Why do I need a land surveyor? Can’t I just measure it myself?

There are a number of services that only a licensed Professional Surveyor is allowed to provide, specifically those related to the location of property boundaries. If you are adding on to your home or building a home from scratch, you will need the services of a licensed land surveyor if your local municipality requires a boundary survey. If your property line is in dispute, you will need a licensed land surveyor to determine the actual boundary of your property. In either case, only a Professional Land Surveyor is qualified to stamp a boundary survey map and get it recorded with your local agency.

Generating a map based on a boundary survey is a much more complicated process than just measuring your property. Before a survey crew steps foot on your property, a surveyor has conducted extensive research to find existing legal documents affecting the title of your property, the recorded maps and documents that created your property, and survey markers in the vicinity of your property. The survey is conducted by a crew made up of professionals who are educated in measurement and advanced math and who need to make complex calculations using sophisticated equipment. Once the survey is complete, a complex analysis of the field work is performed to ensure the quality of the data. A licensed land surveyor needs to check (and double check) every point before the map can be stamped and submitted to be recorded as a legal document. The stamp of a licensed land surveyor imparts their professional opinion about the location of your property boundary lines.

Why hire a Professional Land Surveyor?

A Professional Land Surveyor has gone to school, passed a 12-hour exam, has years of professional experience and is an expert in measurement and the legal aspects of boundaries. Also, a licensed land surveyor can help you navigate the complex process of getting your map approved and recorded. Finally, in case of a problem down the road, you will want to have someone you can call to back up the work you paid for and assist you in court, if necessary. Only a licensed land surveyor can be called as an expert witness in the event of a boundary dispute.

Photo credit: Schwede66 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0