When do I need a survey?
Many people wish to know where their boundary lines are, or know more about a piece of land before they make a purchase.
The list below gives you some reasons why and when you would benefit from a Land Survey. When buying land it’s in your best interest to know where the property lines are on the ground because:
when selling your land, a survey can be a useful tool for marketing the property.
you may not be certain of the location of your property corners.
Land Surveying can determine drainage, setbacks and help with planning future improvements.
A lending institution often requires a survey for a mortgage loan.
It is advisable before building a fence, shed, or anything close to an unknown property line.
It is advisable before cutting timber near a property line.
It is required when applying for a “Torrens Title” to “register” you and your land title.
It is needed to establish a boundary line or corner if it is unknown or is in dispute.
An Attorney, Bank or title insurance agent will often require that a Land Surveyor clear up an ambiguous land description, or verify the location of structures on the property so that the lending institution can agree to finalize a loan.
What is a boundary Survey?
The purpose of a boundary survey is to establish the boundary lines of a new parcel of land, or to reestablish the boundary lines of an existing parcel of land. The land surveyors at Johnson and Scofield will conduct the necessary research, and collect the necessary field data, to accurately determine where the boundary lines of your property exist. We then physically mark these boundary lines by placing a 1”X18” iron pipe monument flush with the ground surface at the corners of the parcel. A plastic cap bearing the license number of the supervising land surveyor is affixed to the top of the pipe. A four foot steel fence post with a sign bearing our company name is then placed alongside the set iron to make the position of the boundary corner visible to you and others. Our staff will document any encroachments across your boundary lines, and also document any other relevant information that may affect your rights to your property. The results of the boundary survey are presented to you on a Certificate of Survey drawing, which is a graphic representation of the parcel boundaries. Information documented on the Certificate of Survey includes, but is not limited to:
The exact acreage of the parcel.
The encroachments across boundary lines onto the parcel.
The location of the survey monuments that we have placed or found at the boundary corners and/or along the boundary lines of the parcel.
The parcel description, or statement defining the location of the parcel.
A statement signed by the supervising licensed land surveyor, certifying your land survey by a licensed professional.
A boundary survey can be a useful tool when the location of a boundary line is in dispute, when making an addition to your home or improvement to your property, protecting against the loss of property to an outside party who wishes to gain legal interest in your land and when listing your property for sale. Example1, Example2
What are topographic surveys?
Topographic Surveys consist of showing physical features and elevations of the subject site using vertical and horizontal data collected in the field. A topographic map indicating the contours of elevation is then created. These contours are most commonly shown at one or two foot intervals on the topographic map. This type of survey is essential to enable civil engineers or architects to do planning, analysis and design work for the site. In addition to contours, other site information may be depicted as well, including the location of existing buildings, driveways, parking areas, tree locations and identification, and utility and wetland locations. We work side by side with each client to understand and establish the specifications of the survey so their objectives can be satisfied in a cost effective fashion. This type of survey is most used when planning for a new home, addition, and subdivision design or drainage issue. Example.
What are flood surveys?
Flood Elevation Certificates/Letter Of Map Amendment(LOMA) FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has issued a series of maps roughly determining which properties are susceptible to flooding. If any part of a property falls within these designated flood areas, your lending institution may require you to purchase flood insurance on your home to protect their investment. Flooding is not covered under normal homeowners insurance, and annual premiums for flood insurance can be costly. In many cases, some or all of the structure can be above the “base flood elevation” as determined by FEMA or the area hydrologist. Johnson & Scofield can conduct a survey producing a Flood Elevation Certificate documenting vertical elevations of the structure and the adjacent land to determine if it has been accurately designated to a flood zone. If the documented elevations prove that the structure is located above the base flood elevation, our staff can request a LOMA from FEMA to remove the structure from the designated flood zone, relieving the requirement of flood insurance. In situations where it is determined that all or part of the construction falls below the base flood elevation, a Flood Elevation Certificate is still a viable asset. Flood insurance companies can accurately determine premiums, based on the data documented on the Flood Elevation Certificate.
what is subdivision platting?
A plat is required where a land owner wishes to subdivide an existing parcel of land into smaller parcels. These can range from a minor subdivision, which would be splitting one parcel into two, or a major subdivision involving one parcel split into multiple lots and blocks. Many times minor subdivisions can be completed by surveying out the new boundaries of the parcel, drafting a certificate of survey drawing, and writing a legal description of the new property for the client to use in drafting a deed. Major subdivisions usually requires a preliminary plat submission that includes a proposed layout of the subdivision, a topographic survey, utility plan, soil conditions map, and in some cases a road construction plan. The preliminary plat is required to submit to the County Planning and Zoning office for approval. Once approved, a final plat can be drafted, recorded in the County Recorder’s Office, and physical monuments placed on the ground to divide the lots and blocks. It is recommended that the appropriate County Planning and Zoning office be contacted regarding requirements and ordinances pertaining to major and minor subdivisions. The client may explore this on their own, or we would be happy to act as a liaison to help you communicate with your County representatives. Example
ALTA/ACSM land title survey
What is an ALTA/ACSM land title survey?
An ALTA/ACSM land title survey is a survey that indicates the surveyor’s findings in great detail about the property boundaries; it also includes easements, encroachments, improvements and utilities within the property. ALTA surveys also provide information regarding zoning and flood zone designations. ALTA surveys are required by most lenders, title insurers, attorneys and buyers of commercial real estate. An ALTA survey may also be required if the buyer of a property desires survey coverage on his or her title policy. Example.
construction & Utility Staking
What is construction & Utility Staking?
Construction and utility staking provides contractors with reference points, ground control and other information necessary to build roads to specified grades, cut and grade ponds and drainage ditches, lay sewer lines, water mains and culverts, construct curb & gutter, etc.
What are as-built surveys
As-built surveys are surveys of existing facilities, usually shopping centers, schools, factories and utilities. These surveys depict the horizontal and vertical location of all existing improvements on a site, including but not limited to, buildings, parking areas, utilities, storm sewer drainage systems and sanitary sewer disposal systems. Many municipalities require As-built surveys after a construction project is complete to verify that all of the proposed improvements were built according to the specifications of the proposed plan.