What are the steps of a boundary survey?

Step 1:  The need for a boundary survey is determined.

Generally speaking, when a homeowner calls a professional land surveyor the homeowner simply says “I need a survey.”  The State of Connecticut has a wide range of survey types from which to choose depending upon your business needs.  A detailed conversation between the homeowner and the land surveyor can narrow the scope of the type of land survey that is required.

Step 2:  A site visit and land records inspection is conducted and an estimate is provided.

Licensed, professional land surveyors, over time, tend to become familiar with an area and the land records that are available.  This experience allows some professional land surveyors to provide estimates to the landowner via telephone.  However, there is no substitute for an actual site visit and land records inspection prior to providing an estimate.  When comparing the estimates of multiple land surveying companies, be certain you are comparing estimates for the same professional services. 

Step 3:  The work is identified, a fee mutually beneficial to both parties is agreed upon, and a contract is signed.

A contract is essential.  The contract serves to identify what professional services are being provided and quite often identifies what professional services are not being provided.  This allows all parties involved to clearly understand what products and services will be provided at the conclusion of the boundary or property survey.

Step 4:  Detailed land records research is performed.

The professional land surveyor performed preliminary land records research to provide to the client an accurate estimate for the land surveying services described in the contract.  Additional, detailed research is performed on the client’s parcel of land and all of the adjoining land owners.  This research allows the professional land surveyor to determine the location of the client’s parcel relative to the adjoining land owners.  This is a critical component in a performing a boundary or property survey and is what allows the professional land surveyor to provide to the client a professional opinion as to the location of the parcel boundaries.

Step 5:  The survey is executed.

The amount of time a professional land surveyor spends in the field searching for property corners and gathering evidence on which to base his professional opinion as to the location of the parcel boundaries is only one-third to one-half of the work involved in a boundary survey.  Typically, the professional land surveyor spends as much time performing land records research and preparing the final boundary documents as he spends in the field collecting data.

Step 6:  The evidence is evaluated, a professional opinion is taken, and the parcel corners are monumented.

The professional land surveyor must evaluate all of the evidence and data collected in the field prior to taking a professional opinion about the location of the parcel boundaries.  Once the decision is taken, physical monuments such as aluminum posts or iron rebars are set at the property corners.  The property corner is a point on the earth’s surface and the aluminum post or iron rebar is the object which marks the point’s location.  Remember, even if the physical monument is removed, the corner remains.

Step 7:  Survey plats are drawn and a surveyor’s report is written.

The professional land surveyor provides to the client a survey plat which depicts the location of the parcel boundaries, the monuments set at each of the corners, and, depending upon the type of survey executed, the survey plat may show physical features on the parcel such as buildings, driveways, water bodies, etc.  The professional land surveyor’s report is designed to be used hand-in-hand with the survey plat.  The surveyor’s report provides a detailed explanation about how certain aspects of the land survey were performed.  The surveyor’s report may describe the type of instrumentation used on the job, it may have section related to the owner’s chain of title, or it may simply reiterate what is shown on the survey plat.  It should be noted in the contract whether a surveyor’s report will be provided to the client at the conclusion of the land survey.

Step 8:  The survey plat and surveyor’s report are delivered to the client.

The professional land surveyor delivers his survey plat and surveyor’s report to the client at the conclusion of the land survey.  Typically, the land surveyor will review with the client, the work that has been performed, identify any areas of the survey that deserve special attention, and walk the monumented boundaries with the client.


Boundary Consulting Experts, LLC 88 Maplehurst Avenue, New Britain, Connecticut 06053 • 860-826-2900 • Fax: 860-826-0101