How long does a survey take to complete in the field?

The length of time necessary to complete the field work during a survey can vary greatly. A well-documented and monumented average city “lot” with relatively little in the way of additional improvements may take about two hours to complete in the field. A problematic survey (lack of controlling monumentation, mathematical problems with record data, etc.) would certainly take longer. Acreage surveys will take longer due to the typically longer distances in controlling monumentation and additional computations possibly being required in the field.

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Topographic Survey
This type of survey may be required by a governmental agency, or may be used by engineers and/or architects for design of improvements or developments on a site. A topographic survey map will show the location of natural and man-made features including buildings, curbs, sidewalks, trees, landscape areas, streams, rock outcroppings, manholes, catch basins, fire hydrants etc.  The map will also show contour lines and/or spot elevations.  Property lines will usually be shown for reference purposes and elevations may be relative to a published vertical datum or an assumed local datum.  Easements of record can be located with respect to the boundary and plotted on the map if the client provides a Title Report.

FEMA Elevation Certificates
This certificate is most often used to help determine the appropriate level of flood insurance needed.  Elevations entered on the FEMA certificate must be referenced to a published vertical datum.  Latitude and longitude will be determined and photographs will be included with the certificate.
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Tree Survey
A ​Tree Survey is a type of Specific Purpose Survey to locate trees based on the client or local governing authority’s required diameter and/or type on a site prior to engineering or development. A Tree Survey will typically show the tree species, to the best ability of the surveyor’s knowledge, and the diameter (Diameter Breast High or DBH) of the tree. The surveyor then draws a map showing scaled location of trees in relationship to a boundary line or other on site physical features. If exact determination of tree type is required a biologist will have to mark species type on trees prior to or during survey.

The main reason for performing a tree survey is to record the size and type of trees on a parcel of land that is to be developed. The engineer or designer will create their site plan determining which trees can remain and which trees must be removed. Prior to obtaining a tree removal permit for a major site plan or major site plan amendment, a tree survey might be required to be performed and filed with the local governing agencies as part of the tree removal permit application. They will make recommendations and sometimes request that the developer will replace trees in another location on the site.

-Elevation Certificates

-Legal Descriptions 

-New Construction

-Boundary Surveys



-Tree Surveys

Boundary Survey
A survey for the express purpose of locating the corners and boundary lines of a given parcel of land. This involves record and field research, measurements, and calculations to establish boundary lines. A boundary survey locates the limits of a tract of land, or in some cases an easement, with respect to a recorded Deed and other recorded surveys or Plats.

Mortgage/Lot Survey
This type of boundary survey generally determines land boundaries and existing building and improvement* locations. Mortgage surveys are required by title companies and lending institutions when they provide financing. It shows that there are no structures encroaching on the property and that the position of structures is generally within zoning and building code requirements.

*Improvements* may include, but are not limited to, street pavements, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, alley pavements, walkway pavements, water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers or drains, street names, signs, landscaping, permanent reference monuments (P.R.M.s), permanent control points (P.C.P.s), monuments, or any other improvement required by a governing body.​