Land Surveying

Boundary and Property Surveys
Buying real estate can be the most significant financial commitment a person will make in a lifetime. It makes sense to protect that investment against unforeseen title and boundary problems.

A proper boundary or property survey by a professional land surveyor is a long term investment in the property that will pay dividends for the lifetime of your ownership. Mistakes in development of the property and occupation by adjoining landowners can be avoided if you know your boundaries. When the time comes to sell the property, the original survey may be adequate for the new owner or it will be easier and quicker for the surveyor to re-certify to the boundaries if requested by the purchaser in the sale process.

If you have the opportunity before a real estate closing, requesting a proper boundary survey will resolve any potential problems before papers are signed. Title insurance does not cover anything that might be revealed in a survey.

Protect your land rights and your investment. Get it surveyed!

Research of records is the basis for a Boundary Survey. This includes title or deed research along with research of the survey records. A plan to collect boundary evidence is developed and fieldwork measurements are conducted to establish and monument the boundaries of property or easements. We are licensed to perform boundary survey work in the State of Wisconsin and in the State of Minnesota. We prepare maps that are recorded or filed with the appropriate county agency to completely document and create a permanent record of our work. In Wisconsin, boundary surveys may be mapped with an A-E 7 compliant Map of Survey or a Certified Survey Map. We will advise you as to what is appropriate for your project.

Subdivisions of property are done to create new parcels or easements. In Wisconsin, this may be done using Certified Survey Maps, County approved Subdivisions or State approved subdivisions. Minnesota subdivisions vary from county to county. We will advise you as to which type of survey is appropriate for the requirements for your subdivision needs. In most situations, subdividing property requires approval from one or more governmental agencies. We handle all aspects of this work including the boundary survey, all meetings with the approving authorities, design of the lots, roads, streets, and storm water facilities if required. We prepare the final maps and oversee the final recording or completion of the subdivision. We work with your attorney or realtor to prepare descriptions for parcels or easements if necessary. We can prepare attractive sales maps and brochures for your project.

Types of Boundary Surveys or Subdivisions

Boundary Survey
In Wisconsin, the standards are specified in A-E 7 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. The final map is a Map of Survey that is filed with Office of County Surveyor to create a permanent record of our work. In Minnesota, the final Map is a Certificate of Survey and in some counties the maps are recorded with the County Surveyor. Research, as described above, is always done. The other types of types of surveys discussed below, will meet these basic standards.

Certified Survey Maps
In Wisconsin, this is a common type of survey. It can be used to upgrade the legal description of an existing parcel or subdivide property into new parcels or lots. These maps are recorded with the Register of Deeds of a county and by statute are limited to 4 lots or less. Subdivisions by Certified Survey Map generally require approvals by municipal and/or county agencies.

ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys are boundary surveys with additional requirements. These are often specified by a lender in the transfer of commercial or industrial properties. These types of surveys were developed to be consistent nationally across state lines. Various options are specified and negotiated from Table A of the survey standards.

Subdivision Plats
Subdivision Plats are used to subdivide property into smaller parcels or lots. Approvals depend on the number and size of the parcels created. The final survey map document is recorded with the Register of Deeds. These are used in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, although the requirements vary considerably depending on the county, township, village or city where the property is located.

Condominium Plats
Condominium Plats are used to divide and define ownership entities of different types of property. In a townhouse or conversion condominium situation, the land is owned by all the unit owners and each owner owns a unit in the condominium. Condominiums are used in many different situations.

Assessor’s Plats
In Wisconsin, Assessor’s Plats are used to resolve boundary lines of multiple parcels where the lines are not clear due to poor or insufficient legal descriptions. A municipality orders the plat and hires the surveyor to perform the work according to Chapter 70.27 of the Statutes. The end result is equivalent to a “quiet title” action to final boundaries determined in the plat process. We consult with the municipality in advance to perform preliminary research to determine the area that should be included in the plat to encompass the problem area.
Please see our Consulting & Construction Surveying Page.

Topographic Surveys
Topographic Surveys are used to show ground elevations of a property. These are commonly used for site planning by architects and engineers.
Please see our Consulting & Construction Surveying Page.

Land Use Planning
We consult with our clients on many different types of projects. These can be residential, commercial or industrial developments. Projects can be planned to be phased or staged.
Please see our Consulting & Construction Surveying Page.

Flood Plain Services
We have many years of experience doing required work for construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas. We routinely work with contractors to insure that the construction meets the requirements for construction in a flood zone. FEMA Elevation Certificates are used to evaluate the risk to determine flood insurance rates.
FEMA LOMA and LOMR-F are procedures used to reclassify a structure, multiple structures or land from a Special Flood Hazard Zone to Low Hazard Zone. This procedure can essentially remove flood insurance requirements if the structure or land is above the Base Flood Elevation. For a FEMA Flood Plain Determination, we will check the maps and make a determination of the flood zone. When we find errors in previous classifications, we can provide the client with the official forms to show the proper classification. Site Construction Benchmarks are established at a construction site to assist a contractor to make sure the construction meets the requirements.
Please see our Consulting & Construction Surveying Page.

Please contact us if you have a need/situation that isn’t addressed by the above services. Also, visit our FAQ page for more answers.