As anyone in the construction industry knows, there are a lot of factors that go into completing a project safely and on schedule. Of course, one of the most important elements is having a clear understanding of the land where the work will be taking place. That’s why land surveys are so critical. A land survey, also sometimes referred to as a property survey, is an important tool that provides critical information about a piece of property. This information can be used for a variety of purposes, such as determining boundaries, identifying features, and creating a map.
Over time, features on the land may change (e.g., trees may be removed or new structures may be built) and these changes can impact the accuracy of the original survey. In some cases, more frequent surveys may be necessary (e.g., before and after construction projects). By having a regular schedule for surveying land, you can ensure that you always have up-to-date information.
But how frequently should these surveys be conducted? Let’s take a closer look.
Types of Land Surveys
There are many different types of land surveys. How frequently you should perform a land survey can depend largely on the type of land survey you are getting.
ALTA stands for American Land Title Association. ALTA surveys are done when someone is buying a home or investment property. Before issuing title insurance, a title company will oftentimes require an ALTA survey.
This survey can also be referred to as a mortgage survey because many lenders require them to provide financing.
This survey is very basically used to determine the exact boundaries of a property. Essentially, it provides the outline of the property boundaries and corners of the property.
Boundary surveys can be used for personal records, locating easements, or settling legal disputes.
A location survey is quite similar to a boundary survey. However, these surveys also include any improvements that have been made to the property. They will detail the location and dimensions of any improvements, as well as the distance between the improvements and the property’s boundary lines.
These surveys are often required to obtain a zoning permit.
Subdivision surveys are done when someone needs to divide a piece of land into multiple areas to build a subdivision. These surveys must be filed in the land records at the recorder’s office and are required to create subdivision plans.
A subdivision survey is necessary for the construction of a subdivision.
These surveys are used to determine what areas to build on and measure the distance between the planned developments. These surveys are largely for construction workers’ use.
The surveyors of a construction survey will stake out and mark where the planned improvements or structures will be located on the property before construction begins.
Site-planning surveys are often also referred to as “plot plans.” These surveys are used for planning any developments for improvements to a site. Basically, to make a site-planning survey, the desired structure/improvement is drawn inside the current boundary survey.
This survey is then often required to apply for and receive a building permit.
A topographical survey details the location and dimensions of all man-made and natural features that are within the boundaries of a property. This includes everything from fences and buildings to bushes and streams. Surveyors will also record the elevations of each of these features.
These surveys are used by engineers and architects to plan for any site improvements.
Sometimes a combination of these surveys may be required before any work can be done — such as for land development.
When Should You Get a Land Survey?
There are many times when it is a good idea to get a land survey. Some of the most common cases where you would need to get a land survey are if:
- You are selling a property.
- You are purchasing a property.
- You are getting an elevation certificate.
- You are building a fence.
- You are refinancing or getting a mortgage.
While there are, of course, many other situations where you may need to perform a land survey, these are the most common scenarios.
In general, you should get a land survey anytime you are planning to make an improvement to your property, selling or buying a property, subdividing your property, or making financing decisions. The times when you need to perform a land survey may also be determined on a state-by-state basis, so make sure you check with your state’s regulations before deciding that you can postpone the surveying process.
How Often Should You Get a Land Survey?
When it comes to the frequency of land surveys, there’s no one size fits all answer. While the frequency of surveys varies depending on your needs, it’s generally recommended to have one performed every five or seven years. If you’re making major changes such as adding onto an existing structure then we recommend following up with a survey within 365 days after completion in order ensure accuracy when describing those alterations from their original condition prior using certified Survey data. This verifies that the change has been accurately reflected back at us so that no errors slip through our cracks!
The exact frequency that you should be performing a land survey is extremely dependent on how often your property is changing. A land survey — of any type — does not come with a specific expiration date. Instead, it is something that must be updated any time a change to your property is made.
Some people might think that if they haven’t gotten a land survey in recent years, their current one can still be accurate. But it is important to always get an updated one done because of all the changes happening around us – buildings getting taller or wider; traffic increasing with new construction projects nearby etc. It is also a good practice to get a land survey performed anytime your property (or your neighbors’ property) has been altered. Land surveys are also necessary before buying/selling property so buyers want them updated frequently too!
If you are in need of a land survey for your property, it is important to contact a reputable and experienced surveying company as soon as possible. At AAA Group, we have years of experience performing accurate land surveys for our clients. We understand the importance of having up-to-date information about your property, and we are here to help you get the results you need. After all, without the properly detailed land survey, no improvements can be made and it can be much harder to resolve any legal disputes as well.
Contact us today to schedule your land survey!