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land development

What are the First Steps in the Land Development Process?

It all starts with accurate data to design and build upon.

What are the first steps in developing a property to build a new home? You will first need to hire a Civil Engineering Firm to prepare a Land Survey. This Land Survey documents your Existing Land Conditions on a drawing as a basis for the required permit drawings, but more importantly at this stage in the process, it will serve as an important aid in talking to your builder and architect about the home you want to build. Once the home type is selected, and with this Land Survey information, your Civil Engineer will be able to proceed in working on the site drawings that will design how the house fits on your lot.

Step 1 – Land Records Research

As soon as the proposal is signed with DeMarr Engineering and we are retained with a deposit, we begin with the Land Records Research. We will lookup your deed and subdivision plat from the Circuit Court Land Records files so that we can start drawing the property line dimensions. Although we research as far as we can through the deed records to search for easements and other encumbrances, this does not guarantee we will find every single document tied to your property. This is why we ask to review a copy of your “Title Report” which your bank or closing company will have a copy. If not we can recommend a title company to perform a Title Search. The “Title Report” is a comprehensive search of your property records and will ensure we didn’t miss any easements or encumbrances when researching your deed and subdivision plat.

Step 2 – Underground Utility Markings

Before we schedule the field survey, we will request Miss Utility to mark all underground public utilities in the street as well as any private utilities they can find on your property. This is done with non-intrusive electronic locating devices and the ground is marked with temporary paint markings, which we will use to measure and document during our field survey visit. Usually within a week of signing our proposal, you will see a representative from Miss Utility in safety vest marking lines on the ground.

Step 3 – Calendar Invite

We will be emailing you a calendar invite in a few dates to let you know what day our survey crew will be on-site. Accept if the proposed survey date is ok with you or let us know if there is a conflict and we will propose a new date.

Step 4 – Field Survey Work

Our surveyors and/or engineers will show up to your site around 7:30am on the scheduled survey date. No need for you to be there, just make sure any fence gates are unlocked on the day of. If you can mow any high grass areas down before we arrive that would be greatly appreciated and helps with our mapping but not mandatory.

Step 5 – Existing Conditions Plan Deliverable

Once the field survey is complete, we have to go back to the office to process the raw survey data. We will email you a PDF of the completed survey within 3-5 days of the field survey date. At this time we will need a PDF and DWG file of your architectural plans to start on the site layout. You can have your architect email these files to [email protected]


Not sure if you are ready for a Land Survey? Or not sure if you can build on your property? Our Feasibility / Concept Sketch & Hourly Consulting Services will answer those questions for you before jumping into the land development process.

Ready to move forward with building a new home?

Talk to a Civil Engineer on how to get started: [email protected]


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