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 Land Surveying Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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PostSubject: Land Surveying Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)   Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:23 am

When is a land survey necessary?

Prior to purchasing land or property, it is in your best interest to know exactly what you are buying. A survey of the area of interest will determine the precise size of the lot.

To protect yourself, it is beneficial to conduct a land survey before commencing construction. This includes new home development, home additions, fence and wall formation and extensive landscaping.

It is critical to conduct a survey if you are interested in dividing land into smaller parcels.

When you sell a piece of land not previously surveyed, it is ideal for all interested parties to have a record of survey on file.

Monetarily speaking, a land survey is used to verify the amount of land assessed for taxes.

When there is a “division of land” dispute, and you believe someone has encroached onto your land, a survey will determine the exact line of separation.





What are the different types of land surveys?

Lot Survey - This type of survey is conducted of a lot in a recorded subdivision. The specific corners are set and found in accordance with state regulations.

Boundary Survey - Most residential surveys performed fall under this category. The primary purpose of this survey is to locate the corners and boundary lines of a given piece of land. This involves record and field research, measurements, and computations to determine boundary lines. A footprint of any property corner monuments and existing buildings will be shown on the property.

Topographic Survey - This three-dimensional survey is conducted to locate natural and man made graphic features such as buildings, fences, hills, valleys, streams, trees, lakes, roads, etc. This type pf survey may be required by a governmental agency or may be used for design of improvements or land development.

Elevation Certificate - An Elevation Ceritificate is typically required by an Insurance Company.. When a a property is deemed to be in a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) or NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) Flood Zone, it is necessary to determine if the finished floor of the structure is above the flood zone.

A.L.T.A. Survey or Extended Title Insurance Coverage Survey - This is the most comprehensive type of survey and improvement location. It covers all aspects of a boundary survey and improvement location and identification of any additional evidence of possession or use which could be adverse to the interests of the purchaser. Furthermore, such a survey is made for the purpose of supplying a title company, lender or financial institutions with survey and location data necessary for issuing Title Insurance.

Site Planning Survey - Such a survey involves a combination of boundary and topographic surveys for preparation of a site plan to be used for designing improvements or developments. It insures that a proposed house or structure is constructed in the proper location and not over an easement or building set back line.

Construction Staking - For the construction of roads, buildings pipelines, etc., these surveys offer construction staking services to coordinate general improvement plans. This is the portion of the surveying that links the design phase to the construction phase of a project.





How much will a survey cost?

The cost of the survey will depend on many factors. The primary determining factor will be the type of survey required. Costs may increase as the required precision and scope of survey increase. Once these questions are answered, the conditions as they relate to existing terrain and land conditions will be evaluated. Specifically, the size and shape of the property will be evaluated. An irregularly shaped parcel has more concerns to monument than a rectangular parcel with the same total area. Also, a level parcel with little terrain is easier to survey than an uneven or mountainous site with an abundance of trees, brush and foliage. Accessibility to the corners of the site also are reviewed to determine the cost of the survey.

The more information you have to provide us on the property or site , the better the price of the survey. The amount of record research involved varies from site to site. This varies based on the number of parcels involved and the number of past transactions. The gathering of information may become challenging as it relates to the availability of recorded information in your city or county. The existing monumentation in the area will also be a factor when determining pricing.

Because of the varying conditions and requirements of each survey, it may be difficult to determine the exact fee in advance. However, based on general experience, we are confident we can furnish an approximate cost. The lowest fee is not always in the best interest of the client or the Surveyor. A well prepared and accurate land survey will be the lease expensive part of your total land investment.





Should I have my survey recorded?

It may not be necessary to record a lot survey or boundary survey but should you desire, it can be recorded t the County Recorder's office.. It must be signed and sealed by the Licensed Surveyor. All subdivision plat and boundary surveys used to create a new parcel must be recorded.





Why should I choose a Professional Land Surveyor? Can anybody to a survey?

A Professional Land Surveyor renders a highly technical service in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, city and county codes and recorded court decisions. Only a Professional Land Surveyor or Civil Engineer authorized to practice land surveying is legally permitted to perform land surveys in the State of California. Because of the special skills and complexities involved in surveying land, statutes limit the practice to only those duly licensed by State Boards of Registration.

In order to protect the public fro inferior land surveying, “Standards for Property Boundary Surveys” have been established. These standards describe recommended procedures for a survey and information to be provided to the client.





My fence has been separating my property from my neighbor's since I moved here…isn't this the boundary line?

Although surveyors cannot determine ownership, we can provide a survey that locates the boundaries of your property that may or may not be in alignment with the existing fence.





Where can I obtain Record information?

Recorded plats, deeds, easements, corner restorations, etc., can be obtained from the County Recorder of Deeds or your title company. Highway plans may be obtained from the California's State Department of Transportation.





Why Choose Renner Surveying & Engineering, Inc.?

We pride ourselves in maintaining the utmost integrity, quality, and service in all that we do. We are competent, highly experienced and personally dedicated to the successful completion of each project we undertake. Our qualifications encompass all the services, established relationships, and professional policies that are necessary to perform our job.





When Are Civil Engineering Services Required ?

New Residences and Additions

* For new residences and additions to existing homes, improvement plans are required. The improvement plans typically include the design for driveways, walls, drainage and sanitary facilities, utlilities, grading and erosion. The engineer works in close cooperation with architects, landscape architects, structural engineers and other involved professionals.

Proposed Commercial and Industrial Projects

* New commercial projects and alterations to existing facilities also require civil engineering services. The civil engineer works in close contact with the design professionals, including architects and structural engineers, to ensure seamless and comprehensive service.

Public Sector Projects

* We also provide all necessary civil engineering and surveying services for the public sector, including cities, counties, the State of California and the Federal government. These projects include street and highway improvement projects, including new streets, roadway realignment, street repair, street overlays and street upgrading to provide for the additional traffic, including street widening,new traffic signals, signing, guard rails and other typical street improvements.

Other public sector projects include civil engineering work for the parks and recreation facilities, including new parks, expansion of existing parks, repair and maintenance of creek embankment or realignment and other park related projects. In these projects, the civil engineer works directly with the agency's personnel, landscape architects, geotechnical / soil engineers and other related consultants. This work typically includes the civil engineering, design and preparation of grading, drainage and improvement plans for the projects.

Public sector improvements also include work similar to the civil engineering work required for private commercial and residential projects, This work includes all the improvements required in addition to the office buildings and maintenance facilities, including access driveways, parking areas, utilities, lighting, landscaping and other design work for new improvements and / or upgrading or expansion of existing facilities.
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