Property Survey or Land Survey
When you contact licensed professional land surveyors to obtain proposals for performing the work, you need to know all of the tasks that are to be performed. The surveyor should be able to assist you in developing a scope of work, but it is helpful to know a bit about the process before you get started. Not all surveys are created equal. Don’t be seduced into immediately engaging the surveyor that offers the cheapest price.
The New Jersey Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (PE/PLS Board) has established the minimum standards for performing a land survey. They are codified in N.J.A.C. 13:40-5.1. Additionally, the municipality will have created a checklist of requirements for site plans and subdivisions that are to be submitted for Planning or Zoning Board review. These are generally more extensive than the requirements established by the PE/PLS Board. If you are building something other than a one- or two-family dwelling it is likely that you will need to meet these checklist requirements.
The Professional Land Surveyor is charged with the review of historical documents such as deeds, filed maps, surveys, and more, prior to embarking on a field survey. After obtaining as much background information as possible, the surveyor will go to the site to locate evidence of ownership. This evidence is included but not limited to: monuments (both natural and man-made), buildings, fences, hedges, utilities, streets, curbs and sidewalks. Upon review of both the legal documents and the measurements made in the field, the surveyor will prepare a plan of survey. This plan will show the surveyor’s opinion about the size, shape and location of your property. It will also depict the site features that were included in the scope of work.
Once you have received and reviewed the finished survey documents, you are ready to proceed to preliminary design.