Formerly O'Connor - Petito LLC



Here Are The 5 Things To Do Before Hiring For Your Land Survey

A land (property) survey is a project that requires considerable preparation. Read on with us at Joseph M. Petito Land Surveying & Civil Engineering to find out the 5 things you should do before contacting your land surveyor

1. Clearly Define Your Needs

What is the purpose of this survey? Are you buying property? Are you just trying to construct a fence or a wall? Do you need to know more about the topography of your property? There are a lot of different kinds of land surveys and a lot of different specialities within the field, and not everyone can do everything.

As is the case with any project, a proper land survey benefits from good planning. That planning starts with you, the owner of the property. It’s not as complex as it seems to define your needs, but it helps to be literate in the different fields of land surveying so that you can easily align them with what you need done.

Here are a few varieties of land surveying you should be aware of:

Floodplain Surveys

Floodplain land surveys reveal low-lying areas that are at risk of flooding. You may need this if you are concerned about the matter of flooding on your property, or if you are borrowing from a lender who requires flood insurance on the property-in-question.

Mortgage Plot Plan Surveys

These land surveys reveal the boundaries of a property that is to be mortgaged. If you are mortgaging your property, getting this done will likely be a requirement.

As-built Surveys

As-built land surveys show where certain improvements can be built on the property. If you are considering adding something along the lines of a driveway or septic system, this will likely be the type of survey you need.

Topographic Surveys

Topographic land surveys are done to show the elevation of a plot of land or property. If you are looking to build upon your property, professionals such as architects and engineers will likely require a topographic survey to get their job done.

Monumentation Surveys

Monumentation land surveys show where fences or walls can be constructed on the boundaries of a property. If you need monumentation work done, this survey is a must.

It helps everyone, especially you, if your needs are clearly defined and outlined before you start contacting surveyors for assistance. If you’re located in Locust Valley and you want to know what kinds of services we provide, you can take a look right here.

2. Get Your Paperwork Together

Your local surveyors (particularly us here in Locust Valley) are plenty-capable of telling you everything we need before we can get started, but it doesn’t hurt to begin negotiations completely prepped. You should collect any information on your property that you can, including:

  • Deeds
  • Legal documents which pertain to the property or ownership of the property
  • Any historical documents of ownership
  • The property’s abstract
  • The property’s title option

Having your paperwork organized and ready is essential to speeding up the process of getting your land survey done. We as surveyors can’t make a move until we know that we’re operating safely and lawfully, so make sure to get those papers ready as soon as possible!

3. Get Information on Bordering Properties

It helps surveyors to know not only the information on your property, but of properties around it (if there are other properties around it, that is). This will help greatly in establishing your boundaries since it gives them an end-point to work off of. By no means do you have to dive as deep as you will with your own property, just simple names and addresses of properties adjacent to yours will suffice.

4. Make Note of Any Property Disputes

Disputes over things like property borders are unfortunately common between neighbors and organizations alike. Make sure to make a record of any disputes you’ve had recently over any issues pertaining to your property. 

This is for the safety of the land surveyors as well as yourself. Additionally, this information is helpful in letting your surveyor know what to focus on in their survey, as they can then hone-in on aspects of your property that are immediately relevant to you and to the property owners surrounding you.

5. Record any Monuments or Visible Boundaries for Your Surveyor

Essentially, you’re going to want to make a note of any aspects of your property that define where your land begins and ends. You can mark these on a map, take pictures of them, or both. 

Land surveying often feels like navigating a foreign land, so any visual markers are extremely helpful, particularly in establishing borders!


As we have established, land surveying is a complex and multi-faceted process that requires a clear understanding of: a property owner’s needs, a strict adherence to law, attention to detail, and careful consideration of adjacent property owners. 

Land surveying is a project, just like any other. The land surveyor may be the expert, but land surveyors are working for your ends just as well as their own, so you’re the one calling the shots! It’s beneficial for the future of your land surveying project that you know precisely what you need and feel confident in assigning those needs to a certified-and-proven professional.

And, if you happen to be in Locust Valley, NY and require help with your property, you’re in luck.

We at Joseph M. Petito Land Surveying & Civil Engineering provide all sorts of services from title surveys to mapping to engineering and construction.

If you’re ready to get started on your project or if you have any additional questions, contact us today.

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