Land Surveying for the Layman 2


Now that you understand the importance of getting a land survey, you'll need to understand what kind of survey you need for your given situation. There are a multitude of different surveys we at Robert A. Nowicki & Associates carry out, but the one most commonly called for is a "Residential Boundary Survey". These are the most basic kind of survey we perform, and is usually presented when applying for a permit for construction or renovation.

A residential boundary survey is exactly what it sounds like: We determine the boundary of your property. This includes locating your house, fences, concrete walkways, and any other significant objects that won't be moving any time soon. We show all of these objects relative to your property line, so you can easilly reference their location. A boundary survey is usually required for things like construction permits, so it's essential you get one before starting any kind of significant project. Without a proper boundary survey, that new fence you put up could be an inch over your property line, and your neighbors will NOT be happy about that.

Anything beyond a standard residential boundary survey is usually a big deal. Hopefully our Services Page can give you a good idea of what you're getting into if you need to venture down that path. Realistically, if you're being required to get besides a residential boundary survey for a project, you probably know what you're doing in the first place.

Land Surveying for the Layman 1

I've been involved with land surveying at Robert A. Nowicki & Associates for nearly two years now. Before then, I'd never heard of land surveying, let alone any of the other important services carried out by a professional land surveyor. It's a whole lot more complicated than I would have thought, and now that I know some of the ins and outs of the trade I find it's my duty to demystify some of the things involved with land surveying. In fact, most people don't even know what a surveyor does or why they need a survey in the first place. In this series of blogs, I'll try to explain some of the key ideas involved with land surveying, and why they're important.


What Exactly Does a Land Surveyor Do?

Wikipedia defines land surveying as "the technique, profession, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them."

At it's most basic, this means that a land surveyor's job is to locate things, and report their position relative to other established objects. When it comes to the average residential survey (AKA a single family home) these objects, more often than not, are property corners laid out during the subdivision's division, where lot lines and sizes are determined before housing is constructed. These property corners can be iron pipes, iron rods, or even crosses cut into the pavement. They are essential for knowing where your property begins and where it ends. Using these established objects, we can determine angles and distances from our known object to locate new objects, such as a house or a newly constructed fence. In addition to locating new objects, property corners determine the property lines. Knowing exactly where your property lines are is essential when starting a new project.

When it's all said and done, we take all the data and interpret it in such a way that the data is legible. In it's most basic state, the data is a collection of numbers and dots with no real order to them. However, when combined with field notes and our state of the art equipment, we are able to connect these dots into a full fledged picture to put on a survey.

So that's how we get a survey to you, at it's very most basic. Next time we'll talk about the different types of surveys, and which one you'll need to order to get the best possible results for your next project.