Land Surveyor vs Building Surveyor

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.