Land Surveying – How Do I Know if I Need A Land Survey?

Land surveying is needed for different reasons. It’s not inexpensive, but there’s also no other better way to protect your home and property than to hire a professional land surveyor.

Typically, the client is handed a copy of the survey drawing after the land surveying is done. Sometimes the drawing gets lost or misplaced. The land surveyor will typically keep a copy of the survey in his files.

Because land surveying can be costly (depending on a number of factors), people sometimes wonder if they can use the results of the last survey on their property again.

Generally, the answer to this varies per state but there are general guidelines:

First, it really depends on what kind of survey you had. There are different kinds of survey, each with different functions. A boundary survey, for instance, determines the boundary of a property while a flood elevation survey finds out if a certain property is at risk of flooding.

Because they were done to find different results, you cannot use the results of a flood elevation survey if you’re trying to find the boundaries of your property.

It also depends on how long ago the survey was done. Surveying pins that mark the boundary corners are made of permanent materials but that doesn’t mean they will always be where the surveyor put them. You’d be surprised at how these “move” over time. In most cases they’re just destroyed or disturbed. Sometimes your neighbor or kids can pull them up on purpose.

If the last survey was done 20 years ago, for instance, then you might want to have the property surveyed again, just to locate the corner monuments again. This will also identify if there have been any additional encroachments onto your property.

If you lost the copy of your survey, the first thing to do is to contact the surveyor who worked on your property. If you don’t know how to contact him, the stakes put around your property should have his license number on them. You can use this to get his name (if you don’t have it anymore), search for him online and then contact him to ask for a copy.

land surveying

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In some States, surveyors must file a copy of the survey with the county recorder. You can also go to them and check if they have a copy of the survey done on your property. If they do, it’s really not that hard to obtain a copy. But, you should know that this copy is only good as of the date of the survey, not later. As we’ve discussed the conditions change over time.

The last resort is to call another surveyor in your area. They may already be familiar with your property (from working around it) and they may be able to help you reach the surveyor you’re looking for. Some may even be able to assist you by calling around to find out which surveyor surveyed your property, and only charge you for the cost of their time. If all else fails, another new survey may be in order.

If you are considering adding a fence on your property, by all means, contact a surveyor. They will identify your corners so the fence can be placed within your boundary lines, and not too far within them.

If you are considering a home addition, contact a surveyor to find out how much room you have. Local surveyors will also be familiar with local zoning ordinances and can help you with knowing the building setbacks and easement locations on your property for planning purposes.

Surveyors can also draw a site plan showing the addition planned for your home. Then, when you’re ready to build, they can provide staking of the corners to insure they are placed in the correct location.

Finally, when you’re done, a surveyor can then prepare an as-built survey for your bank or mortgage company to insure them it was built in the correct location and doesn’t encroach on your neighbors.

For land surveying needs in Munford,AL and the surrounding areas, call Maxwell Land Surveying at 256-854-9503 or fill out our contact form.