Boundary Surveys – Know Your Boundaries

When do you need a boundary survey? Whether you have an industrial, commercial, or residential property, the location of the property boundary is one of first things you should know.

Many people do not know where their property ends. They rely on hearsay from others (i.e. former owners, neighbors, or realtors).

Why should I get a boundary survey?

One reason to get a boundary survey is to ensure when things are constructed or placed, that they on the correct property. Surveyors end up getting involved in many scenarios. A common one is fences. No one wants to buy their neighbor a fence or give them a free shed! We have even seen building expansions cross property lines that have to be partially removed and reconstructed.

Another reason is maintenance; most people don’t like maintaining their neighbors property.

Also, most municipalities do require a permit to make improvements to a property and most permits typically recommend a boundary survey.

What does a boundary survey involve?

A boundary survey is the process to establish the limits of a property performed by a professional land surveyor. The steps include:

Courthouse research – to obtain the current deeds for both the subject property and all of its adjoiners. Then the metes and bounds referenced in the deeds are plotted on a computer to determine the exact dimensions/shape that the property is intended to be. This will also determine if there are any conflicts with the metes and bounds of the adjoiners.

Fieldwork – a survey crew will search the subject property for any existing boundary evidence and based on what is found or not found, the crew will explore the adjoining properties for additional boundary evidence. All found evidence will be located.

Boundary determination – based on the information gathered by the survey crew, a Professional Licensed Surveyor (PLS) will evaluate the information and compare it to the courthouse research to determine/confirm the location of the property boundary.

Property marking 
– once the PLS has determined the property boundary, the crew will set permanent markers in the ground where no boundary evidence exists and mark all corners with a wooden lathe.

When should I get a boundary survey?

You should get a boundary survey completed if you don’t know exactly where your boundary limits are located. Additionally, anytime a property is bought/sold, subdivided, or goes through building improvements – a boundary survey should be completed.

How much does a boundary survey cost?

The cost varies and is different for each project. Some factors include:

  • Location in relation to the surveyors office
  • Lot size
  • Terrain or ruggedness of the land
  • Vegetative cover (i.e. wooded or open)
  • Seasonal affects (i.e. snow cover, leaf density)
  • Reason for the survey

If you are interested in knowing your boundaries, contact our experts.