Types of Surveys Carried Out Before Real Estate Development

There are various reasons why you might want to carry out one or more types of surveys before starting a real estate development project. For instance, you might not want to encounter boundary issues once the project is underway. There are different types of surveys developers and investors can commission, all with their own utility. Here are some of the most common ones.

Boundary Surveys

A boundary survey helps establish the limits of a property. It helps map out the boundaries of the property in question which includes taking note of the physical markers that define the boundary. Surveyors also use recorded deeds in addition to other means to establish these boundaries.

In cases where there is adjoining land surrounding the property to be developed, the surveyor or a team of surveyors will do some fieldwork to physically establish where one property ends and the next one starts.

Location Survey

A location survey is similar to a boundary survey, but it has a lot more information added to it. For example, the location survey might include information about the interior improvements already on the land. A location survey is also an important tool for adherence to loan application requirements and local zoning laws.

Underground Utility Surveying and Location

Utility surveys are carried out to find out what utilities lie beneath the land to be developed. These could include drainage and sewer systems, gas and telecommunication lines, fiber optic cables, sewage, water, and power lines. 

Because many of these utility features are buried deep underground, developers and investors need to hire companies that have experience in doing utility surveying and location services. Companies that provide civil design and construction services will carry out surveys before embarking on projects to ensure everything goes smoothly. They can also do standalone utility surveys if developers and investors request them.

Topological Survey

Topological surveys help identify different features on the land to be developed. This survey helps locate features such as embankments, ditches, utilities, and roads. Once the survey is complete, the results are presented in a 3D diagram that shows all the different features the surveyor identified on the property. The 3D scan can also show the physical boundary so that a developer knows the bounds within which to work.

Construction Survey

A construction survey can be confused with a topological survey. While a topological survey identifies where existing features and structures are located, a construction survey identifies where new structures will be built.

The surveyor uses reference points and markers to pinpoint n where features like roads, utilities and different buildings will go. They also undertake vertical and horizontal grading before completing the survey.

Subdividing Surveys

If a developer or investor would like to subdivide the land before starting development, this is the type of survey they need to commission. The survey can also be done so that streets, lots and drainage systems can be accounted for before development starts.

Typically, a developer or investor is required to do more than one survey on a property they wish to develop before they start doing so. There are different types of surveys to carry out, and they need to choose those that align with their needs.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.