Topography: Land Surveying

Topographic Surveys are required by public agencies as part of applications for building permits, street use, or other permits. All surveys are required to meet certain basic standards which may include resolved boundaries, right-of-ways, easements, and the topography of the area. Topographic Surveys are generally required to protect public and private property.

The cost of the survey will be based on a number of factors. Those may include time to search the court records for evidence to establish the original boundaries, conduct the field survey, make necessary computations, prepare a plat survey (drafting), mark the property lines if ordered, and placement of appropriate markers as required by the Code of Laws.

Factors that tend to affect the cost of a survey are: missing property corners, disputed property lines, rough terrain, heavy underbrush, old inaccurate descriptions, travel time to the property, and professional liability of the surveyor’s opinion. Because of these varying conditions, it is difficult for a surveyor to predict an exact cost.


Before you attempt to build, repair, or alter structures, do grading or drainage work, install or repair septic systems, build or repair retaining walls, or have a survey of your property done, you should always consider that your city or county will be able to advise you about building code requirements and what permits, plans, and maps are required, if any. You may be asked to provide a Boundary Survey, Topographic Survey, Resolved Boundary Survey, or an ALTA/ACSM Survey which are the most commonly required.

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KPROX is a small Civil Engineering consulting firm dedicated to providing high quality professional services in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you need help with your project, please contact us via phone: (650) 549-4249 or via email and we will be glad to assist you.