Boundary Surveying: Why do you need a boundary survey?
- Boundary surveying makes it possible for you to see your exact boundary of what you are buying or selling. You might need your boundaries marked for putting up a fence.
- Boundary surveying may find easements for utilities such as storm drains, water mains, sewer mains, and power lines over your property.
- Boundary surveying can identify encroachments like buildings, fences, or driveways over your property or over your property lines.
- A boundary survey and drawing provide you the property line distances and the locations of all structures (houses, barns, etc.), fences, or driveways in relation to the boundary lines.
- A boundary surveyor can place markings along your property lines which allows the installation of your fence on the property line in the right location so that you don’t get on another property or leave too much room between the fence and your neighbor’s land.
- Boundary surveying is the first step when you want to subdivide your land to sell or give it to someone else, like a family subdivision.
- A boundary survey should be done to make sure any building you’re about to build is on your lot and not over any easements or property lines.
Boundary surveying is the process of locating property lines and the corner monuments of a parcel of land. The land surveyor who starts a boundary survey examines the deeds for the property, and possibly the neighboring deeds. The deeds are found in the office of the Judge of Probate in the local courthouse. The land surveyor might also need to talk with the owner and possibly neighbors to get information relating to the location of boundary lines.
The field work begins with finding all of the monuments possible. Corner monuments may be anything like rebar, iron pipes, posts, fence corners, or even a tree. If the type of corner is specifically called for in the deed they are given the highest priority. IF they are not specified in the deed, the land surveyor has to determine if they are in the correct location. This involves running a “traverse” through the parcel to determine the distances between all of the points. The boundaries lines are described as “bearings and distances”. If the bearings and distances are close to the deed calls then the land surveyor will probably accept the monuments found as being the property corners. If they are significantly different, then more checking must be done to outside corners to determine the proper location for the corners. During the boundary survey, the land surveyor may also take into account the neighbors deeds, and whether everybody has accepted a corner that is found. Boundary Surveyors should make every effort to settle boundary issues in the field and not create disputes that will lead to court.
How much does boundary surveying cost?
The cost of a boundary survey depends on many factors, most of which can’t be estimated until the work has started. The amount of land, kind of vegetation, the time of the year, and the lay of the land (hilly or flat) can be estimated prior to beginning the survey. The deed research is first, and the land surveyor won’t know how much research is needed until they get to the courthouse and try to piece the deeds together. If the client has their deed or an abstract this should be provided to the land surveyor. This could reduce the research time somewhat but time may still have to be spent at the courthouse. Parcels of land pass through many people over time and some may have added to the original parcel or, most likely, sell off parts of the original tract of land. The more pieces sold off, the more complex the boundary surveying will be. The biggest unknown is that, on a boundary survey, we don’t know whether corner monuments will be found OR if they match the legal description on the deed. The surveyor has to estimate the time for this part of the work.
Money Saving Hint – if you need boundary surveying and the lines marked it may be best to do that in the winter time because of the absence of leaves. Ask your boundary surveyor about splitting the job into two parts to accomplish these savings.
What will I get when the boundary surveying is done?
After the boundary survey field work and drawing is completed the land owner should expect that the corner monuments are marked in some way. There maybe a wooden stake placed near the corner monument to serve as a “witness” to the corner monument. If a new or replacement corners has been set, these will be marked with the identity of the land surveyor who did the work. If the landowner requests the lines to be marked then these markings would be in addition to the marks on the corner. The land owner should put a more permanent marker like a metal fence post near the markings. We also recommend the owner walk the property lines regularly to refresh the boundary markings and make sure the corner monuments aren’t disturbed.
The land surveyor will complete a drawing of the boundary survey. The survey drawing is a permanent record of the boundary survey. In the future, if any monument is lost it can be replaced with the survey drawing information. Other drawing requirements can be found in the Standard Operating Procedures for Land Surveying that guides Alabama surveyors in boundary surveying.
The land surveyors at Alexander City Land Surveying are eager to discuss your boundary surveying needs. To talk about your particular survey, call us today at (256) 392-8208 or fill out our contact form request.