For your sale or project, someone may have requested that you get a survey on your property. Maybe you’re wondering whether you can benefit from the insight that a professional evaluation provides. Whatever the reason you’re looking for a technician, it helps to know exactly what a land surveyor can do for you.
Learn more about the services a property surveyor provides. To get even more information about your specific needs and how a professional can meet them, you can talk to someone from our company for free.
What It Takes to Be a Land Surveyor
To become a land surveyor, professionals have to meet certain education requirements and must be certified in their respective states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most land surveyors need to have a bachelor’s degree, usually meaning four years of college. In some states, candidates must also work under a licensed surveyor for a set amount of time.
To get a license, land surveyors also typically have to pass certain tests and receive official certification from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). After receiving their education and passing the necessary tests, a land surveyor can then work for a survey company or work independently.
You should always make sure that your land surveyor is licensed to work in your state and has what it takes to produce an official survey. If they are not officially licensed, chances are good that your survey won’t be recognized by your county clerk or other parties that require official documentation.
Services That a Land Surveyor Provides
Not all land surveys show the same information, and an experienced professional will have a plethora of skills in their toolbelt to help you with your land survey. Some of the services that your land surveyor could provide include:
Different Types of Land Surveys
Depending on what information you need, you may require a survey that goes more in-depth than normal or shows specialized data about your property. Some of the different types of land surveys that you can get include:
- Boundary surveys, which show the boundary lines of your property, any structures on your land, and any possible disputes with neighboring land.
- ALTA/NSPS land title surveys, which are more comprehensive versions of boundary surveys that show utilities, easements, and other detailed information.
- Topographic surveys, which show contour lines and elevation changes for drainage, construction, and other projects.
- Subdivision surveys, which split properties into smaller parcels for zoning purposes.
FEMA Elevation Certificates
If you’re buying flood insurance for your land, you will most likely need an official FEMA elevation certificate to show all the risks on your property. These serve to designate flood zones and show characteristics of your building that make it more susceptible to flooding.
If there hasn’t been any new development on your property, you may be able to get the elevation certificate from the previous owner. If there is no prior certificate, a surveyor can help.
Staking Property Corners
When buying or selling a home, even if you don’t need a full survey, you likely need to see the corners of your property. A surveyor can visibly mark where your property ends and another begins with a wooden stake or a stone monument. This is also helpful for new additions on your property or boundary disputes with other owners.
Construction Layout Consultation
When property owners are starting a new construction or landscaping project and need to plan, they often consult with a land surveyor for a construction layout. Construction layouts show the limits of your property and help you make sure it’s safe and legal to go through with the project.
The Land Survey Process
Land surveying isn’t just about bringing tripods and lasers to a piece of land and measuring it (though that does happen, too). In fact, much of the land survey process happens before and after the technician is on your property. The steps in the land surveying process include:
When they start on your survey, your technician will have to do research about your property and the properties that neighbor it. To do so, they’ll have to look through historical documents, including past surveys and municipal records. Legally, they will need to be able to show that they have done their due diligence to avoid any possible issues.
This step may take hours to days to complete, depending on what type of property they are researching and how in-depth your survey is. You may be able to make this step faster by providing any documents you have and promptly filling out forms that your surveyor gives you.
Once your surveyor has done adequate research, they’ll get to the part where they actually step foot on your property. During fieldwork, engineers will bring advanced equipment to measure and assess your land and get the information you need.
The timeframe for fieldwork largely depends on the size of your property and whether there are any markers from past surveys available. You should let the surveyor know about any issues or features of your property that you think are pertinent.
After gathering measurements and data, your surveyor will return to their office to crunch the numbers and draft an official survey. This is where skill and experience become incredibly important, as a good land surveyor will be able to draw up a much more thorough and accurate draft than an inexperienced surveyor might be able to.
It’s crucial to have a quality draft. Your surveyor will need to show exactly where your boundaries or features are to avoid legal disputes with neighboring properties. The draft will also have to meet your state’s requirements, such as the New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors’ Code of Practice.
Talk to a Land Surveyor for Free
It’s hard to detail just how much a survey professional can do for you. To learn more about the benefits for your next project or transaction and how much the services might cost, you can talk to a land surveyor from Scalice Land Surveying, P.C. We are licensed to work in multiple states and can give you a free quote.
Contact us online or call us today for a FREE consultation with one of our professional land surveyors.