Frequently asked Questions


What is Land Surveying?

Land surveying is the art and science of establishing or re-establishing corners, lines, boundaries and monuments of real property (land), based upon recorded documents, historical evidence and present standards of practice.

Land surveying also includes subdivision planning and design, writing legal descriptions, mapping and construction layout.

Why do I need a Registered Professional Land Surveyor?

A Professional Land Surveyor renders a highly technical service in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, codes and court decisions set forth by local, county, state and federal authorities.

Because of the special skills and complexities involved in land surveying, the laws of the State of Washington provide that only registered Professional Land Surveyors may engage in the practice of land surveying.

What do I look for when hiring a surveyor?

First and foremost the surveyor must be registered with the State of Washington as a Professional Land Surveyor. Like many professions, cost is not the sole indicator of the quality of service that will be provided. Only select a land surveyor that you are confident has the necessary facts and thorough awareness of your needs and the requirements of local governmental agencies.

What will a survey cost?

Most survey work is billed at an hourly rate. There are many variables which affect the cost of a survey. Some factors are:

  • Type of survey required
  • Existing conditions and features
  • Legal description of the property
  • Available record information
  • Existing monumentation
  • Experience and knowledge of the area

Because of the varying conditions and requirements, it may be difficult to determine the exact amount of time necessary to complete a survey. However, based on general experience, the surveyor can usually furnish a realistic estimate prior to commencing work on a project. The lowest cost fee is not always in the best interest of the client or the land surveyor. A well prepared survey will be the least expensive part of your total land investment cost.

When should a property be surveyed?

  • When property is sold or purchased.
  • When property, ownership disputes arise.
  • Before designing or constructing major improvements such as buildings, roads, fences, landscaping, etc.
  • When property is subdivided into parcels for sale or development.
  • When the location of property boundaries or corners is uncertain.
  • When property trespass or encroachment is evidenced or suspected.

What information should I furnish the surveyor?

The surveyor needs to know why you are in need of a survey. Do you want your corners established? Do you need line stakes set for fencing? Are you going to make major improvements on your property that would require a detailed topographic survey?

A property survey is made based on the legal description. You may be asked to provide the legal description, County Assessor's Tax account number and your address. In some cases a Title Report from a title insurance company will be required.

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