Welcome to Oxford Land Surveying

Oxford Land Surveying

Oxford Land SurveyingThis site is intended to provide you with information on Land Surveying in the Oxford & Anniston, AL and Calhoun County area of Alabama . If you’re looking for an Oxford Land Surveyor, you’ve come to the right site.

If you’d rather talk to someone about your land surveying needs, please call  256-733-1733 today. For more information, please continue to read.

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, boundary surveying is one of the most common types of surveying related to home and land-owners. If you fall into one of the following categories, please click on the appropriate link for more information on that subject:

  • I need to know where my property corners or property lines are. (Boundary Survey)
  • I have a loan closing or re-finance coming up on my home in a subdivision. (Lot Survey)
  • I need a map of my property with contour lines to show elevation differences for my architect or engineer. (Topo Survey)
  • I’ve just been told I’m in a flood zone or I ‘ve been told I need an elevation certificate in order to obtain flood insurance or prove I don’t need it. (Elevation Certificate)
  • I’m purchasing a lot/house in a recorded subdivision. (Lot Survey – See Boundary Survey)
  • I’m purchasing a larger tract of land, acreage, that hasn’t been subdivided in the past. (Boundary Survey)
  • I need a survey of a commercial or multi-family site that meets the ALTA Land Title Survey requirements. (ALTA Survey)

If your needs don’t fall into one of the above, don’t worry, we’ll get to the bottom of it. CALL Oxford Land Surveying TODAY at 256-733-1733 OR better yet, fill out a Contact Form request to discuss your survey needs.

Locating Property Pins for Land Surveying

A lot of land surveying jobs are done to determine a property’s boundary. In order to do this, a surveyor surveys the property and then puts markers on the boundary line called “monuments”.

There are two kinds of monuments – the natural and the artificial.

Natural monuments include trees, large stones or anything made by nature that was already in place before the surveying was done.

Artificial monuments, on the other hand, include pins, stakes or concrete monuments. These are all put in place by human – whether the surveyor, owner or somebody else who meant it to mark the property’s corner. Property pins are also called property markers, surveyor or survey stakes. Property pins for land surveying comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, depending on the year they were put in.

property corners for land surveyingCenturies ago, surveyors use wooden stakes, gun barrels, mounds of stones and even whiskey bottles. These does not always hold up and can be moved by people, animals or even nature. Because of this, there can be a lot of conflict between old and recent land surveys on a specific property.

The more recent artificial monuments include rods or pipes with an affixed plastic cap over the top. The cap usually bears the responsible surveyor’s name and license number. This does not only let people know that they’re there to mark the property’s boundary but since it has the responsible surveyor’s name and license number, he’s easier to find/ contact in case another survey is done and the new surveyor gets a different result.

In asphalt or concrete areas, surveyors use nails or aluminum alloy caps to establish or re-establish boundary corners.

When placing property pins for land surveying, it’s very important that they are durable and stable. Monuments are meant to stay forever so re-establishment of the boundary corners in the future becomes easier.

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 Oxford Land Surveying at (256) 733-1733 today or go to the Contact page and send us an email.

Land Surveying: Estimating the Cost

land surveying

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Land surveying, to put it briefly, is the science and art of establishing or re-establishing property corners, property lines and/or boundaries. There could be different reasons why someone wants a chunk of property surveyed.

The single most common is to evaluate if a piece of land is vulnerable to flooding, to subdivide real estate to sell or deed to family members or determine if there are any encroachments. This might happen if a neighbour disputes that you’re using a piece of his lot or viceversa (for more about this, read this page).

The Cost of Land Surveying

If you have to have a chunk of property surveyed, first thing will come to mind is “how much would it cost?”There are numerous factors determining how much land surveying on your land would cost. The fact that this type of service must be performed by a professional contributes a lot to the overall cost of the service, but choosing a non-professional to survey your land is dangerous and probably illegal for the non-professional.

This is why you ought to take a good look around before settling with a surveying company. If you must work within a particular budget, discuss this with the surveyor up-front. Often he may be able to offer cost saving steps to get the work you need done within these cost limits.

The shape of the land also needs to be considered. A square or a rectangle piece of land is somewhat quicker to survey than an odd shaped parcel, or one with many different sides. With the latter, the surveyor will have to take more time in surveying the curves and the bends which means the cost of the service would go higher. The actual size of the land is also key factor here.

Keep in mind that the cost of land surveying will likely be proportionate to the time and effort that the land surveyor would spend on the project. If the land that you’re having surveyed is not accessible, or has thick vegetation, then the total price of the survey might go higher.

This is true of the climate conditions which could affect the work. Surveying in hot weather is somewhat slower to keep from putting the crew members in danger. Also, most surveying cannot be done in the rain.

When getting a quote, bear in mind that 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, this is why we recommend selecting a surveyor in accordance with his experience and reputation rather than on the price he writes on a piece of paper.

Mostly it is far better to invest a good amount of money on a survey that’s well-done rather than choose a company with a very “affordable” price but have the survey repeated because the results were wrong.

To sum up, it is recommended to discuss the expenses of the survey before you ask the surveyor to get started on his work. It’s also wise 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) 733-1733 or send us a message by going here.

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 types of equipment 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 any experience with a dishonest surveyor, or are wary about hiring one, this article should be able to help you out.

Land Surveyor Ethics

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

Before a project commences, the surveyor assigned to the project should reveal if there is a possibility of conflict of interest. This is very important to preserve the 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 or where the land surveyor didn’t clearly explain the scope of work and expected fees. A well worded and agreed on contract will solve 90 percent of these complaints. A land surveyor running his business ethically will seek to limit these types of issues. Fortunately, there are more honest land surveyors than dishonest ones.

A surveyor should charge for 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 the surveyors’ reputation and license in danger.

Just like with other industries, a land surveyor should never malign the character of other surveyors or professionals. That being said, I have given the number of the State Board of Licensure to a number of land owners in the past. This is the proper venue for complaints against a surveyor or engineer.

New technologies are developed 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 thorough research, practice and hone 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.

For assistance finding a land surveyor, call us at (256) 733-1733 or send us a message by clicking here.

Land Surveying History

land surveyingLand surveying is probably the oldest professions in the world. From that time man has decided that a part of land should be owned by a tribe, the necessity for surveying began.

Land surveying is fascinating. The methods used aim to determine which portion of land is owned by whom, hopefully ending arguments completely.

The bottom line is, surveying is a process using mathematical means to survey land.

How Land Surveying Started

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

Following the Egyptians, the Romans – also the most powerful civilizations of the ancient world – practiced land surveying. They took it one step further and made “land surveyor” a state position inside the Empire. These folks were called agrimensores, sometimes called Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum. Even though they used quite simple tools, they were very thorough and would create straight lines and proper angles while using these tools. Right after the lines were measured, they would create shallow ditches to mark the lines. In fact, many of the furrows they created remain today.

One of several records of land surveying in “modern” times is that of William the Conqueror who wrote the Domesday Book in 1086. This book serves as a directory of land owners, the amount of land they owned, along with information about the land. While it was an astonishing volume of information during this period, the bits of information weren’t 100% correct. The locations weren’t accurate and the maps were not created to scale.

Among history’s greatest icons is another enthusiastic surveyor – Napoleon Bonaparte. His interest in surveying land was actually simply a product of his desire to conquer the earth. Napoleon Bonaparte founded a registry called the cadastre. This includes a registry of properties of a county, ownership details, locations and as much information concerning the land’s value. Yes, Napoleon Bonaparte can be considered a land surveyor – and a very smart man.

The methods used by land surveyors have also evolved over the centuries, over time. Years back, people would use whatever that could to help them determine the distance from one point to another. Tools that were used include chains with links and also ropes. Needless to say, this didn’t give very accurate results but they didn’t have the technology we have today.

Today, land surveyors have the best technology to help with the job. There’s GPS, or Global Positioning System, which is quite possibly the most accurate technology being utilized today. Total stations are also crucial to a land surveyor of today. This instrument employs an EDM or Electronic Distance Measurement device in addition to a theodolite which allows for much more precise angle and distance measurements.

For assistance on land surveying in Oxford,AL and the surrounding areas call us at (256) 733-1733 or send us a message by clicking here. 

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

Looking for a piece of land that you want and making a proposal on it without performing a land survey of the property might well be the greatest and most costly mistake you can make. Buying land, whether commercial or residential, is often a high-priced endeavor, despite the fact that prices have eased somewhat lately.

Here’s why it’s vital that you have a land survey done first:

Land surveyors can assess if you’re actually getting what you’re paying for. What this means is find out whether or not the sidewalks, trees, driveways and even the bird bath is part of the property you’re intending to buy. Land surveying would also determine if the neighbors are encroaching onto the property, which will then mean you’re going to have problems later on with your neighbors.

Employing a land surveyor doesn’t only mean they figure out what you’re getting or otherwise not getting – land surveyors are the experts, and they can help with building regulations, wetland regulations, etc. Remember that these regulations can change anytime, but land surveyors ought to be updated on these regulations, or they can refer you to another professional who is.

land surveySuppose the existing landowner (the one selling the land) can provide you with an old land survey documents? You should still hire your land surveyor to see whether the boundary monuments are still in position.

Also, land surveying done several years back would possibly not show recent changes to the land. If the existing survey is older than about a decade, you should get a new survey. Technology and surveying standards are both far greater now and may give you more confidence in the survey work.

Second, that land survey was completed for that owner. He could have instructed the surveyor not to show specific things on the drawing. At least have a land surveyor go out and study the parcel with this old survey in hand. We have seen numerous cases where a new land survey would have saved the buyer thousands, so don’t be a victim. I’ve heard many people say having a land surveyor is nothing but an unnecessary expense.

I’ll tell you what’s unnecessary: the stress caused by paying a lot of money for something and finding yourself not receiving what you were expecting. If you’re smart, you will hire a qualified land surveyor before making any land purchases.

For assistance on performing a land survey in Oxford, AL or the surrounding areas, call us at (256) 733-1733 or send us a message by clicking here.

Hiring a Land Surveyor—What You Need to Know About It

When we hire a land surveyor, we pay them good money for their services. This is why it’s very important that we only hire the best. We need to look for someone who will give us the best service. After all, we don’t want to pay good money in exchange for lousy service.

When it comes to hiring a land surveyor, there are a few things that we need to keep in mind.

Tips on Hiring a Land Surveyor

In order to look for the best, you need to have a group to choose from. Start by looking for land surveying companies in your area. Check the internet, do a Google search, look for someone with a good website that provides you information about the type of surveying services you are looking for. Make a list together with their phone number, email address and other contact information. Then, pick up the phone and talk to the land surveyor – do an interview.

The next step is to make sure that the person you’re contacting is a licensed land surveyor. They should be able to show you a copy of their license or you could also check with the State Board of Licensure to determine they are licensed and to see if there are any complaints against the company or the person you’re planning to hire.

land surveyor

It’s also very important to make sure that you get someone whom you’ll be comfortable working with. To find out, meet or call the land surveyor you’re considering. Ask him/her questions, and see how he answers you. This allows you to check a few things including how knowledgeable he is, how comfortable he is working with you (and vice- versa) and if he is the right person to do the job.

Before signing a contract with anybody, make sure that you thoroughly read it and that you understand it.

Hiring a land surveyor shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure to hire someone who will do the most precise and professional work. This will get you the best value for your money. Read everything, including the fine print. Also make sure that there are no hidden charges and that you get all the services that you paid for. Remember that you’ll be legally bound when you sign a contract, so make sure that you completely understand it to prevent problems in the future.

For help on finding a licensed land surveyor, call us today at (256) 733-1733 or send us a message by clicking here.

Things You Need to Know Before Building a House


land surveyingIn order to get exactly what you want in a home, it may be a very good idea to build your own home. This may be the only way to get exactly what you want instead of when you buy. Of course, you may need to add some things or you may not know what you are getting yourself into. The following are some of the things that you might want know when planning to build your house.

Choosing the right builder is a big decision since this is one of the most important investments that you will ever make. Interview all possible house contractors and hire the one that understands what you want and how you want things to be done.

When interviewing the contractors make sure that you ask all the possible questions that will help you in your decision; how long have they been building houses, also if you can view any of their work, and to see references. It is also crucial to pick house plans that would lead to a good home now and in the future. This is something that your contractor should be able to help you with and they may call on the services of an architect.

Before planning and finalizing your design try to consider these things; budget, home size, home location, wall finishing, special design features, height of ceilings, stories, fixtures, outside finishing, and your time frame for completion.

If you are having a difficult time picking any of these items you should make an appointment with your contractor and/or architect. They are sure to assist in choosing right down to every tiny detail. When they have done their job of guiding you, you will have spent a lot of time because this is a detailed process which shouldn’t be short-changed. This is the reason why your choice of a builder is important.

If your builder isn’t able to advise you on home location they should refer you to a real estate agent. A real estate agent should be experienced in advising on home values in certain areas, what school districts are preferred, traffic congestion issues, your financing options, among other things.

Another stop you should make is to see a land surveyor. Land surveyors are trained and experienced in identifying features of the land that might have an impact on your new home. Some of these features are flood zones, property line encroachments from neighbors, lot dimensions, and building setbacks. Land surveyors are measurement experts. And, since your home is your most valuable asset, a survey of your land should be one of your first steps in any new construction.

Call Oxford Land Surveying today at 256-733-1733  or fill out a contact form request for more information concerning your land surveying needs.

What You Need to Know About Land Surveying

Land surveying Land surveying is the art and science of accurately measuring parcels of land. Measurements such as dimensions, lengths, boundary lines, including structures within the area are all precisely determined through a land survey.

These measurements are used to establish land maps, boundaries for ownership or for governmental purposes. It is a detailed study of every physical and cultural property of the land, whether above or beneath it, to illustrate it in usable form.

How Land Surveying is Done

Data is gathered through observations, research, field measurements, and data analysis for establishing property boundaries. Records from previous surveys and government records will strengthen the reports made after the survey.

A land survey is classified according to the purpose or why the survey is being performed. Some of the common types of land survey are boundary surveys, topographic surveys, partition or subdivision surveys, flood elevation survey, property line adjustment survey, and extended title insurance coverage survey.

Other services such as mapping, construction layout surveys, judicial surveys, registered land surveys are all part of land surveying. It is an essential element in every development of the environment especially in the fields of construction, transport, communication, mapping, and most especially in the definition of legal boundaries for ownership.

The key component in the field of land surveying is the land surveyor. A land surveyor is a person that takes charge of every activity that transpires during a land survey. It is the surveyor who makes the research and data gathering and even interpretation and analysis of all data wherein translation of all data gathered is crucial and should be checked, attested, and sworn in the law to be true and correct.

It is important then for you to choose a land surveyor with the highest degree of expertise and who can assume responsibility for the complex tasks at hand. It should be emphasized that only a surveyor who has knowledge of the elements of geometry, trigonometry, engineering, mathematics, physics, and the law are expected to have the best land survey outcomes.

Land surveying is a profession as old as the Egyptian times yet its importance to the human race still lives on. It is the best method to settle disputes over land ownership, it gives a clear picture of what buildings are suited to be constructed in a given land area, and it’s a convenient way to determine the exact dimensions of real estate to be purchased or sold.

land surveyingOptimum potential of the land you own can only be defined once you have a land survey. Whether you are planning to put it on the market, or should you want to use it for commercial purposes, a land survey must back you up if ever questions regarding everything about the land arise. Land surveying will provide a sense of security and peace of mind to every land owner and even to the future buyers.

Land surveying will always be an integral part in protecting real estate and upholding of laws governing the utilization and distribution of your land assets.

Call Oxford Land Surveying today at 256-733-1733 or fill out our contact form for more information concerning your land surveying needs.