How is the cost for a survey determined?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. There are many variables that are associated with performing a survey that our company looks into when providing a quote or estimate. These variables include, but are not limited to:
– The time it will take our company to complete the survey
– The type, size and scope of survey
– Terrain, foliage, topography and accessibility of property to be surveyed
– Past surveys on property or neighboring properties
– Availability of section corners and/or section corner data
Simply put, each survey we perform is unique. To determine what it would cost to have your particular land surveyed, we recommend filling out a request-a-quote form on our website or giving us a call and giving us as much detail as you can so we can determine what surveying your land will cost.
Why am I required to pay flood insurance on my home? Can I have this requirement removed?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses data available to them to create flood maps for the entire United States. If any permanent buildings on your property lie in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or floodplain on one of these maps, and you have a mortgage on it, you’ll likely have to pay flood insurance on those buildings. However, the data FEMA uses to determine where the floodplain is located may be incomplete or approximate since they lack the resources to accurately measure each and every potential flooding area in the U.S. So, it may be possible to have the requirement to pay flood insurance removed. What our company can do is take accurate elevation measurements around the building(s) or site you wish to be removed from the flood zone, and prepare what is known as a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). This application, once completed by our company, is submitted to FEMA for review. Based on the documents and measurements we submit, they will determine whether or not your building(s) or site is suitable for removal. If your building or site is removed from the floodplain, it will remove the requirement for flood insurance.
What type of marker do surveyors set for property corners and marking lines?
Land surveyors set many types of markers for property corners, as well as marking lines. Historically, surveyors have used a variety of materials for section or property corners, which includes but is not limited to: wood stakes, stones, railroad ties, fence posts, and more. Today however, surveyors are held to stricter legal standards and most set steel rebar, rods, or pipes of specific lengths and diameters. If a map of the survey was filed, the map will indicate what type of monuments were set. Our company usually will set a 3/4” x 18” iron rebar for property corners and a wood lath with flagging, typically orange or pink, next to it to better mark the corner. To mark lines, our standard procedure is to set wood lath with flagging at 100-150 foot intervals on the lines or enough so our client(s) can easily see between them. However, sometimes a client may request that we set lath at more or less frequent intervals. If you have found what you believe is a property corner or were shown a supposed property corner by a former property owner or neighbor, it is best to have a surveyor confirm that this is in fact a true property corner.
I believe someone has destroyed, removed, and/or moved some of my property corners. What should I do?
If you believe someone has destroyed, removed and/or moved any of your property corners, you have a few options. You may contact our company or another surveyor and describe your issue. From there we can visit the property in question and determine if any corners were in fact disturbed. If so we can replace or move the original corners to their proper location. If one of the property corners that was removed or disturbed happened to be a section corner, we recommend contacting the county surveyor of your particular county. As a landowner, you can take steps to preserve or protect the property corners once we have set them. If such incidents happen multiple times and there is clear evidence of wrongdoing, you may try to communicate with whoever is disturbing the corners, seek legal advice by an attorney, and/or communicate with law enforcement, if necessary.
What are the advantages of using GPS technology?
There are several advantages to using GPS technology. The first and most obvious advantage is that it significantly reduces the amount of time it takes our company to complete each survey, which in turn saves our clients money. Just a few years ago, survey crews usually consisted of at least two people and sometimes 3 or more. Today, thanks to GPS technology, many survey tasks can be performed with just one person or sometimes two. Traditionally, survey crews would need to start their work at a known section corner and work their way to a client’s property. While this method was still quite accurate, with each individual setup the survey crew had to do, due to limitations in their equipment, there was a small amount of error or inaccuracy. This inaccuracy was compounded over longer distances. With GPS, you do not have this compounded inaccuracy. Each individual measurement taken with GPS has its own error which is incredibly small and which has no effects on other measurements.
How long will it take to finish my survey?
The time it takes to finish a survey may vary. Typically however, our company is able to finish most measurements and/or establishing property corners within 1-2 business days. We are usually able to finish map preparation or office work within 1-2 weeks. If our client has a closing date we make it a priority to complete the survey on time. To know for sure when to expect your survey to be complete, it is best to ask us.
Do I need to be present for the survey?
Not necessarily. In some cases, phone, fax, and/or email conversations are sufficient enough to describe what services clients would like us to perform. In other cases however, our clients can be a valuable asset by physically showing us lines and/or corners of a new parcel, or may have vital information of old surveys, existing property corners, old section corners, logging roads or ATV trails, and more.
Does your company work in the winter?
We sure do!
When is the best time to have a survey done?
The best time to have a survey done can vary. If you own many acres of woodland or crop land, as many of our clients do, and would like the property corners and/or lines to be surveyed, the best time to have a survey done on the property is between late fall to early spring. This is due to the fact that most or all leaves, brush and foliage are absent and crops have usually been harvested or not planted yet. When the leaves and foliage are absent, our GPS equipment can work at optimum levels. In addition, our survey crew can travel across the terrain easier when the brush and crops are not present. This in turn means we can finish our client’s surveys faster and at a cheaper cost than if we performed the survey between late spring and early fall. The best time for our company to work on lot surveys is when the ground is unfrozen. With lot surveys within a city, we are required to research old surveys and find any available property corners near the lot(s) we are surveying. With unfrozen ground, we can easily search and measure existing property corners, as well as set new property corners. To ensure our company can perform your survey at the best possible time, it is best to contact us well beforehand so we can schedule your project.
Will my survey get filed or recorded somewhere?
All of the surveys we prepare are either filed with the County Surveyor or are recorded at the Register of Deeds office at the county at which the land is located in. The only exception to this is for Letter of Map Amendments (See Question 2). Maps we produce for LOMA’s are submitted to FEMA and do not need to be recorded at any county office. In addition, all final survey maps and descriptions, all final Letter of Map Amendment determinations, and all important and relevant documents to each survey we perform are filed at our company and copies of survey maps and descriptions are sent to our clients upon completion for their own personal records.
My property is here. Why is the survey crew working over there?
Before we can accurately perform a survey for a client, we always are required to research any existing surveys in the area of which we are working. If we do discover surveys within the area we are working and depending on the type of surveying services requested, we may have to locate and measure existing property corner markers of the client’s property or neighboring properties, if any are available.