Q: Why would I need a land survey?

A: To find out the boundaries or features of your land. To build, to develop, to satisfy local code or building requirements. To maximize profits from timber harvesting. To find out whether you have encroachments on your land or not. To find out where the land is that you own. Hopefully, you are not like many that are needing a land survey because they “have to”. This would be the case if you are disputing something with your neighbor, because one or both of you have gone on with building, developing, landscaping, fencing or using the land without knowing where the common boundary line is.

Q: Can I find my own boundary lines?

A: Most people often find it too difficult to tell exactly where their property boundaries are without hiring a professional to do a land survey. If you attempt to determine your own property lines, you take the risk of being wrong in your determination. If you then build something, and were in error, your determination may not be admissible in court due to the fact that you are not licensed to practice Land Surveying. Land usually costs a great deal of money. Protect your investment by having your property surveyed by a licensed, Professional Land Surveyor.

Q: How is a survey conducted?

A: The process begins with a Client Consultation – We will discuss what type of survey you need and what information we will need to collect to create a plan of action. Next, we begin the Research process – collecting all of the necessary data for the survey, such as deeds, maps, easements, highway plans, etc. Once we have a clear understanding of the purpose of the survey and have completed the research, we begin the Field Work - finding or setting boundary corners and taking measurements between them. Measurements are compared to the dimensions in any existing deeds and maps. Buildings, fences and other structures may also be located at this time. Survey Completion involves preparing a map of any monuments set or found during the field work. A metes-and-bounds legal description is prepared of the survey area. The map is then filed with the County Land Records office or the Register of Deeds, depending on the type of survey. Any issues not addressed during the field work will also be discussed and explained at this time.

Q: How much does a survey cost?

A: A properly completed survey involves a thorough search or recorded documents and examination of physical evidence of prior surveys. The cost of a land survey is directly proportionate to the total effort and time involved. When giving you an estimated proposal for services, the Land Surveyor estimates the cost for you based on many factors. Some of these include: Accessibility around the site, availability of information and records, availability of survey monuments and control, complexity (does the survey require measuring the entire mile, or an entire city block?), improvements and structures on the property, equipment required to perform the job, size of the parcel, time of year and weather conditions, topography, terrain and vegetation, and the type of survey required.

Q: What information should I supply?

A: The more information you can furnish the Land Surveyor prior to the fieldwork, the more efficient the work will be, therefore reducing your costs. It is very important to be honest about your knowledge of any potential issues that may arise. Often, more time is spent “verifying the correctness” of property corners than is spent actually setting the corners. A brief visit or phone call to your local Zoning office prior to the survey will help you determine what additional requirements there may be regarding your survey. For example, some counties in Wisconsin require a Wetland Determination, Soils Analysis, specific lot sizes or restrictions, and/or a County Review Fee prior to approval.

Q: Isn’t the fence my property line?

A: Because surveyors determine property lines based upon legal records, sometimes conflicts arise when a recorded legal description does not agree with the way the property has actually been occupied. This may give the appearance that the Surveyor has “moved” the property line, when, in fact, the property line may not have been located where it should have been in the first place. Land Surveyors cannot, and do not, take away land or give land to anyone. They simply mark the physical boundaries of the land based upon the measurements and calls in your deed or legal description.

Q: What should I do if I believe my neighbor is encroaching onto my property?

A: The first step is to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our Survey Professionals. We will take a look at any surveys of record, existing deeds between adjacent owners, and discuss possible solutions, should a conflict arise. While we cannot provide legal advice on civil matters, we work closely with a number of experienced professionals who can assist you in ensuring a successful outcome.