Frequently Asked Land Surveying Questions

Land surveys are a critical part of real estate transactions and the foundation for land development. A professional land survey gives all parties an accurate representation of the land and what can be achieved – while also resolving potential discrepancies. Many people, especially homeowners, are often not sure what type of survey they need. In this post, we’ll cover the type of survey you need for different situations and answer some frequently asked land surveying questions.

What type of survey do I need?

If you have a property line dispute, you will need a boundary survey
Property line disputeBoundary Survey
Property corner locationsBoundary Survey
Flood insuranceFlood Elevation Certificate
Installing a fenceBoundary Survey and Stakeout
Buying/selling/refinancing a propertyBoundary/ALTA Survey*
Subdividing/consolidating propertyBoundary Survey/Plan of Survey**
Building an addition or patioBoundary Survey and Plan of Survey for
Township Submission (Site Plan)
* If you need an ALTA Survey, we will need the Table A requirements from your lender to determine the extent of the survey.

** You may also need a planning module and septic testing.

Note: Tax maps and GIS sites are not accurate portrayals of property lines and boundaries.

How much will it cost?

Depending upon the extent of your project and municipality requirements, a survey can range anywhere from $1,000 to several thousand dollars. Prior to preparing a proposal, we like to provide a ballpark range of the potential cost to see if it works with your budget and then we’ll provide a more detailed contract.

Why does it cost so much?

All work is completed by experienced professionals who accurately measure the location of objects in the field, complete calculations, and then depict them on a plan. For boundary surveys, the surveyor also needs to take adjacent lots into account to properly complete the survey. The cost is a result of the time it takes to do property research, confirm municipal requirements, visit the site, perform calculations, and prepare drawings.

What will the surveyor give me when the job is finished?

After the work is completed, you will receive a PDF of a plan to submit to your municipality and your contractor.

Want more information or ready to discuss?

Learn more about our Professional Land Surveying services or contact our Survey Department Manager, Matt Kelly, PLS at [email protected] or 610-265-8323.

The Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors also has additional information on when professional surveying services are recommended.