first, which you can only get after presenting a property survey. Land surveys highlight the possible problems you might arise while the project is ongoing.
All in all, surveys are essential for both commercial and residential properties. Surveyors, without a doubt, are one of the most important companions of anyone who owns a property.
Direct Methods for Surveying Distance
Surveyors can do various methods of measuring to assess a property. These methods are their go-to when they measure distance in approximates.
- Pacing. Pacing is as straightforward as it can be. It involves walking over a line while counting the number of paces an individual takes. Surveyors can take an average pace length of 80 cm. But, they must ensure that their pace length becomes standard through practice. They take the distance multiplying the range of the pace with the number of steps taken. Professionals have an accuracy of 1 in 100. Pacing is helpful when approximating for various tasks, such as a reconnaissance survey.
- Instrumental Method. Compared to pacing, this method produces better results. But this only applies if the area surveyed is smooth. This survey uses speedometers, pedometers, etc., to find the approximate distance.
- Time Measurement and Judging Distance. Compared to the methods mentioned above, this one produces the roughest estimates. Surveyors assess the distance using the time it took to cover it through walking.
- Chaining. Among the items on this list, chaining is the most accurate method of measuring distance. This method uses a chain as a measuring tool. For more accuracy, steel tape can take the place of a chain.
How Do Surveyors Get the Most Accurate Distance in a Land Survey?
The methods mentioned above are indeed popular. But most of them only produce approximates. There’s a way to calculate distances that is accurate and efficient. Surveyors do this using surveying equipment under the electronic distance measurements or EDM.
What is an EDM?
An electronic distance measurement EDM measures the length between two points. The device uses electromagnetic waves to do its calculations. Most of these devices can measure distances up to 5 kilometers. Moreover, it has an accuracy of up to 1 part in 200,000, which is twice more accurate compared to the tape measure.
It’s no doubt a bigger and better upgrade from the measuring tape technique surveyors used to do before the 60s. Because of its speed and accuracy, it’s the surveyors’ primary choice to measure big parcels of land.
EDMs give surveyors much more accuracy than metal measurement tapes. Various surveys, such as detail surveys and a control survey, use this technology.
Surveyors calculate the horizontal distance between two control points using an EDM instrument. The device directs the energy to another surveyor holding a reflector. Then, it’ll calculate the elapsed time between the initial emission and its return. The elapsed time becomes the basis of calculating the distance.
Surveyors use three types of EDM instruments: microwave, infrared, and light wave. Microwave instruments, as the name suggests, use microwaves for measurement. These devices can range up to 100 kilometers and come with two units: the remote and the master units.
Meanwhile, infrared surveys use prism reflectors and infrared waves. They have an accuracy of +/- 10mm, and range up to a distance of 3 kilometers.
The last instrument relies on light waves. Its range varies. During the morning, it has a range of 3 kilometers. When the evening rolls in, it changes to 2.5 kilometers. Moreover, it has varying accuracy, somewhere between 0.5mm to 5mm per km.
Commonly Used EDM Surveyor Instruments
EDM has various instruments for data collection. The most popular EDM devices are theodolites and total stations. A theodolite and total station might look like a large camera set up with a tripod. But they are more than that.
These two devices might look similar, but how they work differs. A theodolite can only measure angles, both horizontal and vertical. These angles make accurate measurements of a property. It does this by triangulating an object’s position in a specific area. This device can either be mechanical or electronic.
Meanwhile, a total station is a device that can measure the distances and angles of a property. After that, it processes the data collected and gives the surveyor the coordinates. The device does this by calculating the data using trigonometry and triangulation calculations. Sometimes, these devices even use latitudes and longitudes to get survey lines.
Total stations are the tools used for topographic surveying. This is because it records features or sets them for houses, boundaries, or roads.
Errors can cause a lot of problems in land development. To generate accurate survey results, surveyors must use the right equipment. One of these devices is EDM. An EDM device can assist them with accurate results through quick and efficient work. With these devices, human errors will lessen. Moreover, a property’s exact measurements become obtainable.
Land Surveyor vs. Building Surveyor: What’s the Difference?
It’s crucial to know the boundaries, size, and shape of the land when you have a piece of property or planning to buy one. Your property may either need land surveying or a construction survey, or both. In this situation, it’s crucial to contact professionals of construction staking that help you get a land surveyor or a building surveyor.
You have to know the difference between land surveying and a construction survey to help clear out the confusion that many people experience when determining what kind of survey their property requires. Keep on reading to learn more about the difference between the two.
What is Land Surveying?
A land survey delineates the physical limits of a plot of land or property, and that includes a simple footprint of all physical structures or buildings on the property. Architectural surveys, boundary surveys, or property surveys can be put under the category of land surveys.
Besides the property lines and buildings on the property, a land survey may also contain information on public roads, sidewalks, nearby properties, and public utilities, such as water, sewer, and gas. It may also provide information on topography that describes the rising and falling of the property in relation to sea level.
A land survey is an essential legal document to figure out the size and scale of a property for sale or purchase. A land survey doesn’t show details about the interior of a building.
What is a Land Surveyor?
A land surveyor is a licensed professional who conducts land surveys, supervises survey teams, and accepts legal responsibility for survey results. Land surveyors survey, plot, and mark land boundaries, as well as write legal descriptions of land for leases and deeds. They may also assist in legal proceedings, especially settling land disputes and subdivision surveys.
Land surveyors are experts in determining distances, angles, and position of points located on the land surface to be used for locations, land ownership lines, or any other civil law or governmental purposes. They collect these pieces of information through field measurements, observations, data analyses, or investigation of legal tools related to property definition, design, and planning.
A land surveyor must hold a degree in onsite surveying or surveying technology and must be a member of a professional body. Nowadays, land surveyors use various instruments to map and scan an area. They use GPS-enabled devices to locate boundaries and record data, and they transfer these data into a computer to map out the land digitally in 2D and 3D.
What is a Building Survey?
A building or construction survey is required if you want detailed information about an existing structure or building. Construction surveys also show the physical features of a building in terms of plan, elevation, and sections.
The main purpose of building or construction surveys is to determine the physical condition of a building or structure. Industry professionals use this kind of survey for planning, design, area estimation, income calculations, and marketing.
A building or construction survey also helps in establishing the location of man-made objects such as pipes, buildings, bridges, and highways. It also ensures that a construction or building project has been erected on sound footing and solid ground. Equipment used in building or construction surveys includes robotics, drones, GPS, and 3D imaging instruments.
What is a Building or Construction Surveyor?
A building or construction surveyor has spent years of training in understanding and interpreting building laws. He/she must also be able to assess construction plans to determine if they comply with building and construction regulations. Construction surveyors must hold a building surveying degree, and they must also be a member of a professional body.
One of the roles of building surveyors is to work or interact with engineers, architects, and builders to make sure that the designs and constructions of buildings comply with building regulations. They will assess a particular building based on building laws and codes and identify potential issues in design, materials, and construction techniques.
At various stages, the building surveyor will inspect and assess the construction of a building, from the laying down of foundations to its completion. For an already standing building, the surveyor will inspect it to figure out if the structure still meets new building regulations.
If a building doesn’t pass the standards, the surveyor along with the architect or engineer will assess what needs to be worked out to comply with building standards. Or, in extraordinary cases, they can work for the demolition of the building.
Determine what needs to be done with your property, and then find the perfect surveyor for the work. For determining land boundaries, you’ll need a land surveyor for that purpose. When you need to assess development plans or the building plans on the land, get a construction surveyor.
Land Surveyor FAQ
A land survey on a property is vital for a property owner. It’s an essential step for any land development. It determines the land’s accurate measurement and boundaries. Knowing where your boundaries lie can prevent any disputes in the future.
Below are some of the most asked questions at Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc. These questions apply to both residential and commercial properties. If you can’t find your concerns on the list, feel free to contact us. Our team will get to you as fast as we can.
What is land surveying?
Land surveying is a process of measuring the boundaries, corners, etc., of a land. It helps owners determine where their property lines lie. A survey helps establish the locations of residential and commercial properties. Moreover, it prevents issues, such as potential boundary disputes.
Land surveys also highlight the restrictions that a property may have. A survey could help experts analyze a structure. It shows if a structure is appropriate and within the property’s constraints.
Why is surveying important?
The law requires property owners for a land survey. For example, you plan on having a new structure built on your property. It can be a new fence or a physical monument. Doing this will need you to get planning permission from your local office. But first, you must present a property survey.
Do you have plans to sell your home? If so, potential buyers need to know the property’s boundary lines. This way, they can avoid potential disputes with their neighbors. Encroachment is one of the most common causes of disputes in the US.
Another use of a land survey is applying for insurance from a title insurer. Surveys can reveal unforeseen issues that can affect a property’s title. Once the assessment is complete, the owner will receive the title insurance.
A title company must ensure that buyers receive the land title legitimately. Surveys also help them do the following:
- Confirm the following property’s dimensions
- Identify the easements of record
- Check that the property sold or mortgaged is correct
- Detail the encroachments affecting the property
Why do you need a professional?
You can’t do a land survey by yourself. You need professional land surveyors to check your property for you. It is a surveyor’s job to measure a property and define its boundaries for you.
Only professional land surveyors have the license to do these tasks. They have the appropriate training to conduct surveying work. This job comes with strict guidelines that they must follow, and varies by municipality.
If you need land surveying services, feel free to contact us here at Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc. We’ll go above and beyond to assist you with any of your land surveying needs.
Why would you hire a land surveyor?
State statutes and regulations mandate that only licensed land surveyors can conduct surveys. The reasons for these surveys include the selling, development, or subdivision of property.
What does a land surveyor produce?
Land surveyors produce a survey map and the property’s legal descriptions. The official, drawn map of the subject property must be accurate and detailed. It shouldn’t miss out on important information, such as the property’s ownership and the rights and limitations.
How do surveyors survey land?
Surveyors use various tools and equipment to assess a property. Paired with years of experience, we can offer the best surveying services to our clients.
But a surveyor’s process may depend on the type of land survey that they must do. But the general task is identifying property placements and the neighboring buildings. They must also analyze any possible changes in the property, as well as its topographic data. They check the latter using a topographical survey.
What type of survey should you conduct?
The survey you should have on your property depends on what you need. At Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc., here are some of the surveys that we offer:
- Boundary Survey. Boundary surveys help determine where the boundaries of your property lie. This survey is for selling, dividing, or building new structures on the land. Once surveyors determine the boundaries, they’ll set property corners.
- Location Survey. Location surveys provide more information about the location of interior improvements. This survey is essential for a loan application or zoning permit.
- Site Planning Survey. Site planning surveys are necessary for getting a development permit application. This survey helps plan the design improvements and development of a project.
- Subdivision Survey. This survey helps divide a parcel of land into two or smaller lots. A subdivision survey can also aid in designing drainage and streets.
How does a land surveyor help in boundary disputes?
Boundary disputes arise when neighbors disagree about where their property line lies. Encroaching structures such as fences can escalate into a full-blown court hearing. Because of this, homeowners shouldn’t skip getting their properties surveyed.
Land surveyors determine your boundary using the legal description on the deed. It will show whether you’ve infringed on your neighbor’s property or vice versa. Moreover, surveyors can testify in court and explain the result of their survey.
How much does surveying cost?
Various factors can affect the cost of a land survey. These include:
- Type of survey
- Previous improvements on the property
- Purpose of the survey
- How recent the last survey was
Land that can be hard to reach or access is often more costly when it’s time for a survey. These include properties that are steep or have a lot of trees in the area.
Moreover, the type of survey will be a significant factor in the costs. Different surveys need different levels of attention to detail and equipment. Hence, surveyors might do intense research before measuring your land. The more labor-intensive a survey is, the higher the fee you might pay.
Can a land surveyor trespass?
Land surveyors can’t enter a property without the owner’s consent. They can only enter the property they’re going to survey. To enter the land’s bordering properties, they must have permission to access it. If a surveyor enters without permission, property owners can sue them for civil or criminal trespass.
Can a land surveyor be wrong?
Of course, surveyors can be wrong. Miscalculations with property boundaries can happen. Most of the time, this stems from a simple mistake. Other times, it can be because of equipment that isn’t working right. Client miscommunication can also be a reason why a surveyor produces wrong results.
Many factors often lead to errors in a property survey. These can range from a surveyor marking the corners wrong or erroneous data. But rest assured! At Accurate Land Surveyors, Inc., we’ll ensure that you get an accurate survey of your property. So please feel free to contact us for any concerns or land surveying needs.
Glossary of Land Surveying Terms
- Aliquot – (PLSS) Contained the same number of times in another; a portion of a whole that divides the whole without a remainder.
- Auditor’s map – An archaic, not-so-accurate map made by the County Surveyor for tax purposes. This is generally made at the request of the auditor.
- Azimuth – (SURVEY) The horizontal angle or direction measured clockwise from the meridian plane.
- Backsight – (SURVEY) A sight directed backward to a previously established survey station or point.
- Baseline – (PLSS) A principal east-west line on a parallel of latitude upon which all rectangular surveys within the area covered by the principal median are based. (GPS) a line delineated by two stations previously observed by the Global Positioning System or GPS.
- Bearing – (SURVEY) A horizontal angle that is measured between the median of reference and the given line. The line is measured either from the south or north towards west or west that would provide an angle less than 360 degrees. Bearings are classified based on the median of reference, such as geodetic, astronomic, magnetic, GPS, assumed, grid.
- Benchmark – (SURVEY) A benchmark is a lasting mark established at a recognized location and elevation which serves as the basis to measure different altitudes of topographical points.
- Call – (SURVEY) A statement of, or a reference to, an object, distance, course, or another subject of description in a survey or grant that requires or calls for a relative object or another subject of description.
- Chain carrier – (SURVEY) A land surveyor’s assistant who carries or handles the measuring chain. Typically, there are two chain carriers working for a land surveyor: the frontman and the rear man.
- Chord – (SURVEY) A straight line linking two points on a curve, which is typically used in highway and other surveys, regardless of the distance between the two points. (USPLS) the line of a great circle joining any two designated corners on a latitudinal township boundary, standard parallel, or baseline.
- Conditional line – (SURVEY) An agreed line between neighboring properties that have been surveyed but not granted or have not been surveyed at all.
- Corner – (SURVEY) A point on the earth’s surface established by surveying the land, which marks out an extremity on a boundary of public or private lands.
- Declination – (SURVEY) A deviation of the compass from geographic or true north; the difference between magnetic north and geographic north, manifesting the complexity of the geomagnetic field.
- First station – (SURVEY) The point of beginning or starting point of a land survey.
- Flag – (SURVEY) Any bright plastic ribbon fastened to a lath stake, marking the points along a survey line.
- Gore – (SURVEY) A gap or overlap between neighboring properties; a thin triangular parcel of land with boundaries defined by surveys of adjoining properties.
- Landmark – (SURVEY) Any fixed object or material mark or monument that serves to locate the boundary of a land property; any recognizable object on land which can be used in figuring out a direction or location.
- Line tree – (PLSS) A tree that is on a property line, recorded in the survey’s field notes and marked with two notches or hacks on each of the sides facing the line. Also referred to as sight trees or station trees.
- Merestone – (SURVEY) A stone that indicates a property’s boundary; a landmark.
- Meridian – (PLSS) A north-south reference line, typically spanning hundreds of miles in length, from which azimuths and longitudes are calculated; a plane, common to the spheroid or geoid, defining such a line.
- Mete – (SURVEY) A measure of a property line; distance or direction of a property line.
- Metes and bounds – (SURVEY) An archaic method of describing the perimeter of a piece of land by citing the owners of adjacent properties and marking out the length of each boundary’s course as along some recognizable line, such as “along the street” or “along a stream.” Today, this method of description includes the distances and bearings of each course.
- Monument – (SURVEY) A physical structure (e.g. tree or iron post) which helps locate the corner point established by a Cadastral Survey. To be viable as monuments, objects must have certain physical properties such as stability, visibility, and durability. “Corner” and “monument” are not the same thing, although these two terms are often used interchangeably.
- Open line – (SURVEY) A survey, typically the final survey line, that is not marked and measured by the land surveyor but is instead calculated.
- Point of beginning – (SURVEY) The point on Pennsylvania’s west boundary at the north bank of the Ohio River is the starting point for the survey of the public lands of the U.S. A stake was planted on August 20, 1785, to mark this point.
- Point of intersection – (SURVEY) The point where the intersection of two non-parallel lines happens; the point where the intersection of two tangents to a curved line happens.
- Plat – (PLSS) A drawing of a parcel of land created by the land surveyor that shows the descriptions, boundaries, distances, the lines surveyed, bearings, and/or improvements within the limits of the survey.
- Plot plan – (SURVEY) A diagram that shows the existing or proposed utilization of a particular parcel of land.
- Plunge – The act of reversing the direction of a transit’s telescope around the horizontal axis to extend a line over an obstacle or make measurements that quash errors in the transit.
- Protraction – (PLSS) The prolongation or extension of a boundary or corner on paper. Typically, these lines are not run, fixed, or marked by the field survey, so the protractions are represented on the plat.
- Quarter corner – (PLSS) A point halfway between the corners of a section. If you connect the quarter corner points of a section, you can divide the section into four equal quarters. A section line may help identify a section’s quarter corners.
- Range – (PLSS) A north-south tier of townships, recognized as being west or east of a reference longitudinal meridian.
- Riser – (SURVEY) A stake or tree branch planted in the ground with a flag to mark a survey point.
- Searles spiral – (SURVEY) A surveying technique using multiple curved segments to approximate a spiral. It was used generally by railroad surveyors around late 19th-century.
- Section – (PLSS) A township’s unit of subdivision with boundaries meeting the rectangular system of surveys; an area of one mile square.
- Standard corner – (PLSS) A senior corner on a baseline or standard parallel.
- Strip – (SURVEY) A rectangular parcel of land adjacent to another. This turns out when a resurvey results in making a parcel of land a little bit larger than the original survey.
- Tangent line – (SURVEY) A straight line that touches a circle at only one point and makes no intersection of it.
- Tie line – (SURVEY) A survey line joining an existing station or corner from a desirable point of reference.
- Tier – (PLSS) A row of contiguous townships located east and west of each other.
- Total station – (SURVEY) An electronic digital surveying device used to measure vertical and horizontal angles and distances, with features such as electronic data storage and/or transferring of data to external devices.
- Township – (PLSS) A unit of a survey organized in tiers and ranges, identified in relation to a meridian and baseline; an area of six miles square, containing 36 sections.
- Traverse – (SURVEY) A series of lengths and directions of lines between points on a parcel of land, typically used as a base for triangulation.
- Trend – (SURVEY) A survey line’s bearing along a falling course.
- Trocha – a path used for a cleared survey line.
- Witness tree – (PLSS) any tree that is close to a section corner that is used by a surveyor as proof for the corner location.
- Zenith angle – (SURVEY) An angle measured downward from a vertical reference or zenith.
How Accurate is Land Surveying?
If you hire a land surveyor, it’s essential to understand how surveying works and its accuracy.
It’s common to spot individuals on the street wearing hard hats and peering through surveying equipment. However, many don’t realize these same experts can help you buy a home.
More specifically, these surveyors are taking exact measurements of land, and mapping the area using specialized technology.
The measurements and mapping provide accurate, reliable information to determine property lines and the location of features in a plot of land.
Accuracy and Precision
Thanks to improved technology in the last decade, land surveying has become more accurate than ever before.
However, before we can dive into the idiosyncrasies of land surveying it’s vital to understand the difference between accuracy and precision.
- Accuracy – How close a measurement comes to the correct value or standard.
- Precision – How close a measurement can be repeated accurately, with no relation to any other given value.
Let’s dive into some examples to better differentiate the two:
- Accuracy is when a surveyor has a length of rope that is 250 feet long, measures it, and records that it is 250.04 feet long. That measurement is close to accurate.
- Precision is when a surveyor measures the same line 6 times, getting measurements within .01 of each other. That is rather precise.
The difference between accuracy and precision is essential in land surveying because a surveyor strives for both when measuring, ensuring the most accurate data.
In addition, by using improved technology, surveyors can produce accurate maps and reports of any plot of land.
The main piece of equipment used to acquire measurements is called a theodolite. This telescope moves a laser pointer horizontally and vertically to align with a measuring stake to measure the distance between the two.
The minimum accuracy of new surveys varies state to state, and professional land surveyors use precision and accuracy measurements and equipment to acquire measurements that fit these standards.
State by state reports will look similar to this.
Why Do We Need Land Surveying?
Many people wonder why they may need a professional land surveyor. Generally, most people find themselves calling a land surveyor when buying a home to make sure that property lines are correct. On the other hand, others may call land surveyors to settle neighborly disputes over property boundaries based on incorrect or out-of-date land surveys. The rest may be calling to ensure they understand the property lines when adding an addition to their home.
We have needed professional land surveyors for decades, and the profession is becoming more and more popular. For instance, many farmers have sought land surveyors to understand the topography of their land better to enhance their farming practices.
Here are some other common reasons one might conduct a land survey:
- Locating utility lines
- Building on a plot of land
- Construction of new roads or highways
- Purchasing or selling of a plot of land
- Flood precautions
- Updating old surveys
- Locating property lines
- Agriculture data
The Different Types of Land Surveys
To gain the most accurate measurements when completing a land survey, surveyors must know the right type of survey the project requires.
Moreover, based on the reason the survey is requested, surveyors must use their skill and experience to decide which type of survey to use.
These reasons, as seen above, range from location property lines to understanding the topography of a field to plant crops.
Here are some examples of the different types of surveys:
- ALTA survey
- Boundary survey
- Location survey
- Subdivision survey
- Site-planning survey
- Construction survey
- Topographical survey
For more details on each of these surveys, visit Accurate Land Surveyors.
Many people frequently become overwhelmed by the number of land surveyors they can hire. Above all, they want to make sure that they are hiring someone that has the commitment and specific expertise help them complete their project.
Accurate Land Surveyors serve Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties and are trusted since 1983 to perform accurate surveys.
So don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if you wish to request a survey.
Wondering what land surveying equipment you need to carry out a land survey? In this article, we’re looking at all of the most common items of surveying tools and equipment.
The interesting thing about land surveying is that as a discipline, its principles have remained the same for thousands of years.
After all, the end result is still the same. Land surveyors make precise measurements to determine property and land boundaries.
Technology, however, has advanced a great deal over the years. Today, there are a number of state-of-the-art tools available to land surveyors that make their jobs quicker, easier, and even more accurate.
Here is a look at some of the essential items of land surveying equipment used today:
Theodolites are the camera-like devices you will have seen surveyors looking through on top of a tripod. Land surveyors use them to measure horizontal and vertical angles and are essentially rotating telescopes.
Sometimes land surveyors will also use devices called transits. These serve the same purpose. However, a theodolite is generally seen as being the more accurate of the two devices.
A theodolite is capable of measuring angles to an accuracy of one-tenth of a second angle and is one of the essential pieces of land surveying equipment.
Surveying centers around measuring, so it’ll come as no surprise that a land surveyor will have various measuring devices in their tool kit.
This may include measuring wheels, tape measures, rulers, laser levels, chains, and various other laser devices. The type of device used usually comes down to the personal preference of a surveyor and the exact requirements.
We all know compasses as handy tools for finding direction. They’re also essential pieces of equipment for surveyors that are working in unfamiliar territory or traveling far into an open space.
In addition to this, compasses help surveyors to measure the distance between two points. As well as measuring horizontal angles and comparing the distance between different angles.
Survey markers are objects that can physically mark out points in the ground. Generally, the three most common objects are pins, flags, and stakes.
By sticking a stake into the ground, it helps people visually see where their property boundaries are. It’s also used as a temporary measure by surveyors to mark out the territory they’re working in.
A grade rod, also known as a leveling rod, is a long stick-like tool that is placed in the ground and used to determine the differences in elevation.
The most common types are made from aluminum and have adjustable telescoping sections to increase or reduce the length. Land surveyors use them in combination with optical and laser levels.
Surveyor’s levels are tools that measure the height of distant points in relation to a benchmark. Essentially, enabling a surveyor to determine the difference in elevation between two points.
There are a number of different types of levels that serve different purposes. The generic term for an optical level is a “dumpy” level. There are also laser, digital, automatic, and tilting levels.
Magnetic locators are used to find underground objects with ferrous metal content. This usually means locating underground pipes, manholes and utility covers, and other structural materials that need to be included in drawings or mapped.
The interesting thing is that they work by using the earth’s magnetic field. Magnetic locators do not emit signals. Moreover, they measure the magnetic field distortion that is present around a metal object.
Land surveyors have to work in all kinds of weather conditions, on a wide range of different terrains and sites and are almost always working outdoors.
For these reasons, safety is one of the main concerns. In addition, land surveyors should always wear reflective or high visibility clothing, especially when on building sites or among traffic.
As well as the appropriate safety headwear and other equipment depending on their working conditions.
Surveyors use surveying prisms to measure the change in the position of any objects that are believed to be moving.
Prisms work by reflecting an Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) beam back to the source object. This enables surveyors to accurately measure how far if at all, an object has moved.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
GPS is one of the most impactful pieces of land surveying equipment in recent years.
By using GPS, surveyors can capture highly accurate data and cover large areas in a matter of minutes sometimes. This is not possible with any of the other surveying tools.
GPS works by transmitting signals to and from a system of 30+ navigation satellites circling the earth. By bouncing these signals between satellites and a receiver, surveyors are able to accurately locate exactly where the receiver is.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
GIS is software that enables surveyors to create a digital map of an area they are surveying using the other data points they’ve collected.
This makes it a lot easier to see an area visually and work with the data. Surveyors can use a GIS-generated map to get deeper insights into the measurements they’ve collected and share the data.
As you can see, land surveying requires a wide range of tools – both analog and digital.
With the need to make precise measurements, land surveyors cannot do their work without some of the specific tools covered above.
At Accurate Land Surveyors, all of our land surveyors are highly skilled and qualified specialists in their field. There is no type of land survey we cannot perform, as you can see by looking at our services page here.
We use the latest in state-of-the-art computer and communication systems and proprietary custom-designed software. This enables our technicians to perform their work to the highest degree of accuracy and in the quickest possible time.
If you have any land surveying needs and want the services of professional land surveyors, call us today to find out more about your services and request a sample survey.
Here at Accurate Land Surveyors, we have been carrying out various types of land surveying requests for the residents and businesses of South Florida for more than 30 years.
At this point, with more than 100,000 survey’s behind us there’s no type of land survey we haven’t seen.
In this article, we’re going to go over some of the most common types of land surveying techniques and surveys.
This information will help you better understand if you need a survey. As well as what type of survey you need, and what’s involved in carrying out land surveys.
Surveys for New Constructions and Remodelling
There are several certificates and/or surveys that may be required if you’re planning new constructions, additions, or remodeling projects on your land.
Some of the surveys we commonly perform for these projects are:
- Boundary Survey
- FEMA Elevation Survey
- Construction Layout
- As-Built Survey
- Topographic Survey
It’s hard to say which type of survey you may need to satisfy your local planning permission. This is something you need to discuss with your local office, and there are different laws for commercial and residential work.
Once you have been advised on which survey or surveys you need, our technicians will be happy to explain what’s required from our side and talk you through the process.
Surveys for Property Purchases and Refinancing
Some of the surveys commonly required when purchasing and refinancing a home are:
A boundary survey is required to formally define and draw up the legal boundaries of a property. This is one of the most common types of survey and is used for a number of reasons.
This survey is typically required by banks and lenders to substantiate the value of a property or piece of land. It’s also a way to settle neighborly disputes over boundaries between two properties.
After carrying out a boundary survey, a surveying technician will create a drawing showing you exactly where your property boundaries are for future reference.
Location surveys are similar to boundary surveys. Both of these types of surveys mark out the property lines, improvements, and highlight any building violations that relate to property borders and neighbors.
The main difference, however, is that a location survey shows the property lines and clearly marks on a drawing the location of any and all improvements.
This type of survey is typical when the location of interior improvements needs to be added to building plans.
Subdivision surveys are used to divide larger pieces of land into smaller subdivisions. Generally, landowners looking to split up their land into lots, estates, or parcels of land commonly use Subdivision Surveys.
This survey is also useful for planning streets, drainage, and utility easements for commercial purposes. The subdivision ordinance gives standards for designating commercial and rental lots that will have to adhere to.
Site Planning Surveys
Site planning surveys are often neccesary when applying for development permits. This type of survey is designed to verify site information, satisfying the requirements of a development permit.
This form of survey combines the elements of topographic and boundary surveys for site planning. A technician will draw up the plans and provide you with all the information you need for your permit.
Property Surveys for Boundary Disputes
Unfortunately, boundary disputes are all too common. It’s rarely the fault of either neighbor, however. Typically, boundary lines don’t have clear and obvious markers for people to see in most cases.
If you or your neighbor wants to make some changes to your land, you need to be sure it doesn’t affect the other’s property. The only way to be sure is to have a property survey carried out.
A surveying technician will measure the exact land boundaries, and add visible markers to the land adjoining both of your properties.
You will be able to clearly see where your boundaries are. They will also draw up a document outlining your boundaries.
You can use this in the future should any more disputes arise and present this as a legal document of proof.
Liquor License Surveys
Coming under the header of land surveys are liquor licenses. If you are operating a business that intends to sell liquor, you need to submit a liquor license survey.
The exact requirements will vary depending on the criteria of your local municipality. It does require a land surveyor to carry out the survey, however.
Typically, you will have to submit a drawing showing the location of your business in relation to surrounding properties.
This is to look at how close your business is to other businesses selling alcohol, religious buildings, schools, and other public services and buildings that may be impacted by the alcohol trade.
What Do Land Surveying Technicians Do?
Surveying Technicians are qualified land surveyors that plan and perform land surveys.
The role of a land surveyor covers a lot of tasks. In summary, however, they make precise measurements to determine exactly where land and property borders are.
Land surveyors also draw up plans for new constructions. Identifying improvements and changes to a property, marking out legal property lines, and detailing a number of other things related to property boundaries.
To perform their role, surveyors use a range of state-of-the-art location tracking tools. This includes Global Positioning System (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). As well as some other electronic devices that use satellites to make precision measurements.
Whether you need to settle a neighborly dispute over land or fulfill the requirements of a loan application or mortgage. If you need a land survey performed you will need the expertise of a qualified surveying technician.
We have a team of highly qualified technicians equipped with the latest technology and a wealth of experience in all types of land surveying.
Few surveying companies have been operating in the South Florida area as long as we have or carried out as many surveys.
Contact us today and we’ll be happy to come out and take a look at your job and advise you what the best course of action is.