Helpful Hints

Communication between the Professional Land Surveyor and the client is vital to the success of your project and to your satisfaction with the finished product. Listed below are steps you can take to minimize any difficulties that you may have when hiring a land surveyor.

  1. ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING. A written contract is a protection both to you and to the surveyor. It should detail services required and an accounting of the fee you pay, be it hourly or lump sum.
  2. LEARN THE BASICS. This web site and its links are one source of information; others include the North Carolina Society of Surveyors, State Board offices and other Professional Land Surveyors.
  3. ASK QUESTIONS. Talk to individuals at several companies before selecting a land surveyor. They should attempt to answer your questions fully and may give references to others.
  4. GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME. A small lot survey may take only a few days, but many surveying firms line up work several weeks in advance. Large or complex projects may take many weeks to complete.
  5. UNDERSTAND THE LIMITATIONS OF THE SURVEYOR. One of the most difficult concepts for many to understand is that the Professional Land Surveyor cannot arbitrarily move boundaries. We can provide a professional opinion as to the location of a disputed boundary, set proposed corners for boundary line agreements (in certain circumstances) and set corners for new subdivision of existing tracts of land, but the land surveyor can't guarantee the outcome of a land dispute.
  6. HAVE BASIC INFORMATION READY. If available, have your Parcel Identification Number (the PIN is probably on your property tax assessment) for the tract of land in question. Also helpful is a specific deed reference that shows a metes and bounds description or a reference to a recorded plat.
  7. DO YOU NEED YOUR BOUNDARY LINES MARKED? A common misunderstanding between surveyor and client: Many clients think that line marking is a mandatory practice; meanwhile, surveyors tend to assume that the client knows otherwise. While the Standards of Practice for Land Surveying in North Carolina clearly state that "�metal stakes or materials of comparable permanence shall be placed at all corners�," staking long boundary lines or blazing trees along wooded boundaries is generally considered to be an additional item not covered in the cost of a "standard" boundary survey. If you have reason to require stakes or irons set along boundary lines, make sure that your surveyor understands your request.