When you place a call or email to Sheppard Surveying, and request a price quote, you will probably be surprised to find that where other survey firms were able to quickly give you an estimate, we will have a list of questions we will want to ask to make sure that any quote we offer is a fair quote covering the work you need done, with no surprise costs at the end.
Questions that will likely be asked prior to discussing a quote:
- The location of the survey, to include the legal description of the property, which would be shown on a deed as something such as a lot and block, section or survey number, an abstract number, and the name of the county.
- The purpose of the survey. Is it for a sale? A partition? A boundary dispute?
- Available access to the subject property and to adjoining properties.
- Do you have copies of the abstracts and deeds in your possession?
- Will the improvements and easements of record need to be located for the survey?
- Are there any specific certifications that are required? Flood zone? ALTA?
- What time frame does the survey need to be completed in?
- Who is the contact person, and who will be responsible for payment?
What should you expect from a Registered Professional Land Surveyor of Texas
All survey work in the State of Texas must be done under the supervision of a Registered Professional Land Surveyor in the State of Texas. All RPLS will sign and seal their work but just as any in any profession, the difference in the value of the work may not be apparent for many years. A survey product should be “DEPENDABLE” AND “DEFENDABLE”
Once we receive a signed agreement for work services, we will:
Research our personal records for past work we have done in the area
Research the archives of the county courthouse, other local surveyors as applicable, and if necessary, research the archives at The General Land Office in Austin.
Develop a working sketch of the subject property and all adjoining tracts for use by the field crew in searching for corner monuments and for the RPLS to resolve the boundary.
The field crew will establish survey control, search for called for monuments, tie in any recovered monuments, locate lines of occupation such as fences, and report their findings.
The RPLS will take this information from the field crew and use it to compare to record information of the bearings and distances of the property. It may be necessary to compute locations for monuments not located and have the field crew return to the property and search for these missing monuments. Often, monuments not called for in deeds are recovered near corner locations, which can trigger additional research and calculation time.
After all research and field searches have been exhausted, the surveyor will compute the final corner locations and the boundary lines. From this he will then have the field crew return and mark or set the corner monuments. A CAD technician will prepare a plat, while the surveyor will prepare a metes and bounds description of the property.
After the corners are set, the plat and metes and bounds finalized, a mathematical check is ran on each of these to ensure accuracy before the RPLS signs and seals the paperwork, the last step before delivery to the landowner.
The surveyor is providing you a professional opinion regarding your corners and boundaries based upon the records examined and information gathered and measured in the field and an application of the appropriate laws of the State of Texas.
WHY YOU NEED A BOUNDARY SURVEY
Why would a person need a boundary survey?
The main reasons are the sale of property, and wanting to ensure that the property conveyed is the actual property that is being sold. Relying on old deeds can lead to errors because of typos, or mismeasured distances. Not all property that has a fence around it is fenced in the right place. A survey is the only way to truly know where the correct corner monuments are.
Partitioning of property, whether it be among heirs, or members of a hunting club, or other division of a property, is best done with the services of a Registered Professional Land Surveyor to ensure the land is divided as agreed upon by all parties involved.
What happens when you and your neighbor do not agree on where the boundary lines are? You need a reputable surveyor to come do a complete boundary survey to determine where your boundary is. The process of determining where one line of your boundary is located requires locating all of your boundary, and how you and your neighbors boundaries relate to the survey as a whole. It is not as simple as going out and marking a line between two points, especially if it winds up in court.
Definition (RPLS): An individual licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying to practice land, boundary, or property surveying. This includes:
A. Performing any service or work the adequate performance of which involves applying special knowledge of the principles of geodesy, mathematics, related applied and physical sciences, and relevant laws to the measurement or location of sites, points, lines, angles, elevations, natural features, and existing man-made works in the air, on the earth’s surface, within underground workings, and on the beds of bodies of water to determine areas and volume for:
i. Locating real property boundaries;
ii. Platting and laying out land and subdivisions of land; or
iii. Preparing and perpetuating maps, record plats, field note records, easements, and real property descriptions that represent those surveys; and
B. consulting, investigating, evaluating, analyzing, planning, providing an expert surveying opinion of testimony, acquiring survey data, preparing technical reports, and mapping to the extent those acts are performed in connection with acts described by this subdivision.
Definition (LSLS) a surveyor licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying to survey land in which the state of Texas or the permanent school fund has an interest or perform other original surveys for the purpose of filing field notes in the General Land Office. This includes:
A. determining by survey the location or relocation of original land grant boundaries and corners;
B. calculating area and preparing field note descriptions of surveyed and unsurveyed land or land in which the state or the permanent school fund has an interest; and
C. preparing maps showing the survey results.
Route surveys are generally performed by an RPLS for the purpose of locating and defining an easement for pipelines, electric lines, or access easements across one property to another.
Sheppard Surveying has experience in the route surveying of numerous power transmission lines, with one of our most recent being lines across Foard County. We also have many miles of petroleum pipeline experience, from lines that run across a tank farm to lines that span several counties.
These are surveys done for the purpose of gathering data relative to not only the boundary but also include features such as elevations, topography, drainage structures, and design features that will be used to help with future development of a site. Some of our projects in this category include several TxDOT highway interchanges, overpasses, and bridges, 3 power plants that were decommissioned and disassembled to be shipped to new locations for reassembly and placed back into service, and a waterline project consisting of placing a new waterline alongside an existing line.
These are surveys made to establish horizontal and vertical control for future engineering and survey projects. All surveys start out with control work, some surveys require a higher degree of control, or a larger number of control monuments, or monitoring of control for a long period of time. These are generally long term large scale projects, such as water impoundment dams, transportation projects, airports, and support for aerial photography.
Some of our projects for Control surveys have been setting and monitoring control for detention ponds at coal fired power plants, lake level monitoring, and control for large highway projects across the state.
Sheppard surveying has long been involved in the local oil and gas industry. We have been providing oil and gas well locations since we opened our doors in 1982, staking the wells, doing unit boundaries, and providing plats. We will work with the geologist on placing wells, locating abandoned wells, and we have a good working knowledge of the area, so we can help with surveys that might have irregularities. Maxey is also a LSLS meaning he is licenced to survey in case where vacancies or Public School Lands are involved.
These projects are usually large in size requiring Control, boundary, Preliminary Engineering, Topographic and Construction Staking surveys. Upon completion, an ALTA certification is usually provided to verify the project is within the boundaries, the title is clear, and any other requirements of the ALTA paperwork
Definition: A land survey is made for the Title Company and/or Lender with the survey and location data needed for the issuing of title or mortgage insurance. For this purpose a map is drawn to “ALTA” specifications. “ALTA” stands for American Land Title Association.
ALTA specifies the data to be shown on the survey and this includes boundary lines, location of the main building including improvements, location of ancillary buildings, the identification of easements (access rights by service companies such as water, gas, telephone, railways and other utilities). ALTA surveys are very complex surveys and can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks to complete. For that reason most ALTA surveys are performed on commercial properties.
An ALTA Land Survey guarantees to meet the requirements for an ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey as detailed by the American Land Title Association, National Society of Professional Surveyors and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.
In recent years, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has significantly increased efforts to identify and (in many cases) require Flood Insurance. The cost of the flood insurance is based on elevation information provided by a R.P.L. Surveyor and analysis of FEMA data for the specific property location. Sheppard Surveying has collected the required FEMA and elevation data and produced Elevation Certificates for Property Homeowners in the Abilene/Big Country area.