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How do I order a survey?


If you need a survey for a real estate transaction or refinancing, your lender or your title insurance company typically orders a Boundary and Improvement Survey for you. You may also order this type of survey directly from us. For other types of surveys, call us and explain your needs, we will be pleased to discuss your options with you. In some cases, an appointment may be made to discuss the work needed and any documents you may have (title commitment, legal descriptions, old surveys, etc.). A written estimate or proposal will be prepared and a work order will be drawn up describing the work to be performed along with any specific needs you may have, i.e., a completion date or special requests.




How much will a survey cost?


You can request an estimated cost of the survey you need. The surveyor's cost estimate will be based on the anticipated difficulty and estimated time needed to complete the required tasks. Fees can be estimated, but since every property and its chain of title is different, the surveyor cannot always predict the amount of work required to recover and analyze the best evidence. The amount of time required to obtain field measurements and make boundary determinations depends on the availability and proximity of the physical and written evidence. The surveyor will be able to provide you with a cost estimate based upon an hourly rate, experience with similar jobs, and a general knowledge of the area, but actual costs may not be known until the project is completed.




What qualities should I look for in a surveying company?

It is important to select a surveyor who has the professional staff available to perform the required work in a timely yet thorough manner. That firm should also have available to them the necessary equipment and knowledge to complete the task efficiently without sacrificing quality. The surveying firm should carry workman’s compensation, general liability and professional liability insurance to protect the consumer from unforeseen circumstances.

Choosing a surveying firm that is well established and is familiar with your locality is also very important. It takes time for a professional to become knowledgeable of the local customs that are in effect and which have been used in the past, including the manner in which the local governments deal with development. Additionally, the company should be willing to provide a list of local clients for whom similar work has been performed to allow you to check references and obtain referrals.




Why is the survey I recently had performed different from a previous survey I have?

Discrepancies between surveys are usually attributable to two reasons. The first reason is that measurement, depending upon the tools used and the manner performed, is subject to some variation. Two surveyors measuring the same line may obtain slightly different values. Both of the values should be similar, but they will only approach the true theoretical value through repetition and statistical analysis. The second and usually more profound reason is that measurements are made from, and decisions are based upon written and physical evidence. If a survey is based upon something other than the best evidence available, discrepancies can and frequently do occur. It is the surveyor’s responsibility to seek the best evidence available, and by its very nature, that evidence is subject to interpretation.  Seeking the best evidence generally takes time and effort, both of which are true attributes of a thorough survey.




What type of survey should be requested for design of new construction?


Whenever new construction is proposed, the preparation of a boundary and topographic survey will assist a designer in determining the location, size and height of proposed improvements. Whenever it is desired to save as many trees as practical, it is advised to add a tree survey to the above. This can be done in accordance with a landscape ordinance or, if no ordinance governs the property, it can be limited to just the size and/or species of trees you desire to have identified.