Should You Hire a Surveyor?

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 15 Jun, 2015
In our last post Should You Hire An Architect we explained the pros and cons of doing so. In this post, we’re going to employ the same method with the question Should You Hire a Surveyor? While we can’t ever discourage someone from hiring all the help they need, not everyone has the financial resources […] The post Should You Hire a Surveyor? appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
While we can’t ever discourage someone from hiring all the help they need, not everyone has the financial resources to hire everything out.
So here is an explanation of what a surveyor does, and why one may or may not be beneficial to hire.

What a Surveyor Does

A surveyor in terms of construction is also called a land surveyor. A surveyor uses professional tools to make precise measurements in determining a property’s boundaries. These measurements allow the surveyor to provide you with data about the shape and contour of the land.

Why You Should Hire a Surveyor

The measurements a surveyor takes have a high degree of accuracy. Surveyors accurately measure and mark out the property boundaries on your site to produce markers which determine where your home will sit on the property. The surveyor will ensure the boundaries are accurate so that your house is built exactly where it should sit. Accurate measurements are vital in the construction process so as to avoid building or legal issues that could arise after construction begins. Surveying is a critical part of the construction process.
A land survey is required by the vast majority of mortgage lenders in order for you to secure funds to purchase the property. A survey is required not only when buying or selling land, but may also be necessary in the following circumstances:
  • When dividing land
  • When building a fence, septic system or anything close to property lines
  • When there is a dispute with a neighbor over where the property line is
When building a home the builder can begin the process of “site staking” the property once the survey is completed. This involves marking out the house boundaries based on the data provided by the land surveyor. All areas, including easements, are also marked out during site staking. This ensures that everything built complies with the original building plan.

Why You Should Not Hire a Surveyor

There are really few reasons not to hire a surveyor. While you can DIY this service because you can rent, borrow or even buy the necessary equipment for a do-it-yourself survey, most instances require a professional surveyor, unless you are only completing the survey for your own basic knowledge. Survey results are only legal and usable if the work is performed by a licensed surveyor. In fact, some states have laws which prevent you from doing your own surveying work, and a licensed surveyor is required to complete the job.

The Consensus?

Hire a surveyor, but find a way to do it cheaper, if possible. For instance, not all surveys may need a map. You may only need to have the property lines flagged and the corners marked. In this case you can save on the cost of the map if you only require field work. Also, if you can do your own work and provide the surveyor with the deed and a past plat (if available) you may reduce the time required to complete the survey, and thus reduce your cost.
Next Steps
Photo Credit: Shelly

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