Construction staking, also referred to as a “construction layout”, consists of placing stakes on the ground where proposed features are to be built. The proposed feature location is taken from the construction plans. Typically our team will be provided a copy of the approved construction plans along with a digital copy of the plans and we will be able to lay out curb stakes, building stakes, grade stakes, or anything that is indicated on the construction plans.
Our team delivers fast and efficient land surveying services. We provide free estimates to help you plan your boundary survey cost and establish a timeline for your project. If you are a builder, please call and ask about our special builder’s price packaging.
What Is a Construction Layout Used For?
Construction layouts are used to guide the building process and avoid costly errors when interpreting project blueprints. They’re used to indicate:
- Electrical features
- Sewer lines
- General building structures, including homes and office buildings
- Marked corners
- Property lines
There are two types of construction staking:
- Site layout construction staking: A precise method that directs physical construction
- Rough construction staking: This method shows site improvements, including slopes and grading
A homeowner or contractor uses the result to streamline the construction of whatever they’re intending, make sure it meets setback requirements, and stays safely on the property.
Why Do I Need a Construction Layout?
Ordinary circumstances where you may need construction layout work done include:
- Small lots where setbacks are close to buildings
- Landscaping or building construction near a lot line
- Buildings that are being erected near easements
Construction layouts are a vital part of any building operation, especially for more sophisticated development projects. Usually, construction companies have several subcontractors who need to work together to complete a job.
By first staking a construction site, you’ll have a clear understanding of your construction element dimensions, where they need to go, and which subcontractor is responsible for ensuring the component is executed correctly.
If you hire an unlicensed survey or fail to use a construction layout, you may encounter unexpected challenges, causing project delays and added expenses down the road. In addition, surveying and building construction are exceedingly precise. Being off by a few feet or, in some cases, a couple of inches, can lead to severe issues for your subcontractors.
What Is the Process for Construction Staking?
A construction layout is the capacity to specifically earmark below- and above-ground structure locations.
The aspect of surveying where a team transfers a layout from construction drawings into the ground is called setting out. It demonstrates edge slabs, boundaries, walls, and other location points. It also provides the structure’s extent, level, and angle.
This phase typically begins with the water, electrical, storm drain, sewer lines, and other underground features. Once this is complete, the above-ground elements are staked, including the interior grid lines, and building corners.
Standard construction layout work provides contractors with a precise, reliable working tool that incorporates horizontal dimensions, elevation measurements, and other planning data.
Be Sure to Use an Experienced Certified Land Surveying Company
Hiring an experienced licensed and certified land surveyor with experience with construction layouts like the project you’re developing is essential.
For example, if you’re developing a subdivision and hire a surveyor who has only worked on single-family homes, you may be leaving your company exposed to complications during execution. Be sure the surveying company you’re hiring has references and can deliver accurate results.
Why Choose Scalice Land Surveying P.C. for Construction Layout Services?
Scalice Land Surveying P.C. is a company that specializes in a wide range of construction survey and layout services, including boundary surveys, site plans, FEMA elevation certificates, and topographic survey reports.
Our teams can complete construction staking quickly and limit unnecessary costs. We do this through research diligence and by utilizing the latest equipment and technology. Additionally, our survey crews are experienced, professional, and efficient. Please contact us today for pricing and to schedule an appointment.
Construction Layout FAQs
Are you preparing to build a structure on your land and want to learn more about construction staking and layouts for proposed features? We answer a few frequently asked questions here about the construction layout process.
- What Is a Construction Layout Survey?
- What Is a Construction Layout Plan?
- Why Should I Hire a Surveyor for Construction Staking Services?
- What Is the Importance of Survey in Planning?
- How Do You Do Construction Staking?
- What Does a Layout Mean in Construction?
- What Is the Importance of Setting Out?
- Which Areas Should Be Considered When Planning a Site Layout?
- What Is the Layout of a Building Called?
What Is a Construction Layout Survey?
A construction layout survey occurs when a contractor reviews building plan blueprints and marks specific locations on the ground with stakes to indicate each element of the building site. Typically, those elements will be the house itself, a well site, a septic system location, etc. The process is also known as “construction staking” or a “site layout survey.”
Most often, layout work begins with identifying underground features like water lines, electrical lines, sewer lines, and storm drain lines. Then, the contractor will stake above-ground elements, like building corners and interior grid lines.
What Is a Construction Layout Plan?
A construction layout plan (also known as a job site layout plan) refers to how the construction process will work. The plan, of course, includes building the structure(s). But more than that, it acknowledges:
- The investigative process before construction begins
- The need for temporary facilities during the job (such as portable restrooms and a foreman’s office)
- Material procurement management
- The delivery, storage, and handling of materials
- Keeping better site records
- Maintaining strong job site communication and information flow
- The establishment of a strongly coordinated system among various moving parts
- Performance monitoring
Why Should I Hire a Surveyor for Construction Staking Services?
Before construction can begin, a layout survey must be done to ensure that the land meets sufficient standards for construction. The best way to determine that is to hire a licensed, professional surveyor to do the construction layout. Using proper construction layout services is critical to any project’s success.
With their knowledge and skills, a land surveyor can interpret the architectural or engineering plans and rely on a layout’s reliability and accuracy. It’s a crucial relationship that will ultimately influence whether a project will finish on time, without errors, and within the budget.
What Is the Importance of a Site Survey in Construction Planning?
During the construction layout planning phase, a site survey is useful for numerous reasons. The most important reason is that it will produce clearly defined legal boundaries of the property. Once boundaries are marked, the size and shape of the property can be calculated.
A land survey will also reveal the property’s:
- Elevation changes
- Existing improvements
- Surface water (ponds, creeks, wells, etc.)
- Party walls
- Joint driveways
- Zoning classification
- Other important topographical features
How Do You Do Construction Staking?
With a construction layout, you’re essentially transferring alignment and reference points from design drawings to the site to enable construction to begin. If a contractor shows up blind, they’ll have a difficult time knowing where to start. That’s why having a survey layout done is critical. So, how do they do construction layouts:
- The surveyor establishes known points: During the process, the surveyor will establish reference points in which they mapped the site. When the construction surveyor is detailed enough, the designers can make critical design decisions.
- The contractor measures from the known points: Contractors and engineers doing the layout will start at those same points to measure based on the survey map. They’ll set stakes, nails, and flag markers at key points, like center lines or offset points. This will help them to establish elevations and locations relative to the proposed construction.
- Stub and lath stakes hold information: Stub (short) and lath (long) stakes typically have coordinates and elevation details written on them. They must be solid and firmly driven into the ground to ensure stability and accuracy. When marking asphalt or concrete, large nails are typically used. These construction stakes must also maximize longevity for the purpose of the project with information understandable by the user and adapted to the contractors’ needs.
- Technicians must check work rigorously: Construction layouts costs can be unnecessarily high, especially when repairs are involved. Technicians must anticipate error sources and check work at each interval to ensure there are no errors. They can do this through extra measurements to verify correct work, checking field notes, and double-checking computations.
- Technicians must also ensure the contractor’s objective: A technician should observe construction practices to understand how the contractor will use the defined points and lines.
- Technicians must communicate clearly: Through proactive communication, a technician can understand what exactly the contractor wants laid out and how to mark it. And by reading the 2D construction plans proficiently, technicians can visualize the proposed plans in 3D. By doing so, they can communicate clearly to the contractor and other parties what must be done.
- Offset points must be clearly marked: Putting construction stakes in the ground of a hole once land has been excavated can lead to damaged markers. Instead of putting stakes in the hole, offset points will be marked outside the hole using batterboards to ensure the known corners remain marked once the ground has been excavated. This is especially critical for buildings that have more than four corners.
All these steps are critical to the construction layout process. While some require completion before construction can begin, it’s still important to ensure that they are maintained throughout the construction process itself as well.
What Does a Construction Layout Mean?
A layout in construction reflects the capability to earmark specific structure locations both below and above ground. A layout technician interprets a surveyor’s map and the blueprints from engineers and architects and translates them to the contractor before construction begins.
The layout will reveal the structure’s elevation, level, angle, and extent. And it demonstrates boundaries, walls, edge slabs, and other location points. Typically, a layout will start with identifying underground features, such as water, storm, sewer, and electrical lines. Above-ground elements, such as grid lines and building corners, will follow.
With a standard layout, a contractor will have precise knowledge of elevation measurements, dimensions, and other planning data.
What Is the Importance of Setting Out?
Setting out (also known as “laying out” or “staking out”) a construction site is the practice of transferring a building design to the land to implement construction. When setting out, a technician will be able to mark the land with the necessary information to carry out construction, such as providing profiles, measuring angles and distance, and establishing levels.
Whether it’s a residential dwelling or a larger high-rise development, setting out is critical to ensure continuity and avoid errors. Independent inspections should be carried out to readily detect errors and record methodical approaches to reference in the future.
Which Areas Should Be Considered When Planning a Site Layout?
When planning a site layout, numerous areas should be considered. The site layout is meant to help the construction process move smoothly and avoid costly errors and oversight. To develop an effective site layout plan, considerations must be made for:
- Health and safety
- Site access and entrances
- Security and access controls
- Temporary roads and pedestrian routes
- Emergency routes and muster points
- Site offices
- Facilities for welfare, subcontractors, fabrication, and wheel washing
- Vehicle parking
- Storage and offloading
- Waste management and recycling
- Protecting nearby buildings and trees
- Utility and soil locations
- Temporary services, communications, and accommodations
- Areas for construction mock-ups, tests, and temporary works
- Signage and fencing
While the list may seem exhaustive, it’s not uncommon for a site to experience layout plan changes during construction. Multiple site layouts may need to be designed for different stages of development.
What Is the Layout of a Building Called?
A building layout is also known as a blueprint. These technical drawings can be a sketch or graphic designs. Blueprints are often completed by architects, engineers, and designers. The process of setting out is where a technician translates the building design to contractors for construction.
With a building layout, you’ll have a firm understanding of the foundation plan on a ground surface. The drawings or renderings will help contractors and builders carry out excavation, positioning, or orientation of the structure through precise definitions laid out by the architect, engineer, or designer.
Building layout blueprints are critical components of architectural design. They ultimately determine the positions, dimensions, and shapes of internal building spaces, whether it’s a residential house or a larger, more complex office space with multiple levels.