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boundary survey

Do I Need a Boundary Survey?

A Boundary Survey is a Land Survey that determines the legal property line limits and corners of a parcel of land. When you purchase a property or currently own a property, you will have legal deed paperwork stating the ownership of the parcel and this paperwork may also have a description of the property boundaries. However, what is described on paper may not always match what is physically on your property.

Your property may also be part of an overall subdivision that initially had been part of a larger tract of land 70+ years ago, then subdivided into the parcel that it is now. The history of the property must be researched and traced back in the appropriate jurisdiction’s Land Records.

Example of a Boundary Description: 

boundary description

Example of a Subdivision Plat:

subdivision plat

Your property will usually have open iron pipe monuments physically marking the corners of your property, but that is not always the case. Property corners are frequently missing or not accurate due to fence installations, landscaping, and other improvement disturbances over the years. In this case, a typical boundary survey will be required to re-establish your legal property corners with new iron pipe monumentation. This Boundary Survey will traverse or measure a loop around the entire block or subdivision of properties that your parcel is a part of. As much property corner evidence that can be found along this block or subdivision will be recovered and measured so that your property lines can be re-marked accurately in relation to your neighbor’s properties. 

Some property corners can be easy to find, whereas other property corners will be very difficult to find and recover. Adding to the difficulty, old fence post pipes in the ground can easily be confused with a monumented property corner pipe. There may be situations where there could be multiple pipes or rebar in the ground where a corner should be and it is not clear which one is the property corner. This is why it is important to hire a Licensed Land Surveyor to perform a Boundary Survey to measure and mark the correct property corners for you, rather than make assumptions. Incorrect assumptions on where a property line is can result in costly mistakes, like inaccurately building a fence on an adjacent property and having to subsequently remove it. Even worse, proceeding on a new home build project or new addition project without a boundary survey can result in building a new home or addition into a zoning setback and hold up occupancy permit issuance until the building location is corrected. Therefore, it is critical that every new project starts off with a proper Boundary Survey from the beginning.   

Example of two rebar and cap rods set very close to each other, resulting in confusion and possible errors.

cap rods

Examples of Property Corner evidence in a subdivision. Even if a property corner may seem obvious, only a Licensed Land Surveyor should be the one determining and marking property corners.

property cornerboundary survey












Following a Boundary Survey, we can then proceed to perform a Topographic Survey and align all measured existing features to the property lines. For more information on our Topographic Surveys, you may read our blog, Why Do I Need A Topographic Survey?.

Please note that we do not provide standalone Land Surveying services unless they are part of our Civil Engineering Design & Consulting Services. 

For more information, please contact us for a quote on your next Land Development project.

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