What Is a Building Survey?
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.
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.
Types of Building SurveysTop Rated Building Surveyors
Land surveys are very important if you own or are considering owning any land. They tell you exactly where the boundaries of your land are and protect you from any future land ownership disputes with your neighbors!
So you know that you need a land survey, but how do you go about getting one done?
- Speak to your local town council or look online for free access to property records and land surveys. Make a copy of the maps and use those when surveying your land. Also get hold of any other documents that could be of help - including the property deed.
- Continue onwards until you have completed the full perimeter of your property and made note of all the markers. You will now have surveyed your land and know where the property boundaries are.
- If you are trying to solve any legal disputes then you should always consult a licensed land surveyor.
- Only licensed land surveyors are permitted to perform legally standing land surveys.
Building surveys come in lots of different shapes and sizes and as you would expect come with different price tags, reflecting the amount of work and detail involved as well as the qualifications of the person undertaking the survey. This article focuses on the types of survey, rather than who undertakes them although the latter is equally, if not more important if it is to be money well spent.
Surveys tend to fall into four main types, but many practitioners will tailor their reports to suit their own style of writing and incorporate what they feel are the most important aspects. The exception to this is the RICS Homebuyer report that has pre-determined headings and a set format, although even that can be embellished a little if the writer so chooses. In my view the most important aspect of a survey is; does it give the level of information and detail that a purchaser is expecting and looking for? Some will and some won't!
Specific Survey - Sometimes, a previous 'bad' experience or personal knowledge of the type of property or locality will give a buyer concern over one or more particular elements of the building. In these circumstances a report can be submitted which deals specifically with that/those parts.
I would advise that if you are planning on appointing a surveyor to undertake a survey on your behalf, you discuss your requirements in detail with them to ensure that you are offered the survey that best suits your needs.