Building a New Home – Surveying

With finances squared away, you are now ready to start really planning for your new home – surveying the land is the next step. It is time to call in a surveyor, whose main task is to mark and document the location of legal property lines in order to prevent any legal disputes. This professional will provide the relevant data for architects and engineers to start doing their work.

Real Estate Property Survey Plan

“What does a surveyor do exactly?”, you might be wondering. Their work typically consists of the following:

  • Determination of distances and angles between points on, above, and below the surface.
  • The precise location of important features – known reference points are used to determine those, for better mapping. 
  • Research on land records, survey records, and land titles.
  • Determination of boundary lines through research on previous ones. 
  • Record of survey results and data verification to ensure its accuracy.
  • Plot, map, and report preparation.
  • Presentation of findings to customers and government agencies.
  • Finally, all of the above results in their main task – the establishment of official land and water boundaries for a variety of documents (deeds, leases, and other legal documents) and to be able to testify in court in reference to the work done. 

Indeed, it all boils down to the creation of the real estate property survey plan. Information on topography, building height and boundaries, trees, as well as services (both underground and above-grade) – it all goes on the plan.

Surveying Is Not Zoning

If you happen to feel like the zoning professional had already done this kind of work, that is not the case. Unlike a planner (zoning consultant), a surveyor is not responsible for determining how far your home must be from other properties; instead, their responsibility lies in documenting the existing conditions of the future construction site in question.

Staking It out

If the building permit is issued after an application is submitted with the architectural drawings (once surveying is complete), then it is back to the surveyor. Now there is one more task to be carried out – the stakeout of the building.

First, they draw a stakeout plan – which they certify – and then actually go to the construction site and drive either wooden or metal stakes into the ground, so that the contractor knows exactly where to do the digging for the foundation. Since this plan is certified, the surveyor is liable for any errors.

Hand It over to the Engineers

With the surveying and the architectural plan out of the way, the next step is to get the engineering crew to draw up their respective plans – structural, mechanical, electrical, and trusses (but more about that in blogs to follow!).

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