What is a monument?


There are a variety of types of monuments, but they mainly fall into two categories:

1. Public Monuments: Are set by a Public Surveyor (City or County Surveyor) or a Private Surveyor. They are usually punched discs, nails or bolts set in a metal casing in the street or sidewalk. These monuments are shown on filed maps, or city monument maps, and are usually mathematically tied to the Right of Way lines of the street, subdivision lines or property lines.

2. Private monuments: Are usually set by private surveyors to indicate property lines and Right of Way lines. These are usually a rebar with a cap, a nail with a tag, an iron pipe with a plug and a tag, or a wood hub with a tack and a tag. A Licensed Surveyor is required to tag every property point he/she sets with a tag bearing their Land Surveyor's License number. They are also required to file a Record with the County (Corner Record or Record of Survey), so future surveyors will be able to determine what these points represent and how they established these points.




What is survey control?


Survey control is the monuments (Public and Private) and records (Public and Private) used by a Surveyor to establish street Right of Way lines, block lines, and property lines.




There is a lot of brush on my lot. Do I need to remove it or can your crew do it? Is there an extra fee?


It is usually a good idea for you to remove the brush from the area you wish to have surveyed, prior to the arrival of a survey crew. A survey crew can cut brush, and on occasion, will cut brush judiciously to access points on your site. However, in general, it is much cheaper for you to hire someone with a much lower hourly rate to cut your brush, rather than pay survey crew rates for brush cutting.




How can I reduce the cost of my survey?


The best way to reduce the cost of your survey is to get your neighbors involved. When a surveyor establishes a boundary, they have to figure out the boundaries of the entire block, and sometimes multiple blocks in your vicinity.




How do you estimate the cost of a survey? How much will my survey cost?


The cost of a survey is dependent upon the Survey Control we find in your area, and whether or not we have done previous survey work in the area. We estimate the amount of time that we think it will take us to do the fieldwork and office work, based on our hourly rates, then we add the cost of filing the required records with the County. If we have already done work on your block, it can take a lot less time to figure out your boundary, and this can save you a substantial amount of money. This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to use a local surveyor who has done a substantial amount of work in your community.




Does my existing fence designate the property line?


A fence does not officially designate a property line. Only points set by a Licensed Land Surveyor represent your property line, however, this doesn't mean that your fence isn't built on the property line. There are many cases where fences are built based upon a surveyor's stakes, but also many cases where a fence is built without the benefit of a survey. If you have some evidence that the fence was built right on the property line (a copy of an old survey, perhaps), then you may be able to make that assumption, but you are just as likely to be wrong.




Why should I get my property surveyed?


There are many reasons to have your property surveyed. The main reason is because you are going to build something and you need to know where the boundaries of your property are, and possibly also the physical and topographic features of your property. Other reasons include refinancing (lenders sometimes need to know what they are lending on), arguments with neighbors, adjusting property lines, or subdividing your property (either splitting your lot into multiple lots or subdividing into Condominiums).




How can I obtain recorded information?


Recorded information can be obtained at the County Surveyor's Office; All filed maps are on file at the County Surveyor's Office. Sometimes, in some cities, you can also find information about your site from previous Building Permit Surveys that are on file at the City Engineer's office.




Can I legally challenge my neighbor's survey?


You, personally cannot. However, if you have doubts that the survey in question is correct, you can hire another surveyor to review that survey and give you his/her opinion. Unfortunately, there are some surveyors who do not do as thorough of a boundary analysis as some surveys warrant, and in some cases, they calculate something wrong and set a point in the wrong place. You need to determine if the fee you will have to pay to check the other survey is worth it. Usually, if a surveyor puts a property line in the wrong place and another surveyor brings it to their attention, they will revise their survey and correct their mistake. In some cases, however rare, two surveyors cannot agree on the proper placement of a boundary and it has to go to court. In this case, the property owner who hired the surveyor to challenge the results will be responsible for their own court costs, including fees for Expert Witness Testimony by their surveyor, so they should be pretty confident in a successful case before proceeding. Fortunately, most of these cases are resolved by consultation between the two surveyors. In all our years of surveying experience, we have never had a boundary disagreement resolved by a judge.




What is your process for Condominium Conversions?


The process for Condominium Conversion varies, depending on which government entity has jurisdiction in the area you are interested in converting. Different cities and counties have different requirements for the process, if they allow them at all. From the surveyors perspective, there is always a Tentative Parcel Map (or Tract Map), Final Parcel Map (or Tract Map) and Condominium Plans necessary to create a Condominium Subdivision. You will also need to hire an attorney to prepare the Association Documents to define the Condominiums. We have a lot of experience working with different attorneys and various Bay Area cities to provide the best professional services available to help you with your subdivision.




Do I have to have my survey recorded?


If a surveyor sets boundary points in the ground, then yes, you must have the survey recorded. This is a requirement of State Law and is intended to benefit the general public by keeping a record of all the Right of Way lines and property lines that surveyors establish. There are many areas where surveys have not been filed in years. This makes it very difficult to establish boundaries if you cannot find any control points or find a record of how other surveyors have perpetuated the boundaries.




What do boundary markers look like?


The type of marker we place will depend upon the type of surface the marker is set in. If the marker is set in earth or gravel, we will set a rebar stake. The stake will be set flush with the ground and it will be topped with a plastic cap, which will bear the name and license number of the surveyor, etched into the plastic. If the marker is set in concrete or another hard surface, we will set a long metal tack. The tack will be epoxied in place and it will have a brass ring around the tack head that bears the surveyor’s name and license number. Both types of markers are meant to be permanent, so long as they are left undisturbed.





What is a monument?


There are a variety of types of monuments, but they mainly fall into two categories:

1. Public Monuments: Are set by a Public Surveyor (City or County Surveyor) or a Private Surveyor. They are usually punched discs, nails or bolts set in a metal casing in the street or sidewalk. These monuments are shown on filed maps, or city monument maps, and are usually mathematically tied to the Right of Way lines of the street, subdivision lines or property lines.

2. Private monuments: Are usually set by private surveyors to indicate property lines and Right of Way lines. These are usually a rebar with a cap, a nail with a tag, an iron pipe with a plug and a tag, or a wood hub with a tack and a tag. A Licensed Surveyor is required to tag every property point he/she sets with a tag bearing their Land Surveyor's License number. They are also required to file a Record with the County (Corner Record or Record of Survey), so future surveyors will be able to determine what these points represent and how they established these points.




What is survey control?


Survey control is the monuments (Public and Private) and records (Public and Private) used by a Surveyor to establish street Right of Way lines, block lines, and property lines.




There is a lot of brush on my lot. Do I need to remove it or can your crew do it? Is there an extra fee?


It is usually a good idea for you to remove the brush from the area you wish to have surveyed, prior to the arrival of a survey crew. A survey crew can cut brush, and on occasion, will cut brush judiciously to access points on your site. However, in general, it is much cheaper for you to hire someone with a much lower hourly rate to cut your brush, rather than pay survey crew rates for brush cutting.




How can I reduce the cost of my survey?


The best way to reduce the cost of your survey is to get your neighbors involved. When a surveyor establishes a boundary, they have to figure out the boundaries of the entire block, and sometimes multiple blocks in your vicinity.




How do you estimate the cost of a survey? How much will my survey cost?


The cost of a survey is dependent upon the Survey Control we find in your area, and whether or not we have done previous survey work in the area. We estimate the amount of time that we think it will take us to do the fieldwork and office work, based on our hourly rates, then we add the cost of filing the required records with the County. If we have already done work on your block, it can take a lot less time to figure out your boundary, and this can save you a substantial amount of money. This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to use a local surveyor who has done a substantial amount of work in your community.




Does my existing fence designate the property line?


A fence does not officially designate a property line. Only points set by a Licensed Land Surveyor represent your property line, however, this doesn't mean that your fence isn't built on the property line. There are many cases where fences are built based upon a surveyor's stakes, but also many cases where a fence is built without the benefit of a survey. If you have some evidence that the fence was built right on the property line (a copy of an old survey, perhaps), then you may be able to make that assumption, but you are just as likely to be wrong.




Why should I get my property surveyed?


There are many reasons to have your property surveyed. The main reason is because you are going to build something and you need to know where the boundaries of your property are, and possibly also the physical and topographic features of your property. Other reasons include refinancing (lenders sometimes need to know what they are lending on), arguments with neighbors, adjusting property lines, or subdividing your property (either splitting your lot into multiple lots or subdividing into Condominiums).




How can I obtain recorded information?


Recorded information can be obtained at the County Surveyor's Office; All filed maps are on file at the County Surveyor's Office. Sometimes, in some cities, you can also find information about your site from previous Building Permit Surveys that are on file at the City Engineer's office.




Can I legally challenge my neighbor's survey?


You, personally cannot. However, if you have doubts that the survey in question is correct, you can hire another surveyor to review that survey and give you his/her opinion. Unfortunately, there are some surveyors who do not do as thorough of a boundary analysis as some surveys warrant, and in some cases, they calculate something wrong and set a point in the wrong place. You need to determine if the fee you will have to pay to check the other survey is worth it. Usually, if a surveyor puts a property line in the wrong place and another surveyor brings it to their attention, they will revise their survey and correct their mistake. In some cases, however rare, two surveyors cannot agree on the proper placement of a boundary and it has to go to court. In this case, the property owner who hired the surveyor to challenge the results will be responsible for their own court costs, including fees for Expert Witness Testimony by their surveyor, so they should be pretty confident in a successful case before proceeding. Fortunately, most of these cases are resolved by consultation between the two surveyors. In all our years of surveying experience, we have never had a boundary disagreement resolved by a judge.




What is your process for Condominium Conversions?


The process for Condominium Conversion varies, depending on which government entity has jurisdiction in the area you are interested in converting. Different cities and counties have different requirements for the process, if they allow them at all. From the surveyors perspective, there is always a Tentative Parcel Map (or Tract Map), Final Parcel Map (or Tract Map) and Condominium Plans necessary to create a Condominium Subdivision. You will also need to hire an attorney to prepare the Association Documents to define the Condominiums. We have a lot of experience working with different attorneys and various Bay Area cities to provide the best professional services available to help you with your subdivision.




Do I have to have my survey recorded?


If a surveyor sets boundary points in the ground, then yes, you must have the survey recorded. This is a requirement of State Law and is intended to benefit the general public by keeping a record of all the Right of Way lines and property lines that surveyors establish. There are many areas where surveys have not been filed in years. This makes it very difficult to establish boundaries if you cannot find any control points or find a record of how other surveyors have perpetuated the boundaries.




What do boundary markers look like?


The type of marker we place will depend upon the type of surface the marker is set in. If the marker is set in earth or gravel, we will set a rebar stake. The stake will be set flush with the ground and it will be topped with a plastic cap, which will bear the name and license number of the surveyor, etched into the plastic. If the marker is set in concrete or another hard surface, we will set a long metal tack. The tack will be epoxied in place and it will have a brass ring around the tack head that bears the surveyor’s name and license number. Both types of markers are meant to be permanent, so long as they are left undisturbed.





What is a monument?


There are a variety of types of monuments, but they mainly fall into two categories:

1. Public Monuments: Are set by a Public Surveyor (City or County Surveyor) or a Private Surveyor. They are usually punched discs, nails or bolts set in a metal casing in the street or sidewalk. These monuments are shown on filed maps, or city monument maps, and are usually mathematically tied to the Right of Way lines of the street, subdivision lines or property lines.

2. Private monuments: Are usually set by private surveyors to indicate property lines and Right of Way lines. These are usually a rebar with a cap, a nail with a tag, an iron pipe with a plug and a tag, or a wood hub with a tack and a tag. A Licensed Surveyor is required to tag every property point he/she sets with a tag bearing their Land Surveyor's License number. They are also required to file a Record with the County (Corner Record or Record of Survey), so future surveyors will be able to determine what these points represent and how they established these points.




What is survey control?


Survey control is the monuments (Public and Private) and records (Public and Private) used by a Surveyor to establish street Right of Way lines, block lines, and property lines.




There is a lot of brush on my lot. Do I need to remove it or can your crew do it? Is there an extra fee?


It is usually a good idea for you to remove the brush from the area you wish to have surveyed, prior to the arrival of a survey crew. A survey crew can cut brush, and on occasion, will cut brush judiciously to access points on your site. However, in general, it is much cheaper for you to hire someone with a much lower hourly rate to cut your brush, rather than pay survey crew rates for brush cutting.




How can I reduce the cost of my survey?


The best way to reduce the cost of your survey is to get your neighbors involved. When a surveyor establishes a boundary, they have to figure out the boundaries of the entire block, and sometimes multiple blocks in your vicinity.




How do you estimate the cost of a survey? How much will my survey cost?


The cost of a survey is dependent upon the Survey Control we find in your area, and whether or not we have done previous survey work in the area. We estimate the amount of time that we think it will take us to do the fieldwork and office work, based on our hourly rates, then we add the cost of filing the required records with the County. If we have already done work on your block, it can take a lot less time to figure out your boundary, and this can save you a substantial amount of money. This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to use a local surveyor who has done a substantial amount of work in your community.




Does my existing fence designate the property line?


A fence does not officially designate a property line. Only points set by a Licensed Land Surveyor represent your property line, however, this doesn't mean that your fence isn't built on the property line. There are many cases where fences are built based upon a surveyor's stakes, but also many cases where a fence is built without the benefit of a survey. If you have some evidence that the fence was built right on the property line (a copy of an old survey, perhaps), then you may be able to make that assumption, but you are just as likely to be wrong.




Why should I get my property surveyed?


There are many reasons to have your property surveyed. The main reason is because you are going to build something and you need to know where the boundaries of your property are, and possibly also the physical and topographic features of your property. Other reasons include refinancing (lenders sometimes need to know what they are lending on), arguments with neighbors, adjusting property lines, or subdividing your property (either splitting your lot into multiple lots or subdividing into Condominiums).




How can I obtain recorded information?


Recorded information can be obtained at the County Surveyor's Office; All filed maps are on file at the County Surveyor's Office. Sometimes, in some cities, you can also find information about your site from previous Building Permit Surveys that are on file at the City Engineer's office.




Can I legally challenge my neighbor's survey?


You, personally cannot. However, if you have doubts that the survey in question is correct, you can hire another surveyor to review that survey and give you his/her opinion. Unfortunately, there are some surveyors who do not do as thorough of a boundary analysis as some surveys warrant, and in some cases, they calculate something wrong and set a point in the wrong place. You need to determine if the fee you will have to pay to check the other survey is worth it. Usually, if a surveyor puts a property line in the wrong place and another surveyor brings it to their attention, they will revise their survey and correct their mistake. In some cases, however rare, two surveyors cannot agree on the proper placement of a boundary and it has to go to court. In this case, the property owner who hired the surveyor to challenge the results will be responsible for their own court costs, including fees for Expert Witness Testimony by their surveyor, so they should be pretty confident in a successful case before proceeding. Fortunately, most of these cases are resolved by consultation between the two surveyors. In all our years of surveying experience, we have never had a boundary disagreement resolved by a judge.




What is your process for Condominium Conversions?


The process for Condominium Conversion varies, depending on which government entity has jurisdiction in the area you are interested in converting. Different cities and counties have different requirements for the process, if they allow them at all. From the surveyors perspective, there is always a Tentative Parcel Map (or Tract Map), Final Parcel Map (or Tract Map) and Condominium Plans necessary to create a Condominium Subdivision. You will also need to hire an attorney to prepare the Association Documents to define the Condominiums. We have a lot of experience working with different attorneys and various Bay Area cities to provide the best professional services available to help you with your subdivision.




Do I have to have my survey recorded?


If a surveyor sets boundary points in the ground, then yes, you must have the survey recorded. This is a requirement of State Law and is intended to benefit the general public by keeping a record of all the Right of Way lines and property lines that surveyors establish. There are many areas where surveys have not been filed in years. This makes it very difficult to establish boundaries if you cannot find any control points or find a record of how other surveyors have perpetuated the boundaries.




What do boundary markers look like?


The type of marker we place will depend upon the type of surface the marker is set in. If the marker is set in earth or gravel, we will set a rebar stake. The stake will be set flush with the ground and it will be topped with a plastic cap, which will bear the name and license number of the surveyor, etched into the plastic. If the marker is set in concrete or another hard surface, we will set a long metal tack. The tack will be epoxied in place and it will have a brass ring around the tack head that bears the surveyor’s name and license number. Both types of markers are meant to be permanent, so long as they are left undisturbed.





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