Pell City Land Surveying

Welcome to Pell City Land Surveying

chelsea land surveying

Welcome to our site. We want to provide you with information on Land Surveying in general and specifically in the City of Pell City, City of Harpersville, City of Columbiana, and Shelby County, Alabama area.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 you can expect from Pell City 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.

Pell City 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 Pell City Land Surveying?

CALL Pell City Land Surveying TODAY at (205) 618-8876 to discuss your land survey needs. You can also send us a message by going here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Is There a Way to Get a Cheap Land Survey?

cheap land survey

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

This must be one of the most popular questions about land surveying. A lot of people need their property surveyed for one reason or another, but not a lot of us really believe that it’s worth spending a lot of money on.

First, I’d like to point out that a land survey is actually an investment. And when I say “investment”, I mean it’s one of those things that you need to spend good money on so that you don’t spend even more money in the future.

What do I mean?

Let’s say you’re about to buy a house and lot. A friend told you that you better have it surveyed, but you didn’t because 1.) You want to save money 2.) You thought it’s a waste of money and it’s not necessary 3.) You could get away with it. Fast forward a couple of years later, heavy rain poured out and your property was flooded. You had to move out, find a temporary place to stay and replace all your things because they got ruined by the water.

If only you had it surveyed before buying, you would have known that it was prone to flooding and buy someplace else.

The best thing that you can do when buying a house or property is hire a licensed and credible land surveyor. Why? Because a licensed professional land surveyor is the only one who can do a land survey by law. You don’t want an unlicensed individual doing a survey for you. They don’t stand behind their work. They aren’t recognized by the state or the legal profession.

Another tip is to let the surveyor know what you want ahead of time. This will let them give you a more precise quote so you know what to expect. Through this, you can budget your money or find the funds needed to have the survey done.

It’s also important that you sign a contract before the survey starts. This is to protect you from unexpected payments or hidden charges.

Finally, you should be comfortable with talking to your land surveyor and they should be comfortable talking to you.

You will more than likely have questions along the way, so, if they don’t have time for you after the survey is done, you will be on your own.

Never choose your surveyor based on the cheapest price. You wouldn’t consider choosing your doctor this way would you? Well your surveyor is helping you with your single biggest investment you will probably ever have, your home and land.

So, in summary, you can get a cheap survey, but, more than likely, you will get cheap results. Choose a land surveyor wisely.

For land survey in Pell City,AL and the surrounding area, call us at (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by clicking here and filling out our contact form.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

What is Property Encroachment and How to Deal with It

What exactly is property encroachment? Encroachment happens when a certain property steps into the boundary of a neighbouring property.

One of the most common types of encroachment is structural encroachment – this is when a part of a building has stepped over the property line. However, gardening beds as well as fences stepping over the line can be considered an encroachment as well.

Why do encroachments happen? More often than not, an encroachment is an honest mistake. It might be that the previous surveyor miscalculated and thought it was still a part of the neighbouring property, or it could also be a misunderstanding between homeowners and contractors.

There are several ways to deal with encroachments. The easiest way is to politely ask your neighbour to remove the encroachment. This is not usually a big problem if it’s only a flower bed or something else that can easily be removed.

If it’s a fence or a part of a structure, you can strike up an agreement and have the other party pay rent for the part of your property that was encroached. Another option is to sell the “encroached” property to the other party so they’re free to use it.

If you would rather use your property, you can go to court and request for an order of removal instead.

property encroachment

This is exactly why land survey is very important if you’re going to buy a property. When it comes to encroachment, the earlier you address the problem, the better. This is because of the Adverse Possession laws.

This law states that if someone openly uses a piece of property for a certain period of time and pays taxes for it, they could claim possession for the property especially when no one complains about it.

Please note though that each state have different property encroachment laws so it’s best

that you talk to a lawyer and a land surveyor in your area.

For any property encroachment problems or questions about it, call Pell City Land Surveying at 205 618-8876 or send us a message through our contact form.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Subdividing Land: How to Subdivide Your Property

At some point, you might decide to subdivide your property. This usually happens when an individual decides to divide it among family members as a part of their will, or when an individual wants to sell off a part of their property.

So, how do you go about subdividing land?

The first and most crucial step is to make sure that you are allowed to subdivide your land. For example, if your lot is located in an existing subdivision you may be limited to what you can do by the subdivision covenants and restrictions.

If you are in or near the city limits of a municipality then you may be restricted to what you can do by that cities subdivision regulation. Even if the city doesn’t regulate the subdivision of land, the county may. So, in my opinion, the first call should be to a land surveyor who will be familiar with the local subdivision regulations and what you can and can’t do.

subdividing land

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

If subdividing land is permitted, the next step will probably be to have the land surveyed. If you want to divide the land into several parcels of land, you’d have to work with a surveyor to do the measurements as well as stake out the individual lots.

The surveyor will be able to determine the lot size, whether you need to build a street for access, what easements will affect the lots, and other important matters. If the land is not accessible to a common sewer system then the surveyor will also need to conduct soil and percolation testing to determine if the land is suitable for an on-site sewage system.

Once you and your surveyor are done working out a plan of development showing the entire property subdivided into lots, it’s time to plat the property. Again, depending on the local regulations, this may involve meetings with the City or County officials or commissions and possibly the local health department.

After having that approval, the plat should then be filed in the county probate office to inform them that the property is being developed and will be changed from being taxed as acreage to individual lots in the future.

If you’re subdividing a property to sell, each lot should go through a closing process or at least some preparation of deeds for the intended future owners. The plat can be referenced for this process and the surveyor can help with any legal descriptions that are needed.

It is also possible that the new owner will want to know where the property lines are located in order to place a fence or any other improvements on the property. This step should ALWAYS be done before building on the property.

As you can see, when subdividing property, it’s very important that you choose a land surveyor who has experience with these kinds of jobs. The surveyor is important in every step of this process so choose one who has the proper knowledge and experience to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Otherwise, you might have a problem with neighbours, local authorities, health departments, and future land owners. Other than spending money on a new survey, potential buyers might be turned off knowing that there are problems with the transfer of property and that they might run into additional problems in the future.

For more help in subdividing land in Pell City, AL and the surrounding Shelby County areas, call Pell City Land Surveying today at (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by filling out or contact form.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

ALTA Land Title Survey: Its Value for Hotels and Motels

ALTA Land Title Survey

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Hotels, unlike many other businesses, solely rely on a high turnover of clients to survive. There can be a lot of hotels in one place, so they have to compete hard with each other in order to get more clients.

In order to do this, hotels need to constantly upgrade and renovate their facilities in order to remain competitive. With a new structure and possible new technologies, a hotel or a motel business can entice more clients.

Whenever any renovations or additions are made to the structure of a hotel, this requires funding. Commercial lenders typically require an ALTA land title survey may completed on the property and premises.

What is an ALTA Land Title Survey?

This type of survey is completed based on the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements and Accuracy Standards for ALTA/ ACSM Land Title Surveys. The guidelines for performing this survey are regularly revised by a combination of Title industry and Surveying industry professionals. The newest document is the 2011 revision.

An ALTA title survey is a lot like a boundary or a lot survey except that it’s stricter in terms of the requirements placed on the land surveyor as he or she carries out the survey in both field and office.

One of the biggest problems when upgrading a hotel (or motel) or building a new one is meeting the number of parking spaces required by local zoning codes. These zoning codes change regularly. So much so that about anytime an upgrade is done, the requirements have probably increased.

Other planning and zoning ordinances are also important. Landscaping changes, signage requirements, maybe even the zoning itself has changed. If another use is proposed, say a hotel wants to add a restaurant or bar.

These are changes that would require lots of approvals by the zoning and planning boards of most cities. An ALTA land title survey can be used to identify these new or changed requirements.

Another item that has come up recently in a lot of areas is that flood zones have encroached on areas formerly not expected to flood. This is because of more detailed studies that have been done in the past.

Increased government spending has allowed these studies to be undertaken across the nation. It would be prudent for a commercial lender to question whether a hotel or motel is located within a special flood hazard area.

Knowing that the zoning and planning conditions, as well as other physical conditions change over time, the most prudent step for a commercial lender on a hotel or motel project, or any commercial project for that matter, is to have an ALTA Land Title Survey completed by a licensed professional land surveyor.

For more questions regarding ALTA Land Title Survey, give us a call at (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by clicking here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

How Important is Land Surveying in Today’s World?

land surveying

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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.

The Many Uses of Land Surveying

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 Pell City Land Surveying at (205) 618-8876 today or go to the Contact page and send us an email.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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).

How much does land surveying cost?

If you need to have a piece of land surveyed, first thing that 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 a free land surveying quote, call Pell City Land Surveying at (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by going here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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 (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by clicking here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Land Surveying History

land surveyingLand surveying is about one of the oldest professions in 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 that 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 (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by clicking here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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 (205) 618-8876 or send us a message by going here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter