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Question DetailsAsked on 9/3/2013

what should i ask a surveyor before i hire them

i need to know the property line on one side of my house.I also want it staked for a fence. there is a street drain easement somewhere near/on the property line. what questions should i ask

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3 Answers


Check state licensing board website to see their Professionall Land Surveyor license/registration is still in force.

And of course ask for a cost estimate.

Otherwise, more tell than ask.

If you have a copy of your survey from when you bought the house (usually included in closing title documents) have that ready for him, and a plat copy if you have one. When you call him, have your subdivision name, block number, and lot number to give him so he can bring correct survey plat sheets showing where survey hubs and reference points are.

Tell him the following (I'm sort of shooting in the dark here because I don't know why you want this survey other than for fence construction):

1) why you want the survey and what you are going to use it for

2) that you want temporary (wood) or permanent (rebar) staking of property line along street (might as well go permanent - costs very little more) - and if your property line is center of street as is common, then have him stake street easement boundary instead (typically into your yard 15, 20, 30, or such number of feet parallel to street centerline)

3) stake every ____ feet for fence construction - I would go with not more than about 25-40' spacing on that so fence contractor has points to run a stringline along to keep fence off the line a couple of inches, and have him put in rebar with flagging that will stay in place and be easy for fence contractor to find, and for you to find in the future (put 8-12" lengths of white PVC pipe driven over them to make them easier to find).

4) stake drain easement if you want that staked for whatever reason

5) I would have him re-establish property corners while he is there if you are interested - might just be a matter of using metal detector to find corner hub or rebar and putting in a new 2x2" hardwood marker with flagging, might have to relocate it and put in a new corner hub or rebar- decide if you want that (probably about $50-100 extra per corner reestablished, very little more to just locate and remark one still there).

When I had this done about 10 years ago (so a bit cheaper prices) I needed two corners reestablished, two were still marked, and I had him put in rebar about every 25 feet on two sides, about 100 feet each side, for fence line construction, two rebar to mark easement on street side, and a permanent reference point because he had to bring in survey control from about 1/8 mile away. Cost me $175 total at that time.

Note - he had no significant brushing, and zero tree cutting to do - if your yard is grown up, he either has to cut trees and brush to get line of sight along the property line, or survey around them, which can easily double your cost. Obviously, on the fence lines, he pretty much has to be able to see down the lines to put in the intermediate markers, so decide if you want shrubs, trees, etc cut or not. Also, if trees are over about 10 feet and near fences, house, wires, etc he will not cut them - will require you have a tree removal firm do it after he marks the ones that need to come out, then he will come back to do survey. In heavy going, this can run your job cost up to $500-1000, so if you have heavy vegetation he can't see over or through have him come give you an estimate first.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


If they are licensed in good standing and if they carry professional (liability) insurance.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9382177


The line retracement survey will require the surveyor to establish the record instrument line location on the ground using a theory of location derived from multiple sources of "best evidence". You will need to clearly define why you need the line retraced and where your real estate is located. A 100' line in a platted subdivision with permanent corner monumentation set by the original surveyor is quite a different project when compared to a line representing an aliquot division of a public land system survey. These "Section" lines may have been created in the 1800's with little evidence remaining allowing for retracement with a high degree of certainty. The cost for this retracement could be well into the thousands. Additional points established along the line need to be defined as either placed upon a standard distance interval or by line of sight allowing the erection the fence. Just remember that these Points On Line need to be set witht the same degree of accuracy as the exterior corner monuments and the surveyor will charge for whatever time/materials are needed. A good surveyor already knows the questions to ask you. Make sure you convey what you need and that it is clearly defined as a "scope of service" in a signed contract. Stay away from any firm not providing written contracts.

Source: Reese Harpel Registered Land Surveyor Deckard Eng/Surveying PC

Answered 4 years ago by rharpel

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