Roanoke Land Surveying

Welcome to Roanoke Land Surveying

roanoke land surveying

Welcome to our site. We want to provide you with information on Land Surveying in general and specifically in the Roanoke, Randolph County area of Alabama.If you have any land surveying questions, you’ve come to the right place.

Land Surveying is a very important industry, and it has been around for ages. To know more about the basics of land surveying, you can click here.

Land Surveyors are professionals who measure and make precise measurements to determine the size and boundaries of a piece of real estate.  While this is a simplistic definition, this is one of the most common types of surveying related to home and land owners. To know more about what a land surveyor does, click here.

What to expect from Roanoke Land Surveying

If you need assistance on any land surveying services, we are the best people to help you out. We give nothing but the best service, and we have the best deals in town.

Roanoke Land Surveying offers different land surveying services. We also offer Boundary surveying, Percolation surveying, Septic System Design, Subdivision Design, Topo Surveying and House Site Plans.

How to contact Roanoke Land Surveying?

CALL Roanoke Land Surveying TODAY at 256-854-9503 to discuss your land survey needs.

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Using GPS to Track You – Is It Real?

gps tracking roanoke

photo courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Many have heard of “Big Brother” being able to track our movements. One of my favorite TV shows is “Person of Interest” where a secret machine keeps track of all conversations and people’s “criminal intent” in order to help the heroes stop the crimes before they happen.

While I’m SURE that there are tracking capabilities in most cell phones and different government agencies CAN track our locations, we might be a ways away them being able to determine criminal intent.  But there IS a recent application in England that I found very interesting.

Nestle (yes, the chocolate company) is placing GPS Trackers in six KIT KAT bars in their aptly named “We’ll Find You” marketing campaign in the UK. When the person opens the package it notifies KIT KAT and the prize delivery team will find them within 24 hours and present them with a check for £10,000 (about $16,000.) See the article here.

Just about all new type cell phones, all smart phones, iPads and other tablets, lots of cars (more than you think), public transportation vehicles, golf carts, and watches have GPS devices in them now days. Another place they are, and rightly so, are in ankle monitors used by law enforcement.

But, what you might not realize is that the electronic devices mentioned above can work just like the ankle monitor. Now, while it is true that you can disable the GPS tracking device in your cell phone or tablet, that doesn’t give all of us complete comfort in walking around with these devices on us.

Now, I’m not trying to be a conspiracy wonk here, but it is POSSIBLE that this could be taken advantage of by well-meaning agencies. And, as we know, law enforcement can make mistakes in identifying the correct suspect.  Of course, we WANT emergency services to be able to find us if and when we need their service, so this is a double edged sword. Most of us probably have nothing to worry about in this regard, but if you worry about this sort of thing, it could keep you up at night.

Even as a licensed land surveyor, having used GPS technology in land surveying for almost 20 years, I still trust them more than I should. One example is when I was in an unfamiliar town my GPS navigation device told me to take a “road” to the right. I slowed down and attempted to turn but it was a power line.  Not wanting to believe that Gizell was wrong (yes I named her), I went to the next street and turned and tried to find the “road” further back.

I ended up driving down the sandy power line, which turned into a bike lane until I was finally stopped by a gate. As I backed down the bike lane looking for a turn-around spot I thought, “maybe this wasn’t a road and maybe my GPS device is fallible.” Of course, I soon justified Gizell by recalling that a human had to “digitize” the roads in and she just did what they programmed her to do.

If you need to turn off your GPS tracking device in order to sleep tonight, call your device’s customer service line and stay away from KIT KAT bars. If you would like to find out how GPS surveying technology can help you in surveying your property boundary, call a Licensed Land Surveyor at Roanoke Land Surveying at 256-854-9503.

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I Didn’t Know I Was Encroaching Onto My Neighbor’s Property – Help!

Let’s say you’ve been living in your house for quite some time now. You love the place, you love the neighborhood and you just love everything about it.

For some reason, your next door neighbor decided to have his property surveyed. Alas, his surveyor concluded that part of your property is actually your neighbor’s and that you’ve been encroaching all along.

What are your options?

There are several ways to handle this, and it really depends on what you and your neighbor agree upon.

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

First, your neighbor can sell you that portion of the property. If you can afford it, this is the best solution especially when there’s a structure in the area we’re talking about. You don’t have to lose it (not to mention you also spent money having it constructed), and your neighbor wouldn’t have to spend money demolishing it. It’s a win-win situation.

Another option is to have you rent it. Some people actually agree to do this, but it can be expensive. Imagine paying monthly for a part of your neighbor’s property for years. And, then, if they move, you have a new landlord for that area.

If there’s no structure on the area, or if it’s only minor such as a fence or a flower bed, the simplest thing might be to move anything in that area. You can move your fence back so that it’s not encroaching or have your flower bed completely removed.

Now, what if the area in question is your driveway? Does your neighbor have the right to block it after finding out that it’s actually still a part of their property? Maybe.

In order for you to still be able to use the driveway, you should consult an attorney for the next steps. You should take a copy of a survey with the driveway shown on it with you. This will save the attorney time, and you money. (Attorneys charge much more than surveyors.)

This may mean you need to get your own surveyor to re-survey the area. Your neighbor’s surveyor may give you a copy of the survey, but, sometimes it pays to have this checked by your own surveyor.

Property boundaries are not like a math problem where 2+2 always equals 4. There is a certain amount of “professional opinion” and sometimes there’s a disagreement about the boundary location. If this is the case, ask your surveyor to speak to the neighbor’s surveyor to try to work things out first. If that fails, then go to the attorney.

In case your surveyor finds out that the driveway is indeed a part of your property and not your neighbor’s, you might need to take your case to court. You must also make sure that the surveyor you hire is willing and qualified to be an expert witness since he will be called into court to talk about the survey results. The surveyor should also be able to explain clearly why they placed the line where it was.

Got a problem with property encroachment in the Roanoke, Randolph County of Alabama, call Roanoke Land Surveying at (256) 854-9503 or click here to fill out our contact form.

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How Important is Land Surveying in Today’s World?

land surveying

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Most of you have probably never thought about land surveying until you needed it at some point. Many of us hear about land surveying all the time but never really give it much thought.

Since an investment in land and/or a home will likely be the largest investment you will ever make in your lifetime, knowing where your property lines are becomes very important indeed.

The art of land surveying was developed centuries ago. In fact, it’s one of the oldest professions in the world. The fact that it was used by man at such an early time and is still being used now shows how important surveying is to our survival.

Surveying land has many uses. Boundary surveying, for instance, allows you to know where your property corners or property lines are. This is especially helpful when disputes with a neighbour or with other people arise in terms of where your property ends.

If your family wants to divide a tract of land and transfer ownership to other family members, a boundary survey is the first step to do so. If you’re having a building constructed, it is very important that you have the land surveyed to make sure that you are not encroaching onto other peoples’ property.

A mistaken building location is very expensive to fix so you might as well invest in a boundary survey to prevent this.

A topographic survey, or topo survey for short, is another important type of land surveying. A topo survey is done to locate natural and man-made features on a particular parcel of land.

A topographic survey is different in that the elevation of the land is surveyed which means it can show man-made underground features, retaining walls, utility lines and etc.

Before you start any kind of construction activity, it’s important to have a topo survey done in the area so they’ll have an accurate record of the land’s existing conditions. Yes, that spot with the new mall in the neighbourhood had to have a topo survey done first.

Now, a flood survey or flood determination – this is very important too. It isn’t evident just looking at a property whether you are at risk of flooding or not. And, in some cases, even looking at the flood maps doesn’t give you an accurate answer.

The flood survey determines the elevation of the home and compares that to the base flood elevation. This is the only way to be sure you’re not in a flood hazard zone. If you’ve just been told that you live in a flood-prone area, having that confirmed by a professional land surveyor would let you know how to best proceed.

When getting flood insurance, insurance companies would require an elevation certificate from you. A land surveyor would be able to assist you with this.

If a company wants to invest in another state, or if there is a national lender on a commercial project, they will likely need an ALTA Land Title Survey done before anything is constructed.

An ALTA Land Title Survey is a lot like a regular boundary survey except that nationally accepted ALTA Standards are used to guide the surveying effort.

Land surveying standards vary widely from state to state and an ALTA Land Title Survey is used to cut down on this variation. Also, an ALTA Land Title Survey typically is more involved than the state standards variety.

Because of this, an ALTA survey can be more anywhere from 50% to 200% more expensive than using the state standards only. If you need this type of survey, I suggest seeking an experienced land surveying company who is familiar with these additional requirements.

In summary, there are many uses for a land survey and for seeking the services of a land surveyor. If you’re unsure of your situation, consult Roanoke Land Surveying at 256-854-9503 today or go to the Contact page and send us an email.

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Land Surveying: Estimating the Cost

land surveying

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Land surveying, in a nutshell, is the art and science of establishing or re-establishing property corners, property lines and/or boundaries. There can be different reasons why someone needs a lot surveyed.

One of the common would be to see whether a piece of land is vulnerable to flooding, to subdivide a property to sell or deed to relatives or to determine if there are any encroachments. This may happen when a neighbour disputes that you are using a piece of his lot or viceversa (for more on this, read this page).

If you need to have a piece of land surveyed, first thing may come to mind is “how much does it cost?”

There are many factors determining how much land surveying on your land would cost. The fact that this sort of service should be done by an expert contributes a lot to the overall cost of the service, but choosing a non-professional to survey your land is dangerous, and possibly illegal for the non-professional.

For this reason you should to take a good look around before settling with a surveying company. If you must work inside a particular budget, discuss this with the surveyor up-front. Many times he might manage to offer cost saving steps to get the work you need done within these cost limits.

The shape of the land should also be considered. A square or even a rectangle piece of land is somewhat easier to survey than an odd shaped parcel, or one with many different sides.

With the latter, the surveyor is required to spend more time in surveying the curves and the bends which means the cost of the service would increase. The overall measurements the land is also key factor here.

Remember that the cost of land surveying is usually proportionate to the time and effort that the land surveyor would spend on the project. If the land that you’re having surveyed isn’t accessible, or has thick vegetation, then the total price of the survey might go higher.

This is true of the weather conditions which might impact the work. Surveying in hot weather is somewhat slower to keep from putting the crew members at risk. Also, most surveying can’t be done in the rain.

When asking for a quote, bear in mind surveyors base the estimate on expected conditions at the site. These conditions could change, bringing about additional costs. Always ask about these potential additional cost scenarios.

All that being said, competitive prices are also to be expected, which is why we recommend choosing a surveyor according to his experience and reputation instead of on the price he writes on a piece of paper. Mostly it is far better to spend a good amount of money on a survey that’s well-done rather than select a company with a very “affordable” price but have the survey repeated because the results were wrong.

To sum up, it is best to discuss the expenses of the survey prior to ask the surveyor to begin with his work. It’s also advisable to receive a contract that lets you understand what is expected of the land surveyor. This is one of the most important steps in getting your land surveyed.

For your land surveying needs, call us at 256-854-9503 or send us a message by clicking here.

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Land Surveying: Ethics of a Land Surveyor

land surveyorNot a lot of people realize that land surveying is actually a fusion of art and science. Yes, different equipments are available for the surveyor’s use, but the land surveyor still has the last say on the results.

Despite this though, a land surveyor still has several guidelines to follow. If you’ve had an experience with a dishonest surveyor, or are wary about hiring one, this article should be able to help you out.

What ethics should a land surveyor follow?

A surveyor should always start a project with fairness in mind. Your client as well as everybody party involved in the project is expecting you to be fair and just so make the best possible assessment with the evidences handed to you.

Before a project commences, the surveyor assigned to the project should come forward if there’s a possibility of conflict of interest. This is very important to preserve their relationship with the client. A surveyor should avoid professional impropriety by declaring involvement or any prior affiliations with any of the involved parties. It is also the surveyor’s responsibility to keep any information regarding the project as well as the client confidential even after the project is done.

Several cases were reported where the surveyor overcharged the client. This usually happens when the client doesn’t know anything about land surveying. A land surveyor running his business with ethics will never do this. Fortunately, there are more honest land surveyors than dishonest ones.

A surveyor should charge a project according to the length of time needed to get it done as well as the level of technical complexity required for it. For the surveyor’s sake as well as the client, one should never sign plans, certificates or reports unless these are personally supervised by him. Not only is this unfair on the client’s side, doing so could put his reputation in danger should the results get disputed and he doesn’t know anything about them.

Just like with other industries, a land surveyor should never undermine the capability of other surveyors or the people from the land surveying industry.

New technologies come up for land surveying all the time. When a surveyor knows that a project is beyond his skills, he should tell the client about it. There’s no sense accepting a project only to come up with a subpar result. It will only hurt your business and your reputation.

Surveyors should also be responsible enough to study, do a thorough research, practice and utilize his skills before offering clients a new service. If a surveyor is new to flood determination, for instance, then he needs to make sure that he knows how to perform it before offering it to his clients.

Surveyors do not work alone. They usually have a staff to support them. The land surveyor needs to be responsible for their actions at all cost, for actions or work carried out by them.

If you need assistance looking for a land surveyor, call us at 256-854-9503 or send us a message by clicking here.

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Land Surveying History

land surveyingLand surveying is about the oldest professions on this planet. After man has decided that a portion of land should be owned by a tribe, the demand for surveying began.

Land surveying is fascinating. The strategies used try to decide which part of land belongs to whom, hopefully ending arguments forever.

In short, surveying is a process using mathematical ways to survey land.

A bit of land surveying history

The very first accounts of surveying land starts back to ancient Egypt. Experts discovered evidences which the ancient Egyptians used basic geometry to redraw the lines of boundary when the Nile River overflowed. An Egyptian land register going back 3000 BC was found.

Following Egyptians, the Romans – also about the most powerful civilizations from the ancient world – practiced land surveying. They took it one step further and made “land surveyor” a certified position in the Empire. They were called agrimensores, often called Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum. Though they used rather simple tools, they were very thorough with their jobs and would create straight lines and correct angles with the use of these tools. As soon as the lines were measured, they would create shallow ditches to mark the lines. In fact, some of the furrows they created remain today.

One of the recorded land surveying of the “modern” times is that of William the Conqueror who wrote the Domesday Book in 1086. This book is really a directory of names of land owners, the quantity of land they owned and also other information about the land. Whilst it was a fabulous volume of information during this time, the bits of information were not 100% correct. The locations were not accurate and the maps were not made to scale.

One among history’s greatest icons have also been an ardent surveyor – Napoleon Bonaparte. The interest in surveying land was really just a product of his want to conquer the entire world. Napoleon Bonaparte founded a registry called cadastre. This consists of a registry of properties of a county, ownership details, locations and as much information about the land’s value. Yes, Napoleon Bonaparte can be viewed a land surveyor – plus a very smart man.

The ways used in land surveying also have evolved over the centuries, over time. Long ago, people would use anything that might help them determine the length from one point to another. This implies using chains with links and even ropes. Not surprisingly, this didn’t give accurate results but they didn’t have the technology we’ve got in those days.

Today, land surveyors enjoy the best technologies to help them with their job. There’s GPS, or Global Positioning System, which is among the most accurate technologies used today. Total stations are also vital to a land surveyor, which employs the usage of an EDM or Electronic Distance Measurement device together with a theodolite that allows for further precise angle and distance measurements.

For your land surveying needs, call us today at 256-854-9503 or send us a message by clicking here.

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Why You SHOULD Have a Land Survey Completed Before Purchasing Land?

The importance of a land survey

Buying land, whether commercial or residential, is always a really expensive endeavor, regardless if prices have eased somewhat lately. That’s why selecting a lot which you like and making an agreement for it without performing a land survey within the area is likely to be the greatest mistake that one could make.

Here’s why it’s crucial that you have land surveying done first:

land surveyLand surveyors can evaluate if you’re actually getting what you’re likely to pay for. This simply means uncover whether the sidewalks, trees, driveways and even the bird bath is part of the property you’re gonna buy. Land surveying would also check if the neighbors are encroaching into the property, which might then mean you’re going to have problems at some point with your neighbors. Having a land surveyor doesn’t only mean they evaluate which you’re getting or otherwise not getting – land surveyors are the experts, and they can help with building regulations, wetland regulations, etc. Note that that these regulations can change anytime, but land surveyors should be updated on these regulations, or they’re going to refer you to a person who is.

Let’s suppose the existing landowner (the one selling the land) supply you with old land survey documents? You should still hire your very own land surveyor to determine if the boundary monuments continue to be in place. Also, land surveying done quite a while back will possibly not show recent changes to the land. When the existing survey is older than about 10 years, you must get the most current survey. Technology and surveying standards are significantly better now and may provide you more confidence in the survey work.

Second, that survey was completed for that owner. He could have instructed the surveyor not to show specific factors on the drawing. At least have a land surveyor get out there and look at the parcel with this particular survey in hand. We have witnessed numerous cases where a whole new land survey would save the customer thousands so don’t become a victim.

I’ve heard many individuals say having a land surveyor is nothing but unnecessary expense. I’ll show you what’s unnecessary: the worry brought on by paying thousands for something and finding yourself not getting what you were expecting. If you’re smart, you’d hire a licensed land surveyor prior to any land purchases.

For any questions about land survey and how it can help you, call us at 256-854-9503or send us a message by going here.

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Why You’d Need Land Surveying

Call Roanoke Land Surveying today at 256-854-9503 for more information concerning your land and boundary surveying needs.

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Tips on Hiring a Land Surveyor

Land surveyor at workHiring a land surveyor means paying them good money, which is why we need to make sure that we get the best service in return. We need to make sure that we only get the best service, as I’m sure you don’t want to pay good money and not get the service that you’re expecting.

If you’re looking to hire the service of a land surveyor, here are some guidelines that you may want to keep in mind.

Hiring a Land Surveyor:

Start by looking for land surveying companies in your area. Knowing your options allow you to choose the best. Checking the internet, the yellow pages and the newspaper is a very good way to start. Make sure to make a list of the companies’ contact information since you’d need to make contact with them later.

Licensed Land Surveyor

Only deal with licensed land surveyors, so ask to see their license before hiring them. If possible, ask for a copy and authenticate it. Furthermore, check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints the company might have against them.

Another important thing to remember is to hire a land surveyor whom you’re at ease working with. To find out, meet with the person. Study how he answers your questions and how he talks to you and you’d be able to determine if you’re comfortable with him. Aside from this, you’d also be able to gauge how knowledgeable he is by the way he answers your questions.

Contract Signing with a Land Surveyor

Read and understand every bit of the contract before signing it. Some people overlook the fine print, but make sure that you don’t. Make sure that there are no hidden charges, and that will be getting all the services that you’ll be paying for. Signing a contract makes a person legally bounded to it, so you have to fully understand what you’re signing up for to prevent any problems in the future.

As long as you get the best value for your money by hiring someone who will give you what you paid for, hiring a land surveyor shouldn’t be any problem.

Call Roanoke Land Surveying today at 256-854-9503 for more information concerning your land and boundary surveying needs.

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Basics of a Land Survey or Boundary Survey

Boundary Surveying | Land Survey | Property Survey Both land surveying and boundary surveying dates back in ancient history to the Egyptians who surveyed farm sites along the Nile River. Surveying is used for many reasons today.  Land surveying or boundary surveying is done to establish a specific location of a parcel of land along with its exact acreage.  It is used to determine the boundaries of an area of ownership.  It is also used to identify a piece of property by a written legal description or to provide a review of the accuracy of an existing description. This data is of the utmost importance with regard to buying and selling land, and is also used to insure a clear title to the land.Here’s a little more about boundary surveying.

There are many different kinds of surveys that can be performed. Boundary surveying is typically done for undeveloped land. A lot survey or closing survey is typically done to re-establish the boundary of a previously established parcel of land.  These types of surveys measure the actual physical extent of the property in question. Most surveys progress through the basic procedures regardless of the type being done.

Any pertinent deeds, contracts, maps or other documents that contain a description of the property’s boundaries are located, studied and interpreted. A determination is made of what the actual property description says, along with the locations of any physical evidence of the boundaries.This can be in the form of both natural and man-made monuments or markers that exist in the field. The property is then measured to establish the boundary, not only using the appropriate existing monuments but with setting new markers where necessary.Measurements are accomplished using a total station and other surveying tools. A total station measures both vertical and horizontal angles, as used in triangulation networks. After these steps are accomplished, the property description and plat are prepared.

Boundary Surveying: Interpreting results

Interpreting the results of boundary surveying is not as difficult as it may first seem. For instance, a property plat will usually contain a directional orientation which is typically indicated with an arrow pointing north.It will contain the bearing and distance of each boundary line, the property lines of other properties shown on the plat, and the names of adjacent property owners listed in the areas of their property. Corner monuments, along with the names of any natural monuments (such as “Smith’s Creek”, for example) or a brief description of any unnamed natural monuments (such as the “30-inch oak tree”) are on the plat. There is also a title block containing the property’s location and owner name, the land surveyor’s name and license number, the date the survey was performed, the scale of the plat and any other relevant data.

Boundary Surveying Services

If you need the services of a land surveyor, ALWAYS be sure that you’re hiring an experienced, licensed, and highly competent professional surveyor. You can find out if the surveyor is licensed by visiting the Board of Licensure’s website.

Call Roanoke Land Surveying today at 256-854-9503 for more information concerning your land and boundary surveying needs.

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