Construction Surveys

  • Plot Plan
    • Shows a simplified foundation footprint, easements, setbacks, and measurements from the building to the property lines
    • Attention is made to ensure the building does not encroach or overlap into setbacks, easements, or the property line
    • See an example...
  • Building & Improvement Layout
    • Design points from a plot plan are "staked out" onto the actual property to indicate the location of the building
    • Generally flagged or painted lathe, stakes, or rebar are used
    • Excavation crews use the stakes as markers to dig the hole where the foundation will be built
    • Concrete crews use the offset rebars to set up the concrete forms into which the foundation will be poured
  • As-built Verification
    • During or after construction, we can verify the horizontal and vertical locations of features compared to the drawings
    • An exhibit can be prepared upon request

A construction survey is used to establish or mark the desired position of building corners, roads, sidewalks, or utilities, that the engineer has designed. Particular attention is made to ensure the building does not encroach or overlap into or over the designated setbacks, easements, or property line. These points are then “staked out” onto the actual property to indicate the location of the improvement, generally flagged or painted lathe, stakes, or rebar are used.

The stakes and points set during the process of construction surveying are not usually set at the actual construction point, but usually on some sort of offset. This is done so that the survey stake is not disturbed by excavation or other activities that will take place at the actual point of construction. The stakes are marked with an "offset" and a "grade", which provides the construction crew with the spacial relationship of the construction stake to the actual point of construction. The "offset" is the distance from the survey stake to the horizontal position of the actual point of construction, and would typically be three feet for curb and gutter to ten feet for underground pipes. The distance of the offset should be coordinated with the contractor to accommodate any specific needs due to existing field conditions or special equipment, and should be clearly marked on the survey stake (usually by a number enclosed in a circle). The "grade" represents the change in elevation that needs to be obtained from the reference point to the actual construction point, expressed as a "cut" (lower in elevation) or a "fill" (higher in elevation). The grade should also indicate the vertical feature that the grade is referencing, usually a flowline or finished floor elevation.

The results of construction surveying are seen in almost any urban, suburban, and even rural setting. Almost any roadway, building, or other man-made improvement probably had some amount of construction surveying involved. Construction surveying provides not only the horizontal location of new improvements, but also the vertical information required to ensure that surfaces drain or pipes flow as required.

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