When should you think about calling a Land Surveyor?
Whenever you have questions involving property boundaries, topography, possible land divisions or transfers, additions, fences, sheds, condominiums, FEMA Elevation Certificates, Land Court or ALTA/NSPS issues, call or drop us an email to discuss how we can help.
When selecting a licensed professional to perform work on your property, you should check on several things:
• Is the individual actually registered/licensed to perform the work
• Does he/she carry the appropriate Professional Liability Insurance
• Years of experience and resume
• References for similar work
• Is there a defined Scope of Services and a written contract?
• What points will be set and what material will be used?
If the initial question is one of cost for services, some quick research by the surveyor is usually needed including site address, general project scope, review of our files for projects nearby, record information from on-line sources and other data as no two jobs are alike.
Let us know what you need, what you are trying to achieve and we will do our best to advise you on the best approach to get there.
An ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is a boundary survey prepared to a set of standards that have been jointly prepared and adopted by ALTA and NSPS. A ‘normal’ boundary survey generally shows the subject property lines, easements, and other details as mandated by the MA state regulations 250CMR. An ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey must adhere to a set of national standards put forth by the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and adopted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors.
These surveys will show improvements, easements, rights-of-way and other elements affecting the parcel of land. An ALTA/NSPS survey is usually prepared for commercial properties, as it provides the title company with the information needed to insure the title and land improvements to the level that a commercial development can require.
ALTA/NSPS surveys are prepared in accordance with strict and explicit requirements recently updated and effective as of February 23, 2016 entitled “ 2016 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys”, including a table of optional elements to the standards. Some of these “optional items” are actually things that we normally include on all surveys, however some of the items can add significantly to the fee, so a careful review and discussion of the optional "Table A" items to be included is helpful in defining a clear scope of services.
A current title commitment is required before an ALTA survey can be initiated. We will refer to the title commitment for the legal description of the property and for the legal description of any encumbrances (exceptions). Areas of ownership, improvements, potential encroachments and record encumbrances will be shown graphically.
Property surveys in all states are required to be performed only by individuals licensed to practice by the State authorities. On November 22, 2013 the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors adopted sweeping changes to the administrative regulations that apply to the Massachusetts surveying profession, commonly referred to as “250 CMR”. The MA Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors updates to its regulations, found in Title 250 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations ("250 CMR"), set the standards for the practice of engineering and land surveying throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A link to those standards is found here: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/en/regulations/rules-and-regs/
Section 6.02 of these regulations spells out the elements specifically related to property boundaries. A quick review shows the level of research, reconnaissance, field locations, calculations and analysis, monumentation and plan production that goes into each and every boundary survey. Due to the sometimes sensitive nature of property surveys, the land owner needs to ensure that the selected surveyor is indeed licensed and insured. Prior to starting boundary surveys, we will contact all abutters in person or by first-class mail to notify them of upcoming survey activities, in accordance with MGL Chapter 266, Section 120C – the “Trespass Law”. Monumentation of lot corners is an important part of all boundary survey.
At this time, Fieldstone Survey Services utilizes rebar and plastic caps at corners, if site conditions allow. Concrete or stone bounds, drill holes or other semi-permanent markers make good alternate markers.