Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a Survey?
Who is a Surveyor?
What is a Survey?
When do I need a Survey?
What does a Survey Cost?

*Questions and Answers was provided by the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio, Inc. as a public service.


Why do I need a Survey?
You may require the services of a profressional surveyor someday. Generally the need arises when you buy a home or parcel of land. Since this transaction represents a large and important investment to you and your family, the "Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio" have answered some common questions so you will better understand what a survey is and its importance in protecting your investment.


Who is a Surveyor?
For a person to practice surveying in Ohio, they must be licensed and registered under the laws of the State of Ohio as a Professional Surveyor.

Effective January 1, 1993, a candidate for registration as a Professional Surveyor is required to have either a B.S. Degree in Surveying or a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering with twenty-four (24) quarter hours or equivalent of State Board approved surveying courses. The applicant must then successfully pass two (2) eight-hour examinations to become registered under the laws of the State of Ohio.

Results of every survey must be shown by the surveyor on a plat as required by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors.


What is a Survey?
A survey locates upon the ground that land which your deed describes. The following are some different types of survey:

Boundary Survey: A survey for the express purpose of locating, describing, monumenting and mapping the exact boundaries and corners of a given parcel of land. This involves record and field research, field measurements and computations with the findings shown on a survey plat that is given to the land owner. A description may also be required for purposes of recording a new deed. Minimum Standards of Boundary Surveys in the State of Ohio, Chapter 4733-37 Administrative Code, have been established.

Mortgage Location Survey: A survey which meets the specific needs for title insurance. The survey plat must show particular information discovered from measurements taken at the site, and not necessarily evidenced by public record. Minimum Standards for Mortgage Location Surveys in the State of Ohio, Chapter 4733-38 Administrative Code, have been established.

Subdivision Survey: A survey for the division of any lot or tract of land into smaller lots, with monumentation and a subdivision plat conforming to the governing ordinances including boundary descriptions for new deeds as required.

Topographic Survey: A survey locatin natural and man-made features such as elevations, contours of land, streams, buildings, fences, etc.

A combination of boundary and topographic surveying is used for design and construction of roads, subdivisions, pipelines buildings, etc.


When do I need a Survey?
A survey should be performed when any of the following situations arise:


What does a Survey cost?
The cost of a survey depends on several things including the type of survey needed, the time required to perform the survey, and preparation of necessary plats and descriptions. Some variables which affect the cost of a land survey are:

Terrain and Accessibility: A level, open field is much easier to survey than a wooded, hilly tract of land.

Time of Year: Dense vegetation in summer often restricts the line of sight. Snow in winter may conceal field evidence.

Size and Shape: An irregularly shaped tract of land has more corners and longer perimeter than a square containing the same area.

Field Evidence: The presence of iron monuments, corner stones, etc. in the survey area aid the surveyor; their absence make the survey more difficult.

Deeds: At times the legal description of the property to be surveyed may be vague, incomplete, contradictory, and/or mathematically inaccurate. It may also be necessary to resolve an unrecorded deed, agreement, or easement.

A professional surveyor may furnish their client an estimate of the cost or a range in which the cost of the survey will fall.