Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Any surveyors out there? Fence question
Old 09-19-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Any surveyors out there? Fence question

For a suburban house, how accurate is a survey to locate the boundary between 2 adjacent lots in case there is a dispute? Lot is something like 6K sq.ft.

1)If one person does it three times, what would be the difference between the 2 most extreme measurements......I believe that tells something about reproducibiity of measurements but not necessarily accuracy.

2)If 3 firms do it, what would be the difference betwee the 3 results?

3)What can you say about absolute accuracy of a measurement?

Also any idea (roughly) what such a survey would cost?
__________________

__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881
Not a surveyor here.
But a good surveyor's GPS have horizontal accuracy of about 20mm (less than one inch).
__________________

__________________
sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,837
Before GPS, the surveys often depended on 'iron stakes'. So all the surveys might return the 'wrong answer' if they all depended on a bad stake.
__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Before GPS, the surveys often depended on 'iron stakes'. So all the surveys might return the 'wrong answer' if they all depended on a bad stake.
The property is at least 40 and probably over 50 yrs old. Does that mean they depend on iron stakes? I suppose the right answer is the "legal" answer, whatever that means?
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Not a surveyor here.
But a good surveyor's GPS have horizontal accuracy of about 20mm (less than one inch).
sailor, thanks for that..........if you have a link, it would be much appreciated.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
sailor, thanks for that..........if you have a link, it would be much appreciated.
For example this handheld Trimble advertises 25mm when using RTK:
http://trl.trimble.com/dscgi/ds.py/G...DS_0413_LR.pdf

But if your property was surveyed a while ago, there can be significant discrepancies.

When we got our home, the property lines were off about 3 feet.
In our HOA covenants there is language to amicably move the boundaries +/- 5 feet, if the property was not surveyed accurately.
It might be wise for you to check the local laws.
You might also have specific fence laws (we have them both in the subdivision and in town).
__________________
sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
For example this handheld Trimble advertises 25mm when using RTK:
http://trl.trimble.com/dscgi/ds.py/G...DS_0413_LR.pdf

But if your property was surveyed a while ago, there can be significant discrepancies.

When we got our home, the property lines were off about 3 feet.
In our HOA covenants there is language to amicably move the boundaries +/- 5 feet, if the property was not surveyed accurately.
It might be wise for you to check the local laws.
You might also have specific fence laws (we have them both in the subdivision and in town).
sailor, thanks for link. I didn't see where the 25mm was, just saw cm accuracy.

That's interesting about your property. Property lines being off means
fence vs legal description? So what happened.......the fence was moved to match the legal description? so they were 3 ft off on a lot width of ft?
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,837
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
The property is at least 40 and probably over 50 yrs old. Does that mean they depend on iron stakes? I suppose the right answer is the "legal" answer, whatever that means?
I bought a house that was built in the mid to late 1950's and the surveys referenced the stakes at the corners of the lot. It was a city lot. My experience is narrow, but I'd guess they would reference stakes.

I think the surveyor is supposed to reference the stake to something else before depending on it, but that takes more effort. It could be the proper distance from the middle of the paved road, for instance, but be incorrectly positioned along the road.

The house I'm in now was built in 1993 and I've accidentally dug up two of the four stakes! In the front yard, I widened the driveway and that stake was disturbed, but not removed (it's just a chunk of concrete reinforcing rod, aka 'rebar'). In the back yard, my lot has a dry creek bed (well unless it rains). I buried an 18 inch pipe in the creek and that stake was in the way, so it's now gone (oops).

I think the solution, if you only need a foot or less, is to just dig up and move the stake, but don't call the surveyors until the grass grows back, hehe.

As I recall from house buying, surveys were $250 or so. But if they think they might end up in court, they'll probably charge more!
__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
My subdivision was developed in the 1977-78 time frame. There are very few fences. Typically, someone may install a fence if they have a dog, although some neighbors have installed "invisible" fences (a buried wire that jolts the dog via a sensor on its collar) to keep their dog on their property.

About 10 years ago, my next door neighbor had their property surveyed (probably prior to installing an invisible fence). I was surprised to arrive home from work and see survey flags in my back yard about 3-4 feet on my side of what we had both thought was the property line --- a definite swale (most likely created when the houses were built on previous farm land) that ran from between the houses back to the rear property line.

A few years later, I had my property surveyed, and a similar occurrence happened between my property and the neighbor on the other side. The unmarked, but generally accepted, property line was no more. The new one was now 3-4 feet on their property. No big thing as there wasn't a fence on that side either. It did make chuckle a bit, as neighbor #2 had planted a couple of trees out on the right-of-way (that strip between the street and the sidewalk) and now one was a scant 6" from the property line.

The surveyor mentioned that he began his survey several blocks away as that is where the "official" stake was located.

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
ducky911's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 397
surveyors start from a monument that may be in the street and look like a valve cover or may be just a etched cross on the sidewalk. The city would have records of the monuments.
__________________
You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
I hate (despise) loads and fees
Retired July '11 investments 55/45 in very low cost index and mutual funds, balance once a year at best.
ducky911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
For a suburban house, how accurate is a survey to locate the boundary between 2 adjacent lots in case there is a dispute? Lot is something like 6K sq.ft. 1)If one person does it three times, what would be the difference between the 2 most extreme measurements......I believe that tells something about reproducibiity of measurements but not necessarily accuracy. 2)If 3 firms do it, what would be the difference betwee the 3 results? 3)What can you say about absolute accuracy of a measurement? Also any idea (roughly) what such a survey would cost?
Surveyor here.

You may or may not be asking the right question. Differences in measurements between accepted boundary monuments is rarely the source of disputes. Different surveyors at different times will generally measure the distances between accepted monumented lot corners of a suburban lot within an inch of each other.( It doesn't really matter if they are measuring with a tape measure, total station or gps.)

But the key is the word "accepted". One surveyor may accept found monuments as being the correct corners of a lot where another might find the monuments to be incorrect. Surveyors generally cross check their measured distances between monuments against deed and subdivision plat information to determine if the monuments themselves are in the correct positions.

So one surveyor may accept the monuments and the lines between them as being the boundaries. Others may determine that the found monuments are not in the original position of lot corners, and they will establish their own lines where they believe their survey analysis has deemed the correct lines to be. It's not uncommon for different surveyors to establish lines different by more than 10' if the deeds or subdivision plat contain dimensions or terms that are subject to interpretation or if measured distances between found monuments are not consistent with the deed or plat distances. Survey costs vary across the country and vary due to age of subdivision, legal description of the property and other factors, but I'd say a survey of a suburban lot around 6000 square ft should be around $500.
__________________
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 06:44 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,718
What is the legal description of your property and what is the reference point? The original survey when a mortgage was taken out or the deed should provide this description, although the reference point might be the corner of some prior lot, so you might have to go to the court house.
__________________
meierlde is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
I will certainly bow to Ronstar's expertise. When I wanted to put in a fence I rented a transit and got my good tape measure and worked from a known corner of the house the described distance to a corner. Then the fun began--looking for the stake (or "pin"). In my area, residential lots in the 1950s were marked at the corners with steel "pins" which might just be a 6" of rebar driven vertically into the ground. Given normal landscaping, the shifting dirt, etc they may be 6" or more beneath the surface. I tried to find them with a rented metal detector and didn't have any luck (but I dug up lots of nails, bottle caps, and other stuff). Then I found and rented a "magnetic locator" also sometimes called a "pin finder" and I'm sure it goes by other names. This thing looks nothing like the regular metal detectors with a round coil. A "magnetic locator" looks like a cane or stick with a small box on top. It's close to magic. It has two sensors inside that give a highly directional indication of where a pin is. In addition, they respond very well to iron that is oriented lengthwise, so they result in far fewer false alarms from other buried junk. I found two of my four pins this way (using the transit and tape to get a good idea where they might be. For the other corners, I made a good estimate based on the found pins and the angles off the line they formed (using the transit) and put my fence about a foot inside the (estimated) line. I suppose it might be off a bit, but my (current) neighbors are happy to have the fence I paid for, so I don't expect any problems.
I surely would have had a more accurate survey if I'd paid someone to do it, but this was a bit of fun.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Many thanks to all who replied. I know next to nothing about this subject so I am learning from each reply. I'm chuckling because this was kind of like tossing the football into the end zone and hoping somebody would catch it.......and out pops Ronstar. Every once in awhile it works!

Yes, Ronstar, could very well be the wrong question but my philosophy is that you can learn a lot by asking dumb questions........so many thanks in particular to you for taking the time to elaborate. I'll have to ponder a bit on your and others' comments a bit to progress.

I do have some familiarity with measurements, variations, std deviations,etc. and believe that every measurement has some uncertainty. I was just trying to get a feel for that uncertainty in surveying since I know if the position of the fence in dispute is similar to to uncertainty in the measurement, there will be problems right away. Most of the stories I've read are about disputes of several feet or more. Mine is more like a few inches.

I'll have to do some homework related to deeds, etc.

Again, thanks to all.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #15
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,353
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Many thanks to all who replied. I know next to nothing about this subject so I am learning from each reply. I'm chuckling because this was kind of like tossing the football into the end zone and hoping somebody would catch it.......and out pops Ronstar. Every once in awhile it works! Yes, Ronstar, could very well be the wrong question but my philosophy is that you can learn a lot by asking dumb questions........so many thanks in particular to you for taking the time to elaborate. I'll have to ponder a bit on your and others' comments a bit to progress. I do have some familiarity with measurements, variations, std deviations,etc. and believe that every measurement has some uncertainty. I was just trying to get a feel for that uncertainty in surveying since I know if the position of the fence in dispute is similar to to uncertainty in the measurement, there will be problems right away. Most of the stories I've read are about disputes of several feet or more. Mine is more like a few inches.
You didn't have dumb questions. Questioning how accurate measurements are between surveyors is a good question. Survey discrepancies are rarely due to measurements these days. I pointed how deed interpretations, etc lead to discrepancies, but disputes like this happen less than 10% of the time. If you get a metal detector and proceed like samclem, you can probably find the steel pins if you roughly figure out where your corners are. Good luck!
__________________
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013, 10:52 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Perhaps this is a legal , rather than a surveying question..........I assume that a common fence agreed to and paid for both parties should be on the property line.

What about a fence that was installed and paid for by A and never agreed to by
B? I assume that fence should be installed entirely on A's property? That means that the 4x4 posts should be entirely on A's property. For example, here it is almost universal that there are fences dividing back yards but very uncommon to have fences dividing front yards......so the question is about the front yard fence.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013, 10:55 AM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
sailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
That's interesting about your property. Property lines being off means
fence vs legal description? So what happened.......the fence was moved to match the legal description? so they were 3 ft off on a lot width of ft?
The previous owners had a nice cedar fence about 2 ft on neighbor property.
We did not need to do anything, because the fence got repossessed (funny story, yeah?) before we closed on the house.

And I checked the covenants and it actually says about easement for encroachment and overhangs - I'm attaching the wording below - sorry it's hard to read, but this is how I got it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg easements.jpg (98.1 KB, 39 views)
__________________
sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013, 11:26 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
The previous owners had a nice cedar fence about 2 ft on neighbor property.
We did not need to do anything, because the fence got repossessed (funny story, yeah?) before we closed on the house.

And I checked the covenants and it actually says about easement for encroachment and overhangs - I'm attaching the wording below - sorry it's hard to read, but this is how I got it.
sailor........thanks for the attachment. Learned something new......couldn't read it so copied and pasted and then use the view zoom in to enlarge.....N times but still couldn't read it. In frustration , I went back to original and pounded on it and only then noticed that it said click to enlarge.......voila!
Yeah, saw the 5 ft number and language that I couldn't understand except it sounded like if conduct was willful, then the tolerance didn't apply. I guess there are mindreader detectors out there..............kind of scary that tolerance can be in feet.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013, 10:09 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
Al in Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Columbus OH
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Not a surveyor here.
But a good surveyor's GPS have horizontal accuracy of about 20mm (less than one inch).
I have done surveys in college as part of my eng degree. I am not a prof surveyor but I hire them. The quote above is pretty accurate. An accurate survey should be within an inch or two. Pins should be less than a hand apart between a decent surveyor crew.

Some survey's are done by an unlicensed surveyor and may be way off. Never hire an unlicensed surveyor. Would you want a witch doctor to remove your appendix? Unfortunately it's more likely a non licensed surveyor is sent out by a bank or party interested in realty property because they were cheap and no-one was the wiser.
__________________
Ohio INTJ ENG ER Hopeful
Al in Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2013, 10:13 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
Al in Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Columbus OH
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Before GPS, the surveys often depended on 'iron stakes'. So all the surveys might return the 'wrong answer' if they all depended on a bad stake.
A good survey involves proper research and starting from a valid datum point and accurately protecting those measurements back to your property lines as recorded and if you want your moneys worth setting new iron pins. GPS can be less accurate. It's better for quickly getting you within the tolerance of the GPS device which might be more than a few inches.
__________________

__________________
Ohio INTJ ENG ER Hopeful
Al in Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:27 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.