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construction land surveying - compass consultants

Construction Surveys: Build With Confidence

Architects, engineers and construction managers all share a common goal: to ensure that each project is built exactly to specifications. They will not achieve their goal without careful planning, which includes gaining a comprehensive understanding of the land they are building on.

Fortunately, a single point of reference exists to provide all the information these professionals need so they can proceed with the utmost confidence. This is a construction survey (aka construction layout or construction staking): a detailed report containing everything of interest to builders while they are planning and carrying out construction.

What Is Included in a Construction Survey?

A construction survey begins with a boundary survey: an exact representation of the property lines which ensures the builder doesn’t encroach on neighboring properties. Once those data are established, the surveyor adds the following details:

  • Utility easements, including any legal rights utility companies may have to cross or otherwise access the property
  • Locations of existing buildings, including any encroachments created by neighboring landowners’ properties
  • Locations of underground structures, including sewer and cable lines which mustn’t meet the teeth of an excavator bucket
  • Lay of the land, including topographical information which bears heavily on the project’s placement, floor plan and elevations

A construction survey doesn’t merely represent the land as it exists before the project commences. It also details the locations of roads, buildings and other structures that will have been created by the completion of the project. That provides the contractor with a comprehensive overview of the finished project, thus giving them sufficient time to make changes before it is too late.

When Do You Need a Construction Survey?

Construction surveys are typically required for new residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural building projects. They usually aren’t required for general maintenance projects when no expansion is proposed (i.e. roofing, interior remodeling, residing, etc.).

If you are planning a construction project, it is paramount to determine whether the job site’s governing jurisdiction requires a construction survey before you break ground. But even if you aren’t legally obligated to commission a construction survey, the document is simply too informative to proceed without.

What Is an As-Built Survey?

Whereas a construction survey is created before the project commences, an as-built survey (aka record drawing) is drafted afterward. Instead of its intended layout, an as-built survey formally documents precisely how the project was installed.

In addition to demonstrating that the specifications of the original construction were satisfied, an as-built survey can provide an invaluable point of future reference. Plans are frequently altered during construction projects. An as-built survey accurately documents any changes that were made, which enables the property owner to plan accurate and efficient updates for decades to come. As-built surveys are also crucial to planning the property’s ongoing maintenance needs.

If you are planning construction or a land development project in Minnesota, North Dakota or South Dakota, then you have already discovered your solution to all your surveying needs. Contact Compass Consultants today to schedule service at the site of your upcoming construction project!