- Topographic Maps
- ALTA Surveys
- Boundary & Easement Surveys
- Parcel Maps
- Record of Survey
- Tentative Maps
- Court Exhibits
- Research Services
- Expert Witness Testimony
- Construction Staking
- Subdivision Maps
- FEMA Certificates (flood zone)
- Certificates of Compliance
- Corner Records
- Elevation Certificates
- Legal Description Preparation
- Application Processing
Selecting a Surveyor
A Land Surveyor is a part of a professional team comprised of attorneys, engineers, architects, planners and landscape architects. Choose a reputable, Professional Land Surveyor whose skill and judgment you trust. A Surveyor should not be selected by price.
Competency is of first importance. Your selection should be made after you are sure that they have all of the facts and are completely aware of your needs and of the requirements of the governing body. Land Surveyors, like other professionals, vary in knowledge, ability, and competence. It is important that you select the best.
Only a Professional Land Surveyor or a Civil Engineer authorized to practice land surveying are legally permitted to survey in the State of California.
Types of Surveys
A survey for the express purpose of locating the corners and boundary lines of a given parcel of land. Easement lines may also be located and/or established with this type of survey.
A survey locating topographic features- natural and man made - such as buildings, fences, trees, streams, contours of the land, etc. to be used by engineers and/or architects for the design of improvements on a site.
Precise location, both for horizontal position and elevation of points for use in mapping of aerial photographs, construction staking, environmental monitoring and GIS (Geographic Information Systems).
How much will a survey cost?
The time it takes to complete your survey is directly related to the cost. The following variables may effect the time:
Type of Survey
Costs may increase as the level of precision and comprehensiveness required for the survey increases.
This necessary step is complicated by the casualness with which land has been transferred in the past, resulting in many vague, incomplete, and often contradictory legal descriptions. Cost varies depending on a) the number of parcels involved b) the number of past transactions. We have found many times that the answer to boundary problems are in the research of past transfers.
Size and Shape of Property
An irregularly shaped parcel has more corners and a longer boundary than a regular shaped parcel containing the same area.
Government Section Retracement
This normally requires the survey of the entire Section (being a square with sides one mile long) in which the land being surveyed lies, regardless of the area of the parcel. In some cases, a survey of more than one Section is required, depending on the location of the parcel in question.
A flat field is easier to survey than a mountain.
Branches, brush, and trees must be trimmed to afford clear sights for the Land Surveyor.
The time varies with the distance to the job, and the difficulty in reaching the corners, once on the site.
Amount of Existing Evidence on the Property
Existing evidence such as iron pins, stone monuments, old fences, witness trees, etc., aid the Surveyor. Their absence may compound difficulties involved in retracing the original survey.
Local Knowledge of Property
Someone pointing out lines, monumentation, and access is a considerable aid to the Surveyor.
When neighbors are cooperative, an otherwise difficult or impossible boundary line location may be established by agreement.
Time of Year
In summer, foliage presents a problem. In winter, weather slows travel, and sometimes conceals field evidence.
Title Company Requirements
Title Insurance Companies may require considerably more documentation than is normally provided to the average owner.
California law requires a map or document to be filed with the County Recorder or County Surveyor when boundary lines are determined or when monuments are set or re-set.
Q&A for surveying
Q: Will a Land Surveyor tell me what I own?
A: No. It is your responsibility to furnish the Surveyor with a legal description or Title Report of what you want surveyed. They will then locate the deed lines on the ground, mark the corners with physical monuments (if requested), and provide you with a map showing the results of the survey and also record the map if monuments are set or material discrepancies with record documents are found.
Q: Will I be shown if there are any encroachments on my property?
A: Yes, if this is your concern and part of the contract.
Q: How will I be shown what has been surveyed?
A: The corners of the property will be marked with iron pipes or other monuments, if required, and the Surveyor will point out these corners on the ground, if requested.
Q: Why are there conflicting boundaries?
A: Typically, boundary disputes are a result of legal descriptions that were originally written and recorded without the benefit of the services of a Professional Land Surveyor. It is important to have these lines properly surveyed when land is being segregated or divided.
Q: What about local government requirements?
A: The reputable and competent Professional Land Surveyor has knowledge of laws and regulations regarding land use within his areas of practice. They can advise you regarding steps to take when contemplating development of your property or refer you to other consultants when necessary.