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What Are the Different Types of Land Surveys?

There are several different types of land surveys. Determining what kind of survey you need can sometimes be a bit confusing. A land surveying company can help you assess your needs and pick the survey that best fits your needs.

A land survey can make all the difference when you are dealing with a property investment. It is essential to have all the necessary information about your property. Making decisions about a piece of property without all the relevant information will likely result in a bad investment.
Boundary Surveys

A standard boundary survey is one of the simplest land surveys and also the most common. The purpose of this survey is to determine the boundaries of a piece of property. A land surveyor will need to research the history of the property. They will require paperwork and deeds associated with the land, which can help shed light on the actual boundaries.

In addition, your land surveyor will need to perform a physical survey of the property and take measurements.
ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys

An ALTA/NSPS land title survey is one of the most detailed types of land surveys. The requirements for an ALTA/NSPS land survey were created through a joint effort between the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).

ALTA/NSPS land surveys are most often conducted when buying and selling real estate. This survey includes information about all the physical features of the property. These surveys will consist of details about:

    Boundary lines
    Location of all buildings
    Any renovations that have been made to the buildings
    Identification of any easements on the land

Additionally, there is the option to include information about underground structures, building height, square footage, and the location of underground utilities.

These surveys are often required by both mortgage lenders and title companies when you are taking a variety of actions with your property.
Construction Surveys

Construction surveys help with identifying where you can build on a particular piece of land. They are used to assess plans before erecting a structure and ensure that the project can proceed.
Location Surveys

A location survey is a boundary survey that includes additional information, such as details about all additions or improvements made to the property. A location survey is used to ensure that all local zoning laws and property boundaries are respected. This type of survey is required if you are applying for a zoning permit.
Topographic Surveys

A topographic survey identifies and maps out the existing features on the surface of a piece of property. This includes both natural and manufactured features. A topographic survey will identify:

    Natural contours of the land

This list is not exhaustive. Basically, anything that lies upon the surface of a piece of land will be identified in a land survey of that property.
Site-Planning Surveys

A site-planning survey is essentially a hybrid survey combining a boundary and topographic survey. These surveys are used to prepare a site plan for designing building or land developments. A site-planning survey is needed if you are applying for a building permit.
Subdivision Surveys

A subdivision survey is used when dividing a piece of property into multiple parcels. This survey is conducted to ensure that the proposed separate parcels each meet all the governmental requirements for the region.

If a proposed subdivision does not meet the zoning requirements for the area, the plan will be rejected. A subdivision survey can help you determine how many parcels can be created from the larger plot of land.


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