What Are Building Surveys and Who Should Take Care of the Surveys?
Although building surveyors tend to "customize" their surveys in order to meet the specific demands of their clients, all surveys can still be categorized into four types. These are:
Full Structural Survey
Main Elements Survey (also called the Major Defects Survey)
The cost of each survey depends upon the professional rate of the surveyor commissioned and the specifics requested by the client. The type of survey performed is dependent on the kind of result that the client desires to obtain. Thus, the client will get the most of his/her money if he/she is fully aware of why he/she requires the survey to begin with. Each type of survey is explained below:
There are times when the owner or the buyer of the property would need a report on a specific aspect of the property. This can be triggered by a bad experience or a bad reputation about the property. Specific Surveys or Reports are designed to meet such needs. With this type of survey, the surveyor has to consult with the owner or buyer with regards to the specific things that he/she wants to find out.
Surveying can cover many areas such as land, minerals, construction projects, antiques, houses and others. Hence, it is a profession, which encompasses many areas. When a person is interested to work as a chartered surveyor, he must possess some skills in common. Chartered surveyors can easily find employment in several fields.
Chartered building surveyors are those who offer advice on the construction and design of new buildings and the remodeling and redesign of old buildings. They may also be required to assess safety and health requirements and be engaged in the improvement and maintenance of buildings.
There are other kinds of surveyors also such as residential property surveyors who offer advice on development and sale of houses or apartments. Construction surveyors are engaged in the development of construction projects such as new houses or dams. Management and assessment of costs pertaining to building projects comes under the work area of the Quantity surveyors.
Environmental surveyors have to make sure that the specifications for construction and design does not affect the environment. They can also work towards making improvements towards energy conservation. Those who suggest ways and means to make optimal use of machinery and plants in an industry are called the technical surveyors. Land ready for redevelopment is reported after assessment by the geomatics or land surveyors. Mining and Minerals surveyors offer valuation services related to the development of mines, waste management sites, quarries etc.
As far as employers in the private sector are concerned, jobs are provided by property companies, construction companies, consultancies, large firms, estate agencies, housing associations, etc. Universities, hospital trusts, government departments and local authorities are some of the employers in the public sector. You can find jobs advertised in the website of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Property Week, Surveyor, Estates Gazette etc.
You must become a member of the RICS, a professional body in order to become a chartered surveyor. For this, you must have a degree approved by the RICS. Once a person completes the RICS-accredited course, he/she has to become fully qualified by gaining more experience.
Chartered building surveyors have excellent prospects for career advancement. Surveyors can with a few years of experience progress to the senior managerial level. Surveyors can also become self-employed. There are excellent work opportunities for surveyors abroad.
How to Survey Land YourselfLocal Building Surveyors
Some older buildings, ones that are nearing the century mark, need to have building surveying completed on them to ensure that they are up to code. This can be even truer if the building in question has gone through many renovations or has had many additions to it over the years. This type of survey will require building survey equipment that is specific to this type of measurement.
A thorough inspection of buildings is done by a building surveyor. Their main function is to conduct a visual and more in depth survey on the building in question. In some cases, a visual inspection is all that is required to judge if further surveys are needed. If there seem to be some issues, a more in depth survey may be required to test the soundness of the foundation and other problems that may render a building unsafe.
Another survey should be completed after the foundation is completed to make sure it is up to code. Then the rest of the construction can be completed. Once this is done, the surveyor will conduct one final survey to make sure there was no damage to the foundation or structure during construction that would render the home unsafe.
It is important that homeowners take advantage of these types of surveys when building a new home. The building survey equipment that is being used will give the homeowner peace of mind that their home is safe and sound. Any insurance claims on damaged structures of any type will require building surveying.
In the nearly 25 years that I've been a land surveyor I've been contacted by thousands of property owners looking to have their land surveyed. All too often they make their decisions based on only one factor, price; which often leads to dissatisfaction with their choice and sometimes a less than quality survey, too. The following 10 tips are developed from my experience and will help you in hiring the right professional land surveyor to survey your land.
1. Is the person you're hiring licensed to perform land surveying services?
- Professional Land Surveyors are required to be licensed by the state they work or offer services in. If you hire someone to survey your land that isn't qualified to legally survey in the state that you live, you're throwing away your money and that person is breaking the law. If you have any doubts contact your states licensing board to confirm that this individual is a licensed professional land surveyor.
2. Does this person have Professional Liability Insurance?
- This is insurance, like doctors' malpractice insurance, which protects you if the professional land surveyor makes a mistake. Land surveyors are no different than any other human being and they can make mistakes in their professional capacities. Would you see a doctor, or have surgery performed, knowing that the doctor or surgeon didn't have malpractice insurance?
3. Does this person or firm have Workers Compensation Insurance?
- Each state is different, and not all states may require this: but who is responsible if the person you hire, or their employees, get hurt or injured while surveying on your land? If this type of insurance is required in your state make sure that the person or firm you hire to survey your land has this insurance and is in compliance with your state law.
- The reason you hire a land surveyor to survey your land is to determine the extents, or outline, of the property. If the property corners are not marked how will you know this? And, if it is not marked with permanent markers, likely to last for many years, what good is it? You should never accept wooden stakes as property markers, unless they are temporary due to some mitigating factor like imminent land grading or nearby construction activity, plastic flagging dangling from a branch, or vague explanations, when the survey is supposedly completed, such as "near the Pole", "near the mailbox", or "under the shrub". Suitable permanent markers include Plastic Stakes, Iron Rods, Iron Pipes, Rebar, Railroad Spikes, Magnetic Nails and other nails in paved areas, Drilled Holes in boulders or stone walls, Concrete and Granite Bounds.
10. Will they walk the property with you?
- In the course of conducting a survey your land surveyor will set many independent survey control markers and will find many existing monuments; not all of these may be at your property corners. It can be confusing at first. So, make sure that the professional land surveyor is willing to walk your property with you to identify the actual monuments and markers that mark your property corners.
In conclusion, the above 10 Tips On Hiring A Professional Land Surveyor to survey your land is so you can find an experienced professional land surveyor that will give you value and quality. Your land is too valuable not to hire the best professional land surveyor and have the best relationship with this professional, right from the start.