8 Most Common Land Survey Questions Answered

A Guide to Common Surveying Questions

By Josh Speiss

You bought a new piece of property with every intention of building your dream home.  Before building you have to have your property surveyed.  Here are the 8 most common surveying questions.


Do I need a survey in order to build?

Yes. A survey provides vital information about property boundaries, overlaps, and other features that affect the property lines.

How are the property’s  corners usually marked?

With iron rods or sometimes iron piping. Wood stakes can be used too, but these are being replaced now with an iron option. There are tied off with pink or orange flagging tape around the top. Normally the closest tree is marked as well; this is how surveying was conducted historically.

Are the property lines marked?

Yes, most often with flagging tape. Sometimes flagging twine is used, and it is almost always a florescent pink or orange color.

common survey questionsDo I need a licensed surveyor?

Yes. They need to have a certified license in the state in which they are surveying. You should always ask to see their certificate of registration to avoid fraud and bigger problems later.

Should I have my property surveyed prior to building a fence?

Yes. It is a good idea to know the exact property lines around which to build the fence. This will cause fewer headaches with the neighbors.

What is the average cost of a surveyor?

The price will vary. It depends on location and how hard it is to access your land, but the normal price will range between $400.00 and $1,500.00. This range is for an average sized lot, around ¾ of an acre; larger lots will cost considerably more.

How does surveying provide accurate property lines?

A surveyor will use latitude and longitude to find the exact property corners. They also use key land features in the area to determine your property lines.

How would I know if the property was already surveyed?

You can always look at the deed and title research to locate any documents that would show a previous, professional survey. Chances are if there is, or has been, a home or structure on the property, then it was surveyed. Just check to make sure the survey does not need to be updated.


Hopefully these answers give you a better understanding of property surveying. Contacting your local assessor or planning office will provide you location-specific answers to any questions you may still have. More often than not, they will provide you with a list of local surveyors in the area. Surveying your new property is the first part of building your dream home, so make sure you find a reputable surveyor to assist you with your dream.

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